Pranitashila, Praṇītaśīla, Pranita-shila: 1 definition


Pranitashila means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Praṇītaśīla can be transliterated into English as Pranitasila or Pranitashila, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Pranitashila in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Praṇītaśīla (प्रणीतशील) refers to “superior morality” and represents one of the three kinds of morality (śīla) according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XXI). Accordingly, “by means of lower morality (hīna-śīla), one is reborn among humans (manuṣya); by middling morality (madhya-śīla), one is reborn among the six classes of gods of the desire realm (kāmadhātu-deva); by superior (praṇīta-śīla) morality, one courses through the four dhyānas and the four absorptions of emptiness (śūnya-samāpatti) and one is reborn among the pure gods (śuddhāvāsa-deva) of the form realm (rūpa-dhātu) and the formless realm (ārūpya-dhātu)”.

Superior morality (praṇītaśīla) is of three kinds:

  1. as a result of lesser pure morality (hīnapariśuddha-śīla), one becomes Arhat;
  2. by medium pure morality (madhyapariśuddha-śīla), one becomes Pratyekabuddha;
  3. by higher pure morality (praṇitapariśuddha-śīla), one obtains Buddhahood.

Detachment (asaṅga), disinterestedness (aniśraya), absence of transgression (abhedana) and absence of defect (avaikalya), so lauded by the holy men (Ārya) in the cultivation of morality, constitute the superior pure morality.

Note: “Superior” is the morality that results from the spirit of duty and holiness; supramundane (lokuttara) morality, morality that aims to assure the salvation of all (sabbasattva-vimokkha). (also see Visuddhimagga, p. 13)

Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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