perfections

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perfections

Postby genkaku » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:09 pm

I'm not sure where or in what context, but I know I have read statements referring to "perfections" of one kind or another in Buddhism. Someone who is better educated will know chapter and verse, I hope. :)

My questions are:

1. Would anyone who had 'attained' or somehow 'entered' a particular Buddhist perfection call it a perfection?

2. If you attained something that you considered perfect, do you think you would call it perfect or might that detract from its perfection?
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Re: perfections

Postby bodom » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:24 pm

"Perfection" is a word that is used just for the sake of communication. Words only have meaning if you give them meaning. "Perfection" or Nibbana, Buddhahood whatever you wanna call it, is above and beyond any concepts used to define it. Thats why the Buddha never gave a clear answer to what it is because it is impossible to put into everyday language.

Bhikkhu Pesala
What is Nibbāna?

http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Pesala/Nib ... l#Describe

“Is it possible, Nagasena, to point out the size, shape or duration of nibbāna by a simile?”

“No it is not possible; there is no other thing like it.”

:namaste:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: perfections

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:13 pm

Smile, just one smile that is perfect
the list of perfections are not in the suttas not sure about the commentaries though.
everything is perfect you just need to let it be.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: perfections

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:40 pm

Greetings,

The Paramitas (perfections) in Theravada Buddhism are...

l. Dana - Charity
2. Sila - Morality
3. Nekkhamma - Renunciation
4. Panna - Wisdom
5. Viriya - Perseverance
6. Khanti - Patience
7. Sacca - Truthfulness
8. Adhitthana - Determination
9. Metta - Loving-kindness
10. Upekkha - Equanimity


They each exist in the suttas, but I think they're only collated and called paramitas in the commentaries.

1. Would anyone who had 'attained' or somehow 'entered' a particular Buddhist perfection call it a perfection?

They would know it was a perfection

2. If you attained something that you considered perfect, do you think you would call it perfect or might that detract from its perfection?

No, or else it wouldn't be perfect.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: perfections

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:43 pm

Hi Retro
Thanks for adding that just came back to edit mine and see you have already mentioned they are individually in the Suttas.
But I wonder why the list is different in Mahayana?

Metta
Manapa
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

The Paramitas (perfections) in Theravada Buddhism are...

l. Dana - Charity
2. Sila - Morality
3. Nekkhamma - Renunciation
4. Panna - Wisdom
5. Viriya - Perseverance
6. Khanti - Patience
7. Sacca - Truthfulness
8. Adhitthana - Determination
9. Metta - Loving-kindness
10. Upekkha - Equanimity


They each exist in the suttas, but I think they're only collated and called paramitas in the commentaries.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: perfections

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:38 pm

genkaku wrote:I'm not sure where or in what context, but I know I have read statements referring to "perfections" of one kind or another in Buddhism. Someone who is better educated will know chapter and verse, I hope. :)

My questions are:

1. Would anyone who had 'attained' or somehow 'entered' a particular Buddhist perfection call it a perfection?

2. If you attained something that you considered perfect, do you think you would call it perfect or might that detract from its perfection?


My answer to #1 and #2 is:

Typically, no. And I believe in the vinya it's prohibited for the ordained to do so, in fact.

:namaste:
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Re: perfections

Postby genkaku » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:51 pm

Thanks retro for the list. Boy, do I feel dumb. :oops:
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Re: perfections

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:54 pm

Greetings Genkaku,
genkaku wrote:Boy, do I feel dumb. :oops:

No need to feel dumb, friend! I'm sure there's plenty of reasonably self-evident Zen explanations for certain things that I don't know, simply because I've yet to have any exposure to them.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: perfections

Postby Ben » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:56 pm

Hi all

The paramitas are particular qualities that are to be developed if one's aspiration is to become an arahant or a sammasambuddha. Opportunities to develop those paramitas are an essential part of practice in the same way as cultivating morality, concentration and wisdom. When fully developed, those qualities become perfect.

Ledi Sayadaw's treatise: Uttama Purisa Dīpanī - A Manual of the Excellent Man, describes the career of the Bodhisatta which includes the cultivation of those ten qualities over aeons.

What I have noticed is that humility is a by-product of genuine progress on the path.
Kind regards

Ben
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Re: perfections

Postby genkaku » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:15 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Genkaku,
genkaku wrote:Boy, do I feel dumb. :oops:

No need to feel dumb, friend! I'm sure there's plenty of reasonably self-evident Zen explanations for certain things that I don't know, simply because I've yet to have any exposure to them.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Dear Retro -- I knew the suggested efforts, but not that they were called perfections. Sometimes I have a feeling everybody is doing the same stuff and calling it something else. But who cares what it's called as long as we're making the effort? :)
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Re: perfections

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:16 am

Greetings Genkaku,

genkaku wrote:But who cares what it's called as long as we're making the effort? :)

Indeed. If you read the above list in English to the perfectly enlightened Buddha he wouldn't know what you were talking about.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: perfections

Postby Dhammanando » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:47 pm

Hi Retro,

retrofuturist wrote:The Paramitas (perfections) in Theravada Buddhism are...

l. Dana - Charity
2. Sila - Morality
3. Nekkhamma - Renunciation
4. Panna - Wisdom
5. Viriya - Perseverance
6. Khanti - Patience
7. Sacca - Truthfulness
8. Adhitthana - Determination
9. Metta - Loving-kindness
10. Upekkha - Equanimity


They each exist in the suttas, but I think they're only collated and called paramitas in the commentaries.


In the Sutta Pitaka they are all listed in the Buddhavamsa and (I think) about eight of them in the Cariyapitaka.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
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Re: perfections

Postby fig tree » Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:21 pm

Manapa wrote:But I wonder why the list is different in Mahayana?

I don't know how it arose historically, but there's an explanation of how the two lists are related in section xii of Dhammapala's Treatise on the Paramis here:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/wheel409.html.

Just as the ten paaramiis become thirtyfold through analysis, so they become sixfold through their specific nature: as giving, virtue, patience, energy, meditation, and wisdom.

When this set is considered, the perfection of renunciation, as the going forth into homelessness, is included in the perfection of virtue; as seclusion from the hindrances, in the perfection of meditation; and as a generally wholesome quality, in all six paaramiis. One part of the perfection of truthfulness, i.e., its aspect of truthful speech or abstinence from falsehood, is included in the perfection of virtue, and one part, i.e., its aspect of truthful knowledge, in the perfection of wisdom. The perfection of loving-kindness is included in the perfection of meditation, and the perfection of equanimity in the perfections of meditation and wisdom. The perfection of determination is included in all.

The perfection of wisdom is then further subdivided to get a (different) list of 10.

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