Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This is the English translation of the Maha-prajnaparamita-sastra (“the treatise on the great virtue of wisdom”) by Nagarjuna (c. 2nd century A.D.). The book, in the form of an encyclopedia on Buddhism, is a commentary on the Pancavimsatisahasrika Prajnaparamita (“the perfection of wisdom in five thousand lines”). Volume I describes the conditions...

Chapter XXVI - Exertion

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Sūtra: The bodhisattva must fulfill the virtue of exertion (vīryapāramitā) by means of non-slackening of bodily and mental exertion (vīryapmaramitā paripūrayitavyā kāyikacaitasikavīryāsraṃsanatām upādāya).

Śāstra: P’i li ye (vīrya), in the language of the Ts’in: exertion.

Notes on exertion:

The Lesser Vehicle heaps endless praises on the vigorous man, defined in these words:

sthāmavān vīryavān utsāhī dṛudhaparākramo snikṣipadhuraḥ kuśaleṣu dharmeṣu:

cf. Dīgha, III, p. 237, 268, 285; Majjhima, I, p. 356,; II, p. 95, 128; Saṃyutta, V, p. 197, 225; Aṅguttara, I, p. 117, 244–246;; II, p. 250; III, p. 2, 11, 65, 152, 155; IV, p. 3, 110, 153, 234, 352–353, 357; V, p. 15. 24, 27–28, 90–91; Udāna, p. 36; Sūtrālaṃkāra, ed. Lévi, p. 15. The faculty of exertion (vīryendriya) is mentioned or defined in Dīgha, III, p. 239, 278; Saṃyutta, V, p.196 seq.; Dhammasaṅgaṇi. p. 11 (tr. Rh. D., p. 13); Vibhaṅga, p. 123; Nettipakaraṇa, P. 7, 15, 19. The opposite vice, laziness (kausīdya, Pāli: kosajja), is actively combatted: cf. Saṃyutta, V, p. 277–280; Aṅguttara, IV, p. 195; V, p.146 seq; Milinda, p. 351; Visuddhimagga, p. 132.

The Greater Vehicle distinguishes three types of exertion:

  1. saṃnāhvīrya, exertion to arm oneself;
  2. prayogavīrya, exertion to endeavor;
  3. alīnam akṣobhyam asaṃtuṣṭivīrya, exertion without timidity, withdrawal or satiation;

or else,

  1. saṃnahavīrya, exertions in producing the great vow;
  2. kuśaladharmasaṃgrāhakavīrya, exertion to acquire spiritual benefits;
  3. sattvārthakrtāyai vīrya, exertion for the service of beings:

cf. Dharmasaṃgraha, ch. CVIII; Sūtrālaṃkāra, ed. Lévi, p. 108, 114; Bodh. bhūmi, p. 200–201; Śikṣāsamuccaya, p. 51; Bodhicaryāvatāra and Pañjikā, chap. VII (tr. LAV., p. 70–83); Saṃgraha, p. 191–192; Siddhi, p. 622.

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