Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Prajnaparamita Mean?

Prajnaparamita is a Sanskrit word that means “perfection of wisdom.” In the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, prajnaparamita is a central concept as well as a body of sutras, or religious teachings presented in the form of short statements. The term comes from prajna, meaning “wisdom” and paramita, meaning "perfection."

The wisdom of prajnaparamita is a transcendent form and is the realization of a concept called sunyata, or emptiness. It can also be described as being able to discern truth or reality.

Prajnaparamita is also the name of a female deity who personifies transcendent wisdom.


Yogapedia Explains Prajnaparamita

Prajnaparamita is one of six paramitas in Buddhism, and perfecting them leads one to nirvana. In addition to prajna, the other five paramitas are:

  • Dana (charity or giving)
  • Sila (morality or ethics)
  • Ksanti (patience or forebearance)
  • Virya (zeal or diligence)
  • Dhyana (meditation or contemplation)

Two of the most well-known Prajnaparamita Sutras are the Diamond Sutra, about the impermanence of life and the nature of reality, and the Heart Sutra, which touches on the concept of emptiness and enlightenment.

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Prajna Paramita

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