Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “the bodhisattva is able to create for himself a body endowed with the marks” 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.

II. The Bodhisattva is able to create for himself a body endowed with the marks

Question. – How does the bodhisattva who has not yet acquired the bodhi of the Buddha obtain a body and marks like those of the Buddha?

Answer. – In order to save beings, the bodhisattva creates for himself a body of the noble cakravartin king, of Śakra Devendra, of Brahmarāja, of a śrāvaka, of a pratyekabuddha, of a bodhisattva or of Buddha.

[Śūraṃgamasamādhisūtra.][1] – Thus, in the Cheou-leng-yen king (Śūraṃgamasamādhisūtra), Mañjuśrī himself said that he appeared as a pratyekabuddha 7,200,000 times and entered into nirvāṇa, that he also manifests under the aspect of a buddha named Long-tchong-tsouen (Nāgavaṃśāgra).

This is how, at a time when there could not be a Buddha, beings saw [in Mañjuśrī] the body of the Buddha, were happy, submitted and became converted.

Footnotes and references:


Śūraṃgamasamādhisūtra, T 642, k. 2, p. 642c10–14 (transl. p. 245, §147) and k. 2, p. 644a18–20 (transl. p. 263, §162). If Mañjuśri feigned the pratyekabuddha nirvāṇa so often, it was at the period when beings could be converted only by pratyekabuddhas (see Traité, above, p. 602F, and later, k. 75, p. 568a28 seq.). – As for the buddha Nāgavaṃśāgra (in Chinese Long-tchong-tsouen, in Tibetan Kluḥi rigs mchog), identical with the ‘actual’ bodhisattva Mañjuśrī, he reigned at a distant past over the Samā universe, on the borders of the southern region (cf. Śūraṃgamasamādhi, T 642, k. 2, p. 644a; transl. p. 260–262).