On the Eschatology of the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra and Related Matters

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On the Eschatology of the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra and Related Matters
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Citation: Hodge, Stephen. "On the Eschatology of the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra and Related Matters." Lecture delivered on the Tibetan version of the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra at the University of London, SOAS, Spring 2006. http://www.shabkar.org/download/pdf/On_the_Eschatology_of_the_Mahaparinirvana_Sutra_and_Related_Matters.pdf

Article Summary

Given that the MPNS is such a complex text, I should like to take up just one theme that runs through much of this sutra—the way the compilers of this sūtra seem to have perceived the causes and the implications of the decline of the Dharma, that is, what one might, as I have done here, term the "eschatology of the MPNS." I believe this may provide an important key to understanding the entire sūtra, though some of my conclusions are necessarily based on circumstantial evidence. One might also remark here, in passing, that the prominence of the concept in the MPNS that the scriptural Dharma is, as we shall see, decidedly impermanent stands out in stark contrast to the recurrent idea in the sūtra of the permanence of Buddha. (Hodge, introduction, 1)