After nearly breaking his precepts on celibacy due to the charms of a prostitute, the monk Ananda requests the Buddhas instruction on Samadhi (concentration).
In a question and answer format between the Buddha and Venerable Ananda and Pruna, we learn that living beings possess a universal mind. In order to fully comprehend this universal mind, individuals need to enter the door of cultivation. Different sages explain 25 different methods of cultivation. The Buddha discloses the durable and great Shurangama Samadhi, and based on this an ordinary human may advance throughout the stages of enlightenment and attain true liberation. Finally, the Buddha instructs his disciples on how to break through various states as one progresses in meditation. For those wishing to cross the great sea of birth and death, then this sutra is an essential guide.
These English volumes were translated from Chinese into English over a period of several years by the monks and nuns of the Buddhist Text Translation Society.
For a new translation of this sutra with an extensive introduction, see ISBN 9780881399622, The Surangama Sutra – A New Translation with Excerpts from the Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua