Verses on the Perfection of Wisdom

Prajñāpāramitā Ratnaguṇasaṃcayagāthā

14,137 words

Prajnaparamita Ratnagunasamcayagatha Translated by Edward Conze (Taisho Tripitaka 0229)...

Qualifications for Perfect Wisdom

Sakra, King of Gods, asks the Jina:
"Coursing in wisdom, how is the Bodhisattva 'engaged in' it?"
"Who is 'joined' to not the least thing whatsoever, be it skandha, or element,
He who is 'engaged' thus, that Bodhisattva is 'joined' [to wisdom].

As one set out for long in the vehicle should that being be known,
As one who has done his duty under many niyutas of kotis of Buddhas,
Who, when he has heard that these dharmas are fictitious and like an illusion,
Does not hesitate, but makes efforts to train himself.


The Simile of a Village

If a man [coming out of] a wilderness extending over many miles
Would see cowherds, or boundary lines, or woods:
He [then] regains his breath, and has no [more] fear of thieves:
[For he knows that] these are signs that a village or city is quite near:

Just so the one who searches for enlightenment, when he learns of this wisdom,
The foremost perfection of the Jinas, and gets hold of it:
He regains his breath, and he has no [more] fear,
Not even that of [falling on] the level of an Arhat or the level of a Pratyekabuddha.


The Simile of the Ocean

As long as a man who travels to the watery ocean in order to see it,
Still sees the trees and forests of the Himalayas, [he is far from it].
But when he no longer sees these signs, he becomes free from doubt, [and knows that]
'Quite near is the great ocean, it is not too far away':

Just so should be known one who has set out for the foremost enlightenment,
And who is learning about this perfection of wisdom of the Jinas.
Although he is not one who has face to face been predicted by the Leader,
He knows that 'before long I will experience the Buddha-enlightenment.'


The Simile of Spring

In beautiful springtime, when the stalks and leaves have come out,
From the branches will, before long, come forth [more] leaves, and fruits and flowers:
One who has been taken in hand by this perfection of wisdom,
Before long he will attain the foremost enlightenment of the Leaders.


The Simile of the Pregnant Woman

When a pregnant woman is all astir with pains,
One should know that the time has come for her to give birth:
Just so will the Bodhisattva, if on hearing of the wisdom of the Jinas
He beholds her with delight and zest, speedily experience enlightenment."


How to Dwell in Perfect Wisdom

"When the Yogin is coursing in wisdom, the supreme perfection,
He does not see the growth of form, nor its diminution.
If someone does not see dharma, nor no-dharma, nor the Dharma-element
And if he does not experience the Blessed Rest, then he dwells in wisdom.

When he courses therein, he does not imagine the Buddhadharmas,
Nor the powers, nor the roads to psychic power, nor does he imagine the peaceful calm of enlightenment.
Not discriminating, free from constructions, coursing on resolutely,
This is the practice of wisdom, the foremost perfection."

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