Prajñāpāramitā

From Buddha-Nature

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GlossaryPrajñāpāramitā

Sanskrit Noun

Prajñāpāramitā

Perfection of Wisdom
प्रज्ञापारमिता
ཤེར་ཕྱིན་
般若波羅蜜多

Basic Meaning

A class of Mahāyāna sūtras which represents some of the earliest known literature of this genre of Buddhism. There are around forty texts associated with this category, though the most widespread is the exceedingly brief Prajñāpāramitāhṛdayasūtra, popularly known as the Heart Sūtra. This class of literature is typically associated with the second turning of the dharma wheel and especially with the teachings on emptiness (śūnyatā). As such, these texts were the primary scriptural source for the philosophy of the Madhyamaka school.

Term Variations
Key Term Prajñāpāramitā
Topic Variation Prajñāpāramitā
Tibetan ཤེར་ཕྱིན་
Wylie Tibetan Transliteration shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa
Devanagari Sanskrit प्रज्ञापारमिता
Romanized Sanskrit prajñāpāramitā
Chinese 般若波羅蜜多
Chinese Pinyin bōrě bōluómìduō
Japanese Transliteration hannya haramitta
Korean 반야바라밀다
Korean Transliteration Banyabaramilda
Buddha-nature Site Standard English Perfection of Wisdom
Jeffrey Hopkin's English Term Perfection of Wisdom
Sarah Harding's English Term Perfection of Wisdom
Gyurme Dorje's English Term transcendent perfection of discriminative awareness
Ives Waldo's English Term transcendent wisdom
Term Information
Source Language Sanskrit
Basic Meaning A class of Mahāyāna sūtras which represents some of the earliest known literature of this genre of Buddhism. There are around forty texts associated with this category, though the most widespread is the exceedingly brief Prajñāpāramitāhṛdayasūtra, popularly known as the Heart Sūtra. This class of literature is typically associated with the second turning of the dharma wheel and especially with the teachings on emptiness (śūnyatā). As such, these texts were the primary scriptural source for the philosophy of the Madhyamaka school.
Did you know? This can also refer to a female deity who is known in the Tibetan tradition as the Great Mother (yum chen mo).
Term Type Noun
Definitions
Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism See page 656: In Sanskrit, “perfection of wisdom” or “perfect wisdom”; a polysemous term, which appears in Päli accounts of the Buddha’s prior training as a bodhisattva (P. bodhisatta), but is widely used in Mahāyāna Buddhism. Prajñāpāramitā refers to a level of understanding beyond that of ordinary wisdom, especially referring to the the wisdom associated with, or required to achieve, buddhahood. The term receives a variety of interpretations, but it is often said to be the wisdom that does not conceive of an agent, an object, or an action as being ultimately real. The perfection of wisdom is also sometimes defined as the knowledge of emptiness (śūnyatā). As the wisdom associated with buddhahood, prajñāpāramitā is the sixth of the six perfections (pāramitā) that are practiced on the bodhisattva path.
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