Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “prajna and the teaching of the dharma” 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.

Part 3 - The Prajñā and the teaching of the Dharma

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The Dharma of the Buddhas is immense, like an ocean. According to the dispositions of beings, it is preached in various ways:[1] sometimes it speaks of existence and sometimes of non-existence, of eternity or of impermanence, of suffering or of bliss, of self or non-self; sometimes it teaches the diligent practice of the threefold activity [of body, speech and mind] that embraces all the good dharmas (sarvakuśaladharmasaṃgrāhaka), sometimes it teaches that all dharmas are inactive by essence. Such are the multiple and various teachings: the ignorant who hear them take them to be a perverse error, but the wise man who enters into the threefold teaching of the Dharma (trividha dharmaparyāya) knows that all the Buddha’s words (buddhavacana) are the true Dharma (saddharma) and do not contradict one another.

[192b] What are these three teachings (paryāya)? – 1. The teaching of the Piṭaka; 2. the teaching of the Abhidharma; 3. the teaching of emptiness (śūnya).

Footnotes and references:


This subject has been treated above: Traité, I, p. 32F, n. 2.

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