The Sutra of Jñanaka

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This sutra, The Sutra of Jñanaka (Skt. Jñānakasūtra; Tib. ཤེས་ལྡན་གྱི་མདོ།, Wyl. shes ldan gyi mdo) is one of a number of avadanas, or accounts of noble deeds, preserved in the Kangyur. Avadana is a narrative genre of Buddhist literature that describes how virtuous actions play out across lifetimes. True to the avadana genre, The Sutra of Jñanaka relates the otherwise unimaginable workings of karma across several lifetimes, beginning with a god in the Heaven of the Thirty-Three. This god has reached the end of his life. He foresees his rebirth as a pig and calls out to the Buddha to save him. The Buddha prompts him to seek refuge in the Three Jewels and, as a result, the god finds himself reborn into a wealthy family in Vaishali. In this life as a child named Jñanaka, he encounters the Buddha once more and invites him and his monks for a midday meal. The Buddha prophesies to Ananda that the meritorious offering made by Jñanaka will eventually lead the child to awaken as the buddha known as King of Foremost Knowing.[1]


The Tibetan translation of this sutra can be found in the General Sutra section of the Tibetan Kangyur, Toh 344.


  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.