Back to Home Page or Contents Page or Hinduism or Index
Prajna (Sanskrit, "wisdom, consciousness"), in Hinduism, means the competence of atman to realize itself for what it is, and so to abide in this state as in a dreamless sleep.
In Buddhism, (Pali,
panna; Japanese, hannya) is the third heading of the three
into which the eightfold path is divided; such as, the right thought and
the right view constitutes wisdom. Although Mahayana initially criticized
the placement of panna at the apex, and balanced it with karma and compassion, prajna became central to Mahayana
as the awareness which cannot be achieved by propositions, arguments, or
concepts. Supremely, it is the direct awareness of sunyata, emptiness
of self, in the instance of all appearance. A.G.H.
Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions,
New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 759