The Vimalakīrti Sutra

The Vimalakīrti Sutra is a Mahayana Buddhist sutra. Vimalakīrti, the protagonist of the sutra, is a wealthy and prominent citizen of Vaishālī during Shakyamuni's time. Vaishālī is thought to have been located in the present-day northwestern Indian state of Bihar. Vimalakīrti had mastered the Mahayana doctrines and was skillful in imparting them to others. He represents the ideal Mahayana lay believer. The sutra relates various accounts of how Vimalakīrti had demonstrated a better understanding of the Buddhist teachings than Shakyamuni's ten major disciples. Among the teachings that the sutra expounds are the ideal of the bodhisattva, which is to draw no distinction between self and others, and non-duality or the oneness of seemingly diametrically-opposed phenomena such as life and death and good and evil.