Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “making known the names of the three jewels” 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 - Making known the names of the three jewels

Sūtra (cf. Pañcaviṃśati, p. 31, l. 19–32, l. 1; Śatasāhasrikā, p. 104, l. 16–106, l. 20). – Furthermore, O Śāriputra, in each of the ten directions, there are universes as numerous as the sands of the Ganges where beings hear neither the name of Buddha nor the name of the Dharma nor the name of the Saṃgha. The bodhisattva-mahāsattva who wishes to establish all these beings in right view and cause them to hear the names of the Three Jewels must practice the perfection of wisdom (Punar aparaṃ Śāriputra yāvanto daśasu dikṣu gaṅgānadīvālukopamā-lokadhātavo yatra na buddhaśabdaṃ na dharmaśabdaṃ na saṃghaśabdaṃ sattvāḥ śṛṇvanti, tatra lokadhātuṣu tān sarvasattvān samyadṛṣṭau pratiṣṭhāpayitukāmena triratnaśabdān śrāvayitukāmena bodhisattvena mahāsattvena prajñāpāramitāyāṃ śikṣitavyam).

Śāstra. –

In a region where there had previously been no Buddha, no Dharma, no stūpa, the bodhisattva builds a stūpa and, as a result of this action, he obtains, in the course of a rebirth (punarbhava), the perfection of power (balasaṃpad); in regions where there is no Buddha, no Dharma, no Saṃgha, he praises the Three Jewels (triratna) and helps beings enter into right view (samyagdṛṣṭi).

It is said in a sūtra: In a region where there is no buddha stūpa, a man built a stūpa and thus gained a brahmic merit (brāhmaṃ puṇyam), i.e., an immense merit (see notes below). As a result of that, he quickly attains the dhyānas and, by means of these dhyānas, he acquires an immense superknowledge of magical power (ṛddhyabhijñā). By its power, he goes in the ten directions and praises the Three Jewels and right view. Those who previously did not know anything about the [309b] qualities (guṇa) of the Three Jewels acquire faith in them thanks to this bodhisattva. By means of this faith (śraddhā) in the Three Jewels, they are certain that sin (āpatti) and merit (puṇya) have action (karman) as their cause and condition. Thus, believing in the efficacy of actions, they understand that saṃsāra is bondage (bandhana) and nirvāṇa is liberation (mokṣa).

For a eulogy on the Three Jewels, see (p. 1340–1406F) what has been said in regard to the eight recollections (anusmṛṭi).

Notes on Brahmic merit:

The person who builds a Tathāgata stūpa where there has not previously been one is one of the four persons producing brahmic merit: cf. Ekottara, T 125, k. 21, p. 656b1–9; Vibhāṣā, T 1545, k. 82, p. 425c13–21; Kośa, IV, p. 250.

Saṃghabheda, II, p, 206–207: –

Catvāra ime brāhmaṃ puṇyaṃ prasavanti. Katame catvāraḥ. (1) yaḥ pudgalaḥ apratiṣṭhitapūrve pṛthivīpradeṣe tathāgatasya …. brāhmaṃ puṇyaṃ prasavati, kalpaṃ svargeṣu modate.

Transl. –

Four persons produce a brahmic merit: i) he who builds a stūpa enclosing bodily relics of the Tathāgata in a place on earth where there has not been one; ii) he who founds a monastery for the Community of monks of the four cardinal directions in a place on earth where there has not been one; iii) he who re-unites a community of disciples of the Tathāgata where a schism had arisen; iv) he who embraces this entire world in a mind associated with loving-kindness, a mind free of enmity, free of rivalry, free of malice, developed, increased, immense, well-practiced, and remains therein. These four persons produce a brahmic merit and rejoice in the heavens for a kalpa.