Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in Eight Thousand Lines

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The goddess Prajñaparamita

Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in Eight Thousand Lines (Skt. Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā; Tib. ཤེར་ཕྱིན་བརྒྱད་སྟོང་པ་, Wyl. sher phyin brgyad stong pa), consisting of 32 chapters, is, according to scholars, the earliest of the Prajnaparamita sutras. Its popular verse summary is known as the Verse Summary of the Prajnaparamita.

This sutra takes the form of a series of dialogues between the Buddha Shakyamuni, Subhuti, Shariputra, and others such as Indra, the king of gods, and a Goddess of the Ganges, and as well as setting out the teachings on emptiness as such it describes the path and practices that a bodhisattva should take to integrate this understanding of phenomena and finally realize it. A special feature of this particular sutra are the inspirational narratives of Sadaprarudita and his quest for the teachings on the Perfection of Wisdom from the Bodhisattva Dharmodgata, contained in the final three chapters.[1]

Early Translations

  • Tibetan translation: Kangyur, Prajnaparamita Section, Toh 12

Modern Translations

In English

  • Edward Conze, Perfection of Wisdom in 8,000 Lines and its Verse Summary, (1958)

In French

  • Georges Driessens, Noble perfection de sagesse en huit mille versets Broché (Éditions Vajra Yogini, 2007), translated from Tibetan

Commentaries

Indian

Famous Quotations

སེམས་ལ་སེམས་མ་མཆིས་ཏེ། །
སེམས་ཀྱི་རང་བཞིན་ནི་འོད་གསལ་བའོ། །[2]

The mind is devoid of mind,
For the nature of mind is clear light.

Śākyamuni, Eight Thousand Verse Prajñāparamitā


References

  1. 84,000
  2. Although the paraphrase has become the standard, the actual quotation in the text reads:
    འདི་ལྟར་སེམས་དེ་ནི་སེམས་མ་མཆིས་པ་སྟེ། །
    སེམས་ཀྱི་རང་བཞིན་ནི་འོད་གསལ་བ་ལགས་སོ། །

Further Reading

  • Edward Conze, The Prajñāpāramitā Literature (1960)