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CHAPTER - I
Buddhist Literature and PÈramÊs
1.A.0. Buddhist literature
The moral, practical and ethical systems expounded by the
Buddha, who was the founder of Buddhism, known as Gotama
(Gautama) Buddha, are called the Dhamma, and are more popularly
known as Buddhism. Buddhism is a course or a way that guides a
disciple through pure living and pure thinking, to gain supreme
wisdom and deliverance from all evils and defilements.
Although the Buddha had passed away 2550 years ago, the
lamp of the Dhamma was never extinguished. It is still lightening and
this is the benefit which we have received today from the right
endeavor through successive teaching and learning (VÈda) of the
great elder disciples (Thera) of the Buddha.
Those learned, very orthodox enlightened great elder disciples
never changed the Teachings of the Buddha (Dhamma) into another
style. They never removed anything from the original Dhamma, nor
inserted or substituted new and modern words or ideas. Those pious
learned orthodox great elder disciples of the Buddha maintained well
and guarded properly the Dhamma in its pristine purity. That was
why, it is called ‗TheravÈda‘ (The Original Teachings of the Buddha
carried by the Elders). 1 The original Teachings of the Buddha
handed down generation to generation (from the beginning of the
lineage of great elders) are divided into three divisions. These three
(Ti) divisions (PiÔaka) are called ‗TipiÔaka‘ which literally means
(1)Vinaya PiÔaka (The Basket of Discipline),
(2) Suttanta PiÔaka (The Basket of Discourses) and,
(3) Abhidhamma PiÔaka (The Basket of Higher Discourses).
These TipiÔakas can be categorized as NikÈyas or
1. DÊgha-NikÈya (The Collection of Long Discourses),
(SÊlakkhandhavagga, MahÈvagga and PÈthikavagga.)
2. Majjhima-NikÈya (The Collection of Middle Length Discourses),
(M|lapaÓÓÈsa, MajjhimapaÓÓÈsa and UparipaÓÓÈsa)
3. SaÑyutta-NikÈya (The Collection of Kindred Discourses),
(I. SagÈthÈvagga, NidÈnavagga. II. Khandhavagga,
SaÄÈyatanavagga. III. MahÈvagga.)
4. A~guttara-NikÈya (The Collection of Gradual Discourses),
(I. Ekaka, Duka, Tika and Catukka NipÈta. II. PaÒcaka, Chakka, Sattaka
and AÔÔhaka NipÈta. III. Navaka, Dasaka and EkÈdasaka NipÈta.) and
5. Khuddaka-NikÈya (The Collection of Short Discourses)
(KhuddakapÈÔha, Dhammapada, UdÈna, Itivuttaka, SuttanipÈta,
VimÈnavatthu, Petavatthu, TheragÈthÈ, TherÊgÈthÈ, JÈtaka,
MahÈniddesa, C|Äaniddesa, PaÔisambhidÈmagga, ApadÈna,
BuddhavaÑsa, CariyÈpiÔaka, Netti, PeÔakopadesa and
1.A.1. PÈramÊ and Buddhist Literature
In the BuddhavaÑsa of Khuddaka NikÈya, the Buddha
explained about PÈramis (perfections) to be fulfilled for gaining noble
qualities. The vital role of fulfilling PÈramis is to be a noble person,
such as Buddha (supreme self enlightenment), Pacceka Buddha
(solitary Buddha), Agga SÈvaka (great chief disciples), MahÈ
SÈvaka (great elder disciples), etc.
The Bodhisatta (Bodhisattva- to be Buddha) SumedhÈ, who
became known as Gotama (Gautama) Buddha, had got exact
prophecy from DÊpa~kara Buddha. Right after hearing the prophecy,
SumedhÈ (Bodhisatta) ardently and continually practised and fulfilled
ten kinds of PÈramÊs for four incalculable world-cycles plus a
hundred thousand aeons. Those fulfilled PÈramÊs made him
perfect, unique and unsurpassed by human or Deva (deities) or
There are ten kinds of Perfections practiced by SumedhÈ, the
Bodhisatta himself in his previous lives.
1.A.2. Ten kinds of Perfections (PÈramitÈs)
In BuddhavaÑsa of KhuddakanikÈya, the Perfections (PÈramÊs) are listed as Ten in number. They are as follows:
(1) DÈna PÈramÊ - Generosity, (translated sometimes as Charity, Liberality or just alms-giving),
(2) SÊla PÈramÊ - Morality or Virtue, Discipline, Proper conduct,
(3) Nekkhamma PÈramÊ - Renunciation,
(4) PaÒÒÈ PÈramÊ - Wisdom, Insight,
(5) VÊriya PÈramÊ - Energy, Effort, Vigour, or Diligence,
(6) KhantÊ PÈramÊ - Forbearance or Patience, Tolerance, Acceptance, Endurance,
(7) Sacca PÈramÊ - Truthfulness,
(8) AdhiÔÔÈna PÈramÊ - Determination or Resolution,
(9) MettÈ PÈramÊ - Loving- kindness; and
(10) UpekkhÈ PÈramÊ - Equanimity.
These ten perfections are discussed in the following chapters
primarily based on Buddhist Literatures in TheravÈda. Buddhist
Sanskrit sources are not unanimous in the number as mentioned
before. Perfections like nekkhamma, sacca, adhiÔÔhÈna, mettÈ and
upekkhÈ are expressed only in the PÈÄi list. According to
DhammapÈla, the ten pÈramitÈs are reduced to six: DÈnapÈramÊ,
SÊlapÈramÊ, KhantÊpÈramÊ, VÊriyapÈramÊ, JhÈnapÈramÊ
(DhyÈna) and PaÒÒÈpÈramÊ.
NekkhammapÈramÊ is taking up an ascetic life, JhÈna and
general meritoriousness. Here Nekkhamma as taking up an ascetic
life should be considered as SÊlapÈramÊ because they are of
similar nature; in the same way Nekkhamma is JhÈna, free from
hindrances (nÊvaraÓa) should be considered as JhÈnapÈramÊ.
Truthfulness is of three kinds; truthful speech (vacÊsacca);
abstaining from falsehood (viratisacca) which is mental concomitant
of right speech (sammÈvÈcÈ); and truthful wisdom (ÒÈÓasacca)
which is mental concomitant of wisdom (paÒÒÈ). (NibbÈna, which is
Absolute Truth- Paramattha sacca, is not relevant here.) Out of
these, vacÊsacca and viratisacca being related to SÊla, should be
counted as SÊlapÈramÊ; ÒÈÓasacca being the concomitant of
wisdom should be counted as PaÒÒÈpÈramÊ. UpekkhÈpÈramÊ
consists of concomitant of TatramajjhattatÈ and PaÒÒÈ;
TatramajjhattatÈ should be taken as the JhÈnapÈramÊ to which it is
related; and concomitant of PaÒÒÈ which is the same as
©ÈnupekkhÈ should be taken as PaÒÒÈpÈramÊ. MettÈpÈramÊ is
included in JhÈnapÈramÊ. AdhiÔÔhÈnapÈramÊ is included in all
the six pÈramÊs. 2 Such evidence points to the fact that
DhammapÈla, being aware of a theory of the six pÈramitÈs, gave it
a new interpretation of his own, while adhering in principle to the way
2 CariyÈpiÔakaaÔÔhakathÈ, p-313
pÈramitÈs were counted in the TheravÈda tradition. Concepts and
practices expressed by these terms are as important as other items
in the list in Buddhism. Har Dayal in this connection tries to see a
gradual growth of the doctrine of pÈramitÈ out of three fundamental
steps; namely, SÊla, SamÈdhi and PaÒÒÈ, which are often cited as
the right direction of practice one must follow in order to attain the
final goal, NibbÈna. Based on the usually accepted enumeration of
six pÈramitÈs in MahÈyÈna Buddhism, Vasubandhu in his
MahÈyÈna sutrÈla~kÈra commentary explains that the six
pÈramitÈs are fundamentally related to the three "siksas (sikkhÈ
pÈÄi)"; i.e. AdhisÊla, Adhicitta and AdhiprajÒÈ (AdhipaÒÒÈ pÈÄi).
Har Dyal's contention and the authoritative explanation of
Vasubandhu are based on the Buddhist Sanskrit sources and may
not therefore be applicable to the TheravÈda tradition of
enumeration, for the PÈÄi list does not end in PaÒÒÈ, a prerequisite
to entertain such a theory. According to BuddhavaÑsa of PÈÄi3, ten
kinds of perfections are expressed in that order and Venerable
Buddhaghosa, the author of DÊghanikÈya 4 , MajjhimanikÈya 5 ,
A~guttaranikÈya6 and Dhammasa~ganÊ7 Commentaries, also stated
3 BuddhavaÑsa PÈÄ, p-2.315
4 SÊlakkhandha aÔÔhakathÈ, p-1.60 (yathÈ kassapo bhagavÈ dÈnapÈramiÑ p|retvÈ,
sÊlanekkhammapaÒÒÈ vÊriyakhantisaccaadhiÔÔhÈnamettÈupekkhÈpÈramiÑ p|retvÈ, imÈ dasapÈramiyo, dasapupa pÈramiyo, da paramattha pÈramiyoti samattiÑsa pÈramiyo p|retvÈ, a~gapariccÈgaÑ, nayanadhanarajjaputtadÈra pariccÈganti ime paÒca pariccÈge pariccajitvÈpubbayoga pubbacariyadhammakkhÈnaÒÈtatthacariyÈdayo puretvÈ buddhacariyÈya koÔiÑ vattvÈna Ègato, tathÈ amhÈkampi bhagavÈ Ègato.)
5 M|lapaÓÓÈsa aÔÔhakathÈ, p-1.48
6 AA. 1. 76., AA,2.208., AA. 3.312
7 Dhammasa~ganÊ aÔÔhakathÈ, 54
ten kinds of Perfections in various places. Venerable Upasena, the
author of Niddesa Commentary and Venerable MahÈnÈma, the
author of PaÔisambidÈmagga Commentary have mentioned same
number of perfections in their books. The antiquity of the teaching is
suggested by a passage found in the CariyÈpiÔaka-aÔÔhakathÈ
where all the ten perfections are mentioned under the heading of
'buddhakÈradhammÈ' said to have been preached to SÈriputta by
the Buddha himself8. The ten pÈramitÈs to the earlier doctrines in
the Canon, since the practice of every item in the list of ten is aimed
at the sublimation of social, ethical and intellectual exercises which
will eventually become conducive to the attainment of NibbÈna9.
SaddharmapuÓÉarika refers only to five pÈramitÈs. However
in the MahÈyÈnia (MahÈyÈna) texts MahÈvastu (iii,226),
Lalitavistara (340.21), KaruÓÈpuÓÉarika (127.1) and AvadÈna
sataka (i.7.4), all the six pÈramitÈs are discussed in detail. They are
1. DÈna pÈramitÈ: 2. SÊla pÈramitÈ: 3. KsÈnti (kshanti)
pÈramitÈ: 4. VÊriya pÈramitÈ: 5. DhyÈna pÈramitÈ: (Meditation,
Concentration, Contemplation) 6. PrajñÈ (PaÒÒÈ pÈÄi) pÈramitÈ:
In the later phase, (7) the UpÈya (skillfulness in the choice of
means for conversion), (8) PraÓidhÈna (aspiration or prayer), (9)
Bala (power) and (10) JÒÈna (knowledge) were appended to the
9 Buddha in TheravÈda Buddhism, page-271, Toshiichi Endo, Second Edition, 2002
already existing list of six pÈramitÈs. These four may be subsumed
respectively under DÈna, SÊla, VÊriya and PrajÒÈ. However,
MahÈyÈna texts Dasabh|mikasutra and MahÈvyuttpatti dealt with all
the ten (perfections) pÈramitÈs are noted10.
1.A.3. The Meaning of PÈramÊs
Let us see how the meaning of the word ‗PÈramÊs’ is explained
in the PÈÄi canonical texts.
In order to get an idea for a reader, the possible meanings of
the word ‗pÈramÊ’ will be expressed that have been variously
explained in the CariyÈ-Pitaka Commentary11.
PÈramÊ is the combination of parama and Ê. Parama means
'most excellent', which is used here in the sense of Future Buddhas
who are the most excellent ones. ¢ is a suffix meaning actions.
Therefore, pÈramÊ mean the work or the action of the most
Or pÈrami derives from the root para with the suffix ma. The
root para means 'to fulfill'.' Since they fulfill such virtues as dÈna
(alms-giving), etc., Future Buddhas are called parama.
Buddhism in Global Perspective, page-20, Edited by (Mrs) Kalpakam Sankarnarayan, Ravindra Panth, Ichijo Ogawa), Publsihed by G.D. Awashi for Somaiya Publications, Mumbai-400014, 2003, India. 11
Or para, a prefix, is attached to the root maya meaning 'to
bind.' Because future Buddhas behave as though they bind on and
attract other beings to them by means of special virtues, they are
Or para°, a prefix, is attached to the root maja meaning 'to be
pure'; paraÑ means 'more'. Because Future Buddhas are free of
mental impurities and far purer than others, they are called parama.
Or paraÑ, a prefix, is attached to the root maya meaning 'to
go' paraÑ means 'superior.' Because Future Buddhas go to the
superior state of NibbÈna in a special manner, they are called
Or paraÑ, a prefix, is attached to the root mu meaning to
determine.' Because Future Buddhas determine their next existence
as they do in the case of the present, they are called parama. (This
means that as Future Buddhas are able to ascertain precisely what
should be done to make the present existence pleasant and
faultless; they are able to do so with regard to the next existence.
That is, they have the ability to improve their existences.)
Or paraÑ, a prefix, is attached to the root mÊ meaning 'to put
in'. Therefore altogether pÈramÊ means 'more.' Because Future
Buddhas 'put in' more and more such virtues as SÊla (morality). etc.,
into their mind, they are called pÈramÊ12.
Or paraÑ, means 'different from' or 'opposed to'; mÊ is the root
meaning 'to crush', because Future Buddhas crush all their enemies,
which are in the form of impurities and different from and opposed to
all virtues, they are called pÈramÊ.
Or pÈra, a noun, is attached to the root maja meaning 'to
purify'; pÈra means 'the other shore.' Here saÑsÈra is to be taken
as 'this shore' and NibbÈna is 'the other shore', because Future
Buddhas make themselves purified as well as others on the other
shore of NibbÈna. Therefore they are called pÈramÊ.
Or pÈra, a noun, is attached to the root mava meaning 'to
bind' or 'to put together.' Because Future Buddhas bind or put beings
together in NibbÈna, they are called pÈramÊ.
Or the root is maya, meaning 'to go.' Because Future Buddhas
go to the other shore of NibbÈna, they are called pÈramÊ.
Or the root is mu, meaning 'to understand.' Because Future
Buddhas fully understand the other shore of NibbÈna as it really is,
they are called pÈramÊ.
The Great Chronicle of Buddhas, Page-41, Bhaddanta VicittasÈrÈbhivaÑsa, Trans, U KO LAY AND U TIN LWIN, Ti NI Publication, Yangon, Myanmar, 1991.
Or the root is mÊ meaning 'to put in.' Because Future
Buddhas put in and convey beings to the other shore of NibbÈna,
they are called pÈramÊ. Or the root is mÊ, meaning 'to crush.'
Because Future Buddhas enter into NibbÈna by crushing and
eradication all impurities which are enemies of beings, they are
These are the various meanings presented in accordance with
sabhÈvanirutti (natural etymology).
ParamÈnaÑ aya° pÈramÊ: pÈramÊ means property in the
form of practices of Future Buddhas; (or) paramÈnaÑ kammaÑ
pÈramÊ: pÈramÊ means duties of Future Buddhas; PÈramissa
bhÈvo pÈramitÈ, pÈramissa kammaÑ pÈramitÈ: duties that bring
about knowledge that such a person is a Future Buddha.
The entire meaning is a series of duties such as dÈna and
others to be fulfilled by Future Buddhas is called pÈramÊ (or
In the JinÈla~kÈra Sub-commentary, it is said: "PÈraÑ
nibbÈnaÑ ayanti gacchanti etÈhÊ ti pÈramiyo, nibbÈnasÈdhakÈ hi
dÈnacetanÈdayo dhammÈ pÈramÊ ti vuccanti," meaning to say that
"DÈnacetanÈ or the volition of alms-giving, etc., which forms the
way to NibbÈna, the other side of saÑsÈra, should be called
In the CariyÈpiÔaka Commentary14 , it is said: tanhÈmÈna-
diÔÔhÊhi anupahatÈ karun' upÈyakosalla-pariggahita dÈnÈdayo
guÓÈ pÈramiyo. PÈramÊ is constituted by virtues such as dÈna,
etc., that are to be grasped by means of compassion and
cleverness. Compassion is shown towards beings who are not
spoiled (overwhelmed) by craving, pride and wrong view. Cleverness
means wisdom in seeking ways and means in dÈna, etc., (these are
to be guided by compassion and wisdom) are to be named pÈramÊ
(This explanation is made with special reference to pÈramÊ of
1.A.4. Actions of PÈramÊs
The noble ones who strive for escape from the wrong place of
the ocean (saÑsÈra) and to get to the right place of the land of
(NibbÈna) are called the SammÈsambuddhas, meaning the noblest
of noble ones. All their actions or deeds are called ‗PÈramÊs‘. These
actions or deeds cover up everything that they have done from the
time they had received the prophesy that they will become the
Buddhas up to the time of their passing away into NibbÈna. In truth,
all the actions or deeds of the noble ones from kalyÈÓa
The Great Chronicle of Buddhas, p-43, Mingun Sayadaw, Trns, U Ko Lay and U Tin Lwin, Published by Ti Ni Ministrative Body, Yangon Myanmar, 1991. 14
CariyÈpiÔaka aÔÔhakathÈ, p-269
puthujjanas 15 (the persons who practice meritorious actions or
deeds) up to the Paccekabuddhas are embraced by the actions or
deeds of the Buddhas, just as the footprints of the elephant can
contain the footprints of all other animals. To determine whether a
deed amounts to an act of pÈramÊ, the actions or deeds of the
Bodhisatta from the time he had received the prophesy up to the
time of his final passing away should be studied and used as it is the
yardstick for comparison.
All actions or deeds done can be divided into three types-
physical actions or deeds (kÈyakamma), verbal actions or deeds
(vacÊkamma), mental actions or deeds (manokamma). All types of
good actions or deeds are meritorious actions or deeds (kusala)
while all types of evil actions or deeds are de-meritorious actions or
deeds (akusala). There is no difference between ignoble and noble
person's concern with the actions or deeds.
For this reason, it is not possible to differentiate between noble
and ignoble actions or deeds on the nature of the actions or deeds
done. Referring to this, the Buddha teaches ‗CetanÈhaÑ bhikkhave
kammaÑ vadÈmi,‘16 i.e., I say that determinate thought is action.
According to this teaching, no differentiation can be made between
noble and ignoble actions or deeds on the basis of the nature of the
actions or deeds done. It should be understood that differentiation is
A.2.363 (Translated by E.M. Hare 3.294 first print edition Delhi 2006)
to be made only on the basis of the cetanÈ (intention, volition) in the
doing of actions or deeds.
Whether it is a physical, or verbal, or mental, or kusala or
akusala deed, if it is done at the sacrifice of one‘s life for the well-
being of the people in the world (loka), it is a noble deed called
1.A.5. Main Characteristic of PÈramÊs
To know if a deed is a pÈramÊ or not, there are two
distinguishing characteristics to consider. They are: (1) its aim is to
have compassion on others and (2) to liberate from the round of
rebirths and actions or deeds done, such as almsgiving, etc. Such
actions which are based on the above aims are PÈramÊs.
Otherwise, they are not PÈramÊs.
According to the first aim, it is necessary to work for the
welfare of others without paying attention to one‘s own welfare; it is
easy for a person with shallow loving-kindness (metta), shallow
compassion (karuÓa) and shallow volition (cetanÈ) to perform it. As
it is the nature of a worldling (puthujjana) to love himself best (atta
samaÑ pemaÑ natthi17), a person who loves others is a noble man,
he will think of his own welfare first.
Therefore, not to put one‘s welfare first, a person must have
love for others more than he loves himself, otherwise it will be
impossible for him not to think of his welfare and to work for the
welfare of others. In truth, PÈramÊs are not for normal persons but
are for the noble ones. Therefore, only the noble ones really know
the meaning of PÈramÊs and practise it properly. Normal persons
don‘t have the knowledge how to follow and practise it.
1.A.6. Division of Level of Perfections
There are thirty kinds of perfections to be fulfilled by
Bodhisatta: ten in ordinary perfections, ten in higher perfections,
and ten in supreme perfections.
All external objects, such as a wife and children, animate and
inanimate things belonging to a person, are the objects through
which the ten ordinary perfections are fulfilled. One‘s own limbs or
head or any organs of the body are the objects through which the
ten higher perfections are fulfilled. One‘s own life (being sacrificed)
is the object through which the ten supreme perfections are fulfilled.
Of those three categories of objects, undertakings that
forsake the first category are called ordinary perfections.
Undertakings that forsake the second are called higher perfections.
Those that forsake the third, i.e. one‘s own life, are called supreme
perfections. Those perfections are explained in detail in the
(1) Giving away one's external objects such as wife, children,
wealth and property is DÈnapÈramÊ; giving up one's limbs, such as
hands, feet, etc. is DÈna UpapÈramÊ; giving up one's life is DÈna
(2) Likewise, observing a present and not making a breach on
account of one's external objects such as wife, children, wealth and
property is SÊlapÈramÊ; observing a present and not making a
breach on account of one's limbs, such as hands, feet, etc. is SÊla
UpapÈramÊ; observing a present and not making a breach on
account of one's life is SÊla ParamatthapÈramÊ.
(3) Cutting off attachment to one's external objects and going
forth from household life is Nekkhamma PÈramÊ; Cutting off
attachment to one's limbs such as hands, feet, etc and going forth
from household life is Nekkhamma UpapÈramÊ; Cutting off
attachment to one's life and going forth from household life is
(4) Rooting out attachment to one's external objects and
deciding deliberately what is beneficial to beings and what is not is
PaÒÒÈpÈramÊ; 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 PaÒÒÈ UpapÈramÊ; Rooting out
attachment to one's life and deciding deliberately what is beneficial
to beings and what is not is PaÒÒÈ ParamatthapÈramÊ.
(5) Striving to fulfill and become accomplished in the
aforementioned PÈramÊs and those to be mentioned later is
VÊriyapÈramÊ; striving to fulfill and become accomplished in the
aforementioned UpapÈramÊs and those to be mentioned later is
VÊriya UpapÈramÊ; striving to fulfill and become accomplished in
the aforementioned ParamatthapÈramÊs and those to be mentioned
later is VÊriya ParamatthapÈramÊ.
(6) Being with patience the vicissitudes which endanger one's
external objects is KhantÊpÈramÊ; being with patience the
vicissitudes which endanger one's limbs such as hands, feet, etc. is
KhantÊ UpapÈramÊ; Being with patience the vicissitudes which
endanger one's life is KhantÊ ParamatthapÈramÊ.
(7) Not abandoning truth on account of one's external objects
is SaccapÈramÊ; not abandoning truth on account of one's limbs
such as hands, feet, etc. is Sacca UpapÈramÊ; not abandoning truth
on account of one's life is Sacca ParamatthapÈramÊ.
(8) Unshakeable determination in spite of destruction of one's
external objects while holding firmly that 'PÈramÊ such as DÈna, etc.
can be fulfilled only with indestructible determination is
AdiÔÔhÈnapÈramÊ; unshakeable determination in spite of
destruction of one's limbs such as hands, feet, etc. is AdiÔÔhÈna
UpapÈramÊ; unshakeable determination in spite of destruction of
one's life is AdiÔÔhÈna ParamatthapÈramÊ.
(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 MettÈpÈramÊ;
not abandoning loving-kindness towards beings even if they have
caused destruction to one's limbs such as hands, feet, etc. is MettÈ
UpapÈramÊ, not abandoning loving-kindness towards beings even if
they have caused destruction to one's life is MettÈ
(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 UpekkhÈpÈramÊ; 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 UpekkhÈ UpapÈramÊ; maintaining
a neutral attitude towards beings and their volitional activities
irrespective of whether they have been helpful or harmful to one's life
is UpekkhÈ ParamatthapÈramÊ.
One who can fulfill only the first ten perfections can attain the
enlightenment of a Noble Disciple (sÈvaka). One who fulfills only the
first ten and the second ten in higher perfections can attain the
enlightenment of a Solitary Buddha (paccekabuddha). One who can
fulfill all thirty (ordinary perfections, higher perfections and supreme
perfections) attains Supreme Self-Enlightenment. 18
1.A.7. Disciples' PÈramÊs
There are three classes of enlightenment of a Noble Disciple:
A Manual of the Buddhism, page-484, Ledi Sayadaw, Trans, U Tin Oo (Myaung), Published by Mother Ayeyarwaddy Publishing House, Yangon, Myanmar, 2004.
(i) an Ordinary Noble Disciple (pakati sÈvaka),
(ii) a Great Disciple (mahÈ sÈvaka), and
(iii) a Chief Disciple. (agga sÈvaka)
By fulfilling the first ten perfections for one aeon and a
hundred thousand world cycles19, one can attain the enlightenment
of a Chief Disciple. By the Chief Disciples are meant the Buddha‘s
two principal Noble Disciples like the Venerable SÈriputta and
MahÈ MoggallÈna for Gotama Buddha.
By fulfilling the same perfections for a hundred thousand
world cycles, one can attain the enlightenment of a Great Disciple.
By the Great Disciples are meant the distinguished Noble Ones,
numbering eighty for Gotama Buddha.
There is no mention of duration for the maturity of an ordinary
Noble Disciple. One has to infer it from such statements as are
found in certain commentaries. In a commentary on Arahants‘
supernormal power of recollecting former existences, an ordinary
Noble One is said to be able to recall existences from a hundred to
a thousand world cycles20. This has generally been taken as the
maturity period for an ordinary Noble Disciple.
Regarding the Chief and Great Disciples, the periods for
maturity stated earlier refer only to the periods after these Noble
Ones had received formal recognition by a living Buddha. The 19
A.A.1. 121 20
Buddha predicts when, where, and under what circumstances he
will attain which type of enlightenment. This is called ―receiving the
The scriptures are silent on the duration for fulfilling the
perfections before such recognition or assurance. The interval
between the arising of any two Buddhas is beyond reckoning. It
may be any number of world cycles. A Noble Disciple (as the term
signifies) can arise only when a Buddha becomes or his teaching is
extant. So it is important to remember that those durations
mentioned above refer only to those Noble Ones who encountered
As to the Noble Disciples: in the commentary on the
SuttanipÈta there are three types: (i) one who depends on
confidence for his enlightenment, (ii) one who depends on diligence,
and (iii) one who depends on wisdom.
1.A.8. Solitary Buddha's PÈramÊs
Similarly, Solitary Enlightenment (Paccekabuddha) is also of
three types. The commentaries say that the enlightenment of a
Solitary Buddha is attained after fulfilling the ten perfections and the
ten higher perfections for two aeons and a hundred thousand world
1.A.9. The Perfect Enlightened Buddha's
There are three types of the Perfect Enlightenment of Buddha,
which are also called:
(i) PaÒÒÈdhika Buddha,
(ii) SaddhÈdhika Buddha, and
(iii) VÊriyÈdhika Buddha 22.
(a) A Buddha who depends on wisdom (paÒÒÈ) for his
enlightenment, after receiving the assurance, has to fulfill
the ten perfections, the ten higher perfections, and the ten
supreme perfections for four aeons and a hundred thousand
(b) A Buddha who depends on diligence (vÊriya) has to fulfill the
perfections for eight aeons and a hundred thousand world
(c) A Buddha who depends on confidence (saddhÈ) has to fulfill
the perfections for sixteen aeons and a hundred thousand
This is what has been recorded in the ancient commentaries
(KurundÊ, MahÈpaccarÊ AÔÔhakathÈ and MahÈ AÔÔhakathÈ).
However, there are different views regarding the maturity periods for 22
the three types of Buddha. They are found in later works such as the
ApadÈna Commentary and in sub-commentaries such as Sotattaki,
TathÈgatuppatti, MahÈvaÑsaÔikÈ, etc.
1.A.10. The Role of PÈramÊs
In the birth stories of the Buddhas (jÈtakas), the reason for
fulfilling PÈramÊs is found that for the welfare of beings (‗loka‘)
bodhisattvas accumulate kammas (actions) and ÒÈÓa (wisdom).
Sometimes they had to undergo many animal existences. In fact,
being in animal existences is because of committing akusala
From this point, it is evident that the Bodhisattas had
committed akusala actions or deeds not only for their own good but
also to prevent adhamma (wrong action) and to get the better of
They had committed akusala actions or deeds, they were
reborn as animals and they became leaders, such as kings,
ministers, etc. When they were born as monkeys, they became kings
of monkey, when they were born as haÑsÈ (ducks), they became
kings of haÑsÈ (ducks). But they were mostly reborn as human
beings and became leaders in those lives.
Buddhas, Pacceka Buddhas, BuddhasÈvakas (disciples of
Buddha), who practiced pÈramÊs in their previous lives, have got
(attained) enlightenment because they ardently had practiced
The ten kinds of PÈramÊ will be discussed in three chapters
respectively according to five NikÈyas; DÈnapÈramÊ, SÊlapÈramÊ
and NekkhammapÈramÊ will be disscussed in the Second Chapter.
PaÒÒÈpÈramÊ, VÊriyapÈramÊ, and KhantÊpÈramÊ will be
discussed in the Third Chapter. In the Fourth Chapter SaccapÈramÊ,
AdhiÔÔhÈnapÈramÊ, MettapÈramÊ and UpekkhÈpÈramÊ in will be
1.A.11. DhyÈna PÈramitÈ (Perfection of
This perfection is the fifth perfection of MahÈyana and they
accepted six pÈramitas according to MahÈvastu, Lalitavistara,
KaruÓÈpuÓÉarika and AvadÈna sataka. DhyÈna denotes
meditation and also contemplation. The cultivation of stable and
perfect mind, purged of all impure thoughts is a pre-requisite for the
practice of DhyÈna. Quietude and serenity are achieved through
meditation. Consequently the psychic powers are increased.
Normally, renunciation and seclusion are prescribed for the
cultivation of meditation and contemplation. Even those in the
household life practise meditation for inner peace and calmness.
However, this pÈramitÈ is special for recluses, though not prohibited
The MahÈyÈna texts KaruÓÈpuÓÉarika, Bodhisattva Bh|mi
and MahÈyÈna S|trÈla~kÈra refer to the group of fourfold
meditations, technically called "Brahma VihÈras", to be practiced by
a Bodhisattva. They are known as (I) MaitrÊ (MettÈ pÈÄi)-bhÈvanÈ,
(2) KaruÓÈ bhÈvanÈ, (3) MuditÈ bhÈvanÈ and (4) UpeksÈ
(upekkhÈ pÈÄi) bhÈvanÈ. These BhÈvanÈs indicate the cultivation
of four-fold good feelings viz. 23 , friendliness, compassion,
sympathetic joy and equanimity. Since these four types of meditation
are also found in PataÒjali's Yoga S|tra, it is presumed that they
belong to the national stock of Indian Philosophy. However, it is
pertinent to note that only the first three bhÈvanas viz, MaÊtri,
KaruÓÈ and MuditÈ are found in many texts such as MahÈvastu and
SamÈdhirÈja S|tra. In the MaÓimekalai, these three are prescribed
for the eradication of hatred, one of the three evils being the
impediments on the path to NirvÈÓa. CÈttanÈr has also prescribed
Asubha bhÈvanÈ for the extirpation of lust. It denotes the meditation
on the impermanence, sorrowfulness, soullessness and
loathsomeness of all things. The cultivation of Asubha bhÈvanÈ cuts
at the root of lust, the first obstacle on the spiritual journey.
UpeksÈ (UpekkhÈ pÈÄi) means equanimity, balanced and
serene outlook. It is the same state of mind both in adversity and
prosperity. He who practices this BhÈvanÈ is free from love and hate.
To him gold and stone remain the same. This mental condition is
The Bodhisattva Doctrine in Buddhist Sanskrit Literature, p. 226, Har Dayal, M.A, Ph.D. Published by Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1999, 2004.
known as "Sama Citta"24.
Saddharma-puÓÉarika S|tra expresses that the Bodhisattvas
also fulfill the fifth PÈramitÈ, i.e. DhyÈna or Meditation Perfection in
order to attain enlightenment as below:
"One could also see bodhisattvas entering deep into
meditation practices, their bodies and minds still and unmoving, in
that manner seeking the unsurpassed way."25
According to PÈÄi TipiÔaka, if one wants to get JhÈna or
enlightment (Magga and Phala), he will get that knowledge but he
has to practice the path which was guided by the Buddha. The
Buddha showed the path to practice in the following way. One has to
resort to some secluded spot; which should be in forest or, under
tree (tree-root) or, mountain or, glen or, rock-cave or, cemetery or,
wooded upland or, open space or heap of straw; and under tree
(tree-root) or empty hut, he should sits cross-legged, with body erect,
seting mindfulness in front of him. Putting away all hankering, he
abides with heart free therefrom; he cleanses his mind of hankering:
putting away ill-will and hatred, he abides with heart free therefrom;
kindly and compassionate to all creatures, he cleaness his mind of
ill-will and hatred: putting away sloth and torpor, he abides free
therefrom; conscious of light, mindful and self-possessed, he
cleanses his mind of sloth and torpor: putting away flurry and worry,
he abides poised; with heart serene within, he cleanses his mind of
Buddhism in Global Perspective, page-29, Edited by (Mrs) Kalpakam Sankarnarayan, Ravindra Panth, Ichijo Ogawa), Publsihed by G.D. Awashi for Somaiya Publications, Mumbai-400014, 2003, India 25
Bodhisattva and S|nyatÈ, page-316, Bhikkuni Gioi Huong, Published by Eastern Book Linker, Delhi, 110007, India, 2005.
flurry and worry: putting away doubt, he abides with doubt passed by;
no more he questions Why? of right things; he cleanses his mind of
He, by getting rid of these five hindrances-defilements of the
mind and weakening to intuitive wisdom-aloof from pleasures of the
senses, aloof from unsilled states of mind, enters and abides in the
first meditation, which is accompanied by initial thought and
discursive thought, is born of aloofness and is rapturous and joyfull.
By allaying initial and discursive thought, the mind subjectively
tranquillised and fixed on one point, he enters and abides in the
26 YodhÈjÊvasutta, page-2-81, A~guttaranikÈya, Pa~caka. (So vivittaÑ senÈsanaÑ bhajati
araÒÒaÑ rukkham|laÑ pabbataÑ kandaraÑ giriguhaÑ susÈnaÑ vanapatthaÑ abbhokÈsaÑ
palÈlapu~jaÑ. So pacchÈbhattaÑ piÓÉapÈtappaÔikkanto nisÊdati pall~kaÑ ÈbhujitvÈ ujuÑ
kÈyaÑ paÓidhÈya parimukhaÑ satin upaÔÔhapetvÈ. So abhijjhaÑ loke pahÈya vigatÈbhijjhena
cetasÈ viharati, abhijjhÈya cittaÑ parisodheti. VyÈpÈdappadosaÑ pahÈya avyÈpannacitto
viharati sabbapÈÓabh|tahitÈnukampÊ, vyÈpÈdappadosÈ cittaÑ parisodheti. ThinamiddhaÑ
pahÈya vigatathinamiddho viharati ÈlokasaÒÒÊ sato sampajÈno, thinamiddhÈ cittaÑ
parisodheti. UddhaccakukkuccaÑ pahÈya anuddhato viharati ajjhattaÑ v|pasantacitto,
uddhaccakukkuccÈ cittaÑ parisodheti. VicikicchaÑ pahÈya tiÓÓavicikiccho viharati
akathaÑkathÊ kusalesu dhammesu, vicikicchÈya cittaÑ parisodheti.
So ime pa~ca nÊvaraÓe pahÈya cetaso uppakkhilese paÒÒÈya dubbalÊkaraÓe vivicceva
kÈmehi(p) pÊtiyÈ ca virÈgÈ upekkhako ca viharati sato sampajÈno, sukha~ca kÈyena
paÔisaÑvedeti yaÑ taÑ ariyÈ Ècikkhanti-'upekkhako satimÈ sukhavihÈrÊ'ti tatiyaÑ jhÈnaÑ
upasampajja viharati. Sukhassa ca pahÈnÈ dukkhassa ca pahÈnÈ, pubbeva
somanassadomanassÈnaÑ attha~gamÈ adukkhamasukhaÑ upekkhÈsatipÈrisuddhiÑ catutthaÑ
jhÈnaÑ upasampajja viharati.
So evaÑ samÈhite cite parisuddhe pariyodÈte ana~gaÓe vigat|pakkilese mudub|te kammaniye
thite Ène~jappatte ÈsavÈnaÑ khayaÒÈÓÈya cittaÑ abhininnÈmeti. So 'idaÑ dukkhan'ti
yathÈb|taÑ pajÈnÈti, 'ayaÑ dukkhasamudayo'ti yathÈb|taÑ pajÈnÈti, 'ayaÑ dukkhanirodho'ti
yathÈb|taÑ pajÈnÈti, 'ayaÑ dukkhanirodhagÈmitÊ paÔipadÈ'ti yathÈb|taÑ pajÈnÈti, 'ime
ÈsavÈ'ti yathÈb|taÑ pajÈnÈti, 'ayaÑ Èsavasamudayo'ti yathÈb|taÑ pajÈnÈti, 'ayaÑ
Èsavanirodho'ti yathÈb|taÑ pajÈnÈti, 'ayaÑ ÈsavanirodhagÈminÊ paÔipadÈ'ti yathÈb|taÑ
pajÈnÈti. Tassa evaÑ jÈnato evaÑ passato kÈmÈsavÈpi cittaÑ vimuccati, bhavÈsavÈpi cittaÑ
vimuccati, avijjÈsavÈpi cittaÑ vimuccati, vimuttasmiÑ vimuttamiti ÒÈÓÑ hoti. 'KhÊÓÈ jÈti,
vusitaÑ brahmacariyaÑ, kataÑ karaÓÊyaÑ, nÈparaÑ etthattÈyÈti pajÈnÈti.)
second meditation, which is devoid of initial and discursive thought,
is born of concentration and is rapturous and joyful. By the fading out
of rapture, he dwells with equanimity, attentive and clearly conscious,
and experiences in his person that joy of which the ariyans say:
'joyful lives he who has equanimity and is mindful', and he enters
and abides in the third meditation. By getting rid of joy, by getting rid
of anguish, by the going down of his former pleasures and sorrows,
he enters and abides in the fourth meditation, which has neither
anguish nor joy, and which is entirely purified by equanimity and
With the heart thus serene, purified, cleansed, spotless, devoid
of defilement, supple, ready to act, firm and imperturbable, he bends
the mind to know the destruction of the cankers. As it really is, he
understands: this is ill-as it really is, he understands: this is the origin
of ill-as it really is, he understands: this is the ending of ill-as it really
is, he understands: this is the way leading to the ending of ill. As it
really is, he understands the thought: these are the cankers, this is
the origin of the cankers, this is the ending of the cankers, and this is
the way leading to the ending of the cankers.
Knowing this, seeing this, his heart will be free from the canker
of lust, free from the canker of becomings, free from the canker of
ignorance, and in the freedom will come the knowledge of that
freedom, and he will know: Birth is destroyed; lived is the godly life;
NÈgasuttaÑ, page-3-233, NavakanipÈta A~guttaranikÈya. GanÓakamoggallÈna suttaÑ, page-3-53, UparipannÈsa.
done is what had to be done; there is no more of this state28.
Next, let us move on to briefly present the remaining
pÈramitÈs which are in a later period appended to the earlier list of
six pÈramitÈs. They are supplementary pÈramitÈs.
1.A.12. UpÈya Kausalya PÈramitÈ Perfection
of Skillfulness or Perfection in the
expedients of conversion
The supreme knowledge in the Buddhist principles and
scriptures, the Bodhisattva (Bodhisatta pÈÄi) should be equipped
with the efficient techniques to impart the wisdom to the followers of
Buddhism. He is expected to be a good preacher. He should also
find out the expedients to make the non-believers and adherents of
other systems believe and follow the Buddhist way life.
In the MahÈyÈna texts liberality (dÈna), pleasant speech (priya
vacanam), sagacious conduct (artha-caryÈ) (atthacariya pÈÄi) and
practicing the virtues which are preached to others (SamÈn-Èrhat)
(samÈnattatÈ pÈÄi 29 ) are said to be the four requisites for an
efficient preacher to convince others to turn to his faith. The Tamil
Buddhist manual Tiruppatikam mentions that the Bodhisattva's
The book of the Gradual Sayings, Volume III, (Five) page-76, translated by E.M.HARE, First Indian Edition: Delhi, 2006. 29
PÈthikavagga pÈÄi, p-3.156, A~guttara (catuttukka) p-1.341
preaching pertains to the destruction of transmigration. His way it
called Peruvali, a Tamil equivalent to the word MahÈyÈna and he
gets the epithet 'Peruvaliyan' that is, one who practices and
preaches the peruvali, the great path. In the Buddhist Tamil epic
MaÓimekalai, Bodhisattva AravaÓa AÔikaÄ is depicted to be an
excellent preacher, having erudition in the perfection of UpÈya and
converting also the royal persons, merchants, courtesans and others
to Buddhism. SaÑgha Dharma, another character of the same epic
preached the greatness of the Buddha and bodhisattva, their selfless
service to all living beings and their turning the Wheel of Dharma for
the welfare of the world.
According to MahÈyÈna, the Buddha used this expedient or
partial method in his teaching until near the end of his days, when he
enlarged it to the revelation of reality, or the preaching of his final
and complete truth. Saddharma PunÓÉarika S|tra relates some
interesting parables. Among them one 'Parable is the Lost Son, in
Chapter IV which is briefly as follows:
A certain poor man lost a loved son who left his home and
went out to a far country. Later father became rich, his son
wandering about in search of food and raiment. The father suddenly
saw a young poor man whom he knew to be his son but his son was
filled with fear at the thought that he had perhaps come into wrong
street and might be punished for his rashness. So, he ran away in
great haste. His father now exhibited his UpÈya-Kausalya by letting
the poor fellow go away. Then, he called two poor men of humble
origin and said to them to hire him as a labourer for cleaning the
refuge-barrel in his house. Then, the father put on dirty clothes, took
a basket in his hand, and going near to his son, said: "Work here, my
man; do not go anywhere Look upon me as your own father
henceforward you are to me like my son". In this way, the father
found the chance of speaking to his son, who thereupon felt happier
in the house. But he continued to live in his hovel straw and did the
same menial work for twenty years. At last, the rich man fell sick and
felt that his days were numbered. So, he first gave much wealth to
the young man, and then he gathered together all his kinsfolk and
citizens, said to them: "He is my son; I am his father. To him, I leave
all my possessions". The son was greatly astonished at this, and
enjoyed exceedingly in his heart.
In this parable, father is the Buddha; the son is every pious
Buddhist; the labour of cleaning the refuge-barrel is the lower
teaching about NirvÈÓa (Liberation); the declaration of the filial
relation is the higher doctrine of MahÈyÈna.30
MahÈkaruÓÈ and UpÈyakosalla ©ÈÓa form basic conditions
for all the perfections. 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 MahÈkaruÓÈ and
UpÈyakosalla ©ÈÓa exist in them, welfare and happiness accrue to
Bodhisattva and S|nyatÈ, page-324, Bhikkuni Gioi Huong, Published by Eastern Book Linker, Delhi, 110007, India, 2005.
those who develop confidence in them, who show respect to them,
who have occasion to see Bodhisatta or recollect their virtues.
To explain further: out of compassion and wisdom, it is through
wisdom that a Boddhisatta attains omniscience; it is through
compassion, that he performs the duties of a Buddha. Through
wisdom, he is able to cross the ocean of SaÑsÈra; through
compassion, he goes to the rescue of beings. Through wisdom, he
understands thoroughly 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 NibbÈna; through
compassion, he continues to go round and round in SaÑsÈra.
Thus, compassion and wisdom are beneficial in many ways.
These two kinds not only form the foundation of the PÈramÊ; they
are the basic condition of the aspiration after Buddhahood as well.
But these two kinds were not accepted as perfections according to
1.A.13. PraÓidhÈna PÈramitÈ (Perfection of
Compassion and Prayer)
This perfection is known as DayÈ in the Tamil Buddhist poems. 31
The Great Chronicle of Buddhas, page-27, Baddanta VicittasÈrÈbhivaÑsa (MingonSayadaw) trans, U Kolay and U Tin Lwin, Ti Ni Publication Series, Yangon Myanmar, 1992.
However, the specialists translated praÓidhÈna to mean prayer,
compassion, entreaty and supplication. It also denotes the prayers
and vows. It also means solemn aspiration. In the Dharma-
Samhraha (section 112), three features of praÓidhÈna are described:
(1) The aspiration to happy births, (2) the aspiration to the welfare of
all and (3) the aspiration for the purification of Buddha-fields.
According to the MahÈyÈna texts, PraÓidhÈna denotes the wishful
thinking of a liberated Bodhisattva for the deliverance of other beings.
The cultivation of this pÈramitÈ is associated with the devotion to the
Buddhist pantheon. In the Tamil Buddhist tradition, DayÈ pÈramitÈ
takes the place of PraÓidhÈna. DayÈ denotes the consummation of
compassion. This perfection has been elucidated through the
narration of many JÈtaka stories such as the avadÈna of drstivisa,
sacrifice of the hare, the avadÈnas of monkey and matsya etc.
According to Mahatma Gandhi's won words, PraÓidhÈna is: "the key
of the morning and the belt of the evening". That is, if we start the
day with it, prayer can become the spring of hope and courage to
deal with routine activities. Also, closing the day with a prayer would
enable us to cease worrying about what has been done or left
undone. Thus, on the one hand PraÓidhÈna helps us in sanctifying
our daily work as an offering to the Buddha and on the other in
perfecting our observance of the vows. PraÓidhÈna, thus is a
'necessary spiritual disciplines.'
It is so not merely because it is indispensable for the practice
of truth and ahiÑsÈ but because it helps in the observance of the
other vows too.
The essence of PraÓidhÈna is its conduciveness to peace and
order in the individual and social life. This is born out by the following
words of his: "without prayer there is no inward peace", "the man of
prayer will be at peace with himself and with the whole world...
Prayer is the only means of bringing about orderliness and peace
and repose in our daily acts".32
1.A.14. Bala PÈramitÈ (Perfection of
In the MahÈyÈna texts, the Bodhisattva is accorded an equal
position with the Buddha who was known by the epithet Dasabala.
Different lists of balas are found in the Buddhist scriptures. Among
the thirty seven principles and practices that mould the personality of
a Bodhisattva to attain enlightenment, five balas are treated very
important. They are: faith (sraddhÈ, saddhÈ pÈÄi), energy (vÊrya),
mindfulness (smrti, sati pÈÄi), concentration (samÈdhi) and wisdom
(prajÒÈ). In some texts, merit (puÓya), wisdom (prajÒÈ) knowledge
(jÒÈna), ksÈnti (mental peace) and vÊrya (energy) are projected. All
these balas constitute the moral, mental and physical power of the
Bodhisattva and S|nyatÈ, page-326, Bhikkuni Gioi Huong, Published by Eastern Book Linker, Delhi, 110007, India, 2005
super human being, that is, Bodhisattva. The balas are essential for
him to discharge the social obligations and missionary activities.
Tiruppatikam described this pÈramitÈ, by praising the Bodhisattva
possessing full vigour and strength and bereft of any blame. Next in
the series comes the last perfection known as JÒÈna pÈramitÈ.
1.A.15. JÒÈna PÈramitÈ (Perfection of
This perfection is the last perfection known as JÒÈna pÈramitÈ.
JÒÈna means spiritual knowledge. According to the Buddhist
tradition, preserved in the commentary of the Jain Tamil epic
NÊlakesi (A.D 850), this pÈramitÈ denotes the perfection in the
study and realization of the contents of AbhidharmapiÔaka. It is to
be understood that the Abhidhamma (PÈÄi) denotes the piÔaka of
TheravÈda while the Abhidharma (Sanskrit) indicates the piÔaka of
MahÈyÈna Buddhism. According to W. M. Mcgovern, the
Abhidharma piÔaka of the YogÈcÈra Buddhist consisted twelve
texts including Maitreya's Yoga VihÈga SÈstra, Asang's S|trÈla~kara
SÈstra, Vasubandhu's Dasabh|mike SÈstra and DignÈga's
PramÈÓa Samuccaya SÈstra. It seems that YogÈcÈra teachers
named the piÔaka as sÈstra. Hence, JÒÈna pÈramitÈ is a special
perfection in the sÈstras of the YogÈcÈra philosophy. It is different
from PrajÒÈ PÈramitÈ in the sense that the latter emphasized the
study of all texts including the TipiÔakas. The Tamil poem of
Tiruppatikam, quoted already to illustrate the PrajÒÈ PÈramitÈ is
again presented to elucidate JÒÈna pÈramitÈ also in the
commentaries of Nilakesi and SivajÒÈna SiddhiyÈr Parapakkam. 33
According to the book of Boddhisattva and S|nyatÈ, it is
difficult to draw any definite distinction between PrajÒÈ PÈramitÈ
and JÒÈna PÈramitÈ. It is evident that non-dualistic knowledge is
inseparable from the Boddhisattva's experience in all its aspects. It is
this experience, in both its conceptual and perceptual aspects.
JÒÈna is the essential clarity and unerring sensibility of a mind that
no longer clings to reified concepts of any kind. It is direct and
sustained awareness of the truth, for a Boddhisattva, that meaning
and existence are found only in the interface between the
components of an unstable and constantly shifting web of
relationships, which is everyday life, while PrajÒÈ is the strength of
intellectual discrimination elevated to the status of a liberating power,
a precision tool capable of slicing through obstructions that take the
form of afflictions and attachments to deeply engrained hereditary
patterns of thought and action. PrajÒÈ has an analysis quality which
does not seem to figure as a specific characteristic of non-dualistic
knowledge developed by the Boddhisattva of JÒÈna PÈramitÈ. In
other words, JÒÈna PÈramitÈ is similar to PrajÒÈ PÈramitÈ, but
JÒÈna refers more to intellectual knowledge and PrajÒÈ to
Buddhism in Global Perspective, page-32, Edited by (Mrs) Kalpakam Sankarnarayan, Ravindra Panth, Ichijo Ogawa), Publsihed by G.D. Awashi for Somaiya Publications, Mumbai-400014, 2003, India