The Great Chariot

by Longchenpa | 268,580 words

A Commentary on Great Perfection: The Nature of Mind, Easer of Weariness In Sanskrit the title is ‘Mahāsandhi-cittā-visranta-vṛtti-mahāratha-nāma’. In Tibetan ‘rDzogs pa chen po sems nyid ngal gso’i shing rta chen po shes bya ba ’...

Part 10b.1) The six perfections: Generosity

1.a) Identifying the object

Now from the six explanations of the individual natures, the nature of generosity is like this:

Seeing that sentient beings are tormented by poverty,

1.b) The general teaching on the nature:

As for the Buddha’s children:

They give them limitless gifts of desirable articles,
Such as food and clothing, horses, wagons and oxen.
Greater are such gifts as their own sons and daughters.
The greatest is to give such things as their heads and eyes.
Establishing temporal benefit, as well as that of the spirit.

1.c) The explanation of the benefits of generosity:

Thus we will conquer all our avariciousness,
Consequently giving rise to wealth for others.

Material generosity perfects the accumulation of merit, and Dharma-generosity perfects the accumulation of wisdom. Without personal avarice, the continuity of birth as a hungry ghost is cut off. Actual wealth arises for the benefit of others.

The Sutra of prophesy because of the questions of the noble one ’jig rten ’dzin (‘phags pa ’jig rten ’dzin gyis dris bas lung bstan pa’i mdo) says:

By material generosity the accumulation of merit is perfected. By Dharma-generosity, the accumulation of wisdom is perfected. These two establish omniscience.

What is material generosity? It is like this. There is giving, great giving, and supreme giving. Giving is of food, clothing, chariots, and elephants to others. Great giving is of sons, daughters, and spouses. Supreme giving is of things difficult to do. Heads, eyes, arms, legs and so forth are given.

What is Dharma-generosity? The lesser is giving pens, ink, and books. The greater is giving teachings, of the shravakas, of the pratyekabuddhas, or of the supreme Dharma, according to the fortunes of beings. To enter into grasping unsurpassable enlightenment and display the inconceivable Dharma like the sky is the supremely great.

Householder bodhisattvas practice chiefly material generosity, and renunciates Dharma-generosity. About this the Mahayanasutralankara says:

Bestowing benefits,
And depending on mind, the root,
Perfect both action and mind,
Accepting the two[1] and perfecting,

While having no stinginess,
Giving Dharma and things without fear,
The capable, with such giving,
Produce true accomplishment.

The essence is being without stinginess. The cause is pure, generous thoughts. The fruition is perfecting body and action. The action is taking care of both oneself and others, and perfecting the two accumulations. As for distinguishing the qualities, the same text says:

The Buddha’s children, on meeting with students, always give their lives.
Even if they receive compassion from other beings, they take no care for the fruits of
      their human hopes and wishes.

By that generosity they establish all beings within the three enlightenments.[2]
Completely perfected by the wisdom of generosity, they are placed in realms of
      inexhaustible purity.

Footnotes and references:


Self and other, according to the commentary that follows.


Of shravakas, pratyekabuddhas and bodhisattvas.

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