Kaushika Prajnaparamita


Kau_KannadaKauśika Prajñāpāramitā Sutra, one of the Short Prajnaparamita Sutras, is the Sutra taught to Indra by the Bhagavan. Kaushika being an epithet of Indra. The Bhagavan teaches to Indra by his own will without any request as in the Case of Svalpakshara Prajnaparamita, where Avalokiteshvara requests the Tathagata to proclaim the Prajnaparamita.

The Tathagata explains the meaning of Prajnaparamita in various different ways, and then summarizes the entire Prajnaparamita into 18 types of Emptiness 

ādhyātmaśūnyatā bahirdhāśūnyatā ādhyātmābahirdhāśūnyatā śūnyatāśūnyatā mahāśūnyatā paramārthaśūnyatā saṁskṛtaśūnyatā asaṁskṛtaśūnyatā atyantaśūnyatā anādyagraśūnyatā anapakāraśūnyatā prakṛtiśūnyatā svalakṣaṇaśūnyatā sarvadharmaśūnyatā anupalambhaśūnyatā abhāvaśūnyatā svabhāvaśūnyatā abhāvasvabhāvaśūnyatā iti| ayamucyate saṁkṣiptena prajñāpāramiteti ||


emptiness of the subject, emptiness of the object, emptiness of both subject and object, emptiness of emptiness, the great emptiness, emptiness in the ultimate sense, conditioned emptiness, unconditioned emptiness, absolute emptiness, emptiness without beginning and end, emptiness of non-repudiation, emptiness of essential nature, emptiness of all dharmas, emptiness of own marks, emptiness of the absence of a basis, emptiness of non-existence, emptiness of own-being, emptiness of the non-existence of own being. There are in short the emptiness This is the perfection of wisdom



namo bhagavatyai ārya prajñāpāramitāyai |

oṁ dhī hrī śrī śruti smṛti mati gati vijaye svāhā ||


Conze considers the words “śruti smṛti mati gati”, as referring to the stages of realization of the Prajnaparamita as in “Heard, Remembered, Understood and arrived at”. This makes the Mantras more of a Mnemonic device, to summarize and recollect the process of Prajnaparamita.  


I have followed the Conze’s version of the Sutra as usual, which contains only this Mantra. He himself had followed the Tibetan recession of the Sutra. He further states that the Central Asian version of the Sutra is much longer with additional 12 Mantras in it. The Uwest Digital Sanskrit Canon probably has this Central Asian version of the Sutra, which is expanded with more Mantras. Infact, the above mantra appears in the subsidiary list of the Mantras.


The Central Asian version as another Mantra as the Prominent Mantra instead of the Above Mantra. This Mantra is similar to the version present in the Sutra title “108 Names of Prajnaparamita”, in which Conze claims to have reconstructed the Mantra which had been highly corrupted. We will compare both the versions in the “108 Names of Prajnaparamita” article. 


The additional mantras from the Uwest Edition:


namo prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā -munidharme saṁgrahadharme anugrahadharme vimokṣadharme sattvānugrahadharme vaiśramaṇadharme samantanuparivartanadharme guṇigrahasaṁgrahadharme sarvatrānugatadharme sarvakālaparipūrṇadharme svāhā ||

namo prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā – akhane nikhane mukhana nekhane avaravandane paṭane paṭane paṭare svāhā ||

namo prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā – gaṅgā gaṅgā na tīrāvabhāsa gaṅgā svāhā ||

namo prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā śrīye śrīye muni śrīye śrīyase svāhā ||

namo prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā-oṁ vajrabale svāhā ||

namo prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā-oṁ hrī śrī dhī śruti smṛti mati gati vijaye svāhā || *

namo prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā-bambari bambari mahābambari būru būru mahābūru svāhā ||

namaḥ prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā-hūte hūte hūvitāśane sarva-karmāvaraṇane svāhā ||

namaḥ prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā-oṁ orolik svāhā ||

namo prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā-oṁ sarvavit svāhā ||

namaḥ prajñāpāramitāyai | tadyathā-gate gate pāragate pārasaṁgate bodhi svāhā || 


One can note that, The Prajnaparamita Hridya Mantra also appears at the end of the list. “oṁ orolik svāhā” seems to be a corrupted version of the Avalokiteshvara’s Mantra “oṁ ārolik svāhā. (Either that.. or it is typo in the Uwest version), Probably it is a collection of Mantras related to Prajnaparamita as a whole, which made it somehow into the text of the Sutra.



1. Conze’s Translation of the “The Perfection of Wisdom for Kausika” from “Perfect Wisdom – The Short Prajnaparamita Texts”

2. Sanskrit version of Kaushika Prajnaparamita from Uwest Sanskrit Digital Canon 



1. Conze’s had the translated version of the the first line of the Mantra as “Homage to the perfection of wisdom, the lovely, the holy !” 

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