Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “mind of avarice” 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.

I. Mind of avarice

Thus, when the bodhisattva is practicing generosity (dāna) and a mind of avarice (mātsarya) arises in him, it makes the gift impure (aviśuddha); sometimes, he will not give pure things; or if he gives external things, he does not [304a] give a lot of them; or if he gives inwardly, he does not give fully: all of this because of the thought of avarice.

But if the bodhisattva cultivates the perfection of wisdom, he knows that all dharmas are without ‘me’ (anātman), without ‘mine’ (anātmiya), empty (śūnya), like a dream (svapnopama), like a magic show (māyopama); then he gives his body (kāya), his head (śiras), his eyes (nayana), his bones (asthi), his marrow (majjā) as if they were [ordinary] bits of grass or pieces of wood (tṛṇakāṣṭha).[1] Although this bodhisattva has not yet attained saṃbodhi, he always avoids producing a thought of avarice and [to this end] he will practice the perfection of wisdom.

Footnotes and references:


On these gifts, commemorated mainly on the great stūpas in north-western India, see above, p. 143–145F, note.

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