Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “eighteen emptinesses” 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.

Chapter XLVIII - The Eighteen Emptinesses

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Sūtra (cf. Pañcaviṃśati, p. 24, l. 10–17; Śatasāhasrikā, p. 77, l. 6–80, l. 4). – Furthermore, O Subhūti, the bodhisattva-mahāsattva who wishes to become established (sthātukāma) in:

1. the emptiness of inner dharmas (adhyātmaśūnyatā),

2. the emptiness of outer dharmas (bahirdhāśūnyatā),

3. the emptiness of inner and outer dharmas (adhyātmabahirdhāśūnyatā),

4. the emptiness of emptiness (śūnyatāśūnyatā),

5. great emptiness (mahāśūnayatā),

6. the emptiness of the absolute (paramārthaśūnyatā),

7. the emptiness of the conditioned (saṃskṛtaśūnyatā),

8. the emptiness of the unconditioned (asaṃskṛtaśūnyatā),

9. absolute emptiness (atyantaśūnyatā),

10. the emptiness of beginningless dharmas (anagraśūnyatā),

11. the emptiness of dispersed dharmas (avakāraśūnyatā),

12. the emptiness of essences (prakṛtiśūnyatā),

13. the emptiness of specific characteristics (svalakṣaṇaśūnyatā),

14. the emptiness of all dharmas (sarvadharmaśūnyatā),

15. the emptiness consisting of non-preception (anupalambhaśūnyatā),

16. the emptiness of non-existence (abhāvaśūnyatā),

17. the emptiness of existence (svabhāvaśūnyatā),

18. the emptiness of non-existence and existence (abhāvasvabhāvaśūnyatā), this bodhisattva-mahāsattva must practice the Perfection of Wisdom.