Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “signs of honor, respect, veneration and praise” 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. Signs of honor, respect, veneration and praise

1. Pūja

Here is what is meant by honors (pūjā). When one sees the Buddhas or hears their qualities spoken of, one honors them in mind, respects them, goes to meet them, accompanies them, bows before them with joined palms, or if they have withdrawn to a quiet place, one hastens to send them food (annapāna), [277a] flowers (puṣpa), perfumes (gandha), precious gems (maṇiratna), etc. – In many ways, one lauds their qualities (guṇa) of discipline (śīla), concentration (samādhi) and wisdom (prajñā). If they preach the Dharma, one accepts it with faith and one teaches it.

These good physical, vocal and mental actions constitute pūjā.

2. Satkāra

Tsouen-tchong (satkāra ‘veneration’). – Knowing that nobody surpasses the Buddhas in virtue is tsouen; feeling for them a reverential fear surpassing that which one experiences toward one’s father, mother, master or princes, serving them and respecting them is tchong.

3. Gurukāra

Kong-king (gurukāra ‘respect’). – Being humble and fearful is kong; esteeming their knowledge and virtues is king.

4. Varṇana

Tsan-t’an (varṇana ‘praise’) – Praising their qualities is tsan; lauding the ceaselessly and exalting them is t’an.[1]

Footnotes and references:


These semantic explanations are obviously a Chinese gloss as is customary with the Chinese.