[The disciple] Shariputra:

The Perfection of Wisdom shines forth as a sublime light, O Buddha nature. I sing this spontaneous hymn of light to praise Mother Prajnaparamita. She is worthy of infinite praise. She is utterly unstained, because nothing in this insubstantial world can possibly stain her. She is an ever-flowing fountain of incomparable light, and from every conscious being on every plane, she removes the faintest trace of illusory darkness...In her alone can we find true refuge...

...She clearly and constantly points out the path of wisdom to every conscious being with the direct pointing that is her transmission and empowerment...

...Mother Prajnaparamita is total awakeness...She is the Perfect Wisdom which never comes into being and therefore never goes out of being. She is known as the Great Mother by those spiritually mature beings who dedicate their mind streams to the liberation and full enlightenment of all that lives.

...She is the universal benefactress who presents, as a sublime offering to truth, the limitless jewel of all Buddha qualities, the miraculous gem which generates the ten inconceivable powers of a Buddha to elevate living beings into consciousness of their innate Buddha nature. She can never be defeated in any way, on any level. She lovingly protects vulnerable conscious beings who cannot protect themselves, gradually generating in them unshakable fearlessness and diamond confidence. She is the perfect antidote to the poisonous view which affirms the cycle of birth and death to be a substantial reality. She is clear knowledge of the open and transparent mode of being shared by all relative structures and events. Her transcendent knowing never waivers. She is the Perfect Wisdom who gives birthless birth to all Buddhas. And through these sublimely Awakened Ones, it is Mother Prajnaparamita alone who turns the wheel of true teaching.

Lord Buddha:

Precisely so, beloved Shariputra. 1

Those who have attained Buddhahood have done so by finding the inner path. They have entered into deep meditation on the supreme teacher Prajnaparamita and cultivated her Perfect Wisdom. Buddhists call Prajnaparamita the Goddess of Perfect Wisdom because she personifies the "highest forms of transcendental wisdom." She is regarded as the incarnation of the Divine Word and is called the Mother of all Buddhas.

The sacred teachings known as the Prajnaparamita Sutras are named after her. Prajnaparamita (Sanskrit: "Perfection of Wisdom") symbolizes transcendent wisdom because she embodies the Dharma (teachings), doctrine and virtues of the sutras at their highest level. Prajna means "transcendental wisdom" or "insight" and paramita translates as "perfect virtues" or "highest perfections."

Long ago, some say around two thousand five hundred years ago, Shakyamuni Buddha gave audience on Vulture Peak and released the sacred teachings called Great Mother: the Prajnaparamita of 100,000 Lines. Over time, abridged versions have been written, but the essence of the Prajnaparamita Sutra, or "perfection of wisdom" remains the same.

The setting for the release of these perfect wisdom texts demonstrates not only their cosmic importance, but also the transcendent wisdom and power of Mother Prajnaparamita. There are many accounts of the turning of the wheel at Rajagriha on Vulture Peak Mountain. All begin with:

Thus I have heard.

The Buddha was staying on Vulture Peak at Rajagriha with a large assembly of people. Many of those present were "divine beings" from heavenly realms. Also in attendance were laypersons, nuns, monks and bodhisattvas. Some accounts say the great bodhisattva Manjushri (Bodhisattva of Wisdom) was there, too. All in all, it was a heavenly assembly.

The Buddha sat down cross-legged in the lotus position on His Lion throne and entered into a deep meditation.

Lord Buddha's body began to radiate light, lighting up the "vast billion-world universe" and the "thousand-spoked wheels on the soles of his feet shone forth sixty hundred thousand trillions of billions of light rays, as did every other part of his superhuman body." 2

Light rays emitting from his tongue shone forth "many hundreds of thousand of billions of trillions of light rays" which turned into "thousand-petaled golden lotuses, made of the finest jewel substances." Sitting on these lotuses were "Buddha-emanations giving teachings, this very teaching of the truth of the six transcendent Perfections…" 3

These sutras (teachings and discourses of the Buddha) are "holy matrices" leading one to the attainment of perfect wisdom. Some of the better-known ones are the Lotus Sutra, Garland Sutra, Land of Bliss Sutra, the Diamond Sutra, and the Prajnaparamita Sutra in 8,000 Lines. The latter sutra teaches the path of the Bodhisattva Way and is considered to be the book of supreme perfect wisdom, which Prajnaparamita personifies.

Bodhisattvas

Mahayana Buddhism, called the "Great Vehicle," says all beings can seek enlightenment. The goal of this path is to become a bodhisattva. A bodhisattva (disciple) is a being who seeks "perfect enlightenment" for the sake of helping others. They are so moved by the sufferings of mankind they are willing to sacrifice themselves lifetime after lifetime. They vow to forego nirvana, the ultimate goal of Buddhist endeavor, until all beings are liberated.

The compassion a bodhisattva feels for another is truly genuine and it comes from a sacred place deep from within the heart called the secret chamber of the heart. These saints exemplify a kindness and love that surpasses that of the average person. They are true friends and Buddha says if you ever find one, you are greatly blessed. A bodhisattva is a being destined to become a Buddha.

What is a Buddha? A Buddha is an "enlightened one" or an "Awakened One." The Ascended Masters teach that it is an office in the spiritual hierarchy of the Great White Brotherhood that is attained by passing certain initiations. White refers to the aura or halo of light often depicted in art around the saints and Buddhas.

Author and spiritual teacher Elizabeth Clare Prophet (Prophet*) explains why many people erroneously think that Buddhists are agnostics and do not believe in a soul. "Some people study Buddhism as a cerebral exercise, but they may not enter into the spirit of it - the bodhisattva path itself." 4 Unless people enter into the "spirit" of it, they will not reap the benefits or fully understand the wisdom of the Goddess Prajnaparamita.

Guidelines For the Bodhisattva

The Prajnaparamita Sutras provide the guidelines for those who desire to become a bodhisattva. Author Lex Hixon writes:

The bodhisattva will always maintain a motherly mind, consecrated to the constant protection, education and maturing of conscious beings, inviting and guiding them along the path of all-embracing love. This Mahayana mind never succumbs to fear, anxiety or depression and is never overwhelmed by the strange adventures of awareness in the three realms of relativity - mundane form, sublime form and formlessness. 5

What inspires a bodhisattva to devote his or her life to the liberation of beings? Buddhists call it bodhicitta. Bodhicitta is similar to a spiritual conversion or a profound awakening to help others. When this happens the bodhisattva makes a vow. There are many versions of the vow but all contain the desire to seek enlightenment primarily for the sake of helping others.

However innumerable beings are,
I vow to save them.
However inexhaustible the passions are,
I vow to extinguish them.
However immeasurable the dharmas [teachings] are,
I vow to master them.
However incomparable the Buddha truth is,
I vow to attain it. 6

Dedicating oneself to the liberation of beings and to the fulfillment of the vow requires a special kind of love, courage and wisdom that only the Divine Mother can bestow. Hixon explains:

To sustain this wonderful courage and compassion, the bodhisattva drinks the mother's milk of transcendent insight from the Prajnaparamita Sutra, for Prajnaparamita is mother, creator, native ground and tender wet-nurse in omniscience for every past, present and future Buddha or Awakened One. All conscious beings, including ourselves, are these future Buddhas, still evolving toward omniscience. 7

As the Great Mother, she takes us into her womb of Perfect Wisdom and guides us through the great mystery of life for the birthing of our own awakening. She comes as the Great Liberator separating reality from unreality. She shows us how to let go of our inordinate desires. Her wisdom brings us to the understanding of the bodhisattva vow and why anyone would cultivate self-sacrifice for the sake of helping others.

Prajnaparamita teaches us to develop right speech and the mind of the Buddha. She shows us how to weave the Buddha nature of compassion into our mantle, our garment of light. She teaches us the path of selflessness and how to empty ourselves through the act of giving. As we do this, God fills us with his Light.

Lord Buddha achieved his liberation after many lifetimes of pursuing and cultivating the qualities of a Buddha. Through adoration of the Mother and the raising of the sacred fire called the Kundalini, he attained enlightenment. As we raise this sacred energy through each of the chakras (spiritual centers), it eventually "merges in the heart as the Christ, and flowers in the crown as the Buddhic enlightenment of the thousand-petaled lotus." 8

Prajnaparamita gives birth to all Buddhas. And all Buddhas have attained Buddhahood as a result of their reverence for Mother. Prophet explains:

The way of the Buddha is the adoration of the Mother. It is the child adoring the Mother, the Mother adoring the child. It is God enveloping the soul and the soul enveloping God, the Lover and the beloved uniting as one. The way of the Buddha is the Knower becoming the known and the known becoming the Knower. 9

Although the Prajnaparamita Sutra is described as the "teaching that is no teaching," and as the "teachingless teaching," do not be deceived. Several practitioners made this mistake during the Buddha's original transmission of the teaching and walked out of the assembly. They had no faith, respect or reverence for the wisdom of Prajnaparamita and could not even understand what was being said.

The Middle Way

Prajnaparamita shows us how to balance our karma through the practice of serving others. Gautama Buddha outlines the requirements of the sacred path. He advocates avoiding extremes in either "self-indulgence" or "self-mortification." This is the Middle Way.

The Four Noble Truths state that:

  1. life is dukkha, "suffering,"
  2. the cause of suffering is inordinate desire,
  3. freedom from suffering is in the attainment of nirvana,
  4. the way to this liberation is through the Eightfold Path.

The Eightfold Path gives eight precepts for right living:

  1. Right Understanding (or Right Views),
  2. Right Aspirations (or Right Thought),
  3. Right Speech,
  4. Right Action,
  5. Right Livelihood,
  6. Right Effort,
  7. Right Mindfulness, and
  8. Right Concentration (or Right Absorption of God). 10

Prajnaparamita shows us how to walk the path, truthfully, fearlessly and in an uncompromising way as she liberates and leads us to perfect wisdom.

Perfect Virtues

Paramita means "perfect virtues" or "highest perfections." According to Buddhist teachings, bodhisattvas practice mastering and perfecting the Ten Perfections of the Law (some teachings refer to Six Perfections). Virtues can be thought of as flames or petals of "one great flame," which over time becomes the Buddhic light that flowers as the thousand-petaled lotus in the crown chakra.

While there are different variations of The Ten Perfections the Ascended Masters teach the following:

  1. Alms,
  2. Precepts,
  3. Renunciation,
  4. Wisdom,
  5. Courage,
  6. Patience,
  7. Truth,
  8. Resolution,
  9. Goodwill, and
  10. Indifference (the balance between desire and desirelessness). 11

Transcendent perfections need to be cultivated and assimilated to benefit from them. To become a Buddha we have to be willing to drink from the fount of the Mother's wisdom. Hixon explains:

...These supreme excellences or paramitas are the mysterious energy of Mother Prajnaparamita that manifests spontaneously through the sincere practitioner of Perfect Wisdom...They remain radically different from the salutary qualities which their names usually denote... 12

Prophet explains the Perfection of Alms, saying:

…It is the total giving of oneself, the continual emptying of the jar of water that the jar might be filled again. It is the self-emptying, the bestowing of the love of God freely to all.
This virtue is the testing of selflessness. For only souls who internalize the flame of selflessness can be trusted with the crystalline shafts of God's power. Only in selflessness can a soul be trusted with omnipotence. 13

Bodhisattvas are always working on the ten paramitas, although a particular one may be focused on at each stage. The advantage of concentrating on one virtue and mastering it is that it usually results in the remaining ones falling quickly into place.

Cultivating any virtue is always good to do. A virtue "is a single petal of a quality itself, like faith or hope or charity or honesty or directness or sincerity." 14 A virtue is a point of enlightenment, a petal of enlightenment that overtime becomes the thousand-petaled lotus in the crown chakra.

Buddhists speak of virya, which translates to mean "vigor," "energy," "strength," or "manliness," as being a paramita. The quality of forgiveness is another virtue. Before you can begin to feel compassion for someone, you have to forgive him or her. Mahayanists strive to walk the path of the Buddha, stressing good works and compassion towards one another.

Buddha speaks of billions of beings embodying a virtue. Each virtue we acquire becomes the petal of a lotus until one day we become the "jewel in the center (heart) of the lotus." As the Buddha says, what a beautiful lotus this will be!

Prajnaparamita

Prajnaparamita (Prajnyaparamita) is often depicted in art as being white or yellow in color, with anywhere from two to twelve arms, some in various mudra positions (usually in the teaching gesture), holding a lotus, the sacred book, a sword ("to cleave away ignorance"), a vajra or thunderbolt ("symbolizing the emptiness of the void"), and a begging bowl ("renunciation of material goods"). 15

In one ancient panel depicting a manuscript cover, a four-armed Prajnaparamita is seated holding a book in one hand and a vajra (thunderbolt) in another, and forming the mudra of teaching with her two remaining hands. Flanking her on either side are two Bodhisattvas, Maitreya and Avalokiteshvara. Her position of honor attests to her office in the celestial world of Buddhas. Scholar Robert Thurman writes:

Prajnyaparamita is the paradigmatic enlightened goddess in Buddhism. She is the transcendent wisdom of selflessness or freedom, the realization that liberates from all suffering. She is praised as the Mother of all Buddhas. The Prajnyaparamita Sutras are the verbal expressions of her wisdom; they are basic to Universal Vehicle (Mahayana) Buddhism. These wisdom texts teach the freedom reality of voidness, the conception of the spirit of the enlightenment of love and compassion, the paths of the Bodhisattvas - everything needed for the attainment of liberation. They breathe a spirit of fervent devotion to the goddess herself. 16

White Tara (Sitatara) is one of Prajnaparamita's manifestations. She is revered by Tibetans as "Holy Mother Tara" and instrumental in guiding not only them, but also all mankind along the sacred path to enlightenment.

In the Prajnaparamita Sutras, the emphasis is on "emptiness" and the formula to do this is found in the mantra:

Mantra:
GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA

Phonetic:
GA-TEE GA-TEE PAR-A-GA-TEE PAR-A-SAM-GA-TEE BODHI SWA-HAH

English translation:
Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone wholly beyond - Enlightenment, hail! or Awakening fulfilled!

Prajnaparamita's mantra is called the mantra of "highest knowledge," "supreme mantra," "the mantra of great insight," "the unsurpassed mantra," and the "unequaled mantra." It is said to be the mantra of truth as there is no deception. It eases or removes all suffering.

Wisdom is the most prized virtue in Buddhism because only through wisdom can one be totally liberated from suffering and ignorance. As the Mother of all Buddhas, Prajnaparamita is not only the "Supreme Wisdom Goddess" but also "Awakened Enlightenment."

"Let the Perfection of Truth, of Resolution, and of Goodwill
be the solid foundation of the house of the Mother."
- Gautama Buddha 17

  1. Lex Hixon, Mother of the Buddhas: Meditation on the Prajnaparamita Sutra (Wheaton, IL: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1993) 95, 96.
  2. Hixon ix.
  3. Hixon ix.
  4. Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Quietly Comes the Buddha (Corwin Springs, Montana: Summit University Press, 1998) xxiii.
  5. Hixon 4.
  6. Elizabeth Clare Prophet, "The Buddhic Essence; The Potential to Become the Buddha; The Ten Stages of the Bodhisattva Path", The Summit Lighthouse On-Line Bookstore 3 Jul. 1992, 11 Jun. 2007.
  7. Hixon 4.
  8. Djwal Kul, "The Sacred Fire Breath," Pearls Of Wisdom:1958-1996, First Edition, CD-ROM, (Corwin Springs, Montana: Church Universal and Triumphant, 1997) 20 Oct. 1974: Vol. 17 No. 42.

The Crown Chakra. The goal of self-mastery in time and space is the flowering of the "thousand-petaled lotus" of the crown. It is in the crown that man and woman are destined to know God through the mind of his Son. When we attain to that crown consciousness, true wisdom is known.
The firing of the crown with wisdom creates a magnet that draws the energies of the Mother up from the base of the spine, up through each of the successive chakras, which are the centers of our God-awareness. The enlightenment of the Buddha and of the Christ that comes with the release of the golden yellow fire of the crown chakra is the experience of knowing all things without being tutored or taught. Our awareness then includes that which is contained in the mind of God.

  1. Prophet, Quietly Comes the Buddha 6.
  2. Gautama Buddha, "Wesak Address 1994," Pearls Of Wisdom:1958-1996, First Edition, CD-ROM, (Corwin Springs, Montana: Church Universal and Triumphant, 1997) 29 May, 1994: Vol. 37 No. 22.
  3. Elizabeth Clare Prophet, "Quietly Comes the Buddha," The Summit Lighthouse On-Line Bookstore 08 Apr. 1977, 11 Jun. 2007.
  4. Hixon 21.
  5. Prophet, Quietly Comes the Buddha 30.
  6. Gautama Buddha, "Thirty-third Anniversary of the Summit Lighthouse," Pearls Of Wisdom:1958-1996, First Edition, CD-ROM, (Corwin Springs, Montana: Church Universal and Triumphant, 1997) 27 Oct. 1991: Vol. 34 No. 52.
  7. "Prajnaparamita.", Encyclopcdia Britannica Premium Service 8 Jun. 2006, 11 Jun. 2007.
  8. Marylin M. Rhie and Robert A. F. Thurman, Wisdom And Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet (New York: Tibet House, 2000) 314-315.
  9. Gautama Buddha, "Quietly Comes the Buddha," Pearls Of Wisdom:1958-1996, First Edition, CD-ROM, (Corwin Springs, Montana: Church Universal and Triumphant, 1997) 20 Jul. 1975: Vol. 18 No. 29.

*   Spiritual teachers Elizabeth Clare Prophet and her twin flame Mark L. Prophet (Lanello) began teaching the path of Aquarius over 40 years ago. Because of her devotion to the Divine Mother, her students affectionately call Mrs. Prophet Mother. To learn more about these messengers please visit The Summit Lighthouse .

†   Teachings of the Ascended Masters for your spiritual path including Pearls of Wisdom are published by The Summit Lighthouse
63 Summit Way, Gardiner, Montana USA 59030-9314. The Summit Lighthouse, Pearls of Wisdom, and Teachings of the Ascended Masters are trademarks registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. All rights to their use are reserved.