by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön | 2001 | 941,039 words
This page describes “prajnaparamitastotra” 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.
Immeasurable, free of any defect,
Mind pure, always unified:
This is how the venerable one
“Homage to thee, O inconceivable, immense Prajñāpāramitā! With irreproachable members, you are contemplated by the irreproachable ones.”
Immaculate like space,
Free of speech and designation:
To see Prajñā in this way
Is also to see the Buddha.
ākāśam iva nirlepāṃ niṣprapañcaṃ nirakṣarām,
yas tvāṃ paśyati bhāvena sa paśyati tathāgatam.
“Immaculate like space, free of speech and designation; he who sees you in truth sees the Tathāgata.”
Seeing the Buddha, the Prajñā and nirvāṇa
According to the rules,
These three things are identical;
There is no difference among these realities.
“Between you who are so rich in holy qualities and the Buddha, the teacher of the world, honest people see no more difference than between the moon and the light of the moon.”
“Of all the heroes who have dedicated themselves to the good of others, you are the nourisher, the generator and the tender mother.”The Buddha is the father of beings
Prajñā is the mother of the Buddha.
Thus, the Prajñā is the grandmother
Of all beings.
“Since the Buddhas, the compassionate teachers of the world, are your own sons, you are, thus, O virtuous one, the grandmother of all beings.”
The Prajñā is a unique dharma
To which the Buddha applies all kinds of names;
According to the capacities of beings
He applies different sounds.
“Singular although multiform, you are invoked everywhere under various names by the Tathāgatas, in the presence of beings to be converted.”
“Like dew-drops in contact (with starlight) at the blazing rays, the faults and opinions of the theoreticians dissolve at your touch.”
The Prajñā has this wonderful power
Of stimulating two types of people,
The ignorant by means of fear,
The wise by means of joy.
tvam eva trāsajananī bālānāṃ bhīmadarśanā,
āśvāsajananī cāsi viduṣāṃ saumyadarśanā.
“In your terrifying aspect, you give rise to fear among fools; in your friendly aspect, you give rise to faith in the wise.”
The person who possesses the Prajñā
Is the king of Prajñā.
He is not attached to Prajñā
And even less to the other dharmas.
“If he who is clasped to you is not recognized as your husband, how, O mother, would he experience love or hate for another object?”
Prajñā comes from nowhere
Prajñā goes nowhere.
The sage looks for it everywhere
But does not find it.
nāgacchasi kutaścit tvaṃ na ca kvacana gacchasi,
sthāneṣu api ca sarveṣu vidvadbhir nopalabhyase.
“You do not come from anywhere and you do not go anywhere; in whatever place there may be, you are not seen by the wise.”
The person who sees Prajñā
The person who does not see Prajñā
Also finds deliverance.
tvām eva badhyate paśyann apaśyann api badhyate,
tvām eva mucyate paśyann apaśyann api mudhyate.
“The person who sees you is fettered, the person who does not see you is also fettered; the person who sees you is liberated, the person who does not see you is also liberated.”
The Prajñā is astounding,
Very profound and glorious.
Like a magical object,
It is seen without being visible.
aho vismayanīyāsi gambhīrāsi yaśasvinī,
sudurbodhḥasi māyeva dṛśyase na ca dṛśyase.
“Oh! You are astounding, you are profound and glorious; you are very difficult to cognize; like a magic show, you are seen and you are not seen.”
buddhaiḥ pratyekabuddhaiśca śrāvakasiś ca niṣevitā,
mārgas tvam eko mokṣasya nāsty anya iti niścayaḥ.
“You are cultivated by the Buddhas, pratyekabuddhas and śrāvakas. You are the single path to salvation; there is no other: it is certain.”
vyavahāraṃ puraskṛtya prajñaptyasthaṃ śarīriṇām,
kṛpayā lokanāthais tvam ucyuase ca na cocyase.
“Having recourse to ordinary language to make (embodied) beings understand, the Teachers of the world, out of compassion, speak about you and say nothing.”
Is like the flame of a great fire:
Ungraspable from any direction,
Without holding or not holding.
Escaping from any grasp,
It is called ungraspable.
The taking of it when it is ungraspable
Is what the grasping of it consists of.
The Prajñā is unchangeable
And surpasses any speech.
It occurs unceasingly.
Who can praise its qualities?
śaktas kas tvām iha statuṃ nirmittāṃ nirañjanām,
sarvavāgviṣayātītā yā tvaṃ kvacid aniḥśrtā.
“Who here is able to praise you, you who are without characteristic or nature? You surpass all praise, you who have no support anywhere.”
saty evam api saṃcṛtyā vākpathair vayam īdṛśaiḥ,
tvām astutyām api atutvā tuṣṭūṣantaḥ sunirvṛtāḥ.
“But, since there is conventional language, we are pleased and reassured to have praised you verbally, you who surpass all praise.”
Notes on the Prajñāpāramitāstotra:
The Prajñāpāramitāstotra serves as preface to several Prajñās: Pañcaviṃśati, ed. N. Dutt, p. 1–3; Aṣṭasāhasrikā, ed. R. Mitra, Bibl. Ind., p. 1–3 (see also R, Mitra, Sanskrit Buddhist Lit. of Nepal, p. 190–192); Suvikrāntavikrāmi, ed. T. Matsumotso, Die P.P. Literatur, Stuttgart, 1932, appendix, p. 1–4. But it is found only in the Sanskrit manuscripts of these Prajñās and not in the Chinese versions or the corresponding Tibetan versions.
This stotra, consisting of about twenty ślokas, is the work of Rāhulabhadra. Actually, Haraprasād Shāstrī in 1907 found a Nepali manuscript of the stotra bearing the comment: kṛtir iyaṃ Rāhulabhadrasya (cf. J. Proc. Asiatic Soc. Bengal. VI, no. 8, 1910, p. 425 seq._.
On the other hand, in his Tchong kouan louen chou (T 1824, k. 10, p. 168c4–5), says:
cf. H. Ui, Indo-Tetsugaku-Kenkiu, I, 1934, p. 431 seq.; Matsumoto, Die P.P. Literatur, p. 54.
Rāhulabhadra, alias Saraha, appears in the lists of magicians (siddha); for the Tibetan tradition, he was the teacher of Nāgārjuna; for the Chinese sources, he was his disciple: cf. G. Tucci, Animadversiones indicae, J. Proc. Asiatic Soc. Bengal. XXVI, 1930, p. 141.
The Sanskrit text of the stotra corresponding to the stanzas of the Mppś are found in the notes that follow.