Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “definition of the srotaapattiphala (the fruit of entry into the stream)” 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.

Appendix 2 - Definition of the srotaāpattiphala (the fruit of entry into the stream)

Note: This Appendix is extract from the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra Chapter XLIX:

The Buddha said that by the elimination of three fetters, this fruit of the unconditioned (asaṃkṛtaphala) is acquired. And it is said in the Abhidharma that by the elimination of eighty-eight perverse tendencies (anuśaya), the unconditioned fruit of entry into the stream (asaṃskṛta-srotaāpattiphala) is acquired.

Definition of the srotaāpattiphala according to the canonical sūtras in Sanskrit and Pāli:

Sūtra cited in Kośavyākhyā, p. 492, l. 10–14:

Trīṇi cāsya saṃyojanāni prahīṇāni bhavanti parijñātāni tadyathā satkāyadṛṣṭiḥ śīlavrataparāmarśa vicikitsā ca | sa eṣāṃ trayāṇāṃ saṃyojanānāṃ prahāṇāt srotaāpanno bhavaty avinipātadharmā saṃbodhiparāyanaḥ saptakṛdbhavaparamaḥ saptakṛtvo devāṃś ca manuṣyāmś ca saṃsṛtya saṃdhāvya duḥkhasyāntaṃ kariṣyati.

– In the srotaāpanna, three fetters are eliminated and recognized: belief in the self, unjustified esteem for rituals and vows and doubt. By means of the destruction of these three fetters, he is ‘srotaāpanna ‘entered into the stream’, incapable of falling back into a bad destiny, on the way to enlightenment: for him there is rebirth a maximum of seven times; having transmigrated, having passed seven times among gods and men, he will realize the end of suffering.

– Compare Mahāvibhāṣā, T 1545, k. 46, p. 237c26–29.

The phrasing is shorter in the Pāli suttas (Dīgha, I, p. 156; II, p. 92, 200, 252; III, p. 107, 132; Majjhima, I, p. 34, 226; III, p. 81; Saṃyutta, V, p. 357, 379; Anguttara, I, p. 231–232: II, p. 88–89, 238): Idha bhikkhu tiṇṇaṃ saṃyojanānaṃ parikkhayā sotāpanno hoti avinipātadhammo niyato sambodhiparāyano.

The Sarvāstivādin scholasticism (Ṣaṭpādābhidharma, Mahāvibhāṣā, Kośa, etc.) proposes a more elaborate definition of the srotaāpattiphala: it establishes a difference between the conditioned (saṃskṛta) and the unconditioned (asaṃskṛta) fruits and, aside from the elimination of the three fetters (saṃyojana) calls upon the elimination of the 88 perverse tendencies (anuśaya). This is the definition which the Traité summarizes here, referring to the Abhidharma.

Dharmaskandha, T 1537, k. 3, p. 464c17–26: At that time the Bhagavat was dwelling at Śrāvastī in the Jetavana, in the garden of Anāthapiṇḍada. He said to the assembly of monks: There are four fruits of the religious life (śrāmaṇyaphala): srotaāpattiphala, sakṛdāgāmiphala, anāgāmiphala and arhattvaphala. Briefly, there are two kinds of srotaāpattiphala: saṃskṛta and asaṃskṛta. The saṃskṛta srotaāpattiphala is in the possession (prāpti) of this fruit and the grasping of this possession. The (six) indriyas and the (six) balas of the śaikṣa, ‘the ascetic who is still practicing’, the śīla of the śaikṣa, the kuśalamūlas of the śaikṣa, the eight mārgaṅgas of the śaikṣa, as well as all the śaikṣadharmas of the same class are called saṃskṛta srotaāpattiphala.

– The definitive elimination of the three saṃyojanas and the definitive destruction of the saṃyojanadharmas of the same class, namely the definitive destruction of 88 anuśayas and the definitive destruction of the saṃyojanadharmas of the same class are called asaṃskṛta srotaāpattiphala.

– We should remember that the three saṃyojanas in question here are part of the group of five saṃyojanas described as lower (avarabhāga), i.e., of kāmadhātu (Kośa, V, p. 84–85). The 88 anuśayas are part of a group of 98 anuśayas of which the first 88 are to be abandoned by the seeing of the truths (darśanaheya) and the last ten by meditation (bhāvanāheya): cf. Prakaraṇapāda, T 1541, k. 3, p. 637a10; T 1542, K. 3, p. 702a11; Jñānaprasthāna, T 1544, k. 3, p. 930c20–22; Mahāvubhāṣā, T 1545, k. 46, p. 237c29–238a1; Kośa, V, p. 13.