Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “removing malevolence” 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.

Section B.2 - Removing malevolence

The obstacle of malevolence (vyāpādanīvaraṇa) is the origin of the loss of all good dharmas (kuśaladharmahāni), the cause of falling into the unfortunate destinies (durgati), the enemy of all happiness (sukha), the abductor of good minds (kuśalacitta), the reservoir of all kinds of harmful speech (pāruṣyavāda).

The Buddha addressed the following stanzas to a wicked disciple:

You must think and reflect
On the obscene and vicious [character] of conception, [184b]
On the dark suffering of the stay in the womb,
On the hardships that accompany birth.

Thinking about all that, the person
Who does not pacify his wrath [toward people]
Would, by all rights, be considered
An unaware individual.

If the retribution for wrongs did not exist
And if they were free of all blame,
People would still have plenty to complain about.
How much more so if they are struck by painful punishment?

By considering old age, sickness and death
Which nobody can avoid,
It is necessary to feel loving-kindness and pity.
Why should you still afflict them with your hatred?

People who hate, rob and strike one another
Undergo the poison of suffering.
Why would an honest man
Further add to their torment?

One must always practice loving kindness and compassion,
Cultivate the good in a concentrated mind,
Not nourish bad feelings,
Not torment anyone.

If one cultivates the Path of Dharma diligently
One will commit no harm.
Good and evil are two opposing forces
That meet face to face like water and fire.

When wickedness covers the mind
One does not distinguish the beautiful from the ugly,
One does not separate good deeds from offences,
One no longer fears the bad destinies.

One does not take into account the sufferings of others,
One does not clean up physical or mental fatigue.
The suffering that one has at first suffered oneself,
One then extends that suffering to others.

The person who wants to destroy wickedness
Should meditate on thoughts of loving-kindness.
Alone, sheltered in retreat,
Stopping all activity, he destroys all the causes and conditions.

One should fear old age, sickness and death,
Exclude the nine kinds of anger.
By meditating thus on loving-kindness
One will attain the destruction of the poison of anger.

It is for all these reasons that one removes the obstacle of malevolence (vyāpādanīvaraṇa).