Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön | 2001 | 941,039 words

This page describes “eye of the world (lokacakshu)” 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.

Appendix 2 - The eye of the world (lokacakṣu)

Note: This appendix is extracted from chapter XXXVII part 2 (The concept of suffering):

“When the Buddha entered nirvāṇa, Ānanda and the disciples not yet detached from passion, who had not yet cultivated the eightfold noble Path (āryāṣṭāṅgamārga), wept and lamented; the anāgāmins, detached from desire were all frightened; the arhats whose impurities were destroyed remained impassive and only said: ‘The Eye of the world has disappeared too soon’ (atikṣipraṃ cakṣur lokasyāntarhitam)”.

Cf. Dīgha, II, p. 157–158, 162:

Parinibbute bhagavati tattha ye te bhikkhū avītarāgā appekacce bāhā paggayha kandanti chinnapapātaṃ papatani āvaṭṭanti vivaṭṭanti: atikhippaṃ bhagavā parinibutto, atikhippaṃ sugato parinibbuto, atikhippam cakkhuṃ loke antarahitam ti. Ye pana te bhikkhū vītarāgā te satā sampajānā adhivāsenti: aniccā saṃkhārā taṃ kut’ettha labbhā ti.

Transl. –

On the death of the Blessed One, of the monks who were not yet free from desire, some raised their arms to the heavens uttering cries, others threw themselves down on the ground, turning to and fro, thinking: “The Blessed One has died too soon! The Blessed One has entered nirvāṇa too soon! Too soon has the Eye of the world disappeared from the world!” But the monks who were free from desire endured their grief with contemplation and lucidity, saying: “Impermanent are the formations. How could they not disappear?”

The version of the Sanskrit Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra, p. 400–402, 406–408, differs slightly:

Tatraikatyā bhikṣavaḥ pṛthivyām āvartante parivartante. ekatyā bāhūn pragṛhya prakrośanti. evaṃ cāhuḥ: atikṣipraṃ bhagavān parinirvṛtaḥ. atikaṣipraṃ sugataḥ parinirvṛtaḥ. atikṣipraṃ cakṣur lokasyānatarhitaḥ. ekatyās cetoduḥkhasamarpitās tiṣṭhanti. ekatyā dharmatām eva pratismaranti: prāg evāsmākaṃ bhagavatākhyātaṃ sarvair iṣṭaiḥ kāntaiḥ priyair manāpair nānābhāvo bhaviṣyati vinābhāvo viprayogo visaṃyogaḥ. kuta etal labhyaṃ yat taj jataṃ bhūtaṃ kṛtaṃ saṃskṛtaṃ vedayitaṃ pratītyasamutpannaṃ kṣayadharmaṃ vyayadharmaṃ vibhavadharmaṃ virodhadharmaṃ pralokadharmaṃ na prarujyate nedaṃ sthānaṃ vidyate.

Transl. –

Then some monks rolled about on the ground; others raised their arms to the heavens, uttering cries: “The Blessed One has died too soon! The Blessed One has entered nirvāṇa too soon! Too soon has the Eye of the world disappeared!” Others, filled with mental anguish, stood about and others yet recalled the nature of things and said: “Previously the Blessed One spoke to us about all these things that are hoped for, loved, cherished, pleasant but destined to division, to separation, to disjunction. How could it be that what is born, fabricated, conditioned, felt, resulting from causes, destructible, transitory, insecure, inconsistent, perishable, not be broken up? This possibility does not exist.”

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