Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “prajna of the buddhas and bodhisattvas” 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.

3. Prajñā of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

[The bodhisattvas] who seek buddhahood make the following vow (praṇidhāna) as soon as the first production of the mind [of Bodhi] (prathamachittotpāda): “I wish to become Buddha, to save all beings, to attain the attributes of the Buddhas, to practice the six pāramitās, to destroy Māra’s army and the kleśas, to obtain omniscience (sarvajñāna) and to realize the state of Buddha.” Until they enter into nirvāṇa without residue (nirupadhiśeṣanirvāṇa), they observe their initial vow. From that moment on, all their wisdoms (prajñā) and all their knowledges (jñāna) of general characteristics (sāmānyalakṣaṇa) and specific characteristics (bhinnalakṣaṇa) are called Prajñā of the Buddhas.

[The Prajñāpāramitā] which cognizes deeply the three kinds of prajñā [prajñā of the śrāvakas, of the pratyekabuddhas and of the Buddhas] is properly called Prajñā that goes to the end (pāram itā) of all the wisdoms.