Perfections May 8, 2010

Via Bhikkhu Samahita:

Contemplation of the Ten Perfecting Qualities (Dasa Parami):

1: May I be generous and always helpfully giving service (Dāna parami).

2: May I be morally pure, virtuous and well-disciplined (Sīla parami).

3: May I be modest and withdrawing into simple living (Nekkhamma parami).

4: May I be wise by understanding what should be known (Paññā parami).

5: May I be enthusiastic, energetic, & never giving up the good (Viriya parami).

6: May I be patient, tolerant, and forgive other’s wrongs (Khanti parami).

7: May I be honest, trustworthy, scrupulous, and truthful (Sacca parami).

8: May I be firm, resolute, determined, and immovable (Adhitthāna parami).

9: May I be kind, gentle, compassionate and friendly (Mettā parami).

10: May I be calm, balanced, serene and imperturbable (Upekkhā parami).

May I train to be mentally perfect. May I be perfect to keep training!

Theravādin Buddhism is sometimes accused of being less compassionate than later forms, or that the goal of Arahat (literally “worthy one” but often translated as “saint”) is somehow selfish. But with even a modest examination of the activities of many Theravādin Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis or a reading of the Pāli texts, one sees that this is untrue. And to the extent that this shrouds the truth it seems to be a case of wrong speech.

The striving and hard work of the perfections above demonstrate the great compassion generated by Theravādin practitioners.
And the result?
The Buddha (in M.N.31) refers to the harmonious lives of three Arahats, stating:

See, Dīgha, how those three clansmen are practising for the welfare and happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the good, welfare and happiness of gods and humans. (via the Majjhima Nikaya p.306)

Passa, dīgha, yāva ete tayo kulaputtā bahujanahitāya paṭipannā bahujanasukhāya lokānukampāya, atthāya hitāya sukhāya devamanussāna’’nti.(from here)

* Photo by me, tonight in Missoula on a pretty perfect walk downtown to see the latest local art.

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