Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “multiple natures” 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.

Note: These various groups of dharmas have already been mentioned above, Traité, I, p. 53F; II, p. 642–646F.

Groups of two dharmas.

All dharmas are classed into two categories: name (nāma) and form (rūpa); material (rūpya) and non-material (ārūpya); visible (sanidarśana) and invisible (anidarśana); resistant (sapratigha) and non-resistant (apratigha); impure (sāsrava) and pure (anāsrava); conditioned (saṃskṛta) and unconditioned (asaṃskṛta), etc.

The two hundred groups of two dharmas are listed in the chapter on the Thousand difficulties.

There are other groups of two dharmas: patience (kṣānti) and harmony (samāgama); veneration (satkāra) and worship (pūjā); material generosity (āmiṣadāna) and generosity of the Dharma (dharmadāna); speculative power (vikalpanabala) and power of practice of the Path (mārgabhāvanabala); perfection of morality (śīlaparipūri) and perfection of right view (samyagdṛṣṭiparipūri); simplicity-sincerity (rjutva) and gentleness-kindness (mṛdutaruṇatva); concentrations (samādhi) and knowledge (jñāna); intelligence (yukti) and eloquence (nirukti); worldly dharma (laukikadharma) and absolute Dharma (parmārthadharma); thought and skillfulness; experiential truth (saṃvṛtisatya) and absolute truth (paramārthasatya); temporary liberation (sāmayiki vimukti) and liberation not destroying mind; sopadhiśeṣa and mirupadhiśeṣanirvāṇa; end of activity (karmānta) and end of wish (praṇidhānta); seeing knowledge (jñānadarśana) and seeing cessation (nirodhadarśana); conformity with meaning (arthasaṃyoga) and literal conformity (vyañjanasaṃyoga); moderation in desires (alpecchā) and satisfaction (saṃtuṣṭi). easy nourishment and easy filling; Dharma and activity conforming to the Dharma (anudharmapratipatti); knowledge of cessation of vices (kṣayajñāna) and knowledge of non-production of vices, as well as innumerable twofold dharmas of the same type.

Groups of three dharmas.

Furthermore, the bodhisattva knows the three Paths: the Paths of seeing (darśanamārga) of meditation (bhāvanamārga) and of the arhat (aśaikṣamārga); the three natures (svabhāva), cutting, separation and destruction; the three cultivations (bhāvana): cultivation of morality (śīla) concentration (samādhi) and wisdom (prajñā); the three Bodhis: bodhi pf the Buddhas, the pratyekabuddhas and the śrāvakas; the three Vehicles (yāna): Vehicles of the Buddhas, the pratyekabuddhas and the śrāvakas; the three [195b] refuges (pratisaraṇa): the Buddha, the Dharma and the Saṃgha; the three abodes (vihāra), abodes of Brahma, deva and ārya; three exaltations (utkarṣa): exaltation of self, other and the Dharma; the three things not requiring secrecy (arakṣya): bodily action (kāyakarman), speech (vākkarman) and mental action (manaskarman); the three sources of merit (puṇyakriyāvastu): generosity (dāna), morality (śīla) and meditation (bhāvana); the three equipments: hearing (śravaṇa), renunciation (vairāgya) and wisdom (prajñā), the three wheels [or supernatural powers of the Buddha that allow him] to transform himself, to inform another and to teach; the three doors to liberation (vimokṣamukha): emptiness (śūnyatā, signlessness (ānimitta) and wishlessness (apraṇihita), as well as innumerable threefold dharmas of the same type.

Groups of four dharmas.

The bodhisattva also knows the groups of four dharmas: the four foundations of mindfulness (smṛtyupasthāna) the four right efforts (saṃyakpradhāna), the four bases of miraculous power (ṛddhipāda), the four Noble Truths (āryasatya), the four families of saints (āryavaṃśa); the four fruits of the religious life (śramaṇaphala), the four knowledges, the four beliefs, the four paths, the four means of winning over others (saṃgrahavastu), the four supports (āśraya), the four good roots of penetration (prativedhakuśalamūla), the four paths, the four wheels of gods and men, the four solidities, the four fearlessnesses (vaiśāradya), the four limitless ones (apramāṇacitta) as well as innumerable fourfold dharmas of the same type.

Groups of five dharmas.

He also knows the groups of five dharmas: the five āśaikṣas, the five exits (niryāna?), the five librations (vimukti), the five senses (indriya), the five powers (bala), the five great gifts (mahādāna), the five knowledges (jñāna), the five anāgamins, the five heavens of the Śuddhāvāsadevas, the five antidotes (pratipakṣa), the concentration of the five knowledges (pañcajñānika samyaksamādhi), the concentration of the five noble members (pañcāryāṅgasamādhi), the five ways of expressing oneself according to the Dharma, as well as innumerable fivefold dharmas of the same type.

Groups of six dharmas.

He also knows the six abandonments, the six devotions, the six superknowledges (abhijñā), the six kinds of arhat, the six levels of the Path of seeing the truths (satyadarśanamārga), the six recollections (anusmṛti), the six samādhis, the six samāpattis, the six pāramitās, as well as innumerable sixfold dharmas of the same type.

Groups of seven dharmas.

He also knows the seven wings of enlightenment (bodhyaṅga), the seven riches (dhana), the seven supports (āśraya), the seven conscious absorptions, the seven good dharmas, the seven knowledges, the seven destinies of good people (saptapuruṣagati), the seven purities (viśuddhi), the seven meritorious material works (aupadhika puṇyakriyāvastu) and the seven non-material meritorious works, the seven auxiliary absorptions, as well as innumerable sevenfold dharmas of the same type.

Groups of eight dharmas.

He also knows the eightfold noble Path (aṣṭāṅgāryamārga), the eight liberations (vimokṣa), the eight spheres of mastery (abhibhvāyatana), the eight minds of the Great Man, the eight kinds of exertion (vīrya), the eight Puruṣas, the eight strengths (bala) of the arhat, as well as innumerable other dharmas of the same type.

Groups of nine dharmas.

He also knows the nine successive absorptions (anupūrvasamāpatti), the nine [members of the causal chain] starting from name-and-form (nāmarūpa) up to birth (jāti) and death (maraṇa), the nine pure knowledges (anāsravajñāna) leading to the knowledge of the destruction of the vices (āsravakṣayajñāna), the nine pure levels or the Path of meditation (bhāvanamārga) of nine stages (six dhyānas and three ārūpyas), as well as innumerable dharmas classified into nines.

Groups of ten dharmas.

He also knows the ten dharmas of the śaikṣa, the ten aspects of a corpse (saṃjñāgata), the ten knowledges (jñāna), the ten spheres of totality (kṛtsnāyatana), the ten mental events accompanying every good mind (kuśalamahābhūmika), the ten strengths of the Buddha, as well as innumerable tenfold dharmas of the same type.

Other numerical groups.

He also knows the eleven auxiliary dharmas of the Path, the twelve causes (nidāna), the thirteen exits (niryāṇadharma), the fourteen minds of transformation (nirmāṇacitta), the fifteen minds of the Path of seeing the truths (satyadarśanamārga), the sixteen practices related to breathing (ānāpāna), the seventeen noble practices, the eighteen special attributes (āveṇikadharma), the nineteen levels of separation, the 162 mārgas in the course of the Path of meditation (bhāvanāmārga) necessary to break up the passions; the 178 [195c] fruits of the religious (śramaṇaphala) – 89 conditioned fruits (saṃskṛtaphala) and 89 unconditioned fruits (asaṃskṛtaphala) – as well as innumerable different dharmas of the same type. Arising and cessation, increase and decrease, acquisition and loss, defilement and purification: the Bodhisattva knows all of that.

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