Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “distracted mind (vikshepacitta)” 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.

V. Distracted mind (vikṣepacitta)

The distracted mind (vikṣepacitta) is like a lamp (dīpa) in the wind which has light but does not illuminate objects. It is the same for the wisdom (prajñā) in a distracted mind. Wisdom is the root (mūla) of all good dharmas (kuśaladharma). In order to realize (abhinirhṛ-) this wisdom, it is first necessary to concentrate the mind: it is only afterwards that one will realize it. A drunk man (unmatta) makes no distinction between his own interest (svārtha) and the interest of others (parārtha), between beautiful things (suvarṇa) and ugly things (durvarṇa). It is the same for the man with a distracted mind: unable to recognize well beautiful worldly (laukika) things, how would he discern the supramundane (lokottara) dharmas?