Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “definition of the eleven knowledges (ekadasha-jnana)” 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.

I. Definition of the Eleven Knowledges (ekādaśa-jñāna)

1. The knowledge of things (dharmajñāna) is:

a. the pure knowledge concerning things associated with the desire realm (kāmadhātusaṃprayukteṣu dharmeṣu yad anāsravaṃ jñānam).

b. the pure knowledge concerning the cause of things associated with the desire realm (kāmadhātusaṃprayuktānaṃ darmāṇāṃ hetau yad anāsravaṃ jñānam).

c. the pure knowledge concerning the cessation of things associated with the desire realm (kāmadhātusaṃprayuktānāṃ dharmāṇaṃ nirodhe yad anāsravaṃ jñānam).

d. the pure knowledge concerning the path leading to the cessation of things associated with the desire realm (kāmadhātusaṃprayuktānāṃ dharmāṇāṃ prahāṇāya mārge yad anāsravaṃ jñānam).

e. also the pure knowledge concerning the knowledge of the things themselves and its stage (api khalu dharmajñāne dharmajñānabhūmau ca yad anāsravaṃ jñānam).

2. It is the same for the subsequent knowledge (anvayajñana) concerning [things associated] with the form realm and the formless realm (rūpārūpyasahātusaṃprayukteṣu dharmeṣu).

3. The knowledge of another’s mind (paracittajñāna) cognizes:

a. the mind (citta) and mental events (caitasikadharma) relating to the desire realm and the form realm (kāmarūpadhātusaṃprayukta) presently belonging to others,

b. also a small part of their pure minds and mental events (anāsravacittacaitta).

4. Conventional knowledge (saṃvṛtijñāna) is all of the impure knowledges (sarvasāsravajñāna).

5. The knowledge of suffering (duḥkhajñāna) is the pure knowledge produced when the five aggregates of attachment are considered as impermanent, suffering, empty and without self (pañcopādānaskandhān anityato duḥkhataḥ śūnyato ’nātmataś ca manasikurvato yad anāsravaṃ jñānanaṃ).

6. The knowledge of the origin of suffering (samudayajñāna) is the pure knowledge produced when the cause of impure dharmas is considered as cause, origin, successive and associated causation (sāsravahetukaṃ hetutaḥ samudayataḥ prabhavataḥ pratyayataś ca manasikurvato yad anāsravaṃ jñānam).

7. The knowledge of the cessation of suffering (nirodhajñÔna) is the pure knowledge produced by considering this cessation as cessation, peaceful, excellent and bringing salvation (nirodhaṃ nirodhataḥ śāntataḥ praṇītato niḥsaraṇataś ca manasikurvato yad anāsravaṃ jñānam).

8. The knowledge of the path of cessation (mārgajñāna) is the pure knowledge produced by considering this path as path, logical, attainment and ultimate exit (mārgaṃ mārgato nyāyataḥ pratipattito nairyāṇikataś ca manasikurvato yad anāsravaṃ jñānam).

9. The knowledge of the cessation of the impurities (kṣayajñāna = āsravakṣayajñāna) is the pure knowledge produced by thinking: “Suffering is completely known by me (duḥkhaṃ me parijñātam); the origin has been abandoned by me (samudayo me prahīṇaḥ); cessation has been realized by me (nirodho me sākṣātkṛtaḥ); the path has been practiced by me (mārgo me bhāvitaḥ); it [233a] is a wisdom (prajñā), a seeing (darśana), a knowing (vidyā), an understanding (buddhi).

10. The knowledge of the non-rearising of the impurities (anutpādajñāna) is the pure knowledge produced by thinking: “The suffering completely known by me is no longer to be known (duḥkhaṃ me parijñataṃ na parijñātavyam); the origin abandoned by me is no longer to be abandoned (samudayo me prahīṇo na prahātavayaḥ); the cessation realized by me is no longer to be realized (nirodho me sākṣātkṛto na sākṣātkartavyaḥ); the path practiced by me is no longer to be practiced (mārgo me bhāvito nabhāvitavyaḥ)”: it is a wisdom (prajñā), a seeing (darśana), a knowing (vidyā), an understanding (buddhi).

11. The wisdom conforming to reality (yathābhūtajñāna) is a knowledge conforming exactly to reality and free of obstacles (apratihata) concerning the general characteristics (sāmānyalakṣaṇa) and specific characteristics (svalakṣaṇa) of all dharmas.