Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön | 2001 | 940,961 words

This page describes “words worthy of faith” as written by Nagarjuna in his Maha-prajnaparamita-sastra (lit. “the treatise on the great virtue of wisdom”) in the 2nd century. This book, written in five volumes, represents an encyclopedia on Buddhism as well as a commentary on the Pancavimsatisahasrika Prajnaparamita.

Bodhisattva quality 6: words worthy of faith

6. ādeyavacana:

Sūtra: Their words are worthy of faith (ādeyavacanaiḥ).[1]

Śāstra: The devas, manuṣyas, nāgas, asuras and all great men accord faith to their speech and this is the reward (vipāka) for their language that is free of frivolity (asaṃbhinnapralāpa). The punishment for those of frivolous speech[2] is that nobody believes them even if they speak the truth. Some stanzas say:

They fall among the pretas,
Flames shoot out of their mouth.
On all sides, they utter loud cries:
This is the punishment for their sins of speech.

They have heard much (bahuśruta) and seen much (bahudṛṣṭa).
They preach the Dharma in the great assemblies,
But as a result of their lack of good faith (chanda)
Nobody believes them.

The person who desires vast renown (ming wen = yaśas)
And wishes to believed by people
Should therefore show straightforwardness
And avoid frivolous discourse (saṃbhinnapralāpa).

Footnotes and references:


Ādeyavacanatā was one of the qualities of Anāthapiṇḍika; cf. Vinaya, II, p. 158. – This virtue is described in Bodh. bhūmi, p. 28–29: yat puṇaḥ śraddheyo bhavati pratyayitaḥ … iyaṃ ucyate ādeyavacanatā.


Frivolous speech (saṃbhinnapralāpa) is one of the ten akuśalakarmapathas; cf. below, k. 8, p. 120b.