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An Annotated English Translation of Kumārajīva’s Xiaŏpĭn Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra Huifeng Shi

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ANNOTATED ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF KUMĀRAJĪVA’S XIAŎPĬN PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ SŪTRA

HUIFENG SHI


ABSTRACT


KUMĀRAJĪVA’s early 5th century translation entitled the Xiaŏpĭn Bānru bōluómì Jīng (ሿ૱㡜㤕 ⌒㖵㵌㏃), i.e. the Small Section Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra, is the fourth of seven Chinese translations of the early Mahāyāna text commonly known by its Sanskrit name the Aṣṭasāhasrikā, or in English the Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines. While this text has generated great interest among scholars of Budhism, many have relied on the Sanskrit recensions, which are considerably later than the Xiaŏpĭn, representing an earlier source. Even within the text as a whole, the

first two chapters (of the Sanskrit) have been a focus of numerous philological attempts to ascertain a possible ur-text. As such, the translation here is of the corresponding Chinese content of the Xiaŏpĭn, namely chapters one, two, and the start of chapter three. Before the translation proper, the Introduction discusses the source and its editions, provides an overview of the doctrinal content of these two chapters, and discusses the

voice and policy of our translation. The English translation is not an attempt to return to its now unknown Sanskrit original, nor by reading it through later Chinese traditions, but as close as we can understand to KUMĀRAJĪVA’s own understanding and translation technique. The entire English translation is critically annotated, marking significant points of interest both internally within the text, but also externally when compared to the other Chinese translations and later Sanskrit recensions.

INTRODUCTION


KUMĀRAJĪVA’S XIAŎPĬN PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ SŪTRA TRANSLATION


The Xiaŏpĭn Bānru bōluómì Jīng (ሿ૱㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌㏃),1 i.e. the Small Section Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra, was translated by the Kuchan (嗌㥢഻) Tripiṭakācaryā (й㯿) KUMĀRAJĪVA (匙᪙㖵Ӱ) and his translation team in 408CE, during the 4th month of the 10th year of Hóngshĭ (ᕈ࿻), in the Later Qín dynasty (ᖼ〖), at the Xiaōyaó Garden (䘽䚉ൂ) near the capital of Cháng’ān (䮧ᆹ).2 The Xiaŏpĭn is a translation of a text known more commonly in the West by the name of its Sanskrit equivalent, the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā, i.e. the Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines.


The Chinese title Xiaŏpĭn, which we translate as Small Section, no doubt reflects the fact that KUMĀRAJĪVA was well aware of at least two versions of the Prajñāpāramitā, this being the smaller of the two. The same basic smaller text has been translated a total of seven times into Chinese, both before and after KUMĀRAJĪVA’s efforts:3 1. The Dàoxíng Bānru Jīng (䚃㹼 㡜㤕㏃), attributed to LOKAKṢEMA (ZHĪ Lóujīachèn ᭟ၱ䘖䇆),

in 179CE during the Late Hàn. 2. The Dàmíngdù Jīng (བྷ᰾ᓖ㏃), translated at some time between 223-229CE. The bulk of this text was translated by ZHĪ Qīan (᭟䅉), though chapter one was most probably made by KĀNG Sēnghùi (NATTIER 2010), and we shall thus refer to the two as Dàmíngdù(A) and Dàmíngdù(B), respectively. 3. The Bānru Chāo Jīng (㡜㤕䡄㏃), translated in 386CE most probably by ZHÚ Făhù (ㄪ⌅䆧), this is only a partial translation of 13 chapters. 4. The Xiaŏpĭn text itself, by KUMĀRAJĪVA. Subsequenty, 5. and 6. the Dàbānru bōluómìduō Jīng (བྷ㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌

1 A note on the Hànyǚ Pīnyīn for the name of the text: While the two characters 㡜 and 㤕 are now individually pronounced as “bān” and “ru ”, respectively, it is common in modern Chinese Buddhist idiom to pronounce them as “bō” and “rĕ”, which is usually explained as being a uniquely Buddhist form. However, the Chinese is a phoneticization of Sanskritprajñā”, or more likely actually some form of Gāndhārī in the very early Chinese translation, such as “praña” (FALK & KARASHIMA 2013; KARASHIMA 2013). Thus, while “bānru ” (㡜㤕) itself would most likely not exactly correspond to the ancient pronunciation of these characters, it is preferable as a transliteration to “bōrĕ”.


2 Referenced from LANCASTER & PARK (2004), according to Kaīyüán Shìjia Lǜ, fasc. 4 䮻ljݳ䟻ᮉ䤴NJধ 4˖Njljሿ ૱㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌㏃NJ˖ॱধ (乼Ӂ˖Njlj᪙䁦㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌NJˈ❑Njሿ૱njᆇDŽnj⾀Ӂ˖Njᯠljሿ૱㏃NJ㠷lj䚃 㹼NJǃlj᰾ᓖNJㅹ਼ᵜˈㅜг䆟ᡆг[9]ᴸҼᒤॱ࿻ᕈˈধޝᰕࠪˈ㠣ഋᴸйॱᰕ䁆ˈ㾻Ҽ〖䤴৺ܗ⾀ 䤴DŽ)nj(CBETA, T55, no. 2154, p. 512, b7-9) [9]ᡆ˄ˇধޛধ˅ǏᆻǐǏݳǐǏ᰾ǐ; and Dàzhoū Kāndìng Zhōngjīng


Mùlù, fasc. 2 ljབྷઘ࠺ᇊ⵮㏃ⴞ䤴NJধ 2˖Njljሿ૱㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌㏃NJˈа䜘ॱধ (ᡆгধ[3]ᡆޛধˈ㨙ᨀ ㏃਼ᵜ⮠ࠪˈ[4]аⲮӄॱഋ㍉DŽ) ਣᖼ〖ᕈ࿻ॱᒤˈ⋉䮰[ˆ]㖵Ӱᯬ䮧ᆹ䘽䚉ൂ䆟DŽࠪ䮧ᡯ䤴DŽnj(CBETA, T55, no. 2153, p. 382, a10-13) [3]ᡆޛধ˙ޛধ㠷гধǏᆻǐǏݳǐǏ᰾ǐDŽ[4]ǒаⲮӄॱഋ㍉ǓˉǏᆻǐ ǏݳǐǏ᰾ǐDŽ[ˆ1-1]ǏˆǐᆻǏ㖵ˇ˅᪙匙˄ݳǐˆǏ᰾ǐˆ. See ROBINSON (1967: 71ff) and LAMOTTE (1998: 94ff; 2001: 900ff) who provide more details about both KUMĀRAJĪVA and his translation activities.


3 Refer CONZE (1978), and ORSBORN = SHÌ (2012: 60-74) for details on the various versions.


㏃), Assembly 4 and Assembly 5 respectively, by XÜÁNZÀNG in 660CE. 7. The Fómŭ Chūshēng Sānfăzàng Bānru bōluómìduō Jīng (֋⇽ࠪ⭏й⌅㯿㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌㏃) by DĀNAPĀLA in 1004CE.


Apart from these Chinese versions, there exists a Tibetan translation by YE-ŚES-SDE, the Śes-rab-kyi pha-rol-tu phyin-pa brgyad stoṅ-pa, from the 9th century CE (CONZE 1978: 24). Our commonly used Sanskrit source, the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā, which is quite a late recension from Nepal (CONZE 1978: 46ff), can be found in several modern editions, namely those of WOGIHARA (1932), MITRA (1888), and VAIDYA (1960), as discussed in CONZE (1978: 46-55). In addition to these Sanskrit editions but also representing Indic versions, incomplete fragments of a very ancient version in Gāndhārī have recently been discovered and are presently under examination (FALK & KARASHIMA 2013).


KUMĀRAJĪVA’s translation of the Xiaŏpĭn took place several years after his translation of the Móhēbānru bōluómì Jīng (᪙䁦㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌㏃), i.e. an equivalent of the Pañcaviṃśati Prajñāpāramitā, or Perfection of Wisdom in Twenty Five Thousand Lines, and a commentary to this text attributed to Nāgārjuna (喽⁩), i.e. the Dàzhìdù Lùn (བྷᲪᓖ䄆), *Mahāprajñāpāramitopadeśa. The fact that the larger Móhē text was

translated by KUMĀRAJĪVA and company before the smaller Xiaŏpĭn suggests the prevailing attitude toward textual provenance of the time, namely, that while both were indeed the “word of the Buddha” (buddhavacana), the larger texts held precedence over the smaller due to their more complete coverage of the teachings the genre expounds. Other texts of the Prajñāpāramitā family were also translated at this time by KUMĀRAJĪVA and his cohorts, such as the popular Jīn’gāngbānru Jīng (䠁ࢋ㡜㤕㏃), i.e. the Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā, the Perfection of Wisdom that Cuts Like a


Thunder Bolt, and the essential Bānru Xīn Jīng (㡜㤕ᗳ㏃), i.e. the Prajñāpāramitā Hṛdaya, or Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom. KUMĀRAJĪVA is of course also famed for his translations of many other Mahāyāna sūtras, such as, but not limited to, the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka (Mia fă Liánhuā Jīng ࿉⌅㬞㣡㏃) and Vimalakīṝtinirdeśa (Weímójié Suŏshuō Jīng ㏝᪙䂠ᡰ䃚㏃), important Madhyamaka works by Nāgārjuna and Āryadeva such as the *Madhyamaka Śāstra


(Zhōng Lùn ѝ䄆), as well as the Daśabhāṇavāra Vinaya (Shís ng Lǜ ॱ䃖ᖻ) of the Sarvāstivāda school. CONTENT OF THE XIAŎPĬN PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ, CHP. 1-2


Translation is not a purely linguistic or philological task, however, and the demands of the hermeneutic circle require that the translator has a firm understanding of the doctrinal content being presented in the text in question. Concerning the doctrinal content of the Xiaŏpĭn and the smaller Prajñāpāramitā in general, several years ago I gave a detailed analysis and reading of both the entire text and the two chapters in

question through what I believe to be its chiasmic, i.e. inverted parallel, structure (ORSBORN = SHÌ 2012: 113-209). While such a structure can indeed help clarify certain key messages and provide parallel material for the understanding of given passages, it is not essential to fathoming the teachings of these chapters. Indeed, for several core ideas the chiastic method further confirmed the findings of earlier studies. Below we identify and discuss seven core doctrinal ideas found in the first two chapters of the Xiaŏpĭn, referenced by their Taishō page and column numbers, e.g. §537a. Interested readers may also consult CONZE’s overview, which while based on the Sanskrit is still largely applicable to the Xiaŏpĭn (CONZE 1973: xi-xv).


Prajñāpāramitā—transcendent knowledge


The first key idea concerns the title of the text itself. As a genre of Mahāyāna scripture and also the doctrinal content, Prajñāpāramitā has already found an established English idiom, namely the “Perfection of Wisdom”. While “wisdom” has become the standard translation for Sanskritprajñā”, a more accurate cognate would perhaps be “gnosis” or some form of “knowledge” or “cognition”. The use of

perfection” for “pāramitā” relies on the etymology of “pāramī”, i.e. “perfect”, with abstract suffix “-tā”, hence “perfection”. It is worth noting that the earlier Chinese translations of this genre of text, including those of KUMĀRAJĪVA, usually derive the term from “pāram”, i.e. “other (shore)” (bĭ’àn ᖬየ), and “itā”, past participle from root “√i” (or “√yā”), meaning “gone”, rendered into Chinese as “arrived”


(da ࡠ). While elsewhere KUMĀRAJĪVA did translate the term in this manner, for the use of


prajñāpāramitā” in the Xiaŏpĭn text he consistently transliterated using the phonetic


“bānru bōluómì” (㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌). It seems safe to say that he considered the term to be both unique and particular enough to Indic Buddhism that any attempt to translate into natural and more idiomatic Chinese would have led to an unacceptable result. This could be translated into English as “transcendent” or “gone beyond”. This term was used in ancient India to refer in general to the highest extent of some particular skill or

learning, e.g. a Brahmin who has “gone to the further shore of the Vedas”. In the Buddhist context, however, it most commonly referred to the end of cyclic rebirth (saṃsāra), namely the state of cessation (nirodha) or extinguishing (nirvāṇa). We will see below, in the definition of “mahāyāna”, that this interpretation of Prajñāpāramitā is perhaps more in conformity with our text here, than the standard notion of “perfection”.


Subhūti’s empowerment and Śākyamuni’s prediction


The second noteworthy content of the text is found immediately after the standard opening which sets the scene, speaker and audience (§537a-b). The Buddha directs Subhūti to teach the bodhisattvas how to “go forth” (nir√yā; chéngjiù ᡀቡ) in Prajñāpāramitā, to which Śāriputra questions whether Subhūti will teach through his own power, or through empowerment by the Buddhas spiritual might. Subhūti’s response is that the Buddha’s disciples, having received the Dharma from the Buddha, thereupon train in and realize it, thus making all that they teach in accordance with the nature of Dharma—this is what is meant by being empowered by the Buddhas. In XÜÁNZÀNG’s Dàbānru Assembly 5, the first chapter is called the “Subhūti Chapter” (Shànxiàn pĭn ழ⨮૱).


In all versions, near the end of chapter 2 (§541a), Śakra asks Śāriputra where the bodhisattvas should seek for Prajñāpāramitā, and he is instructed that it “should be sought within Subhūti’s teaching” (subhūteḥ parivartād gaveṣitavyā; ⮦ᯬ丸㨙ᨀᡰ䕹ѝ≲). The start of chapter 3 (in the

Xiaŏpĭn, end of chapter 2 in the Sanskrit) provides reference to a past life of Śākyamuni that would have been well known in the Buddhist community. The Buddha asserts that one who practices with Prajñāpāramitā is like a Buddha, just as when he himself received the prediction to future Buddhahood from Dīpaṃkara Buddha in the city of Dīpavatī in the distant past.


There are potential parallels between on one hand the relationship between Śākyamuni Buddha and Subhūti at the start of chapter 1, and between Dīpaṃkara and Śākyamuni Bodhisattva at the start of chapter 3 of the Xiaŏpĭn (§541c). Such an attitude toward what constitutes authentic and legitimate teachings opens up greater potential vistas than a narrow and overly literal notion of the “[[word of the

Buddha]]” (buddhavacana; fóshuō ֋䃚). From the position of modern Buddhist studies which considers the Prajñāpāramitā and other Mahāyāna texts to have been composed at least several centuries after the historical Buddha, one can easily argue that such an attitude was given to legitimize such later compositions. But whatever the case, this opening to the text and the closing scenes of the introductory chapters clearly show the importance given to the continuation of the Buddhas’ teachings through empowerment and predictions to future awakening of the Buddhasdisciples.


Purity of non-mind mind


A third point of interest concerns teachings on the “essential purity of the nature of mind” (prakṛtiś cittasya prabhāsvarā; xīnxiāng bĕnjìng ᗳ⴨ᵜ␘) (§537b). It is of particular interest because CONZE and others considered that “[t]he idea of an absolute Thought which is perfectly pure and translucent (prabhāsvara)” was something that “the Mahāyāna gave it a central place in their scheme of things” (CONZE 1962:

196). However, if such a position did in fact become “central”, it now appears that it was not so in the earliest Mahāyāna, as while the passage is present in the Xiaŏpĭn, it is absent from our earliest witness, the Da xíng. This idea is included in the text with a discussion on the “mind (citta; xīn ᗳ) which is non-mind (acitta; feīxīn 䶎ᗳ)”, a rather perplexing

phrase, perhaps more coherent as “mind without thoughts”. The English language usage of “mind” as agent and “thought” as its activity causes a subtle but important difficulty in accurate translation of Sanskritcitta” or Chinese “ᗳ” (xīn), which in Buddhist philosophy refers to a discrete event rather than an agent-activity relation. I have reason to suspect that another shade of meaning is

indicated in our passage here, based around the entire text’s signature rhetorical formula of “XY is not Y”, and the fact that the original Prajñāpāramitā text was in a Middle Indic, most likely Gāndhārī, and not in our present Sanskrit (FALK & KARASHIMA 2013). (We shall see some clearer examples of this below, in the definitions of “bodhisattva”, “mahāsattva” and “mahāyāna”.) While the

Sanskritcitta” has been uniformly rendered into some term for “mind”, it is worth noting that in Prakrits such as Gāndhārī or Pāli, “citta” could also derive from Sanskritcitra”, i.e. “variegated” or “manifold”, used to refer to taints of the mind, the afflictions (see PED 256f, “Citta & Citra”; SN iii

151). Thus, rather than the Sanskritmind which is non-mind”, from a Prakrit source it could potentially be “mind (citta) which is non-variegated (acitra)”, a deliberate play on the ambiguity between the two term. This would fit well with the text’s own description of this state as being “pure and translucent” (prabhāsvara; bĕnjìng ᵜ␘) and “undiscriminated” (avikalpa; bùfēnbié н࠶ࡕ). While this is by no means certain and further examination of this potential reading is called for, I feel it worth raising this last point given the attention that several scholars have given to this passage in the context of translation.


Samādhi of not grasping at anything


A fourth point, and one which has been used as a base to argue various historical strata within the text, is that of the “samādhi of the non-seizing of all dharmas” (zhūfă wúshoù sānmeì 䄨⌅❑ਇй᱗) (§537c-538b). While KUMĀRAJĪVA has translated both appearances of this term identically, the Sanskrit has two different terms, “sarvadharmāparigṛhīto nāma samādhiḥ”, i.e. “the concentration named not attached to all things”, and “sarvadharmānupādāno nāma samādhiḥ”, i.e. “the concentration named not clinging to all things”, respectively. It entails not only not clinging to the [[five

aggregates]] as representative of all phenomena, but also not clinging to the very notion of the five aggregates, their existence or non-existence, their impermanence or eternality, their being dissatisfactory or satisfactory, their emptiness or self-hood, their generation or cessation, and so forth with other antithetical pairs. To so mistakenly perceive the aggregates is to “course in a sign” (nimite carati; xíng xiāng 㹼⴨), i.e. to engage in the signs and conceptualization of phenomena, and not to course in Prajñāpāramitā. Even to perceive of oneself as a bodhisattva who courses, or the Prajñāpāramitā in which one courses, are likewise coursing in signs.


Near the start of chapter 2, we have a similar passage, wherein Subhūti explains to the god Śakra how the bodhisattva is to stand or abide (√sthā; zhù տ) in Prajñāpāramitā by standing or abiding in emptiness (§540a-b). They do so by not standing or abiding in any phenomena at all, not even the conditioned or the unconditioned—general terms for the mundane state of the deluded and the transmundane position of the awakened—for the Buddhas also neither stand or abide on either of the two.


Illusion and the illusory person



Fifth, the conditioned aggregates and also the various transmundane fruitions of the holy ones mentioned in the meditative cognition above are described metaphorically as “illusions” (māyā; huàn ᒫ). Near the center of chapter 1 (§538b-c), we learn that to the bodhisattva, form and the other aggregates are illusions, and there is no difference between the bodhisattva who so contemplates and an illusory person. In the middle of chapter 2 (§540c), the range of this metaphor is extended to the realizations of the four stages of sanctity that culminate in the state of an arhat, also in that of a pratyekabuddha and a

fully awakened Buddha. Nirvāṇa itself, we are here told, is also an illusion; and so too anything that may surpass even nirvāṇa. Just like the passage on the purity of mind, above, CONZE and others also considered this notion of illusion to be a core Mahāyāna teaching. He saw the idea of nirvāṇa as illusory was a “novelty”, “so startling” that it needed an apocryphal appeal to the Buddha’s authority, a

“shocking departure from accepted ideas” (CONZE 1967: 126-7). I have elsewhere demonstrated that the Prajñāpāramitā use of the illusion metaphor was not at all a Mahāyāna creation, but had a long history in pre-Buddhist and early Buddhist thought (SHÌ 2016). Despite it not being entirely novale, it is still a powerful idea, and the illusion which is at once both perceived to be real yet remains elusively insubstantial has continued as a crucial metaphor for the otherwise ineffable Prajñāpāramitā.


Good and bad friends


Drawing close to the center of chapters 1 and 2, the sixth doctrinal point is where reference is made to both the bodhisattva’s good friend (kalyāṇamitra; shàn zhìshì ழ⸕䆈) and bad friend (pāpamitra; è zhìshì ᜑ⸕䆈) (§538c). While the good friend is exemplified by the Buddha himself, the description in the Xiaŏpĭn is whoever both encourages the bodhisattva toward the ultimate goal of full Buddhahood by constant engagement with the Prajñāpāramitā, and also schools them in identifying the devious ploys of Māra and how to evade them. Māra being, of course, the epitome of the bad friend. It is worth noting that while the Xiaŏpĭn

and the other Chinese sources make mention of Māra as the bad friend near the center of chapter 1 (§540c), it is absent from the Sanskrit (and thus CONZE’s translation). While these passages in the first two chapters are brief, the entirety of the Xiaŏpĭn Sūtra features several entire chapters named after and focused on descriptions of the “Deeds of Māra” (Mārakarma; Móshì 冄һ). These chapters also describe how the

Buddhas (as the good friends) will lend aid to the aspirant. Māra also has his nefarious role to play in the Avadāna at the end of the text, where Dharmodgata Bodhisattva features as the good friend of the lead hero Sadāprarudita. We may thus see how these two forces, for good and evil, are important themes in the smaller Prajñāpāramitā.


Definitions of bodhisattva, mahāsattva, and mahāyāna


The seventh and final point of note content and doctrine wise is that of definitions of three key terms—bodhisattva, mahāsattva and mahāyāna—located at the center of chapters 1 and 2 (§538c-539a). These three terms, along with sarvajñā, the “all gnosis” of the Buddhas, were also identified by CONZE as perhaps the core material of what he thought to be the ur-text (1967: 124ff). CONZE and others have typically translated these terms as “awakening being”,


great being”, and “great vehicle”, respectively. However, in the particular usage of the Prajñāpāramitā here, it will be more prudent to first examine the meaning of these terms in more detail before selecting a definitive English translation idiom, if one can be found at all.


For “bodhisattva” (púsà 㨙㯙) (§538c), the text defines them as one who trains in all phenomena “without obstruction” (wúzhàng’aì ❑䳌⽉), KUMĀRAJĪVA’s translation of what is most likely the Sanskrit term “aśakta”. But what is the connection between the bodhisattva and aśakta? Despite the differences between a strict Sanskrit sattva and śakta, a reflection on what these would be in Middle Indic Prakrits like

Gāndhārī is necessary, i.e. satta and again satta. Thus, the bodhi-satta is asatta, where the former refers to an “awakening being” (sattvasatta), but the latter to “unattached” (aśakta  asatta). It is an etymological type definition, common in such ancient literature, which also has a didactic function. It can be described generically as being in the rhetorical form “XY is not Y”, or “XY is Y-less”. Though the element “Y” is not necessarily identical in meaning in the former and latter parts of the formula.


A similar etymological definition is also given for “mahāsattva” (móhēsà ᪙䁦㯙) (§538c). First, they are foremost among the assembly, a typical usage of “superior” for mahā. Second, they cut off (literally—duàn ᯧ) the various wrong views of the belief in a being


(sattva; zh ngshēng ⵮⭏), a soul (ātman; wŏ ᡁ), an individual (pudgala; rén Ӫ), and so forth. In other words, they are without “being-view”, which again implies the negation of a sattva. Third, they are, in KUMĀRAJĪVA’s idiom, adorned with the great adornment (dàzhuāngyán བྷ 㦺೤). The Sanskrit term for this is mahāsaṃnaha, which usually refers to some kind of armour to be worn by a warrior in

battle, hence ZHĪ Qiàn’s and XÜÁNZÀNG’s use of kaĭ 䧗, “armour”, and likewise CONZE’s translation from the Sanskrit of “armour”. The Dàmíngdù(B) translates mahāsattva as kaĭshì 䰃, which perhaps hints at the connection to kaĭ 䧗 as “armour”. We can never perhaps know for sure why KUMĀRAJĪVA chose his particular terminology which differs so much from the other witnesses. Ancient

armour is of course affixed or tied (saṃnaddha) to the warrior’s body, though the sūtra tells us that the armour of the mahāsattva is “neither bound nor released” (abaddhaṃ amuktaṃ; wúfú wújiĕ ❑㑋❑䀓). This is again a formulation in the rhetorical mode “XY is neither Y nor not Y”. Fourth, the mahāsattva “mounts upon the mahāyāna”, the translation of which we shall return to in a moment. Lastly, when describing how

the bodhisattva vows to liberate immeasurable sentient beings in nirvāṇa without remainder, all the while not holding the view of a sentient being, a metaphor is given of a magician who creates the illusion of a crowd of people, only to cut off their heads. The question is then asked: has anyone actually been decapitated? No, for there are in reality no such beings. A mahāsattva is yet without the view of a sattva, a being.


We lastly turn to the “mahāyāna” (dàshèng བྷ҈; móhēyăn ᪙䁦㹽) itself (§539a), which is typically translated rather insipidly as the “great vehicle”. How are we to translate the term? Reflecting not only on the term itself, whether in Sanskrit, Chinese or Tibetan, and given the broader context of the definitions above, we can already start to see a central metaphor beginning to take shape. That is, the unattached

bodhisattva mounts upon the mahāyāna, dons his armour for battle, and goes forth to cut of the heads of wrong views of a self. The mahāyāna is a “great chariot”, and a war chariot at that. KUMĀRAJĪVA’s Chinese term “shèng ҈” includes this more specific sense. The Hànyǚ Dàcídiăn (╒䃎བྷ䂎ި) gives as its first definition for “shèng ҈” the reading “Carriage. During the Spring-Autumn Period this mainly refers to a military chariot, including a single chariot with four horses


(䓺ᆀ. ᤷᱲ⿻᱕ޥ䓺, वᤜа䓺ഋ俜); supported by the second definition. We thus take the meaning of the character alone as “róngchē ᠾ䓺”, i.e. “military chariot” (bīngchē ޥ䓺). We may thus also note that the “great being” (mahāsattva), has another potential reading. Sanskrit sattva and satva are interchangeable, and by merely modifying the final sound of satva, quite possible with the Middle Indics to

Sanskrit, we arrive at satvan, i.e. a “warrior hero”. The mahāsattva(n) is a “great hero”, hence the armour, war chariot and all the cutting of sattvic heads. Back to the mahāyāna, the text has Subhūti ask four questions (a list which increases in the later recensions): What is the great chariot? What is the setting forth on the great chariot by the bodhisattva? Where does this chariot abide (or stop)? Where does this chariot go forth from? The Buddha replies that: The chariot is immeasurable, it sets forth from the three fold

world of saṃsāra and stops at the all gnosis of a Buddha; though ultimately the chariot is a non-chariot, “XY is not Y”. All four questions and answers form around two complementary root verbs, to go or move (√yā; chū ࠪ), and to stand or abide, set forth or stop (√sthā; zhù տ). The former is the same as the root used at the very start of chapter 1, where the Buddha exhorts Subhūti teach how the bodhisattvas

should “go forth” into Prajñāpāramitā (see above), as well as the very root of the term for “chariot” (yāna). The latter matches the notion of how the bodhisattva is to “stand” in Prajñāpāramitā by standing in emptiness, i.e. by not standing or abiding in any phenomena whatsoever. The complementary nature of the two terms—√yā and √sthā—moving and stopping, and their negations, again gives us the rhetorical form of “XY is not Y” or “XY is neither Y nor not Y”. We can clearly see by this point just how significant this type of

apophatic rhetorical expression is for our text, and one which must be well understood if a translation is to faithfully preserve the underlying meta-structure of the doctrines taught. The definitions of these three terms in the Xiaŏpĭn is both linguistically and also philosophically dense. This poses a range of problems for any translator, whether KUMĀRAJĪVA or myself. I believe that this is one reason why

KUMĀRAJĪVA often transliterated these terms, rather than translating them proper. Although for mahāyāna KUMĀRAJĪVA does at several points translate by using “dàshèng བྷ҈”, rather than transliterating. While the various shades of meaning are not too difficult to untangle from the Sanskrit, once in a vastly different language such as Chinese, the (pseudo) etymological definitions and lack of linguistic cognates would easily be altogether lost to even an intelligent reader. Another reason for his transliteration policy would simply be established usage, the terms already being settled in place as standard Buddhist idiom in Chinese by the time of his translation activities. As for our English, as above, here we are content to follow KUMĀRAJĪVA’s own lead, mainly for specialist and philological purposes. A more fluid translation

targeting a broader audience would have the unenviable task of finding English terms that could contain or at least hint at the etymologies given in the Sanskrit. I wish such a future translator the best of luck, and hope the above discussion can provide grist for the translation mill.


Several of the above themes found in these two chapters of the Xiaŏpĭn, such as samādhi, illusion, the good and bad friends, as well as the oft used rhetorical formulation “XY is not Y” found in the definitions of bodhisattva, mahāsattva and mahāyāna, are found

throughout the remainder of the Xiaŏpĭn Sūtra. Indeed, a very similar structure can be also clearly seen in the Avadāna of Sadāprarudita situated at the end of the text. However, this is far more than we have room for here, and I directed interested readers to my detailed treatment of this in my study of the chiasmic structure of the entire smaller Prajñāpāramitā sūtra (ORSBORN = SHÌ 2012).


ENGLISH ANNOTATED TRANSLATION


The annotated English translation of the Xiăopĭn presented here is based on the Chinese text sourced from the Chinese Buddhist Electronic Text Association (CBETA), 2014 edition. This is in turn based on the early 20th century Japanese Taishō Shinshū Daizōkyō (བྷ↓ᯠ㝙བྷ㯿 ㏃), though corrections have been made and modern punctuation added in the CBETA edition over and above that found in the

Taishō. The large Prajñāpāramitā family of texts are located in volumes 5-8 of the Taishō, with the Xiăopĭn found in volume 8. The text of the Xiăopĭn in the Taishō is in turn based on the S ng (ᆻ), Yüán (ݳ), Míng (᰾), Gōng (ᇞ) and Shèng (㚆) canons. In addition to the notes found in the Taishō and CBETA versions, in our translation we have made our own amendments in about a half dozen locations, which are all referenced and discussed in the footnotes. For ease of reference to the Chinese, we have included interlinear references to the

Taishō volume 8 page number and column in bold angle brackets taken from the CBETA edition, e.g. <537a>, as the default standard. Where considered important, the original Chinese of the Xiăopĭn may be referenced and discussed in the footnotes, though these have been kept to a minimum, as a

comparison between the original and the English translation can easily be followed with the above Taishō references. For comparison between the Xiăopĭn’s Chinese and the Sanskrit, a large number of references to VAIDYA’s (1960) edition of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā have been included and discussed in the footnotes. In particular

where the Chinese and Sanskrit differ, and also when KUMĀRAJĪVA’s translation of the Indic terms is of particular interest. When citing the Sanskrit in long passages that do not entirely match the Chinese, the corresponding words and phrases have been underlined. Also, as

CONZE’s 1973 translation from the Sanskrit, The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines & Its Verse Summary, is the only full English version available, CONZE’s own sub-chapter headings, have been included here in braces, e.g. {= CONZE 1:1 Introduction}, for ease of reference at the equivalent point of the text.


What we have and have not translated


Our translation of the Xiăopĭn here is only of fascicle 1 and a small portion at the start of fascicle 2, out of 10 fascicles for the entire sūtra. This contains the whole of “Chapter 1, Introduction” (Sarvākārajñatācaryā Prathamaḥ Parivartaḥ; Chū Pĭn Dìyī ࡍ૱ㅜа) and “Chapter


2, Śakra, Lord of the Gods” (Śakraparivarto Dvitīyaḥ; Shìtíhuányīn Pĭn Dì’èr 䟻ᨀẃഐ૱ㅜҼ) in fascicle 1, and also the start of “Chapter 3, The Stūpa” (Aprameyaguṅadhāraṇapāramitāstupasatkāra Parivartas Tṛtīyaḥ; Tá Pĭn Dìsān ຄ૱ㅜй) at the beginning of fascicle 2, out of the Xiăopĭn’s total of 29 chapters (compare 32 chapters of the presently extant Sanskrit text). For all three of the earlier versions of this text before the Xiaŏpĭn, the first

chapter is simply named with the same name as the entire text, e.g. “Da xíng Chapter” (䚃㹼૱), or some variant thereof, potentially supporting the notion of this chapter as the ur-text. YÌNSHÙN has offered a back translation of the chapter title, or entire text in the case of the Da xíng itself, into Sanskrit as

“Sarvajña(tā)caryā” (YÌNSHÙN 1980: 562ff). This is based on “da ” (䚃) as an old translation idiom for “sarvajñā” (or “bodhi”) and “xíng” (㹼) as “caryā”, which would be very close to the later Sanskrit recensions available, which have “Sarvākārajñatācaryā”. The reason for adding the start of fascicle 2 / chapter 3 of KUMĀRAJĪVA’s Xiăopĭn translation is that it corresponds to the end of chapter 2 according to the Sanskrit, Tibetan and some other Chinese

versions. The various versions of this text often differ considerably in where exactly they delineate their chapter breaks (LANCASTER 1968: 30). Together, our range of textual material to translate is thus the equivalent of the first two chapters of our present Sanskrit text, so chosen because in part or in whole this has been claimed by a number of scholars as being or containing the “ur-sūtra” of the complete text, such as KAJIYOSHI ([1944] 1980), CONZE ([1952] 1967), HIKATA (1958), SCHMITHAUSEN (1977) and YÌNSHÙN (1980), though not according to VAIDYA (1960).


At present, academic or lay readers who have an interest in either the entirety of the smaller Prajñāpāramitā or in the first one or two chapters often touted as the ur-sūtra must rely on CONZE’s translation alone if they lack the requisite ability with the canonical languages of Sanskrit, Chinese or Tibetan. For the matter of comparative work, there is a distinct lack of material

critically translated from the early Chinese sources, the later Chinese sources and the Tibetan being very similar to our presently available Sanskrit manuscripts. A full English language translation of the entirety of the Xiaŏpĭn would naturally be ideal, but due to space consideration I feel that a separate and detailed version of chapters 1 and 2 (by the Sanskrit divisions) would be of most value, and hence the range of the text selected for translation here.


A Preface (Xǜ ᒿ) to the Xiaŏpĭn Sūtra was composed by KUMĀRAJĪVA’s student SĒNGRÙI (ܗ਑) after translation, which can be found in the Taishō and CBETA editions before the sūtra itself. While this Preface provides valuable insights into how the text and translation was perceived and accepted by the Chinese Buddhist scholarly elite of the time, we have not included it within our translation here. There is quite some

difference in the historical and philosophical context of the Indian Xiaŏpĭn Sūtra and its Chinese Preface, despite the latter ostensibly being an introduction to the former. We hope in the future to give the Preface the full and detailed treatment it deserves through critical translation and analysis in a separate published article. Which translation voice?


Even when translating any single text, there is always a question of which actual “translation voice” one is to translate from. There are a range of potential voices, which lie along a spectrum—at one end, there is the voice of the original author situated within their historical and cultural mileau; at the end of the range, the possibility of bringing the text into the present. Another spectrum is that between the source

language and target language, which may range from the word-for-word translation, to the literal, the faithful, and then the semantic translation on the source language side; then for the target language moving into a communicative translation, an idiomatic and then a free translation, finally reaching an adaptation (NEWMARK 1988: 45). When it is a text such as the Xiaŏpĭn which is itself already a translation, one is faced with even further possibilities and complications to these two spectrums. Let us consider just several of the possibilities.


(1) Should one render the Chinese back to a supposed Sanskrit (or other Indic) original, and translate that text in its Indian sitz im leben at the point of composition? This would be no easy matter, for while we may compare with the later Sanskrit manuscripts of the

Aṣṭasāhasrikā there are places where the Xiaŏpĭn obviously differs. We do not possess the Indic text that KUMĀRAJĪVA used, and ascertaining the actual Indic text behind the Xiaŏpĭn would involve no small amount of conjecture. Even if we did have such a text, would we ourselves read the Indic text in the same manner as KUMĀRAJĪVA, given our own understanding of the language and concepts involved?


(2) Thus, should one take the voice of KUMĀRAJĪVA himself and his coterie of translators as the basis for a modern translation? It would at least overcome the question of whether our reading of his Indic text would differ from his. But even this approach itself could easily diverge into two positions, as KUMĀRAJĪVA’s own understanding and reading of the text as a native of Indic language and culture in addition to

his depth of erudite Buddhist training would differ considerably at times with that of his disciples such as SĒNGRUÌ or SĒNGZHAÒ. How do we separate the two streams? While we possess the very short and brief Preface mentioned above, to securely and confidently take the voice of SĒNGRUÌ or SĒNGZHAÒ would ideally require a commentary composed by the translation office, something similar to the Notes on the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa (Zhù Weímójié Jīng ⌘㏝᪙䂠㏃) by SĒNGZHAÒ (ܗ㚷) written when KUMĀRAJĪVA and the same group of translators were working on that text. There is no such reference point.


(3) A potential third general voice—actually another set or range of voices—for translation could be any one of a number of later Chinese understandings of the text. For example, how it could have been read by the likes of a Tiāntaí ZHÌYĬ (ਠᲪ亇), a Táng dynasty Chán

master like HUÌNÉNG (ᜐ㜭) or Huāyán scholar such as FĂZÀNG (⌅㯿), and so on. This would be a kind of standard Chinese Buddhist sectarian reading. While we often know enough about such Buddhist luminaries to be confident in our understanding of their thought world in general, we would again often still lack specific material to guide a translation or interpretation of individual passages throughout the Xiaŏpĭn.


(4) Finally, one could render the text into a modern voice, leaving aside the time and place of either the original unknown author(s) or KUMĀRAJĪVA’s translation bureau or later Chinese Buddhist tradition. Of course, any sort of translation into a modern language other than

Chinese will have this latter voice to some degree. This would differ from recent efforts in China and Taiwan to render classical scripture into modern Chinese, often by employing classical Buddhist terminology but with modern grammar and sentence structure. However, a full transition to the present day world would also necessitate greater changes

above and beyond the mere words and sentences of the text and into its meta-structure and core teachings. For example, the common use of metaphor in the text may require a shift to an entirely different metaphor. Not just the occasional metaphors found in certain chapters of the text to elucidate given ideas, but more challengingly the underlying and pervasive cognitive metaphors of Buddhism itself that act as models for core

Dharmic axioms and paradigms. For example, the notion of pāramitā as “crossed to the other (shore)”, originally most likely a reference to crossing a swirling river (saṃsāra) in flood (augha, ogha), so appropriate to the Gaṅgetic plains. Another place that may require such wholesale modernization would be use of gender, from a predominantly masculine to a gender inclusive form; or even the change of gender

roles of the characters in such narratives as the Sadāprarudita Avadāna at the end of the entire sūtra—perhaps a female lead can be accompanied by a wealthy young man and his manservants? Similar arguments for such meta-structural and deep level changes could also be made for our third potential voice, above. From NEWMARK’s list of translation types given above (1988: 45), we can easily see how that which

leans heavily to the target language (and historical period) quickly becomes more an “adaptation” than a “translation” proper. Between the two ends of the above spectrum if potential translation voices, older studies that now make up the canon of modern Buddhist studies itself, often incline heavily toward a supposed “original text”, an attitude largely under the influence of classical philological ideals. This approach, while very

valuable on many levels, I feel best to be undertaken based on very ancient Indic language manuscripts while comparing with later versions and translations, and best left to the philological holy grail of reconstructing the “ur-text”, something akin to NEWMARK’s “word-for-word” or “literal” translations, rather than an exercise in translation proper. In our case here, that would focus on analysis of the recent Gāndhārī text discoveries. We cannot do this securely using the Xiaŏpĭn, however, which is several centuries removed from its original composition and already translated

into a language entirely foreign to its original linguistic community. At the other end of the spectrum, while a Chinese translation is obviously ripe to translate through the voice of later Chinese traditions of whatever school, I also have strong reservations about such an approach. While recently examining a number of English language translations of the Prajñāpāramitā Hṛdaya, i.e. the “HeartSūtra, translated from Chinese and Tibetan, I noticed the strong tendency to read the text through the light of

whatever Buddhist tradition the author and translator was associated with. Any efforts to read such a Mahāyāna text within its own historical and cultural context were largely set aside, and often even the text itself seemed to be half ignored at times, as Nāgārjuna, some other other Chán or Zen master, or late Tantric teaching like Mahāmudrā, or some other tradition, was overlaid upon and read into the text. While

I am sure that readers who are practitioners of those Buddhist traditions may derive much benefit from such interpretations, I think that we should have confidence in the text in question and other materials that hail from the same time and place and ways of thought to be coherent and rich enough to speak for themselves, rather than requiring a later spokesperson to stand in their stead.


Given the range of possible translation voices, and my reserves for several extremes within them, I have chosen here to take the voice of KUMĀRAJĪVA as my basis for translation. Or rather, as close as I can reasonably get to him. Our Xiaŏpĭn in Chinese was translated by him, therefore we do not need to conjecture about what an earlier text may have said or a later commentator could possibly say. As a translator himself who was fluent in

both the Indic original language and also the Chinese (to a sufficient degree), KUMĀRAJĪVA’s choice of Chinese terminology provides us with an excellent tool to understand and translate terms and ideas. That is, when comparing with the later Sanskrit manuscripts that we have, a given Sanskrit term still has a range of meanings,

which shade of meaning do we use to translate into English? KUMĀRAJĪVA’s equivalent Chinese term also has such a spectrum of sense, giving us a a number of possibilities. By triangulating between the Sanskrit and the Chinese, we can narrow in on how KUMĀRAJĪVA understood and interpreted a given term or passage, and from there render a suitable English term, expression or sense of meaning. We can further strengthen our

confidence in his usage by referring to his other translation works, such as the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka, where we can see which Sanskrit terms lay behind his choice of Chinese in translation. KUMĀRAJĪVA is thus not only the translator, but also in a sense the author, of the Xiaŏpĭn. If we may be permitted an indulgence, we hope that our Engish translation is that which KUMĀRAJĪVA himself would have produced had he been translating into English in the early 21st century. Such is our ideal here, subject to all the usual caveats.


Some policies of our translation


Such an explicit decision to chose a particular translation voice has real implications for how we go about our translation policy. For example, like most earlier and subsequent Chinese Buddhist translations, KUMĀRAJĪVA’s Xiaŏpĭn is liberally peppered with transliterations of Indian Buddhist terminology, terms considered too important or difficult to translate that they were instead phoneticized. This includes not just

technical terms such as “bānru bōluómì” 㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌 for Prajñāpāramitā itself, and “sānmeì” й᱗ for samādhi, but also terms which are now common as to be seldom thought of as transliterations, e.g. “fó(tuó)” ֋(䱰) to transliterate buddha, and “pú(tí)sà(duŏ)” 㨙(ᨀ)㯙(ล) for bodhisattva, which have long since entered into the Chinese language as household words.


Taking KUMĀRAJĪVA’s voice as our point of departure, our own policy of translation or transliteration also typically applies the distinction that KUMĀRAJĪVA himself made. That is, where KUMĀRAJĪVA transliterated, the present translator has given the appropriate Sanskrit, and where KUMĀRAJĪVA translated, a full English translation proper has been given. The overall effect in English translation is that of drawing

the reader toward the Indian original, in much the same way that the Chinese readers were and still are also drawn into the Indian. While in some quarters that wish to preserve at least some small degree of philological purity this may be regarded as only proper, we must also acknowledge the drawbacks of such an approach. For example, making the text overly full

of foreign and ancient religious jargon which is often quite problematic for a non-specialist readership. It is intended that our translation of the entire Xiaŏpĭn text will be more general reader friendly. Another example of how choosing KUMĀRAJĪVA’s voice as our basis leads to a specific approach for our translation is that of metaphors. There are a number of key metaphors, one could call it a system of metaphors, that lie at the heart of these first two chapters of the Xiaŏpĭn, and these metaphors are also connected with etymological definitions of

key terms. We have already mentioned these above, in the warrior hero metaphor for bodhisattva, mahāsattva and Mahāyāna. We can, if we look carefully, feel KUMĀRAJĪVA’s struggle to simultaneously be faithful to his Indic original, render the entire form of the individual metaphors and the underlying structure, but also present all this in coherent Chinese. Our own attempts parallel this, and we hope to show both KUMĀRAJĪVA’s successes and failures in this regard, while providing further details on our own reading of this material.


XIAŎPĬN PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ SŪTRA

FASCICLE 1


Translated by Kuchan Tripiṭakācārya Kumārajīva of the Late Qín


CHAPTER ONE—INTRODUCTION


{= CONZE 1 The Practice of the Knowledge of All Modes}


{= CONZE 1:1 Introduction}


Thus it was heard by me. At one time, the Buddha dwelt at the city of Rājagṛha, on Mount Gṛdhakūṭa, together with the great saṃgha of bhikṣus, one thousand two hundred and fifty people in total, all of who were arhats, had exhausted the influxes, were like trained elephant kings, had done what was to be done, had abandoned the heavy burden, had reached their own benefit, had eliminated the bonds of existence, were released by right gnosis, and had attained freedom in mind—with the only exception of Ānanda. Thereupon, the Buddha said to Subhūti: “You who delight in teaching, teach for the bodhisattvas <537b> how they should accomplish Prajñāpāramitā!”


Śāriputra thereupon conceived the thought: “[Will] Subhūti teach through his own power, or empowered by the Buddha’s spiritual power?”

Subhūti knew the thought conceived in Śāriputra’s mind, and he spoke to Śāriputra, saying: “Whatever the Buddha’s disciples may venture to teach, all is [through] the Buddha’s power. For what reason? Those who train in that Dharma taught by the Buddha are able to realize the nature of Dharma. Having realized it, whatever they proclaim and teach none is contradictory with the nature of Dharma, through the power of the nature of Dharma.” {= CONZE 1:2 The Extinction of Self}


Thereupon, Subhūti addressed the Buddha, saying: “O Blessed One! The Buddha empowers me to teach the bodhisattvas how Prajñāpāramitā should be accomplished. O Blessed One! ‘Bodhisattva’, ‘bodhisattva’ it is said, what dharma is meant by ‘bodhisattva’? I do not see any dharma which is known as a ‘bodhisattva’. O Blessed One! I neither see a bodhisattva, nor apprehend a bodhisattva; neither see nor apprehend Prajñāpāramitā. What bodhisattva should I teach

Prajñāpāramitā? If a bodhisattva hears of this statement, and is neither startled, nor afraid, nor dismayed, nor turns away, and practices according to what has been taught, this is known as teaching a bodhisattva Prajñāpāramitā. Moreover, O Blessed One, when a bodhisattva practices

Prajñāpāramitā, they should train in this way, and not conceive the thought: ‘This is the mind of a bodhisattva.’ For what reason? Because this mind is mindless, due to the essential purity of the nature of mind.”26 Thereupon, Śāriputra said to Subhūti: “Does this mind which is mindless exist?”


Subhūti said to Śāriputra: “That mind which is mindless, is it apprehendable as either existing or not existing?” Śāriputra said: “Indeed not!” Subhūti said to Śāriputra: “If the mind which is mindless is not apprehendable as existing or not existing, is it appropriate to say: ‘Does this mind which is not a mind exist?’?”


Śāriputra said: “Why is it mindless?”


Subhūti said: “[Because it is] immutable and undiscriminated. [If when] a bodhisattva hears this teaching, they are neither startled, nor afraid, nor dismayed, nor turn away, one should know that this bodhisattva is not apart from the practice of Prajñāpāramitā. If sons of good family and daughters of good family wish to train in the grounds of the


thus “does not pride himself”. Chinese uses ᘥ (niàn) as √man, here and often for “manasi√kṛ”.


26 = VAIDYA (1960: 3): “tac cittam acittam … prakṛtiś cittasya prabhāsvarā” = “this mind is non-mind … from the luminosity of the essential nature of mind”. Reading the Chinese from the Skt, better to say ᗳ ⴨ᵜ (xīn xiāng bĕn; prakṛtiś citta) “essential nature of mind” is ␘ (jìng; prabhāsvarā) “pure”, rather than ᗳ⴨ (xīn xiāng) “nature of mind” is ᵜ␘ (bĕnjìng) “fundamentally pure”. This one really is an issue viz

KUMĀRAJĪVA’s intrepretation / translation. However, Móhē, fasc. 3 lj᪙䁦㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌㏃NJধ 3LJ8 नᆨ ૱Lj˖Njᱟᗳ䶎ᗳDŽᗳ⴨ᑨ␘᭵DŽnj(CBETA, T08, no. 223, p. 233, c23). The Dàoxíng, fasc. 1 lj䚃㹼㏃NJ only mentions ᴹᗳ❑ᗳ but has not equivalent for ᗳ⴨ᵜ␘. Thus, this passage in the Sanskrit Aṣṭasāhasrikā, etc., which is often cited by modern scholars as showing the roots of teachings such as the Tathāgatagarbha in the very earliest strata of the Mahāyāna, appears to have been absent altogether in the earliest versions of the sūtra.


śrāvakas, they should hear this Prajñāpāramitā, take it up, bear it [in mind], recite it, study it, cultivate and practice it as it is taught. [If they] wish to train in the grounds of the pratyekabuddhas, they should hear this Prajñāpāramitā, take it up, bear it [in mind], recite it, study it, cultivate and practice it as it is taught. [If they] wish to train in the grounds of bodhisattvas, they should hear this Prajñāpāramitā, take up and bear it [in mind], recite it, study it, cultivate and practice it as it is taught. For what reason? Within the Prajñāpāramitā there are extensive teachings on the dharmas that the bodhisattvas should train in.”


Subhūti addressed the Buddha, saying: “O Blessed One! I neither apprehend nor see a bodhisattva, what bodhisattva should I teach Prajñāpāramitā? O Blessed One! I do not see a dharma bodhisattva that comes and goes, and yet to construct the word

bodhisattva’, and claim that this is a bodhisattva, I would then have qualms. O Blessed One! <537c> Moreover, the wordbodhisattva’ is not fixed and is without a stand point. For what reason? Due to the non-existence of that word. [That which is] non-existent is also not fixed and has no locus of establishment. If a bodhisattva hears this matter, and is neither

startled, nor afraid, nor dismayed, nor turns away, one should know that this bodhisattva will ultimately abide on the ground of non-regression, abide in non-abiding. Moreover, O Blessed One, when bodhisattvas practice Prajñāpāramitā, they should not abide in form; they should not abide in sensation, perception, volitions, or cognition. For what reason? If they abide in form, that is

practicing the construction of form; if they abide in sensation, perception, volitions, or cognition, that is practicing the construction of cognition. If one practices the construction of dharmas, they are then unable to receive Prajñāpāramitā, unable to engage in Prajñāpāramitā, unable to fulfill Prajñāpāramitā, and unable to accomplish sarvajñā.39 For what reason? Form does not have the notion of seizing; sensation, perception, sensation, volitions and cognition do not have the notion of seizing. That which is the non-seizing of

form, that is not form; that which is the non-seizing of sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition, that is not cognition; and that is also the non-seizing of Prajñāpāramitā. The bodhisattva mahāsattva should train in this way, practicing Prajñāpāramitā. This is named the bodhisattvas’ ‘samādhi of the non-seizing of all dharmas’; vast, immeasurable and

indeterminate, and unable to be destroyed by all the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas. For what reason? This samādhi cannot be apprehended through a sign. If this samādhi could be apprehended through signs, the brahmacārin Śreṇika would not have generated faith toward sarvajñā. The brahmacārin Śreṇika penetrated into this dharma through limited gnosis. Having penetrated, he did not seize form; he did not seize

sensation, perception, volitions, or cognition. This brāhmacārin did not hear or see with insight this gnosis through seizing; did not see with imagine?’ So he neither thinks nor imagines. And then, in him, just these perceptions arise, but other, coarser perceptions do not arise. He attains cessation. And that, Poṭṭhapāda, is the way in which the cessation of perception is brought about by successive steps.”


39 Skt has, VAIDYA (1960: 5): “sarvajñatāyā parigṛhītaṃ”, indicating that pari-√gṛh can be a “positive” term, like dhāraṇī. Note: Xiaŏpĭn uses 㯙ၶ㤕 typically translated as “sarvajñā”, yet here, and at most places, the Skt is actually “sarvajñatā”.


insight this gnosis through own (internal) form; did not see with insight this gnosis through other (external) form; did not see with insight this gnosis through both own (internal) and other (external) form; and also did not see with insight this gnosis through other than own (internal) and other (external) form. [He] did not see with insight this gnosis through own (internal) sensation,

perception, volitions, and cognition; did not see with insight this gnosis through other (external) sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition; did not see with insight this gnosis through both own (internal) and other (external) sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition; and also did not see with insight this gnosis through other than own (internal) and other (external)

sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition. The brahmacārin Śreṇika had conviction toward sarvajñā, and from apprehending the reality of dharmas attained release. Having attained release, he neither seized nor was released from any dharma; even to the point of neither seizing nor being released from nirvāṇa. O Blessed One! This is known as the

Prajñāpāramitā of the bodhisattvas, the non-seizing of form, the non-seizing of sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition. Although they do not seize form, and do not seize sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition, as they have not yet fulfilled the ten powers of a Buddha, the four infallabilities, and the eighteen unshared dharmas, they do not [enter] parinirvāṇa while in the middle of the path.

Moreover, O Blessed One, [when] a bodhisattva practices Prajñāpāramitā, they should contemplate in this way: ‘What is this Prajñāpāramitā?’ ‘Who’s is this Prajñāpāramitā?’ ‘[That] dharma which is unapprehendable, is that Prajñāpāramitā?’ <538a> If, when a bodhisattva engages in this contemplation and investigation, they are neither startled, nor afraid, nor terrified, nor dismayed, nor turn away, one should know that this bodhisattva is not separated from the practice of Prajñāpāramitā.”

Thereupon, Śāriputra said to Subhūti: “If form is separated from the nature of form; sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition are separated from the nature of cognition; Prajñāpāramitā is separated from the nature of Prajñāpāramitā; how can one state that ‘This bodhisattva is not separated from the practice of Prajñāpāramitā’?”


Subhūti said: “It is so, O Śāriputra, form is separated from the nature of form; sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition are separated from the nature of cognition; Prajñāpāramitā is separated from the nature of Prajñāpāramitā; these dharmas are all separated from [their] own natures; and nature is also separated from characteristic.”


Śāriputra said: “If bodhisattvas train within this, are they able to accomplish sarvajñā?”


Subhūti said: “It is so. O Śāriputra! Bodhisattvas who train in this way, are able to accomplish sarvajñā. For what reason? Because all dharmas are not generated, are not accomplished. Bodhisattvas who practice in this way, will approach sarvajñā.”


Thereupon, Subhūti spoke to Śāriputra, saying: “If a bodhisattva practices in the practice of form, this is practicing in a sign; if one practices in the generation of form, this is practicing in a sign; if one practices in the cessation of form, this is practicing in a sign; if one practices in the destruction of form, this is practicing in a sign; if one practices in ‘form is empty’, this is practicing in a sign; if one practices in ‘I practice this practice’, is also practicing in a sign. If one practices in sensation, perception, [[Wikipedia:Volition

(psychology)|volitions]], or cognition, this is practicing in a sign; if one practices in the generation of cognition, this is practicing in a sign; if one practices in the cessation of cognition, this is practicing in a sign; if one practices in the destruction of cognition, this is practicing in a sign; if one practices in ‘cognition is empty’, this is practicing in a sign; if one practices ‘I practice this practice’, this is also practicing in a sign. If one conceives the thought: ‘One who is able to practice in this way, this is practicing

Prajñāpāramitā’, this is also practicing in a sign. One should know that this bodhisattva is yet to well know skillful means.” Śāriputra said to Subhūti: “Now, how does a bodhisattva practice, so that it would be known as practicing Prajñāpāramitā?”

Subhūti said: “If a bodhisattva does not practice in form, does not practice in the generation of form, does not practice in the cessation of form, does not practice in the destruction of form, does not practice in ‘form is empty’; does not practice in sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition; does not practice in the generation of cognition, does not practice in the cessation of cognition, does not practice in the destruction of cognition, does not practice in ‘cognition is empty’; this is known as

practicing Prajñāpāramitā. [If they] do not conceive the thought of practicing Prajñāpāramitā; do not conceive the thought of not practicing; do not conceive the thought of both practicing and not practicing; and do not conceive the thought of neither practicing nor not practicing; then this is known as practicing Prajñāpāramitā. For what reason? Because of not seizing any dharma. This is named ‘the bodhisattvassamādhi of the non-seizing of all dharmas’; vast, immeasurable and indeterminate, and unable to be destroyed by all the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas. Bodhisattvas practicing this samādhi swiftly realize <538b> anuttarā samyak saṃbodhi.”


Subhūti, empowered by the Buddha’s spiritual power, said: “If a bodhisattva practicing this samādhi neither gives thoughts to nor conceptually discriminates this samādhi as: ‘I will enter this samādhi’, ‘I now enter [this samādhi]’, ‘I have entered [this samādhi]’. [If] there are no such conceptualizations, one should know that this bodhisattva has already received prediction to anuttarā samyak saṃbodhi from the Buddhas.”


Śāriputra said to Subhūti: “This samādhi practiced by the bodhisattvas, from which they receive prediction to anuttarā samyak saṃbodhi from the Buddhas, is this samādhi able to be shown?”


Subhūti said: “Not so, O Śāriputra! For what reason? Sons of good family do not conceptualize this samādhi. For what reason? Because the nature of this samādhi does not exist.”


The Buddha praised Subhūti, saying: “Sadhū! Sadhū! I declare that you are foremost of those people who [practice] the samādhi of non-contention. It is just as you have said, bodhisattvas should train in Prajñāpāramitā in this way; if they train in this way, this is known as training in Prajñāpāramitā.” Śāriputra addressed the Buddha, saying: “O Blessed One! Bodhisattvas who train in this way, train in what dharma?”77


The Buddha replied to Śāriputra: “Bodhisattvas who train in this way, do not train in dharmas. For what reason? O Śāriputra! All these dharmas do not [[[exist]]] in the way foolish common people grasp at them.”

Śāriputra addressed the Buddha, saying: “O Blessed One! How then do they exist?”

The Buddha said: “In the way in which they do not exist, in that way do they exist; and in this way all dharmas do not have any existence. This is known as ‘ignorance’. Foolish common people conceptualize what is not known, grasp at what is not known. They fall into the [[two

extremes]], and neither know nor see [those dharmas]. With respect to to non-existent dharmas, they discriminate and conceptualize, grasping at name and form. With grasping as cause, they neither know nor see with insight these dharmas which are non-existent; they neither go forth to, nor have confidence in, nor abide in [the path]. Therefore they fall into the category of grasping, foolish common people.”


Śāriputra addressed the Buddha, saying: “O Blessed One! Bodhisattvas who train in this way do not even train in sarvajñā?” The Buddha replied to Śāriputra: “Bodhisattvas who train in this way do not even train in sarvajñā. Training in this way is also known as training in sarvajñā, the accomplishment of sarvajñā.”

Subhūti addressed the Buddha, saying: “O Blessed One! If I were asked: ‘If an illusory person were to train in sarvajñā, would they accomplish sarvajñā, or not?’ O Blessed One! How should I answer?”


[The Buddha replied to Subhūti:] “O Subhūti! I will ask you a counter question, answer as you see fit. What do you think: Is illusion other than form? Is form other than illusion? Is illusion other than sensation, perception, volitions, or cognition?”

Subhūti said: “Illusion is not other than form; form is not other than illusion. Illusion is that very form; form is that very illusion. Illusion is not other than sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition; cognition is not other than cognition. Illusion is that very cognition; cognition is that very illusion.”


[The Buddha replied to Subhūti:] “O Subhūti! What do you think: Are the five aggregates known as the ‘bodhisattva’, or not?” [[[Subhūti]] said:] “So <538c> it is, O Blessed One!”


The Buddha replied to Subhūti: “[When the] bodhisattva trains in anuttarā samyak saṃbodhi, they should train just as an illusory person. For what reason? One should know that the five aggregates are the very illusory person. For what reason? It is said that ‘Form is like an illusion’; it is said that ‘Sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition are like an illusion’; cognition is the six sense faculties, which is the five aggregates.”


[[[Subhūti]] said:] “O Blessed One! If a bodhisattva of novice aspiration hears this teaching, will they not become startled, afraid, dismayed and turn away?”


The Buddha replied to Subhūti: “If a bodhisattva of novice aspiration follows a bad friend, then they will become startled, afraid, dismayed and turn away. If they have heard this teaching from following a good friend, then they will not become startled, afraid, dismayed and turn away.”

Subhūti said: “O Blessed One! Who is the bodhisattva’s bad friend?”


The Buddha said: “[One who] teaches causing one to be separated from Prajñāpāramitā, causing one to have no delight toward bodhi. Moreover, [one who] teaches causing one to seize signs and discriminatively conceptualize about embellished text and verses. Moreover, [one who] teaches training in the various sūtras and dharmas of the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas. Moreover, they act as a condition for Māra’s deeds. They are known as the bodhisattva’s bad friend.”


[[[Subhūti]] said:] “O Blessed One! Who is the bodhisattva’s good friend?”


[The Buddha said:] “[One who] teaches causing one to train in Prajñāpāramitā, teaches of Māra’s deeds, teaches of the faults and evils of Māra, causing one to know of Māra’s deeds; and having [[[taught]] ] of the faults and evils of Māra, they teach them causing them to forsake [these deeds]. O Subhūti! They are known as the good friend of the bodhisattva mahāsattva who has aspired the mahāyāna mind, and is greatly adorned.”


{= CONZE 1:3 The Meaning of ‘Bodhisattva’} Subhūti addressed the Buddha, saying: “O Blessed One! ‘Bodhisattva’, ‘bodhisattva’, it is said, what is the meaning of that?” The Buddha replied to Subhūti: “In order to train in all dharmas without obstruction, and also to know all dharmas as they really are. This is known as the meaning of ‘bodhisattva’.”


{= CONZE 1:4 The Meaning of ‘Mahāsattva’} Subhūti addressed the Buddha, saying: “O Blessed One! If knowing all dharmas is known as the meaning of ‘bodhisattva’, then what is known as the meaning of ‘mahāsattva’?” The Buddha said: “They will be foremost among the great assembly. This is known as the meaning of ‘mahāsattva’.” Śāriputra addressed the Buddha, saying: “O Blessed One! I would also like to explain the meaning of ‘mahāsattva’.”


The Buddha said: “Explain as you see fit!”98

Śāriputra addressed the Buddha, saying: “O Blessed One! A bodhisattva who teaches the Dharma in order to sever soul view, living being view, life view, person view, existence view, non-existence view, nihilism view, eternalism view,99 and so forth, is known as the meaning of ‘mahāsattva’. With respect to this, their minds are without grasping.100 This is also known as the meaning of ‘mahāsattva’.”101 Śāriputra asked Subhūti: “How is it that with respect to this their minds without grasping?”


Subhūti said: “From being mindless, with respect to this their minds are without grasping.”102 Pūrṇa the son of Maitrāyaṇī addressed the Buddha, saying: “O Blessed One! A bodhisattva brings forth the great adornment and mounts upon the great chariot. This is known as the meaning of ‘mahāsattva’.”103

98 Standard phrase, VAIDYA (1960: 9): “pratibhātu te śāriputra yasyedānīṃ kālaṃ manyase”. 99 = VAIDYA (1960: 9-10): “… ātmadṛṣṭyāḥ sattvadṛṣṭyāḥ jīvadṛṣṭyāḥ pudgaladṛṣṭyāḥ bhavadṛṣṭyāḥ vibhavadṛṣṭyāḥ ucchedadṛṣṭyāḥ śāśvatadṛṣṭyāḥ svakāyadṛṣṭyāḥ …|”. Within the list of types of self view in the Sanskrit, the last “svakāyadṛṣṭyāḥ” is not mentioned in the Chinese, and seems to be an uncommon spelling for Sanskrit “satkāya”. Although the Sanskrit prefix “sat”, “existent”, is also given as the gloss for the prefix in Pālisakkāya”, this may in fact be a different back translation from a Prakrit similar to the Pāli, reading “sa(k)-”


from “sva-”. See for example such an understanding in MĀ ljѝ䱯ਜ਼㏃NJধ 58LJ3 Ბ࡙૱Lj˖Njᗙ୿ ᴠDŽ䌒㚆DŽӁօ⛪㠚䓛㾻㙦DŽnj(CBETA, T01, no. 26, p. 788, a26), where “㠚䓛” suggests “*svakāyadṛṣṭiḥ”, for Pāli “sakkāyo” in MN 44, i 299; see ÑĀṆAMOLI & BODHI (1995: 396). The Dàoxíng had trouble with this, apparently reading “ātma-” as a simple reflexive “oneself”, and “dṛṣṭy-” as apparently a verbal form, “seeing”.


100 This prima facie appears to be unique reading for the Xiaŏpĭn; however, it seems that the Xiaŏpĭn misses the subsequent request from Subhūti, the reply from the Buddha and then the larger part of Subhūti’s exposition found in the Sanskrit and other Chinese witnesses, ending with VAIDYA (1960: 10): “tenārthena ‘bodhisattvo mahāsattva’ iti saṃkhyāṃ gacchati||”.


101 This part “With respect to this … ‘mahāsattva’” seems to belong to a later part of the Skt, and skip a piece in the middle, attributed to Subhūti: “A Bodhisattva is called a ‘great being’, if he remains unattached to, and uninvolved in, the thought of enlightenment … he remains unattached and uninvolved. …” Then comes Śāriputra’s following question, as per the Chinese. Thus, the “With respect to this” refers to “bodhi[[[sattva]]]citta”. Here, rather than “padārtha”, it is “saṃkhyāṃ gacchati” (VAIDYA 1960: 10).


102 = VAIDYA (1960: 10): “acittatvād āyuṣman śāriputra tatrāpi citte asakto aparyāpannaḥ”. Skt and CONZE (1973: 90) adds a little discussion viz “acitta as existent”, etc. which is a simple repeat of the similar starting discussion at Chp. 1:2 earlier, not found in any of the earlier Chinese witnesses.


103 = VAIDYA (1960: 10): “mahāsattvo mahāsattva iti yadidaṃ bhagavann ucyate, mahāsaṃnāhasaṃnaddhaḥ sa sattvaḥ| mahāyānasaṃprasthito mahāyānasamārūḍhaś ca sa sattvaḥ| tasmāt sa mahāsattvo mahāsattva iti saṃkhyāṃ gacchati||” Note “saṃkhyāṃ gacchati” rather than “padārthaḥ”. It is curious that Xiaŏpĭn uses the term “㦺೤”, so often translated as “adornment” (noun) and “adorn” (verb) from *ālaṃ-√kṛ. Was this a deliberate attempt on KUMĀRAJĪVA’s part to tone down the warrior hero motif as possibly too


Subhūti addressed the Buddha, saying: “O Blessed One! It is said: ‘A bodhisattva brings forth the great adornment.’ What is known as ‘bringing forth the great adornment’?”


The Buddha said: “The bodhisattva conceives the thought: ‘I should lead <539a> immeasurable asaṃkhya living beings to nirvāṇa.’104 Having led living beings to nirvāṇa, not any living beings have been led to nirvāṇa.105 For what reason? Such is the nature of dharmas.106 By simile, it is like a master illusionist who at the crossroads creates a large assembly of people, and severs the heads all of those created people. What do you think: Is there anyone who is injured, or who is killed?”107


Subhūti said: “Indeed not! O Blessed One!” The Buddha said: “The bodhisattva is likewise. Having led immeasurable asaṃkhya living beings to nirvāṇa, there is not any living being who is led to nirvāṇic cessation. If the bodhisattva on hearing this teaching is neither startled nor afraid, one should know that this bodhisattva has brought forth the great adornment.”


Subhūti said: “As I understand the meaning of what the Buddha has taught, one should know that this bodhisattva has [not] brought forth the great adornment, yet has adorned himself.108 For what reason? Sarvajñā is a dharma which is neither made nor generated;109 for the sake of living beings they bring forth the great adornment, even though these living beings are also neither made nor generated.110 For what reason?

military in nature? We recall KUMĀRAJĪVA’s own experiences in the hands of certain generals. Though MWD does have “wearing amulets, provided with charms” for “saṃnaddha”. “Mahāyāna” or “བྷ҈” is translated here as “great chariot” rather than the more common “great vehicle”, give the entire metaphor of the bodhisattva mahāsattva here. Note that the Upadeśa is somewhat ambiguous too, Upadeśa, fasc. 45 ljབྷᲪᓖ䄆NJধ 45LJ15 བྷ㦺೤૱Lj (CBETA, T25, no. 1509, p. 387, a26-29). Still, even here the sense of “defeating bandits” and “defeating Māra” gives the warrior hero sense quite strongly.


104 = VAIDYA (1960: 10): “aprameyā mayā sattvāḥ parinirvāpayitavyā iti”.

105 = VAIDYA (1960: 10): “na ca sa kaścit sattvo yaḥ parinirvṛto yena ca parinirvāpito bhavati”.

106 = VAIDYA (1960: 10): “dharmataiṣā dharmāṇāṃ …” Also adds “māyādharmatām upādāya syāt”.

107 = VAIDYA (1960: 10): “api nu tatra kenacit kaścid dhato vā mṛto vā nāśito vā antarhito vā?” 08 = VAIDYA (1960: 11): “… tathā asaṃnāhasaṃnaddho batāyaṃ bhagavan bodhisattvo mahāsattvo veditavyaḥ …” = “… not armed with the great armour…”. Moreover, Móhē, fasc. 5 lj᪙䁦㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌㏃NJধ 5LJ17 㦺೤


૱Lj˖Nj⡮ᱲ丸㨙ᨀⲭ֋䀰DŽцሺDŽᡁᗎ֋ᡰ㚎㗙DŽ㨙㯙᪙䁦㯙❑བྷ㦺೤⛪བྷ㦺೤DŽ䄨⌅㠚⴨オ᭵DŽ…DŽ


цሺDŽԕᱟഐ㐓᭵DŽ⮦⸕㨙㯙᪙䁦㯙❑བྷ㦺೤⛪བྷ㦺೤DŽnj(CBETA, T08, no. 223, p. 248, c25-p. 249, a9).


The negation, i.e. “has [not] brought forth”, that I have added at the start of this statement, which is found in all the other texts apart from the Xiaŏpĭn, is in accord with the basic recurring rhetorical formulation of the sūtra, i.e. “XY is not Y”. The explanation from Subhūti still supports the negation, i.e. even though it is not brought about, they still bring it about, for the sake of beings.


109 = VAIDYA (1960: 11): “akṛtā hi sarvajñatā avikṛtā anabhisaṃskṛtā” = “Sarvajñatā is neither made, nor altered, nor constructed”. 110 = VAIDYA (1960: 11): “te api sattvā akṛtā avikṛtā anabhisaṃskṛtā” = “Beings are neither made, nor altered, nor constructed”. Because form is neither bound nor released; sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition are neither bound nor released.


Pūrṇa said to Subhūti: “Form is neither bound nor released?; sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition are neither bound nor released?” Subhūti said: “Form is neither bound nor released; sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition are neither bound nor released.”

Pūrṇa said: “What form is neither bound nor released? What sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition are neither bound nor released?”


Subhūti said: “The form of an illusory person is neither bound nor released; the sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition of an illusory person is neither bound nor released. Due to being non-existent, it is neither bound nor released; due to being separated, it is neither bound nor released; due to being not generated, it is neither bound nor released. This is known as ‘the bodhisattva mahāsattva has [not] brought forth the great adornment, yet has adorned himself’.”


{= CONZE 1:5 The Meaning of ‘Great Vehicle’}


Subhūti addressed the Buddha, saying: “O Blessed One! What is the great chariot? What is the setting forth on the great chariot by the bodhisattva? Where does this chariot abide? Where does this chariot go forth from?”


The Buddha replied to Subhūti: “‘[What is] the great chariot?’ It is without limit and without measure. ‘Where does this chariot go forth from?’, and ‘Where does this chariot abide?’ This chariot goes forth from the triple world, and abides at sarvajñā. No chariot is the ‘setting forth’ of this chariot.118 For what reason? As going forth and that which goes forth are both non-existent, what dharma will go forth?”


Subhūti addressed the Buddha, saying: “O Blessed One! ‘Mahāyāna’, ‘mahāyāna’ it is said, it goes forth defeating the whole world with its gods, human beings, and asuras. O Blessed One! The mahāyāna is equal to empty space. Just as empty space holds immeasurable asaṃkhya living beings, so too the mahāyāna holds immeasurable asaṃkhya living beings. This mahāyāna is just like [[empty

space]], neither coming from anywhere, nor going to anywhere, nor abiding anywhere. The mahāyāna is likewise, its past limit is not apprehended, its present limit is not apprehended, and its future limit is not apprehended; this chariot is equal with respect to these three periods of time. Therefore it is known as the ‘mahāyāna’.”


The Buddha praised <539b> Subhūti, saying: “Excellent! Excellent! The mahāyāna of the bodhisattva mahāsattvas is just as you have taught!” Thereupon, Pūrṇa the son of Maitrāyaṇī addressed the Buddha, saying: “O Blessed One!


The Buddha empowers Subhūti to teach Prajñāpāramitā, and to teach the mahāyāna.”


118 = VAIDYA (1960: 12): “[1st Round] [1] “mahāyānam” iti subhūte aprameyatāyā etad adhivacanam| aprameyam iti subhūte apramāṇatvena| yadapi subhūte evaṁ vadasi - [2a?] kathaṁ vā tat saṁprasthito veditavyaḥ? [4] kuto vā tan mahāyānaṁ niryāsyati? [2b?] kena vā tan mahāyānaṁ saṁprasthitam? [3] kva vā tan mahāyānaṁ sthāsyati? [x] ko vā anena mahāyānena niryāsyatīti? [2a?] pāramitābhiḥ saṁprasthitaḥ| [4] traidhātukān niryāsyati| [2b?] yenārambaṇaṁ tena saṁprasthitam| [3]

sarvajñatāyāṁ sthāsyati| [x] bodhisattvo mahāsattvo niryāsyati| [2nd Round] api tu khalu punar [1 & 2a? missing?] [4] na kutaścin niryāsyati| [2b?] na kenāpi saṁprasthitam| [3] na kvacit sthāsyati| api tu sthāsyati sarvajñatāyām asthānayogena| [x] nāpi kaścit tena mahāyānena niryāto nāpi niryāsyati nāpi niryāti|” Numbering added.


Subhūti addressed the Buddha, saying: “O Blessed One! Has that which I have taught deviated from Prajñāpāramitā?”


[The Buddha said:] “Indeed not, O Subhūti! That which you have taught is in accordance with Prajñāpāramitā.”


{= CONZE 1:6 Attainment}


[[[Subhūti]] said:] “O Blessed One! I do not apprehend the bodhisattva of the past period of time, and also do not apprehend the bodhisattva of the future or present periods of time. Through the boundless nature of form, the bodhisattva is also boundless; through the boundless nature of sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition, the

bodhisattva is also boundless. O Blessed One! As such, not apprehending a bodhisattva in any location, in any period of time, or in any way at all, what bodhisattva should I teach Prajñāpāramitā? Neither apprehending nor seeing a bodhisattva, what dharma should I teach to penetrate Prajñāpāramitā? O Blessed One! ‘Bodhisattva’, ‘bodhisattva’ it is said, that is merely a name, an appellation. By simile, it is like the statement ‘soul’,

[yet] the dharmasoul’ is absolutely not generated. O Blessed One! The nature of all dharmas is likewise. Within this, what is this form which is neither grasped nor generated? What is this sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition which is neither grasped nor generated? ‘That form is the bodhisattva’ is unapprehendable; ‘that sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition is the bodhisattva’ is unapprehendable; and this unapprehendibility is also

unapprehendable. O Blessed One! Not apprehending a bodhisattva in any location, in any period of time, or in any way at all, what dharma should I teach to penetrate Prajñāpāramitā? O Blessed One! ‘Bodhisattva’ is merely a name, an appellation. Just as a ‘soul’ is absolutely not

generated, the [[[own]]-]nature of all dharmas is likewise. Within this, what is this form which is neither grasped nor generated? What is this sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition which is neither grasped nor generated? The nature of dharmas is likewise; this nature is also not generated; and non-generation is also not generated. O Blessed One!


Should I now teach a not generated dharma to penetrate Prajñāpāramitā? For what reason? Apart from not generated dharmas, a bodhisattva who practices anuttarā samyak saṃbodhi is unapprehendable. If a bodhisattva hears this teaching, and is neither startled nor afraid, one should know that this bodhisattva practices Prajñāpāramitā. O Blessed One! When the bodhisattva practices in accordance with Prajñāpāramitā,

they make an investigation of all dharmas and do not obtain form. For what reason? The non-generation of form is not form, the non-cessation of form is not form; non-generation and non-cessation are not

two, are not divided. If one speaks of ‘this form’, that is just a non-dual dharma. When a bodhisattva practices in [accordance with] Prajñāpāramitā, they do not obtain sensation, perception, volitions, or cognition. For what reason? The non-generation of cognition is not cognition, the non-cessation of cognition is not cognition; non-generation and non-cessation are not two, are not divided. If one speaks of ‘[this] cognition’, that is just a non-dual dharma.”

<539c> Śāriputra asked Subhūti: “As I understand the meaning of what Subhūti has taught, the bodhisattva is just not generated. If a bodhisattva is not generated, for what reason do they engage in difficult practices, and undergo pain and distress for the sake of living beings?”


Subhūti said: “I do not wish to cause a bodhisattva to engage in difficult practices. For what reason? [One who] perceives difficult practices, perceives painful practices, is unable to benefit immeasurable asaṃkhya living beings. [Only one who] perceives ease toward living beings, perceives happiness, perceives [them as] father and mother, perceives [them as] sons [and daughters], perceives [them

as] their own, is able to benefit immeasurable asaṃkhya living beings. Just as the dharmasoul’ is unapprehendable in any location, in any period of time, or in any way at all; [likewise] should a bodhisattva perceive internal and external dharmas. If a bodhisattva mentally practices in this way, this is known as ‘difficult practices’. Just as Śāriputra has said, ‘the bodhisattva is not generated’, so it is, O Śāriputra, the bodhisattva is not generated as a substantial entity.”142


Śāriputra said: “Is it only the bodhisattva that is not generated, or is sarvajñā also not generated?”

Subhūti said: “Sarvajñā is also not generated.”

Śāriputra said: “[Is it only] sarvajñā that is not generated, or are foolish common people also not generated?”

Subhūti said: “Foolish common people are also not generated.”

Śāriputra said to Subhūti: “If the bodhisattva is not generated, and the dharmas of a bodhisattva are also not generated; sarvajñā is not generated, and the dharmas of sarvajñā are also not generated; the foolish common people are not generated, and the dharmas of the common people are also not generated;143 now then, because the not generated attains the not generated, the bodhisattva should attain sarvajñā!”144


Subhūti said: “I do not wish for the attainment of a not generated dharma.145 For what reason? Due to not generated dharmas being unapprehendable.”146 Śāriputra said: “A generating generation, or an non-generating generation;147 that which you have said, and [that which you] delight in teaching, is that generated or not generated?”148

Subhūti said: “All dharmas are not generated, that spoken is not generated, and even delight in teaching is not generated. In this way, delight in teaching!”149

removes the perception “I have difficult practices”, etc.


142 There is no Skt equivalent or ሖ (shí), but the Xiaŏpĭn wishes to emphasize that like the “ātman”, the “bodhisattva” is not a substantial entity.

143 Though Xiaŏpĭn lacks the “[X]dharmāḥ” above (VAIDYA 1960: 14-15), they are each mentioned above in Skt and CONZE (1973: 94).

144 = VAIDYA (1960: 15): “nanvāyuṣman subhūte anuprāptaiva ayatnena bodhisattvena mahāsattvena sarvajñatā bhavati|”

145 Skt adds = VAIDYA (1960: 15): “abhisamaya” to “prāptim icchāmi” ᗇ.

146 = VAIDYA (1960: 15): “na api anutpannena dhareṇa anutpannā prāptiḥ prāpyate|” etc.

147 Quite difficult to decipher, but refer Chāo, fasc. 1 lj᪙䁦㡜㤕䡄㏃NJধ 1LJ1 䚃㹼૱Lj˖Nj㠽࡙ᕇᗙ䀰DŽԕ ⭏⭏㘵DŽ⛪ᗎ❑ᡰ⭏⭏DŽnj(CBETA, T08, no. 226, p. 511, b20-24).

148 If we take “⊍ᡰ䀰′䃚” as “anutpanno dharmo” (not unreasonable), then this matches Skt (VAIDYA 1960: 15). However, elsewhere it appears that to Xiaŏpĭn, “pratibhā”, from “√bhāṣ”, “declare” or “expound” (䃚 shuō); but to CONZE it is “√bhā” as “flash” or “image” (1973: 94).

149 Somewhat different to Skt (VAIDYA 1960: 15) and CONZE (1973: 94), but I will leave Xiaŏpĭn as it is here. Śāriputra said: “Excellent! Excellent! O Subhūti! Among those people who teach the Dharma,150 you are foremost and supreme. For what reason? Because you are able to answer in accordance with whatever is asked.”151

Subhūti said: “That is the nature of Dharma. All the Buddha’s disciples, with respect to dharmas without supporting basis, are able to answer whatever is asked.152 For what reason? Due to the indeterminacy of all dharmas.”153

Śāriputra said: “Excellent! Excellent! This is from the power of which pāramitā?”


Subhūti: “This is from the power of Prajñāpāramitā.154 O Śāriputra! If, when a bodhisattva hears such a teaching, such an exposition,155 and neither doubts, nor regrets, nor is perplexed, one should know that this bodhisattva practices in this practice, and is not seprated from these mental attentions.”156


Śāriputra said:157 “If a bodhisattva is not separated from this practice and is not separated from these mental attentions, then all living beings also are not separated from this practice, are not separated from these mental attentions. [In this way,] all living beings <540a> should also be bodhisattvas. For what reason? Due to all living beings not being separated from these mental attentions.”

Subhūti said: “Excellent! Excellent! O Śāriputra! You wish to refute me, but instead prove my point. In what way? From living beings’ absence of nature, the absence of nature of mental attentions should also be known.158 From living beings’ separation, the separation of mental attentions [should also be known].159 From the non-apprehension of

Question: What is “pratibhāti jalpitum”?


150 = VAIDYA (1960: 15): “dharmakathika”.

151 = VAIDYA (1960: 15): “yato yata eva paripraśnīkriyate, tatastata eva niḥsarati …|” Note the “niḥ√śri”; and below.

152 = VAIDYA (1960: 15): “bhagavataḥ śrāvakāṇām aniśritadharmāṇām| te yato yata eva paripraśnīkriyante, tatastata eva niḥsaranti…|” Note the “ani√śri”; and above.

153 = VAIDYA (1960: 15): “yathāpi nāma aniśritattvāt sarvadharmāṇām|” Again, the “ani√śri”; as above. For these few statements, the thread of being without √śri is lost in the Chinese.


154 Skt (VAIDYA (1960: 15) and CONZE (1973: 94): “beneficial to all the [three] vehicles, is also the perfection which [allows them not to] lean on any dharma, because [it shows that] all dharmas have no support [and can therefore give none].”


155 = VAIDYA (1960: 15): “upadiśya”. Perhaps subtly suggesting that the sūtra is already an upadeśa of sorts? 156 = VAIDYA (1960: 15): “avirahitaś cānena manasikāreṇeti”.


157 Skt (VAIDYA 1960: 16) and CONZE first add about “lacking in attention” versus “lacking in adjustment” (1973: 94-5).

158 = VAIDYA (1960: 16): “svabhāvatā”. Skt and CONZE then add “asadbhāvatā” = “no real existence” (1973: 95).

159 = VAIDYA (1960: 16): “viviktatā”. Skt and CONZE then add “acintyatā” = “inconceivable” (1973: 95). living beings, the non-apprehension of mental attentions [should also be known]. O Śāriputra! I wish that the bodhisattvas, by way of these mental attentions, practice Prajñāpāramitā.”


CHAPTER TWO—ŚAKRA, LORD OF THE GODS

{= CONZE 2 Śakra}


{= Conze 2:1 Preamble}


Thereupon, Śakra, Lord of the Gods, together with forty thousand gods, were all present at the assembly; the four kings of the gods, together with twenty thousand gods, were all present at the assembly; the lords of the Sāhā world, the kings of the brahmās, together with ten thousand brahmās, were all present at the assembly; and so forth, up to, the assembly of the pure abode heavens, many kinds of countless thousands [of gods], were all present at the assembly. The radiant auras of all those assembled gods, which was the reward for their past actions, no longer manifested, due to the radiant aura from the spiritual power of the body of the Buddha.


Thereupon, Śakra, Lord of the Gods, spoke to Subhūti, saying: “All these countless assemblies of gods gathered and assembled together wish to hear Subhūti teach the meaning of Prajñāpāramitā: How do the bodhisattvas abide in Prajñāpāramitā?”


Subhūti said to Śakra, Lord of the Gods, and all the assembled gods: “O Kauśika! I will now, empowered by the Buddha’s spiritual power, teach the Prajñāpāramitā. All those gods who have yet to generate mental aspiration toward anuttarā samyak saṃbodhi, they should now generate that aspiration. If a person has already entered into the status of certitude [to perfection], they

are unable to generate mental aspiration toward anuttarā samyak saṃbodhi. For what reason? Because they have already constructed an embankment against [the torrent of cyclic] birth and death. If these people were to generate mental aspiration toward anuttarā samyak saṃbodhi, I would also have appreciative joy [toward that], and never prevent their merit. For what reason? Superior people should aspire to superior dharmas.”


Thereupon, the Buddha praised Subhūti, saying: “Excellent! Excellent! You are able to enthuse170 the bodhisattvas in this way.”


Subhūti said: “O Blessed One! I should be grateful to the Buddha.171 Just as the Buddhas of the past and their disciples taught the Tathāgata to abide in the dharma of emptiness and taught them to train in the pāramitās, so that the Tathāgata, by

training in these dharmas, realized anuttarā samyak saṃbodhi. O Blessed One! I too, should now also safeguard and tend my mind to the bodhisattvas in this way, so that with this safeguarding and tending of mind as a causal condition, the bodhisattvas will swiftly realize anuttarā samyak saṃbodhi.”


if one does not penetratively [realize] the fixed status [of dharmas], yet wishes to attain śrotāpanna, śakṛādāgāmi, anāgāmi, or arhatva, this is impossible. … [and the formula in reverse.]” This is most likely in turn from the Mahāvibhāṣa Śāstra, fasc. 2 lj䱯∈䚄⼘བྷ∈ၶ⋉䄆NJধ

2 (CBETA, T27, no. 1545, p. 5, b9-18), which is itself citing earlier sūtra. See SN 25:1-10, iii 225-228; = BODHI (2000: 1004-1007); and SN 13 Abhisamayasaṃyutta, BODHI (2000: 621ff n219 = 787ff): “Both dhammābhisamaya and dhammacakkhupaṭilābha signify the attainment of stream-entry.” Mahāvibhāṣa Śāstra lj䱯∈䚄⼘བྷ∈ၶ⋉䄆NJধ109˖CBETA, T27, no. 1545, p. 563, c26-p.

564, a2); etc. Similar to: “stableness of the Dhamma (dhammaṭṭhitatā), the fixed practice of Dhamma (dhammaniyāmatā)” (BODHI 2001: 551, 573): “Conditions”, II 12.20 and “Cases of Knowledge”, II 12.34), the first two: °ṭṭhitatā (տսᙗ) and niyāmatā (ᇊᙗ). It is a stage of realization,

just not yet nirvāṇa. Thus, CONZE (1973: ): “[i.e. arhats who have reached their last birth, etc.]” is incorrect. It is a point of non-return, only, not finality. Thus, the “fixed status” is preceding realization of the āryaphalas. This statement is found to be “attainment of stream-entry” (śrotaāpatti) in all the other three earlier sūtras (Dàoxíng, Dàmíngdù(B) and Chāo). XÜÁNZÀNG’s Dàbānru (4) and (5) even specify it as “śrāvaka and pratyekabuddha certitude”, implying that the bodhisattva’s have a certitude, albeit of a different nature.


{= CONZE 2:2 How to Stand in Emptiness or the Perfection of Wisdom}


Subhūti spoke to Śakra, Lord of the Gods, saying: “O Kauśika! Listen single mindedly to [how] the bodhisattas [should] abide in Prajñāpāramitā. O Kauśika! The bodhisattvas, having brought forth the great adornment and mounted <540b> upon the great chariot, abide in Prajñāpāramitā by way of the dharma of emptiness. They should not abide in form, they should not abide in sensations, perceptions, volitions or cognition; they should not abide in ‘form is

permanent [or] impermanent’, they should not abide in ‘sensations, perceptions, volitions or cognitions are permanent [or] impermanent’; they should not abide in ‘form is suffering [or] pleasant’, they should not abide in ‘sensations,

perceptions, volitions or cognitions are suffering [or] pleasant’; they should not abide in ‘form is pure [or] impure’, they should not abide in ‘sensations, perceptions, volitions or cognitions are pure

[or] impure’; they should not abide in ‘form is soul [or] not soul’, they should not abide in ‘sensations, perceptions, volitions or cognitions are soul [or] not soul’; they should not abide in ‘form is empty or not empty’, they should not abide in ‘sensations, perceptions, volitions or cognitions are empty [or] not empty’; they should not abide in

the fruition of a srotāpanna, they should not abide in the fruition of sakṛdāgāmin, they should not abide in the fruit of an anāgāmin, they should not abide in the fruit of an arhat, they should not abide in the path of a pratyekabuddha, they should not abide in the Buddha dharmas; they should not abide in

srotāpanna fruition is unconditioned’, they should not abide in ‘a srotāpanna is a field of merit’, they should not abide in ‘a srotāpanna has up to seven [more] comings and goings in [the torrent of cyclic] birth and death’; they should not abide in ‘sakṛdāgāmin

fruition is unconditioned’, they should not abide in ‘a sakṛdāgāmin is a field of merit’, they should not abide in ‘a sakṛdāgāmin returns only once more to this world and then attains the ending of suffering’; they should not abide in ‘anāgāmin fruition is unconditioned’, they should not abide in ‘an anāgāmin is a field of merit’, they should not abide in ‘an

anāgāmin enters cessation in the other world [of the pure abodes]’; they should not abide in ‘arhat fruition is unconditioned’, they should not abide in ‘an arhat is a field of merit’, they should not abide in ‘an arhat enters nirvāṇa without remainder in this life’;

they should not abide in ‘the pratyekabuddha path is unconditioned’, they should not abide in ‘a pratyekabuddha is a field of merit’, they should not abide in ‘a pratyekabuddha transcends the grounds of the śrāvakas, and without reaching the ground of a Buddha enters pari-nirvāṇa’; they should not abide in ‘the Buddha dharmas benefit immeasurable living beings, and lead immeasurable living beings to nirvāṇic cessation’.”


Thereupon, Śāriputra conceived this thought: “How should a bodhisattva abide?”


Subhūti knew the thought conceived in Śāriputra’s mind, and said to Śāriputra: “What do you think: Where does the Tathāgata abide?”

Śāriputra said: “The Tathāgata does not abide anywhere. The non-abiding mind is known as the Tathāgata. The Tathāgata does not abide in the conditioned nature, nor does he abide in the unconditioned nature.”


[[[Subhūti]] said:] “O Śāriputra! Bodhisattva mahāsattvas should also abide in this way, as the Tathāgata abides, neither abiding nor not abiding in any dharma.” {= CONZE 2:3 The Saints and Their Goals are Illusions}


Thereupon, the gods within the assembly conceived this thought: “Even though we can understand the meaning of the speech and language of the yakṣas, that taught and expounded by Subhūti is difficult to comprehend.”


Subhūti knew the thoughts conceived in the minds of the gods, and spoke to the gods saying: “Within this, nothing is spoken, nothing is shown, and nothing is heard.”


The gods conceived this thought: <540c> “Although Subhūti wishes to make the meaning easier to comprehend, he instead makes it more profound and subtle.”185 Subhūti knew the thoughts conceived in the minds of the gods, and spoke to the gods saying:


“If a practitioner wishes to realize the fruition of a srotāpanna, wishes to abide in the fruition of a srotāpanna, they should not depart from this receptivity. If they wish to realize [and abide in] the fruition of a sakṛdāgāmin, the fruition of an anāgāmin, the fruition of an arhat; if they wish to realize [and abide in] the path of a pratyekabuddha; if they wish to realize [and abide in] the Buddha dharmas; they should also not depart from this receptivity.”


Thereupon, the gods conceived this thought: “What sort of person is able to hear in accordance with what Subhūti has taught?”


Subhūti knew the thoughts conceived in minds of the gods, and spoke to the gods, saying: “An illusory person is able to hear in accordance with what I have taught, yet they will neither hear nor realize [anything].”


The gods conceived this thought: “Is it only the hearer who is like an illusion? Or are living beings also like an illusion? Is the fruition of a srotāpanna, up to, the path of a pratyekabuddha, also like an illusion?”190

Subhūti knew the thoughts conceived in the minds of the gods, and spoke to the gods saying: “I teach that living beings are like an illusion, like a dream;191 the fruition of a srotāpanna is also like an illusion, like a dream; the fruition of a sakṛdāgāmin, the fruition of an anāgāmin, the fruition of an arhat, and the path of a pratyekabuddha, also like an illusion, like a dream.”


The gods said: “O Subhūti! You even state that the Buddha dharmas are like an illusion, like a dream?!”


Subhūti said: “I teach that the Buddha dharmas are also like an illusion, like a dream. I teach that even nirvāṇa is also like an illusion, like a dream.” The gods said: “O Virtuous Subhūti! You teach that even nirvāṇa is also like an illusion, like a dream?!”


Subhūti said: “O Gods! If there were any other dharma that surpassed nirvāṇa, I would teach that it, too, is also like an illusion, like a dream. O Gods! Illusions and dreams, and nirvāṇa, are not two, are not divided.”


Thereupon, Śāriputra, Pūrṇa the son of Maitrāyaṇī, Mahākauṣṭhila and Mahākātyāyana, asked Subhūti: “Teaching the meaning of Prajñāpāramitā in this way, who will be able to take it up?”

Then, Ānanda said: “Teaching the meaning of Prajñāpāramitā in this way, avinivartin bodhisattvas, those who possess right views, and arhats who have fulfilled their aim; [[[people]]] such as these will be able to take it up.”


Subhūti said: “Teaching the meaning of Prajñāpāramitā in this way, none will be able to take it up. For what reason? Within this dharma of Prajñāpāramitā, there is no dharma that is effable, no dharma that is showable, and by this principle, none will be able to take it up.” {= CONZE 2:4 Śakra’s Flowers}


Thereupon, Śakra, Lord of the Gods, conceived this thought: “The Elder Subhūti rains forth the dharma rain. It would be good if I were to create flowers to scatter upon Subhūti.” Śakra, Lord of the Gods, thereupon created flowers and scattered them upon Subhūti.


Subhūti conceived this thought: “These flowers now scattered by Śakra, Lord of the Gods, I have never seen before in the Tuṣita heaven. These flowers have been generated from a wishing tree, and have not been generated from a [common] tree.”


Śakra, Lord of the Gods, knew the thought conceived in Subhūti’s <541a> mind, and spoke to Subhūti saying: “These flowers have not been generated at all, these flowers have not even been generated from a wishing tree.”


Subhūti spoke to Śakra, Lord of the Gods, saying: “O Kauśika! You say: ‘These flowers have not been generated at all, these flowers have not even been generated from a wishing tree.’ If a dharma has not been generated, then that is not known as a flower.”203


{= CONZE 2:5 Training in Perfect Wisdom} Śakra, Lord of the Gods, conceived the thought: “The knowledge of the Elder Subhūti is most profound, without destroying the nominal designation he yet teaches the actual meaning.”204


After so thinking, he spoke to Subhūti saying: “So it is! So it is! O Subhūti! In the way in which Subhūti has taught, the bodhisattvas should train in that way. 205Bodhisattvas who train in that way do not train in the fruition of a srotāpanna, in the fruition of a sakṛdāgāmin, in the fruition of an anāgāmin, in the fruition of an arhat, or in the path of a pratyekabuddha. If they do not

train in these grounds, this is known as training in the Buddha dharmas, training in sarvajñā. If one trains in the Buddha dharmas, trains in sarvajñā, they will then train in immeasurable and boundless Buddha dharmas. If they train in immeasurable and boundless Buddha dharmas, they will not train for the sake of the increase or decrease of form, w

ill not train for the sake of the increase or decrease of sensations, perceptions, volitions or cognitions;206 they will not train for the sake of seizing

Ცᓖ䄆NJধ 55LJ29 ᮓ㨟૱Lj˖NjNj᜿⁩nj㘵ˈ䄨䳘᜿ᡰᘥࡷᗇDŽԕ㾱䀰ѻˈ⁩䳘᜿ᡰⅢˈ៹ᘥࡷ


㠣ˈ᭵䀰Nj᜿⁩njDŽnj(CBETA, T25, no. 1509, p. 451, c20-22); = “‘Wishing tree’: The gods obtain whatever they wish in accordance with their thoughts. In brief, the trees of the heavens, in accordance with the wishes in the mind, respond to those thoughts and they arrive. Therefore it is said, ‘wishing tree’.” The Sanskrit for this is either “kalpataru”, or “kalpadruma”, according to MWD: “one of the five trees (cf. pañcavṛkṣa)

of Svarga or Indra’s paradise fabled to fulfil all desires (cf. saṃkalpaviṣaya).” Although this passage here in the Pañcaviṃśati is largely the same as the Aṣṭa, earlier it makes mention of “… avasaktapaṭṭadāmakalāpaḥ kalpavṛkṣair nānālaṅkāraphalāvanatāgraviṭapaiḥ puṣpavṛkṣaiḥ phalavṛkṣair gandhavṛkṣair mālyavṛkṣaiś copaśobhito ‘bhūt …”, and so is thus aware of this notion. It seems that “kalpavṛkṣa” is the original idea, somehow morphed to merely “vṛkṣa”, and then “wishing tree” an appropriate translation. Needless to say, this makes the passages far more comprehensible than say that of CONZE (1973: 99): “these flowers … are mind-made”. 203 = VAIDYA (1960: 21): “… yatkauśika anirjātaṃ na tatpuṣpam|”


204 = VAIDYA (1960: 21): “gambhīraprajño batāyam āryaḥ subhūtiḥ| tāṃ ca nāma padaprajñaptiṃ nirdiśati, tāṃ ca na virodhayati, tāṃ cottānīkaroti, tām eva copadiśati|”

205 Skt (VAIDYA 1960: 21) and CONZE attributes the following to Subhūti himself (1973: 100).

206 ໎ = vivṛddhaya; ⑋ = parihāṇāya (VAIDYA 1960: 21). Perhaps these are originally botanical terms, vis-à-vis the “tree”, e.g. “growing” and being “cut down”, used metaphorically.


form, will not train for the sake of seizing sensations, perceptions, volitions or cognitions. These people will train by way of neither seizing nor destroying dharmas.”


Śāriputra said to Subhūti: “Does the practitioner train by way of neither seizing sarvajñā, nor by destroying sarvajñā?” Subhūti said: “So it is! So it is! O Śāriputra! Bodhisattvas train by way of neither seizing nor destroying [any dharma], up to sarvajñā. When investigating in this way, they are able to train in sarvajñā, are able to accomplish sarvajñā.”

Thereupon, Śakra, Lord of the Gods, spoke to Śāriputra, saying: “Where should the bodhisattva mahāsattvas seek for Prajñāpāramitā?” Śāriputra said: “The Prajñāpāramitā should be sought within that put into motion by Subhūti.”


Śakra, Lord of the Gods, said to Subhūti: “Whose spiritual power is this?”


Subhūti said: “This is the Buddha’s spiritual power. O Kauśika! You ask: ‘Where should one seek for Prajñāpāramitā?’ Prajñāpāramitā should not be sought within form, should not be sought within sensations, perceptions, volitions or cognitions; it should also not be sought apart from form, should not be sought apart from

sensations, perceptions, volitions or cognition. For what reason? Prajñāpāramitā is not form, and Prajñāpāramitā is not apart from form; Prajñāpāramitā is not sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition, and Prajñāpāramitā is not apart from sensation, perception, volitions, and cognition.” {= CONZE 2:6 The Infinitude of Perfect Wisdom}

Śakra, Lord of the Gods, said: “A mahā-pāramitā is this Prajñāpāramitā! An immeasurable pāramitā is this Prajñāpāramitā! A boundless pāramitā is this Prajñāpāramitā!”


Subhūti said: “So it is! So it is! O Kauśika! A mahā-pāramitā is this Prajñāpāramitā!


An immeasurable pāramitā is this Prajñāpāramitā! A boundless <541b> pāramitā is this Prajñāpāramitā! O Kauśika! From the immeasurability of form is Prajñāpāramitā immeasurable; from the immeasurability of sensations, perceptions, volitions and cognitions is Prajñāpāramitā immeasurable. From the boundlessness of the

object, is Prajñāpāramitā boundless; from the boundlessness of living beings is Prajñāpāramitā boundless. O Kauśika! How is it that ‘From the boundlessness of the object, is Prajñāpāramitā boundless’? All dharmas are without beginning, without middle, and without end. Therefore, ‘[From] the boundless nature of the object, is Prajñāpāramitā boundless’. Moreover, O Kauśika, all dharmas are boundless, their past limit is non-apprehendable, their present limit is non-apprehendable, and their future limit is non-apprehendable. Therefore, ‘[From] the boundlessness of the object is Prajñāpāramitā boundless’.”


Śakra, Lord of the Gods, said: “O Elder Subhūti! How is it that ‘From the boundlessness of living beings, Prajñāpāramitā is boundless’?” [[[Subhūti]] said:] “O Kauśika! Living beings are immeasurable, the count of their number is non-apprehendable. Therefore, ‘[From] the boundlessness of living beings, Prajñāpāramitā is boundless’.”


Śakra, Lord of the Gods, said: “O Virtuous Subhūti! What is the meaning of a ‘living being’?” Subhūti said: “The meaning of a ‘living being’, is just the meaning of a ‘dharma’. What do you think: ‘Living being’, ‘living being’, it is said, what is the meaning of that?”


Śakra, Lord of the Gods, said: “By ‘living being’, not any dharma is meant, nor any non-dharma is meant. There is only a nominal designation, and this name is without foundation, without basis, with the forced establishment of a name, known as a ‘living being’.”224 Subhūti said: “What do you think: Within this, is there any real living being that is effable, is showable?”


[[[Śakra]], Lord of the Gods, said:] “Indeed not! O Subhūti!” Subhūti said: “O Kauśika! If a living being is ineffable, is unshowable, how can one state that ‘[From] the boundlessness of living beings, Prajñāpāramitā is boundless’? O Kauśika! If the Tathāgata were to abide and live for as many kalpas as sands of the Gaṇges, exclaiming ‘Living being!’, ‘Living being!’, would any really existent living being225 be generated or cease?”


Śakra, Lord of the Gods, said: “Indeed not! For what reason? Because a living being is right from the very beginning constantly pure.”226 [[[Subhūti]] said:] “O Kauśika! Therefore, one should know that ‘[From] the boundlessness of living beings, Prajñāpāramitā is boundless’.”227


[End of] Xiaŏpĭn Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra, Fascicle 1 <541c>

224 = VAIDYA (1960: 24): “āgantukam etan nāmadheyaṃ prakṣiptam| avastukam …| anātamīyam …| anārambaṇam … yaduta sattvaḥ sattva iti|”. 225 The Skt (VAIDYA 1960: 24) is simply “sattva”, without equivalent of “ሖᴹ”. But before one criticizes the Xiaŏpĭn, note that XÜÁNZÀNG’s Dàbānru 4 has a similar term, fasc. 539 ljབྷ㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌㏃(ㅜ 401 ধ-ㅜ 600 ধ)NJধ 539LJ2 ᑍ䟻૱Lj˖Nj↔ѝ乇ᴹⵏሖᴹᛵᴹ⭏⓵н˛nj(CBETA, T07, no. 220, p. 772, b10).


226 = VAIDYA (1960: 24): “ādiśuddhatvāt ādipariśuddhatvāt sattvasya|” Note XÜÁNZÀNG’s Dàbānru 2 ljབྷ㡜㤕⌒ 㖵㵌㏃(ㅜ 401 ধ-ㅜ 600 ধ)NJধ 427LJ27 ᵜᗎᖬˈ᭵␘ᙗᵜᛵᴹ䄨ԕNj˖Lj૱㣡ᮓֶ❑ᡰᴹ᭵DŽnj(CBETA, T07, no. 220, p. 145, b29-c1), likewise Dàbānru 3; and also further expanded in Dàbānru 4 ljབྷ㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌 ㏃(ㅜ 401 ধ-ㅜ 600 ধ)NJধ 539LJ2 ᵜᗎᖬDŽ᭵␘ᙗᵜᛵᴹ䄨ԕNj˖Lj૱䟻ᑍֶ❑ᡰᴹ᭵ˈ䶎❑ᡰᴹ


ਟᴹ⭏⓵DŽnjnj(CBETA, T07, no. 220, p. 772, b11-12). XÜÁNZÀNG’s Dàbānru 5 is as per the Xiaŏpĭn and Sanskrit, up to this point, but see below. 227 XÜÁNZÀNG’s Dàbānru 5 then adds ljབྷ㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌㏃(ㅜ 401 ধ-ㅜ 600 ধ)NJধ 556LJ2 ᑍ૱Lj˖Nj❑ ˈ␡⭊ᙗء❑䚺᭵DŽnj(CBETA, T07, no. 220, p. 872, a13). XIAŎPĬN PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ SŪTRA FASCICLE 2


Translated by Kuchan Tripiṭakācārya Kumārajīva of the Late Qín CHAPTER THREE—THE STŪPA


(The [[[Qì]]]dān Canon states: “Chapter on the Jeweled Stūpa” ) {= CONZE 2:7 Confirmation}

Thereupon, Śakra, Lord of the Gods, the kings of the brahmās, the sovereign god kings, the lords of living beings, the gods and so forth, were all overjoyed, and exclaimed thrice in unison: “Excellent! Excellent! Due to the Buddha coming forth into the world, Subhūti is therefore able to demonstrate and teach this dharma.”

Thereupon, the assembly of gods all addressed the Buddha, saying: “O Blessed One! If bodhisattvas are able to practice without being separated from Prajñāpāramitā, one should see these people as like unto Buddhas.”


The Buddha replied to the gods: “So it is! So it is! In the distant past, [when] I was at the city of Dīpavatī, the abode of the Buddha Dīpaṃkara, I practiced without being separated from Prajñāpāramitā. At that time, the Buddha Dīpaṃkara predicted that I, in the future, after asaṃkhya kalpas, would become a Buddha, by name of ‘Śākyamuni’, a Tathāgata, Worthy of Offerings, Completely Realized One, Endowed with Wisdom and Deeds, Well Gone, Comprehender of the World, Unexcelled Man, Skilful Charioteer, Teacher of Gods and Men, Buddha, Blessed One!”


The gods addressed the Buddha, saying: “It is amazing indeed, O Blessed One, that the Prajñāpāramitā of the bodhisattva mahāsattvas is able to include and take up sarvajñā.”


⌒㖵㵌㠚㠤ࡠ㯙㣨㤕DŽnj(CBETA, T08, no. 224, p. 431, a11-13); Dàmíngdù(B), fasc. 2 ljབྷ᰾ᓖ㏃NJধ 2˖Njᴹ ᤱབྷ᰾㘵ˈ⛪ਇа࠷Ც⸓DŽnjnj(CBETA, T08, no. 225, p. 483, c3-4); Móhē, fasc. 2 lj᪙䁦㡜㤕䡄㏃NJধ 2˖ Nj㹼㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌㠚㠤㹼ࡠ㯙㣨㤕DŽnj(CBETA, T08, no. 226, p. 513, c1-2).


ABBREVIATIONS

Chāo Bānru Chāo Jīng (㡜㤕䡄㏃).

Dàbānru 1 Dàbānru bōluómìduō Jīng (བྷ㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌㏃), Assembly 1.

Dàbānru 2 Dàbānru bōluómìduō Jīng (བྷ㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌㏃), Assembly 2.

Dàbānru 3 Dàbānru bōluómìduō Jīng (བྷ㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌㏃), Assembly 3.

Dàbānru 4 Dàbānru bōluómìduō Jīng (བྷ㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌㏃), Assembly 4.

Dàbānru 5 Dàbānru bōluómìduō Jīng (བྷ㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌㏃), Assembly 5.

Dàoxíng Dàoxíng Bānru bōluómì Jīng (䚃㹼㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌㏃).

Dàmíngdù(A) Dàmíngdù Jīng (བྷ᰾ᓖ㏃), Chp. 1.

Dàmíngdù(B) Dàmíngdù Jīng (བྷ᰾ᓖ㏃), Chp. 2-30.

Xiaŏpĭn Xiaŏpĭn Bānru bōluómì Jīng (ሿ૱㡜㤕⌒㖵㵌㏃).


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