Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “notes on the renouncement of intoxicating drinks” 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.

Notes on the renouncement of intoxicating drinks

The classical formula (e.g., Aṅguttara, IV, p. 248; Mahāvyutp. no. 8505) is: surāmaireyamadyapramādasthānavirati, i.e., renouncing fermented rice drink (surā) and the fermented drink of ingredients (maireya) when they are still intoxicating (madya); because they are the cause of all failings (pramādasthāna); cf. Kośa, IV, p. 85–86.

The Mppś recognizes three kinds of intoxicating drinks:

a. The liquor of grains, in Sanskrit sūra, in Tibetan, ḥbruḥi chaṅ (Mahāvyut., no. 8505 is, in the strict sense, the fermented drink of rice (annāsava), arack.

b. The wine from fruits, extract of raisins (drākṣā) or berries.

c. The intoxicating drink from any fermentation process whatsoever, such as sugar-cane juice (ikṣurasa).