In the early twentieth century, the great scholar Ju Mipham collected stories from the sutras and tantras about the eight great bodhisattvas: Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri, Vajrapani, Maitreya, Akashargarbha, Kshitigarbha, Samantabhadra, and Sarvanivaranavishkambin. Now that collection has been translated into English by the exceptionally skilled Yeshe Gyamtso in <span style="font-style: italic;">A Garland of Jewels: The Eight Great Bodhisattvas</span> (KTD Publications, 2008). The stories generally follow a familiar pattern: someone, usually another bodhisattva, asks the Buddha who such and such is, and what his origin is, and the Buddha then explains, in florid and expansive detail and praise. Which is to say, one will not find any historical information here about the development of the bodhisattvas. Not surprisingly, given the Mipham's personal devotion to Manjushri, stories about that bodhisattva occupy more than half the book, while lesser-known bodhisattvas receive only a couple of pages.
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