One of the key terms for wisdom or knowledge, most often having the sense of insight, transcendent knowledge, or perhaps gnosis. In some contexts it can also refer to cognition or intellectual understanding.
Has the Sense of
One of the most important terms in Buddhist philosophy, prajñā, or sherab in Tibetan, has the sense of "higher knowing" or "special insight." This is the prajñā in prajñāpāramitā, and it is associated with the wisdom that perceives/knows the actual nature of reality. See also jñāna.
Simplified English Usage
Three types of wisdom (prajñā) are distinguished in Buddhist teachings: wisdom developed through study or learning, wisdom developed through reflection or analysis, and wisdom developed through cultivation or meditation.
|Tibetan||ཤེས་རབ་ ( sherab)|
|Wylie Tibetan Transliteration||shes rab ( sherab)|
|Chinese Pinyin||bān ruò|
|Buddha-nature Site Standard English||wisdom|
|Karl Brunnhölzl's English Term||(supreme) knowledge|
|Richard Barron's English Term||sublime knowing/ wisdom, transcendent knowledge, sublime intelligence|
|Jeffrey Hopkin's English Term||know-highest, wisdom|
|Dan Martin's English Term||Insight. PrajñA. (I believe the English word insight should be reserved for translating prajñA, and not as is usually done, translating lhag mthong (vipazyana, vipassana). The latter term could just as well be translated 'further vision, ' 'deepening vision' or the like.) In some MahAyAna contexts, it would be best to translate as Transcendent Insight.|
|Gyurme Dorje's English Term||discriminative awareness|
|Ives Waldo's English Term||prajna, knowledge (sometimes contrasted to ye shes as intellectual knowledge vs (religious) wisdom, but sometimes = shes rab pha rol phyin and contrasted w shes yon giving a similar meaning w shes rab = wisdom)|
|Basic Meaning||One of the key terms for wisdom or knowledge, most often having the sense of insight, transcendent knowledge, or perhaps gnosis. In some contexts it can also refer to cognition or intellectual understanding.|
|Has the Sense of||One of the most important terms in Buddhist philosophy, prajñā, or sherab in Tibetan, has the sense of "higher knowing" or "special insight." This is the prajñā in prajñāpāramitā, and it is associated with the wisdom that perceives/knows the actual nature of reality. See also jñāna.|
|Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism||See page 655: In Sanskrit, typically translated “wisdom,” but having connotations perhaps closer to “gnosis,” “awareness,” and in some contexts “cognition”; the term has the general sense of accurate and precise understanding, but is used most often to refer to an understanding of reality that transcends ordinary comprehension. It is one of the most important terms in Buddhist thought, occurring in a variety of contexts. In Buddhist epistemology, prajñā is listed as one of the five mental concomitants (caitta) that accompany all virtuous (kuśala) states of mind. It is associated with correct, analytical discrimination of the various factors (dharma) enumerated in the Buddhist teachings (dharmapravicaya). In this context, prajñā refers to the capacity to distinguish between the faults and virtues of objects in such a way as to overcome doubt.|
|Rangjung Yeshe Dictionary||Prajna. Knowledge or intelligence. In particular, the 'knowledge of realizing egolessness.'. the practice of wisdom. insight, knowledge (thd). discriminating knowledge. prajna, intelligence, knowledge, discrimination, (wisdom). insight, (shag rog) roommate. (shes rab chung ba) those who have limited knowledge. Discrimination, as one of the five object determining mental states, superior knowledge (in most contexts) - superior intelligence, or intelligence (when referring to the 51 mental factors) - wisdom (when taken as synonymous with yeshe). Syn (ye shes); superior knowledge (in most contexts). - superior intelligence, or intelligence (when referring to the 51 mental factors). - wisdom (when taken as synonymous with yeshe); Wisdom, discriminating wisdom, (prajna); bden don gtan la 'bebs) rang dang spyi'i mtshan nyid rnam par 'byed pa'o) discriminative awareness. recognition, intelligence, to be aware of, come to understand, to know, to grasp, master, to learn, can, be able to, to realize; discriminative awareness; Discrimination, as one of the five object determining mental states. knowledge. one of the (pha drug) the six paramitas. discriminative awareness. insight, intelligence. (shes rab chung ba) those who have limited knowledge. prajna, (wisdom). Syn (ye shes) wisdom. superior knowledge (in most contexts). - superior intelligence, or intelligence (when referring to the 51 mental factors) - wisdom (when taken as synonymous with yeshe). transcendent knowledge. critical acumen (in debate)|
|Muller's Digital Dictionary of Buddhism (DDB)||般若 Transliteration of the Sanskrit, meaning wisdom; cognitive acuity; know-how (Pāli paññā).1 Especially the Buddhist wisdom that is based on a realization of dependent arising, no-self, emptiness, etc.—the wisdom that is able to extinguish afflictions and bring about enlightenment. Interpretive renderings such as 'know-how' and 'cognitive acuity,' point out that prajñā is a knowledge that can be applied to the effecting of positive changes. In the sense that it has a positive meaning, as a noetic function that is based on a purified state of consciousness, its meaning sometimes overlaps with that of jñāna. However, jñāna refers more often to a direct cognitive experience, whereas prajñā tends to connote a kind of insight or discernment based on prior experience. Both prajñā and jñāna, as mental states of enlightened people or advanced practitioners, are distinguished from vijñāna, the noetic function of ordinary beings, that works through vikalpa 分別, prapañca 戲論, etc. Translated into Chinese as 智慧 and 明 clear, intelligent. Prajñā is the sixth pāramitā. The Prajñāpāramitā-sūtra describes it as supreme, highest, incomparable, unequalled, unsurpassed. It is spoken of as the principal means, by its enlightenment, of attaining to nirvana, through its revelation of the emptiness of all things. Also transliterated as 般羅若; 般諄若; 鉢若; 鉢剌若; 鉢羅枳孃; 鉢腎禳; 波若, 波賴若; 波羅孃; 班若. (Skt. prajñā-pāramitā, adhiprajñā, jñāna-vaipulya-sūtra).|