The Ten Perfections

The Ten Perfections

Overlooking the BushAbout the attainment of the ten Perfections (parami, paramita) through the four Divine Abodes, the Visuddhi-Magga IX says:

“Once the monk has in this way understood the power of these four Boundless States, culminating in the Beautiful etc., he also should know that these exercises will bring to perfection all the ten noble qualities, such as liberality etc.

(1) “The Great Beings (maha-satta=bodhi-satta, Beings destined for Buddhahood) are intent on the welfare of all living beings, do not tolerate the suffering of beings, and wish them long enjoyment of all their particular states of happiness; and, not inclining to any special side, they show them ‘Liberality’ (dana) without considering whether they are worthy of gifts or not.

(2) “By avoiding hurting living beings, they practice ‘Morality’ (sila).

(3) “In order to bring morality to perfection, they practise ‘Renunciation’ (nekkhamma).

(4) “In order to attain clear understanding of what is wholesome and unwholesome for beings, they purify their ‘Wisdom’ (panna).

(5) “For the sake of their salvation and welfare, they continually exert their ‘Energy’ (viriya).

(6) “Although through the highest energy they may have attained heroism, they are nevertheless full of ‘Forbearance’ (khanti).

(7) “A once given promise to give or do something, they will never break (Truthfulness: sacca).

(8) “With unshaken ‘Resolution’ (adhitthana) they work for the safety and welfare of beings.

(9) “With unshaken ‘Kindness’ (metta) they serve them in a selfless manner.

(10) “In their Equanimity (upekkha) they do not expect anything in return.”

Source: Nyanatiloka Mahathera, The Buddha’s Path to Deliverance: In its Threefold Division and Seven Stages of Purity, 3d ed. (Colombo: The Bauddha Sahitya Sabha, 1969), pp. 113-114.