Six Paramitas
(Six Perfections)



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The Six Paramitas (the Six Perfections) are not of a Christian tradition, but are of a Buddhist tradition.  It is good to be aware of other traditions.  For me personally the Six Paramitas help me to explore and examine my Christian faith more deeply.  Understanding and practicing the Six Paramitas will do a Christian no harm; but may lead you to a deeper understanding of your own faith.  eoa   

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By respecting the differences in our own church
And seeing how these differences 
enrich each one another. 
We are more open to appreciating
the richness and diversity of other traditions. 
In a true dialogue, both sides are willing to change. 

Thich Nhat Hahn

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Six Paramitas
(Six Perfections)

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 Perserverance (Virya Paramita)

5. The Perfection of Concentration (Dhyana Paramita)

6. The Perfection of Wisdom (Prajna Paramita)

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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.

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.

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Our capacity to make peace with another person
and with the world
depends very much on our capacity
to make peace with ourselves.
 

― Thich Nhat Hanh


In Mahāyāna Buddhism, the Prajñapāramitā Sūtras, the Lotus Sutra (Skt., Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sūtra), and a large number of other texts, list the six perfections as (original terms in Sanskrit):

1.    Dāna pāramitā: generosity, giving of oneself 

2.    Śīla pāramitā : virtue, morality, discipline, proper conduct 

3.    Kānti (kshanti) pāramitā : patience, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance 

4.    Vīrya pāramitā : energy, diligence, vigor, effort 

5.    Dhyāna pāramitā : one-pointed concentration, contemplation 

6.    Prajñā pāramitā : wisdom, insight 

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When we have peace within, 
real dialogue with others is possible.
 

― Thich Nhat Hanh


1.    Generosity (Skt. dāna; Tib. jinpa): to cultivate the attitude of generosity.

2.    Discipline (Skt. śīla; Tib.  tsultrim): refraining from harm.

3.    Patience (Skt. kānti; Tib.  zöpa): the ability not to be perturbed by anything.

                ·         Khanti pāramī : patience, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance.

 

4.    Diligence (Skt. vīrya; Tib.  tsöndrü): to find joy in what is virtuous, positive or wholesome.

5.    Meditative concentration (Skt. dhyāna; Tib. samten): not to be distracted.

6.    Wisdom (Skt. prajñā; Tib. sherab): the perfect discrimination of phenomena, all knowable things.

'>Dhyāna pāramitā : one-pointed concentration, contemplation          (禪定波羅蜜bsam-gtan)

6.    Prajñā pāramitā : wisdom, insight (般若波羅蜜shes-rab)

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