A Treatise on the Paramis

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.”...

Chapter XV - What Benefits Do They Bring?

The benefits obtained by bodhisattvas who have formed their aspirations are explained thus:

Those men in all factors complete,
Bound for perfect enlightenment,
Though wandering through the round of births
For countless aeons yet to come

Never arise in Avici hell,
Nor in the intermundane voids.
They never appear as titans' black
Or ghosts consumed by hunger and thirst.

Though reborn in the plane of pain,
They do not take on minor forms,
And when reborn in the human world
They never come deprived of sight.

Their hearing is intact from birth,
Nor are they dumb or lame of limb.
They never become of female sex, -
Nor eunuchs or hermaphrodites.

Those men bound for enlightenment
Never commit the five black deeds.
Always pure in their way of life,
Their conduct's range is free from flaw.

They never hold perverted views
But recognize the kammic laws.
They are born at times in heavenly worlds,
But not in the mindless or pure abodes.

Those true men bent on renunciation,
Detached from all the planes of being,
Plough their course for the good of the world,
Striving to fulfil the paramis.

Some other benefits of the paramis are the following: The sixteen wonderful and marvelous qualities that begin: "Mindful and clearly comprehending, Ananda, the bodhisattva passes away from the Tusita heaven and descends into his mother's womb" (D.ii,12); the thirty-two portents, such as "cold disappears and heat is allayed," and "when the bodhisattva is born, this ten thousandfold world-system shakes, trembles, and quakes," etc. (D.ii,15); and the other qualities shown here and there in the Jatakas, the Buddhavamsa, etc., such as the fulfillment of the bodhisattva's wishes, his mastery over kamma, and so forth. Other benefits are the pairs of complementary qualities such as non-greed and non-hatred already discussed.

Moreover, from the time that he makes the aspiration, the bodhisattva becomes like a father to all beings, wishing for their welfare. By reason of his distinguished qualities he is worthy of offerings, worthy of reverence, worthy of esteem, a supreme field of merit. He is generally dear to humans and to non-humans alike, and is protected by deities. Because his mind is grounded in loving-kindness and compassion, he cannot be harmed by wild beasts, etc. Whatever order of beings he is reborn in, on account of distinguished merit, he surpasses the other beings there in his superior beauty, fame, happiness, strength, and dominion.

He, is healthy and robust. His faith is very pure and lucid. His energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom are also very pure and lucid. His defilements, disturbances, and passions are weak. Because his defilements are weak, he is easy to admonish, adroit, patient, meek, congenial and hospitable. He is free from anger, malice, denigration, domineering, envy, stinginess, craftiness, hypocrisy, obstinacy, pride, presumption and negligence. He endures torments at the hands of others but never torments anyone himself. Whenever he enters a village area, the unarisen dangers and calamities facing the beings there generally do not arise, and those which have arisen subside. And whenever he is reborn in the planes of misery, unlike the common inhabitants there he is not oppressed by excessive suffering but acquires an even greater sense of spiritual urgency.

Therefore these distinguished qualities of the Great Man -- such as being like a father to beings, being worthy of offerings, etc. -- found in this or that state of existence, are the benefits of the paramis.

Further, the accomplishment of life-span, the accomplish of form, the accomplishment of family, the accomplishment of sovereignty, credibility, and greatness of spiritual power are also benefits of the Great Man's paramis. Therein, the "accomplishment of lifespan" (ayusampada) is length of life or longevity in whatever state of existence he takes rebirth in; by this means he concludes whatever wholesome undertakings he began and accumulates many wholesome qualities. The "accomplishment of form" (rupasampada) is beauty of form, comeliness, or loveliness; by this means he inspires confidence and esteem in beings who take physical form as their standard. The "accomplishment of family" (kulasampada) is rebirth in excellent families; by this means he is (judged) to be worth approaching and ministering to by beings who are intoxicated with the vanity of birth, etc.

The "accomplishment of sovereignty" (issariyasampada) is greatness of power, greatness of influence, and greatness of retinue; by means of these he is able to benefit with the four bases of beneficence those who need to be benefited and to restrain with Dhamma those who need to be restrained. "Credibility" (adeyyavacanata) means trustworthiness, reliability; by this means he becomes an authority for beings, and his command cannot be disregarded. "Greatness of spiritual power" (mahanubhavata) means magnitude of spiritual power; by this means he cannot be vanquished by others, but he himself invariably vanquishes them by Dhamma, by righteousness, and by his genuine noble qualities.

Thus the accomplishment of life-span and so forth are benefits of the Great Man's paramis. These are the causes for the growth of his own boundless requisites of merit, and the means by which he leads other beings to enter and reach maturity in the three vehicles.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: