Rajagriha Prajnaparamita and Lotus Suttra

Vultures Peak

It is here that the Second Turning of the Wheel of Dharma began with the Buddha's espousal at Vultures Peak near Rajagriha of the various Perfection of wisdom (Prajnaparamita) sutras, which range in length from a hundred thousand verses to the single syllable "a".

What the text means by "perfection of wisdom" [prajna paramita] is a direct, unmediated realization of emptiness that is also called "ultimate bodhichitta." This is not the direct realization of emptiness alone; rather it is this direct realization in union with bodhichitta - the aspiration to become a Buddha in order to free all beings. - The 14th Dalai Lama

Among the best known and most concise of the texts are the Heart of Perfect Wisdom Sutra (Prajnaparamita Hrdaya Sutra) and the diamond-cutter Sutra (Vajraccheddika Sutra). It was here that Gautama Buddha spent several months meditating, and preaching at Gridhra-kuta, ('Hill of the Vultures'). He also delivered some of his famous sermons and initiated king Bimbisara of Magadha and countless others to Buddhism.

It is here that the Buddha Taught the Saddharma Pundarika Sutra more commonly known as the Lotus Sutra.

On one of the hills is the Saptparni cave where the First Buddhist Council was held under the leadership of Maha Kassapa

Vulture Peak Mountain is, by tradition, one of several sites frequented by the Buddha and his community of disciples for both training and retreat. Its location is frequently mentioned in the Buddhist sutras both in the Theravada Pali Canon[ and in the Mahayana sutras, as the place where the Buddha gave a particular sermon. Among the latter are the Heart Sutra, the Lotus Sutra and the Suramgamasamadhi sutra, as well as many other Prajnaparamita Sutras.

It is explicitly mentioned in the Lotus Sutra in Chapter 16 as the Buddha's "Pure Land":

  • And when the living have become faithful,
  • Honest and upright and gentle,
  • And wholeheartedly want to see the Buddha,
  • Even at the cost of their own lives,
  • Then, together with the assembly of monks
  • I appear on Holy Eagle Peak. ...
  • Such are my divine powers.
  • Throughout countless eons,
  • I have always lived on Holy Eagle Peak
  • And in various other places.
  • When the living witness the end of an eon,
  • When everything is consumed in a great fire,
  • This land of mine remains safe and tranquil,
  • Always filled with human and heavenly beings.[3]
  • What the text means by "perfection of wisdom" [prajna paramita] is a direct, unmediated realization of emptiness that is also called "ultimate bodhichitta." This is not the direct realization of emptiness alone; rather it is this direct realization in union with bodhichitta - the aspiration to become a buddha in order to free all beings. - The 14th Dalai Lama