Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “other qualities of the community” 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.5. Other qualities of the Community

1) Moreover, the yogin should recollect the Community [by saying]: the Community are my true companions (sahāyaka) on the way to nirvāṇa. Joined with it in the same discipline and the same vision, I should be joyful, respect it wholeheartedly, follow it and not be in opposition to it. Previously I had bad people as my companions, women, sons, slaves, etc.: they accompanied me in the three bad destinies (durgati). Now that I have noble people (āryapudgala) as companions, I go in safety to nirvāṇa. The Buddha is like the king of physicians (vaidyarāja), the Dharma is like good medicine (bhaiṣajya)) and the Community is like a nurse (glānopasthāyaka). (see Appendix 12) I must obtain pure discipline (viśuddhaśila) and right thought (yoniśo mansikāra). I must undergo the medication prescribed by the Buddha. The Community is the sole means for me to cut through the sickness of the bonds (bandhanavyādhi): it is my nurse. This is why it is necessary to recollect the Community.

2) Furthermore, the Community has immense perfections of discipline, concentration and wisdom (śīlasamādhiprajñāsaṃpad) and the depth of its virtues cannot be plumbed (durvigāhya).