YOU CANNOT POST. OUR WEB HOSTING COMPANY DECIDED TO MOVE THE SERVER TO ANOTHER LOCATION. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN VIEW THIS VERSION WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW POSTING AND WILL NOT SAVE ANYTHING YOU DO ONCE THE OTHER SERVER GOES ONLINE.

Paramis or Perfections - Dhamma Wheel

Paramis or Perfections

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
User avatar
cooran
Posts: 8502
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Paramis or Perfections

Postby cooran » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:22 am

Hello all,

Are the 10 Paramis or Perfections clearly mentioned in the Suttas ...
particularly where the Bodhisatta laboriously cultivated them over many lifetimes - or is it only in later teachings - or The Jatakas?

References would be appreciated.

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

Paññāsikhara
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am
Contact:

Re: Paramis or Perfections

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:04 am

Hello Chris

I'm no expert on this, but I'll try to poke around in the canon (ie. do some quick digital searches for "parami"), and see if I land any fish. :)
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

Paññāsikhara
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am
Contact:

Re: Paramis or Perfections

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:13 am

The Apadanas, Buddhavamsa, Cariyapitaka and Milindapanha have a few entries.
Some include "ten perfections".
Of course, there are some differences of opinion as to whether these are "canonical" or not.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Paramis or Perfections

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:14 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23012
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Paramis or Perfections

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:17 am


User avatar
cooran
Posts: 8502
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Paramis or Perfections

Postby cooran » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:35 am

Hello all,

This is quite interesting because it is the stories of the development of the Paramis in Theravada literature which creates the perception that the enlightenment of Siddattha Gotama was the culmination of an inexpressibly long and arduous journey over aeons and aeons. Interesting that teachings about this doesn't seem to appear in the Suttas ....

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23012
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Paramis or Perfections

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:04 am


Paññāsikhara
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am
Contact:

Re: Paramis or Perfections

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:32 am

PTS Dict: http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... 2:102.pali

Pāramitā
Pāramitā (f.) [pāramī+tā]=pāramī Nett 87.

Pāramī
Pāramī (f.) [abstr. fr. parama, cp. BSk. mantrāṇāŋ pāra- miŋ gata Divy 637] completeness, perfection, highest state Sn 1018, 1020; Pug 70; DhA i.5; VvA 2 (sāvakañāṇa˚); PvA 139; Sdhp 328. In later literature there is mentioned a group of 10 perfections (dasa pāramiyo) as the perfect exercise of the 10 principal virtues by a Bodhisatta, viz. dāna˚, sīla˚, nekkhamma˚, paññā˚, viriya˚, khanti˚, sacca˚, adhiṭṭhāna˚, mettā˚, upekhā˚ J i.73; DhA i.84.
-- ppatta (pārami˚) having attained perfection M iii.28; Nd2 435; Miln 21 22; cp. Miln trsl. i.34.

And speaking of things that only appear in later-ish literature, how about this favorite:

http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... 1:634.pali
...
The 3 properties (tilakkhaṇaŋ) of existing things or of the phenomenal world are anicca, dukkha, anatta, or impermanence, suffering, unreality: thus at J i.48 (dhamma -- desanā ti -- l -- ˚muttā), 275; iii.377 (through contemplating them arises vipassanā & pacceka -- bodhi -- ñāṇa).
...

Which many like to cite as a sort of be-all-and-end-all of what is, or is not, Dhamma.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Paramis or Perfections

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:37 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Paramis or Perfections

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:49 pm


User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Paramis or Perfections

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:04 pm

Greetings Mike,

It's just more of what Tilt termed "post-mortem Buddha-ology".

If you look at a text like "The Life of the Buddha, The According to the Pali Canon" translated by Bhikkhu Nanamoli (published by BPS) you come to see how much of what we would generally assume to be related to the life of the Buddha comes from later sources. Even the pinning of the classic story of the Bodhisatta seeing the sick man, the old man, the dead man and so on onto the Buddha, is not to be found in the Pali Canon. Now, that example of the "sights" is a relatively harmless one, because it doesn't really distort anyone's interpretation of the Buddha, what he was about, and what he taught.

Much of this "Post-mortem Buddha-ology" however introduces many things that are at odds with the Sutta Pitaka (take the "Dhamma" contained within the Jataka Tales for instance) and are also at odds with what he taught his dispensation to strive for (take the bodhisattva ideal for instance). Some is also so implausible and frankly absurd, that it eventually turns the Buddha into some kind of magical god, and in turn, creates the perception of an infinite divide between what a Buddha can achieve versus what a Buddhist can achieve. These little things may seem inoccuous in and of themselves, but they form the foundation of myriad "traditions" that exist now, and in turn, lay the framework for increasingly divergent interpretations of the Dhamma. To think that even the Theravada tradition is somehow immune to these divergences is a commonly made mistake.

Hence "alas". ;)

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Paramis or Perfections

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:14 pm

Hi Retro,

What you say about "what we would generally assume to be related to the life of the Buddha" may be true but I don't see it as relevant to my question. Can you explain specifically where the list in the Visuddhimagga departs from the Buddha's teachings?

[By the way, the passage is Visuddhimagga IX, 124, (not 24), at the very end of the chapter on the Brahmaviharas - there seems to be a misprint in the quotation.]

Metta
Mike

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Paramis or Perfections

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:54 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Paramis or Perfections

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:49 am


User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Paramis or Perfections

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:50 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Paññāsikhara
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am
Contact:

Re: Paramis or Perfections

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:53 am

I'm going to be lazy, and ask Retro to look it up, but are the comments above in the Vsm talking about sambuddha bodhisattas, or other types of bodhisattvas? (like paccekas or savakas?) I ask, because we must keep in mind that the (later at least) Theravada uses the term "bodhisatta" to talk about all types, not just those who seek samma sambuddhata. If it does include these others, then it is referring to all practitioners.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Paramis or Perfections

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:58 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Paññāsikhara
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am
Contact:

Re: Paramis or Perfections

Postby Paññāsikhara » Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:11 am

Well, there we go. I thought as much.

I still don't really see them as saying anything other than, or in contradiction to, the early suttas.

Perhaps the difference being, as "systemization" was the norm, rather than the direct "What you have to do right now" teachings that the Buddha gave to his disciples who were obviously mostly quite spiritually advanced persons, these slightly later teachings are saying "What one has to do as a whole", outlining a complete path from beginning to end, to be followed by anyone.

Any given person may be at any given point along that "whole path", from which a "what to do right now" teaching may be indicated.

A different style or form / genre, that direct comparison may confuse (asking if one lives up to the standard of the other, for instance).

Sorry, not a particularly coherent post, but hey, you get that sometimes! :P
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Paramis or Perfections

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:16 am


User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Paramis or Perfections

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:25 am



Return to “Discovering Theravāda”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine