Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “recollections according to the mahayana” 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.

Part 3 - The recollections according to the Mahāyāna

Question. – You have just set forth the eight recollections practiced by the śrāvakas. How do the eight recollections practiced by the bodhisattva differ?

Answer. – The śrāvakas practice for themselves whereas the bodhisattvas practice for all beings.

In the śrāvakas, they free only from old age (jarā), sickness (vyādhi) and death (maraṇa), whereas in the bodhisattvas they perfect the qualities (guṇa) of omniscience (sarvajñāna). These are the differences (viśeṣa).

Furthermore, here in the Prajñāpāramitasūtra (above, p. 650F), the Buddha said to Śāriputra: “The bodhisattva-mahāsattva who abides in the Prajñāpāramitā by the method of non-abiding (asthānayogena) should fullfil the perfection of generosity (dānapāramitā) and the other qualities up to the eight recollections (anusmṛti) by basing himself on their non-existence (anupalabdhitām upādāya).”

First there is non-abiding (asthāna) and then non-existence (anupalabdhitā): these are the two seals (mudrā) by means of which [the anusmṛti of the bodhisattvas] differ. For the meaning of this non-abiding and this non-existence, see what has been said above (p. 656–657F).

(A note in red says that the eight recollections are finished.)