Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “the eighteen avenikadharmas of the bodhisattvas” 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 eighteen āveṇikadharmas of the Bodhisattvas

In the preceding chapter we have seen that the Traité, on the basis of various Mahāyānasūtras, juxtaposed the balas, vaiśāradyas and pratisaṃvids of the bodhisattva to the balas, vaiśāradyas and pratisaṃvids of the Buddha. We would expect it to do the same here and that, after having explained the āveṇikadharmas of the Buddha, it deals with the āveṇikadhrmas of the bodhisattva. This omission is more odd in that some sources used by the Traité, such as the Ratnameghasūtra (cited at k. 100, p. 756b7–8) contained a list of 18 āveṇikabodhisattvadharmas (T 660, k. 4, p. 301b25–c12; T 489, k. 7, p. 722b19–c4; Tib. Trip., vol. 35, no. 897, fol. 51a3–51b2), the original Sanskrit of which has been reproduced by the Mahāvyut., no. 787–804. Here is the text and the translation:

  1. Bodhisattvā anupadiṣṭadānāḥ
  2. anupadiṣṭaśīlāḥ,
  3. anupadiṣṭakṣāntayāḥ,
  4. anupadiṣṭavīryāḥ,
  5. anupadiṣṭadhyānāḥ,
  6. anupadiṣṭaprajñāḥ,
  7. saṃgrahavastusarvasttvasaṃgrāhakāḥ,
  8. pariṇānamanavidhijñāḥ,
  9. upāyakauśaly[ena] sarvasttvacaritādhipat[a]ya[] paramayayānaniryāṇasaṃdarśakāḥ
  10. mahāyānācyutatāḥ,
  11. saṃsāranirvāṇamukhasaṃdarśakāḥ,
  12. yamakavyatyastāhārakuśalāḥ,
  13. jñānapūrvaṃgamā [a]nabhisaṃskāranirvadye[na] sarvajanmābhimukhapravṛttāḥ,
  14. daśakuśalopetakāyavagmanaskarmāntāḥ,
  15. sarvaduḥkhaskandhasaha[]nātmopadānā[t] sarvasattvadhātvaparityāginaḥ,
  16. sarvajagadabhirucisaṃdarśakāḥ,
  17. kiyatkṛcchrabālaśraāvakamadhy[e] śubhavyūharatnakalpavṛkṣa[sama]dṛḍhasarvajñatā-cittāsaṃpramuṣitāḥ,
  18. sarvadharmapaṭṭābhiṣekaprāpti[to] buddhadharmasaṃdarśanānirvṛttāḥ.

Transl. – 1– 6. The bodhisattvas possess a generosity, morality, patience, exertion, trance and wisdom which were not taught to them by others; 7. they charm beings by means of captivating means; 8. they know the rule of applying [merits]; 9. sovereign teachers of all the activities of beings by virtue of their skill in skillful means, they show how to escape from saṃsāra by way of the Greater Vehicle; 10. they do not regress from the Greater Vehicle; 11. they show the direction of saṃsāra and of nirvāṇa; 12. they are skilled in uttering reverse and inverse sounds (cf. Vimalakīrti, Introduction, p. 33–37); 13. preceded by knowledge, they impeccably go towards all [kinds] of rebirths; 14. their actions of body, speech and mind are endowed with the ten good [paths of action]; 15. taking up existences capable of supporting the mass of suffering, they never abandon the world of beings; 16. they load beings with contentment; 17. in the midst of fools and listeners no matter how difficult, they never forget the strong mind of omniscience towards the pure wonders such as the precious Kalpavṛkṣa ‘the wish-fulfilling tree’; 18. having acquired the crown and the anointing of all the dharmas, they never cease to preach the Buddhadharma.

Above (p. 1607F) I [Lamotte) have mentioned the other lists of āveṇikabodhisattvadharmas.