A Few Words on Perfect Wisdom
(Svalpaksara Prajna Paramita sutra)
from the Sanskrit
Om namo bhagavatayi arya prajna-paramita.
Om. I bow to the Mother of richness, the noble and perfect knowing, she who is gone beyond all horizons.
Evam maya srutam.
Thus have I heard.
At one time the Generous One was staying at Rajagrha on Vulture Peak Mountain, with a great community of twelve hundred and fifty monks, with many bodhisattvas, about ten million million hundred thousand, with many celestial beings, at least ten million million hundred thousand, headed by Sakra, Brahma, and the Guardians of the four quarters.
The Generous One, seated like a lion on the glorious throne of the matrix of jewels, was teaching the Dharma which is good at the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end. Its meaning is good and so is the way that it is expressed. It is whole, complete, bright, pure, and its practice is vast.
Then Avalokitesvara, being grounded in wakefulness and vastness, rose from his seat, arranged his upper robe over one shoulder, placed his right knee on the earth and bowed to the Generous One, with palm to palm. With a joyful face, he said to the Generous One, “Teach me, Generous One, the knowing which is perfect and gone beyond all horizons in a few words. Just hearing this would be of great merit and dispel the obstacles to action of all beings so that they can have certainty of the goal of awakening. Whatever being will practice this mantra will be without hindrance and will succeed.”
And then the Generous One gave his approval to what the noble Avalokitesvara, being in openness and vastness, had said out of great compassion. “Well said. You have hit the mark, noble one. For a long time you have practiced for the welfare of all beings, for a long time have you acted for the benefit and happiness of all beings. So listen, noble one, listen carefully and pay close attention and I will proclaim the perfect knowing gone beyond all horizons in a brief form so that it will be of great benefit to just hear it to dispel the hindrances to activity of all beings. Thus they may exert themselves to the goal of wakefulness. All beings who practice this mantra will be without obstsacle and will succeed.”
And then the noble Avalokitesvara, being in openness and vastness, said to the Generous One, “Then speak, you who have gone into joyfulness, speak for the happiness and benefit of all beings.”
And then the Generous One entered at that time into concentrating on the liberation of all beings. Through this concentration, from the curl of hair between his brows, there shone forth many rays of light, ten million million hundred thousand rays of light, countless rays of light. And this blaze of light made all the fields of wakefulness apparent and vivid. The beings who were touched by this light became established in limitless and complete wakefulness, and even infernal beings became situated in bliss. And so all fields of awakening trembled in six ways and from the sky, a shower of sandalwood powder began to rain down to the feet of the Generous One.
And then, at that time, the Generous One proclaimed the perfect knowing gone beyond all horizons: “A being grounded in openness and vastness should, for the sake of all beings, know the sameness of all that is, have a mind of friendliness, and of gratitude and thankfulness. Releasing all wrong action, one should chant this heart of perfect knowing gone beyond all horizons:
“Namo ratna-traya. Namah Sakya-munaye tathagatayarhate samyak-sambuddaya.
“I bow to the Three Jewels. I bow before Sakyamuni, the One Thus Gone, the worthy and fully awakened one.
“Om mune mune mahamunaye svaha.
“Om. The sage, the sage, the great sage. Thus.
“Through mastering perfect knowing gone beyond all horizons I attained limitless and complete awakening, and so all those who have awakened are born of perfect knowing. You have heard this perfect knowing, beyond all boundaries, in the presence of Sakyamuni, the Thus Gone, and so I will teach you wakefulness in the presence of all Awakened Ones and those grounded in wakefulness. In the future, you will be called Samanta-rasmy-udgata-sri-ratna-kuta-raja, the sovereign of the glorious peak of the fullness of rays of light universally shining, you will be One Gone Thus, a worthy one, completely and fully awake, perfect in knowing and practice, gone into joy, knowing the world, the limitless, a teacher and guide to the people and gods, an Awakened One, a Generous One. Those who will hear this name and remember it, say it, write it down and cause it to be recorded; those who will practice it, master it and explain it in detail to others; those who will have it made into a book and preserve it in their houses and recite from it, all these will become Gone into Thusness in coming times. And now:
“Tad-yatha, om jaya jaya padmahe avame sara sarini dhiri dhiri dhira dhiri khiri khiri khira khiri devatananupalane buddhotarani purani puraya bhagavati sarvasam mama puraya sarva-satvanam ca sarva-karmavaranani visodhaya visodhaya buddhadhistha-nene svaha.
“Victory, victory to you, the lady appearing as the flowering forth of the lotus. Your path is intimate and flowing, like a waterfall. Dhiri dhiri dhira dhiri, khiri khiri khira khiri. Shining lady of protection, bring us beyond. Perfecting, perfecting and generous mother, fulfiller of all hopes; purifying, purifying all obscuring actions of all beings who are enclosed by limits. Established in wakefulness, give it into the flames.
“This is the ultimate meaning of the perfect knowing gone beyond all horizons. She gives birth to all Awakened Ones. She is the mother of all beings grounded in openness. She dispels all wrong action spontaneously. Noble lady, guide of beings grounded in openness, all the Awakened Ones, even should they number ten million million hundred thousand, are unable to speak enough in your praise.
“By maintaining and reciting this mantra, all assemblies are consecrated and all mantras are presented.”
And then the noble Avalokitesvara, being in openness and vastness, said to the Generous One, “Why is this the perfect knowing going beyond all horizons in these few words, Generous One?”
The Generous One said, “Because it is an easy means for beings whose energies have dulled. If they remember this perfect knowing, if they recite it, copy it and have it recorded, in this simple way they will establish wakefulness as their goal. It is for this reason, noble one, that perfect knowing beyond all horizons has been condensed this way.”
On hearing this, the noble Avalokitesvara, being in wakefulness and vastness, said to the Generous One, “This is wonderful, Generous One, this is wonderful, you have gone into joy. Thus the Generous One has revealed reality in a discourse for the benefit and happiness of all beings and for the benefit and satisfaction of beings with dulled merit.”
Thus spoke the Generous One.
Their hearts gladdened, the noble Avalokitesvara, grounded in openness and vastness, together with the whole community of monks, beings of wakefulness and vastness, and the world with its celestials, people, infernals and spirits enjoyed the talk of the Generous One.
(And so these few words of the dignity of the perfect knowing gone beyond all horizons, the Generous Mother of Riches, are concluded. This the noble Nagarjuna reclaimed from the Potala, the underworld of the dragons.)