Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön | 2001 | 941,039 words

This page describes “excelled in destroying various wrong views” 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 28: excelled in destroying various wrong views

28. nānādṛṣṭiparyavasthānakleśapraśamana­kuśala:

Sūtra: They excelled in destroying various wrong views, entanglements and afflictions (nānādṛṣṭiparyavasthānakleśapraśamanakuśalaiḥ).

Śāstra: A. There are many kinds of wrong views (dṛṣṭi):

1) Two types of dṛṣṭi: the view of eternalism (śāśvatadṛṣṭi) and the view of nihilism (ucchedadṛṣṭi).[1] Śāśvatadṛṣṭi is an adherence of the mind (cittakṣānti) which holds the five aggregates (skandha) to be eternal (nitya); ucchedadṛṣṭi is an adherence of the mind which holds the five aggregates to be perishable. Beings often fall into these two wrong views. The bodhisattvas who have suppressed them within themselves are also able to suppress them in others in order to establish them in the Middle Way (madhyamā pratipad).

2) Two types of dṛṣṭi: the view of existence (bhavadṛṣṭi) and the view of non-existence (vibhavadṛṣṭi).[2]

3) Three types of dṛṣṭi: adherence to all dharmas (sarvadharmakṣānti), non-adherence to all dharmas (sarvadharmeṣv akṣāntiḥ), both adherence and non-adherence to all dharmas (sarvadarmeṣu kṣāntyakṣāntiḥ).

4) Four types of dṛṣṭi:[3] i) The world is eternal, the world is not eternal, the world is both eternal and non-eternal, the world is neither eternal nor non-eternal (śaśvato lokaḥ, aśaśvato lokaḥ, śaśvataś cāśāśvataś ca lokaḥ, naivaśaśvataś nāśaśvataḷs ca lokaḥ). ii) The world and the self are finite, infinite, both finite and infinite, neither finite nor infinite (antavān lokaś cātmā ca, anantavān lokah cātmā ca, antavāṃś cānantavāṃś ca lokaś cātmā ca, naivāntavān nānatavāṃś ca lokaś cātmā ca). iii) The Tathāgata [or the saint free of desire] exists after death, does not exist after death, both exists and does not exist after death, neither exists nor does not exist after death (bhavati tathāgataḥ paraṃ maraṇān, na bhavati tathāgataḥ paraṃ maraṇād, bhavati ca na bhavati ca tathāgataḥ paraṃ maraṇān, naiva bhavati na na bhavati ca tathāgataḥ paraṃ maraṇāt).

5) Five types of dṛṣṭi:[4] i) satkāyadṛṣṭi (view related to the accumulation of perishable things, i.e., the five skandhas), ii) antagrāhadṛṣṭi (view of believing in the extreme theories of eternalism or nihilism); iii) mithyādṛṣṭi (wrong view which consists of denying that which really does exist), iv) dṛṣṭiparāmarśa (holding wrong views in high esteem), v) śīlavrataparāmarśa (holding morality and disciplinary practices in exaggerated esteem).

These various views increase in number up to 62 dṛṣṭigata.[5]

These views are brought about by various causes and conditions (hetupratyaya), are discovered by various sciences (jñānaparyāya), are understood by various teachers (ācārya); they constitute all kinds of fetters (saṃyojana) under various characteristics and cause diverse sufferings to beings. This is why they are called ‘various views’ (nānādṛṣṭi). The meaning of the word dṛṣṭi will be explained fully later.

B. There are ten manifestly active defilements (paryavasthāna):[6] i) anger (krodha), ii) hypocrisy (mrakṣa), iii) lethargy (styāna), iv) languor (middha), v) regret (kaukṛtya), vi) agitation (auddhatya), vii) shamelessness (āhrīkya), viii) non-embarrassment (anapatrāpya), ix) avarice (mātsarya), x) envy, (īrṣyā). – Moreover, because they fetter the mind, all the afflictions are called manifestly active defilements (paryavasthāna).

C. The afflictions (kleśa) are called kleśa (in Chinese, fan nao) because they vex (fan) and torment (nao) the mind.

[110b] There are two types of kleśa: inner attachment (ādhyātmikasaṅga) and outer attachment (bāhyasaṅga). The kleśas of inner attachment are the five dṛṣṭis, doubt (vicikitsā), pride (māna), etc.; the kleśas of outer attachment are lust (rāga), hatred (dveṣa), etc. Ignorance (avidyā) is both inner and outer.

There are two other types of bonds (bandhana): those that depend on craving (tṛṣṇāpatita) and those that depend on wrong views (dṛṣṭipatita).

There are also three types of bandhana: those that depend on lust (rāgapatita), those that depend on hatred (dveṣapatita) and those that depend on delusion (mohapatita).[7] They are called kleśa.

Some people list ten paryavasthānas; others, 500.[8] The kleśas are called ‘all the fetters (saṃyojana). There are nine saṃyojanas, seven anuśayas and a total of 98 bandhanas.[9]

According to the K’ia tchan yen tseu a p’i t’an (Kātyāyanīputrābhidharma), these ten paryavasthānas and 98 bandhanas make 108 kleśas.[10] In the Tou tseu eul a p’i t’an (Vātsīputrīyābhidharma), the saṃyojanas are the same in number, but the paryavasthānas are 500.

The bodhisattvas destroy all these passions in themselves by all kinds of means (upāya), and they excel in destroying those of others as well.

Thus, at the time of the Buddha, three brothers heard speak of three courtesans (veśya): Ngan lo p’o li (Āmrapāli) of Vaiśalī, Siu man na (Sumanā) of Śrāvastī and Yeou po lo p’an na (Utpalavarṇā) of Rājagṛha. Hearing everyone praise the incomparable beauty of these three women, the three brothers thought of them day and night and could not get them out of their minds. In dreams, they possessed them. Once awakened, they said to themselves: “These women did not come to us and we did not go to these women; nevertheless, pleasure was produced. Because of them we woke up. Are all dharmas like that?”[11] Then they went to the bodhisattva P’o t’o p’o lo (Bhadrapāla) to ask him about this. Bhadrapāla said to them: “All dharmas are indeed like that; they are all the result of mind.” Then he skillfully (upāyena) explained the emptiness (śūnyatā) of dharmas to the three men, and all three became bodhisattvas without regression (avaivartika). The bodhisattvas use all kinds of tricks in this way to preach the Dharma to beings and suppress their wrong views (dṛṣṭi), manifest active defilements (paryavasthāna) and kleśas. This is what the sūtra explains by saying: nānādṛṣṭiparyavasthānakleśapraśamanakuśala.

Footnotes and references:


This is antagrāhadṛṣṭi: Aṅguttara, I, p. 154; II, p. 240; III, p. 130; Kośa, V, p. 17; IX, p. 265.


Cf. Saṃyutta, III, p. 93; Majjhima, I, p. 65; Aṅguttara, I, p. 83; Kośa, IX, p. 265.


One falls into these dṛṣṭis when one comes to a decision about the ‘fourteen difficult questions’.


Kośa, V, p. 15–18.


These 62 dṛṣṭigatas are described in the Brahmajālasūtra; they have their root in satkāyadṛṣṭi.


Kośa, V, p. 90.


Kośa, p. 87).


The Vaibhāṣikas claim 10 paryasvasthānas (Kośa,V, p. 90, others, 500 (P’i ni mou king, T 1463, k. 8, p. 850, on Hôbôgirin, Bonnô, p. 124).


There are 6 anuśayas: rāga, pratigha, māna, avidyā, dṛṣṭi, vimati (Kośa, V, p. 2). – They make 7 by dividing rāga into two (Kośa, V, p. 3; Dīgha, III, p. 254, 282; Aṅguttara, IV, p. 9; Saṃyutta, V, p. 60; Vibhaṅga, p. 383; Jñānaprasthāna, T 1543, k. 4, p. 784c). – They make 10 by dividing dṛṣṭi into five (Kośa, V, p. 9). They make 98 by counting the 36 anuśayas in kāmadhātu, 31 in rūpadhātu and 31 in ārūpyadhātu (Prakaraṇapāda, k. 3, p. 637c; Jñānaprasthāna, T 1543, k. 4, p. 784c; Kośa, V, p. 9).


For these 108 kleśas, see Przyluski, Aśoka, p. 323.


Example of a story often used in Madhyamaka treatises.

Pitṛiputrasamāgamasūtra, cited in Śikṣāsamuccaya, p. 252: Tatra mahārāja māyopamānīndriyāṇi svapnopamā viṣayāḥ … vighātasya klamathasya bhāgī syāt.

Bhavasaṃkrāntisūtra cited in Madh. avatāra, p. 127 (tr. LAV., Muséon, 1910, p. 319): “Similarly, O great king, a sleeping man dreams that he possesses a beautiful woman, and awakened from his sleep, he thinks of her with regret. What do you think, O great king? Is he a wise man who, having dreamed that he possessed the beautiful woman, thinks about her with regret after he has woken up from his sleep?” – “No, O Bhagavat. And why? Because, O Bhagavat, in the dream, the beautiful woman does not exist, is not experienced, still less so, the possession of the woman. Nevertheless, this man will be tired out and exhausted.” Cf. the Chinese versions in Bhavasaṃkrānti, ed. N.A. Sāstrī, p. 10–11.

The Vijñānava·ins also explain how, in the absence of any object, there can be accomplishment of function (kṛtyakriyā), as in a dream: cf. Viṃśikā, p. 4: Svapnopaghātavat kṛtyakriyā siddheti veditavyam … śukravisargalakṣaṇaḥ svapnopaghātaḥ. “The accomplishment of function is maintained [in the absence of any real object] such as discharge in the course of a dream: thus, in a dream and without any sexual coupling, there is discharge characterized by emission of semen.”

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