Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “second dhyana” 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.

The ascetic knows that, although they are good, vitarka and vichāra disturb the mind that is in absorption (samāhitacitta); by mental renunciation (cittavairāgya), he condemns vitarka and vicāra and has this thought: “Vitarka and vicāra disturb the mind of dhyāna; as when pure water is disturbed by waves, nothing can be seen any more.” When a tired and weary [186b] man regains his breath and wants to sleep, when his neighbor calls him, that makes him very annoyed. It is for all these reasons that he condemns vitarka and vicāra.

[According to the definition given by the Buddha, the ascetic], “by suppressing examination and judgment, enters into the second dhyāna, one-pointedness of mind, without examination, without judgment, arisen from concentration, which is joy and happiness” (Dhyānasūtra, l.c.: Vitarkavicārāṇāṃ vyupaśamād adhyātmaṃ saṃprasādac cetasa ekotībhāvam avitarkam avicāraṃ samādhijaṃ prītisukhaṃ dvitīyaṃ dhyānam upasaṃpadya viharati).

In possession of the second dhyāna, he obtains the prīti and sukha of the second dhyāna, incomparable joy and happiness not previously acquired until that moment. “By the suppression of examination and judgment (vitarkavicāraṇāṃ vyupaśamāt), they have disappeared because the ascetic knows their defects. This dhyāna is ‘inner peace” (adhyātmasaṃprasāda)[1] for, by entering into this profound absorption, the ascetic has given up the vitarka and vicāra of the first dhyāna by means of faith (prasāda): the benefit is important, the loss minimal and the gain considerable. This dhyāna is called ‘inner peace’ as a result of “fixing the mind on one object” (cetasa ekotibhāva).

Footnotes and references:

1.

For adhyātmasaṃprasādha which is faith (śraddhā), see Kośa, VIII, p. 158.