The Great Prajna Paramita Sutra, Volume 4 translated by Naichen Chen


Naichen Chen (1941-) earned a PhD in philosophy of education at the University of Florida, USA. He has served as a professor of philosophy, Buddhism, and education at universities in Taiwan and the United States. He also has served as the president of National Hua Lien Teachers College in Taiwan and the University of the West (formerly Hsi Lai University) in Los Angeles, California. He has authored essays and books on education, religion, and philosophy in both Chinese and English.

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Prajna: transcendental wisdom

Paramita: ferrying over to the other shore; perfection

Buddha taught The Great Prajna Paramita Sutra in sixteen assemblies in four locations over twenty-two years. It was recorded posthumously by his disciples in six hundred fascicles of approximately five million words and is regarded as the largest canon in Buddhism.

This sutra depicts, manifests, and provides guidance on how one should learn to become a bodhisattva—and eventually a Buddha—transcending self-interest to reach a state of emptiness, selflessness, and nonattachment. Regardless of where you are on the path to enlightenment, you will be nourished by its parables and dialogues.

“If the great bodhisattvas stay in a mind correspondent with the perfect knowledge of all perfect knowledge and adopt nonattainment as expediency to reflect on matter, feeling, thinking, action, and consciousness as impermanent, painful, selfless, impure, empty, formless, without aspiration, tranquil, far away, and so forth, and without arising and extinction, they do practice prajna paramita for the great bodhisattvas.” (Fascicle 77)


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