Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “dharma without torment of burning (nirjvara)” 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.

II.3. Dharma without torment of burning (nirjvara)

The Dharma is without the torment of burning (nirjvara). These sufferings of burning are of two kinds: torments of the body (kāyopāyāsa) and torments of the mind (cittopāyāsa). The torments of the body are fetters, prison, beatings, being put to death, etc. The torments of the mind are sadness (daurmanasya), fear (bhaya), etc., caused by desire (rāga), hatred (dveṣa), avarice (mātsrya) or jealousy (īrṣyā). In the Dharma of the Buddha, since morality is pure, the body escapes from the torments of fetters, prison, beatings, being put to death, etc. Since the mind has eliminated the five objects of enjoyment (pañcakāmaguṇa), eliminated the five obstacles (pañcanīvaraṇa) and obtained true bodhi, it escapes from the torments of desire, hatred, avarice, jealousy, doubt (vicikitsā), etc., and as there are no torments, there is no burning (jvara).

Moreover, the trances (dhyāna) and the pure absorptions (samāpatti) produce joy and happiness including all the physical sensations (kāyavedanā): this is why all the burning has gone away. Thus, when a man tormented by great heat (gharmārta) reaches a clear cool pool (taḍāga), the cold revives him and he no longer suffers from the heat.

Moreover, whether they depend on wrong views (dṛṣṭyapekṣa) or whether they depend on thirst (tṛṣṇāpekṣa),[1] the disturbing emotions (kleśa) are called ‘burnings’ (jvara). Since they are absent in the Dharma of the Buddha, the latter is called ‘without torment of burning’ (nirjvara).

Footnotes and references:


These two kinds of negative emotions are mentioned above, p. 211F, 213F.