Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “two kinds of pratyekabuddhas” 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.

Appendix 2 - Two kinds of Pratyekabuddhas

Note: this appendix is extracted from Chapter XXX part 2.2 (prajñā of the pratyekabuddhas):

“Furthermore, there are two kinds of Pratyekabuddhas: the one who is enlightened by himself and the one who is enlightened as the result of an event (nidāna)”.

The text distinguishes two kinds of pratyekabuddhas, namely,

  1. those who live in a group (vargacārin),
  2. those who live alone, like a rhinoceros (khagaviṣāṇakalpa).

1) The vargacārins are former śrāvakas who have attained the fruits of srotaāpanna or sakṛdāgamin under the reign of a Buddha at a time when the holy Dharma still existed. Later, at a time when the Buddha and the holy Dharma have disappeared, they realize the quality of arhat by themselves. Cf. Mahāvyutpatti, no. 1007; Kośa, III, p. 195.

2) The khaḍgaviṣanakalpa has practiced the preparatory practices of Bodhi for one hundred kalpas. He attains enlightenment alone, without help from any teaching. He works for his owns salvation without converting others. Cf. Suttanipāta, v. 35–75 (Khaggavisāṇasutta); Visuddhimagga, I, p. 234; Mahāvastu, I, p. 357;Divyāvdāna, p. 294, 582; Śikṣāsamuccaya, p. 194; Mahāvyutpatti, no. 1006; Kośa, III, p. 195; VI, p. 176–177.