Important Cultural PropertyBonmôkyô (Brahma Net Sutra), Chapter 10 "Vairocana Buddha Teaching on the Mind Ground to the Bodhisattvas," Volume 2 (Sutra Offered by Priest Reishun)

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  • Handscroll
  • Height 25.3cm, Length 992.5cm
  • Nara period, 8th century
  • Kyoto National Museum
  • B甲64

This sutra consists of two volumes of the Chapter 10, Vairocana Buddha Teaching on the Mind Ground to the Bodhisattvas, from the Brahma Net Sutra (J., Bonmokyo). This text, as indicated by its opening, is the second of the two volumes and is highly regarded as a fundamental scripture that explains the bodhisattva precepts in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. These precepts include ten major and forty-eight minor bodhisattva vows. Later, the Tendai founder Saicho (767-782) vowed to erect a Mahayana ordination platform at the site of his monastery on Mount Hiei based on the teachings in this sutra. The postscript in this volume indicates that the sutra was offered by a priest named Reishun and is known as one of the so-called “knowledge sutras” (J., chishiki kyo). The white, red, and black reading markers mainly from the latter half of the Heian period make this volume an important source in understanding early grammatical and reading annotations.