Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “preliminary note on loving-kindness and compassion” 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.

- Sub-Contents: (+ / -)

Loving-kindness and compassion are included in the four immeasurables (apramāṇa) also called brahmāvihāras which are abundantly commented on in the old canonical texts and have been treated in detail in Chapter XXXIII. The Prajñāpāramitā considers them to be complementary dharmas of the Buddhist path, usually practiced by the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas and also advised for the bodhisattvas. It is recognized by all that the practice of the four immeasurables exclusively profits the practitioner who nourishes them in the state of meditation but is of no benefit to the beings who are their object. In other words, loving-kindness and compassion are purely platonic feelings the sole result of which is the purification of the mind of the one who experiences them.

The great loving-kindness (mahāmaitri) and great compassion (mahākaruṇā) of the Buddhas is quite different. These truly profit those who are taken as their object.