Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “description of paranirmitavashavartin” 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.

Act 7.3: Description of Paranirmitavaśavartin

Question. -What is meant by Paranirmitavaśavartin?[1]

Answer. – The gods who take hold of and enjoy desirable objects created by others are called Paranirmitavaśavartin ‘Using that which has been created by another’.

The Nirmāṇarati gods create the five sense objects themselves and enjoy them. This is why they are called Nirmāṇarati ‘Enjoying that which they have themselves created’.

The Tuṣita gods are the satisfied gods.

The Yāmas are the happy (subhaga) gods.

The second category [of gods of rūpadhātu] is that of the Trāyastriṃśa or Thirty-two gods.

The first class, starting from the bottom, is that of the Caturmahārājikas or the Four Great Kings.

Mount Sumeru has a height of 84,000 yojanas; at its summit is the city of the Trāyastriṃṣas.[2] Beside Mount Meru is a mountain called Yugandhara, 42,000 yojanas high;[3] it has four peaks on each of which is a city inhabited by a group of Caturmahārājikas. The lands of the other gods, Yāmas, etc., made of seven jewels (saptaratnamaya), are situated in space (ākāśa) where they are supported by wind.[4] and so on up to the Pure Abodes (śudddhavāsa).

Seeing the Buddha’s body (buddhakāya), its purity (viśuddhi) and its great rays (mahāraśmi). these gods offer him aquatic and terrestrial flowers (jalasthalajāni puṣpāni). Of all the terrestrial flowers, jasmine (mallikā) is the most beautiful; of all the aquatic flowers, blue lotus (nīlotpala) is the most beautiful. Whether they grow on trees or on reeds, these are flowers having different colors and different perfumes. Each holding a celestial flower (divyapuṣpa), they gather around the Buddha. These flowers have a beautiful color, a rich perfume; they are soft (mañju) and flexible; this is why they are used as offerings.

Footnotes and references:

1.

For these definitions, see Dīgha, III, p. 218.

2.

Kośa, III, p. 161.

3.

Ibid., p. 141–143.

4.

These are the vimāna “aerial dwellings’; Kośa, III, p. 164.