Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “the vaisharadyas in the abhidharma and the shastras” 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 (2): The Vaiśāradyas in the Abhidharma and the Śāstras

The Pāli Abhidhamma mentions them often but with scarcely any explanation. In contrast, the Abhidharma treatises and the śāstras of both Vehicles have analyzed them plentifully and commented upon the sūtra of the fearlessnesses. Here I [Lamotte] will limit myself to indicating the ones that seem to me to be most instructive:

1. Among the Sarvāstivādin treatises: Saṃyuktābhidharmasāra, T 152, k. 6, p. 922c; Abhidharmāmṛta, T 1553, k. 2, p. 974c20–23 (reconstr. Sastri, p. 93, l. 4–8); Vibhāṣā, T 1545, k. 31, p. 158a17–159b13; Kośa, VII, p. 74–75; Kośabhāṣya, p. 414; Nyāyānusāra, T 1562, k. 75, p. 748b23–749a15; Abhidharmadīpa, p. 389–390.

2. Among the Yogācāra treatises: Sūtrālaṃkāra, XXI, v. 52 (p. 186); Bodh. bhūmi, p. 402; Saṃgraha, p. 286–287, 298–299; Abhidharmasamuccaya, T 1605, k. 7, p. 691c4–14 (reconstr. Pradhan, p. 98, l. 6–14); T 1606, k. 14, p. 760c13–761a18.

In the Kośa (l.c.) the four vaiśāradyas are designated in the following way:

  1. Sarvadharmābhisaṃbodhivaiśāradya.
  2. Sarvāsravakṣayajñānavaiśāradya.
  3. Āntarāyikadharmavyākaraṇavaiśāradya.
  4. Nairyānikapratipadvyākaraṇavaiśāradya.

Compare the readings in Dharmasaṃgraha, § 77, and in Mahāvyut., no. 131–134.