Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “obtaining the level of the kumaraka” 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. Obtaining the level of the Kumāraka

“The bodhisattva wishes to obtain the level of Kumāraka.”[1]

1. Some bodhisattvas, from their first production of the mind of bodhi (prathamacittotpāda), have destroyed lust (samucchinnarāga) and, up to their acceding to supreme complete enlightenment (anuttarasamyaksaṃbodhi), are always in the position of bodhisattva (bodhisattvaniyāma):[2] this is called kumārakabhūmi (level of the child).

2. Furthermore, some bodhisattvas have made the following aspiration (praṇidhāna): “From lifetime to lifetime as a kumāra (an unblemished child), I will go forth from home, I will practice the path (mārga) and I will have no worldly sexual relations (maithuna)”: this is called the kumārabhūmi (level of the unblemished child).

3. Furthermore, a king’s son (rājaputra) is called kumāraka (crown prince). The Buddha is the king of the Dharma (dharmarāja) and, from his entry into certainty of the supreme law (dharmasamyaktvaniyāmāvakrānti)[3] up to the tenth bhūmi inclusively, the bodhisattva is called ‘prince with the right of succession to the state of Buddhahood’.

Thus Mañjuśrī, with his ten powers (daśabala), his four fearlessnesses (caturvaiśāradya), etc., completely carries out buddha activity (buddhakārya), dwells in kumārakabhūmi (the level of the crown prince) and saves beings everywhere.

4. Furthermore, a boy who is over four years old but not yet twenty years old is called kumāraka (adolescent). The bodhisattva who has just been born into the family of bodhisattvas is like a baby (bāla). But as soon as he obtains the acquiescence that dharmas do not arise (anutpattikadharmakṣānti) and up to the tenth bhūmi inclusive, he eliminates all bad things: this is what is called kumārabhūmi (level of the adolescent). [275c]

If one wishes to obtain that level, it is necessary to practice the perfection of wisdom.

Footnotes and references:

1.

Kumāra or kumārakabhūmi is one of the many terms used to designate the eighth bhūmi, the Acalabhūmi. These terms are expounded and justified in the Daśabhūmika, p. 71, l. 11–17 (T 285, k. 4, p. 483c25–484a2; T 286, k. 3, p. 522b15–21; T 287, k. 6, p. 561b24–c2): avivartya, durāsada, kumāra, janma, pariniṣpanna, pariniṣṭhita, nirmāṇa, adhiṣṭhāna and anābhogabhūmi. Kumārabhūmi, because it is beyond reproach.

2.

Here p’ou-sa-tao renders the Sanskrit bodhisattyvaniyāma. Sometimes the character tao used by Kumārajīva has as correspondent ṅes par ḥgyur ba = niyāma in the Tibetan versions: cf. Śūraṃgamasamādhisūtra, transl. p. 122, n. 13.

3.

For the bodhisattva this niyāmāvakrānti is in the eighth bhūmi.