The Flower Garland (Avatamsaka or Buddhavatamsaka) SutraThe Flower Garland Sutra, sometimes called the Flower Ornament Sutra, is a collection of smaller sutras that emphasize the interpenetration of all things. That is, all things and all beings not only reflect all other things and beings but also the Absolute in its totality. The Flower Garland is particularly important to the Hua-yen (Kegon) and Ch'an (Zen) schools.
The Jewel Heap (Ratnakuta) SutraOne of the oldest of the Mahayana Sutras, the Jewel Heap discusses the Middle Way. It provided a basis for the Madhyamaka teachings of Nagarjuna.
This sutra also says that words are not necessary for the transmission of the dharma, a teaching particularly important to the Ch'an (Zen) school.
The Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra is a collection of sutras said to have been delivered by the Buddha the night before his death. The sutras are primarily about the doctrine of Buddha-nature. The Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra should not be confused with the Mahaparinibanna-sutra of the Pali Canon.
The Perfection of Wisdom (Prajnaparamita) SutraThe Perfection of Wisdom Sutra is a vast collection of about 40 sutras. Of these, the best known in the West are the Heart Sutra (Mahaprajnaparamita-hridaya-sutra) and the Diamond (or Diamond Cutter) Sutra (Vajracchedika-sutra). These two brief texts are among the most important of the Mahayana sutras, especially in the Ch'an (Zen) school. They point in particular to the doctrine of shunyata ("emptiness").
The Pure Land Sutras
Three sutras--the Amitabha; the Amitayurdhyana, also called the Sutra of Infinite Life; and the Aparimitayur -- provide the doctrinal basis of the Pure Land school. The Amitabha and Aparimitayur are sometimes also called the shorter and longer Sukhavati-vyuha or Sukhavati Sutras.
Very briefly, The Amitabha Sutra describes the practice of reciting the name of Amitabha Buddha. The Amitayurdhyana describes rebirth in the Pure Land; and the Aparimitayur tells the story of
In this sutra, the layman Vimalakirti expounds upon nonduality to a host of high-ranking bodhisattvas. Vimalakirti exemplifies the bodhisattva ideal and reveals that enlightenment is available to anyone, layperson or monastic.