Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön | 2001 | 941,039 words

This page describes “third samapatti” 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.

This immense and infinite vijñāna is perceived by the intellect; this vast object distracts the ascetic and can destroy his absorption. On contemplating this consciousness, the ascetic perceives sensations (vedanā), notions (saṃjñā), formations (saṃskāra) and consciousnesses (vijñāna) which seem to him to be a sickness (roga), ulcer (gaṇḍa), wound (āghāta) and an arrow (śalya), transitory (anitya), painful (duḥkha), empty (śūnya) and non-self (anātman), an accumulation of deceit, without true reality. Thinking this way, he destroys the image of vijñāna, rejects the vijñānāyatana and praises the sphere of nothingness (ākiṃcanyāyatana). Destroying the images of the vijñāna, he fixes his mind on nothingness, and this is what is called the absorption of sphere of nothingness (ākiṃcanyāyatanasamāpatti).

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