A Brief Introduction to The Great Perfection of Wisdom Treatise, Fascicles 16-20
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In fascicles sixteen through eighteen, The Great Perfection of Wisdom Treatise (The Treatise) guides us through the perfections of diligence, meditative concentration, and prajñā wisdom, respectively. Stories of striving forth, descriptions of sentient beings in the cycle of birth and death, cautionary tales, as well as detailed instructions and analyses inspire us to be diligent, to cultivate meditative concentration well, and to embrace and realize prajñā wisdom.
In fascicles nineteen and twenty, The Treatise elaborates on the Buddha further telling Śāriputra what a bodhisattva should practice on the path toward Buddhahood in the Great Perfection of Wisdom Sūtra. The Treatise explains that the four bases of mindfulness, the four right efforts, and so forth (collectively known as the thirty-seven aspects of awakening) are the path to nirvāṇa and instructs us in great detail. Next, The Treatise explains that the three samādhis are the gates to nirvāṇa, and the four immeasurable minds and so forth help us open those gates. All who practice these are sure to fulfill their aspirations on the path.
Composed by one of the most remarkable yet enigmatic figures of Buddhism, the legendary Nāgārjuna, this treatise on The Great Perfection of Wisdom Sūtra builds on the ancient traditions of early Buddhism, adds scholastic systematic analysis, and rallies together the sūtras and treatises of Mahāyāna Buddhism, to champion the Madhyamaka, or “Middle Way,” of the bodhisattva’s spiritual path to the omniscience of a fully awakened Buddha.
Language: Chinese, English
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