BHADRA, the name of a magician, who according to Buddhist legend tried to deceive the Buddha by means of his magic powers in order to disprove the Buddha’s claim to omniscience. A Khotanese verse paraphrase of the story is contained in chapter 2 of the Book of Zambasta (see the edition and translation in The Book of Zambasta. A Khotanese Poem on Buddhism, ed. R. E. Emmerick, London, 1968, pp. 10-51). The original Sanskrit version is not extant, but two Chinese translations and a Tibetan rendering have come down to us. The earlier Chinese version was made by Dharmarakṣa in the 3rd or 4th century a.d., the later by Bodhiruci between 693 and 712 a.d. A complete edition and translation of the Tibetan version making use of the Chinese material was published by K. Régamey, The Bhadramāyākāravyākaraṇa, Warsaw, 1938. A story based on the same theme is known also from Pali (Dhammapadaṭṭhakathā. The Commentary on the Dhammapada, ed. H. C. Norman, London, 1906-14, I, pp. 434-35).
(Ronald E. Emmerick)
Originally Published: December 15, 1989
Last Updated: December 15, 1989
This article is available in print.
Vol. IV, Fasc. 2, p. 190