Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “the nine ashubhasamjnas in the sanskrit abhidharma” 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.

III. The nine Aśubhasaṃjñās in the sanskrit Abhidharma

The Sanskrit Abhidharma and, following it, the Mahāyāna sūtras and śāstras, list only nine notions of the horrible, but rarely cite them in the same order and not always in full. Descriptions will be found in Vibhāṣā, T 1545, k. 40, p. 205a-210a; Kośa, VI, p. 148–153; VIII, p. 197, 205; Kośavyākhyā, p. 526–537; Nyāyānusāra, Y 1562, k. 59, p. 671a; Abhidharmadīpa, p. 372.

The Traité, being a Prajñāpāramitā commentary, cites lists of the nine notions found in this literature. Unfortunately, the Sanskrit editions available to us are rather defective. Edgerton (Dictionary, s.v. aśubha) has tried to correct them. Perhaps it is more useful to reproduce here the texts of the editions, simply noting the variants:

Pañcaviṃśati, p. 19, l. 19–20,l. 2; p. 165, l. 7:

  1. ādhmātaka,
  2. vidhūtaka (var. vipaḍumaka,)
  3. vipūyaka (var. vipūryaka),
  4. vilohitaka,
  5. vinīlaka,
  6. vikhāditaka,
  7. vikṣiptaka,
  8. vidagdhaka,
  9. asthi-saṃjñā.

Śatasāhasrikā, p. 59, l. 2–18:

  1. dhyātaka,
  2. vipadāka,
  3. vipūtika,
  4. vilohitaka,
  5. vinīlaka.
  6. vikhāditaka,
  7. vikṣiptaka,
  8. asthi,
  9. vidagdhaka-saṃjñā.

Śatasāhasrikā, p. 1258, l. 6–8 (very defective text):

  1. vyāgatika,
  2. niruttamaka,
  3. vipūtika,
  4. vilohataka,
  5. vilīnaka,
  6. vivādaka,
  7. vikṣiptaka,
  8. asmi,
  9. vidagnaka.

Chinese translation of the Pañcaviṃśati by Kumārajīva (T223, k. 1, p. 219a9–10):

  1. vyādhumātaka,
  2. vidhūtaka,
  3. vilohitaka,
  4. vipūyaka (or vipūtika),
  5. vinīlaka,
  6. vikhāditaka,
  7. vikṣiptaka,
  8. asthi.
  9. vidagdhaka-saṃjñā.

The Chinese translation of the Mahāprajñāpāramitā by Hiuan-tsang systematically adopts the following list in various places (T220, vol. V, k. 3, p. 12a13–15; vol. VII, k. 402, p. 7b24–26; k. 479, p. 429c17–19):

  1. vyādhmātaka,
  2. vipūyaka,
  3. vilohitaka,
  4. vinīlaka,
  5. vikhāditaka.
  6. vikṣiptaka,
  7. asthi,
  8. vidagdhaka,
  9. vidhūtaka (?)

Three other lists should also be mentioned:

Bhikṣuṇīkarmavacana, p. 139, l. 13–16:

  1. vinīlaka,
  2. vipūyaka,
  3. vipaṭumaka,
  4. vyādhmātaka,
  5. vikhyāditaka,
  6. vilohitaka,
  7. vikṣiptaka,
  8. asthi,
  9. śūnyatā-pratyavekṣaṇa-saṃjñā.

Abhisamayālaṃkāravṛtti, p. 22, l. 11–13:

  1. ādhmātaka,
  2. vidhūtaka,
  3. vipāyaka,
  4. vilohitaka,
  5. vinīlaka,
  6. vikhāditaka,
  7. vikṣiptaka,
  8. asthika,
  9. vidagdhaka-saṃjñā. See C. Penna, Note di lessicografia buddhista, Rivista degli Studi Orientali, XXXIX, 1964, p. 61–53.

Mahāvyut., no. 1156–1164:

  1. vinīlaka,
  2. vidhūtika- (vipūyaka),
  3. vipaḍumaka,
  4. vyādhmātaka,
  5. vilohitaka,
  6. vikhāditaka,
  7. vikṣiptaka,
  8. vidagdhaka,
  9. asthi-saṃjñā.