by Ācariya Dhammapāla | 1978 | 23,066 words
The work introduces itself as a treatise composed “for clansmen following the suttas who are zealously engaged in the practice of the vehicle to great enlightenment, in order to improve their skilfulness in accumulating the requisites of enlightenment.”...
They are analyzed into thirty paramis: ten (basic) paramis, ten intermediate paramis (upaparami), and ten ultimate paramis (paramatthaparami).
Herein, some teachers say that the ten basic paramis are the intermingled bright and dark qualities practised by a bodhisattva who has just formed his aspiration, whose end is the welfare of others, and whose means are directed towards working for this end; the intermediate paramis are the bright qualities untainted by any darkness; and the ultimate paramis are the qualities which are neither dark nor bright.
Others say that the basic paramis are being filled at the commencement (of his career);
The intermediate paramis are filled on the plane of bodhisattvahood: and the ultimate paramis reach perfect fulfilment in all modes on the plane of Buddhahood. Or alternatively, the basic paramis involve working for the welfare of others on the plane of bodhisattvahood;
the intermediate paramis, working for one's own welfare;
and the ultimate paramis, the fulfilment of the welfare of both oneself and others with the achievement of the Tathagata's powers and grounds of self-confidence on the plane of Buddhahood. Thus they analyze the paramis according to the beginning, middle, and consummation (of the bodhisattva's career) by way of the resolution (to fulfil them), the undertaking (of their practice), and their completion, respectively.
The basic perfection of giving (danaparami) is the relinquishing of one's children, wives, and belongings such as wealth; the intermediate perfection of giving (dana-upaparami), the relinquishing of one's own limbs; and the ultimate perfection of giving (danaparamatthaparami), the relinquishing of one's own life.
- The three stages in the perfection of virtue should be understood as the non-transgression (of moral conduct) on account of the three -- children and wife, limbs, and life;
- the three stages in the perfection of renunciation, as the renunciation of those three bases after cutting off attachment to them;
- the three stages in the perfection of wisdom, as the discrimination between what is beneficial and harmful to beings, after rooting out craving for one's belongings, limbs, and life;
- the three stages in the perfection of energy, as striving for the relinquishing of the aforementioned things;
- the three stages in the perfection of patience, as the endurance of obstacles to one's belongings, limbs, and life;
- the three stages in the perfection of truthfulness, as the non-abandoning of truthfulness on account of one's belongings, limbs, and life;
- the three stages in the perfection of determination, as unshakeable determination despite the destruction of one's belongings, limbs, and life, bearing in mind that the paramis ultimately succeed through unflinching determination;
- the three stages in the perfection of loving-kindness, as maintaining loving-kindness towards beings who destroy one's belongings, etc.;
- and the three stages in the perfection of equanimity, as maintaining an attitude of impartial neutrality towards beings and formations whether they are helpful or harmful in regard to the aforementioned three bases (i.e. belongings, limbs, and life).
In this way the analysis of the paramis should be understood.