Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “dharma leading to the good place (aupanayika)” 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.5. Dharma leading to the good place (aupanayika)

The Dharma leads to the good place (aupanayika). The thirty-seven pure auxiliaries of Bodhi (saptatriṃśad anāsrava bodhipākṣikadharmāḥ) lead (upanayanti) a person to nirvāṇa. Thus, when one sets sail on the Ganges, one necessarily reaches the great ocean.[1]

The outside heretical systems (anyatīrthika) which the Omniscient One (sarvajñā) did not preach that are full of wrong views (mithyadṛṣṭi) lead to the bad places or, if they sometimes lead to the heavens (svarga), one falls back from them and suffers. Not being eternal, these heavens are not ‘the good place’.

Question. – If the leader (upanetṛ) does not exist, how ‘to lead’ to the good place?

Answer. – It is true that the leader does not exist. Only dharmas can lead other dharmas. The pure and good abandonment (anāsrvakuśalaprahāṇa) of the five aggregates of existence (pañcaskandha) – aggregates to which is given the power of the name of being (sattva) – lead to nirvāṇa in the same way that the wind (vāyu) blows the dust (rajas) or the water (vāri) carries away straw (tṛṇa). Even without a leader, there can be progress (gamana).

Moreover, in the complex of causes and conditions (hetupratyayasāmagri), there is neither agent (kāraka) nor leader (upanetṛ) who exercises control (vaśita) over the causes and conditions on which the retribution depends.

Footnotes and references:

1.

Canonical comparison: cf. Saṃyutta, IV, p. 179: Samuddaninno bhikkhave Gaṅgāya nadiyā soto samuddapoṇo samuddapabbhāro.