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How to Upgrade from Ordinary Cognition to Wisdom as It Really Is: Mainly Based on the Āgama-sūtras and Prajñāpāramitā-sūtras



Parallel abstracts

Since philosophy is said to be the quest for wisdom, engaging in philosophical inquiry should aim at achieving or embodying wisdom. At the level of worldly conventions, a cognition either deviating from or far below wisdom can be summed up as ordinary or even mediocre cognition. Therefore, the basic task of philosophy lies in recognizing and breaking away from ordinary cognition, and then moving toward wisdom through correct cognition and thorough understanding. The Āgama-sūtras take morality, meditation, and wisdom as the backbone of practices, and the development of right view and wisdom operates as guiding eyes for Buddhist practitioners. The Prajñāpāramitā-sūtras especially list prajñāpāramitā-the wisdom of thorough penetration, or the wisdom that is carried through to the end-as the core backbone and flagship of the path to enlightenment. This article uses the Āgama-sūtras and Prajñāpāramitā-sūtras as the main literary sources to explore the rationale and key to the improvement from ordinary cognition to wisdom as it really is. The framework of the thesis, after discussing various aspects of ordinary cognition and wisdom as it really is, focuses on wisdom as a countermeasure to solve the disadvantages of ordinary cognition, and on the way in which benchmarking wisdom acts as a standard of practices for making progress on Buddhist multiple paths. Through the research and discussion in this article, it should be possible to shed some light on philosophical distinction between ordinary cognition and achieving wisdom as it really is.


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