The Perfection Of Wisdom In Eight Thousand Lines

13,106 words

'The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines' is the earliest text of the Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom texts) The following is a less strict interpretation of the 'Eight Thousand Lines' in its original verse form only. ** Many thanks to Reverend Neil Christopher for his hard work on this translation and granting permissing for this c...

Qualifications for Perfect Wisdom

62. The king of the gods once asked the Buddhas: “If a bodhisattva is to be ‘joined’ to nothing, then how are they joined to the perfect wisdom, and can they actively ‘peruse’ it?”

63. The Buddhas replied: “One who is not ‘joined’ to the least thing whatsoever, be it skandha, or not; the one who is ‘perusing’ this way is ‘joined’ to wisdom. This one, having heard that these dharmas are fiction, like an illusion, does not hesitate, but makes ever effort to train themselves further.

The Simile of a Village

64. If a traveler were lost in a vast wilderness, full of dangers and thieves, were to finally see a clearing ahead—cattle, paths and fences; they would breath in a sigh of relief, knowing that these are the signs that the forest is coming to an end, that a village is near, and there is no more to fear. In the same way, the one who searches through the woods for enlightenment, when learning of this wisdom breathes in a sign of relief, knowing that they are also near.

The Simile of the Ocean

65. As a sailor longing to travel into the farthest reaches of the ocean, can still see horizon of land, the trees and the tops of the forest of the Himalayas, they know they are still far from it. But when they can no longer see these signs, they become free from doubt, knowing that the great ocean is not too far away. Just so should be the one who has set out for the farthest reaches of enlightenment; learning about this perfection of wisdom, knowing that ‘before long I will experience the Buddha-enlightenment.’

The Simile of Spring

66. In the beauty of springtime, when the stalks and leaves have sprouted, from the branches will soon, before long, spring forth many leaves, fruits and flowers. Just so, one who has been taken by the hand of this perfection of wisdom, before long will attain the foremost of enlightenment.

The Simile of the Pregnant Woman

67. When a pregnant woman is stirred by her contractions, one should know that the time to give birth is near at hand. Just so, will the bodhisattva, when stirred by the perfection of wisdom, delight in knowing they will soon experience the birth of their enlightenment.

How to Dwell in Perfect Wisdom

68. When the seeker is walking in wisdom, the supreme perfection, they do not see the rise of form, nor its demise. If someone does not see dharma, nor non-dharma, nor the element of dharma, and does not give themselves over to the Blessed Rest, then they truly dwell in wisdom.

69. When one dwells in such a course, one does not imagine visions, nor powers, nor psychic powers, nor do they imagine the peaceful calm of enlightenment. Not discriminating, free from constructions, walking on resolutely, that is the practice of wisdom, the foremost perfection.”

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