Prajñā-pāramitā

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(Yampolsky)

 “What is prajñāPrajñā is wisdom (chih-hi). When at all times successive thoughts contain no ignorance, and you always practice wisdom, this is known as the practice of prajñā. If but one instant of thought contains ignorance, then prajñā is cut off; but if one instant of thought contains wisdom, then prajñā is produced 

“People are deluded and do not see prajña. They speak of prajñā with the mouth, but in their minds they are constantly ignorant. They themselves say: ‘I am practicing prajñā,’ and in consecutive thoughts they speak of emptiness, yet they do not know the true emptiness. Prajñā has no shape and form. This, then, is the mind of wisdom.”

“What is po-lo-mi-to (pāramitā)? This is the Indian Sanskrit pronunciation and means ‘other-shore-reached.’ When its meaning is understood you are apart from birth and destruction. When you are attached to environment, birth and destruction arise. Take waves rising on the water-they are something that occurs on ‘this’ shore. Being apart from environment and putting an end to birth and destruction is like going along with the flow of the water. Thus it is called ‘reaching the other shore,’ in other words, pāramitā. The deluded person recites it; the wise man practices with the mind. If you have delusion [in your mind] when you recite it, the very existence of this delusion is not a true existence. If in successive thoughts you practice it, this is called true existence. Those who awaken to this Dharma have awakened to the Dharma of prajñā and are practicing the prajñā practice. If you do not practice it you are an ordinary person; if you practice for one instant of thought, your Dharma body will be the same as the Buddha’s. Good friends, the very passions are themselves enlightenment (bodhi). When past thoughts are deluded, this is the common man; when future thoughts are awakened to, this is Buddha.

“Good friends, the Mahāprajñāpāramitā is the most honored, the supreme, the foremost. It does not stay, it does not leave, nor does it come, and all the Buddhas of the three worlds issue from it. With great wisdom it leads to the other shore and destroys the passions and the troubles of the five skandhas. Since it is the most honored, the supreme, the foremost, if you praise the supreme Dharma and practice according to it, you will certainly become Buddha. Not leaving, not staying, not going or coming, with the identity of wisdom and meditation, and unstained in all things, the various Buddhas of the three worlds issue forth from and change the three poisons into discipline, meditation, and wisdom.”

Prajñā-pāramitā is Direct-Wisdom from the Other Shore of the Nirvanic Mind. Hui-neng states that one momentary ignorant thought severs this nirvanic-connection. Not only thought, but excessive “talk” about having prajñā is really a non-prajñā attitude. Their talk is empty of prajñā, but not the essential emptiness (Voidness) of Prajñā itself. As Huang Po taught, people talk about being wary of approaching the void not even realizing that their own Mind IS the Void. When one enters the Nirvanic Other Shore one embraces Deathlessness; the ticket to the Other Deathless-Nirvanic Shore is paid via transcending the rough samsaric-seas and just going with the natural flow (Wu-hsin) of Mind-Only; sometimes the flow is clear and steady, and other times it may feel like going over troubled-waters, but that’s OK—the important thing is not getting in the way and trying to control the flow. Just learn to ride the Dharma-wave. The following Bodhi-Pearls help to show this dynamic:

Hence, the Mahāprajñāpāramitā is paramount. As the Diamond Sutra instructed, it is seeing Reality (Dharmadhatū) through the very imageless eyes of the Tathagatas, yea “not leaving, not staying, not going or coming” but within this Diamond-Seated-Self-Wisdom even ignorance itself can be transmuted into Wisdom’s hue. This was established during our study of the Five Tathagatas or Dhyani Buddhas, in the Lankavatarian Book of the Dead series, wherein the Five Skandhas are neutralized and abrogated, and even Mara’s five whores (Greed, Fear, Pride, self-ignorance and dark desires) fade away into Dharmameghic Ecstasy. Also, as Hui-neng states, the three-poisons (Concupiscence, Anger, and Ignorance) are transmuted into “discipline, meditation, and wisdom.”

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