Verses on the Perfection of Wisdom

Prajñāpāramitā Ratnaguṇasaṃcayagāthā

14,137 words

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

Chapter XIX

Conditioned Coproduction and the Simile of the Lamp

The wick of a burning oil lamp, - it is not by the first incidence [of the flame]
That the wick is burned [away]; nor is it burned [away] when [that incidence] is not, without it.
Nor is the wick burned [away] by the last incidence of the flame,
And also when that last flame is not does the lamp wick not burn away.

By the first thought [of enlightenment] one does not experience the foremost enlightenment,
And again, when that is not there, one is not able to experience it;
Nor does the last thought arrive at the Bliss,
Nor again, when it is not there, is one able to reach it.

The Simile of the Seed and the Fruit

From a seed trees, fruits, and flowers come forth;
When it is obstructed, or absent, then there is no tree from it.
Just so the first thought is, of course, the foundation of enlightenment;
But when it is obstructed or absent, there is no enlightenment from it.

Conditioned by seeds grow barley, rice and so on;
Their fruits are in these [seeds], and yet they are not in them.
When this enlightenment of the Jinas arises,
What takes place is an illusion, which in its own-being is without existence.

The Simile of the Water Drops

Water drops fill a water jar drop by drop,
Gradually, from the first incidence to the last one.
Just so the first thought is the [initial] cause of supreme enlightenment;
Gradually are the bright qualities fulfilled in the Buddhas.

The Meaning of Emptiness

He courses in dharmas as empty, signiess and wishless;
But he does not experience the Blessed Rest, nor does he course in a sign:
As a skilful ferryman goes from this [shore] to the other shore,
But does not stand at either end, nor does he stand in the great flood.

Thus coursing, the Bodhisattva also does not think:
'Predestined by those who have the ten powers, may I experience enlightenment!'
Nor is he trembling [because he sees that] enlightenment is here not anything.
Thus coursing he becomes one who courses in the wisdom of the Sugatas.

The Attitude to Places Which Might Inspire Fear

When they have seen a world which is a wilderness, full of famine and disease,
They have no fear, and go on putting on the armour.
For the wise are always joined to the limit which is further on.
They do not produce the least fatigue in their minds.

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