Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “preliminary note on the ten concepts (dasha-samjna)” 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.

Preliminary note on the ten concepts (daśa-saṃjñā)

Various partially overlapping lists of saṃjñā have already been mentioned above, p. 1311F.

1. The Pāli Nikāyas:

In the Pāli Nikāyas, there are two different lists of ten saññās: the first, in Dīgha, III, p. 291; Saṃyutta, V, p. 132–133; Anguttara, V, p. 105, 309; the second in Anguttara, V, p.109.

1st list

  1. asubha-
  2. maraṇa
  3. āhāre paṭikkūla-
  4. sabbaloke anabhirati-
  5. anicca-
  6. anicce dukkha-
  7. dukkhe anatta-
  8. pahāna-
  9. virāga-
  10. nirodha-saññā.

2nd list

  1. anicca-
  2. anatta-
  3. asubha-
  4. ādīnava-
  5. pahāna-
  6. virāga-
  7. nirodha-
  8. sabbaloke anabhirati-
  9. sabbasaṅkhāresu anicca-
  10. ānāpānasati-saññā.

The saññās 1–7 of the first list are defined in Anguttara, IV, p. 46–53; the second list is explained in Anguttara, V, p. 109–112.

2. The Prajñāpāramitā.

In the Prajñāpāramitā, the Sanskrit list in Pañcaviṃśati (ed. Dutt, p. 20, l. 5–8) mentions ten saṃjñās; on the other hand, the Sanskrit list in the Śatasāsrikā (ed. Ghosa, p. 60, l. 15–61, l. 6) mentions only six:

a. Ten saṃjñās according to the Pañcaviṃṣati:

  1. anitya-
  2. duḥkha-
  3. anātma-
  4. aśuci-
  5. maraṇa-
  6. sarvaloke ’nabhirati-
  7. sarvaloke ‘viśvāsa-
  8. patijaya-
  9. saṃvṛti-
  10. yathāruta-saṃjñānam.

b. Six saṃjñās according to the Śatasāhasrika:

  1. anitya-
  2. duḥkha-
  3. anātma-
  4. aśubha-
  5. sarvalokānabhirati-
  6. aviśvāsa-saṃjñā.

3. Chinese version of the Pañcaviṃśati:

Ten saṃjñās also appear in the Chinese version of the Pañcaviṃśati by Kumārajīva (T 223, k. 1, p. 219a11–13) and in the Chinese versions of all the Prajñāpāramitās by Hiuan-tsang (T 220, col. V, k. 3, p. 12a22–23; T 220, vol. V, k. 37, p. 204a18–19; T 220, vol. VII, k. 402, p. 7c1–3):

a. Ten saṃjñās according to the Pañcaviṃṣati by Kumārajīva:

  1. anitya-
  2. duḥkha-
  3. anātma-
  4. āhāre pratikūla-
  5. sarvaloke ’nabhirati-
  6. maraṇa-
  7. aśuci
  8. prahāṇa-
  9. virāga-
  10. nirodha-saṃjñā.

b. Ten saṃjñās according to the Pañcaviṃṣati by Hiuan-tsang:

  1. anitya-
  2. duḥkha-
  3. anātma-
  4. aśuci-
  5. maraṇa-
  6. sarvaloke ’nabhirati-
  7. āhāre pratikūla-
  8. prahāṇa-
  9. virāga-
  10. nirodha-saṃjñā.

4. The Sarvāstivādin-Vaibhaṣika Abhidharmas:

It is probable that, from their divergence from the original Sanskrit of the Prajñāpāramitās, the Chinese versions were modeled on the list of ten saṃjñās appearing in the Sarvāstivādin-Vaibhaṣika Abhidharmas (Jñanaprasthāna, T 1543, k. 27, p. 894b27–29;T 1013, k. 18, p. 1013c18–20; Vibhāṣā, T 1545, k. 166, p. 836c20–22):

  1. amityā-,
  2. anitye duḥkha-, 
  3. duḥkhe ’nātma-, 
  4. aśuci-, 
  5. āhāre pratikūla-, 
  6. sarvaloke ’nabhirati-. 
  7. maraṇa-, 
  8. prahāṇa-, 
  9. virāga-, 
  10. nirodha-saṃjñā.
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