The Perfection of Wisdom Sutras The Short Prajnaparamita Texts were composed in India between approximately 100 BC and AD 600. Those contained within this volume, of about forty texts, are among the shorter ones; they are also some of the most well known such as The Heart Sutra, Perfection of Wisdom in 500 lines, The Diamond Sutra, The Questions of Suvikràntavikràmin, and Perfection of Wisdom in 700 lines.
Extract from: The Questions of Suvikràntavikràmin.
The Bodhisattva who courses in this perfection of wisdom courses in the heights, he courses for the purpose of clearing the path to Nirvana for all beings. And why? For this training in the perfection of wisdom is the foremost training, the finest, the best, the most excellent, the utmost and the highest. When he trains in it, the Bodhisattva attains the perfection of all trainings, advances in conformity with them, demonstrates them and causes them to be brought about. For when they were coursing in the course of a Bodhisattva the past, future and present Buddhas and Lords have trained in this training, will train in it and do train in it. Well established in this training the Buddhas and Lords have revealed to all beings the utmost perfect purity of the training, will reveal it and do reveal it. And why? For this training in perfect wisdom is a training which has risen above the entire world, the most distinguished training in the entire world.
Extract from: Perfection of Wisdom in 700 Lines.
And the Lord [Buddha] said again to Manjushri, the Crown Prince: On what grounds do you wish to fully know the utmost, right and perfect enlightenment?
Manjushri: If I had set out for enlightenment, then I would wish to fully know it. But I do not strive after enlightenment, because enlightenment is just the same thing as this Manjushri, the Crown Prince.
The Lord: You expound well, Manjushri, these very deep stations. That is because you have performed your duties under the Jinas of the past, and have coursed for a long time in the holy life which is devoid of a basis. (219)
Manjushri: If I were one who courses in the baseless, that would be equivalent to my having taken hold of a dharma.
The Lord: Do you see this my assembled company of accomplished Disciples?
Manjushri: I do, O Lord.
The Lord: How do you see it?
Manjushri: In such a way that I see no ordinary people, no learners, and no adepts. I do not see, and I also do not not see. But I see in such a way that I see neither many nor few, neither those who are disciplined nor those who are undisciplined…
Buddhist writer and translator Edward Conze ( 1904—1979) devoted around thirty years of his life to translating the Perfection of Wisdom sutras (Prajnaparamita). His pioneering translations of these Mahayana texts include, The Large Sutra on Perfect Wisdom: With the Divisions of the Abhisamayalankara, and The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines, and Its Verse Summary, as well as this collection of the Short Prajnaparamita Texts.
Perfect Wisdom: The short Prajnaparamita Texts. Translated by Edward Conze
ISBN 13: 9780946672288 ISBN 10: 0946672288
Buddhist Publishing Group, Published: 1973 and 2003, Paperback, 284 pages. £15.95 / $24.95
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