perfections

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genkaku
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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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bodom
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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:
“What should be done for his disciples out of compassion by a teacher who seeks their welfare and has compassion for them, that I have done for you, bhikkhus. There are these roots of trees, these empty huts. Meditate, bhikkhus, do not delay or else you will regret it later. This is our instruction to you.” - MN 19

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Cittasanto
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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.
“Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.
(The mendicants asked) What are the two [types of persons]?
(The Lord Buddha responded) The malicious, or the inwardly angry, and the one with (blind) faith or the one who holds things incorrectly.
Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.”
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.
"Others will misconstrue reality based on personal perspectives, firmly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our personal perspectives, nor firmly holding them, but easily discarded."

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Paul Davy
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Re: perfections

Postby Paul Davy » 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. :)
"Having understood name-and-form, which is a product of prolificity,
And which is the root of all malady within and without,
He is released from bondage to the root of all maladies,
That Such-like-one is truly known as 'the one who has understood'."
(Snp 3.6)

"Whether I were to preach in brief, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach in detail, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach both in brief or in detail, Sāriputta, rare are those who understand." (A I 333, Sāriputtasutta)

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Cittasanto
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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.
“Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.
(The mendicants asked) What are the two [types of persons]?
(The Lord Buddha responded) The malicious, or the inwardly angry, and the one with (blind) faith or the one who holds things incorrectly.
Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.”
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.
"Others will misconstrue reality based on personal perspectives, firmly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our personal perspectives, nor firmly holding them, but easily discarded."

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Ngawang Drolma.
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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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genkaku
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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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Paul Davy
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Re: perfections

Postby Paul Davy » 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. :)
"Having understood name-and-form, which is a product of prolificity,
And which is the root of all malady within and without,
He is released from bondage to the root of all maladies,
That Such-like-one is truly known as 'the one who has understood'."
(Snp 3.6)

"Whether I were to preach in brief, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach in detail, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach both in brief or in detail, Sāriputta, rare are those who understand." (A I 333, Sāriputtasutta)

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Ben
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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
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
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Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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genkaku
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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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Paul Davy
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Re: perfections

Postby Paul Davy » 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. :)
"Having understood name-and-form, which is a product of prolificity,
And which is the root of all malady within and without,
He is released from bondage to the root of all maladies,
That Such-like-one is truly known as 'the one who has understood'."
(Snp 3.6)

"Whether I were to preach in brief, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach in detail, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach both in brief or in detail, Sāriputta, rare are those who understand." (A I 333, Sāriputtasutta)

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Dhammanando
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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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Second hermit: Oh yes! I wouldn’t go back to public relations.
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fig tree
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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.

Fig Tree


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