Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “the lotuses thrown by shakyamuni filled the buddha universes of the east” 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 10.4: The lotuses thrown by Śākyamuni filled the Buddha universes of the east

Sūtra: These lotuses thrown [by Śākyamuni] filled the Buddha universes of the east as numerous as the sands of the Ganges (taiś ca padmair ye pūrvasyāṃ diśi gaṅgḥanadīvālukopamā buddhalokadhātavas te paripūrṇā abhūvan).

Śāstra: Question. – How can these few lotuses fill so many universes?

Answer. – 1) This is due to the Buddha’s abhijñās; by virtue of the first eight, he can transform the dharmas at will, make small that which is big, make big that which is small, make heavy that which is light, make light that which is heavy, freely move at will without hindrance, shake the great earth, realize wishes. The great arhats possess all these eight masteries (vaśita); this is why the Buddha is able to fill the universes of the east that are as numerous as the sands of the Ganges with just a few flowers.

2) Moreover, he wants to show beings that the future reward of their merits (anāgatapuṇyavipāka) is comparable to these few lotuses that succeed in filling the universes of the east.

3) Finally, he encourages the bodhisattvas of the east by saying to them: “Plant your merits in the Buddha-field (buddhakṣetra) and the reward you will receive will be like these lotuses that fill innumerable lands. Although you come from afar, you will have joy (ānanda). The reward for encountering this great field of merit (puṇyakṣetra) is immense.