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...

The Theme

70. Subhuti asked the Buddha: “Are they any obstacles to the precious qualities?” “There will be many obstacles,” answered the Buddha. “Of them, I will only speak of a few:

Various Obstacles

71. Many diverse and wonderful ideas will arise in flashes before the one who studies and copies this wisdom, but they again will quickly vanish, like flashes of lightning; without ever giving any real benefit to the wellbeing of the world. This is a trick of the tempter Mara.

72. And there will be many doubts when it is being taught; people thinking, “This does not relate to or pertain to me.” Because of this many will not listen, and will reject it. This is also a trick of the tempter Mara.

73. Just as, in ignorance, one would give up taking care of the root of the tree, preferring the leaves and the branches; or, as one when receiving an elephant as a gift, would prefer an elephants foot instead – so would one be, who having heard the Prajnaparamita (this Sutra), and wishes for the lesser Sutras instead.

74. Just as one who had got superior food or a hundred different tastes and varieties, would, although already having the best food of all, still seek after the inferior food. So would be the bodhisattva who, having got this perfection, would seek to become an Arhat.

75. Those who desire honor, will desire personal gain, in their hearts is a longing for them; you will know them by their constant intent of becoming close to and seen with faithful and their families. Having rejected what is right, they do what is wrong; having left the right path, they have gone down the wrong road. This is also the doing of Mara.

76. Even though they may have at first produced faith, keen on hearing this most excellent dharma; when they find that the dharma-teacher will not do the work for them, they lose heart, and go away sad.

Mara’s Deeds and the Buddha’s Help

77. When these deeds of Mara take place, together with many other diverse and unspoken obstacles, many monks will become troubled – forgetting this Prajnaparamita. Wherever there a priceless jewels which are hard to get, their owners inevitably have many foes. Just so, this wisdom is a jewel that is hard to get, and it is connected with many troubles.

78. When a being has newly set out on this path, they are limited, and cannot grasp, all at once, this jewel which is so hard to get. Mara will then make every attempt to detour and discourage, but have faith, for the Buddhas in the ten directions are intent on helping them overcome.