Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “hearing the twelve-membered speech of the buddha” 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 2 - Hearing the twelve-membered speech of the Buddha

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Sūtra (cf. Pañcaviṃśati, p. 31, l. 4–8; Śatasāhasrikā, p. 100, l. 8–14). – Furthermore, O Śāriputra, the bodhisattva-mahāsattva must practice the perfection of wisdom if he wishes to hear, recite, conserve and retain the twelve-membered speech of the Buddha, preached in the ten directions by the Buddhas, namely: 1) sūtra, 2) geya, 3) vyākaraṇa, 4) gāthā, 5) udāna, 6) nidāna, 7) avadāna, 8) ityuktaka, 9) jātaka, 10) vaipulya, 11) adbhutadharma, 12) upadeśa; whether or not this speech has been heard by the śrāvakas (Punar aparaṃ Śāriputra yat kiṃcid daśasu dikṣu buddhair bhagadbhir bhāṣitaṃ dvādaśāṅgaṃ buddhavacanaṃ yadidaṃ sūtraṃ geyaṃ vyākaraṇaṃ gāthā udānaṃ nidānaṃ avadānaṃ ityuktakaṃ jātakaṃ vaipulyaṃ adbhūtadharmaā upadeśaḥ, yac ca śrāvakaiḥ śrutaṃ vā na śrutaṃ vā tat sarvaṃ śrotukāmena vācayitukāmenodgrahahītukāmena dhārayitukāmena bodhisattvena mahāsattvena prajñāpāramitāyāṃ śikṣitavyam).

Śāstra. –

Above (p. 2272F) the Prajñāpāramitāsūtra spoke of the bodhisattva “wanting to hear the teachings given in the ten directions by the Buddhas and, to this end, practicing the perfection of wisdom”. Here it is a matter of these teachings, the ‘twelve-membered speech of the Buddha’ (dvādaśāṅgaṃ buddhavacanam).[1]

Footnotes and references:

1.

Buddhavacana, or also sāsana, buddhasāsanam, atthusāsana, jinasāsana, dharmapravacana or simply pravacanāni.

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