Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön | 2001 | 941,039 words

This page describes “establishing beings in the punyakriyavastus” 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 5 - Establishing beings in the puṇyakriyāvastus

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Sūtra (cf. Pañcaviṃśati, p. 29, l. 18–30, l. 2; Śatasāhasrikā, p. 96, l. 1–11). – Furthermore, O Śāriputra, the bodhisattva-mahāsattva must practice the perfection of wisdom of he wants to establish all beings in the place of practice of the meritorious action consisting of generosity, in the place of practice consisting of morality, in the place of practice consisting of meditation, in the place of practice consisting of incentive; if he wants to establish beings in meritorious material works and in meritorious works of the Dharma (Punar aparaṃ Śāriputra bodhisattvena mahāsattvena sarvasattvān dānamayapuṇyakriyāvastuni śīlamayapuṇyakriyāvastuni bhāvanāmayapuṇyakriyāvastuni samādhāpanamayapuṇyakriyāvastuni pratisthāpayitukāmena, sarvasattvān aupadhikapuṇyakriyāvastuni dharmapuṇyakriyāvastuni pratisthāpayitukāmena prajñāpāramitāyāṃ śikṣitavyam).

Śāstra. –

Question. – What is the place of practice of meritorious action (puṇyakriyāvastu) called?

Answer. – The Abhidharma says that merit (puṇya) is an action of body, speech or mind (kāyavāṅmanaskarma) that is good-impure (kuśalasāsrava).

Some say that it is unobscured-indeterminate (anivṛtāvyākṛta). Why? Because as a result of a good-impure action, one obtains as fruit of retribution (vipākapjhala) a merit (puṇya) which is also unobscured-indeterminate, and that this fruit of retribution, it too, is called merit.[1] In the same way, worldly people call ‘a meritorious man’ [not only the man who carries out meritorious actions] but the one who, having actualized great things, has multiplied his successes.

In brief (saṃkṣepeṇa), this merit is of three kinds: it consists of generosity (dāna), morality (śīla) and meditation (bhāvanā).

Footnotes and references:


In other words, merit is not only the good-impure meritorious action, but also the unobscured-indeterminate fruit of retribution of this action.

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