Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “wisdom, inseparable from concentration” 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.

III. Wisdom, inseparable from concentration

Question. – Given that the dhyānas, samāpattis and vimokṣasamādhis are hard to obtain (durlabha), they are spoken of again here. But of all the dharmas, wisdom (prajñā) is the most difficult and most subtle. Then why does [the Prajñāpāramitāsūtra] not return to it at all?

Answer. – It spoke of it above (p. 1839F) by saying: “The bodhisattva-mahāsattva who wishes to control the knowledge of all the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas must practice the perfection of wisdom.” Up until now it has not spoken of the [higher] dhyānas and samāpattis; this is why it stresses it here.

Dhyāna and samāpatti on the one hand, prajñā on the other hand, are both wonderful dharmas. Those who practice these two things see their vows (praṇidhāna) realized. They are like a bird (pakṣin) that, having two wings (pakṣa), reaches its destination. Deliverance (vimukti) results from these two things; the knowledge and vision of deliverance (vimuktijñānadarśana) are prajñā.

As for generosity (dāna) and morality (śīla) – [of which it was a question in the preceding section, (p. 1880F)], these are physical (kāyika) and vocal (vācika) actions. Since they are coarse (stūlākāra) in nature and easy to obtain (sulabha), the Prajñāpāramitāsūtra does not speak of them again.