The Six Paramitas
A bodhisattva practices 6 perfections (paramitas); giving, morality, patience, energy, meditation, & wisdom. Of these the greatest is giving, and the most valuable thing to give is the gift of the dharma.
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)
2) The Perfection of Ethics (Sila Paramita)
3) The Perfection of Patience (Kshanti Paramita)
4) The Perfection of Joyous Effort / Enthusiastic Perseverance (Virya Paramita)
5) The Perfection of Concentration (Dhyana Paramita)
6) The Perfection of Wisdom (Prajna Paramita)
Click the link below to read on about the six perfections in greater detail:http://www.naljorprisondharmaservice.org/pdf/SixParamitas.htm