The Sutra of Queen Śrīmālā of the Lion’s Roar (Śrīmālādevī Siṃhanāda Sūtra) is a Mahayana text no longer extant in Sanskrit but preserved in both the Chinese and Tibetan Buddhist canons. It teaches the doctrines of Tathāgatagarbha and the One Vehicle (Skt. ekayāna), through the words of the Indian queen Śrīmālā....
[Śrīmālā said,] “All the remaining living beings who stubbornly cling to false teachings, instead of to the most profound Dharma, turn their backs to the True Dharma and habitually practice the corrupt ways of various heterodoxies. These corrupt ways must be subdued by the [Dharma] King’s powers and by the powers of the divine nāgas.”
When Queen Śrīmālā and her attendants paid obeisance to the Buddha, the Buddha said, “Excellent, excellent, Queen Śrīmālā! In the most profound Dharma, protected by skillful means, subdue what is not the Dharma. Maintain well its correctness. You have already been very close to the hundreds of millions of buddhas and can explain this [Dharma’s] meaning.”
At that time the Lord emitted a most excellent light, radiating everywhere over the assembly. His body ascended into the sky, higher than seven tala trees. Walking in the sky, he returned to the kingdom of Śrāvastī. Then Queen Śrīmālā and her attendants together faced the Buddha and were transfixed by the sight of him, not moving for even a moment. [The Buddha,] having passed through their field of vision, caused them to be exalted. Each individual praised the Tathāgata’s merits and was mindful of him. The Buddha then reentered the city. Turning toward [her husband,] King Mitrayaśas, Queen Śrīmālā praised the Mahayana. All the women of the city, seven years of age and older, were converted to the Mahayana. King Mitrayaśas was also converted to the Mahayana. All the men, seven years of age and older, were converted to the Mahayana. Then all the citizens of the state were turned toward the Mahayana.
Then the Lord entered the Jeta Garden, spoke to the venerable Ānanda, and called upon Śakra, the king of heaven. Śakra, along with his retinue, immediately arrived in the presence of the Buddha. Then the Lord turned toward the king of heaven, Śakra, and to the venerable Ānanda and extensively explained this text. Having explained it, he said to Lord Śakra, “You should accept and read this sutra, O Kauśika. Good sons and daughters, in innumerable kalpas as numerous as the sands of the Ganges River, cultivate the practice of enlightenment and practice the six perfections. If these good sons and daughters learn and read this sutra and uphold it, their blessings will be immense.
“How much more [advantageous] will it be for those who explain this text. Thus, O Kauśika, you must read this sutra on behalf of the thirty-three heavens, defining and extensively explaining it.”
Then the Buddha said to Ānanda, “You also must accept and read this sutra. For the sake of the four groups of followers you must extensively explain this sutra.”
Then the king of heaven, Śakra, asked the Buddha, “O Lord, what is the name of this sutra? How does one adhere [to its teaching]?”
The Buddha said to Lord Śakra, “This sutra has immeasurable and limitless merits. All the disciples and buddhas cannot, ultimately, have insight into [these merits] nor know them. Kauśika, you should know all the great merits that are so subtle and profound in this sutra. Now I shall, on your behalf, briefly explain its name. Listen well, listen well and remember this [text].”
Then the king of heaven, Śakra, and the venerable Ānanda said to the Buddha, “Excellent, O Lord! Yes, we will do as you have instructed.” The Buddha said, “This sutra praises the supreme merits of the True Dharma of the Tathāgata [in Chapter I]. In this manner accept it. It explains [in Chapter II] the ten inconceivable ordination vows. In this manner accept it. It explains [in Chapter III] the great aspiration that embraces all aspirations. In this manner accept it. It explains [in Chapter IV] the inconceivable acceptance of the True Dharma. In this manner accept it. It explains [in Chapter V] the entrance into the One Vehicle. In this manner accept it. It explains [in Chapter VI] the unlimited noble truths. In this manner accept it. It explains [in Chapter VII] the tathāgatagarbha. In this manner accept it. It explains [in Chapter VIII] the Dharma body. In this manner accept it. It explains [in Chapter IX] the underlying truth: the meaning of emptiness. In this manner accept it. It explains [in Chapter X] the one [noble] truth. In this manner accept it. It explains [in Chapter XI] the one refuge that is eternal and quiescent. In this manner accept it. It explains [in Chapter XII] the contrary truths. In this manner accept it. It explains [in Chapter XIII] the inherently pure mind that is covered [by defilements]. In this manner accept it. It explains [in Chapter XIV] the true sons [and daughters] of the Tathāgata. In this manner accept it. Teach the Sutra of Queen Śrīmālā of the Lion’s Roar. In this manner accept it.
“Again, O Kauśika, the explanations of this sutra eliminate all doubts. Be steadfast in the complete meaning [of this text] and enter the path of the One Vehicle. O Kauśika, today this scripture, the Sutra of Queen Śrīmālā of the Lion’s Roar, has been transmitted to you. As long as the Dharma continues, accept, read, extensively define, and explain [this sutra].”
Lord Śakra said to the Buddha, “Very well, O Lord, we will reverently receive your holy teaching.” Then the king of heaven, Śakra, the venerable Ānanda, and all the great assemblies of gods, asuras, and gandharvas, among others, heard the Buddha’s teaching and joyfully put it into practice.
End of the Sutra of Queen Śrīmālā of the Lion S Roar