The Great Chronicle of the Buddhas
VII Chapter on Miscellany
Edited and Translated by Professor U Ko Lay and U Tin Lwin, Yangon, Myanmar
Veneration to the Exalted One, the Homage-worthy, the Perfectly Self-Enlightened One
Miscellaneous Notes on the Perfections
For the Benefit of Those Who Aspire to Buddhahood
We conclude here the story of Sumedha the hermit in order to furnish miscellaneous notes on the ten perfections (as mentioned in the Commentary on the Cariyāpiṭaka) for the benefit of those who aspire to the supreme goal of Perfect Self-Enlightenment (Omniscience) and to enable them to acquire skill in comprehending, practising, and accumulating the requisites for Enlightenment.
In this chapter, the following pertinent features of the perfections (pāramī) will be dealt with in the form of questions and answers.
The answer to the question is: The noble qualities such as generosity, morality, etc., not spoiled by craving, pride, or wrong view, but founded on great compassion and wisdom, which is skill in seeking merit, are to be named pāramī.
Further explanations: When giving alms (dāna), if it is tainted with craving, thinking, “This is my alms-giving”; if it is tainted with pride, thinking, “This alms is mine”; if it is tainted with wrong view, thinking, “This alms is my self” such alms-giving is said to be spoiled by craving, pride, or wrong view. It is only the kind of alms-giving not spoiled by craving, pride, or wrong view, which could be termed perfection. (The same applies to observance of morality, etc.)
To qualify as pāramī, acts of merit such as dāna, sīla, etc., should not only be free from taints of craving, pride, or wrong view, but should be founded on Great Compassion (mahākaruṇā) and wisdom, which is skill in seeking merit, (upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa).
Mahākaruṇā: A Bodhisatta should be able to develop immense sympathy for all beings, close or distant, as if they were all his own children, Without discriminating between friend and foe, he should look upon all sentient beings as poor sufferers in saṃsāra where they are burning with the fires of craving, hatred, and bewilderment, with the fires of birth, aging, death, grief, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair, Contemplating thus he should develop vigorous compassion for them. His compassion should be so great as to enable him to go to the rescue of all beings from saṃsāra even sacrificing his life. Such compassion is called the Great Compassion which forms the basis of all Perfections.
The Bodhisatta in his life as Sumedha the hermit was so accomplished in spiritual attainments by the time he met Dīpaṅkara Buddha that he could achieve his own liberation, should he so desire, However, as a Great Being endowed with supreme compassion, he bore personal suffering in saṃsāra for the long duration of four incalculable aeons (asaṅkheyya) and a hundred thousand world-cycles to fulfil the perfections in order to liberate suffering beings.
Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa: It is the wisdom that is skill in doing deeds of merit such as dāna, sīla, etc., so that they become basic means and support for attainment of Omniscience. A man of good family who aspires to Buddhahood should engage in meritorious deeds of dāna, sīla, etc., with the sole aim of attaining Omniscience. (He should not wish for benefits that really lead to suffering in saṃsāra). The wisdom that enables him to aim at and wish for Omniscience as the only fruit of his good deeds is called upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa.
The aforesaid Mahākaruṇā and Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa are the fundamentals for attaining Buddhahood and for practising the perfections. One who aspires to Buddhahood should first of all endeavour to become accomplished in these two fundamentals.
Only the qualities such as dāna, sīla, etc., developed on the basis of these two principles can become true perfections.
It may be asked why the ten virtues such as dāna, sīla, etc., are called pāramī.
The answer is: The Pāḷi word pāramī is the combination of ‘parama’ and ‘ī’. Parama means ‘supreme’ and is used here as a designation of Bodhisattas, because they are the highest of beings endowed with the extraordinary virtues of dāna, sīla, etc.
Or, because they fulfil and protect such special virtues as dāna, sīla, etc.; because they behave as though they bind on and attract others beings to them by means of these virtues of dāna, sīla, etc.; because they purify others by removing their defilements in a most ardent manner; because they particularly proceed to supreme nibbāna; because they know their next existence as they comprehend the present life; because they practise virtues such as sīla, etc., in an incomparable manner as if these virtues were ingrained in their mental continuum; because they dispel and destroy all alien hordes of defilements which threaten them, Bodhisattas are called ‘parama’.
A Bodhisatta is incomparably endowed with special virtues such as dāna, sīla, etc. This accounts for the emergence of the utterance and the knowledge “This person is a Bodhisatta; he is a Parama, a Supreme Being.” Thus the special virtues of dāna, sīla, etc., come to be known as ‘pāramī.’
Again, only Bodhisattas are able to perform deeds of merit such as dāna, sīla, etc., in an unparalleled manner. Hence these deeds of merit are called pāramī, meaning the duties of Bodhisattas (paramānaṃ kammaṃ pāramī), or the property of Bodhisattas (paramānaṃ ayaṃ pāramī).
In accordance with the teaching:
“Dānaṃ sīlañca nekkhammaṃ, paññā vīriyena pañcamaṃ,
Khantī saccam’adhiṭṭhānaṃ, mett’upekkhā ti te dasa,”
there are ten perfections (pāramī): Generosity, Morality, Renunciation, Wisdom, Energy, Forbearance, Truthfulness, Resolution, Loving-kindness, and Equanimity.
There are five ways of arranging doctrinal points in sequential order:
i. Concerning the sequence of actual happening, for example, with reference to conception, it is stated in the text, “Paṭhamaṃ kalalaṃ hoti, kalalā hoti abbudaṃ,” etc. For womb-born creatures, the first stage is the fluid stage of kalala for seven days; the second is the frothy stage of abbuda for seven days; the third stage of pesi takes the form of a lump of flesh, and so on.
This form of teaching in sequence of events as they actually take place is known as the order of actual happening.
ii. Concerning sequence of abandonment, for example, with reference to defilements, it is stated in the text, “Dassanena pahātabbā dhammā, bhāvanāya pahātabbā dhammā,” etc. There are dhammas that are to be abandoned through the first stage of the Path; and there are dhammas that are to be abandoned through the three higher stages of the Path. This form of teaching in serial order according to steps of abandonment is known as the order of abandonment.
iii. Concerning sequence of practice, for example the seven stages of purification of morality, purification of mind, purification of view, etc. The first practice is to purify morality; this is followed by the practice for purification of mind. In this way the stages of purification should proceed in their due order. Such teaching in sequential order of practice is known as the order of practising.
iv. Concerning the order of planes of existence, the first in order of teaching Dhamma is the sensuous plane (kāmāvacara) followed by the material plane (rūpāvacara), and then by the non-material plane (arūpāvacara). Such an arrangement in teaching is known as the order of planes of existences.
v. In addition to the aforesaid four serial arrangements of teaching, there is the fifth kind in which dhammas such as the aggregate of matter (rūpakkhandha), the aggregate of feelings (vedanākkhandha), the aggregate of perceptions (saññākkhandha), etc., are taught by the Buddha in a particular order for some specific reason. Such an arrangement of teaching is known as the order of teaching by the Buddha.
In the first four orders of arrangement, each has its own reason for following a particular sequence, because stages of gestation actually happen in that order; because defilements are abandoned actually in that order; because the acts of purification are done in that order, or because the planes of existence actually stand in that order. However, in the fifth method of teaching (desanākkama), the Buddha has a special reason for adopting a particular sequence in teaching each set of such dhammas as the five aggregates (khandhas), the twelve bases (āyatanas), etc.
In the chapter on pāramī, the perfections are arranged not in their order of happening, of abandonment, or practice, or of planes of existence as in the first four methods, but in accordance with this fifth method, desanākkamma, taught by the Buddha for a special reason.
It might be asked here why the Buddha adopted the particular sequence — Generosity, Morality, Renunciation, etc. — and not any other in teaching the ten perfections.
The answer is: When the Bodhisatta, Sumedha the hermit, first investigated the perfections to be fulfilled just after receiving the prophecy, he discovered them in a particular sequence; he therefore fulfilled them in that order. And after his Enlightenment, he taught the perfections in the same sequence he had practised.
To give a more detailed explanation: Of the ten perfections, Generosity helps develop Morality in a special way; even an immoral person (as a donor on the occasion of his son’s novice ordination) is likely to observe precepts with no difficulty; and generosity is easier to practise. (Though it may be difficult for one to keep the precept, one can find it easy to give alms.) Hence the Perfection of Generosity is mentioned first.
Only generosity based on morality is most beneficial; so Morality follows Generosity.
Only morality based on renunciation is most beneficial; so Renunciation is taught immediately after Morality.
Similarly, renunciation based on wisdom — wisdom on energy — energy on forbearance — forbearance on truthfulness — truthfulness on resolution — resolution on loving-kindness — loving kindness based on equanimity is most beneficial; thus Equanimity is taught after Loving-kindness.
Equanimity can be beneficial only when it is based on compassion. Bodhisattas are Great Beings who had already been endowed with the basic quality of compassion.
Questions concerning Mahākaruṇa and Upekkhā
It might be asked here: “How could Bodhisattas, the Great Compassionate Ones, look upon sentient beings with equanimity (indifference)?”
Some teachers say: “It is not in all cases and at all times that Bodhisattas show indifference towards sentient beings; they do so only when it is necessary.”
Other teachers say: “They do not show indifference towards beings, but only towards offensive deeds done by them. Thus Great Compassion and Perfection of Equanimity are not opposed to each other.”
Another Way of Explaining the Serial Order of Perfections
1) Generosity is taught initially (a) because generosity is likely to occur among many people and thus belongs to all beings; (b) because it is not so fruitful as morality, etc., and (c) because it is easy to practise.
2) Morality is stated immediately after Generosity (a) because morality purifies both the donor and the recipient; (b) because after teaching the rendering of service to others (such as almsgiving) the Buddha wishes to teach abstention from causing affliction to others such as killing; (c) because dāna involves some positive action whereas sīla involves some practice of restraint, and the Buddha wishes to teach restraint after teaching positive action (which is giving of alms); (d) because dāna leads to attainment of wealth and sīla leads to attainment of human or deva existence; and (e) because he wishes to teach the attainment of human or deva existence after teaching attainment of wealth.
3) Renunciation is mentioned immediately after morality (a) because through renunciation, perfect morality may be observed; (b) because the Buddha wishes to teach good mental conduct (through renunciation)¹ immediately after teaching good physical and verbal conduct (through morality); (c) because attainment of jhāna (renunciation) comes easily to one whose morality is pure; (d) Faults arising from demeritorious deeds (kammaparadha) are eradicated through observance of morality; by so doing purity of physical or verbal exertion (payogasuddhi) is achieved. Mental defilements (kilesaparadha) are eradicated through renunciation; by so doing inherent elements of wrong views of Eternalism (sassatadiṭṭhi) and Annihilationism (ucchedadiṭṭhi) are cleared away and purity of disposition (asaya-suddhi) with regard to Insight Knowledge (vipassanā ñāṇa) and to knowledge that volitional activities are one’s own property (kammassakata ñāṇa) is achieved. Because the Buddha accordingly wishes to teach the purification of knowledge by renunciation which follows the purification of exertion (payogasuddhi), and (e) because the Buddha wishes to teach that eradication of mental defilements at the pariyuṭṭhāna stage through renunciation can take place only after eradication of the mental defilements at the stage of transgression (vitakkama ) through morality.²
The observance of precepts inhibits the active expression of defilements (vitikkamma) through body or speech. This is temporary putting away of defilement (tadaṅga-pahāna).
The practice of concentration meditation (samathabhāvanā) especially at the stage of attainment of jhāna prevents the violent arising of mental defilements at the mind’s door (pariyuṭṭhāna). This is putting away of defilements to a distance for a considerable time (vikkhambhana-pahāna).
Defilements are entirely eradicated right down to the level of dormancy through paññā, knowledge of the Path of Fruition, leaving no trace of defilements in the mental continuum. This complete eradication of defilements, which are never to rise again (samuccheda-pahāna).
4) Wisdom is mentioned immediately after renunciation (a) because renunciation is perfected and purified by wisdom (b) because the Buddha wishes to teach that there is no wisdom without jhāna (including renunciation); (c) because he wishes to teach wisdom, which is the basic cause of equanimity, immediately after teaching renunciation, which is the basic cause of concentration of the mind; and (d) because he wishes to teach that only by sustained thinking (renunciation) directed towards the welfare of others can there arise knowledge of skilful means (upaya-kosalla ñāṇa) in working for their welfare.
5) Energy is stated immediately after wisdom (a) because the function of wisdom is fulfilled by application of energy; (b) because the Buddha wishes to teach marvels of endeavours for the welfare of beings after teaching wisdom that comprehends with insight the nature of reality, which is void of personality or self (c) because he wishes to teach that the cause for exertion³ immediately after the cause for equanimity; and (d) because he wishes to teach that special benefits accrue only from ardent striving after making careful consideration.
6) Forbearance is mentioned immediately after energy (a) because forbearance is fulfilled by energy (as only an energetic man can withstand all suffering that he encounters); (b) because the Buddha wishes to teach that energy is an adornment of forbearance (as forbearance shown by an indolent man because he cannot win is not dignified, whereas forbearance shown by an energetic man in spite of his winning position, is); (c) because he wishes to teach the cause of concentration immediately after teaching the cause of energy (as restlessness, uddhacca, due to excessive energy is abandoned only by understanding the Dhamma through reflection on it, dhammanijjhanakkhantī); (d) because he wishes to teach that only an energetic man can constantly endeavour (as only a man of great forbearance is free from restlessness and always able to perform meritorious deeds; (e) because he wishes to teach that craving for reward cannot arise when endowed with mindfulness as one works diligently for the welfare of others ( as there can be no craving when one reflects on the Dhamma in undertaking welfare works); and (f) because he wishes to teach that a Bodhisatta bears with patience the suffering caused by others also when he is not working diligently for their welfare (as evidenced from the Cūḷadhammapāla Jātaka (No.358), etc.)
7) Truthfulness is mentioned immediately after forbearance (a) because forbearance can be maintained for long through truthfulness as one’s forbearance will last only when one is truthful (b) because having mentioned first forbearance of wrongs inflicted by others, the Buddha wishes to teach next how the Bodhisatta keeps his words to render assistance even to those who have done him wrong ungratefully. (At the time of receiving the prophecy, the Bodhisatta aspiring to Buddhahood makes the resolution to rescue all beings. True to this firm determination, he renders help even to those who had wronged him.
To illustrate: In the Mahākapi Jātaka (No.516), the sixth Jātaka of the Tiṃsanipāta, the story is told of the Bodhisatta in the existence of a monkey going to the rescue of a brahmin who had fallen into a deep chasm. Exhausted by strenuous exertion to bring the man out of danger, the Bodhisatta trustingly fell asleep on the lap of the man he had saved. With an evil thought (of eating the flesh of his rescuer) the wicked man hit the monkey’s head with a stone. Without showing any anger and patiently bearing the injury to his head, the Bodhisatta continued his effort to save the man from the danger of wild beasts. He showed him the way out of the forest by drops of blood that fell as he jumped from tree to tree; (c) because he wishes to show that a Bodhisatta with tolerance never relinquishes the practice of speaking only the truth steadfastly though he is misrepresented by others; and (d) because having taught the meditative reflection by means of which the emptiness of soul may be understood, the Bodhisatta wishes to show knowledge of truth developed through the process of that reflection (dhammanijjhānakkhantī).
8) Resolution is mentioned immediately after Truthfulness (a) because truthfulness is accomplished through resolution since refraining from falsehood becomes perfect in one who resolution to speak truth remains unshakeable even at the risk of his life; (b) because after teaching truthfulness he wishes to teach resolute commitment of Bodhisattas to truth without wavering; and (c) because after teaching that only those who possess Knowledge of Truth of things (as they really are) are able to build up the perfections and bring them to completion, he wishes to teach that pāramī requisites can be effected as a result of Knowledge of Truth.
9) Loving-kindness is mentioned immediately after Resolution: (a) because development of loving-kindness helps fulfilment of resolution to undertake the work for the welfare of others, (b) because, after teaching resolution, the Buddha wishes to teach what brings benefit to others in accordance with his resolve (for a Bodhisatta in the course of fulfilling his Perfections generally abides in loving-kindness); and (c) because when one is established imperturbably in determination to work for others’ welfare, can one carry out one’s wish with loving-kindness.
10) Equanimity is mentioned immediately after Loving-kindness (a) because equanimity purifies loving-kindness; (when one develops loving-kindness without equanimity, one is liable to be deceived by craving or greed that wears the mask of loving-kindness). Only when one develops equanimity sometimes one can be away from the deceptive craving or greed; (b) because after teaching how the interest of others should be served out of loving-kindness, the Buddha wishes to teach that indifference is to be maintained towards all wrong inflicted by them. (The Bodhisatta works for the welfare of beings when wrong by them); (c) because, after teaching the development of loving-kindness, the Buddha wishes to teach its advantages, for only after developing loving-kindness can equanimity be successfully developed; and (d) the Buddha wishes to teach the wonderful attribute (of a Bodhisatta) that he can remain equanimous even towards those who show him goodwill.
Thus our Teacher, the Lord of the world, teaches the Perfections in a proper sequence, as described above, arranged on some principle of order and succession, not at random or haphazardly.
We will begin this section with explanations of the words ‘characteristic,’ ‘function,’ ‘manifestation,’ and ‘proximate cause.’ We will deal next with the definition and purport of the Perfections together with their characteristics, functions, manifestations, and proximate causes collectively as well as individually.
Knowledge free from personality-belief (atta-diṭṭhi) is possible only through comprehension of the ultimate realities of nāma and rūpa, which is attained by reflecting upon each reality in terms of its characteristics, functions, manifestations, and proximate causes. Similarly, it is only when one knows the characteristics, functions, manifestations, and proximate causes of the pāramī collectively as well as individually that one will have a clear understanding of them. Therefore the Texts usually describe these four features concerning the Perfections.
Characteristic (lakkhaṇa): The Commentary defines: “Sāmaññaṃ vā sabhāvo vā, dhammānaṃ lakkhaṇam’mataṃ — Characteristic (lakkhaṇa) has two aspects: (i) sāmañña,⁴ ordinary features common to all, and (ii) sabhāva,⁴ special feature peculiar to one not shared by others.” (For example, the material quality, paṭhavī (earth-element) has two characteristics, namely, (a) change, impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, not being subject to control, and (b) hardness. The characteristics under (a) are features common to other elements, whereas the characteristic of hardness is the unique feature of the earth-element only, not shared by others).
Manifestation (pacupaṭṭhāna):⁵ The Commentary defines: “Phalaṃ vā paccupaṭṭhāna- upaṭṭhānākāropi vā — whenever a person ponders deeply over a certain mind-object, what usually appears in his mind relates to the nature of the mind-object under consideration, relates to its functions, relates to its cause, relates to its effect. Thus any one of those which appears in his mind concerning the mind-object he is thinking about is called manifestation.”
Proximate cause (padaṭṭhāna): The Commentary defines: “Asaññakāranaṃ yaṃ tupadaṭṭhānanti taṃ mataṃ — the immediate contributory factor for the arising of an ultimate reality is known as its proximate cause.” What then are the four features of the ten Perfections? The answer is: Dealing first with those common to all ten Perfections, (i) they have the characteristic of serving the interests of others, (ii) their function is to provide assistance to others (kicca rasa), or not vacillating as to fulfilment (sampatti rasa); (iii) their manifestation is the appearance in the meditator’s mind of the knowledge that they have the nature of wishing for the welfare of beings or the effect of becoming a Buddha; (iv) their proximate cause is Great Compassion (Mahākaruṇā) and skill in ways and means (Upāya-kosala ñāṇa).
1) The volition founded on Mahākaruṇā and Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa to relinquish, donate, give away one’s possessions to others is called the Perfection of Almsgiving (dāna).(a) It has the characteristic of relinquishing; (b) its function is to destroy greed that clings to materials to be given away; (c) its manifestation is non-attachment that appears in the meditator’s mind (regarding its nature) or attainment of wealth and prosperity and happy existence (regarding its effect) (d) its proximate cause is the object given, for giving is possible only when there is that object.
The Perfection of Generosity is well comprehended only when it is studied thoroughly in the eight of these four aspects; when studied thus it would be clearly and completely grasped that dāna is an act that has the characteristic of forsaking or abandoning; at the same time it performs the task of destroying greed that tends to attach the donor to the things to be given away; to the yogi’s mind who ponders deeply and carefully it would appear as non-attachment to the objects of offering or it would appear as an act which could produce a favourable existence endowed with wealth and prosperity; dāna is possible only when there exists something for one to offer. (The same consideration applies to all the remaining Perfections).
2) Wholesome physical and verbal conduct founded on Mahākaruṇā and Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa is called the Perfection of Morality. In terms of Abhidhamma it means abstention from wrong-doings that should not be committed (viratī cetasikā) and volition (cetanā) to perform different duties that should be performed. (a) It has the characteristic of not allowing one’s physical and verbal actions to become wrong, but of keeping them wholesome; it also has the characteristic of serving as a foundation of all good deeds; (b) its function is to prevent one from indulging in moral depravities — three wrong physical actions, and four wrong verbal actions; or it helps one attain a virtuous state with spotless and blameless conduct; (c) it manifests as purity in word and deed when the meditator reflects on its nature. (d) Its proximate cause is moral shame (hirī) and moral dread (ottapa) to do evil.
3) The group of consciousness and mental concomitants, founded on Mahākaruṇā and Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa , which aspire after emancipation from sensual existences after perceiving the faults of objects of sense-desire (vatthu kāma), mental defilements of greed (kilesa kāma), and various existences is the Perfection of Renunciation. (a) It has the characteristic of emancipation from sense-desires and of sensual existence. (b) Its function is to bring out their faults. (c) Its manifestation is realisation by the meditator that it is turning away, withdrawing from these states of sensual existence. (d) It has the religious sense of urgency (saṃvega ñāṇa) as its proximate cause.
4) Founded on Mahākaruṇā and Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa, the mental concomitant of wisdom which penetrates the ordinary and special characteristics of dhammas is the Perfection of Wisdom. (a) It has the characteristic of penetrating the real nature of dhammas; or of unerring discernment of ordinary and special characteristics of objects under contemplation like hitting the bull’s eye with an arrow by a skilful archer; (b) its function is to illuminate the object like a lamp (dispelling the darkness of bewilderment, moha, that hides the nature of objects). (c) Its manifestation (as to its nature) is non-confusion in the meditator’s mind with regard to objects of contemplation like a guide showing the way to travellers who have lost their sense of direction in a forest, or as an effect having the beneficial result of freedom from bewilderment with regard to objects of contemplation. (d) Its proximate cause is concentration (samādhi) or the Four Noble Truths.
5) Founded on Mahākaruṇā etc., the physical and mental endeavours for the welfare of others is the Perfection of Energy. (a) It has the characteristic of striving (taking pains). (b) Its function is to support and strengthen the factors which arise together with it so that they will not become lax in performing meritorious deeds. (c) Its manifestation is steadfastness in the meditator’s mind which is opposed to sloth and torpor that are detrimental to meritorious deeds. (d) Its proximate cause is the religious sense of urgency (saṃvega ñāṇa) or the eight factors that promote exertion (vīriyārambha vatthu). Saṃvega ñāṇa: Knowledge formed by dread ( ottappa) of dangers — birth, aging, disease, death, and woeful states.
Vīriyārambha vatthu: The Venerable Mahā Visuddhārama Sayādaw has described in the section on meditation in his Paramatthasarūpa Bhedanī, eight factors that promote exertion (vīriyārambha vatthu) — two concerning repairs and maintenance, two concerning travelling, two concerning ill-health; and two concerning the taking of meals.
Two factors concerning repairs and maintenance:
i) One says to oneself thus: “I have to do some mending of robes, etc. While I am engaged thus it will not be easy for me to devote myself to the teaching of the Blessed One. I shall endeavour to do so in advance before I start mending.”
ii) On completion of such an undertaking also he considers: “I have finished my mending job; while I was doing it, I could not pay attention to the teaching of the Buddha. Now I must work harder to make up for this remissness.”
Two factors concerning travelling:
i) He reflects, “I have to go on a journey; while going on a journey, it will not be easy to devote my attention to the teaching of the Buddha. I shall endeavour to do so in advance before I travel.”
ii) After the journey, he considers: “I have made the journey; while I was travelling I could not devote my attention to the teaching of the Buddha. Now I must work harder to make up for this remissness.”
Two factors concerning ill-health:
i) He reflects when he begins to suffer slight illness: “I am feeling indisposed; the ailment may grow worse; I will work hard before it does.”
ii) While recuperating, he reflects: “I have just recovered from illness; it may recur at any time. I will make an effort before the old sickness reappears.”
Two factors concerning the partaking of meals:
i) When sufficient almsfood is not available, he reflects: “I have come back from almsround with only a little food; a small meal keeps my body light and fit, free from sloth and torpor. I shall immediately start putting forth an effort.”
ii) Having obtained sufficient almsfood, he reflects: “I have come back from almsround with enough food which will give me strength to work hard; I shall immediately start working energetically.”
These are the eight factors that promote exertion (vīriyārambha vatthu). As against these factors, there are eight others which encourage indolence (kusīta vatthu).
When one has to do some repair, one delays saying: “It will make me tired: I shall have a good sleep before doing the repair.” When one has to go on a journey, too, one says in the same manner. When one starts feeling unwell one complains of one’s feebleness and tries to sleep; when one has had enough food, one simply dozes, for one’s stomach is heavy. When one has done the repair, or come back from the journey, or recovered from illness, or had meagre food, one grumbles. “I am tired out; I shall take rest.” In this way one foolishly excuses oneself for not making efforts to cultivate wholesomeness.
The eight vīriyārambha vatthu and the eight kusīta vatthu are stated in 10-Saṅgīti Sutta, Pāthika Vagga of the Dīghanikāya.
6) Founded on Mahākaruṇā and Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa, tolerance to wrong-doings of others (or in terms of Abhidhamma, the group of consciousness and mental concomitants that arise in such a mode of tolerance headed by non-aversion (adosa) is the Perfection of Forbearance. (a) It has the characteristic of bearing with patience. (b) Its function is to overcome both desirable and undesirable objects. (One who is not endowed with endurance adheres to greed when encountering pleasant, desirable objects; and to aversion when encountering unpleasant, undesirable objects. One is then said to be defeated by both desirable objects and undesirable objects. One who is endowed with endurance stands firm against keeping away from both greed and aversion. Forbearance is thus said to overcome all sense objects whether desirable or undesirable.) (c) Its manifestation in the meditator’s mind is patient acceptance of both desirable objects and undesirable objects or non-opposition to them. (d) Its proximate cause is seeign things as they really are.
7) Founded on Mahākaruṇā and Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa, speaking the truth and keeping one’s word is the Perfection of Truthfulness. (In terms of Abhidhamma, it is the mental concomitant of abstinence (viratī cetasika) of volition (cetanā cetasika) or wisdom (paññā cetasika) depending on circumstance. (a) It has the characteristic of veracity; (b) its function is to make clear the truth as it is. (c) Its manifestation in the meditator’s mind is nobility, sweetness, and pleasantness. (d) Its proximate cause is purity of deed, word, and thought.
8) Founded on Mahākaruṇā and Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa, an unshaken determination to pursue wholesomeness is the Perfection of Resolution. (In terms of Abhidhamma, it is the group of consciousness and mental concomitants arising in such a mode of resolution). (a) It has the characteristic of unshaken determination in fulfilment of Perfections, Sacrifices, and Moral Practices as Requisites of Enlightenment; (b) its function is to overcome all unwholesomeness that is opposed to the Requisites of Enlightenment. (c) Its manifestation in the meditator’s mind is steadfastness in fulfilment of the Requisites of Enlightenment. (d) Its proximate cause is the Requisites of Enlightenment.
9) Founded on Mahākaruṇā and Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa, service to the welfare and happiness of the world is the Perfection of Loving-kindness. It is the mental concomitant of non-aversion, the adosa cetasika in terms of Abhidhamma. (a) It has the characteristic of wishing prosperity to all beings. (b) Its function is to work for the welfare of beings in fulfilment of that wish; (or) its function is removing the nine causes of resentment.⁶ (c) Its manifestation in the meditator’s mind is serenity. (d) Its proximate cause is seeing beings as agreeable. (No development of loving-kindness is possible if one looks at them as disagreeable ones.)
10) Founded on Mahākaruṇā and Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa the attitude of impartiality towards desirable and undesirable conditioned beings, discarding love and hate, is the Perfection of Equanimity (in terms of Abhidhamma it is the mental concomitant of equipoise, tatramajjhattatā), which arises in such modes. (a) It has the characteristic of taking up the mental position between love and hate. (b) Its function is to have an impartial view. (c) Its manifestation in the meditator’s mind is allaying both love and hate. (d) Its proximate cause is reflection that all beings are owners of their own deeds, kamma.
Each of the above descriptions of the Perfections begins with the qualifying words “Founded on Mahākaruṇā and Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa.” These two attributes form the basic virtues ever present in the mental continuum of Bodhisattas and only acts of dāna, sīla, etc., thus founded on them constitute the pāramī.
Briefly stated, they are:
A. Great Aspiration (Abhinīhāra)
Abhi refers to Omniscience, nīhāra means ‘directing’ or ‘applying the mind’ — hence ‘Aspiration for Omniscient Buddhahood.’
Here, the eight factors required for receiving the prophecy of Buddha, described in the Chapter on ‘Rare appearance of a Buddha’ in Volume One, Part One, may be recalled.
In an existence complete with the eight factors (like that of Sumedha) the following thoughts occur in the mind of the Bodhisattas (like Sumedha the Wise) without being aroused by anyone, but only by being endowed with the same eight factors.
“When I have crossed the ocean of saṃsāra myself with my own effort, I shall rescue other beings; when I have freed myself from the bonds of saṃsāra, I shall also liberate other beings; when I have tamed my sense faculties, I shall teach other beings so that they become tame; when I have extinguished the fires of mental defilements in myself, I shall calm the burning minds of other beings; when I have gained the most excellent comfort of nibbāna, I shall let other beings enjoy the same; when I have extinguished in me the flames of the three rounds of rebirths,⁷ I shall put those flames raging in other beings; when I have purified myself of the dust of defilements through my own effort, I shall cause purification of other beings; when I have gained knowledge of the Four Noble Truths, I shall teach them to other beings. (In short, I shall strive to become a Buddha and go to the rescue of all other beings.)”
Thus the aspiration to Buddhahood arises fervently, continuously, as great meritorious consciousness (Mahākusala citta) together with its mental concomitants. These meritorious consciousness and mental concomitants which aspire to Buddhahood are known as the Noblest Aspiration, which forms the basic condition for all the ten Perfections.
Indeed, it is only through the arising of this great aspiration that the Bodhisattas receive the definite prophecy of Buddhahood; after receiving the prophecy, there occur in succession reflection on the pāramī, resolution to fulfil them, and necessary practices that take him to the sublime height of accomplishment.
This great aspiration has the characteristic of inclination of the mind towards Omniscience; its function is to aspire after Buddhahood, and having gained it, to wish for the ability to bring welfare and happiness to all beings until they attain nibbāna; its manifestation in the meditator’s mind is its being the basic cause of the requisites of Enlightenment; its proximate cause is Great Compassion (or, the completion of necessary supporting conditions to be explained later).
This great aspiration has as its object the inconceivable province of the Buddhas and the welfare of the whole immeasurable world of beings; it should thus be seen as the basis of actions such as perfections, sacrifices, and practices, and the most exalted wholesomeness which is endowed with incomparable power.
To deal briefly with this unique power:
As soon as the great aspiration arises the Great Being Bodhisatta is poised to enter the field of performance for attainment of Omniscience (Mahābodhiyāna paṭipatti); he is then destined to become a Buddha; this destiny is irreversible after the arising in him of this Noblest Aspiration and thereby he gains the designation of ‘Bodhisatta.’ One is not entitled to be called a Bodhisatta until one possesses Abhinīhāra.
From that time onwards, the Bodhisatta becomes fully inclined to the attainment of Omniscience, and the power to fulfil and practice pāramī, liberality, conduct, the Requisites of Enlightenment become established in him.
Because he had possessed this Noblest Aspiration, Sumedha the hermit correctly investigated all the Pāramī with Perfection-investigating Wisdom (pāramī-pavicaya-ñāṇa).⁸ This wisdom was achieved by himself without the help of a teacher and was therefore known also as Sayambhū-ñāṇa, which was the forerunner of Omniscience. Having thought about and investigated the pāramī clearly and correctly, he fulfilled and practised them for the duration of four incalculable aeons and a hundred thousand world-cycles.
This great aspiration has: (a) four conditions (paccaya), (b) four causes (hetu), and (c) four powers (bala).
i. When the Great Being who aspires to become a Buddha sees a Tathāgata performing a miracle, he thinks, “Omniscience is of tremendous power; by acquiring it, the Buddha has come to be of such wonderful and marvellous nature and to possess such inconceivable power.” Having witnessed the Buddha’s powers he is inclined towards Omniscience.
ii. Although he does not himself see the Tathāgata’s great power, he hears from others: “The Exalted One is endowed with such and such powers.” Having heard thus, he is inclined towards Omniscience.
iii. Although he neither witnesses nor hears of the Tathāgata's great powers, he learns a discourse on the powers of a Buddha. Having learned thus, he is inclined towards Omniscience.
iv. Although he neither sees the powers of a Tathāgata nor learns about it from others, nor hears a discourse concerning them, since he has a very noble disposition, he thinks thus: “I will protect the heritage, lineage, tradition, and law of the Buddhas.” Because of this high reverence for Dhamma (Dhammagaru) he is inclined towards Omniscience.
i. The Great Being is endowed with the immediate support (upanissaya) of having performed special acts of merit (adhikāra) under former Buddhas.
ii. He is naturally endowed with compassionate temperament and is willing to alleviate the suffering of beings even at the sacrifice of his life.
iii. He is endowed with energy and strength to strive long until he achieves his goal of Buddhahood, without feeling discouraged by the suffering in saṃsāra and hardships in working for the welfare of beings.
iv. He enjoys the friendship of good people who restrain him from doing evil and encourage him to develop what is good.
Of these four causes, being endowed with immediate support (upanissaya sampadā) means that, because the Great Being has resolved mentally or verbally in the presence of former Buddhas (the Texts do not say how many of them), for Buddhahood he is always inclined toward Omniscience; he is always inclined also to work for the welfare of beings.
Because he is endowed with such immediate support he becomes sharply distinguished from those who would become Pacceka Buddhas (Pacceka Bodhisattas) or Disciples of Buddhas (Sāvaka Bodhisatta) in respect of (a) faculties (indriya), (b) of practices for the welfare of others (c) of skill in serving the interest of others and in knowing right from wrong (thānāthāna kosalla ñāṇa). (From these three qualities, it may be deduced that the Bodhisattas have done special deeds of merit under former Buddhas).
As for association with good friends, by ‘good friend’ is meant those who are possessed of eight attributes, namely, faith, morality, learning, sacrifice, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom.
Being endowed with faith, a good friend has confidence in the Omniscience of the Exalted One and one’s own deeds (kamma) and the fruits thereof. Because of such faith, he does not give up this wish for the welfare of beings; the wish is the basic cause for Supreme Enlightenment.
Being endowed with morality, he is dear to beings who hold him in esteem and reverence. Being accomplished in learning he usually gives profound discourses which lead to the welfare and happiness of beings. Being accomplished in sacrifice, he is of few wants, easily contented, detached from sense pleasures, remaining aloof from them.
Being endowed with energy, he always strives to promote the welfare of beings. Being endowed with mindfulness he never neglects to do deeds of merit. Being accomplished in concentration, he becomes a person of undistracted, concentrated mind. Being endowed with wisdom, he understands things as they really are.
Through mindfulness, the good friend examines the results of meritorious and demeritorious actions; he understands truly through wisdom what is beneficial or harmful to beings; through concentration he keeps his mind steady, and through energy, he restrains beings from what will bring harm to them and directs them to strive hard with unremitting zeal for their well-being.
Association with and relying on the good friend who is possessed of such qualities, the Bodhisatta endeavours to strengthen his own accomplishment in his immediate support (upanissaya sampatti). With clear purified wisdom and extreme purity of deed and word achieved through persistent endeavours, he becomes accomplished in the four great powers. Before long, he comes to possess the eight factors required for receiving the prophecy, shows the great aspiration (Mahābhinīhāra) boldly, and becomes established firmly as a true Bodhisatta. From then onwards, he has no aspiration other than Supreme Enlightenment. He becomes a noble person with a fixed, irreversible destination of Full Enlightenment.
i. Internal power (ajjhattikabala): (Extreme inclination towards Omniscience of Sammāsambodhi through reliance on one’s physical ability, with reverence for the Dhamma (Dhamma gārava), the last of the aforesaid four conditions.) Exercising this power, having self-reliance and sense of shame (for doing evil), the Bodhisatta aspires to Buddhahood, fulfils the Perfections and attains Supreme Enlightenment.
ii. External power (bāhirabala): (Extreme inclination towards Omniscience through reliance on external power, the first three of the four conditions described above). Exercising this power, relying upon the outside world, being supported by pride and self-confidence, “I am a person fully equipped with powers to attain Buddhahood,” the Bodhisatta aspires after Buddhahood, fulfils Perfections, and attains Supreme Enlightenment.
iii. Power of supporting conditions (upanissaya bala): (Extreme inclination towards Omniscience through reliance on the first of the four conditions). Exercising this power, being endowed with sharp faculties and natural purity and being supported by mindfulness, the Bodhisatta aspires to Buddhahood, fulfils the Perfections and attains Supreme Enlightenment.
iv. Power of exertion (payoga bala): (Being endowed with appropriate and sufficient energy for the attainment of Omniscience, thorough and persistent pursuit of supporting conditions and meritorious acts). Exercising this power, being endowed with purity of deed and word, and constantly engaged in meritorious acts, the Bodhisatta aspires after Buddhahood, fulfils Perfections, and attains Supreme Enlightenment.
Complete with these four conditions, four causes, for powers, by the time the Bodhisatta reaches the stage of development as in the existence of Sumedha the Wise, he acquires the eight factors which entitled him to receive the prophecy of Buddhahood, Actuated by the acquisition of these eight factors, as stated above, the great aspiration which is meritorious consciousness and its concomitants, arises: “I will strive with unremitting zeal to become a Buddha and go to the rescue of all beings.” This Noblest Aspiration forms a basic condition for all the Perfections.
Because of the arising of the Noblest Aspiration (abhinīhāra) in him, the following marvels come to be attributed to the noble Bodhisatta: (i) he treats all beings with love like his own children; (ii) his mind is not defiled through unwholesomeness (he remains undisturbed and untainted by defilements); (iii) all his intentions, actions and words are for promoting the welfare and happiness of beings, and (iv) fulfilment of the pāramī, and practice of liberality (cāga) and conduct (cariya) instead of diminishing, become more and more pronounced and mature in him.
Because of the arising in him of these marvels the Bodhisatta is endowed with the ‘stream’ of the most sublime wholesomeness and benevolence. As a result, he becomes worthy of receiving excellent gifts, and an incomparable fertile field where seeds of merit may be sown, establishing himself as an object of highest homage and reverence for beings.
B. Great Compassion (Mahākaruṇā) and Skillfulness (Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa)
Like the Noblest Aspiration, Mahākaruṇā and Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa form basic conditions for all the Perfections. (These two conditions have been dealt with above). Through them Bodhisattas are able to promote constantly the welfare and happiness of other beings, without concern for their own interest. Although performing the duties of Bodhisattas which are beyond the capability of ordinary men, they do not consider them too wearisome.
Because Mahākaruṇā and Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa exist in them, welfare and happiness accrue to those who develop confidence in them, who show respect to them, who have occasion to see Bodhisattas or recollect their virtues.
To explain further: Of Compassion and Wisdom, it is through wisdom that a Bodhisatta attains Omniscience; it is through compassion that he performs the duties of a Buddha. Through wisdom, he is able to cross the ocean of saṃsāra; through compassion, he goes to the rescue of beings. Through wisdom, he understands thoroughly the suffering of others; through compassion, he endeavours to alleviate their suffering; through wisdom he becomes wearied of suffering; through compassion, he accepts the same disgusting suffering as happiness in order to work for the liberation of beings. Through wisdom he aspires after nibbāna; through compassion he continues to go round and round in saṃsāra.
Thus compassion and wisdom are beneficial in many ways. These two not only form the foundation of the pāramī, they are the basic condition of the Aspiration to Buddhahood as well.
C. Four Grounds for Buddhahood (Buddhabhūmi)
Like the Noblest Aspiration, compassion, and wisdom, the following four factors also form basic conditions of the Pāramī.
These four factors are known as grounds for Buddhahood since they are conducive to the arising of Omniscience.
D. Sixteen Mental Dispositions (Ajjhāsaya)
Mental disposition is inclination or temperament, which influences the formation of one’s personality. It is basically of two types: good and bad). There are sixteen dispositions of good type, namely, inclination towards renunciation (nekkhammajjhāsaya); to solitude (pavivekajjhāsaya); to non-greed (lobhajjhāsaya); to non-hatred (adosajjhāsaya); to non-delusion (amohajjhāsaya); to liberation (nissaranajjhāsaya); and to inclination towards each of the ten Pāramī (dānajjhāsaya, sīlajjhāsaya, etc.
Because of their intense inclination for renunciation, Bodhisattas see danger in sense-pleasures and household life; because of their intense inclination for solitude, they see danger in company and social life; because of their intense inclination for non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion, they see danger in greed, hatred, and delusion; because of their intense inclination for liberation, they see danger in all forms of existence. The pāramī do not arise in him who does not see danger in greed, etc., and who has no intense inclination to non-greed, etc. Therefore the six inclinations for non-greed, etc., are also the conditions of the Pāramī.
Likewise, the ten inclinations to generosity (dānajjhāsaya), etc, form conditions of the Pāramī. Dānajjhāsaya means constant inclination for generosity through intensity of non-greed by seeing danger in its opposites.
Because of intense inclination for non-greed, Bodhisattas see danger in its opposites, i.e. selfishness, and therefore fulfil the Perfection of Generosity; because of intense inclination for morality, they see danger in moral depravity and therefore fulfil the Perfection of Morality. The same consideration applies to all the remaining Perfections.
It should be particularly noted here that the opposites of inclination for renunciation are sense pleasures and household life; for wisdom are delusion (moha) and doubt (vicikicchā); for energy is indolence (kosajja); for forbearance is resentment (akkhantī, dosa); for truthfulness is speaking lies; for resolution is indetermination (not being firm in pursuit of merit); for loving-kindness is ill-will; for equanimity is (submission to) vicissitudes of the world.
Because of their intense inclination for equanimity, Bodhisattas see dangers in its opposites, namely (submission to) vicissitudes of the world and fulfil the Perfection of Equanimity. In this way, the ten inclinations such as those for generosity, etc., also form conditions of the Pāramī.
E. Reflective Knowledge (Paccavekkhaṇa-ñāṇa) of the
Disadvantages of Not giving and the Advantages of Giving, etc.
Reflective knowledge of the disadvantages of not fulfilling the ten Perfections such as generosity, morality. etc., and of the advantages of fulfilling them also form basic conditions of the Pāramī.
This section should be carefully studied by those who aspire after Buddhahood.
1. Detailed Method of Reflecting on the Perfection of Generosity
“Personal possessions such as land, gold, silver, cattle, buffaloes, female servants, male servants, children, wives, etc., bring great harm to their owners who become attached to them. Because they are the objects of sense desire, coveted by many people; they can be taken away or destroyed by five enemies (water, fire, kings, thieves, and unloved heirs); they cause quarrels and disputes; they are insubstantial; their acquisition and protection necessitate harassment of others; their destruction leads to intense suffering such as sorrow, lamentation, etc.; through attachment to them those who are filled with stinginess (macchariya) are bound to be reborn in the realms of suffering. Thus these possessions bring much harm to the possessor in diverse ways. Giving them away, forsaking them, renouncing them, is the only means of escape to happiness.” A Bodhisatta should reflect in this way and practise mindfulness so as not to be remiss in acts of generosity.
A Bodhisatta should also reflect in the following manner whenever a supplicant presents himself for alms: “He is a very intimate friend, confiding all his personal secrets to me; he instructs me well how to take along with me by this means (of dāna) to the next existences my possessions, which I will have to leave behind otherwise. He is a great friend who assists me in removing to a safe place my possessions from this world which, like a blazing house, is raging with the fires of death. He is to me like an excellent storehouse where my possessions can be kept safe from burning”; and “He is my best friend, for by enabling me to perform the act of generosity he helps me achieve the most eminent and difficult of all attainments, the attainment of the ground for Buddhahood (Buddhabhūmi).”
Likewise, he should reflect thus: “This man has favoured me with an opportunity to do a most noble deed; I should therefore seize this opportunity without fail.” “My life will certainly come to an end; I should therefore give even when not asked, (indeed I should do) all the more when asked.” “Bodhisattas who are intensely inclined towards generosity go about searching for someone to receive their alms; in my case, a supplicant has come on his own accord to receive my offering because of my merit.” “Although an act of generosity is shown to recipients, true to its nature, it benefits me only.” “I should benefit all these beings as I benefit myself.” “How could I fulfil the Perfection of Generosity if there wre no one to receive my offering.” “I should acquire and accumulate properties only for those who may ask.” “When would they come and avail themselves of my belongings freely on their own accord without asking me?” “In what way could I endear myself to recipients and how could they become friendly with me?” “How would I rejoice while giving and after giving?” “How would recipients come to me and inclination for giving them develop in me?” “How would I know their mind and give them (what they need) without their asking?” “When I have things to offer and supplicants to receive, should I fail to give them, it would be a great deception on my part.” “How would I sacrifice my life and limb to those who come for them?” He should thus contantly develop the propensity to perform acts of generosity.
“Just as a hopping insect (kītaka)⁹ springs back to one who throws it away without any concern, good results come back to one who has performed charity generously without expecting any reward.” Reflecting thus he should develop the mind which does not wish or expect any fruit out of his act. (Here, ‘fruit’ means celestial or human bliss, but not attainment of Buddhahood).
Mental attitude at the time of offering
When the recipient of alms happens to be a dear person, he should be glad by reflecting, “One who is dear to me asks me for something.” If the recipient is a neutral person, he should be glad by reflecting, “By making this offering to him, I will surely gain his friendship.” If the recipient is a hostile person, he should specially rejoice by reflecting, “My enemy asks for something; by this offering to him, he will surely become a dear friend of mine.”
Thus he should make an offering to a neutral person or a foe in the same way he does to a dear person with compassion preceded by loving-kindness.
When in great difficulty
If the aspirant to Buddhahood finds himself so attached to objects of offering that relinquishing is impossible through with which he is imbued over long stretches of time, he should reflect thus:
“You, good man, aspiring after Buddhahood, when you resolved to attain it, in order to assist and support beings, did you not give up this body as well as the good deeds done by sacrificing it and the fruits thereof? Even then you are now attached to external objects; it is like the bathing of an elephant. So you should not remain attached to any object.”
(Other animals bathe to wash their bodies. Elephants bathe not to clean themselves, but to crush and destroy lotus shoots and stems. Just as an elephant’s bathing is futile, attachment to external objects will not be fruitful, will not bring about the benefit of Buddhahood).
Suppose there is a medicine tree; those in need of its roots, take away its roots; those in need of its crust, bark, trunk, fork, heartwood, branches, leaves, flowers, fruits, take whatever they need. Although thus stripped of its roots, crust, etc., the medicine tree is not disturbed with such a thought as “They have deprived me of my possessions.”
Likewise, the Bodhisatta should reflect thus: “I, who have worked strenuously for the welfare of beings, should not entertain even one iota of wrong thought in serving others by making use of this body, which is miserable, ungrateful, and unclean. The four great elements whether internal (of the body) or external (of the outside world) are all subject to decomposition, dissolution; there is no distinction between internal and external elements. In the absence of such distinction, attachment to this body, thinking: ‘This is mine, this am I, this myself’ is apparently a mere display of activity by delusion.¹⁰ So without regard for my hands, feet, eyes, flesh, and blood, as in the case of external objects, I should be prepared to give up my whole body, thinking, ‘Let those who need any of them take it away.’”
When he reflects in this way, with no regard for his life and limb, relinquishing them for the sake of self-enlightenment, his deeds, words, and thoughts easily become more and more purified. The Bodhisatta who is thus purified in physical, verbal, and mental actions, comes to possess purity of livelihood, and becomes established in the practice of the true path leading to nibbāna. He gains accomplishment also in the knowledge of what is detrimental and what is beneficial, as a result, he become indeed a person who is capable of rendering more and more services to all beings through gifts of material goods (vatthu dāna), gift of harmlessness (abhayadāna), and gifts of Dhamma (Dhammadāna).
This is the detailed treatment of the Bodhisatta’s reflection on the Perfection of Generosity.
2. Detailed Treatment of Reflection on the Perfection of Morality
“Morality is the Dhamma water which can wash away mental defilements that cannot be removed by the waters of the Ganges, etc. Morality acts as a good medicament to eradicate the heat of passion, which cannot be assuaged by yellow sandalwood, etc. It is the ornament of the wise, having nothing in common with the adornments such as necklaces, diadems, and earrings of ordinary people.
It is a kind of natural perfume whose fragrance pervades all directions and which is suitable for all occasions; it is an excellent mantra of spell-binding power (vācīkaraṇa mantaṃ), which commands homage and reverence of the high-born humans such as kings, brahmins, etc., and of Devas and Brahmas; it is a stairway to Deva and Brahma worlds. It serves as a means of gaining jhānas and abhiññā, a highway leading to the great city of nibbāna, the foundation of the three forms of Enlightenment. As it fulfils all that one wishes, it is superior to the wish-fulfilling gem (cintamāni), and the tree of plenty (kappa rukkha).” Thus should one reflect on the attributes of morality.
(The commentary recommends the Aggikkhandhopama Sutta, etc., for reflecting on the faults of not being endowed with morality. The following is a summary of the Aggikkhandhopama Sutta mentioned in the Sattakanipāta, Aṅguttaranikāya).
At one time the Buddha was touring in the country of Kosala accompanied by many bhikkhus. On seeing a blazing fire at one place, he left the highway and sat down on the seat of four-folded robe prepared by the Venerable Ānanda at the foot of a tree.
Then the Buddha addressed the bhikkhus:
(i) Bhikkhus, which would be better, to sit and lie down embracing a raging flame or to sit and lie down embracing a damsel of high birth with a lovely soft body, pleasant to the touch. Bhikkhus responded (unwisely) that it would be better to sit and lie down, embracing a damsel.
The Buddha explained that for an immoral person, it would be better to sit and lie down embracing a raging flame for it would cause suffering for one existence only, whereas embracing a damsel would lead them to the lower realms of existence.
He continued to question the bhikkhus:
To all these six latter questions, the bhikkhus answered (unwisely) as they did to the first question. The Buddha gave answers similar to that given to the first one, namely, that for an immoral person, it would be better to have one’s legs torn and crushed, to be pierced by a sharp spear, etc., for they would cause suffering for one existence only; whereas to take delight in the homage paid by the faithful, etc., would lead to the woeful realms of intense suffering where they remain for a long time.
The Buddha ended his discourse with these words:
In order to bring utmost benefit to the faithful donors, who offer requisites and to make one’s life advantageous in the Order, a bhikkhu should undergo the Three Trainings (sikkhā).¹¹ A bhikkhu wishing for his own welfare as well as that of others must be ever mindful and diligent.
At the end of the discourse, sixty immoral bhikkhus vomited hot blood; sixty bhikkhus who had infringed light disciplinary rules left the Order for household life; sixty bhikkhus who had led a pure life attained Arahantship.
This is a summary of the Aggikkhandhopama Sutta.
One should continue reflecting on the attributes of morality in this way also thus:
“A moral person takes delight in the thought, ‘I have done a faultless good deed, which protects one from harm.’ He is free from the danger of self-reproach or reproach by others who are wise; to him there is no possibility of punishment, or of a destination in woeful states. He is praised by the wise who say, ‘This man is moral and of good conduct. Unlike an immoral person, he is absolutely free from remorse.’”
Since morality is the root cause of mindfulness; since it brings manifold benefit such as prevention of loss of one’s wealth (bhogavyasana), etc., and since it eradicates unwholesomeness, it is the best source of one’s prosperity and well being.
Even a person of low caste, when endowed with morality, receives homage and respect from a person of high birth such as kings, brahmins, etc. Thus accomplishment in morality excels high birth or caste.
The wealth of moral virtues surpasses that of external material things because it cannot be endangered by the five enemies; it follows one to the next existence; its benefit is great and it serves as a foundation for the development of concentration and wisdom.
Even those so-called rulers in the world have no control over their own minds, only those who are moral have control over their minds (cittissariya). Therefore morality is superior to the authority of kings, etc.
Those who are moral, gain the attribute of Supremacy (issariya) in their respective existences.
Morality is superior even to life itself as the Buddha explains that a single day in the life of a person with morality is far better than a hundred years in the life of an immoral one and that mere living without any moral virtue amounts to death.
Because a moral person is esteemed even by his enemy and because he cannot be vanquished by aging, sickness, and misfortunes, his morality transcends physical beauty. As it is the foundation for states of happiness of devas or nibbāna, it is far superior to the best mansions and palaces or to the highest status and positions of kings, princes, or generals.
Morality is better than one’s relatives and friends who are solicitous of one’s well-being, because it truly promotes one’s welfare and interest and follows one closely to the next existence.
Morality serves as a specially bodyguard, protecting this body, which is difficult to be guarded against harm even by the four divisions of an army or by such devices as drugs, spells, and charms.
When one reflects that “morality is full of immeasurable qualities,” one’s imperfect morality will become perfect or one’s impure morality will become pure.
Should aversion in his life continuum antithetical to morality and having accumulative effect occur to the aspirant for Buddhahood from time to time, he should reflect thus:
“Have you not resolved to attain Arahattamagga ñāṇa and Omniscience? If your morality is defective, you cannot prosper even in mundane matters, let alone in supramundane ones. The Omniscience you aspire to is the highest of all achievements. Since morality is the foundation of Omniscience, your morality should be of very high quality. Therefore you should be a person who regards morality with much affection.”
Or, “You should teach Dhamma and save beings by three vehicles of such characteristics as anicca, dukkha, and anatta; you should also help immature beings in the five faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom, to reach maturity. Just as the treatment of a doctor who gives a wrong prescription is untrustworthy, even so the word of an immoral person is unreliable to many. Therefore, reflecting, ‘as a trustworthy person how could I save them and help them reach maturity in those faculties,’ you should be pure in morality.”
Furthermore, “Only when I have special attributes such as attainments of jhāna, etc., will I be able to help others and fulfil the Perfections such as Wisdom, etc., and such specially attributes as attainment of jhāna, etc., are not possible without pure morality. Therefore you should be a person of naturally pure morality.”
Reflecting thus, the Bodhisatta should earnestly strive to purify his morality.
This is the detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Morality.
3. Detailed Treatment of Reflecting on the Perfection of Renunciation
The Bodhisatta should reflect on the disadvantages of a household life, which is constricted with duties towards one’s wife and children, and on the advantage of the life of a bhikkhu, which like space is free and vast, being exempted from such obligations.
As explained in the Cūḷadukkhakkhandha Sutta (of the Majjhimanikāya), one should dwell upon the fact that sensual objects are more of worry and lamentation than of enjoyment and so on; upon suffering from contact with heat, cold, gadflies, mosquitoes, flies, wind, sun, reptiles, fleas, insects, etc., while in quest of sense-objects, as motivated by sense-desires; upon pain and distress when one’s laborious quest for sense-objects ends up fruitless; upon worry and anxiety for their security against the five enemies after they have been acquired; upon great suffering caused by terrible wars waged through desire for sense-objects; upon the thirty-two kinds of severe punishment (kamma-karaṇa) meted out in this life to those who have committed crimes through sense-desires; upon terrible suffering in the life beyond in the four realms of miserable existences.
This is the detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Renunciation.
4. Detailed Treatment of Reflecting on the Perfection of Wisdom
“Without wisdom, such Perfections as Generosity, etc., cannot become pure; and volition for giving, volition for observing morality, etc., cannot perform their respective functions.” In this way, one should reflect on the attributes of wisdom.
Without life, this bodily mechanism loses its significance and cannot function properly. Without consciousness, the sense faculties of the eye, ear, etc., cannot perform their respective functions of seeing, hearing, etc. Similarly, the faculties of faith, energy, etc., cannot do their respective duties effectively in the absence of wisdom. Therefore wisdom is the main and chief cause for the fulfilment of Perfections such as Generosity, etc.
How wisdom helps fulfilment of other Perfections
a) Because they keep their eyes of wisdom always open, even when Bodhisattas give away their limbs and organs, they do so without extolling themselves or disparaging others. (As mentioned above) like the great medicine tree they give without developing wrong thoughts, and are always filled with joy in the past, present, and future. Only when endowed with wisdom does one become equipped with Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa, and gives for the benefit of others; and only such an act of generosity is a genuine perfection. (Without wisdom, one is likely to give with the motivation of self-interest; such an act of generosity for one’s own benefit is like earning interest for oneself from an investment).
b) Morality without wisdom, but overwhelmed by greed, ill-will, etc., cannot achieve purity, much less serve as the foundation of Omniscience.
c) Only a person of wisdom discerns faults in the household state and benefits of an ascetic life, faults in sensual pleasures and benefits of attaining jhānas; faults in saṃsāra and benefits of nibbāna. Discerning thus, he goes forth into homelessness, develops jhānas and realizes nibbāna for himself. He can then help others to go forth and get established in jhāna and nibbāna.
d) Energy without wisdom is wrong striving; it does not serve the purpose desired. (It is better not to strive at all than to make wrong application of energy). When accompanied by wisdom, it becomes right endeavour achieving the required object.
e) Only a person of wisdom can bear with patience wrongs done by others; for one devoid of wisdom, offensive actions by others incite in him unwholesome states such as ill-will, etc., which go against forbearance. For the wise, such wrongs help him develop patience and strengthen it.
f) Only a person of wisdom comprehends the three truths as they really are — truth of abstinence (viratī sacca), truth of speech (vacī sacca), truth of knowledge (ñāṇa sacca); their causes and opposites. Having understood them himself perfectly (by abandoning what should be abandoned and cultivating what should be cultivated) he could help others keep to the Path of Truth.
g) Having fortified himself with the power of wisdom, a wise person becomes accomplished in concentration. With concentration mind, unshakable determination to fulfil all the Perfections is possible.
h) Only a man of wisdom can direct his thoughts of loving-kindness towards the three types of person without discriminating them as dear ones, neutrals, or enemies.
i) And only by means of wisdom can one remain indifferent to vicissitudes of life (whether good or bad) without being affect by them.
In this way, one should reflect on the attributes of wisdom, realizing it to be the cause for the purification of the Perfections.
Or, the Bodhisatta should admonish himself thus: “Without wisdom, there can be no perfect and pure view; without perfect and pure view, there can be no perfect and pure morality; without perfect and pure morality, there can be no perfect and pure concentration. Without concentration, one cannot work out one’s benefit, much less that of others. Therefore, practising as you are for the welfare of others, should you not make an earnest effort to develop your wisdom?”
For it is by the power of wisdom that the Bodhisatta becomes established on the four foundations,¹² benefits all beings with four objects of support,¹³ helps them remain on the path of liberation and brings their five faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom to maturity.
Likewise, by the power of wisdom, he engages in the investigating of absolute realities such as aggregates (khandha), sense-bases (āyatanā) etc., and comes to understand truthfully the processes of saṃsāra and its cessation; he endeavours to bring meritorious deeds such as Perfection of Generosity, etc., to the most beneficial stage of development and to enjoy the profits of the Path and Fruition; thus he works to complete and perfect the training of Bodhisattas.
Comprehending the various virtues of Wisdom in this way, he should repeatedly develop the Perfection of Wisdom.
This is the detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Wisdom.
5. Detailed Treatment of Reflecting on the Perfection of Energy
Even in worldly pursuits, the end of which is foreseeable, one cannot achieve the desire goal without the necessary energy; but there is nothing which a man of indefatigable energy cannot achieve. It should be reflected that: “One lacking energy cannot even begin the task of rescuing all beings from the whirlpool of saṃsāra; one with moderate energy will undertake the task, only to give it up half-way without pursuing it to the end; it is only the person with superior kind of energy who will see to the completion of the task, without regard to one’s personal well-being, to realise the goal (Omniscience).”
Again, “Without sufficient energy, even aspirants for Sāvakabodhi or Paccekabodhi,¹⁴ intent on liberating themselves from saṃsāra, cannot achieve their desired goal of Enlightenment. How can one aspiring after Perfect Self-enlightenment rescue the entire world of beings with devas and brahmas without sufficient exertions?”
“A host of defilements such as greed, hatred, etc., are as hard to restrain as elephants in must; one’s actions (kammas), that happen out of these defilements are like executioners holding high their swords and threatening to put one to death; the four woeful states caused by these kammas have their doors constantly open; evil friends are always around to instigate one to commit these kammas and thus despatch one to these states of woe; the nature of a foolish worldling is such that he succumbs easily to the ill advice of such evil friends; one should therefore keep oneself away from these evil friends who are sophists, who put forward their wrong, irrational argument, saying, ‘If emancipation from saṃsāra were a reality, it should be achieved automatically without any need to strive for it.’ Dissociation from such wrong sayings is possible only through the power of energy.”
Or, “If Buddhahood is attainable through personal effort, what difficulty can there be for a superior person like me to put forth the required energy?”
In this way the attributes of energy should be reflected upon.
This is the detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Energy.
6. Detailed Treatment of Reflecting on the Perfection of Forbearance
“Forbearance dispels anger, which is opposed to all wholesome attributes and serves as an indestructible weapon of good people in the acquisition of such attributes; it is the adornment of Bodhisattas who can dominate others; the strength of samaṇas and brāhamaṇas; a stream of water that extinguishes the fire of anger; a magic charm for neutralizing the poison of rude, abusive words of evil persons; it is the natural disposition of those established in the faculties of restraint and of those supremely wise ones.”
“Forbearance is a faculty deep like an ocean; the shore where the waves of the ocean terminate; the door that closes the way to the realms of misery; the stairway that ascends to the realms of devas and brahmas, the sanctum where all wholesome attributes reign; the supreme purity of body, speech, and mind.” Thus one should reflect on the virtues of forbearance.
Again, forbearance should be cultivated repeatedly by reflecting thus: “Without holding on to forbearance, which gives calm and peace, these beings pursue demeritorious deeds, which afflict them, in consequence they are subjected to affliction in this life as well as in the life to come.”
“Although it is true that I suffer through wrongs of others, this body of mine which serves as a field and the action which serve as seeds of that suffering have been done by none other than myself.”
“This forbearance of mine is the means of settling the debt of suffering.”
“If there were no wrong doers, how could I fulfil the Perfection of Forbearance?”
“Although this person has wronged me now, he had brought certain benefits to me in the past.”
“His wrong deed forms a cause for my practice of forbearance, and it therefore proves beneficial to me.”
“All these beings are like my own children, how could a wise man become angry about the misdeeds of his own children?”
“He has wronged me as he is seized by the demon of wrath; I should exorcise this demon that has seized him.”
“I am also the cause of the wrong deed which gives rise to this suffering, (for if I were not in existence, there could be no wrong doing.”
“The mental and physical phenomena (nāma-rūpa) which did the wrong deed, and the mental and physical phenomena to which the wrong deed was done, both sets of phenomena at this very moment have ceased. Who should then be angry with whom? There should be no arising of anger.”
And “When all the phenomena are non-self in the absolute sense, there could be no wrong doer and no one to whom any wrong is done.” Reflecting in this way, he should repeatedly develop forbearance.
Should the anger that arises from wrongs done by others continue to overpower one’s mind through force of habit gained for a long time, the aspirant for Buddhahood should reflect thus: “Forbearance is a complementary to practices which oppose the wrongs of others.”
“Wrongs of others, by causing my suffering, become a factor of arising in me of faith; (since suffering is the cause of faith) and also a factor of the perception of unhappiness and dissatisfaction with the world (anabhirati saññā).”
“It is the nature of the sense faculties, eyes, etc., to encounter various objects, good and bad; it is not is impossible not to come across undesirable sense-objects.”
“Following the dictates of anger, a person is distraught and mad with fury. What is the use of retaliating wrongs of such a person?”
“An Omniscient Buddha looks after all these beings as if they were his own dear children. Therefore aspiring after Omniscient Buddhahood, I should not despair because of them or be angry with them.”
“Should the wrong-doer be one endowed with noble attributes such as morality, one should reflect, ‘I should not show anger to such a virtuous one.’ Should the wrong-doer be one without any noble attributes such as morality, one should reflect, ‘He is a person I should regard with great compassion.’”
“By getting angry, my virtues and fame will diminish.”
“Becoming angry with him, I shall look ugly, sleep in discomfort, and so forth¹⁵ to the delight of my enemies.”
“This anger is a powerful enemy that brings about all harm and destroys all prosperity.”
“When one has forbearance, one can have no enemies.”
“Thinking that with forbearance I will meet with no suffering (which will befall the wrong-doer); or, by retaliating with anger, I shall only be following in the footsteps of my foes.”
“Should I overcome anger through forbearance, I would be completely vanquishing also the foe who is a slave of anger.”
“It is not proper for me to relinquish the noble quality of forbearance because of anger.”
“How could I be endowed with noble qualities such as morality, etc., when anger, the antithesis of all good qualities, is arising in me? And in the absence of such noble qualities how could I render help to beings and achieve the vowed goal of Omniscient Buddhahood.”
“Only with forbearance, can one remain undistracted by external objects and have concentration of mind; and only with concentration of mind can one discern all conditioned formations (saṅkhārā) to be impermanent and unsatisfactory, and all dhammas to be non-self, nibbāna to be unconditioned, deathless, etc., and the attributes of a Buddha to be of inconceivable, immeasurable powers.”
Because of such discernment one becomes established in Vipassanā Insight (anulomka khantī) through which it is realized that “All these dhammas are natural phenomena devoid of self or anything pertaining to self; they arise and pass away in accordance with their individual conditions; they came from nowhere and they go nowhere; they are not permanently established as an entity anywhere; there is no (operating) agency in this group of natural phenomena” (as there is no such thing as individuality in the first place). Realizing what they really are, one could comprehend that they are not the abode of ‘I-conceit.’ With such reflection, Bodhisattas stand firmly and irreversibly in their destiny, bound to attain Omniscience.
This is the detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Forbearance.
7. Detailed Treatment of Reflecting on the Perfection of Truthfulness
The Perfection of Truthfulness should be reflected on thus:
“Without truthfulness, attributes such as morality, etc, are impossible and there can be no performance of the vow of attaining Buddhahood.”
“When truthfulness if transgressed, all kinds of evil come together.”
“One who does not speak truth constantly is regarded as untrustworthy in this very life; in every future existence too, his word will not be accepted by others.”
“Only with truthfulness, can one develop attributes such as morality, etc.”
“Only with truthfulness as a foundation, can one purify and fulfil noble qualities such as pāramī, liberality, and conduct. Therefore, by being truthful with regard to phenomena, one can perform the functions of pāramī, liberality, and conduct, and become accomplished in the practice of Bodhisattas.”
This is the detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Truthfulness.
8. Detailed Treatment of Reflecting on the Perfection of Resolution.
“In the absence of firm resolution in doing good deeds such as the Perfection of Generosity, etc., on encountering their opposites such as miserliness (macchariya) immorality (dussīlya), etc., one could not maintain steadfastness in performing such good deeds; and without steadfastness, one could not practise them with skill and valour. And without skill and valour, the Perfection of Generosity, etc., which form the requisites for Omniscience could not be accomplished.”
“Only when resolution in doing good deeds such as the Perfection of Generosity, etc., is firm, can one maintain steadfastness on encountering their opposites such as miserliness, immorality, etc. Only when such steadfastness is maintained can one gain skill and valour in performing such good deeds. Then only Perfection of Generosity, etc., which form the requisites of Omniscience could be accomplished.” In this way, the attributes of resolution should be reflected upon.
This is the detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Resolution.
9. Detailed Treatment of Reflecting on the Perfection of Loving-kindness
“Even one occupied entirely with one’s personal welfare (a selfish person) could not gain prosperity in this or future life without promoting loving-kindness for the well-being of others. How much more should a Bodhisatta wishing to establish all beings in the bliss of nibbāna develop it? Only by fostering infinite loving-kindness for them, can a Bodhisatta establish all beings in nibbāna.”
“Wishing to help later all beings achieve the supramundane bliss of nibbāna when I become a Buddha, I should begin right now wishing them in advance mundane prosperity.”
“If I could not perform now the mere mental act of wishing for their welfare, when would I accomplish the verbal deeds of helping them achieve their welfare?”
“These beings whom I nurture now with loving-kindness would in future become heirs and companions on the future occasion of sharing my Dhamma inheritance.”
“Without these beings, there could be no requisites for my pāramī. Therefore they form complementary conditions for fulfilment and accomplishment of all the attributes of a Buddha; and they serve as a highly fertile field for sowing the seeds of merit, the best location for performing of meritorious deeds, the unique site to be revered.”
In this way one should especially cultivate goodwill towards all beings.
The attributes of loving-kindness should also be reflected on in this way:
“Compassion is the first and foremost of all fundamental practices which lead to Buddhahood. For the Bodhisatta who delights in providing welfare and happiness of all beings without discrimination (metta), the desire to remove their suffering and misfortune (karuṇā) becomes firmly rooted and powerful. Thus loving-kindness which forms the foundation of compassion should be developed towards all beings.”
This is the detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Loving-kindness.
10. Detailed Treatment of Reflecting on the Perfection of Equanimity
“In the absence of equanimity, abuses and wrongs done by others may cause disturbances in my mind. With a disturbed mind, there is no possibility even of doing good deeds of generosity, etc., which are the requisites of Buddhahood.”
“When loving-kindness is cultivated towards beings as mere affection, unaccompanied by equanimity, purification of requisites of the pāramī is not possible.”
“Having no equanimity, one cannot channel requisites of meritorious deeds and their results towards the promotion of welfare of beings.”
“A Bodhisatta makes no discrimination of gifts and of their recipients. It is impossible not to do so without equanimity.”
“When not endowed with equanimity, one cannot attend to purification of morality without taking into consideration the dangers that may befall one’s life and life-accessories (jīvitaparikhāra).”
“Only one who has overcome by virtue of equanimity the dislike of good deeds and delight in sensual pleasures can acquire the power of renunciation.”
“All functions of pāramī requisites can be accomplished only by examining them rightly with intelligent equanimity (ñāṇupekkhā).”
“In the absence of equanimity, excess of energy makes engagement in meditation impossible.”
“Only with equanimity, it is possible for one to concentrate with forbearance.”
“Only because of equanimity, beings can possess truthfulness.”
“By remaining indifferent to the vicissitudes of life, one’s resolution to fulfil the pāramī becomes firm and unshakeable.”
“Only with equanimity can one disregard others’ wrong; only such disregard promotes abiding in loving-kindness.”
Building up the requisites of all the pāramī in this way, remaining unshakeable in determination, fulfilling and accomplishing them — all these become possible by virtue of equanimity.
Thus should the perfection of Equanimity be reflected on.
This is the detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Equanimity.
Thus reflections (paccavekkhaṇa-ñāṇa) on the disadvantages of not doing meritorious deeds such as almsgiving, etc., and on the advantages accruing from such deeds of merit form the basis of the pāramī.
F. Fifteen Kinds of Conduct and Fivefold Higher Knowledge
Together with Their Components
Like reflections stated above, fifteen kinds of Conduct and fivefold Higher Knowledge together with their components also form the basis of the pāramī.
Fifteen kinds of conduct (caraṇa) are:
1) Observance of precepts (sīla saṃvara).
2) Closing securely with mindfulness the six doors of the sense faculties, namely, eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind so that no plunder by bandits in the form of evil deeds could take place (indriyesu guttadvarata).
3) Being moderate in eating (bhojanamattaññutā).
4) Out of the six divisions of a (24-hour) day, namely, morning midday, evening, first watch, second watch, and last watch of the night, sleeping only in the second watch, and engaging in meditation only in the two postures of sitting and walking during the remaining five periods (jagariyānuyoga).
5-11) The seven virtues of the good: faith, mindfulness, moral shame of doing evil, moral dread of doing evil, learning, energy, and wisdom.
12-15) The four jhānas (the first, second, the third, and the fourth).
Of these fifteen kinds of conduct, the components of the first four are the thirteen ascetic practices (dhutaṅga),¹⁶ and such qualities as having few wants, being easily contented, etc.
Of the seven virtues of the good:
(a) The components of faith are:
(b) The components of mindfulness are:
(c-d) The components of moral shame and moral dread of doing evil are:
(e) The components of learning are:
(f) The components of energy are:
(g) The components of wisdom are:
(h) The components of the four jhānas are:
Through this conduct and higher knowledge, it is possible to achieve purity in application (payogasuddhi) and purity of disposition (asayasuddhi). Through purity in application one can make the gift of harmlessness (abhayadāna) to beings and through purity of disposition one can make the give of material objects (āmisadāna); and through the purity of both, the gift of Dhamma (Dhammadāna) becomes possible.
In this way it may be understood how conduct and higher knowledge form the requisites of the Pāramī.
To the question, “What are the factors that defile the pāramī?” the answer in general is: regarding the pāramī as “I”, “mine”, “myself” through craving, conceit, and wrong view is the cause of the defilement of the pāramī.
The precise answer, however, (in each particular case) is as follows:
To the question: “What are the factors that purify the Pāramī?” the answer is: not being destroyed or spoilt by craving, conceit, and wrong view, and (as has been stated above) not having thoughts of discrimination between gifts and between recipients, form the cause of purification of the Pāramī.
True, the Pāramī are pure only when not tainted by defilements such as craving, conceit, wrong view, etc., and are devoid of discriminating thoughts of the quality of gifts and recipients.
To the question “What are the factors that oppose the Pāramī?” the answer is: when considered in general, all the defiling factors and all the demeritorious factors are the opposites of the pāramī.
When considered in detail, craving for the object to be offered, and stinginess are the opposite of Paññā Pāramī; wrong doings (physical, verbal, and mental) are the opposite of Sīla Pāramī. Taking delight in sense objects, sense pleasures, and existence is the opposite of Nekkhamma Pāramī. Extreme delusion is the opposite of Paññā Pāramī. The eight occasions of indolence (kusīta vatthu) enumerated above are the opposites of Vīriya Pāramī. Intolerance, through greed or dislike, of desirable and undesirable objects is the opposite of Khantī Pāramī. Not bringing out the real nature (as it truly exists) is the opposite of Sacca Pāramī. Inability to overcome the dhammas which are opposed to the Perfections (not practising them successfully) is the opposite of Adhiṭṭhāna Pāramī. The nine forms of developing hatred are the opposite of Mettā Pāramī. Not viewing with the feeling of neutrality when encountering desirable or undesirable objects is the opposite of Upekkhā Pāramī.
To the question, “How are the Pāramī fulfilled, how do to the Bodhisattas practise the Pāramī?” the answer is:
1. How the Perfection of Generosity Is Fulfilled
A Bodhisatta fulfils the Perfection of Generosity by serving the interest of beings in several ways — attending to their welfare, giving up his own life and limb, warding off the dangers that would befall them, instructing them in the Dhamma, etc.
The answer in detail: Generosity is of three kinds: (a) gift of material objects (āmisa dāna), (b) gift of harmlessness (abhaya dāna), (c) gift of Dhamma (Dhammadāna).
Gift of material objects (āmisa dāna): Of these three kinds, gifts of material objects to be given by the Bodhisatta can be twofold (i) gift of internal object and (ii) gift of external objects.
External objects for offering (according to the Suttanta method of enumeration) consists of ten kinds: food, drink, garments, vehicles, flowers, unguents, bedding, dwelling places, and lighting material. These offerings become manifold when each of them is divided into various things such as hard food, soft food, etc., in the case of food.
Likewise, (according to the Abhidhamma method of enumeration) offerings are of six kinds when analysed by way of six sense objects, i.e. gifts of visible things, gifts of sounds, etc. These sense objects become manifold, for example, the gift of visible things may be one of blue, one of yellow, etc.
Likewise there are inanimate things such as rubies, god, silver, pearls, coral, etc.; or paddy fields, other arable plots of land, parks, gardens, etc.; and there are also animate ones such as female slaves, male slaves, cattle, etc. Thus things to be given are plenty.
When a Bodhisatta makes a gift of external objects, he offers whatever is necessary to the needy. When he knows by himself that someone is in need of something he gives it away even unasked, more so when asked. When giving gifts, he does so freely, without any conditions.
When there are sufficient objects to offer, he gives them to each recipient sufficiently, but when there are not enough to give, he divides (into equal portions) what could be divided and gives.
There is a special point to note. In making gifts, he does not give things that would cause harm to others such as weapons, poisons, and intoxicants; nor does he make gifts of play things, which are not beneficial, but would cause negligence and playfulness.
To a sick recipient, he does not offer unsuitable food or drink; he offers him only what is suitable and in proper quantity and measure.
Likewise, when asked, he gives to householders what is good for householders, and to bhikkhus what is appropriate for them. (He does not give householders things acceptable to bhikkhus, or vice versa). And he makes his offerings without causing trouble to those close to him such as his mother, father, kinsmen and relatives, friends and colleagues, children, wife, slaves, and workers.
Having promised an excellent gift, he does not give something inferior. He does not give expecting gain, honour, fame, or reward; nor does he give anticipating benefits such as a good existence, wealth or prosperity, other than Omniscience. He makes his offerings with that one and only wish, Omniscience.
He does not make his offerings detesting the recipients or the gift materials. Even to the recipients who without restraining themselves, abuse and revile him, he does not give in an irreverential manner (as if he is discarding refuse) and with annoyance; he always gives with reverence, a serene mind and full of compassion. His generosity is totally free of the belief that noisy acclamation is auspicious, but it is associated with the staunch faith in the law of kamma and its fruits.
He makes his offerings without subjecting the recipients to the trouble of showing respect and humbleness to him; without any wish to deceive or to cause disunity, he gives only with a mind of great purity. He does not use harsh, abusive words, nor does he give with a pout and sullenness; he gives only with sweet words of endearment, a smile on his face and a serene disposition.
Whenever attachment to or craving for a particular object appears excessively in him because of its superior quality, or because of long personal use, or because it is the nature of greed to crave, hanker after objects of value and excellence, the Bodhisatta is aware of this greed, quickly dispels it, and seeks a recipient until he finds one, and gives him the same object.
Suppose he is about to partake of a meal which is just enough for one and someone presents himself and asks for it; under such circumstances a Bodhisatta does not think twice to forego his meal and offer it right away to the recipient respectfully just as the Bodhisatta Akitti the Wise²² had done.
When asked for his own children, wife, slaves, etc., he first explains to them his proposed act of giving; only when they become satisfied and happy does he give them away, who are happy to assist him in his fulfilment of Pāramī, but he does not make such an offering if he knows that those who ask for them are non-humans such as ogres and demons, etc.
Likewise he will not give up his kingdom to those who will bring harm or suffering to the people and who will work against their interest, but only to those who would protect them in a righteous manner.
This is how the practice of giving external objects is pursued.
A Bodhisatta makes his offering of internal objects in two ways:
In sacrificing his limbs and organs or the whole body, the Bodhisatta has two objectives: (i) to fulfil the wish of the recipient and let him enjoy whatever he needs, and (ii) to gain mastery over the performance of meritorious deeds of perfections by giving away generously without the slightest attachment to the objects offered. The Bodhisatta gives away internal objects of his whole body or any parts thereof, big or small, just as he dispenses offerings of external possessions in charity, believing, “I will certainly attain Omniscience through such generosity.”
In these acts of offering, he gives only what would be truly beneficial to the recipient. In particular he does not give knowingly his own body or its parts to Māra or to his company of deities who wish to cause injury to him, think, “Lest this should prove fruitless to them.” Likewise, he does not give his body or its parts to those possessed by Māra or his associates or to the insane, but to all others who ask for them, he makes an immediate offer because of the rarity of such a request or opportunity to make such a gift.
The Bodhisatta makes the gift of harmlessness by giving protection to beings and saving them even at the sacrifice of his own life when they are subjected to harm and danger by kings, thieves, fire, water, enemies, wild beasts such as lions, tigers, and nāgas, ogres, demons, etc.
The Gift of the Dhamma (Dhammadāna)
The gift of the Dhamma means unequivocal teaching of the truth with a pure mind completely free from defilements of greed, hate, etc.
To Future Disciples of a Buddha who have a strong wholesome desire to realize Sāvaka Bodhi, the Bodhisatta gives discourses on taking refuge in the Triple Gem, morality, guarding the doors of the sense faculties, moderation in eating, the practice of wakefulness, the seven good dhammas, practising concentration and insight meditation, the seven kinds of purification, the knowledge of the four Paths (Magga ñāṇa), three kinds of knowledge (vijjā), the six Higher Knowledges (Abhiññā), the fourfold Analytical Knowledge (Paṭisambhidā ñāṇa), and the Enlightenment of a Disciple (Sāvaka Bodhi).
He gives the gift of the Dhamma by elaborating on the attributes of the above-mentioned topics, establishing in the Triple Refuge, morality, etc., those who have not yet been so established, and helping those who have already been established, purify their practices.
Likewise, to beings who aspire to become Pacceka Buddhas and Sammāsambuddhas, the Bodhisatta gives the gift of the Dhamma by explaining to them clearly the characteristics, functions, etc., of the ten Pāramī, by elaborating upon the glory of Bodhisattas throughout the three stages of their existence — at the moment of fulfilment of Pāramī, of become a Buddha, and of fulfilment of the duties of a Buddha; by establishing them in the practices for attainment of Pacceka Bodhi or Sammāsambodhi; and by purifying the practices of those who are already established in them.
Suttanta Classification of Dāna into Ten Kinds
When a Bodhisatta gives material gifts, he makes an offering of almsfood with the wish: “Through this material gift, may I help beings achieve long life, beauty, happiness, strength, intelligence, and attain the supreme fruit of Arahantship.”
Similarly, he makes an offering of drink to assuage the thirst of sensual defilements in beings.
He makes an offering of garments to gain golden complexion and adornment of moral shame and moral dread; of vehicles to become accomplished in various psychic powers and gain the bliss of nibbāna; of perfumes to produce the sweet fragrance of incomparable morality; of flowers and unguents to be endowed with the splendour of the Buddha qualities; of seats to win the seat of Enlightenment under the Bodhi tree; of beds to acquire the ‘sleep of a Buddha,’ which is entering into the fourth jhāna according to the saying, “Lying on the left is the sleep of the sensuous, lying on the right that of a lion, lying with upturned face that of a peta, entering the fourth jhāna is the sleep of a Buddha”; of dwelling places such as rest house, etc., to become a refuge of beings; and of lamps to acquire the five eyes.²³
He makes a gift of colour (rūpa dāna) to acquire the aura which constantly illumines an area of eighty cubits around the Buddha’s body even in the darkness of a thick forest at midnight, on a new moon day with rain clouds covering the sky; of sound (sadda dāna) to acquire a voice like that of Brahma; of tastes to become a person endearing to all beings; of tangibles to acquire the fruit of gentleness of a Buddha (Buddha Sukhumālatā); of medicines to attain the fruit of the ageless and deathless nibbāna; of freedom to slaves in order to gain emancipation from slavery of defilements; of blameless amusement so as to delight in the true Dhamma; of his own children in order to make all beings his children of Ariyan birth (by admitting them into the Order); of his wives such as Queen Maddī²⁴ in order to become lord of the whole world; of ten kinds of treasures (such as gold, gems, pearls, coral, etc.) in order to achieve the major characteristics of physical beauty of a Great Being; of various adornments in order to achieve the eighty minor characteristic marks of physical beauty; of his worldly wealth in order to win the treasury of the True Dhamma; of his kingdom in order to become the King of the Dhamma; of pleasance or garden ponds and groves in order to achieve the superhuman transcendental dhamma of jhānas, liberation, concentration, Path and Fruition; of his feet to whoever wants them to enable himself to approach the tree of Enlightenment with feet marked with auspicious wheels; of his hands as he wishes to extend the helping hand of the true Dhamma to get beings across the four wild floods;²⁵ of ears, nose, etc., to be endowed with the faculties of faith, etc.; of eyes to be endowed with the All-seeing Eye (Samanta-cakkhu) of a Buddha, that is Omniscience; of the gift of flesh and blood with the thought, “May my body bring welfare and happiness to all beings, at all times, even when I am seeing, hearing, recollecting, or helping myself. May it be the means for sustaining all the world”; of the gift of the head, the topmost part of the body, in order to become a supreme one in all the world.
In making such gifts, the Bodhisatta does so not by seeking wrong means; nor by ill-treating others; nor through fear or shame; nor by causing vexation to the recipient; nor does he give inferior objects when he has superior ones to offer; nor does he extol himself while disparaging others; nor does he wish any fruit other than Buddhahood in making his gifts; nor does he give with loathing, disgust, detestation, contempt or despise, as a matter of fact, he gives after careful preparation of materials, with his own hands, at the proper time, with due reverence to the recipient, without discrimination, filled with joy at all three moments (that is before, while, and after giving).
Therefore there is no feeling of remorse after making the gift; he does not become haughty or disdainful towards recipients, but speaks endearingly to them. Understanding the speech of the recipient, he is accessible to them. When he makes an offering, he does so together with additional materials along with it.
For example, when he wishes to offer almsfood, he thinks: “I will make this offer of almsfood along with suitable accompaniments and makes an offer of drinks, robes, etc., as well.” And when he wishes to offer robes, he thinks, “I will make this offer of robes along with suitable accompaniments,” and makes an offer of food, etc., as well. The same method is followed with regard to gifts of vehicles, etc.
Whenever he wishes to make a gift of visible forms (rūpa dāna), he makes a gift of sound (sadda dāna), etc., as accessories to accompany it. The same method is followed with regard to a gift of sound, etc.
In making ten kinds of offering of food, drink, etc., following the Suttanta way of giving, the materials offered are tangible and easily intelligible. In the Abhidhamma way of making gifts, which are objects of senses such as form, sound, it is not perceptible also what constitutes a rūpa dāna or how one should be mentally disposed to effect a gift of rūpa. How such gifts would be made is explained below.
Abhidhamma Classification of Dāna into Six Kinds
According to six kinds of offering following the Abhidhamma classifications, the gift of colour (rūpa dāna) should be understood thus: having acquired a gift item such as flowers, garments, or mineral elements of blue, yellow, red, white colour etc., one regards them only as colour and thinking, “I shall make a gift of colour; this is my gift of colour,” offers the flower, the garment which has the colour intended as a gift. This kind of offering is known as a gift of colour (rūpa dāna).
It is not possible for a person who wants to make a gift of particular colour by separating it out from the material of that colour; he has to make an offer of a flower, garment, or mineral element, which has the colour of his choice, thinking, “I shall make a gift of colour, this is my gift of colour.” This is how an offer of colour (rūpa dāna) is made.
The gift of sound (sadda dāna) should be understood by way of sound of drums, etc. When making such a gift, it is not possible to give sound the way that one does of lotus bulbs and roots after pulling them out, or a cluster of blue lotuses by placing them in the hands of the recipient. One makes a gift of sound by giving sound-producing objects such as drums or bells. Thinking, “I will make a gift of sound,” he pays homage to the Triple Gem by playing one of these musical instruments himself or causing others to do so; or think, “This is my gift of sound,” he erects on the pagoda platform, bells or bronze drums himself, or causes others to do so; or by giving voice stimulant such as honey, molasses, etc., to Dhamma preachers; by announcing and inviting people to listen to the Dhamma, or by giving a talk on the Dhamma, by discussing Dhamma with those who have approached him; or by expressing appreciation for the good deeds of feeding monks or building monasteries or causing others to do so. Such a gift is known as the gift of sound (sadda dāna).
Likewise, the gift of scent (gandha dāna) is made when, after acquiring some delightfully fragrant objects in the forms of roots, branches or powder, considering it only as scent (not as an object) and thinking, “I shall make a gift of scent; this is my gift of scent,” he offers it to the Triple Gem; or he relinquishes short pieces of fragrant wood such as aloe, sandal, etc., with the intention of making a gift. Such a gift is known as the gift of scent (gandha dāna).
Likewise, the gift of taste (rasa dāna) is made when, after getting a delightfully flavoured root, bulb, globule, fruit, etc., considering it (not as a material object but) only as a taste, and thinking, “I shall make a gift of taste; this is my gift of taste,” he offers it to a recipient; or he makes an offering of tasty food such rice, corn, beans, milk, etc. Such a gift is known as the gift of taste (rasa dāna).
The gift of tangibility (phoṭṭhabba dāna) should be understood by way of couches, cots, beds, chairs, etc., and by way of spreads, coverlets, blankets, etc. Having acquired some soft, delightful tangible objects such as ouches, cots, chairs, spreads, coverlets, blankets, etc., considering them (not as material objects but) only as tangible quality, and thinking, “I shall make a gift of tangibility; this is my gift of tangibility,” he makes a gift of some such tangible objects; such a gift is called the gift of tangibility (phoṭṭhabba dāna).
The gift of Dhamma (dhamma dāna) means the gift of dhammārammaṇa²⁶ (one of the six sense-objects). In accordance with the saying, “Dhamma dāna should be understood by way of nutriment (oja), drinks (pāna), and life (jīvita).”
To explain further: Having acquired some such material as butter, ghee, etc., rich in nutrient (oja), considering it only as a nutrient, actually a dhammārammaṇa, and thinking, “I shall make a gift of dhammārammaṇa; this is my gift of dhammārammaṇa,” he makes a gift of butter, ghee, etc., or a gift of eight kinds of drink (pāna)²⁷ made from fruits and roots; or, thinking, “this is a gift of life,” he makes gifts of materials conducive to life prolongation such as offering of food by tickets,²⁸ etc., or gets physicians to attend to the sick and afflicted, or causes fishing nets, bird cages, traps to be destroyed; or liberates those who have been imprisoned, or causes a proclamation to be made by beating of gongs: “Slaughter of animals is forbidden; no fish or meat is to be sold;” undertakes himself or causes others to do so for the protection of lives of beings. Such a gift is known as the gift of dhamma (dhamma dāna).
The Bodhisatta dedicates all the said accomplishments in generosity to the happiness and welfare of the whole world of beings till they attain nibbāna; he dedicates them as supporting requisites to his attainment of Supreme Enlightenment, to his inexhaustible will (chanda), energy (vīriya), concentration (samādhi), wisdom (paññā), and emancipation (vimutti) through Arahattaphala.
In fulfilling the Perfection of Generosity the Bodhisatta develops the perception of impermanence with regard to his life and with regard to his possessions. He considers these possessions as belonging to others as well. He constantly and continuously develops great compassion towards beings. In developing such compassion, he is gathering essence of merit worth extracting from his wealth. Just like a person whose house is blazing removes himself and all his most valuable belongings to a safe place, so does the Bodhisatta save himself and his valuable assets from the great mansion of three abodes (realms of humans, devas, and brahmas) which are raging with eleven fires²⁹ of rāga, etc., by giving them away generously without leaving anything behind. He does so without concern, without discrimination as to what is to be given away or what is to be kept for personal use.
This is the method of fulfilling the Perfection of Generosity.
2. How the Perfection of Morality Is Fulfilled
Wishing to support others with material aids one should in the first instance strive to become possessed of wealth and property. Likewise, wishing to adorn beings with the ornaments of morality, the Bodhisatta, to begin with, has to purify his own morality.
Herein, morality is purified in four modes:
Precept of Abstention and Performance
The morality that has been purified by means of the aforesaid four modes is of two kinds, namely morality of abstention (vāritta sīla) and morality of good conduct (cāritta sīla). Of these two kinds:
How the Bodhisatta Observes Morality of Abstention
a) The Bodhisatta has such great compassion for all beings that he harbours no resentment towards anyone even in a dream; thus he abstains from killing.
b) As he is always dedicated to assisting others, he would handle the belongings of others with an inclination to misappropriate it no more than he would take hold of a poisonous snake.
c) In his existences of a monk or a recluse, he keeps away from sexual practice. Not only does he avoid coital relations with a woman, he refrains from the seven minor bonds of sexuality (methuna saṃyoga, mentioned in the Aṅguttaranikāya)³² which are:
Since he avoids even such minor bonds of sexuality, to commit adultery is totally impossible for him; he has already abstained from such sexual misconduct from very early times.
In those existences of his as a householder, the Bodhisatta does not entertain even an evil thought of passion for the wives of others.
d, e, f, g) When he speaks, he avoids the four kinds of wrong speech, and states only what is true, what conducive to harmony between friends, what is endearing, and he makes only timely talks on the Dhamma in measured manner.
h, i, j) His mind is always devoid of covetousness and ill-will: never holding perverted views, he is endowed with the knowledge that he is the owner of his deeds (kammassakata-ñāṇa).³³ He has faith in and goodwill towards recluses, who are practising rightly.
Because he avoids the unwholesome course of action (kamma) leading to the four planes of misery, and because he is established in the wholesome course of action leading to the deva world and nibbāna, through the purity of his inclinations, and through the purity of his physical and verbal actions, all the Bodhisatta’s wishes for the welfare and happiness of beings are rapidly fulfilled; he also achieves the fulfilment of his Pāramī.
Advantages of abstention from wrong deeds
By abstaining from the wrong deed of killing (pānātipāta) the Bodhisatta gives the gift of harmlessness to all beings; he becomes accomplished in the development of loving-kindness without difficulty and enjoy the eleven advantages³⁴ of developing loving-kindness. Together with the advantages of robust health, longevity, and great happiness, he possesses the distinguished characteristics of a Great Being such as long, tapering fingers, and toes; and he is able to eradicate the natural tendencies towards hatred (dosa vāsana).
By abstaining from the wrong deed of taking what is not given (adīnnādāna) the Bodhisatta acquires wealth and possessions which are immune from molestation by the five enemies; he is not susceptible to suspicion by others; he is dear, amiable and trustworthy; not attached to wealth and property; with an inclination to relinquishing, he is able to eradicate the natural tendencies towards greed (lobha vāsana).
By abstaining from unchaste practices (abrahmācariya) the Bodhisatta remains modest, calm in mind and body, dear, agreeable to all beings and not loathed by them; he enjoys good reputation; he has neither attachment to women, nor strong desire for them; with earnest inclination to renunciation, he is able to eradicate the nature tendencies towards greed (lobha vāsana).
By abstaining from false speech (musāvāda) the Bodhisatta is highly esteemed, trusted and relied upon by beings; his words are well accepted and have much influence on many; he is dear and agreeable to devas; he has sweet oral fragrance; he is well guarded in his speech and action; he possesses the distinguished characteristics of a Great Being such as a single hair only in each of the pores of his body, etc.; he is able to eradicate the natural tendencies towards defilements (kilesa vāsana).
By abstaining from slander (pisuṇavācā) the Bodhisatta possesses a physical body which is indestructible and a following that cannot be divided by the wiles of others; he has unbreakable faith in the true Dhamma; he is a firm friend, endearing to all beings, enjoying the benefits of scanty defilements (kilesa).
By abstaining from abusive language (pharusavācā) the Bodhisatta becomes dear to beings; with pleasant, amiable disposition, sweet in speech, he is held in high esteem by all. He becomes endowed with a voice of eight qualities.³⁵
By abstaining from frivolous talk (samphappalāpa) the Bodhisatta is dear and agreeable to all beings, esteemed and revered by them; speaking as a rule in a measured manner, his words are well accepted and have much influence on them, he wields great power and has the skill to give instant answers to questions asked by others; when he becomes a Buddha, he becomes capable of answering all the questions put forward by beings in numerous languages; he answers by giving a single reply in Māgadhi, the language of noble persons (Ariyavācā.) The single reply given in Māgadhi is well understood by the audience of different races numbering one hundred and one, each speaking its own tongue).
By abstaining from covetousness (abhijjhā), the Bodhisatta gains whatever he wishes without difficulty; he obtains excellent riches to his liking; he is honoured and revered by wealthy kings, brahmins and householders; he is never vanquished by his adversaries, has no defects in his faculties of eye, ear, nose, etc., and becomes a person without a peer.
By abstaining from ill-will (byāpāda), the Bodhisatta becomes a pleasant person, lovely to behold and is admired by all; he inspires them easily with faith in him; his is inoffensive by nature, abides only in loving-kindness and is endowed with great power.
By reject wrong views and developing only right views the Bodhisatta gains good companions; he does not commit evil even if he is threatened with beheading; holding the view that he is the owner of his deeds (kamma, he does not believe in superstitious omens;³⁶ he has firm confidence in the True Dhamma, and steadfast faith in the Omniscience of the Enlightened Ones; (just as a royal swan takes not delight in a dung heap) so does he take no delight in various creeds other than the right view (sammā diṭṭhi); he is skilled in fully comprehending of the three characteristics of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and insubstantiality; in the final existence when he becomes a Buddha, he gains the Unobstructed Knowledge, Anāvarana ñāṇa, (which knows all there is to know without any hindrance); before gaining Buddhahood he becomes the chief and foremost of beings in every existence he happens to be born in and attains the highest fortunes.
“Morality is the foundation of all achievements; it is the origin, source of all the attributes of a Buddha, it is the beginning of all the Perfections.” Reflecting thus and highly adoring morality, the Bodhisatta develops power of mindfulness and comprehension in four matters, namely, control of verbal and physical actions, restraint of faculties, purity of livelihood, and use of the four requisites; he fulfils the observance of morality with due respect and care, considering gain and honour as a foe in the guise of a friend.
This is how the morality of abstention is observed.
How the Bodhisatta Observes Morality of Good Conduct
The Bodhisatta always welcomes good friends, greeting them with a gesture of respect and courtesy by extending his clasped hands towards them, and waits upon them; he attends personally on the sick and renders needful services to them. He expresses appreciation after hearing a Dhamma discourse; he speaks in praise of the virtues of the virtuous; he bears with patience the wrongs of others and recollects repeatedly only their services rendered to him; he rejoices in the meritorious acts of others and dedicates his own good deeds to Supreme Enlightenment; he ever abides without neglecting the practice of wholesome Dhamma; if he happens to commit a wrong doing, he sees it as such (without attempting to hide it) and confesses it to his Dhamma companions. He develops more and more the practice of Dhamma, going up higher and higher in the stages of attainment.
Likewise, he is skilful and diligent in rendering services to beings in such matters that are agreeable to him and would benefit them; when they are afflicted with disease, etc., he tries to give relief to them as much as possible. When misfortunes (vyasana) befalls them concerning relatives, wealth, health, morality, and belief, he gives them solace by dispelling their sorrow; he reproves righteously those who need to be reproved, only to take them out of evil and establish them in good; to those who deserve his support, he gives them a helping hand righteously.
On hearing the supreme practices of the past Bodhisattas by means of which they gain maturity of Pāramī, liberality, conduct, and which are most difficult to perform, inconceivably powerful, and which definitely contribute to the happiness and welfare of beings, the Bodhisatta is not frightened or discouraged at all.
He reflects, “All the past great Bodhisattas just like me were only human beings; and yet by dint of constant training in morality, concentration, and wisdom they reached Supreme Enlightenment. Like those great Bodhisattas of yore, I too will undergo the complete training in morality, concentration, and wisdom. In this way, after completing the same three trainings, I will ultimately attain the same goal of Omniscience.”
Thus, with unrelenting diligence preceded by faith, he undertakes to complete the training in morality, etc.
Similarly, the Bodhisatta does not publicize his own good deeds, instead he confesses his faults without concealing them; he has few wishes, is easily contented, enjoys seclusion, is not given to social mixing; he endures hardships, and does not craving for this or that object nor does he get agitated; he is not haughty, nor immodest, not scurrilous, not given to loose talk; he is quiet, calm, and free from such wrong means of livelihood as fraud.
He is endowed with proper physical and verbal conduct and with his own subjects for meditation; he sees danger even in the slightest fault and undertakes to observe well the rules of training; with no attachment to body or life, he has his mind directed only to attainment of Omniscience and nibbāna, and incessantly devotes himself to wholesome practices; he has not formed even the slightest attachment to body and life, instead he discards it; he dispels also defiling factors such as ill-will, malice, etc., which will cause corruption of morality.
He does not remain complacent with minor achievements, but strives for successively higher attainments. By such endeavours, his achievements in jhāna, etc., do not get diminished or stagnated at all, but grow and develop more and more into higher and higher stages.
Likewise, the Bodhisatta helps the blind to reach the desired destination, or directs them the right way. He communicates with the deaf and dumb by signalling gestures (with his hands). He provides a chair or a vehicle to the cripple; or he carries them personally on his back to wherever they want to go.
He works hard so that those with poor faith may develop faith. the lazy may develop energy, the heedless, unmindful ones may develop mindfulness, the restless worried ones may develop concentration, and the ignorant, uninstructed ones may develop wisdom; he strives to enable those troubled by hindrances to dispel such troubling factors and those oppressed by wrong thoughts of sensuality, ill-will, and cruelty to remove such oppressing factors.
To those who have helped him before, he shows his gratitude, greeting them with endearing words, honouring them in return with benefits similar to or even greater than those bestowed on him, in time of their misfortune he serves them as a boon companion.
Understanding the natural disposition of various beings, he assists them to be free from what is unwholesome and to become established in what is wholesome; he associates with them meeting their needs and wishes. (What is meant here is that he seeks their company and friendship to free them from evil and establish them in virtues by giving (dāna) to those who like gifts, by speaking endearing words (piya vācā) to those who like kindly speech, by showing a life of usefulness (atthacariyā) to those who approve of such a life, and by treating with a sense of justness (samānattatā) to those who wish to be treated like unto themselves).
Likewise, even with a desire to serve their interest, the Bodhisatta does not hurt others or quarrel with them, does not humiliate them or make them feel remorse; he does not look down upon others, finding fault with them; he does not place himself in a higher position in dealing with those who treat him without arrogance, but with humility.
He does not keep himself completely aloof from others, but also avoids excessive familiarity or association at the wrong time. He keeps company with only those worthy to associate with at proper times and places; he does not speak ill of others in the presence of their friends or praise those who are not on good terms with them. He does not cultivate intimate friendship with those not appropriate to mix with.
He does not refuse a proper invitation, but he does not indulge in making excessive demands either; nor does he accept more than what he needs; he gives delight and encouragement to the faithful by giving a discourse on the merits of faith. Likewise, he gives delight and encouragement to those endowed with morality, learning, generosity, and wisdom by giving discourses on the merits of those qualities.
If the Bodhisatta in an existence happens to be accomplished in the attainments of jhāna and abhiññā, by exercising these powers he arouses fright in those beings who are negligent (in doing good deeds); showing them to a certain extent horrors in realms of misery, he gets those devoid of faith and other virtues established in faith, etc., and gives them access to the Buddha’s dispensation. To those already endowed with faith, etc., he helps them gain maturity in those virtues.
In this way, the Bodhisatta’s morality of good conduct as the “flood” of immeasurable meritorious deeds grows bigger and bigger, one existence after another.
This is the method of fulfilling the Perfection of Morality.
3. How the Perfection of Renunciation Is Fulfilled
As already stated above, the Perfection of Renunciation is the group of consciousness and mental concomitants which desire emancipation from sense pleasures and existences which is founded on Mahākaruṇā and Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa, and which is preceded by the knowledge of disgusting and dreadful faults in them. Therefore the Bodhisatta undertakes first to discern the faults (as they truly are) in sense pleasures and existences by means of the knowledge of disgust and dread (ādīnava ñāṇa).
This is how he discerns these faults: “Because household life is the dwelling place of all kinds of defilements, because there are impediments such as wife and children, etc., restricting one’s meritorious performances, because one gets involved and entangled in multifarious activities such as trading and cultivation, it is not a proper place where happiness of renunciation can be achieved.”
The sensual pleasures of men, like a drop of honey on the sharp edges of a sword, prove to be more harmful rather than enjoyable; their enjoyment is short-lived like a theatrical show seen only by intermittent flashes of lightning; they are enjoyed only through perverted perception (which is disorderly) like the ornaments of madman; they are deceptive as a camouflaging object which conceals a heap of excreta, as unsatisfying as licking the moisture on the fingers; they are afflictive, damaging like the gorging of food by a famished person; causing hordes of misfortune like the bait on a hook causing dukkha in the past, present, and future; like the heat of burning fires; they are sticky like the gum of a plant (makkata lepa); they form a means to conceal destructive objects like the cloak of a murderer. Thus discerning first the disadvantages in sense pleasures and existences, and then the advantages of liberation from them, which is nekkhamma, the Bodhisatta fulfils the Perfection of Renunciation.
Since going forth from household life is the foundation of the Perfection of Renunciation, at a time when there is no teaching of a Buddha, in order to fulfil this perfection, the Bodhisatta takes up an ascetic life under recluses or wanderers who uphold the doctrine of action (kamma vādi) and the doctrine of efficacy of action (kiriya vādi). However, when an Enlightened One appears in the world, he joins the Order of Bhikkhus in the Dispensation of the Buddha.
Having thus gone forth, he establishes himself in the morality of abstention and good conduct as described above and in order to purify these, he undertakes the ascetic practices (dhutaṅga).³⁷
The Bodhisatta who has thus washed away the mental defilements with the clean water of morality fortified by ascetic practices becomes endowed with blameless, pure physical and verbal conduct; he shows contentment with any available robe, almsfood, and dwelling; having followed the first three of the four traditions of the Noble Ones³⁸ (Ariyavaṃsattaya), he strives to achieve the fourth one, delight in meditation (bhāvanārama) by practising an appropriate one of the forty meditation subjects till he attains the stages of access concentration (upacāra samādhi) and absorption (appanā samādhi). Attainment of absorption (jhāna) is the Bodhisatta’s complete fulfilment of the Perfection of Renunciation.
Details on the forty subjects of meditation may be obtained from the Visuddhimagga.
This is the method of fulfilling the Perfection of Renunciation.
4. How the Perfection of Wisdom Is Fulfilled
As the light of wisdom cannot coexist with the darkness of bewilderment (moha), the Bodhisatta who is fulfilling the Perfection of Wisdom avoids the causes of bewilderment such as aversion to wholesomeness (arati), laziness, stretching out one’s limbs in drowsiness, etc., and applies himself with ardour to acquisition of wide knowledge, various kinds of jhāna, etc.
Wisdom is of three kinds: (a) Sutamaya Paññā, (b) Cintāmaya Paññā, and (c) Bhāvanāmaya Paññā.
(A) Sutamaya Paññā
In order to bring Sutamaya Paññā, otherwise known as Bāhusacca, to maturity, the Bodhisatta develops it through careful study, listening, learning, memorization, interrogation, and investigation with mindfulness, energy, and wisdom preceded by Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa; the whole field of Sutamaya Paññā is made up of (i) the five aggregates, the twelve sense-bases, the eighteen elements, the Four Truths, the twenty-two faculties, the law of Dependent Origination, the methods of Steadfast Mindfulness, etc., which constitute Factors of Enlightenment as well as various categories of Dhamma such wholesome, unwholesome, etc.; and (ii) blameless, mundane forms of knowledge which promote the welfare and happiness of beings. In this way the Bodhisatta develops Sutamaya Paññā and becomes a man of wisdom who has delved into the entire field of it himself and established others in it too.
Likewise, in order to serve the interest of beings, the Bodhisatta develops the wisdom that arises instantaneously to find suitable means right on the spot (Ṭhānuppattika paṭibhāna ñāṇa), which is also known as Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa. By means of this wisdom, the Bodhisatta is able to distinguish the factors which will promote growth and prosperity from those which will contribute to their ruin and destruction in various undertakings of beings.
(B) Cintāmaya Paññā
Likewise, the Bodhisatta develops Cintāmaya Paññā by reflecting penetratingly on natural phenomena, absolute realities, such as aggregates, etc.
(Careful study, listening, learning, memorization of natural phenomena such as the aggregates is Sutamaya Paññā. Thinking first and then reflecting on these natural phenomena, which one has studied, learnt, and memorized, is Cintāmaya Paññā).
(C) Bhāvanamaya Paññā
Likewise, the Bodhisatta who has developed the mundane kinds of thorough understanding of natural phenomena such as aggregates, etc., by discerning their specific as well as general characteristics proceeds to perfect and fulfil the preliminary portion of the wisdom gained by meditation (Bhāvanamaya Paññā) namely, the nine Insight Knowledges (Vipassanā ñāṇa) such as knowledge of conditioned things (sammasana ñāṇa), their impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, being not-self), etc.
By thus perfecting and fulfilling insight knowledge, the Bodhisatta comprehends fully the external and internal objects only as mental and physical phenomena: “This group of natural phenomena, which is merely nāma-rūpa, arises and ceases according to conditions ; in reality there is no one who creates of causes others to create; nāma-rūpa as a reality arises only to disappear and therefore is impermanent; it is unsatisfactory because of its constant arising and ceasing; it is uncontrollable, ungovernable, and is therefore not-self.” Thus comprehending the real nature of both internal and external objects without distinction, he abandons attachment to them and helps others do so as well.
During this period preceding the attainment of Buddhahood, the Bodhisatta, through great compassion, helps beings step into the three vehicles of practice (paṭipatti), (by which beings may gain maturity in the three kinds of Enlightenment) or reach maturity in their practice if they have already stepped into them.
As for himself, the Bodhisatta strives to achieve five kinds of mastery over mundane absorptions and various types of higher knowledge; and with the great help rendered by the concentration associated with them, he reaches the pinnacle of wisdom.
(As to methods of developing the mundane absorptions, higher knowledge, and the ten kinds of insight knowledge, reference may be made to the Visuddhimagga, It is especially to be noted, however, that in the Visuddhimagga, the development of wisdom for a Future Disciple is explained up to the stage of attainment of the Path. Here in this work, however, as it is intended for the Bodhisatta who aspires to Enlightenment, all the endeavours for development of meditation is preceded by Mahākaruṇā and Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa and stop short at the sixth stage of Purity of Knowledge following the right path (Paṭipadā ñāṇadassana Visuddhi) before the attainment of the Path, also called the stage of Purity of Knowledge of the Path and Fruition (Ñāṇadassana Visuddhi). As regards the ten stages of Knowledge of Insight, the development of Wisdom is carried out as far as the first part of the Knowledge of Equanimity about Formations (Saṅkhārupekkhā ñāṇa), giving attention only to the nine lower stages of Insight Knowledge).
This is the method of fulfilling the Perfection of Wisdom.
5. How the Perfection of Energy, etc., Are Fulfilled
Just as a general, intent upon vanquishing his foes, strives ceaselessly, even so the Bodhisatta who seeks to overcome unaided the enemies of defilement and who wants other beings also to make similar conquests, works arduously all the time in fulfilment of the Perfections.
Therefore the Bodhisatta continuously reflects with mindfulness: “What have I accumulated in the way of requisites of merit and wisdom today? What have I done for the welfare of others today?” Reflecting thus every day, he works energetically to be of service to other beings.
In order to help beings he gives away generously his possessions including life and limb. Whatever he does bodily or verbally, he does so with his mind inclined towards Omniscience; whatever merit accrues from such action is dedicated to the attainment of full Enlightenment.
He turns away with a mind for emancipation from objects of sense pleasure even if they are of superior kind or in small amount, not to speak of inferior objects of sense pleasures or in abundant quantity.
In every undertaking, he develops and applies Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa. He always works assiduously for the welfare of beings. He bears with patience all sense-objects, whether desirable or undesirable. He stands firm on truth, not deviating from it even for the sake of his life.
He suffuses all beings, not making any discrimination, with loving-kindness and compassion. Just as a father wishes to take upon himself the suffering of his children, even so he wishes to take upon himself all the suffering that would befall beings.
He rejoices in the meritorious deeds of all beings. He keeps reflecting on the greatness of Buddhas and the greatness of their powers. Whatever action he makes bodily or verbally, he does so only with his mind inclined towards Perfect Enlightenment.
In this way, the Bodhisatta, being constantly devoted to meritorious deeds such as dāna, etc., makes an incomparable accumulation of requisites of merit and wisdom day by day.
Furthermore, having relinquished his own life and limb for the use and protection of beings, he seeks ways and means, and applies them, for the alleviation of various kinds of suffering borne by beings — hunger, thirst, cold, heat, wind, sun, etc.
Whatever happiness he derives from removal of the said afflictions, the various physical and mental comfort that results from staying in delightful parks, gardens, mansions, pools, and forest abodes, the bliss of jhānic attainments enjoyed by Buddhas, Pacceka Buddhas, Noble Disciples, and Bodhisattas after renunciation as he has heard from others, he wishes to make all this happiness available to all beings without distinction.
(All the activities of the Bodhisatta so far described related to those engaged in before he has attained jhānas).
When he has become accomplished in the absorptions, he endeavours to bestow the fruits of the absorptions he himself has enjoyed — rapture, calm, happiness, concentration, knowledge of things as they really are — on beings so that they may also relish them even as he has done for himself.
Furthermore, he sees beings engulfed and helpless in the great suffering of the round of rebirths (saṃsāra vaṭṭa dukkha), in the suffering caused by defilement (kilesa dukkha), and in the suffering caused by kamma formations (abhisaṅkhāra dukkha), which keep beings in saṃsāra.
This is how he sees the suffering beings: he distinctly sees beings as inmates in the realms of misery (niraya) experiencing continuous, intense agony for a long time, being cut up, severed, amputated, pulverized, and subjected to fierce burning.
He distinctly sees beings as animals undergoing great suffering through mutual animosity, oppression, causing injury, killing one another, or having to toil in the service of others.
He distinctly sees beings as ghosts enveloped in raging flames, consumed and withered by hunger, thirst, wind, sun, etc., feeding on what has been vomited, on spittle, phlegm, etc., and throwing up their arms in lamentation.
He distinctly sees some beings as humans, ruined in their search for means of livelihood; suffering punishment such as cutting off their hands, feet, etc., for crimes committed by them; horrible to look at, ugly, deformed; deeply immersed in the mire of suffering, not distinguishable from the suffering of the inmates of niraya. Some humans, afflicted by hunger and thirst due to shortage of food are suffering just like famished ghosts. Some of them being numerically and materially weak are vanquished by the more powerful, pressed into their services and made dependent on their masters for their livelihood. He sees their suffering not being different from those of animals.
The Bodhisatta distinctly sees devas of the six realms of sensual pleasures (who are seen only as happy ones by humans) suffering from restlessness as they have swallowed the ‘poison’ of sense pleasures, and burning with the fires of greed, hatred, and bewilderment, like a blazing pile of dry firewood stoked up with blasts of wind, with never a moment of peace, always struggling desperately dependent upon others for mere existence.
He distinctly sees the Brahmas of the Fine Material and Immaterial realms, after existing there for the long life-span of eight-four thousand great aeons, succumb to the natural law of impermanence, and finally plunge back into insurmountable rounds of suffering of birth, aging, and death as do birds propelled with tremendous energy far, far into space or arrows shot into the sky by a strong man.
Seeing their suffering vividly in this way, the Bodhisatta feels a sense of religious urgency (saṃvega), and suffuses all beings with loving-kindness and compassion without discrimination in the thirty-one planes of existence.
The Bodhisatta, who in this way accumulates without interruption the Requisites of Enlightenment by way of good physical, verbal, and mental actions, strives thoroughly and with constant perseverance in order that all the Pāramī may reach the height of fulfilment.
Again, Energy which is responsible for conveying him to Buddhahood — the repository of inconceivable, incomparable, extensive, undefiled, pure attributes — is of unthinkable might. Ordinary people dare not even hear about this energy of the Bodhisatta, much less exercise it.
To explain further: It is only through the power of this energy that the Bodhisatta develops, accumulates, and fulfils the Requisites of Enlightenment — three aspirations towards Omniscient Buddhahood with the thoughts of attaining Buddhahood (Buddho bodheyyaṃ), of achieving liberation (mutto moceyyaṃ), and of crossing the ocean of saṃsāra (tiṇṇo tāreyyaṃ); (as has been described in Chapter VI. What are the basic conditions of the Pāramī?) the four grounds of Buddhahood;³⁹ the four ways of gaining friendship⁴⁰ the single function of compassion; reflection on the unique condition for Buddhahood by realization of Buddha qualities; being untainted with craving, conceit, and wrong view concerning all things; perceiving all beings as his own dear children; not being wearied by suffering of saṃsāra while striving for Buddhahood; relinquishing everything that could be given away; and in so relinquishing not being conceited with the thought, “There is none in the universe to match me in generosity“; applying oneself to development of higher morality, higher concentration, and higher wisdom; being unshakeable in the practice of these virtues; being joyful, happy, and delighted with meritorious deeds; being inclined to three forms of seclusion;⁴¹ application to development of the absorptions; being insatiable with blameless dhammas; teaching the Dhamma one has heard to others out of good will; making great efforts to initiate meritorious deeds in fulfilment of the Perfections; unremitting perseverance intensified by courage; remaining unperturbed by accusations and wrongs of others; being firmly established in truth; gaining mastery over the absorptions; achieving power in the higher knowledges; comprehending the three characteristics (anicca, dukkha, anatta); accumulating the requisites for the four supramundane Paths through practice of Steadfast Mindfulness (Satipaṭṭhāna), etc.; and becoming accomplished in the nine supramundane Dhammas.⁴² All these endeavours to develop, accumulate and fulfil the Requisites of Enlightenment can be made only with the powers of energy. Therefore the Bodhisatta has, from the time of forming the aspiration until attainment of Buddhahood, worked to perfect his Energy thoroughly, incessantly, assiduously without any relaxation, so that it will enable him to advance to higher and higher stages of distinguished Dhamma.
When this forward-driving (parakkama) Perfection of Energy has been fulfilled, the Perfections of Forbearance, Truthfulness, etc., which follow it, as well as those of Generosity, Morality, etc., which precede it, become fulfilled since all of them are dependent on Energy for their perfection. Therefore fulfilment of the Perfection of Forbearance and the remaining ones should be understood in the same manner.
Thus, benefiting others in various ways by relinquishing objects of offering which contribute to the happiness of beings is fulfilment through generosity.
Non-destruction and protection of life, property, and family of beings, not causing dissension, speaking endearing, beneficial words, etc., constitute fulfilment through morality.
Likewise, performance of many beneficial acts such as accepting the four requisites given by beings and giving the gift of Dhamma to them is fulfilment through renunciation; having skill in ways and means of promoting the welfare of beings is fulfilment through wisdom; striving with zeal, undergoing difficulties without slacking in the use of that skill is fulfilment through energy; bearing with patience all the wrong of beings is fulfilment through forbearance; not deceiving, not breaking the pledge of help to beings, is fulfilment through truthfulness; remaining unshaken even when his interests suffer as a result of rendering service to beings, is fulfilment through resolution; contemplating repeatedly the welfare and happiness of beings is fulfilment through loving-kindness; being unmoved when helped or troubled by others is fulfilment through equanimity.
Thus the Bodhisatta endeavours for an accumulation of incomparable merit and wisdom, not shared by common people, made for the sake of infinite beings and his thorough, careful fulfilment of the basic conditions of the Pāramī as mentioned above — all these undertakings may be taken in brief as practising the Pāramī-sampatti.
To the question, “How many pāramī are there?” the answer in brief is: There are thirty pāramī, namely, ten Ordinary Perfections (pāramī), ten Higher Perfections (upapāramī), and ten Highest Perfections (paramattha pāramī).
(With respect to dāna, there is dāna pāramī, dāna upapāramī, and dāna paramattha pāramī; so also with regard to the nine remaining Pāramī such as Sīla, Nekkhamma, etc., each one is of three different kinds, and therefore the original Pāramī become thirty in all).
Pāramī, Upapāramī and Paramattha Pāramī
To the questions: “What are pāramī, upapāramī, and paramattha pāramī?” the answer is provided in the Chapter on Miscellany in the Commentary to the Cariyāpiṭaka. Therein, the Commentator answers this question elaborately, giving different interpretations, views and comments by diverse teachers. To reproduce them all in this work will cause only confusion to readers; so we shall give here only the decided view preferred by the Commentator Mahā Dhammapāla Thera himself.
1) Giving away one’s external objects such as wife, children, wealth, and property is dāna pāramī; giving up one’s limbs, such as hands, feet, etc., Is dāna upapāramī; giving up one’s life is dāna paramattha pāramī.
2) Likewise, observing a precept and not making a breach on account of one’s external objects such as wife, children, wealth, and property is sīla pāramī; observing a precept and not making a breach on account of one’s limbs, such as hands, feet, etc., Is sīla upapāramī; observing a precept and not making a breach on account of one’s life is sīla paramattha pāramī.
3) Cutting off attachment to one’s external objects and going forth from household life is nekkhamma pāramī; cutting off attachment to one’s limbs such as hands, feet, etc., and going forth from household life is nekkhamma upapāramī; cutting off attachment to one’s life and going forth from household life is nekkhamma paramattha pāramī.
4) Rooting out attachment to one’s external objects and deciding deliberately what is beneficial to beings and what is not is paññā pāramī; rooting out attachment to one’s limbs such as hands, feet, etc., and deciding deliberately what is beneficial to beings and what is not is paññā upapāramī, rooting out attachment to one’s life and deciding deliberately what is beneficial to beings and what is not is paññā paramattha pāramī.
5) Striving to fulfil and become established in the aforesaid pāramī and those to be mentioned later is vīriya pāramī; striving to fulfil and become established in the aforesaid upapāramī and those to be mentioned later is vīriya upapāramī; striving to fulfil and become established in the aforesaid paramattha pāramī and those to be mentioned later is vīriya paramattha pāramī.
6) Bearing with patience the vicissitudes which endanger one’s external objects is khantī pāramī; bearing with patience the vicissitudes which endanger one’s limbs such as hands, feet, etc., is khantī upapāramī; bearing with patience the vicissitudes which endanger one’s life is khantī paramattha pāramī.
7) Not abandoning truth on account of one’s external objects is sacca pāramī; not abandoning truth on account of one’s limbs such as hands, feet, etc., is sacca upapāramī; not abandoning truth on account of one’s life is sacca paramattha pāramī.
8) Unshakeable determination in spite of destruction of one’s external objects while holding firmly that ‘perfections such a generosity, etc., can be fulfilled only with indestructible determination’ is adhiṭṭhāna pāramī; unshakeable determination in spite of destruction of one’s limbs such as hands, feet, etc., is adhiṭṭhāna upapāramī; unshakeable determination in spite of destruction of one’s life is adhiṭṭhāna paramattha pāramī.
9) Not abandoning loving-kindness towards beings (continuous suffusion of beings with loving-kindness) even if they have caused destruction to one’s external objects is mettā pāramī; not abandoning loving-kindness towards beings even if they have caused destruction to one’s limbs such as hands, feet, etc., is mettā upapāramī; not abandoning loving-kindness towards beings even if they have caused destruction to one’s life is mettā paramattha pāramī.
10) Maintaining a neutral attitude towards beings and their volitional activities irrespective of whether they have been helpful or harmful to one’s external objects is upekkhā pāramī; maintaining a neutral attitude towards beings and their volitional activities irrespective of whether they have been helpful or harmful to one’s limbs such as hands, feet, etc., is upekkhā upapāramī; maintaining a neutral attitude towards beings and their volitional activities irrespective of whether they have been helpful or harmful to one’s life is upekkhā paramattha pāramī.
In this way, classification of the Pāramī should be understood.
This is the classification of the Pāramī.
To the question, “What is the Synopsis of the Pāramī?” the answer is: the thirty pāramī can be reduced to ten by grouping together those of the same nature, (e.g. three kinds of dāna pāramī into one; three kinds of sīla pāramī into one, and so on). similarly these ten pāramī may be further reduced to six by grouping together those of related nature, viz., dāna pāramī, sīla pāramī, khantī pāramī, vīriya pāramī, jhāna pāramī and paññā pāramī.
This is how abridgement is made: Renunciation (nekkhamma) means taking up an ascetic life, jhāna and general wholesomeness. here renunciation as taking up an ascetic life should be counted as sīla pāramī because they are of similar nature; in the same way renunciation as jhāna, free from hindrances (nīvaraṇa) should be counted as jhāna pāramī; and nekkhamma as general wholesomeness belong to all the six pāramī.
Truthfulness is of three kinds: Truthful speech (vacīsacca); abstaining from falsehood (viratisacca), which is the mental concomitant of right speech (sammāvācā); and truthful wisdom (ñāṇasacca), which is the mental concomitant of wisdom (paññā). (Nibbāna, which is Absolute Truth, Paramattha Sacca, is not relevant here). Of these, vācisacca and viratisacca, being related to sīla should be counted as sīla pāramī; ñāṇasacca, being the concomitant of wisdom, should be counted as paññā pāramī.
Mettā Pāramī, which is similar in nature to jhāna pāramī, is thus included in the latter.
Upekkhā pāramī consists of the concomitant of tatramajjhattatā and paññā; tatramajjhattatā should be counted as the jhāna pāramī to which it is related; and the concomitant of paññā, which is the same as ñāṇupekkhā, should be counted as paññā pāramī.
Adhiṭṭhāna pāramī should be included in all the six pāramī of dāna, sīla, khantī, vīriya, jhāna, and paññā. (unshakeable determination in performance of dāna should be counted as dāna pāramī; likewise, unshakeable determination in matters related to sīla, khantī, vīriya, jhāna, and paññā should be included in their respective pāramī).
Advantages of Pairing the Six Pāramī
First of all, the six abridged Pāramī, namely, Dāna, Sīla, Khantī, Vīriya, Jhāna, and Paññā, could be formed into fifteen pairs as follows:
(a) Dāna and Sīla, (b) Dāna and Khantī, (c) Dāna and Vīriya, (d) Dāna and Jhāna, (e) Dāna and Paññā, (f) Sīla and Khantī, (g) Sīla and Vīriya, h) Sīla and Jhāna, (i) Sīla and Paññā, (j) Khantī and Vīriya, (k) Khantī and Jhāna, (l) Khantī and Paññā, (m) Vīriya and Jhāna, (n) Vīriya and Paññā, (o) Jhāna and Paññā.
The Bodhisatta accomplishes:
Advantages Accruing from Triads
(Similarly, there are advantages of grouping the Pāramī into triads).
The Bodhisatta accomplishes the triple benefit:
In this way, gaining of triple, quadruple benefits through remaining triads and tetrads may be understood as is appropriate in each case.
Method of Enumerating the Six Pāramī by including them in the Four Foundations (Adhiṭṭhāna)⁴³
Having shown how the ten Pāramī could be condensed into six by combining similar ones, it could be shown again how the six can be included in the Four Foundations:
For the ignorant common worldlings who have only sense objects and sense desires to rely on, these sense-objects and sense desires constitute their foundation. As for the Bodhisatta who clearly sees the danger in them, he establishes himself on the four supporting foundations of Sacca, Cāga, Upasama, and Paññā, which lead from these sense-objects and sense desires to freedom, which is nibbāna. Therefore these four factors constitute the supporting foundations for the Bodhisatta.
How Fulfilment of the Four Foundations Takes Place
In the Mental Continuum of the Bodhisatta
After receiving the definite prophecy of gaining Buddhahood, the Bodhisatta investigates the Pāramī by means of perfection-investigating wisdom (pāramī-pavicaya-ñāṇa); having done so, he makes a vow to fulfil all the Pāramī; then he proceeds to fulfil them all in keeping with this vow. Thus Saccādhiṭṭhāna becomes manifest in the mental continuum of the Bodhisatta.
While the Pāramī are being fulfilled there occur abandonment of defilements, which oppose them, and there also occur abandonment of sense-objects and sense desires. Thus Cāgādhiṭṭhāna also becomes manifest.
As there is extinction of defilements by virtue of the Pāramī, Upasamādhiṭṭhāna also becomes manifest.
Through these same Pāramī the Bodhisatta becomes endowed with Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa and Paññādhiṭṭhāna also becomes manifest.
(What is meant here is: whenever he fulfils the ten Pāramī or the six Pāramī, or whenever he performs a meritorious deed related to the Pāramī, there become manifest in the mental continuum of the Bodhisatta: (i) Saccādhiṭṭhāna, which is the endeavour without fail to implement the vow he has made; (ii) Cāgādhiṭṭhāna, which is the abandonment of defilements opposing the Pāramī, (iii) Upasamādhiṭṭhāna, which is the extinction of the defilements, and (iv) Paññādhiṭṭhāna, which is the skill in ways and means for promotion of the welfare of beings. Therefore the six Pāramī can again be condensed into the four foundations of Sacca, Cāga, Upasama, and Paññā).
When a person engaged in a blameless business venture finds it profitable as intended, he keeps pursuing that venture with increasing industry and vigour. Here the profit accruing from the initial business venture is the cause; increasing industry and vigour in the pursuance of it is the effect of that cause.
In a similar way, when the Bodhisatta undertakes to perform blameless meritorious deeds of Pāramī, he comes to enjoy the benefit of these meritorious deeds in the form of the four foundations, namely the sweet taste of Vācisacca (“Saccaṃ have sādutaraṃ rasānaṃ”, Yakkha Saṃyutta); the abandonment of defilement, Cāga; extinction of the ‘fever of defilements’, Upasamā; and Upāya-kosalla-ñāṇa. He keeps on performing these meritorious deeds of Pāramī with increasing industry and vigour, existence after existence. Here, the benefit of these meritorious deeds in the form of the four foundations is the cause, and the meritorious deeds of Pāramī repeated with increasing industry and vigour are the effect of that cause. It should be understood that occurrence of meritorious deeds of Pāramī and occurrence of the four foundations are one and the same thing expressed in different words.
To describe them in detail:
In this way, with every act of merit in fulfilment of the Pāramī, there occur the four foundations; hence it is said that the six Pāramī may be included in the four foundations.
The Four Foundations Counted as a Single Foundation
Just as the six Pāramī are included in the four foundations, so also each of the four foundations may be counted as embracing the remaining three. This is how it is effected.
Like Saccādhiṭṭhāna — Cāgādhiṭṭhāna, Upasamādhiṭṭhāna, and Paññādhiṭṭhāna, being of the nature of faithful performance in keeping with the vow — may be included in Saccādhiṭṭhāna.
Like Cāgādhiṭṭhāna — Saccādhiṭṭhāna, Upasamādhiṭṭhāna, and Paññādhiṭṭhāna are being of the nature of abandonment of opposing factors, and being the result of total relinquishing — may be included in Cāgādhiṭṭhāna.
Like Upasamādhiṭṭhāna — Saccādhiṭṭhāna, Cāgādhiṭṭhāna, and Paññādhiṭṭhāna, being of the nature of extinction of all the heat caused by one’s deeds and defilements — may be included in Upasamādhiṭṭhāna.
Saccādhiṭṭhāna, Cāgādhiṭṭhāna, and Upasamādhiṭṭhāna, following Paññā as their leader, may be included in Paññādhiṭṭhāna.
How the Foundations Bring Benefits
Thus all the Pāramī have their commencement with Saccādhiṭṭhāna; they become manifest through Cāgādhiṭṭhāna; they grow and prosper through Upasamādhiṭṭhāna; and by means of Paññādhiṭṭhāna, they distance themselves from defilements and become purified of all of them.
Furthermore, in the first phase of the Pāramī, Saccādhiṭṭhāna plays a leading role; only with Saccādhiṭṭhāna can fulfilment of the Pāramī be commenced. In the middle phase, Cāgādhiṭṭhāna takes the leading role; having commenced the fulfilment of the Pāramī with Saccādhiṭṭhāna, it is continued in the middle phase by sacrificing totally one’s body and life for the welfare of others through Cāgādhiṭṭhāna. In the final phase, Upasamādhiṭṭhāna takes over the leadership; only with the extinction of all the suffering of saṃsāra, the task of fulfilling the Pāramī comes to an end.
Paññādhiṭṭhāna is supreme throughout all three phases of the beginning, the middle, and the end. Only with Paññā can fulfilment of the Pāramī be commenced, total sacrifice of one’s body and life can be made, and final extinction of suffering of saṃsāra can take place.
All the four foundations constantly promote the welfare of oneself and others, and cause one to be highly revered and loved by everyone. Of these four, through Saccādhiṭṭhāna and Cāgādhiṭṭhāna, the Bodhisatta as a layman benefits others with material gifts; and through Upasamādhiṭṭhāna and Paññādhiṭṭhāna, the Bodhisatta as an ascetic benefits others with the gift of Dhamma.
Preliminary note: In stating different views of various teachers in the treatises, they are mentioned as ekavāda or aññevāda when these teachers have qualifications worthy to be the author’s teacher; when they have qualifications equal to his, the author describes their views as aparevāda; when they are inferior to him, he refers to their views as kecivāda.
This traditional way of recording is handed down generation after generation: eke or aññe means those worthy to be the author’s teachers; apare means those with qualifications equal to those of the author, and keci implies those inferior to him.
As to how the fulfilment of the four foundations takes place in the Bodhisatta’s last existence, eke teachers maintain that the four foundations are already fulfilled at the time when the Bodhisatta is conceived. (Just as the Bodhisatta’s conception takes place in his last existence only when the Pāramī are completely fulfilled, so also does it take place only when the four foundations reach complete fulfilment).
Explanation given by these eke teachers: Having completely fulfilled the Paññādhiṭṭhāna at the time of descending into his mother’s womb, while remaining there for ten months, and when emerging from it, the Bodhisatta is bound to possess mindfulness and clear comprehension.
Ordinary worldlings are not aware of their descending into their mother’s womb; nor are they aware of remaining there and emerging from it at birth; the eight Future Disciples are aware of descending into the mother’s womb, but they are not aware of remaining there, nor of emerging from it; the two Future Chief Disciples and Future Pacceka Buddhas are aware of their descending into the mother’s womb, and of remaining there, but not of emerging from it at birth. True, these Future Chief Disciples and Future Pacceka Buddhas, when the time draws near for their birth, are flung in a tumble by internal pressure of the womb towards the external genital orifice as if plunged into a very deep chasm; then they undergo extreme suffering in emerging from the genital orifice just like the big elephant would if it were to push its way through a keyhole. Therefore these Future Chief Disciples and Future Pacceka Buddhas are unable to know that they are emerging from their mother’s womb. In this way, one should have a deep sense of religious urgency by contemplating the extreme suffering of conception in the mother’s womb with the thought: “Even such personages who are accomplished in the Pāramī are subjected to intense suffering on such an occasion!”
The Future Buddhas, however, are conscious of all the three events of descending into the mother’s womb, of remaining there, and of emerging from it at birth. The internal pressure is not capable of turning them topsy-turvy in the womb. On their birth, they always emerge from the mother’s womb with both hands stretched out, eyes open, and standing firmly and straight. Apart from the Future Buddhas, there is not a single being who is mindful of these three events. Therefore at the time of there taking conception in the mother’s womb, and at the time of birth, the ten thousand world systems shook violently (Commentary to the Dīghanikāya, 3rd volume).
Having completely fulfilled the Saccādhiṭṭhāna, as soon as he is born, the Bodhisatta goes forward taking seven steps towards the north, and surveying boldly all the directions, makes a truthful utterance three times without fear like a lion’s roar: “I am the foremost in the world (aggo’ham asmi lokassa”); I am the most eminent in the world (jeṭṭho’ham asmi lokassa); I am the most praiseworthy in the world (seṭṭho’ham asmi lokassa).”
Having completely fulfilled the Upasamādhiṭṭhāna, when he sees the four signs of the old man, the sick man, the dead man, and the ascetic, the arrogance due to youthfulness, healthiness, longevity, and wealthiness ceases in the mental continuum of the Bodhisatta who has deep understanding of the four epitomes of Dhamma (Dhammuddesa), namely, how this body is oppressed by old age, ailments, death, and how escape from servitude of craving for pleasures and wealth is impossible unless there is complete detachment from it (as given in the Raṭṭhapāla Sutta).⁴⁴
Having completely fulfilled the Cāgādhiṭṭhāna, the Bodhisatta leaves behind without any concern all the royal relatives and kinsmen; he also abandons the kingship he has been enjoying and the sovereignty of a Universal Monarch, which is about to come within his grasp.
This is the interpretation by eke teachers. The Commentator Venerable Mahā Dhammapāla gives no comment on this eke vāda.
According to keci teachers, the four foundations are completely fulfilled only on the occasion when Buddhahood is attained. Their interpretation is: When he become a Buddha (attaining Arahattamagga ñāṇa and Omniscience) through the past accumulation of Saccādhiṭṭhāna in accordance with his vow, he penetrates the Four Noble Truths; hence the Saccādhiṭṭhāna is fully accomplished then. Through the past accumulation of Cāgādhiṭṭhāna he eradicates all the defilements; hence Cāgādhiṭṭhāna is fully accomplished then. Through the past accumulation of Upasamādhiṭṭhāna, he achieves the most sublime peace of nibbāna when he becomes a Buddha, hence Upasamādhiṭṭhāna is fully accomplished then. Through the past accumulation of Paññādhiṭṭhāna, he achieves the unobstructed knowledge of all there is to know (Anāvaraṇa ñāṇa); hence Paññādhiṭṭhāna is fully accomplished then.
This is the interpretation by keci teachings on which the Commentator Venerable Mahā Dhammapāla remarks: “Their statement is imperfect because Abhisambodhi, which is Arahattamagga ñāṇa or Omniscience is purely Absolute Reality; because Upasamādhiṭṭhāna means extinction through non-arising of the suffering of saṃsāra or Complete Peace; and because this is attainable only on realization of nibbāna (Parinibbāna).”
Aññe teachers, however, say that the four foundations are completely fulfilled on the occasion when the discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma (Dhammacakka) is given (when the Buddha develops the Knowledge of Teaching, Desanā ñāṇa).
This is how aññe teachers explain their view: The mental continuum of the Buddha, who has in the past made an accumulation of Saccādhiṭṭhāna, becomes accomplished in it by teaching the Noble Truths in three modes⁴⁵ of saccañāṇa, kiccañāṇa and katañāṇa with regard to each of the Four Noble Truths. The mental continuum of the Buddha who has in the past made an accumulation of Cāgādhiṭṭhāna becomes accomplished in it by making the great offering the True Dhamma. The mental continuum of the Buddha, who has in the past made an accumulation of Upasamādhiṭṭhāna, becomes accomplished in it by having attained himself the peace of freedom from defilements and causing others to attain the same like himself. The mental continuum of the Buddha, who has in the past made an accumulation of Paññādhiṭṭhāna, becomes accomplished in it by full comprehension of the propensities and latent tendencies of beings.
This is the interpretation by aññe teachers on which the Commentator Venerable Mahā Dhammapāla remarks: “The statement of aññe teachers is also imperfect because the four foundations become completely accomplished only when the duties of a Buddha (Buddha kicca) are over; with the teaching of the Dhammacakka Discourse, the Buddha has just begun performing his duties; he has not yet finished them. Hence the statement of aññe teachers remains incomplete.
Apare teachers maintain that the four foundations are completely fulfilled on the occasion when nibbāna is fully realized (Parinibbāna).
This is how the apare teachers explain their view: Of the four aspects of Saccādhiṭṭhāna, nibbāna as Paramattha Saccādhiṭṭhāna is paramount; its function is not yet complete by mere attainment of Arahattamagga through extinction of defilements (Kilesa Parinibbāna).
Its function if complete only when existence comes to an end with the extinction of aggregates (Khandha Parinibbāna). It is only then that Saccādhiṭṭhāna becomes perfect. At that time, because all the four aggregates, namely, the aggregates of sense desire (kāmupadhi), the aggregate of body (khandhupadhi), the aggregate of defilements (kilesupadhi), and the aggregate of volitional activities (abhisaṅkhārupadhi) have been rejected, Cāgādhiṭṭhāna becomes perfect. Then, because all the mental formations cease, Upasamādhiṭṭhāna becomes perfect. At that time too, because all the purpose of wisdom is achieved, Paññādhiṭṭhāna becomes perfect. That is the view of apare teachers. Without making any criticism of their view, the Commentator Venerable Mahā Dhammapāla gives his own interpretation as a supplement to it: (a) Perfection of Saccādhiṭṭhāna is particularly evident at the time of (the Bodhisatta’s) birth; (b) Perfection of Paññādhiṭṭhāna is particularly evident at the time of his Enlightenment; (c) Perfection of Cāgādhiṭṭhāna is particularly evident when he makes the great gift of Dhamma by delivering the Discourse on Dhammacakka; (d) Perfection of Upasamādhiṭṭhāna is particularly evident when he realizes nibbāna.
To summarise the various views of different teachers
Following the tradition of authors who express last in their works the view they endorse, the Venerable Mahā Dhammapāla mentions last the apare vāda because he approves of it and accepts it with a supplementary remark which is: “The four foundations become perfect only on the fourth occasion when nibbāna is realized as stated by apare teachers. However, it is particularly evident that Saccādhiṭṭhāna is perfect at the time of the first event; Paññādhiṭṭhāna at the time of the second event; Cāgādhiṭṭhāna at the time of the third event; and Upasamādhiṭṭhāna at the time of the fourth event.”
Benefits of the Foundations
Through Saccādhiṭṭhāna, purification of morality is effected; through Cāgādhiṭṭhāna, purification of livelihood; through Upasamādhiṭṭhāna, purification of mind; and through Paññādhiṭṭhāna, purification of knowledge.
In addition, through Saccādhiṭṭhāna (because he does not deviate from truth), he does not follow the wrong course of hatred; through Cāgādhiṭṭhāna (because he is not attached to sense objects), he does not follow the wrong course of greed; through Upasamādhiṭṭhāna (because he is faultless and) since there is nothing to be afraid of, he does not follow the wrong course of fear; and through Paññādhiṭṭhāna (because he sees things as they really are) he does not follow the wrong course of delusion.
Furthermore, through Saccādhiṭṭhāna, he can tolerate without anger inconveniences caused by cold, heat, hunger; by contact with gadflies, mosquitoes, flies, wind, sun, reptiles; annoying insults and abuse of others; and distressing ailments. Through Cāgādhiṭṭhāna, he makes use of the four requisites of robes, almsfood, dwelling and medicine, without attachment arising from greed. Through Upasamādhiṭṭhāna, he avoids dangers of wild elephants, wild horses, wild cattle, wild dogs, etc., remaining absolutely calm. Through Paññādhiṭṭhāna, he dispels without delusion wrong thoughts of sense pleasure, ill-will, and cruelty as well as demeritorious factors.
Through Saccādhiṭṭhāna, he achieves happiness of renunciation; through Cāgādhiṭṭhāna, of solitude; through Upasamādhiṭṭhāna, of peace; and through Paññādhiṭṭhāna, happiness associated with fourfold knowledges of the Path.
Through Saccādhiṭṭhāna, he achieves happiness of the first jhāna; through Cāgādhiṭṭhāna, of the second jhāna; through Upasamādhiṭṭhāna, of the third jhāna; through Paññādhiṭṭhāna, of the fourth jhāna.
Thus it should be understood how all the Pāramī are included in the four foundations accompanied by various attributes.
How All the Pāramī Are Counted as Two Factors
Just as all the Pāramī are included in the four foundations, they are also counted as two factors, namely, Compassion (karuṇā), and Wisdom (paññā). True, it is only the virtues such as Dāna, etc., founded on Compassion and Wisdom, which are the requisites for Perfect Self Enlightenment resulting in attainment of Omniscience.
This is the synopsis of the Pāramī.
What has been described in this chapter: How the thirty Pāramī are reduced to ten; how the ten Pāramī are reduced to six: Dāna, Sīla, Khantī, Vīriya, Jhāna, and Paññā; then how these six Pāramī are reduced to the four foundations; and finally, how all the Pāramī are reduced to two factors: Compassion and Wisdom.
To the question, “What are the factors for accomplishing the Pāramī?” the answer is: They are:
In short, the means for accomplishing the Pāramī are (a) extinction of self-love, and (b) development of love for other beings.
1) The four good means for accomplishing the Pāramī are development and accumulation of all the requisites such as Pāramī, Cāga, Cariya, not omitting any of them with the sole aim of achieving Omniscience (Sabbasambhāra-bhāvanā); with high esteem and reverence (Sakkacca-bhāvanā); without interruption throughout all existence (nirantara-bhāvanā); throughout the long duration without slacking before he become a Buddha (Cīrakāla-bhāvanā).
2) The Bodhisatta has to abandon beforehand all his personal possessions even before alms-seekers appear at his door with the determination: “I will offer without wavering, my life as well as the wealth and property that I possess, if people come to ask for them; I will make use of only what remains after I have given.”
In this way, he has made up his mind in advance to abandon whatever property he comes to possess, but there are four factors which hinder his giving them away (dāna vinibandha):
Of these four hindrances,
a) when the Bodhisatta possesses things to give away and alms-seekers have arrived and yet the Bodhisatta’s mind is not inclined to give, he realizes: “Surely, I was not accustomed to giving in the past; therefore the desire to give does not arise now in me, in spite of such favourable circumstances.” Then he reflects,
“Although the desire to give does not arise in me, I will make a gift so that I will get accustomed to giving and take delight in it. From now on, I will make generous offerings. Have I not already decided to give away all my belongings to those who seek alms?“
Having reflected thus, he gives them away freely, gladly. On making such gifts, the Bodhisatta removes the first hindrance of “not being accustomed in the past to the practice of giving.”
b) When not having sufficient quantity of things in his possession the Bodhisatta reflects:
“Because I have not practised dāna in the past, I suffer from shortage of things. I should therefore make an offering of whatever I have, whether they are few or inferior, even if it makes my life more difficult. With such a gift, I will in future reach the height of Perfection of Generosity.”
Having reflected thus, he gives them away freely, gladly. On making such gifts, the Bodhisatta removes the second hindrance of “not having sufficient quantity of things in his possession.”
c) When not inclined to give because of the excellent quality of things in his possession, the Bodhisatta reflects,
“O good man, have you not aspired to the noblest, the most admirable, Supreme Enlightenment? To achieve the noblest, the most admirable, Supreme Enlightenment, it is only proper that you should make the noblest, the most admirable gift.”
Having reflected thus, he gives them away freely, gladly. On making such gifts, the Bodhisatta removes the third hindrance of “things in his possession being too good to give away.”
d) When the Bodhisatta sees the depletion of gift materials on giving them away, he reflects:
“To be subjected to destruction and loss is the nature of wealth and possessions. It is because I did not perform in the past good deeds of dāna, which never became depleted that I now experience deficiency of material gifts. I will make offering of whatever objects I come to possess, whether few or abundant. With such gifts I will in future reach the height of the Perfection of Generosity.”
Having reflected thus, he gives them away freely, gladly. On making such gifts, the Bodhisatta removes the fourth hindrance of “worrying over the depletion of things in his possession.”
Removing of hindrances to charity in this way by reflecting upon them in whatever way is appropriate constitutes a good means of fulfilling the Perfection of Generosity. This same method applies to other Perfections such as Sīla, etc.
3) In addition, the Bodhisatta surrenders himself in the first instance to the Buddha saying, “I dedicate this body of mine to the Buddha (imāham attabhāvaṃ Buddhānaṃ niyyādemi).” This self-surrender made in advance to the Buddha is a good means of fulfilling all the Pāramī.
True, the Bodhisatta who has already surrendered himself to the Buddha reflects, “I have given up this very body to the Buddha; come what may,” when he encounters troubles which many endanger his body and life, and which are difficult to endure, or when he meets with painful injury which is caused by beings, and which may deprive him of his life, while striving to fulfil the Pāramī during various existences. Having reflected thus, he remains absolutely unshaken, unmoved in the face of troubles that may harm even his life, and fully determined to accumulate the merit of good deeds forming the Pāramī.
In this way, self-surrender made in advance to the Buddha is a good means of fulfilling all the Pāramī.
Again to state briefly, the means for accomplishing the Pāramī are: (a) extinction of self-love, and (b) development of love and compassion for other beings.
By fully understanding the true nature of all the phenomena, the Bodhisatta who aspires after Omniscience remains untainted with craving, conceit, and wrong view regarding them. By viewing his own body as mere aggregate of natural phenomena, self-adoration, self-esteem gets diminished, gets exhausted day by day.
By repeated development of Great Compassion, he looks upon all beings as his own children; his loving-kindness (affection) and his compassion (sympathy) for them grow and prosper more and more.
Therefore the Bodhisatta who has put away stinginess, etc., which are opposed to the Pāramī after being momentarily free from greed, hatred, delusion in regard to himself and others, helps beings with four objects of support (saṅgaha vatthu), namely, giving (dāna), kindly speech (piyavācā), beneficial conduct (atthacariya), and a sense of equality (samānattata), which always accompany the four foundations; he then assists them with three ‘conveyances’ of practice (sīla, samādhi, paññā), which lead to three kinds of Bodhi⁴⁶ causing those who have not entered the ‘conveyances’ to enter them or those who have done so to reach maturity therein.
True, the Bodhisatta’s compassion and wisdom are adorned by the act of giving, one of the four objects of support. (Compassion and wisdom never manifest by themselves without giving; they both manifest simultaneously as acts of generosity are performed). Giving is adorned by kindly speech, for the Bodhisatta never scolds or yells while performing dāna to those who come for alms and to the attendants, but speaks only lovable, kind words. Kindly speech is adorned by the object of beneficial conduct, for the Bodhisatta speaks kind words not for mere superficial pleasantness, but only with sincere, good intention to serve the interest of others. (Fulfilling the Requisites of Enlightenment, namely, Pāramī, Cāga, Cariya, means practising for the welfare of beings; it is therefore beneficial conduct as one of the four objects of support). Beneficial conduct is adorned by sense of equality, for in fulfilling the Requisites of Enlightenment, the Bodhisatta treats all beings as his equal under all circumstances, happy or painful.
When he becomes a Buddha, his function of taming and teaching is accomplished by benefitting all beings with these same four objects of support which have been developed to the utmost through fulfilment of the four foundations.
For the Buddha, the act of giving is brought to completion by Cāgādhiṭṭhāna, kindly speech by Saccādhiṭṭhāna, beneficial conduct by Paññādhiṭṭhāna, and sense of equality by Upasamādhiṭṭhāna.
Concerning these four foundations and four objects of support the Commentary on the Cariyāpiṭaka mentions four verses eulogizing the attributes of the Buddha:
“Sacco cāgī upasanto, paññavā anukampako
sambhatasabbasambhāro, kaṃ nāmatthaṃ na sādhaye.”
“The Buddha who has reached the height of accomplishment in the fourfold Saccādhiṭṭhāna, who is fully accomplished in the Cāgādhiṭṭhāna, who has extinguished the fires of defilements, who is possessed of Omniscience, and who looks after beings with Great Compassion, being equipped with all the requisites of Pāramī, what is there that he cannot achieve?”
“Mahākāruṇiko satthā, hitesī can upekkhako
nirapekkho ca sabbattha, aho acchariyo jino.
“The Buddha, as the Teacher of men and devas, being a person of Great Compassion, seeks the welfare of beings till their realization of nibbāna. He remains equanimous when faced with the vicissitudes of life. Free from craving for and attachment to everything within his body or without, how wonderful is the Buddha who conquers the five māras!⁴⁷
“Viratto sabbadhammesu, sattesu ca upekkhako
sadā satahite yutto, aho acchariyo jino.
“Though detached from all things and though keeping a balanced mind towards all beings, still he applies himself day and night to the welfare of beings. How wonderful is the Buddha who conquers the five māras!
“Sabbadā sabbasattānaṃ, hitāya ca sukhāya ca
uyyutto akilāsū ca, aho acchariyo jino.”
“Always working for the welfare and happiness of all beings — men, devas, brahmas — and attending to the five duties of a Buddha day and night without ceasing, still he does not show any sign of fatigue or weariness. How wonderful is the Buddha who conquers the five māras!”
End of the section on factors for accomplishing the Pāramī.
To the question, “What is the period required for accomplishing the Pāramī?” the answer is:
The minimum period required for fulfilling the Pāramī is four incalculable aeons (asaṅkheyya) and a hundred thousand world-cycles (kappa), and the maximum period is sixteen incalculable aeons and a hundred thousand world-cycles, after receiving the definite prophecy of Buddhahood. (Only after fulfilling the Pāramī for such durations can one become a Buddha).
The three different durations relate to three different Future Buddhas,⁴⁸ namely, Paññādhika Future Buddha, Saddhādhika Future Buddha, and Vīriyādhika Future Buddha. (A Paññādhika Future Buddha takes four incalculable aeons and a hundred thousand world-cycles; a Saddhādhika Future Buddha takes eight incalculable aeons and a hundred thousand world-cycles, and a Vīriyādikha Future Buddha takes sixteen incalculable aeons and a hundred thousand world-cycles to fulfil the Pāramī completely).
To the question, “All of them being Future Buddhas, why are there three different durations for fulfilment of the Pāramī? the answer is:
A Paññādhika Future Buddha is weak in faith, but strong in wisdom; a Saddhādhika Future Buddha is strong in faith, but medial in wisdom; a Vīriyādhika Future Buddha is weak in wisdom. It is only through the power of wisdom that one attains Omniscience. When wisdom is strong, attainment of Omniscience is fast; when it is weak, the attainment is slow. This difference in the degree or strength of wisdom accounts for the difference in the duration required for fulfilment of the Pāramī. (This is the answer provided by the Commentary).
Apare teachers say the difference between the three durations lies in the three degrees of energy, namely, strong, medial, and weak.
Again, apare teachers say it is due to the difference in degrees — strong, medial, and weak — of maturity of the Perfections leading to emancipation (Vimutti paripācaniya dhammā).
Of these three views, that of the Commentator appears most appropriate when we consider the divisions of Bodhisattas into three types as follows:
Three Types of Bodhisattas
To elaborate: Even at the moment of receiving the prophecy as in the case of Sumedha the Hermit, the Bodhisattas are of three types: (i) Ugghaṭitaññū Bodhisattas, (ii) Vipañcitaññū Bodhisattas, and (iii) Ñeyya Bodhisattas.
Of these three types, Ugghaṭitaññū Bodhisattas are those who, if they wish to achieve Enlightenment of a Disciple (Sāvaka Bodhi) in the very existence they receive the prophecy, have the special supportive merit to attain Arahantship together with the six higher spiritual powers (abhiññā), and four kinds of analytical knowledge (paṭisamhidā ñāṇa) even before the end of the third line of a verse-sermon of four lines delivered by a Buddha. This Ugghaṭitaññū type of Bodhisatta is also called Paññādhika. With this type of Bodhisatta, wisdom is the strongest.
Vipañcitaññū Bodhisattas are those who, if they wish to achieve Enlightenment of a Disciple in the very existence they receive the prophecy, have the special supportive merit to attain Arahantship together with the six higher spiritual powers (abhiññā), and four kinds of analytical knowledge (paṭisamhidā ñāṇa) even before the end of the fourth line of a verse-sermon of four lines delivered by a Buddha. This Vipañcitaññū type of Bodhisatta is also called Saddhādhika. With this type of Bodhisatta, wisdom is medial.
Ñeyya Bodhisattas are those who, if they wish to achieve Enlightenment of a Disciple in the very existence they receive the prophecy, have the special supportive merit to attain Arahantship together with the six higher spiritual powers (abhiññā), and four kinds of analytical knowledge (paṭisamhidā ñāṇa) at the end of the whole verse-sermon of four lines delivered by a Buddha. This same Ñeyya type of Bodhisatta is also called Vīriyādhika. With this type of Bodhisatta, wisdom is the weakest.
All the three types of Bodhisattas make the mental resolution to attain Buddhahood for incalculable aeons before receiving the definite prophecy; however, after receiving the definite prophecy, they fulfil the Pāramī as stated before and attain Enlightenment according to the aforesaid time schedule.
Impossibility of Earlier Attainment of Buddhahood
The paddy species which flowers, bears seeds, and ripens only after a certain period of time even when with utmost effort of watering, etc., will not yield any crop at a date earlier than the natural period of flowering, bearing seeds, and ripening. In the same way, all the various types of Bodhisattas by no means attain Buddhahood before they have completed the allotted time for fulfilment of the Pāramī even if they strive daily with more and more energy to fulfil the Perfections (Pāramī), Sacrifices (Cāga), and Virtues through practice (Cariya), because their wisdom has not yet reached maturity, and their accumulation of Buddha-making factors is not complete yet.
Therefore it should be clearly understood that the Pāramī become fulfilled only in accordance with the aforementioned periods of time.
To the question, “ What are the advantages that accrue from the Pāramī?” the answer in brief is: “The advantages accruing from the Pāramī are non-rebirth in Avīci, etc.
To state it in detail:
The advantages accruing from the Pāramī are: non-rebirth in eighteen existences (Abhabbaṭṭhānas) such as Avīci, etc. (which will be dealt with at the end of this Chapter on Miscellany); ability to practise for the welfare of the sentient world; twenty marvels (as described in the Acchariya Abbhuta Sutta of the Suññata Vagga, Uparipaṇṇāsa, of the Majjhimanikāya); fulfilment of all the Bodhisatta’s wishes; and all other benefits such as proficiency in arts and crafts, etc., as shown in various Jātaka stories, the Buddhavaṃsa and the like.
(The benefits concerning the fifteen pairs of Pāramī mention in section 12, “What is the synopsis of the Pāramī?” are also to be taken as the advantages that accrue from the Pāramī).
Furthermore, the following are also the advantages that derive from the Pāramī: From the time of aspiring to Buddhahood, the Bodhisatta, wishing the welfare of all beings, becomes like a father to them; possessing distinguished qualities, he is worthy of offerings, worthy of homage; he is like an excellent field for sowing deeds of merit in; he is dearly loved by devas and men; his heart being filled with loving-kindness and compassion, he is not harmed by wild beasts such as lions, leopards, tigers, etc.; being a person possessed of extraordinary merit, wherever he is reborn he surpasses others in beauty, fame, happiness, strength, and sovereignty; he is free from ailments; he has very pure faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom; he has few defilements, subsequently he is easy to admonish; he is patient; he takes delight in good deeds; he shows neither anger nor malice, nor does he denigrate; he is not given to rivalry, envy, jealousy, craftiness, hypocrisy; he is not haughty, nor arrogant; he is calm; he is mindful of wholesomeness; bearing with patience the torments of others, he does not cause suffering to them; wherever he resides, whether in a town, a village, or a region, the place is free from dangers and calamities; whenever he is born (as, for instance, in one existence before he was born as Prince Temiya) through unfortunate circumstances in the planes of misery such as Ussada Niraya, unlike other inhabitants there, he is not distressed by intense suffering, but develops even more and more sense of religious urgency.
Furthermore, the accomplishment of life-span (āyu-sampadā), the accomplishment of physical form (rūpa-sampadā), the accomplishment of family (kula-sampadā), the accomplishment of supremacy (issariya-sampadā); the acceptability of speech (adeyya vacanatā), the greatness of power (mahānubhāvatā) are also the advantages of the Pāramī.
The accomplishment of life-span (āyu-sampadā) is longevity in whatever existence he is reborn; with this accomplishment the Bodhisatta brings to conclusion whatever wholesome deed he has begun and develops greater wholesomeness.
The accomplishment of physical form (rūpa-sampadā) is beauty of physical form. With this accomplishment the Bodhisatta inspires beings who appreciate and value beauty of physical form with confidence and esteem in him.
The accomplishment of family (kula-sampadā) is rebirth in a high class family. With this accomplishment, he is approached even by those intoxicated with the vanity of their birth, etc.; he can therefore instruct them in order to cleanse them of their pride.
The accomplishment of supremacy (issariya-sampadā) is greatness of wealth, greatness of power, and greatness of retinue. By means of this accomplishment, the Bodhisatta is able to confer benefits with four objects of support on those who deserve them or restrain righteously those who need to be restrained.
The acceptability of speech (adeyya vacanatā) is being a person whose words are trustworthy. With this accomplishment, the Bodhisatta is relied upon like a great pair of scales, a standard of impartiality whose authority cannot be disregarded.
The greatness of power (mahānubhāvatā) is the magnitude of power. With this accomplishment, he remains, he remains unvanquished by others while he overcomes them righteously.
In this way, all the accomplishments such as longevity, etc., are the advantages which accrue from the Pāramī. These in themselves are the cause for the growth of immeasurable requisites of merit and the means by which beings enter the three ‘vehicles’s and by which those who have done so reach maturity.
These are the advantages accruing from the Pāramī.
To the question, “What is the fruit of the Pāramī?” the answer in brief is:
The fruit of the Pāramī is the Buddha’s innumerable attributes headed by Arahattamagga-ñāṇa and Omniscience, which is Supreme Enlightenment; that is to say, the attainment of Buddhahood is the fruit of the Pāramī.
To elaborate: It is the acquisition of the physical body (rūpa-kāya) adorned with many attributes such as the thirty-two characteristics of a Great Man, eighty minor marks (which will be given in detail in the Chronicle of Gotama Buddha), the aura emanating from his body extending up to eighty cubits even in the total darkness of four conditions,⁴⁹ the acquisitions of the Dhamma body (Dhamma kāya) which is founded on the physical body and which glorious with innumerable attributes such as the ten powers⁵⁰ (dasbala ñāṇa), the fourfold valorous wisdom⁵¹ (cātuvesārajja ñāṇa); the sixfold unique wisdom,⁵² (cha asādhāraṇa ñāṇa); and eighteen unique qualities of a Buddha (āveṇika dhamma).⁵³
Furthermore, according to the following verse which is quoted by Commentators:
“Buddhopi buddhassa bhaṇeyya vaṇṇaṃ
kappaṃ pi ce aññaṃ abhasamāno
khīyetha kappo cira dīghaṃ antare
vaṇṇo na khīyetha tathāgatassa.”
“So numerous are the attributes of a Buddha that even another Buddha, devoting all the time to nothing else, but dwelling on the virtues of that Buddha for the while of his life, cannot finish describing them.” All such attributes of a Buddha are the fruit of his Pāramī.
At this point, in order to arouse devotional faith and appreciation of the innumerable, inestimable attributes of the Buddha, and to let the reader of this treatise develop merit, which is conducive to wisdom, I shall conclude this Chapter on Miscellany by reproducing the three verses with their meanings, recited in honour of Anomadassī Buddha by Suruci the Hermit, later to become Venerable Sāriputta.
“Sakkā samudde udakaṃ, pametum āḷhakena vā
na tveva tava sabbaññu, ñāṇaṃ sakkā pametave.
“It may be possible to gauge the immense volume of water in the great ocean using some form of liquid measure, but O Omniscient Buddha, no one, whether a man or a deva, is able to fathom the depth of wisdom possessed by the Most Exalted One.”
“Dhāretuṃ pathaviṃ sakka, ṭhapetvā tulmaṇḍale
na tveva tava sabbaññu, ñāṇaṃ sakkā dharetave.”
“It may be possible to measure the total mass of the great earth by means of a weighing machine; but, O Omniscient Buddha, no one, whether a man or a deva, is able to fathom the depth of wisdom possessed by the Most Exalted One.”
“Ākāso minituṃ sakkā, rajjuyā aṅgulena vā,
na tveva tava sabbaññu, ñāṇaṃ sakkā pametave.
“It may be possible to measure the vast extent of space by means of tape measure or a hand measure; but, O Omniscient Buddha, no one, whether a man or a deva, is able to fathom the depth of wisdom possessed by the Most Exalted One.”
Here ends the Chapter on Miscellany dealing with various meanings and facts concerning the Pāramī.
1. Renunciation here refers not merely to giving up of material things but eradication of mental defilements.
2. There are three stages in the arising of defilements: (i) anusaya, the dormant stage where defilements remain at the base of mental continuum as latent tendency not manifesting themselves as a mental property; (ii) pariyuṭṭhāna, the stage where defilements come into existence from the latent stage, manifesting themselves as a mental property at the mind’s door. (iii) vitikkamma, the stage where defilements become violent and uncontrollable, manifesting themselves in some unwholesome physical or verbal action.
3. Exertion: paggaha, which means ‘support’, ‘help’, ‘aid’, ‘exertion’; here exertion may be the most appropriate.
4. Sāmañña and sabhāva, both features of ultimate realities, are known as lakkhaṇa; (i) sāmañña: features common to all, and (ii) sabhāva: features not shared by others but possessed by one, and is thus unique (visesa). Function (rasa): The Commentary defines: “Kiccaṃ vā tassa sampatti, rasoti paridīpaye — Function is to be explained also as two aspects: kicca and sampatti (i) kicca rasa, function which is to be performed, and (ii) sampatti rasa, attainment as a result thereof.”
5. Manifestation should be known as phala and upaṭṭhānākāra; (i) phala; the result of the ultimate realities and (ii) upaṭṭhānākāra; the way something manifests to the meditator. Whenever the meditator ponders deeply over a certain ultimate reality, what relates to the nature, function, cause, or effect of that reality appears in this mind. Thus something relating to any of these four and appearing in the meditator’s mind is called manifestation.
6. Nine causes of resentment: For details, see nine causes of anger, described under the Perfection of Forbearance in Volume One, Part One, Anudīpanī, page 256.
7. Three rounds of rebirths: the kamma round (kamma vaṭṭa); the round of defilements (kilesa vaṭṭa); the round of results (vipāka vaṭṭa).
8. Pāramī pavicaya ñāṇa. See footnote 2 on p.66, Vol One, Part One.
9. Kītaka: According to Tipiṭaka Pāli-Myanmar Dictionary ‘hopping insect,’ according to Sanskrit-English Dictionary by Monier Williams ‘weapon’ P.E.D. quoting Petavatthu Commentary says, kītaka = (hot) copper plate.
10. Display of activity by delusion: sammoha vijambhitā.
11. Sikkhā: the training which the Buddha’s disciples have to undergo is of three kinds: training in Higher Morality (adhisīla sikkhā); Higher Mentality (adhicitta sikkhā), and Higher Wisdom (adhipaññā sikkhā). This threefold training forms the threefold division of the Noble Eightfold Path, namely, Sīla, Samādhi, and Paññā.
12. The four foundations, catu-adhiṭṭhāna: the foundation of insight (paññā), of truth (sacca), of liberality (dāna), and of tranquillity (upasama).
13. Four objects of support: catu saṅgaha vatthu: liberality (dāna), kindly speech (peyya vācā), a life of usefulness (attha cariya), and impartiality (samānattata).
14. Sāvakabodhi, Paccekabodhi: see p.6, Vol 1, Part 1.
15. The remaining consequences are loss of wealth, loss of subordinates, loss of friends, and rebirth in a woeful state. Sattakanipāta, Aṅguttaranikāya.
16. Thirteen ascetic practices (dhutaṅga) are enumerated in the Visuddhimagga: 1) wearing patched-up robes, paṃsukūlik’aṅga, 2) wearing only three robes, tecīvarak’aṅga, 3) going for alms, piṇḍapātik’aṅga, 4) not omitting any house whilst going for alms, sapadānik’aṅga, 5) eating at one sitting, akāsanik’aṅga, 6) eating only from the almsbowl, pattapiṇḍik’aṅga, 7) refusing all other food, khalupacchabhatik’aṅga, 8) living in the forest, āraññik’aṅga, 9) living under a tree, rukkhamūlik’aṅga, 10) living in the open air, abbokāsik’aṅga, 11) living in a cemetery, susānik’aṅga, 12) being satisfied with whatever dwelling, yathāsanthatik’aṅga, 13) sleeping in the sitting position (and never lying down), nesajjik’aṅga.
17. See also Vol. 1, Part 1, Anudīpanī, p. 228, 231.
18. See F (1) above.
19. The five masteries, vasībhāva, see Vol 1, Part 1, Anudīpanī pp.307-308.
20. Two kinds of sensuality: sense objects (vatthu kāma); sense pleasures (kilesa kāma).
21. Obstacles in the path of spiritual progress: the obstacles are five in number: (a) kāmacchanda, all forms of craving and desire, (b) byāpāda, ill-will, (c) thīnamiddha, sloth and torpor, (d) uddhacca-kukkucca, distraction and worry, and (e) vicikicchā, doubt or wavering of mind.
22. The Bodhisatta in one of his births was a brahmin magnate of Bārāṇasī named Akitti who, after giving away all his wealth, retired to a forest. There he continued to distribute his newly acquired possessions to others even when he had nothing to eat but kara leaves.
23. Five eyes: fivefold Eyes of Wisdom, which the Subcommentary explains as follows: (i) Buddha-cakkhu, the Buddha-eye, complete intuition of another’s inclinations, intentions, hopes, hankering, will, dispositions, proclivities, moral state; (ii) Samanta-cakkhu; the Eye of All-round Knowledge, the eye of a being perfected in wisdom; (iii) Dhamma-cakkhu; (or Ñāṇa-cakkhu), the Eye of Truth, perception of the attainment of the first three Maggas, which lead to the fourth and final Magga, Arahantship; (iv) Dibba-cakkhu: the Eye of Supernomal Power, the Deva-eye of super sensuous perception, the ‘clear’ sight of seers, all pervading and seeing all that proceeds in hidden worlds; and (v) Pasāda-cakkhu, (or Maṃsa-cakkhu), the physical eye.
24. Queen Maddī: wife of Prince Vessantara, well known for his generosity as a Bodhisatta. See page 12 fn.1, Vol 1, Part 1.
25. Four floods, Ogha: The four floods of sensual desire, desire for existence, wrong views, and ignorance.
26. Dhammārammaṇa: According to ‘A Manual of Abhidhamma’ by Nārada Thera, “Dhammārammaṇa includes all objects of consciousness. Dhamma embraces both mental and physical phenomena,” pp 126, 128, 181. U Shwe Zan Aung’s ‘Compendium of Philosophy’ describes objects of consciousness as “either object of sense or object of thought.” It continues to mention that “the object of thought also consists of five sub-classes (i) citta (mind); (ii) cetasikā (mental properties); (iii) pasāda-rūpa an sukhuma-rūpa (sensitive and subtle qualities of body); (iv) paññatti (name, idea, notion, concept); and (v) nibbāna.” It concludes, “These are collectively termed dhammārammaṇa.” (pp 2-3)
27. Eight kinds of drink (pāna): drink made from mango, from rose-apple, from plantain, from banana, from honey-fruit (Bassia Latifolia): from grapes, fro edible roots of water-lily; from the fruit of pharusaka.
28. Offering of food by tickets, salāka bhatta, see page 94 Vol 1, Part 1.
29. Eleven fires of lust (rāga), etc., fires of passion, hate, bewilderment, birth, aging, death, grief, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair.
30. Parivāsa. See footnote 1. p.151. Vol 1, Part 1, Anudīpanī.
31. Manatta. See as above.
32. See also, Anudīpanī, Vol 1, Part 1.
33. The owner of his deeds; he is solely responsible for all his deeds — good or bad.
34. Eleven advantages of developing loving-kindness: see page 167, Vol 1, Part 1, Anudīpanī.
35. Eight qualities of voice: According to the Mahāgovinda Sutta of the Mahāvagga, Dīghanikāya, the eight qualities of voice possessed by Sanaṅkumāra Brahma are: i) purity of enunciation; ii) clearness, being easily understood; iii) melodiousness; iv) pleasantness; v) being full and rounded; vi) not being scattered and diffused; vii) being deep and resonant; and viii) not travelling beyond his audience; like the Brahma, Bodhisattas are also possessors of a voice with these eight qualities.
36. Superstitious omens: diṭṭha suta mutamaṅgala. Tipiṭaka P.M.D. describes it as the meaning of akoṭuhālamaṅgala (mentioned in the Commentary of the Cariyapiṭaka), which is explained as “belief held by the uninstructed in the auspiciousness of the five sense-objects when they happen to be seen, heard, or touched, under such and such circumstances and conditions.”
38. The four traditions of Ariyas, Ariyavaṃsattāya: contentment with any kinds of robes, almsfood, dwelling, and delight in meditation.
39. The four grounds of Buddhahood; see p.27
40. The four ways of gaining friendship, Saṅgahavatthu: liberality (dāna), kindly speech (piya vācā) beneficial action (atthacariya), treating others like oneself (samānattatā).
41. Three forms of seclusion, kāya, citta, and upādhiveveka: kāya viveka means keeping aloof from companions, citta viveka means being devoid of sensuous thoughts, upādhi viveka means detachment from defilement.
42. The nine supramundane Dhammas; The Four Paths, the Four Fruits, and Nibbāna.
43. Foundation (adhiṭṭhāna): We have translated previously adhiṭṭhāna as ‘resolution’ or ‘determination,’ but these words are not applicable here and ‘foundation’ seems more appropriate in this context. P.E.D. gives adhiṭṭhāna also in the sense of ‘fixed, permanent abode’ beside ‘decision, resolution, self-determination, etc.’
44. Raṭṭhapāla Sutta: The 82nd sutta of the Majjhimanikāya.
45. Three modes: saccañāṇa: the knowledge that it is the truth; kiccañāṇa: the knowledge that a certain function with regard to that truth has to be performed; katañāṇa: the knowledge that the function with regard to that truth has been performed.
46. Three kinds of Bodhi, see p.6, Vol 1, Part 1
47. Five māras: The five obstacles: (i) The deva who challenged the Buddha for position on the seat of wisdom, surrounding him with a huge army of his followers (Devaputta Māra); the mental defilements (kilesa māra); (iii) volitional activities which lead to rebirth (abhisaṅkhāra māra); (iv) the aggregates of nāma and rūpa which materialize in all the existences before attainment of nibbāna (khandha māra) and (v) death (maccu māra).
48. Three different Future Buddhas: Reference may be made to pp.10ff, Vol 1, Part 1.
49. Four conditions: at midnight, on new moon, amidst a thick forest and under an overcast sky without lightning.
50. Ten powers, dasabala ñāṇa: perfection comprehension in the ten spheres of knowledge, See Vol 1, Part 1, fn 1, p.22.
51. The fourfold valorous wisdom, cātuvesārajja ñāṇa: see Vol 1, Part 1, fn 1, p.78.
52. The sixfold unique wisdom, cha asādhāraṇa ñāṇa: see Vol 1, Part 1, fn 2, p.78.
53. (i) Having no hindrance with regard to knowledge of the past; (ii) having no hindrance with regard to knowledge of the present; (iii) having no hindrance with regard to knowledge of the future; (iv) being preceded by wisdom in all physical actions; (v) being preceded by wisdom in all verbal actions; (vi) being preceded by wisdom in all mental actions; (vii) having no falling off in intention; (viii) having no falling off in energy; (ix) having no falling off in concentration; (x) having no falling off in wisdom; (xi) having no falling off in teaching the Dhamma; (xii) having no falling off in emancipation; (xiii) not indulging in joking and laughter; (xiv) not making blunders; (xv) having nothing which cannot be gauged by wisdom; (xvi) having nothing which needs to be attended in a hurry; (xvii) being never negligent; and (xviii) not undertaking anything without due reflection.