Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “the five faculties (pancendriya)” 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.

Here are the five faculties (pañcendriya):[1]

1. Believing in the Path (mārga) and in the good dharmas adjuvant to the Path (mārgapākṣika kuśaladharma) is the faculty of faith (śraddhendriya).

2. When the yogin practices the Path and the dharmas adjuvant to the Path and exerts himself without stopping, that is the faculty of exertion (vīryendriya).

3. When he thinks about the Path and the dharmas adjuvant to the Path and does not think of anything else, that is the faculty of memory (smṛtīndriya).

4. When he meditates attentively (ekacittena) and without being distracted (avikṣepam), that is the faculty of concentration (samādhīndriya).

5. When, in view of the Path and the dharmas adjuvant to the Path, he considers (anupaśyati) the sixteen aspects of the truths (ṣoḍaśākāra),[2] impermanence (anitya), etc., that is the faculty of wisdom (prajñendriya).

Footnotes and references:

1.

For the Traité, the five indriyas concern the Path and the auxiliaries to enlightenment exclusively. The canonical sources cited above (p. 1125F) are less precise: according to them, faith (śraddhā), rather, would have the Buddha as object.

On the order of the indriyas, cf. Kośa, VI, p. 287.

2.

See above, p. 641F.