Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “the ten knowledges (dasha-jnana) according to the abhidharma” 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.

II. The Ten Knowledges (daśa-jñāna) according to the Abhidharma

1. Objects of the ten knowledges [531]

1) Dharmajñāna has as object (ālamabate): a. things associated with the desire realm (kāmadhātusaṃprayuktā dharmāḥ); b. the cause of things associated with the desire realm (kāmadhātusaṃprayuktānāṃ dharmāṇāṃ hetuḥ); c. the cessation of things associated with the desire realm (kāmadhātusaṃprayuktānāṃ dharmāṇāṃ nirodhaḥ); d. the path leading to the cessation of things associated with the desire realm (kāmadhātusaṃprayuktānāṃ dharmāṇāṃ prahāṇāya mārgaḥ).

2) Anvayajñāna is similar, [with the difference that it concerns the things of rūpa- and ārūpyadhātu, their cause, their cessation and the path to their cessation].

3) Saṃvṛtijñāna has as object all the dharmas.

4) Paracittajñāna has as object the mind (citta) and mental events (caitasikadharma), impure (sāsrava) or pure (anāsrava), occurring in the mind of another.

5–6) Duḥkhajñāna and samudayajñāna have as object the five aggregates of attachment (upādānaskandha).

7) Nirodhajñāna has as object the cessation (nirodha) [of suffering].

8) Mārgajñāna has as object the five pure elements (pañcānāsravaskandha).

9–10) Kṣayajñāna and anutpādajñāna together have as object the four truths (catuḥsatya).

2. Pure and impure knowledges [532]

Of the ten knowledges, one is impure (sāsrava), [namely, saṃvṛtjñāna], eight are pure (anāsrava) and one, namely, paracittajñāna, should be set apart since it is impure when it has an impure mind as object and pure when it has a pure mind as object.

3. Mutual inclusion of the ten knowledges [533]

1) Dharmajñāna contains (saṃgṛhṇāti):

a. dharmajñāna [properly called],

b. a small part, [namely, the part relating to kāmadhātu] of the paracittajñāna, of the duḥkhajñāna, of the samudayajñāna, of the nirodhajñāna, of the mārgajñāna, of the kṣayajñāna and of the anutpādajñāna.

2) Anvayajñāna, the same [replacing ‘the part relating to kāmadhātu’ with ‘the part relating to rūpa- and ārūpyadhātu’.

3) Saṃvṛtijñāna contains:

a. saṃvṛtijñāna [properly called],

b. a small part of paracittajñāna, [namely, the impure part (sāsrava) of paracittajñāna].

4) Paracittajñāna contains:

a. paracittajñāna [properly called],

b. a small part [namely, that found in the mind of another] of dharmajñāna, of anvayajñāna, of saṃvṛtijñāna, of mārgajñāna, of kṣayajñāna and of anutpādajñāna.

5) Duḥkhajñāna contains:

a. suḥkhajñāna [properly called],

b. a small part, [that which has as object the truth of suffering], of dharmajñāna, of anvayajñāna, of kṣayajñāna, and of anutpādajñāna.

6–7) Samudayajñāna and nirodhajñāna are explained on the same principle.

8) Mārgajñāna contains:

a. mārgajñāna [properly called],

b. a small part, [that which has the truth of the path as object], of dharmajñāna, of anvayajñāna, of paracittajñāna, of kṣayajñāna, and of anutpādajñāna.

9) Kṣayajñāna contains:

a. kṣayajñāna [properly called],

b. a small part, [that having as object the suppression of the impurities], of dharmajñāna, of anvayajñāna, of paracittajñāna, of duḥkhajñāna, and of mārgajñāna.

10) Anutpādajñāna is explained according to the same principle.

4. The associates of the ten knowledges

a. The faculties (indriya).

i) Nine knowledges are associated (saṃprayukta) with eight faculties (indriya), excluding the faculty of wisdom (prajñendriya), the faculty of dissatisfaction (daurmanasyendriya) and the faculty of displeasure (duḥkhendriya).[1]

ii) Saṃvṛtijñāna is associated with ten faculties, excluding the faculty of wisdom (prajñendriya).

b. The concentrations (samādhi).

i) Dharmajñāna, anvayajñāna and duḥkhajñāna are associated with the samādhi of emptiness (śūnyatāsamādhi).

ii) Dharmajñāna, anvayajñāna, nirodhajñāna, kṣayajñāna and anutpādajñāna are associated with the samādhi of signlessness (ānimittasamādhi).

iii) Dharm,ajñāna, anvayajñāna, paracittajñāna, duḥkkhajñāna, samudayajñāna, mārgajñāna, kṣayajñāna and anutpādajñāna are associated with the samādhi of wishlessness (apraṇihitasamādhi).  

c. The concepts (saṃjñā).

i) Dharmajñāna, anvayajñāna, saṃvṛtijñāna, duḥkhajñāna, kṣayajñāna and anutpādajñāna are associated [with three concepts from the group of the ten concepts mentioned on p. 1433F]: the concept of impermanence (anityasaṃjñā), the concept of suffering (duḥkhasaṃjñā) and the concept of non-self (anātmasaṃjñā).

ii) Saṃvṛtijñāna is associated with the four intermediate concepts [of the same group, namely, the concept of the repugnant nature of food (āhāre pratikūlasaṃjñā), the concept of displeasure in respect to the whole world (sarvaloke ’nabhiratsaṃjñā), the concept of death (maraṇasaṃjñā) and the concept of impurity (aśucisaṃjñā)].

iii) Dharmajñāna, anutpādajñāna, nirodhajñāna, kṣayajñāna and anutpādajñāna are associated with the three final concepts [of the same group, namely, the concept of abandonment (prahāṇasaṃjñā), the concept of detachment (virāgasaṃjñā) and the concept of cessation (nirodhasaṃjñā)].

Some say that saṃvṛtijñāna is sometimes associated with the concept of detachment (virāgasaṃjñā).

5. Mutual consciousness of the ten knowledges [535]

Dharmajñāna has as object (ālambate) nine knowledges, excluding anvayajñāna. The same for anvayajñāna, [excluding dharmajñāna].

Saṃvṛtijñāna, paracittajñāna, kṣayajñāna and anutpādajñāna have as object the ten knowledges. [233b]

Duḥkhajñāna and samudayajñāna have as object saṃvṛtijñāna and the impure (sāsrava) paracittajñāna.

Nirodhajñāna does not bear upon any knowledge.

Mārgajñāna has as object nine knowledges, excluding asṃvṛtijñāna.

6. Aspects of the ten knowledges [536]

Dharmajñāna and anvayajñāna have the sixteen aspects (ṣoḍaśakāra) [of the four noble Truths (p. 641F)].

Paracittajñāna has four aspects: [those of the truth of the Path (māragasatya)].

Duḥkha-, samudaya-, nirodha- and mārgajñāna have each of the four aspects [of their respective truths].

Kṣayajñāna and anutpādajñāna both have fourteen aspects, excluding the empty aspect (śūnyākāra) and the non-self aspect (anātmakākāra).

Saṃvṛtijñāna, when it occurs in heat (uṣmagata), summits (mūrdhan) and patience (kṣānti), has sixteen aspects. When it occurs in supreme worldly dharmas (laukikāgradharma), saṃvṛtijñāna has four aspects, [those of the truth of the path (mārgasatya)].[2]

7. Acquisition of the ten knowledges in the darśana- and aśaikṣamārga [538]

A. In the darśanamārga.

1) Entering into the first pure mind (prathame ’nāsravacitte), [i.e., duḥke darmajñānakṣānti], the saint (ārya) acquires one single knowledge, the saṃvṛtijñāna.

2–3) In the second mind [i.e., duḥkhe dharmajñāna], he adds duḥkhajñāna and dharmajñāna.

4) In the fourth mind [i.e., duḥkhe ’nvayajñāna], he adds anvayajñāna.

5) In the sixth mind [i.e., samudaye dharmajñāna], he adds samudayajñāna.

6) In the tenth mind [i.e., nirodhe dharmajñāna], he adds nirodhajñāna.

7–8) In the fourteenth mind [i.e., mārge dharmajñāna], he adds mārgajñāna.

But if he is already free of desire (vītarāga), [i.e., if, before entering into the supramundane path (lokottaramārga) of the darśanamārga, he has already been freed from desire by means of the worldly path (laukikamārga) of detachment], then the saint (ārya) also adds paracittajñāna.

B. In the aśaikṣamārga.

9) In the path of the one of no further training (aśaikṣamārga), the arhat adds kṣayamārga.

10) If he has attained unshakeable deliverance (akopyā vimukti), he adds also anutpādajñāna.

8. Development of the ten knowledges in the threefold Path [539]

A. In the darśanamārga.

1) In the first pure mind (anāsravacitta), [i.e. duḥkhe dharmajñānakṣānti], the yogin does not develop (na bhāvayati)[3] knowledge.

2) In the second mind, [i.e., duḥke dharmajñāna)], he develops two knowledges, present (pratyutpanna) and future (anāgata).

3) In the fourth moment, [i.e., duḥkhe ’nvayajñāna], he develops two present knowledges and three future knowledges.

4) In the sixth moment, [i.e., samudaye dharmajñāna], he develops two present and future knowledges.

5) In the eighth mind, [i.e., samudaye ’nvayajñāna], he develops two present knowledges and three future knowldges.

6) In the tenth mind, [i.e., nirodhe ’nvayajñāna]. he develops two knowledges, present and future.

7) In the twelfth mind, [i.e., nirodhe ’nvayajñāna], he develops two present knowledges and three future knowledges.

8) In the fourteenth mind, [i.e., mārge dharmajñāna], he develops two knowledges, present and future.

9) In the sixteenth mind, [i.e., mārge ’nvayajñāna], he develops two present knowledges [mārgajñāna and anvayajñāna], and develops six future knowledges [dharmajñāna, anvayajñāna, duḥkhajñāna, samudayajñāna, nirodhajñāna and mārgajñāna]. If he is detached (vītarāga), he develops seven knowledges [by adding paracittajñāna to the preceding six].[4]

B. In the bhāvanāmārga.

10) The srotaāpanna who wishes to becomes detached from the fetters (saṃyojana) of kāmadhātu develops seven knowledges, excluding paracittajñāna, kṣayajñāna and anutpādajñāna, in the seventeenth mind.[5]

11) In the ninth deliverance (vimukti = vimuktimārga), [when the saint becomes anāgāmin by destruction of the ninth category of passions of kāmadhātu],[6] he develops four knowledges, excluding kṣayajñāna nad anutpādajñāna.

When, [by cessation of the fifth category of passions of kāmadhātu],[7] the person inspired by faith (śraddhadhimukta) becomes informed by possession of the view (dṛṣṭipratpa), he develops six knowledges in the twofold path,[8] excluding paracittajñāna, saṃvṛtijñāna, kṣayajñāna and anutpādajñāna.

12) When the saint is detached from the passions belonging to seven stages (bhūmi), [namely, the four dhyānas of rūpadhātu, and the first three samāpattis of ārūpyadhātu], the following should be distinguished:

a. in the uninterrupted paths (ānantaryamārga, also called prahāṇamārga), he develops seven knowledges, excluding paracittajñāna, kṣayajñāna and anutpādajñāna.

b. in the paths of deliverance (vimuktimārga), he develops eight knowledges, excluding kṣayajñāna and anutpādajñāna.[9]

13) When the saint is detached from the passions of the summit of existence (bhavāgra or the fourth samāpatti of ārūpyadhātu), the following should be distinguished:

a. in the [nine] uninterrupted paths (ānantaryamārga or prahāṇamārga of this sphere], he develops six knowledges, excluding paracittajñāna, saṃvṛtijñāna, kṣayajñāna and anutpādajñāna.

b. in the [first] eight paths of deliverance (vimuktimārga), he develops seven knowledges, excluding saṃvṛtijñāna, kṣayajñāna and anutpādajñāna.[10]

C. In the aśaikṣamārga.

14) In the first mind of ‘the one who has nothing further to practice’ (aśaikṣasya prathamacitta), a mind coinciding with the ninth and last deliverance (vimukti) of bhavāgra,

a. the arhat who is unconditionally liberated (asamayavimukta) develops the ten knowledges and all the impure and pure roots of good (sarvāstavanāsravakuśalamūla).

b. the arhat who is conditionally liberated (samayavimukta) develops nine knowledges [excluding anutpādajñāna], and all the impure and pure roots of good.[11]

All of these distinctions are fully explained in the A-p’i-t’an-men (Abhidharmamukha?).

Footnotes and references:

1.

See definitions in Kośa, I, p.101.

2.

This is a matter of the saṃvṛtijñāna practiced in the preparatory path (prayogamārga) during the four nirvedhabhāgiyas: heat, etc. See above, p. 395F, n. 1.

3.

Cf. Kośavyākhyā, p. 632, l. 14–15: Iha dvividhā bhāvanādhikṛtā pratilaṃbhabhāvanā niṣevaṇabhāvanā; pratilaṃbhabhāvanā prāptitaḥ, niṣevaṇabhāvanā saṃmikhakhībhāvataḥ: “This is a twofold development here: a development of obtaining as acquisition, and a development of assistance from the fact of having preceded”. This is why the ascetic can simultaneously develop present (pratyutpanna) and future (anāgata) knowledges.

4.

Cf. Kośabhāṣya, p. 407, l. 17 – 408, l. 2: Avitarāgasya ṣodaṣe mārgānvayajñānakṣaṇe dve jñāne pratyutpanne: mārgajñānamārgānvayajñāne, purāgatani ṣaḍ bhavyante: dharmānvayaduḥkhasamudayanirodhamārgajñānāni. Vītarāgasya paracittajñānaṃ saptamaṃ bhāvyate.

It is at the sixteenth mind-moment of the darśanamārga, which is also the first moment of the bhāvanāmārga, that the saint (ārya) takes possession of the first fruit of the religious life and becomes srotaāpanna.

5.

See Kośabhāṣya, p. 408:

Sarāgabhāvanāmārge tadūrdhvaṃ saptabhāvanā ||

ṣoḍasāt kṣaṇād ūrdhvaṃ bhāvanāmārge yāvan na vītarāgo bhāvati tāvat sarveṣu prayogānantaryavimuktiviśeṣamārgeṣu sapta jñānāni bhāvyante: dharmānvayaduḥkhasamudayanirodhamārgasaṃvṛtijñānāni. laukikaś ced bhāvanāmārgaḥ saṃvṛtijñānaṃ pratyutpannam. lokottaraś cec caturṇāṃ dharmajñānām anyatamat.

Transl. –

“Above, in the Path of meditation associated with desire, there is the development of seven knowledges.” – Beyond the sixteenth moment, in the Path of meditation, as long as one is not liberated from desire, in the preparatory paths, irresistible, freeing and excellent, seven knowledges are cultivated: dharma-, anvaya-, duḥkha-, samudaya-, nirodha-, mārga- and saṃvṛti-jñāna. If the path of meditation is mundane, saṃvṛtijñāna is developed; if the path of meditation is supramundane, another of the four dharmajñāna is cultivated.

6.

One becomes anāgāmin by cessation of the ninth and last category of passions of kāmadhātu: one is never again reborn in kāmadhātu.

7.

By cessation of the fifth category of passions of kāmadhātu, one becomes śraddhādhimukta or dṛṣṭiprāpta according to whether one is of weak faculties or strong faculties: Āloka, p. 35, l. 20–21: Kāmavacarapañcaprakārakleśaprahāṇena dvitīyaphalapratipannako mṛdutīkṣnendriya evaikaḥ śraddhādṛṣṭiprāptaḥ.

8.

In the unstoppable paths (ānantarya or prahāṇamārga) and in the paths of deliverance (vimuktimārga). Nine of each are needed in order to conquer the passions of a single given level.

9.

Cf. Kośabhāṣya, p. 408:

Saptabhūmijayābhijñākopyāptyākīrṇabhāvite |
ānantaryapatheṣūrdhvamuktimārāṣṭake ’pi ca ||

sapta jñānāni bhāvyante iti … anvayajñānānāṃ dvayoś ca dharmajñānanayor anyatamat.

Transl. –

“In the uninterrupted paths of conquest over the seven levels, of acquisition of the supernatural powers and unshakeable quality, of mixed meditation, [seven knowledges are developed] and also in the eight paths of deliverance of the above.”

Fill in: ‘seven knowledges are developed’. The seven levels are the four dhyānas and the [first] three ārūpyas. Victory over these seven levels is detachment. During this detachment from the seven levels, in the five supernatural powers, in the quality of unshakeability and in the mixed meditation, all the unstoppable paths practiced by the śaikṣa entail the development of seven knowledges, the same as the preceding. If the path of meditation is worldly, saṃvṛtijñāna is cultivated. If the path is supramundane, one of the four anvayajñānas and one of the two dharmajñānas are developed. But in the quality of unshakeability, saṃvṛtijñāna is not developed because it is not opposed to Bhavāgra. Here kṣayajñāna is the seventh knowledge.

Above the detachment from the seven levels, in the detachment from bhavāgra, during the [first] eight paths of deliverance, seven knowledges also are developed: dharma-, anvaya-, duḥkha-, samudaya-, nirodha- mārga- and paracittajñāna. Saṃvṛtijñāna is not developed because it is not opposed to bhavāgra. But one of the four anvayajñānas and one of the two dharmajñānas are actually cultivated

10.

Cf. Kośabhāṣya, p. 408–409:

Śaikṣottāpanamuktau vā ṣaṭsaprtajñānabhāvanā |
ānataryapathe ṣaṇṇām.

Śaikṣasyendriyottāpanāyāṃ vimuktimārge sarāgasya ṣaṇṇāṃ bhāvanā: … sarvānantaryamārgapratiṣiddhatvāt. kim arthaṃ pratiṣidhyate. apratipakṣatvāt.

Transl.

“For the śaikṣa, in the path of deliverance of perfecting the faculties, there is the development of six or seven knowledges; in the uninterrupted path, development of six knowledges.”

In the path of deliverance, during the devopment of the faculties, the śaikṣa who still has the defilements develops six knowledges: dharma-, anvaya-, samudaya-, nirodha- and mārgajñāna. If he is detached from desire, he develops seven, adding paracittajñāna to the previous ones.

Whether or not he is detached from desire, in the uninterrupted path of perfecting the qualities, he develops the six knowledges mentioned above, but not saṃvṛtijñāna, because [perfecting the faculties] is like the path of seeing; not paracittajñāna because this knowledge is excluded from any path of seeing. Why is this knowledge excluded? Because it does not counteract [the passions].

11.

Cf. Kośabhāṣa, p. 409:

Akopyasya daśabhāvanā, tatsaṃcāre ’nantyamuktau ca |

yas tv akopyadharmā bhavati tasya … vimuktimārge daśānāṃ bhāvanā.

Transl. –

“In the Unshakeable, ten knowledges are developed, and also during the passing into the quality of the unshakeable in the last path of deliverance.”

The person who has the quality of unshakeability develops the ten knowledges, and also the person who passes into the state of unshakeability develops the ten knowledges in [the ninth] and last path of deliverance [of bhavāgra].

The saint whom the Traité speaks of as definitively delivered (asamayavimukta) corresponds to the Unshakakeable one of whom the Kośa speaks.