Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “causes and conditions in the concentrations” 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.

4. Causes and conditions in the concentrations

There are six kinds of causes (hetu): 1) associated causes (saṃprayuktaka), 2) mutual cause (sahabhū), 3) similar cause (sabhāga), 4) universal cause (sarvatraga), 5) ripening cause (vipāka), 6) nominal cause (nāmahetu).[1] Taken one by one, the seven anāsrava are similar [187b] causes; the associated and mutual causes, the previous ‘dhyāna of enjoyment’ and its causes, the subsequent ‘dhyāna of enjoyment’ and its causes go in the same level. It is the same for the śuddhaka dhyānas.

The four conditions (pratyaya) are: 1) the causal condition (hetupratyaya), 2) the antecedent equal and immediate condition (samanantarapratyaya), 3) the object condition (ālamabanapratyaya). 4) the governing condition (adhipatiprataya):[2]

1) The causal condition has been explained above [in the examination of the six causes].

2) [In regard to the antecedent condition, we will make the following comments]:[3]

The first anāsrava dhyāna can produce after itself six concentrations:

1–2) śuddhaka and anāsarava concentration of the first dhyāna;
3-6) śuddhaka and anāsrava concentration of the second and third dhyāna.

The second anāsrava dhyāna can produce after itself eight concentrations:

1–2) śuddhaka and anāsrava concentration of the same level;
3-4) śuddhaka and anāsrava concentration of the first dhyāna;
5–8) śuddhaka and anāsrava concentration of the third and fourth dhyāna.

The third anāsrava dhyāna can produce after itself ten concentrations:

1–2) two concentrations of the same level;
3-6) four concentrations of the two lower levels;
7–10) four concentrations of the two higher levels.

The fourth dhyāna and the ākāśānanatyāyatana also [can produce after themselves ten concentrations.]

The anāsrava vijñānānantyāyatana can produce after itself nine concentrations:

1–2) two concentrations of the same level;
3-6) four concentrations of the two lower levels;
7–9) three concentrations of the two higher levels,
     [namely, śuddhaka and anāsrava concentration of the ākiṃcanya, śuddhaka of the naivasaṃjñānāsaṃjñāyatana].

The anāsrava ākiṃchanyāyatana can produce after itself seven concentrations:

1–2) two concentrations of the same level;
3-6) four concentrations of the two lower levels;
7) one concentration of the higher level,
     [namely, the śuddhaka concentrations of the naivasaṃjñānāsaṃjñāyatana].

The naivasaṃjñānāyatana can produce after itself six concentrations:

1–2) two concentrations of the same level;
3-6) four concentrations of the two lower levels.

It is the same for the śuddhaka concentrations.

Moreover, these concentrations increaseall the delight (āsvādana) of their own level: immediately after the delight of the first dhyāna, there follows the delight of the second, and so on up to the naivasaṃjñānāsaṃñāyatana.

3) [In regard to the object condition,[4] we may note that] the śuddhaka and anāsrava dhyānas always have as object (ālambana) the dhyāna of delight; they are concerned with the enjoyment of their own level; they are also concerned with pure desire (viśuddhatṛṣṇā). As they do not have a stainless object, they are not concerned with the anāsrava.

The fundamental non-material concentrations (maulārūpyasamāpatti), śuddhaka and anāsrava, are not concerned with the sāsrava of the lower levels.

4) As nominal cause (nāmahetu) and governing cause (adhipatipratyaya), the dhyānas enter into:

  1. the four boundless ones (apramāṇacitta),[5]
  2. the [first] three liberations (vimokṣa),[6]
  3. the eight spheres of domination (abhibhvāyatana),[7]
  4. the [first] eight spheres of totality (kṛtsnāyatana), those that are concerned with kāmadhātu,[8]
  5. the [first] five superknowledges (abhijñā) are concerned with kāma- and rūpadhātu.[9]

The other concentrations are each adapted to its own object; the saṃjñāvedayitanirodhasamapatti has no object.

Footnotes and references:

1.

The six causes in Kośa, II, p. 245 seq.

2.

The four conditions in Kośa, II, p. 299 seq.

3.

The successive arisings of the concentrations is treated in the same way in Kośa, VIII, p. 167–168.

4.

For the object of the dhyānas and the samāpattis, see detail in Kośa, VIII, p. 176–177.

5.

The four apramāṇas are the four brāhmavihāras mentioned above, Traité, I, p. 163. – Detailed study in Kośa, VIII, p. 196–203.

6.

There are eight vimokṣamukhas, described in a sūtra quoted in full in the Kośavyākhyā, p. 688; only the first three belong to the dhyānas, the other five fall within the samāpattis; cf. Kośa, VIII, p. 204–210.

7.

All eight abhibhvāyatanas belong to the dhyānas; cf. Kośa, VIII, p. 212–213.

8.

There are ten kṛtsnāyatanas, the first eight being concerned respectively eith water, fire, wind, blue, yellow, rws and white, belonging to the four dhyānas, bearing upon space and vi

9.

There are six abhijñās; the first five, which have been described above (Traité, p. 328–333F), rely on the four dhyānas; the sixth, called knowledge of the cessation of the vices (āsravakṣayajñāna), belongs only to the arhat: cf. Kośa, VII, p. 98–115.

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