Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “mastering the four great elements” 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.

Part 3 - Mastering the four great elements

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Sūtra (cf. Pañcaviṃśati, p. 25, l. 1–3; 27, l. 8–18; Śatasāhasrikā, p. 81, l. 11–82, l. 6). – Furthermore, Śāriputra, the bodhisattva-mahāsattva who wishes to calculate the number of subtle atoms contained in the great earth and mountains of the trisāhasramahāsāhasralokadhātu must practice the perfection of wisdom (punar aparaṃ Śāriputra trisāhasramahāsāhasralokadhātau ye mahāpṛthivīparvataparamāṇas tāñ jñātukāmena bodhisattvena mahāsattvena prajñāpāramitāyāṃ śikṣitavyam).

The bodhisattva-mahāsattva must practice the perfection of wisdom if, after having cut a hair into a hundred pieces, he wishes, by means of only one of these pieces, to scatter into the air the waters contained in the great oceans, the rivers, the pools and the springs of the trisāhasramahāsāhasralokadhātu and to do that without harming the aquatic species therein (trisāhasramahāsāhasralokadhātau yo mahāsamudreṣv apskandho mahānadīṣu nadiṣu taḍāgeṣu palvaleṣu taṃ sarvaṃ śatadhā bhinnayā vālāgrakoṭyābhyutkṣeptukāmena na ca tadāśrayān prāṇino viheṭhayitukāmena bodhisattvena mahāsattvena prajñāpāramitāyāṃ śikṣitavyam).

Suppose that all the fires of the trisāhasramahāsāhasralokadhātu were lit at the same time like at the time of the great fire at the end of the kalpa. The bodhisattva-mahāsattva who wishes to blow them out with a single breath from his mouth must practice the perfection of wisdom (yāvāṃs trisāhasramahāsāhasra lokadhātāv agniskandha ekajvālībhūto bhavet tad yathāpi nāma kalpoddāhe vartamāne, tam ekena mukhavātena praśamayitukāmena bodhisattvena mahāsattvena prajñāpāramitāyāṃ śikṣitavyam).

Suppose that all the great winds of the trisāhasramahāsāhasralokadhātu arose to sweep away with their breath the entire [299b] trisāhasramahāsāhasralokadhātu and all the Mount Sumerus as if they were all just rotting grass. If the bodhisattva-mahāsattva wishes to stop the force of these winds with his finger-tip so that they do not arise, he must practice the perfection of wisdom (trisāhasramahāsāhasralokadhātau ye vātā imaṃ trisāhasramahāsāhasralokadhātuṃ sameruparvataṃ vidhvaṃsayeyus tad yathāpi nāma bisamuṣṭitām, tān sarvān ekenāṅguliparvāgreṇa saṃcchādayitukāmena bodhisattvena mahāsattvena prajñāpāramitāyāṃ śikṣitavyam).

Śāstra. –