Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön | 2001 | 941,039 words

This page describes “preliminary note on the six superknowledges (abhijna, abhinna)” 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 on the six superknowledges (abhijñā, abhiññā)

The superknowledges (Sanskrit, abhijñā; Pāli, abhiññā; Chinese, t’ong or chen-t’ong; Tibetan, mṅon par śes pa) are six in number and are usually presented in the following order:

  1. Ṛddhividhijñāna (Pāli, iddhividha) or ṛddhiviṣayajñāna, the knowledge of magical processes.
  2. Divyaśrotra (dibbasota), divine hearing.
  3. Cetaḥparyāyajñāna, also called paracittajñāna, the knowledge of another’s mind.
  4. Pūrvanivāsānusmṛtijñāna, (pubbe nivāsānussatiñāṇa), the memory of [one’s] former abodes (or existences).
  5. Cyutupapādajñāna (sattānaṃ cutūpapātañāṇa), the knowledge of the death and rebirth of beings, also called divyacakṣus (dibbacakkhu), the divine eye.
  6. Āsravakṣayajñāna (āsavakkhayañāṇa), the knowledge of the destruction of the impurities.
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