Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “thirty-two substances of the human body” 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 3 - Thirty-two substances of the human body

Note: This Appendix is extracted from a note from Chapter XXXIV, The eight liberations (vimokṣa):

The Visuddhimagga gives their number as 32 and discusses them at length. Here is the latter list with corresponding terms in Pāli and Sanskrit:

  1. Hair of the head (kesa, keśa);
  2. hairs (loma, roman).
  3. nails (nakha);
  4. teeth (dānta);
  5. skin (taca, tvac);
  6. flesh (maṃsa, māṃsa);
  7. tendons (nhāru, snāyu);
  8. bone (aṭṭhi, asthi);
  9. marrow (aṭṭhimiñja, asthimajjan);
  10. kidneys (vakka, vṛkka);
  11. heart (hadaya, hṛdaya);
  12. liver (yakana, yakṛt);
  13. pleura (kilamaka, kloman);
  14. spleen (pihaka, plīhan);
  15. lungs (papphāsa, pupphusa);
  16. intestines (anta, antra);
  17. mesentery (antagiṇa, antraguṇa);
  18. stomach (usatiya, udara);
  19. excrement (karīsa, karīṣa);
  20. brain (matthaluṅga, mastuluṅga);
  21. bile (pitta);
  22. phlegm (samha, śleṣman);
  23. pus (pubba, pūya);
  24. blood (lohita);
  25. sweat (seda, sveda);
  26. fat (meda or medas);
  27. tears (assu, aśru);
  28. suint (vasā);
  29. saliva (khela, kheṭa);
  30. snot (siṅghāṇikā, saṅghāṇaka);
  31. synovial fluid (lasikā);
  32. urine (mutta, mūtra).