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...

Pride and Other Deeds of Mara

133. But when conceit rises up in them, thinking, “I have been predestined. I have made the declaration of Truth. I have made a vow to get things accomplished.” When a bodhisattva sets themselves above others as one who has been predestined, one should know that they are in conceit, and of little intelligence, lacking in wisdom.

134. Mara will say to them, “This is your proud family heritage.” Then, the lineage of your father and mother for seven generations back Mara will run through; “You will become a Buddha, this is your heritage, your birthright!”

135. Or, Mara will tell another who may be into more ascetic practices, the devout, “Formerly, in your past lives, you have attained already these very same qualities. You are a reincarnated bodhisattva.” The bodhisattva upon hearing this becomes conceited; one should know this one to be possessed by pride, and of little intelligence, lacking in wisdom.

Faults in Connection with Detachment

136. Even though one may practice quite detached from villages, cities or in a mountain cave, in a remote forest, or isolated in the woods, the bodhisattva who exalts themselves, and depreciates others, must be recognized as one possessed by Mara, of little intelligence, lacking in wisdom.

137. Although they may live constantly in a village, city or a market town; if even being there they do not generate longing for the vehicle of the Arhats and Pratyekabuddhas, but are devoted to enlightenment for the sake of others, they are truly the detached, the children of the Buddha.

138. Though one may live in mountain caves, crawling with wild beasts, for many years, that bodhisattva does not know this true detachment if they live contaminated by their conceit. When one feels superior to those who practice for the weal of the world, whose concentration, gifts and abilities are dedicated to benefit others, such a one is truly founded in the world of Mara.

139. Whether one in a village, or a remote forest, if they be free from the thought of the twofold vehicle and fixed on the supreme enlightenment, then this is the detachment of those who have set out for the weal of the world. As one whose self is extinct should that bodhisattva be considered.

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