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Prajna Paramita - The Perfection of Buddhism

By Gaurav Manandhar at
The perfection of Buddhism - Prajna Paramita
The Perfection of Wisdom or popularly known as Prajna Paramita is mainly focused on the Sanskrit term Prajna or Pali term Panni. Prajna is translated as Wisdom and the perfection of Wisdom is known as Prajna Paramita.

In Buddhism , the paramitas are considered as the perfection of different virtues such as helping others, giving others or purification of Karma . Basically, there are 6 basic paramitas but it differs in accordance to other different tradition of Buddhism like Theravada Buddhism , Mahayana Buddhism and so on. The Perfection of Wisdom is one of the six paramitas in Buddhism and is traditionally known as Prajna Paramita . In recent years, both Mahayana Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism has developed ten Perfections or Paramitas .

Prajna Paramita

The Perfection of Wisdom or popularly known as Prajna Paramita is mainly focused on the Sanskrit term Prajna or Pali term Panni. Prajna is translated as Wisdom and the perfection of Wisdom is known as Prajna Paramita . Wisdom in Buddhism is described as one’s view in the nature of true reality that consists of Dukkha (pain and suffering), sunyata ( emptiness ). Among all the doctrines of Paramita , Prajna Paramita is considered as the most difficult since understanding the sunyata or emptiness is quite difficult and many Buddhist monks misunderstood the true reality and true meaning behind this term “ Sunyata ”. Sunyata or Emptiness is considered as the core or heart of most of the doctrines of Mahayana Buddhism .

  • Buddha prajnaparamita

According to Mahayana Buddhism , the Perfection of Wisdom is listed as the sixth paramita but it is listed as the fourth paramita in Theravada Buddhism . It is believed that the perfection of Wisdom leads to the door to the path of Enlightenment . According to the sutra of Wisdom , wisdom is defined as the realization and understanding the true meaning of sunyata or emptiness .

In Heart Sutra of Buddhism , there is mentioned of Prajnaparamita . According to the sutra, in the peak mountain located in Rajagriha , Lord Buddha , and his followers were gathered in the vulture peak mountain. There Avalokiteshvara, Bodhisattva of Compassion taught Sariputra , one of the two chief disciples of Buddha about the Prajnaparamita teachings . And Prajna Paramita was considered as the second Wheel of Dharma and it is also believed that Mahayana Buddhism was founded during the time. Prajna Paramita also brought the concept of Sunyata or Emptiness of all phenomena.

Sunyata or Emptiness

Sunyata or Emptiness is considered as the heart of Prajna Paramita since the realization of sunyata has always been one of the most difficult tasks for many Buddhist monks and followers. Sunyata is a Sanskrit term and is translated as emptiness, voidness etc. But the meaning may differ according to various Buddhist doctrines and texts. According to Theravada Buddhism , Sunyata or Emptiness literally means not-self. But in Mahayana Buddhism , the true meaning of Sunyata is much more than that of Theravada . Sunyata includes all the phenomena that are without self-essence .

Prajna Paramita in Tibetan Buddhism

In Tibetan Buddhism , the figure of Prajnaparamita is considered as the representation of transcendent wisdom and is popularly known as The Great Mother . In Tibet , she is known by the name Yum Chenmo . It is believed that the figure of Prajnaparamita realized and found the true meaning about all the existence of emptiness and sees all emptiness. In Tibetan Buddhism , PrajnaParamita is depicted as the personification of divine body figure with a body full of golden color.