Mahāprajñāpāramitāupadeśa

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The Mahāprajñāpāramitōpadeśa (Commentary on the Great Perfection of Wisdom, also known as Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra, Chinese: 大智度論, Pinyin: Dà zhìdù lùn, Taisho no. 1509) is an encyclopedic Mahayana Buddhist commentary on Prajñāpāramitā, particularly the Pañcaviṃśatisāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā sutra. The text claims to be from the Buddhist philosopher Nāgārjuna (c. 2nd century) in the colophon, but various scholars such as Étienne Lamotte have questioned this attribution.[1]

Against the traditional attribution of the work to Nagarjuna, Étienne Lamotte as well as Paul Demiéville, concluded that the author must have been a Mahāyāna Buddhist monk of the Sarvāstivāda or Mulasarvāstivāda school from Northwest India. This is because the Abhidharma and Vinaya material found in this text coincides with that of the Sarvāstivāda.[2] Lamotte also remarked on the internal evidence of the text which shows that its author was likely from a region that was within the Kushan Empire.[3]

The text survives only in the Chinese translation of 100 scrolls made by the Kuchean monk Kumārajīva from 402 to 405 CE,[4] it became a central text for the East Asian Sanlun ( J. Sanron) or Madhyamaka school.

According to Lamotte, "the Treatise cites, at length or in extracts, about a hundred sūtras of the Lesser Vehicle; the majority are borrowed from the Āgama collections".[5] It also cites various Mahayana sutras, such as the Lotus Sutra and the Vimalakirti Sutra, as well as various Jataka stories and Avadana literature.[6]

This work was translated by Lamotte as Le Traité de la Grande Vertu de Sagesse and into English from the French by Gelongma Karma Migme Chodron as "The Treatise on the Great Virtue of Wisdom".[7]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Ramanan, Krishniah Venkata, Dr. (1966). Nāgārjuna's Philosophy as presented in Mahā-prajñāpāramitā-śāstra . Charles E. Tuttle Company of Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo, 1966. page 13.
  2. ^ Ray, Reginald A.Buddhist Saints in India: A Study in Buddhist Values and Orientations, page 406
  3. ^ Lamotte, Etienne; Gelongma Karma Migme Chodron. THE TREATISE ON THE GREAT VIRTUE OF WISDOM OF NĀGĀRJUNA (MAHĀPRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀŚĀSTRA) VOL. III CHAPTERS XXXI-XLII, page 876
  4. ^ Ramanan, Krishniah Venkata, Dr. (1966). Nāgārjuna's Philosophy as presented in Mahā-prajñāpāramitā-śāstra . Charles E. Tuttle Company of Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo, 1966. page 14.
  5. ^ Lamotte, Etienne; Gelongma Karma Migme Chodron. THE TREATISE ON THE GREAT VIRTUE OF WISDOM OF NĀGĀRJUNA (MAHĀPRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀŚĀSTRA) VOL. II CHAPTERS XVI-XXX, page 494-495
  6. ^ Lamotte, Etienne; Gelongma Karma Migme Chodron. THE TREATISE ON THE GREAT VIRTUE OF WISDOM OF NĀGĀRJUNA (MAHĀPRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀŚĀSTRA) VOL. II CHAPTERS XVI-XXX COMPOSED BY THE BODHISATTVE NĀGĀRJUNA AND TRANSLATED BY THE TRIPIṬAKADHARMĀCĀRYA KUMĀRAJIVA OF THE LAND OF KOUTCHA UNDER THE LATER TS’IN, page 494-495
  7. ^ Lamotte, Etienne; Gelongma Karma Migme Chodron. THE TREATISE ON THE GREAT VIRTUE OF WISDOM OF NĀGĀRJUNA (MAHĀPRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀŚĀSTRA) VOL. I CHAPTERS I – XV

External links[edit]