Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “assuring one’s own good and that of others” 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 3 - Assuring one’s own good and that of others

Sūtra. – Furthermore, O Śāriputra, the bodhisattva-mahāsattva must practice the perfection of wisdom if he wishes to understand what the Buddhas of the past have said and what the Buddhas of the future will say and, having understood it, to assure his own good and that of others (svaparārtha).

Śāstra. –

Question. – It is possible to understand (udgrahītum) and retain (dhārayitum) the teachings currently given in the ten directions by the Buddhas of the present; but the teachings of the past have disappeared and those of the future do not yet exist; then how can one understand them?

Answer. – I have already answered that question above, but I must repeat myself here:

The bodhisattva possesses a concentration called ‘concentration of seeing the Buddhas of the three times’ (tryadhvabuddhadarśanansamādhi); the bodhisattva who has entered into this concentration sees all the Buddhas of the three times completely and hears their teaching (dharmadeśanā). Similarly also, some heretics (tīrthika) and eminent hermits (puruṣarṣi) see and hear, by the power of their wisdom (prajñābala), the things of the past (atītadhvan) that, however, have neither form (ākṛti) nor language (vyavahāra).

Furthermore, the power of the bodhisattvas is inconceivable (acintya) and, although the past has neither form nor language, they are able to see it and hear it either by using the power of the dhāraṇīs,[1] or by inference (anumāna), by deducing the things of the past and the future from the present.

This is why it is said here that, in order to obtain these results, it is necessary to practice the perfection of wisdom.

Footnotes and references:


Particularly the śrutadharadhāraṇi which has been mentioned above, p. 318F, 328F, 1865F.