Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “the best of the ten powers” 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. The best of the ten powers

Question. – Which is the best (śreṣṭha) of these ten powers?

Answer. – Each is great in its own domain (svadeśa), just as water (vāri) that moistens and fire (agni) that burns each has its own power.

1) Some say that the first is the greatest because it includes all the ten at once (cf. p. 1522F).

2) Others say that the power bearing on the destruction of the impurities (āsravakṣaya) is the greatest because it contributes to the attainment of nirvāṇa.

3) Some scholars say that the ten forces together constitute the root (mūla) of unhindered liberation (avyāhatavimukti) and that this unhindered liberation is sovereign (adhipati).