Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “story of shakra’s question” 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.

Story of Śakra’s question

Che t’i p’o na min (Śakra devānām indra) questioned the Buddha with this stanza:

What must be killed in order to be safe?
What must be killed in order to experience no repentance?
What is the root of poison (viṣamūla)?
What destroys all good?
What must be killed in order to have praise?
What must be killed in order not to feel sadness?

The Buddha answered with this stanza:

By killing anger, one is safe.
By killing anger, one experiences no repentance.
Anger is the root of poison
That destroys all good.
The Buddha praises those who kill anger.
By killing anger, one feels no sadness.

Notes on this story:

Chetvā sutta in Saṃyutta, I, p. 237 (cf. Tsa a han, T 00, no. 1116, k. 40, p. 295b–c; T 100, no. 45, k. 3, p. 388c–389a)