Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “endowing the kshetra with a special wisdom” 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.

II. Endowing the kṣetra with a special wisdom

Question. – [The bodhisattva hopes here that in his buddhakṣetra] “all beings are endowed with such a wisdom that…” What is this wisdom (prajñā)?

Answer. – This wisdom is the correct worldly view (laukikī samyagdṛṣṭi). In this correct worldly view, beings say:

“There is generosity (asti dānam), there is [fruit of ripening] of good or bad actions (asti sukṛtaduṣkṛtānāṃ karmāṇāṃ vipākaphalam), there is a world here below and a world beyond (asty ayaṃ loko ‘sti paro lokaḥ), there are arhats.” (also see Appendix 1)

Believing in the existence of good and bad actions, they approve of generosity (dāna); believing in the existence of arhats, they approve of morality (śīla), they approve of concentration (samādhi), they approve of continence (brahmacarya). Having obtained the power of right view (saṃyagdṛṣṭi), they approve of non-violence toward beings (avihiṃsā sarvaprāṇibhūteṣu). This mundane correct view (laukikī samyagdṛṣṭi) is the root (mūla) of wisdom free of impurities (anāsravā prajñā).

This is why the bodhisattva wishes here that the name of the three poisons is not found in his field.

Desire (rāga) is of two kinds: bad desire (mithyārāga) and simple desire; hatred (dveṣa) is of two kinds: bad hatred (mithyādveṣa) and simple hatred; delusion (moha) is of two kinds: bad delusion (mithyāmoha) and simple delusion.

Beings who are the victims of the three kinds of bad poisons (mithyāviṣa) are difficult to convert and save; those who are victims of the three kinds of simple poisons are easy to save. When the Prajñāpāramitāsūtra speaks here of “eliminating the name of the three poisons”, it is a matter of eliminating the name of the three bad poisons.

As for the five expressions: “Good is generosity! (sādhu dānam), etc.”[1] [used here by the sūtra], see what has been said above (p. 504–506F) in the Fang-kouang chapter (Raśmipramokṣa).

Footnotes and references:

1.

The series of approvals introduced by sādhu is a stock phrase, present in the Prajñāpāramitā sūtras in the form of many variations: cf. Pañcaviṃśatim p., 10,l. 7–8; 34, l. 14–15; Śatasāhasrikā, p. 19, l. 7–8; 114, l. 8–9. The formula of Saṃghabheda, I, p. 73, l. 19–20 (sādhu damaḥ sādhu saṃyamaḥ sādhv arthacaryaḥ sādhu kuśalacaryaḥ sādhu kalyāṇacaryaḥ) is almost the same as that of Mahāvadānasūtra, ed. E. Waldschmidt, p. 128, For the Pāli wording, more developed, see Dīgha, II, p. 28, l. 31–33.

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