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09 04 2012 MONDAY LESSON 576 FREE ONLINE eNālāndā Research And Practice UNIVERSITY And THE BUDDHIST ONLINE GOOD NEWS LETTER by ABHIDHAMMA RAKKHITA through http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org-Dhammapada: Verses and Stories Dhammapada Verse 129 Shelter Against Death
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Dhammapada: Verses and Stories

Dhammapada Verse 129 Shelter Against Death

129. Of Others Think Of As Your Own Self

All tremble at force,
of death are all afraid.
Likening others to oneself
kill not nor cause to kill.

Explanation: All tremble at violence, all fear death. Comparing
oneself with others do not harm, do not kill.

04 2012 MONDAY









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Perfections” redirects here. For the race horse, see
Perfections (horse)

For the Filipino
band, see

For Parami (East
Timor), a suco of East Timor, see
Parami (East Timor).

Pāramitā (Pāli; Sanskrit; Devanagari: पारमिता) or
pāramī (Pāli) is
“perfection” or “completeness.”
[1] In Buddhism, the pāramitās refer to the perfection or
culmination of certain virtues. In Buddhism, these virtues are cultivated as a
way of purification, purifying
karma and helping the aspirant to live an unobstructed
life, while reaching the goal of


10 pāramī












 6 pāramitā 







  Colored items are in both lists.


The Six Paramitas (Perfections)

The Sanskrit word paramita means to cross over to the
other shore. Paramita may also be translated as perfection, perfect
realization, or reaching beyond limitation. Through the practice of these six
paramitas, we cross over the sea of suffering (samsara) to the shore of
happiness and awakening (Nirvana); we cross over from ignorance and delusion to
enlightenment. Each of the six paramitas is an enlightened quality of the
heart, a glorious virtue or attribute—the innate seed of perfect realization
within us. The paramitas are the very essence of our true nature. However,
since these enlightened qualities of the heart have become obscured by
delusion, selfishness, and other karmic tendencies, we must develop these
potential qualities and bring them into expression. In this way, the six
paramitas are an inner cultivation, a daily practice for wise, compassionate,
loving, and enlightened living. The paramitas are the six kinds of virtuous
practice required for skillfully serving the welfare of others and for the
attainment of enlightenment. We must understand that bringing these virtuous
qualities of our true nature into expression requires discipline, practice, and
sincere cultivation. This is the path of the Bodhisattva—one who is dedicated
to serving the highest welfare of all living beings with the awakened heart of
unconditional love, skillful wisdom, and all-embracing compassion.

1) The Perfection of Generosity (Dana Paramita)

This paramita is the enlightened quality of generosity,
charity, giving, and offering. The essence of this paramita is unconditional
love, a boundless openness of heart and mind, a selfless generosity and giving
which is completely free from attachment and expectation. From the very depths
of our heart, we practice generously offering our love, compassion, time,
energy, and resources to serve the highest welfare of all beings. Giving is one
of the essential preliminary steps of our practice. Our giving should always be
unconditional and selfless; completely free of any selfish desire for
gratitude, recognition, advantage, reputation, or any worldly reward. The
perfection of generosity is not accomplished simply by the action of giving,
nor by the actual gift itself. Rather, the true essence of this paramita is our
pure motivation of genuine concern for others—the truly generous motivation of
the awakened heart of compassion, wisdom, and love. In addition, our practice
of giving should be free of discrimination regarding who is worthy and who is
unworthy to receive. To cultivate the paramita of generosity, it is wise to
contemplate the enormous benefits of this practice, the disadvantages of being
miserly, as well as the obvious fact that our body and our wealth are impermanent.
With this in mind, we will certainly be encouraged to use both our body and
wealth to practice generosity while we still have them. Generosity is a cure
for the afflictions of greed, miserliness, and possessiveness. In this practice
of giving, we may offer our time, energy, money, food, clothing, or gifts so as
to assist others. To the best of our ability, we may offer the priceless
treasure of Dharma instruction, giving explanations on the Buddha’s teachings.
This offering serves to free others from misperceptions that cause confusion,
pain, and suffering. We can offer fearless giving and protection by delivering
living beings (insects, animals, and people) from harm, distress, fear, and
terror. In this way, we offer care and comfort, helping others to feel safe and
peaceful. We do this selflessly, without counting the cost to ourselves. We
practice the perfection of generosity in an especially powerful way when we
embrace all living beings continually in the radiant love of our heart.

2) The Perfection of Ethics (Sila Paramita)

This paramita is the enlightened quality of virtuous and
ethical behavior, morality, self-discipline, impeccability, personal integrity,
honor, and harmlessness. The essence of this paramita is that through our love
and compassion we do not harm others; we are virtuous and harmless in our
thoughts, speech, and actions. This practice of ethical conduct is the very
foundation for progressing in any practice of meditation and for attaining all
higher realizations on the path. Our practice of generosity must always be
supported by our practice of ethics; this ensures the lasting results of our
generosity. We should perfect our conduct by eliminating harmful behavior and
following the Bodhisattva precepts. We abstain from killing, stealing, sexual
misconduct, lying, divisive speech, harsh speech, gossip, greed, malice, and
wrong views. Following these precepts or guidelines is not meant to be a burden
or a restriction of our freedom. We follow these precepts so we can enjoy
greater freedom, happiness, and security in our lives, because through our
virtuous behavior we are no longer creating suffering for ourselves and others.
We must realize that unethical behavior is always the cause of suffering and
unhappiness. If we give even the slightest consideration to the advantages of
cultivating ethical behavior and the disadvantages of unethical behavior, we
will certainly develop great enthusiasm for this practice of ethics. Practicing
the perfection of ethics, we are free of negativity, we cause no harm to others
by our actions, our speech is kind and compassionate, and our thoughts are free
of anger, malice, and wrong views. When our commitment is strong in the
practice of ethics we are at ease, naturally confident, without stress, and happy
because we are not carrying any underlying sense of guilt or remorse for our
actions; we have nothing to hide. Maintaining our personal honor and integrity,
our moral impeccability, this is the cause of all goodness, happiness, and even
the attainment of enlightenment.

3) The Perfection of Patience (Kshanti Paramita)

This paramita is the enlightened quality of patience,
tolerance, forbearance, and acceptance. The essence of this paramita of
patience is the strength of mind and heart that enables us to face the
challenges and difficulties of life without losing our composure and inner
tranquility. We embrace and forbear adversity, insult, distress, and the wrongs
of others with patience and tolerance, free of resentment, irritation,
emotional reactivity, or retaliation. We cultivate the ability to be loving and
compassionate in the face of criticism, misunderstanding, or aggression. With
this enlightened quality of patience, we are neither elated by praise,
prosperity, or agreeable circumstances, nor are we angry, unhappy or depressed
when faced with insult, challenge, hardship, or poverty. This enlightened
attribute of patience, acceptance, and tolerance is not a forced suppression or
denial of our thoughts and feelings. Rather, it is a quality of being which
comes from having our heart open and our mind deeply concentrated upon the
Dharma. In this way, we have a clear and correct understanding of impermanence,
of cause and effect (karma), and with strong determination and patience we
remain in harmony with this understanding for the benefit of all beings. The
ability to endure, to have forbearance, is integral to our Dharma practice.
Without this kind of patience we cannot accomplish anything. A true Bodhisattva
practices patience in such a way that even when we are hurt physically,
emotionally, or mentally by others, we are not irritated or resentful. We
always make an effort to see the goodness and beauty in others. In practicing
this perfection of patience and forbearance, we never give up on or abandon others—we
help them cross over the sea of suffering. We maintain our inner peace,
calmness, and equanimity under all circumstances, having enduring patience and
tolerance for ourselves and others. With the strength of patience, we maintain
our effort and enthusiasm in our Dharma practice. Therefore, our practice of
patience assists us in developing the next paramita of joyous effort and
enthusiastic perseverance.

4) The Perfection of Joyous Effort / Enthusiastic
Perseverance (Virya Paramita)

This paramita is the enlightened quality of energy, vigor,
vitality, endurance, diligence, enthusiasm, continuous and persistent effort.
In order to practice the first three paramitas of generosity, virtuous conduct,
and patience in the face of difficulties, we need this paramita of joyous
effort and perseverance. Joyous effort makes the previous paramitas increase
and become even more powerful influences in our life. The essence of this
paramita of joyous effort is the courage, energy, and endurance to continuously
practice the Dharma and pursue the supreme goal of enlightenment for the
highest good of all beings. From a feeling of deep compassion for the suffering
of all sentient beings, we are urged to unfailing, persistent, and joyous
effort. We use our body, speech, and mind to work ceaselessly and untiringly
for the benefit of others, with no expectations for personal recognition or
reward. We are always ready to serve others to the best of our ability. With
joyous effort, devoted energy, and the power of sustained application, we
practice the Dharma without getting sidetracked by anything or falling under
the influence of laziness. Without developing Virya Paramita, we can become
easily disillusioned and drop our practice when we meet with adverse
conditions. The word virya means persistence and perseverance in the face of
disillusionment, energetically striving to attain the supreme goal of
enlightenment. When we cultivate this type of diligence and perseverance we
have a strong and healthy mind. We practice with persistent effort and
enthusiasm because we realize the tremendous value and benefit of our Dharma
practice. Firmly establishing ourselves in this paramita, we also develop
self-reliance, and this becomes one of our most prominent characteristics. With
joyous effort and enthusiastic perseverance, we regard failure as simply
another step toward success, danger as an inspiration for courage, and
affliction as another opportunity to practice wisdom and compassion. To develop
strength of character, self-reliance, and the next paramita of concentration,
is not an easy achievement, thus we need enthusiastic perseverance on the path.

5) The Perfection of Concentration (Dhyana Paramita)

This paramita is the enlightened quality of concentration,
meditation, contemplation, samadhi, mindfulness, mental stability. Our minds
have the tendency to be very distracted and restless, always moving from one
thought or feeling to another. Because of this, our awareness stays fixated in
the ego, in the surface layers of the mind and emotions, and we just keep
engaging in the same habitual patterns of behavior. The perfection of
concentration means training our mind so that it does what we want it to. We
stabilize our mind and emotions by practicing meditation, by being mindful and
aware in everything we do. When we train the mind in this way, physical,
emotional, and mental vacillations and restlessness are eliminated. We achieve
focus, composure, and tranquility. This ability to concentrate and focus the
mind brings clarity, equanimity, illumination. Concentration allows the deep
insight needed to transform the habitual misperceptions and attachments that
cause confusion and suffering. As we eliminate these misperceptions and
attachments, we can directly experience the joy, compassion, and wisdom of our
true nature. There is no attainment of wisdom and enlightenment without
developing the mind through concentration and meditation. This development of
concentration and one-pointedness requires perseverance. Thus the previous
paramita of joyous effort and perseverance brings us to this paramita of
concentration. In addition, when there is no practice of meditation and
concentration, we cannot achieve the other paramitas, because their essence,
which is the inner awareness that comes from meditation, is lacking. To attain
wisdom, compassion, and enlightenment, it is essential that we develop the mind
through concentration, meditation, and mindfulness.

6) The Perfection of Wisdom (Prajna Paramita)

This paramita is the enlightened quality of transcendental
wisdom, insight, and the perfection of understanding. The essence of this
paramita is the supreme wisdom, the highest understanding that living beings
can attain—beyond words and completely free from the limitation of mere ideas,
concepts, or intellectual knowledge. Beyond the limited confines of
intellectual and conceptual states of mind, we experience the awakened
heart-mind of wisdom and compassion—prajna paramita. Prajna paramita is the
supreme wisdom (prajna) that knows emptiness and the interconnectedness of all
things. This flawless wisdom eliminates all false and distorted views of the
absolute. We see the essential nature of reality with utmost clarity; our
perception goes beyond the illusive and deceptive veils of material existence.
With the perfection of wisdom, we develop the ability to recognize the truth
behind the temporary display of all appearances. Prajna paramita is a result of
contemplation, meditation, and rightly understanding the nature of reality.
Ultimately, the full realization of prajna paramita is that we are not simply a
separate self trying to do good. Rather, virtuously serving the welfare of all
beings is simply a natural expression of the awakened heart. We realize that
the one serving, the one being served, and the compassionate action of service,
are all the same totality—there is no separate ego or self to be found in any
of these. With this supreme wisdom, we go beyond acceptance and rejection, hope
and fear, dualistic thoughts, and ego-clinging. We completely dissolve all
these notions, realizing everything as a transparent display of the primordial
truth. If our ego is attached even to the disciplines of these paramitas, this
is incorrect perception and we are merely going from one extreme to another. In
order to free ourselves from these extremes, we must release our ego attachment
and dissolve all dualistic concepts with the insight of supreme wisdom. This
wisdom transforms the other five paramitas into their transcendental state as
well. Only the illumination of supreme wisdom makes this possible.


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