Paramitas

Paramitas (Perfections, Virtues, Character Traits) of a Buddhist 
Impeccable Self-Mastery, Transcendental Virtues
Enlightened Living, Attributes of a Bodhisattva, Mahayana Virtues
Becoming a Decent and Wise Person, Buddhist Ethics and Values 
Transformational Practices for Realizing an Enlightened Heart-Mind 

Introduction     Bibliography     Links     Quotations    

Generosity (Dāna)     Will Power (Adhihāna)      Kindness (Metta)

Wisdom (Panna)     Morality (Sila)     Mindfulness (Sati)       

Equanimity (Upekkha)     Truthfulness (Sacca)     Energy (Viriya)           

Buddhism     How to Live the Good Life     Cloud Hands Blog

 

Research by Michael P. Garofalo

The Librarian of Gushen Grove 
Valley Spirit Center, Red Bluff, California

 

 

 

 

Introduction
The Ten Paramitas

Coming in April 2013.

 

How to Live the Good Life: Advice from Wise Persons


Utilitarianism Resources

 

 

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Bibliography, Links, Resources
Ten Paramitas (Dasa Paramiyo) or Six Paramitas 

 

Buddha Is as Buddha Does: The Ten Original Practices for Enlightened Living  By Lama Surya Das.  HarperOne, Reprint Edition, 2007.  288 pages.  ISBN: 0060859539.  VSCL, 8/2012.  


Buddhism:  Reading List, Bibliography, Resources, Links


How to Live the Good Life: Advice from Wise Persons


Kindness and the Heart in Yoga


Living Kindness: The Buddha's Ten Guiding Principles for a Blessed Life  By Donald Altman.  Oregon City, Oregon, Moon Lake Media, 2003.  Bibliography, notes, 230 pages.  ISBN: 0963916165.  VSCL, 9/2012. 


The Mind of Clover: Essays in Zen Buddhist Ethics  By Robert Aitken.  North Point Press, 1984.  202 pages.  ISBN: 0865471584.  VSCL. 


The Practice of Perfection: The Paramitas from a Zen Buddhist Perspective  By Robert Aitken.  Counterpoint Press, 1997.  240 pages.  ISBN: 1887178406. 


The Six Perfections: Buddhism and the Cultivation of Character  By Dale S. Wright.  Oxford, England, Oxford University Press, Reprint Edition, 2009.  Notes, bibliography, 292 pages.  ISBN: 0199895791.  VSCL, 8/2012. 


The Six Perfections  Commentary by Geshe Sonam Rinchen.  Translated and edited by Ruth Sonam.  Ithaca, New York, Snow Lion Publications, 1998.  Notes, 158 pages.  ISBN: 1559390891.  VSCL, 9/2012. 
 

The Way of the Bodhisattva   By Shantideva.  A translation of the Bodhicharyāvatāra.  Revised Edition.  Translated from the Tibetan by the Padmakara Translation Group.  Boston, MA, Shambhala, 2008.  Bibliography, notes, 361 pages.  ISBN: 9781590306147.  Shantideva was an 8th century Indian Buddhist scholar at Nalanda University.  VSCL, 9/2012. 

 

 

                                               

 

 

 

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Quotations
The Ten Paramitas, Six Paramitas, Four Immersurables


 

"Rahula, practice loving kindness to overcome anger. Loving kindness has the capacity to bring happiness to others without demanding anything in return.
Practice compassion to overcome cruelty. Compassion has the capacity to remove the suffering of others without expecting anything in return.
Practice sympathetic joy to overcome hatred. Sympathetic joy arises when one rejoices over the happiness of others and wishes others well-being and success.
Practice non-attachment to overcome prejudice. Non-attachment is the way of looking at all things openly and equally. This is because that is. Myself and others are not separate. Do not reject one thing only to chase after another.
I call these the four immeasurables.  Practice them and you will become a refreshing source of vitality and happiness for others."
-  The Buddha 

 

 

"The Large Sutra on Perfect Wisdom claims that the Six Perfections are "bases for training."  This means that they constitute a series of practices or "trainings" that guide practitioners toward the goal of enlightenment or awakening.  These six "trainings" are the means or methods to that all-important end.  But the perfections are much more than techniques.  The are also the most fundamental dimensions of the goal of enlightenment.  Enlightenment is defined in terms of these six qualities of human character; together they constitute the essential qualities of that ideal human state.  The perfections, therefore, are the ideal, not just the means to it.  Being generous, morally aware, tolerant, energetic, meditative, and wise is what it means for a Buddhist to be enlightened.  If perfection in these six dimensions of human character is the goal, the enlightenment, understood in this Buddhist sense, would also be closely correlate to these particular practices.  Recognizing this, one sutra says, "Enlightenment jus is the path and the path is enlightenment.:  To be moving along the path of self-cultivation by developing the Six Perfections is the very meaning of "enlightenment.""
-  Dale S. Wright, The Six Perfections, p. 4

 

 

"Here, monks, a disciple dwells pervading one direction with his heart filled with loving-kindness, likewise the second, the third, and the fourth direction; so above, below and around; he dwells pervading the entire world everywhere and equally with his heart filled with loving-kindness, abundant, grown great, measureless, free from enmity and free from distress.

Here, monks, a disciple dwells pervading one direction with his heart filled with compassion, likewise the second, the third and the fourth direction; so above, below and around; he dwells pervading the entire world everywhere and equally with his heart filled with compassion, abundant, grown great, measureless, free from enmity and free from distress.

Here, monks, a disciple dwells pervading one direction with his heart filled with sympathetic joy, likewise the second, the third and the fourth direction; so above, below and around; he dwells pervading the entire world everywhere and equally with his heart filled with sympathetic joy, abundant, grown great, measureless, free from enmity and free from distress.

Here, monks, a disciple dwells pervading one direction with his heart filled with equanimity, likewise the second, the third and the fourth direction; so above, below and around; he dwells pervading the entire world everywhere and equally with his heart filled with equanimity, abundant, grown great, measureless, free from enmity and free from distress."
-  The Buddha, from the Buddhist Scripture Digha Nikaya 13

 

 

"The Six Perfections, or paramitas, are guides for Mahayana Buddhist practice. They are virtues to be cultivated to strengthen practice and bring one to enlightenment.  The Six Perfections describe the true nature of an enlightened being, which is to say they are our own true nature. If they don't seem to be our true nature, it is because the perfections are obscured by our delusion, anger, greed, and fear. By cultivating these perfections we bring this true nature into expression.  There are three different lists of paramitas in Buddhism. The Ten Paramitas of Theravada Buddhism were gleaned from several sources, including the Jataka Tales. Mahayana Buddhism took a list of Six Paramitas from several Mahayana Sutras, including the Lotus Sutra and the Large Sutra on the Perfection of Wisdom (Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita).  In the latter text, for example, a disciple asks the Buddha, "How many bases for training are there for those seeking enlightenment?" The Buddha replied, "There are six: generosity, morality, patience, energy, meditation, and wisdom."  Prominent early commentaries on the Six Perfections can be found in Arya Sura's Paramitasamasa (ca. 3rd century CE) and Shantideva's Bodhicaryavatara ("Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life," 8th century CE). Later, Mahayana Buddhists would add four more perfections -- skillful means (upaya), aspiration, spiritual power, and knowledge -- to make a list of ten. But the original list of six seems to be more common."
Barbara O'Brien 

 

The Sanskrit word pāramitā has numerous meanings.  1.  Derived from the words pāram meaning "the other side" and the past participle ita "gone", meaning "gone on to the other side," or "crossed over to the other side," or "become a changed person."  2.  The word pārama which means "excellent," "supreme," "highest, "best." 3.  A Buddhist technical term meaning the highest character traits associated with an enlightened heart-mind, practices for becoming enlightened, the virtues of a Bodhisattva. 

 

 

The Essence of the Ten Transformative Practices

"Generosity arises from unselfishness and nonattachment.
Ethics involves virtue, integrity, and self-discipline.
Patience requires resilience, acceptance, and fortitude. 
Effort means courage in joyous perseverance.
Meditation implies mindfulness, concentration, reflection, and introspection. 
Transcendental wisdom includes discernment and self-knowledge. 
Skillful means arise from resourcefulness and imagination. 
Spiritual aspirations include noble intention and resolve.
Higher accomplishments require leadership, powers, and positive influence.
Awakened awareness means pristine realization.
These are the ten arms and legs of the radiant body of the Bodhisattva,
Whose heart is Bodhicitta, selfless love and compassion.
Buddha Is as Buddha Does: The Ten Original Practices for Enlightened Living  By Lama Surya Das, 2007. 


 

 

 

 

 

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Generosity

 

Dāna Pāramī : Perfection of Generosity, Giving of Oneself, Donating, Giving, Generosity, Liberality, Charity, Sharing, Altruism, Hospitality, Caritas  

 

Dana Parami - Wikipedia


Generosity: Quotes, Sayings, Wisdom

 

 

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Will Power

 

Adhihāna (Adhitthana) Pāramī : Perfection of Effort, Resolve, Determination, Resolution, Will Power, Decision, Resolute Determination, Self-Determination, Higher Standing 

 

Adhihana Parami  - Wikipedia 


Will Power: Quotes, Sayings, Wisdom

Adhiṭṭhāna (Pali; from adhi meaning "higher" or "best" plus sthā meaning "standing") has been translated as "decision," "resolution," "self-determination," "will"[1] and "resolute determination."[2] In the late canonical literature of Theravada Buddhism, adhiṭṭhāna is one of the ten "perfections" (dasa pāramiyo), exemplified by the bodhisatta's resolve to become fully awakened.

 

 

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Kindness

 

Mettā Pāramī : Perfection of Loving-Kindness, Kindness, Loving-Kindness, Nurturing

 

Awakening the Buddhist Heart: Integrating Love, Meaning, and Connection into Every Part of Your Life  By Lama Surya Das.  Three Rivers Press, 2001.  272 pages.  ISBN: 0767902777. 


Kindness and the Heart in Yoga


Metta Parami - Wikipedia 


Transforming the Heart: The Buddhist Way to Joy and Courage  By Gesha Jampa Teqchok.   Snow Lion Publications, 1999.  228 pages.  ISBN: 1559390999. 


The Four Sublime States: Contemplations on Love, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy and Equanimity by Nyanaponika Thera. 

 


 

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Wisdom

 

Pa˝˝ā Pāramī, Praj˝āpāramitā  : Perfection of Wisdom, Transcendent Wisdom, Insight,
Perfection of Ultimate Wisdom, Truth, Study of Buddhist Scriptures

 

Buddhist Scriptures.  I have used books since 1965 with translations by Dwight Goddard, Edward Conze, and D. T. Suzuki.   The Internet now has many translations. 


Diamond Sutra, Vajra Prajna Paramita Sutra


Mahāpraj˝āpāramitā Ma˝juśrīparivarta Sūtra


Panna Parami - Wikipedia 


Prajnaparamita - Wikipedia


Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation  By Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield.  Boston, Shambhala, 2001, Shambhala Classic.  Originally published by Shambhala in 1987.  Index, 195 pages.  ISBN: 0877733279.  VSCL, 7/88. 


Zen and the Art of Insight   By Tomas Cleary.  Selections and translations by Thomas Cleary from the Prajnaparmita literature.  Boston, Shambhala, 1999.  159 pages.  ISBN: 1570625166.  VSCL, 3/2001. 


"Praj˝āpāramitā (Sanskrit: प्रज्ञापारमिता ) in Buddhism, means "the Perfection of (Transcendent) Wisdom." The word Praj˝āpāramitā combines the Sanskrit words praj˝ā ("wisdom") with pāramitā ("perfection"). Praj˝āpāramitā is a central concept in Mahāyāna Buddhism and its practice and understanding are taken to be indispensable elements of the Bodhisattva Path. The practice of Praj˝āpāramitā is elucidated and described in the genre of the Praj˝āpāramitā Sūtras, which vary widely in length and exhaustiveness. The Praj˝āpāramitā Sutras suggest that all things, including oneself, appear as thoughtforms (conceptual constructs).  The earliest Mahayana Sutras were of the Praj˝āpāramitā type."
Prajnaparamita - Wikipedia

 

 

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Morality

 

Sīla Pāramī : Perfection of Moral Behavior, Code of Ethics, Virtue, Morality, Proper Conduct, Right Conduct, Moral Principles, Precepts, Moral Discipline, Self-Restraint, Harmony

 


Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Buddha's Path  By Bhante Henepola Gunaratana.  Boston, Wisdom Publications, 2001.  Index, reading list, 268 pages.  ISBN: 0861711769.  VSCL, 6/2005.  A thorough explanation of The Noble Eight-Fold Path of Buddhism: Right or Skillful Understanding, Thinking, Speech, Action, Livelihood, Effort, Mindfulness, and Concentration. 


The Five Precepts of Buddhism


Sila Parami - Wikipedia

 

 

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Mindfulness

 

Sati Parami:  Perfection of Mindfulness, Mindfulness, Awareness, Meditation, Concentration


Mindfulness = Sati (Pali), Smrti (Sanskrit); Correct or Right Mindfulness = Samma Sati (Pali)   


Beginning Mindfulness: Learning the Way of Awareness  A Ten Week Course.  By Andrew Weiss.  Novato, California, New World Library,2004.  Index, recommended reading, 234 pages.  ISBN: 1577314417.  VSCL, 2/2010. 


Mindfulness in Plain English  By Bhante Henepola Gunaratana.  Boston, Wisdom Publications, 2002.  Index, 208 pages.  ISBN: 0861713214.  VSCL, 2/2009. 


Mindfulness, Awareness, Focus: Quotations


Mindfulness - Wikipedia


 

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Truthfulness

 

Sacca Pāramī: Truthfulness, Honesty


Truthfulness (Sacca Pāramī) - Wikipedia


 

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Equanimity

 

Upekkhā Pārami: Prefection of Equanimity, Tranquility, Serenity, Inner Peace 

 

As meditative concentration improves one achieves more equanimity. 


Tranquility (Upekkha) - Wikipedia


Equanimity - Wikipedia


 

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Energy

 

Viriya Pāramī :  Energy, Diligence, Vigour, Effort, Work, Practice 


Energy (Viriya) - Wikipedia


 

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Research by Michael P. Garofalo
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This webpage was first published on the Internet on September 8, 2012.

This webpage was last updated or modified on December 7, 2014.   

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