prajñā

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Glossaryprajñā

Sanskrit Noun

prajñā

wisdom
प्रज्ञा
ཤེས་རབ་
般若

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.

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.

On this topic
Term Variations
Key Term prajñā
Topic Variation prajñā
Tibetan ཤེས་རབ་  ( sherab)
Wylie Tibetan Transliteration shes rab  ( sherab)
Devanagari Sanskrit प्रज्ञा
Romanized Sanskrit prajñā
Chinese 般若
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
Jeffrey Hopkin's English Term know-highest
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)
Term Information
Source Language Sanskrit
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.
Related Terms jñāna
Term Type Noun
Definitions
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.
Mahavyutpati prajñā
RigpaWiki rigpa:Wisdom


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