In the Madhyamakaśāstra, Venerable Vimalākṣa quotes the Pañcaviṃśatisāhasrikāprajñāpāramitāsūtra:

菩薩有我亦非行無我亦非行 "If the bodhisatva has a self, he cannot act. With no self too, he cannot act." T1564.24b29

I've read this before, but finding it in the sūtra is proving daunting. Where in the root sūtra can we find the passage the Venerable is quoting? Also, where can we find the corresponding section of the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra commentary concerning this statement?


The "root" is a passage from the 18th chapter of the MMK:

諸佛或說我 或說於無我 諸法實相中 無我無非我 諸法實相者 心行言語斷 無生亦無滅 寂滅如涅槃 一切實非實 亦實亦非實 非實非非實 是名諸佛法

All Buddhas either speak of self or speak of no self. All dharmas’ true aspect, within this, there is neither self nor no self. All dharmas’ true aspect is defined as mental activity’s and spoken language’s ending.There is no arising and no cessation, there is calm extinction, such is nirvāṇa. All is real, all is unreal, all is both real and unreal, all is neither real nor unreal: this is called all Buddhas’ dharma.

  • 1
    This does not answer the question. The root of the quotation is from the Pañcaviṃśatisāhasrikāprajñāpāramitāsūtra. It is not originally from the MMK. Also, this quotation you gave is not from the same area of the 18th chapter of the MMK commentary. I will give you brownie points though since you used my translation. – Caoimhghin Sep 8 '20 at 15:59
  • If you want a more updated version, I'm now translating the passage like this: "All of the Buddhas speak concerning the self or speak concerning selflessness, but within the true aspect of all phemonena there is neither the self nor selflessness. The true aspect of all phenomena is the ending of the mind activity and spoken language. Unarisen and unending, it is quiet tranquility. It is nirvana. All is real. All is unreal. All is real and unreal. All is neither real nor unreal. This is called the Dharma of all Buddhas." – Caoimhghin Sep 8 '20 at 16:05
  • Easier to read for English speakers, less plural genitives (i.e. "all dharmas' true aspect") In the above, change "the mind activity" to "mental activity." – Caoimhghin Sep 8 '20 at 16:06
  • The true nature of all phenomena is beyond mental activity and spoken language. – Andrei Volkov Sep 10 '20 at 12:30

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