6. What are the basic conditions of the Pāramī?
Briefly stated, they are:
A. Great aspiration (Abhinīhāra),
B. Great Compassion and skill in ways and means (Mahākaruṇā and Upāya-kosalla ñāṇa),
C. Four grounds for Buddhahood (Buddhabhūmi),
D. Sixteen mental dispositions (Ajjhāsaya),
E. Reflective knowledge (Paccavekkhaṇa ñāṇa) of disadvantages of non-giving, etc., and advantages of giving, etc.
F. Fifteen kinds of conduct (Caraṇa) and five kinds of higher knowledges (Abhiññā), together with their contributory causes.
(A) Great Aspiration (Abhinīhāra)
Abhi refers to Omniscience, nīhāra means ‘directing’ or ‘applying the mind’ — hence ‘Aspiration for Omniscient Buddhahood.’
Here, the eight factors required for receiving the prophecy of Buddha, described in the Chapter on ‘Rare appearance of a Buddha’ in Volume One, Part One, may be recalled.
In an existence complete with the eight factors (like that of Sumedha) the following thoughts occur in the mind of the Bodhisattas (like Sumedha the Wise) without being aroused by anyone, but only by being endowed with the same eight factors.
“When I have crossed the ocean of saṃsāra myself with my own effort, I shall rescue other beings; when I have freed myself from the bonds of saṃsāra, I shall also liberate other beings; when I have tamed my sense faculties, I shall teach other beings so that they become tame; when I have extinguished the fires of mental defilements in myself, I shall calm the burning minds of other beings; when I have gained the most excellent comfort of nibbāna, I shall let other beings enjoy the same; when I have extinguished in me the flames of the three rounds of rebirths,¹ I shall put those flames raging in other beings; when I have purified myself of the dust of defilements through my own effort, I shall cause purification of other beings; when I have gained knowledge of the Four Noble Truths, I shall teach them to other beings. (In short, I shall strive to become a Buddha and go to the rescue of all other beings.)”
¹ Three rounds of rebirths: the kamma round (kamma vaṭṭa); the round of defilements (kilesa vaṭṭa); the round of results (vipāka vaṭṭa).
Thus the aspiration to Buddhahood arises fervently, continuously, as great meritorious consciousness (Mahākusala citta) together with its mental concomitants. These meritorious consciousness and mental concomitants which aspire to Buddhahood are known as the great meritorious Abhinīhāra, which forms the basic condition for all the ten Perfections.
Indeed, it is only through the arising of this great aspiration that the Bodhisattas receive the definite prophecy of Buddhahood; after receiving the prophecy, there occur in succession reflection on the pāramī, resolution to fulfil them, and necessary practices that take him to the sublime height of accomplishment.
This great aspiration has the characteristic of inclination of the mind towards Omniscience; its function is to aspire after Buddhahood, and having gained it, to wish for the ability to bring welfare and happiness to all beings until they attain nibbāna; its manifestation in the yogī’s mind is its being the basic cause of the requisites of Enlightenment; its proximate cause is Great Compassion (or, the completion of necessary supporting conditions to be explained later).
This great aspiration has as its object the inconceivable province of the Buddhas and the welfare of the whole immeasurable world of beings; it should thus be seen as the basis of actions such as perfections, sacrifices, and practices, and the most exalted meritoriousness which is endowed with incomparable power.
To deal briefly with this unique power:
As soon as the great aspiration arises the Great Being Bodhisatta is poised to enter the field of performance for attainment of Omniscience (Mahābodhiyāna paṭipatti); he is then destined to become a Buddha; this destiny is irreversible after the arising in him of this great Abhinīhāra and thereby he gains the designation of ‘Bodhisatta.’ One is not entitled to be called a Bodhisatta until one possesses Abhinīhāra.
From that time onwards, the Bodhisatta becomes fully inclined to the attainment of Omniscience, and the power to fulfil and practice pāramī, cāga, cariya, the Requisites of Enlightenment become established in him.
Because he had possessed this great meritorious Abhinīhāra, Sumedha the hermit correctly investigated all the Pāramī with Perfection-investigating Wisdom (pāramī-pavicaya ñāṇa).¹ This wisdom was achieved by himself without the help of a teacher and was therefore known also as Sayambhū ñāṇa, which was the forerunner of Omniscience. Having thought about and investigated the pāramī clearly and correctly, he fulfilled and practised them for the duration of four asaṅkeyya and a hundred thousand aeons.
This great aspiration has: (a) four conditions (paccaya), (b) four causes (hetu), and (c) four powers (bala).
(a) The four conditions (remote factors) are:
(i) When the Great Being who aspires to become a Buddha sees a Tathāgata performing a miracle, he thinks, “Omniscience is of tremendous power; by acquiring it, the Buddha has come to be of such wonderful and marvellous nature and to possess such inconceivable power.” Having witnessed the Buddha’s powers he is inclined towards Omniscience.
¹ Pāramī pavicaya ñāṇa. See footnote 2 on p.66, Vol One, Part One.
(ii) Although he does not himself see the Tathāgata’s great power, he hears from others: “The Exalted One is endowed with such and such powers.” Having heard thus, he is inclined towards Omniscience.
(iii) Although he neither witnesses nor hears of the Tathagata’s great powers, he learns a discourse on the powers of a Buddha. Having learned thus, he is inclined towards Omniscience.
(iv) Although he neither sees the powers of a Tathāgata nor learns about it from others, nor hears a discourse concerning them, since he has a very noble disposition, he thinks thus: “I will protect the heritage, lineage, tradition, and law of the Buddhas.” Because of this high reverence for Dhamma (Dhammagaru) he is inclined towards Omniscience.
(b) The four cause (immediate factors) are:
(i) The Great Being is endowed with the immediate support (upanissaya) of having performed special acts of merit (adhikāra) under former Buddhas.
(ii) He is naturally endowed with compassionate temperament and is willing to alleviate the suffering of beings even at the sacrifice of his life.
(iii) He is endowed with energy and strength to strive long until he achieves his goal of Buddhahood, without feeling discouraged by the suffering in saṃsāra and hardships in working for the welfare of beings.
(iv) He enjoys the friendship of good people who restrain him from doing evil and encourage him to develop what is good.
Of these four causes, being endowed with immediate support (upanissaya sampadā) means that, because the Great Being has resolved mentally or verbally in the presence of former Buddhas (the Texts do not say how many of them), for Buddhahood he is always inclined toward Omniscience; he is always inclined also to work for the welfare of beings.
Because he is endowed with such immediate support he becomes sharply distinguished from those who would become Pacceka Buddhas (Pacceka Bodhisattas) or Disciples of Buddhas (Sāvaka Bodhisatta) in respect of (a) faculties (indriya), (b) of practices for the welfare of others (c) of skill in serving the interest of others and in knowing right from wrong (thānāthāna kosalla ñāṇa). (From these three qualities, it may be deduced that the Bodhisattas have done special deeds of merit under former Buddhas).
As for association with good friends, by ‘good friend’ is meant those who are possessed of eight attributes, namely, faith, morality, learning, sacrifice, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom.
Being endowed with faith, a good friend has confidence in the Omniscience of the Exalted One and one’s own deeds (kamma) and the fruits thereof. Because of such faith, he does not give up this wish for the welfare of beings; the wish is the basic cause for Supreme Enlightenment.
Being endowed with morality, he is dear to beings who hold him in esteem and reverence. Being accomplished in learning he usually gives profound discourses which lead to the welfare and happiness of beings. Being accomplished in sacrifice, he is of few wants, easily contented, detached from sense pleasures, remaining aloof from them.
Being endowed with energy, he always strives to promote the welfare of beings. Being endowed with mindfulness he never neglects to do deeds of merit. Being accomplished in concentration, he becomes a person of undistracted, concentrated mind. Being endowed with wisdom, he understands things as they really are.
Through mindfulness, the good friend examines the results of meritorious and demeritorious actions; he understands truly through wisdom what is beneficial or harmful to beings; through concentration he keeps his mind steady, and through energy, he restrains beings from what will bring harm to them and directs them to strive hard with unremitting zeal for their well-being.
Association with and relying on the good friend who is possessed of such qualities, the Bodhisatta endeavours to strengthen his own accomplishment in his immediate support (upanissaya sampatti). With clear purified wisdom and extreme purity of deed and word achieved through persistent endeavours, he becomes accomplished in the four great powers. Before long, he comes to possess the eight factors required for receiving the prophecy, shows the great aspiration (Mahābhinīhāra) boldly, and becomes established firmly as a true Bodhisatta. From then onwards, he has no aspiration other than Supreme Enlightenment. He becomes a noble person with a fixed, irreversible destination of Full Enlightenment.
(c) The four great powers are:
(i) Internal power (ajjhattikabala): (Extreme inclination towards Omniscience of Sammāsambodhi through reliance on one’s physical ability, with reverence for the Dhamma (Dhamma gārava), the last of the aforesaid four conditions.) Exercising this power, having self-reliance and sense of shame (for doing evil), the Bodhisatta aspires to Buddhahood, fulfils the Perfections and attains Supreme Enlightenment.
(ii) External power (bāhirabala): (Extreme inclination towards Omniscience through reliance on external power, the first three of the four conditions described above). Exercising this power, relying upon the outside world, being supported by pride and self-confidence, “I am a person fully equipped with powers to attain Buddhahood,” the Bodhisatta aspires after Buddhahood, fulfils Perfections, and attains Supreme Enlightenment.
(iii) Power of supporting conditions (upanissaya bala): (Extreme inclination towards Omniscience through reliance on the first of the four conditions). Exercising this power, being endowed with sharp faculties and natural purity and being supported by mindfulness, the Bodhisatta aspires to Buddhahood, fulfils the Perfections and attains Supreme Enlightenment.
(iv) Power of exertion (payoga bala): (Being endowed with appropriate and sufficient energy for the attainment of Omniscience, thorough and persistent pursuit of supporting conditions and meritorious acts). Exercising this power, being endowed with purity of deed and word, and constantly engaged in meritorious acts, the Bodhisatta aspires after Buddhahood, fulfils Perfections, and attains Supreme Enlightenment.
Complete with these four conditions, four causes, for powers, by the time the Bodhisatta reaches the stage of development as in the existence of Sumedha the Wise, he acquires the eight factors which entitled him to receive the prophecy of Buddhahood, Actuated by the acquisition of these eight factors, as stated above, the great aspiration which is meritorious consciousness and its concomitants, arises: “I will strive with unremitting zeal to become a Buddha and go to the rescue of all beings.” This great meritorious Abhinīhāra forms a basic condition for all the Perfections.
Because of the arising of the great meritorious Abhinīhāra in him, the following marvels come to be attributed to the noble Bodhisatta: (i) he treats all beings with love like his own children; (ii) his mind is not defiled through demeritoriousness (he remains undisturbed and untainted by defilements); (iii) all his intentions, actions and words are for promoting the welfare and happiness of beings, and (iv) fulfilment of the pāramī, and practice of cāga and cariya instead of diminishing, become more and more pronounced and mature in him.
Because of the arising in him of these marvels the Bodhisatta is endowed with the ‘stream’ of the most sublime meritoriousness and benevolence. As a result, he becomes worthy of receiving excellent gifts, and an incomparable fertile field where seeds of merit may be sown, establishing himself as an object of highest homage and reverence for beings.
B. Great Compassion and Skilfulness
(Mahākaruṇā and Upāya-kosalla ñāṇa)
Like the great meritorious Abhinīhāra, Mahākaruṇā and Upāya-kosalla ñāṇa form basic conditions for all the Perfections. (These two condtions have been dealt with above). Through them Bodhisattas are able to promote constantly the welfare and happiness of other beings, without concern for their own interest. Although performing the duties of Bodhisattas which are beyond the capability of ordinary men, they do not consider them too wearisome.
Because Mahākaruṇā and Upāya-kosalla ñāṇa exist in them, welfare and happiness accrue to those who develop confidence in them, who show respect to them, who have occasion to see Bodhisattas or recollect their virtues.
To explain further: Of Compassion and Wisdom, it is through wisdom that a Bodhisatta attains Omniscience; it is through compassion that he performs the duties of a Buddha. Through wisdom, he is able to cross the ocean of saṃsāra; through compassion, he goes to the rescue of beings. Through wisdom, he understands thoroughly the suffering of others; through compassion, he endeavours to alleviate their suffering; through wisdom he becomes wearied of suffering; through compassion, he accepts the same disgusting suffering as happiness in order to work for the liberation of beings. Through wisdom he aspires after nibbāna; through compassion he continues to go round and round in saṃsāra.
Thus compassion and wisdom are beneficial in many ways. These two not only form the foundation of the pāramī, they are the basic condition of the Aspiration to Buddhahood as well.
C. Four grounds for Buddhahood (Buddhabhūmi)
Like the Aspiration, compassion, and wisdom, the following four factors also form basic conditions of the Pāramī.
(a) Endeavour (ussāha): It is the endeavour for the fulfilment of the Perfections, sacrifices, and practices (pāramī, cāga, cariya).
(b) Higher Intelligence (ummaṅga): It is the skill in ways and means, Upaya-kosalla ñāṇa, already mentioned above.
(c) Firm standing (avaṭṭhāna): It is imperturbable determination in practices leading to Buddhahood.
(d) Beneficial practice (hitacariya): It is the development of loving-kindness and compassion.
These four factors are known as grounds for Buddhahood since they are conducive to the arising of Omniscience.
D. Sixteen mental dispositions (Ajjhāsaya)
(Mental disposition is inclination or temperament, which influences the formation of one’s personality. It is basically of two types: good and bad). There are sixteen dispositions of good type, namely, inclination towards renunciation (nekkhammajjhāsaya); to solitude (pavivekajjhāsaya); to non-greed (lobhajjhāsaya); to non-hatred (adosajjhāsaya); to non-delusion (amohajjhāsaya); to liberation (nissaranajjhāsaya); and to inclination towards each of the ten Pāramī (dānajjhāsaya, sīlajjhāsaya, etc.)
Because of their intense inclination for renunciation, Bodhisattas see danger in sense-pleasures and household life; because of their intense inclination for solitude, they see danger in company and social life; because of their intense inclination for non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion, they see danger in greed, hatred, and delusion; because of their intense inclination for liberation, they see danger in all forms of existence. The pāramī do not arise in him who does not see danger in greed, etc., and who has no intense inclination to non-greed, etc. Therefore the six inclinations for non-greed, etc., are also the conditions of the Pāramī.
Likewise, the ten inclinations to generosity (dānajjhāsaya), etc, form conditions of the Pāramī. Dānajjhāsaya means constant inclination for generosity through intensity of non-greed by seeing danger in its opposites.
Because of intense inclination for non-greed, Bodhisattas see danger in its opposites, i.e. selfishness, and therefore fulfil the Perfection of Generosity; because of intense inclination for morality, they see danger in moral depravity and therefore fulfil the Perfection of Morality. The same consideration applies to all the remaining Perfections.
It should be particularly noted here that the opposites of inclination for renunciation are sense pleasures and household life; for wisdom are delusion (moha) and doubt (vicikicchā); for energy is indolence (kosajja); for forbearance is resentment (akkhantī, dosa); for truthfulness is speaking lies; for resolution is indetermination (not being firm in pursuit of merit); for loving-kindness is ill-will; for equanimity is (submission to) vicissitudes of the world.
Because of their intense inclination for equanimity, Bodhisattas see dangers in its opposites, namely (submission to) vicissitudes of the world and fulfil the Perfection of Equanimity. Int htis way, the ten inclinations such as those for generosity, etc., also form conditons of the Pāramī.
E. Reflective knowledge (Paccavekkhaṇā ñāṇa)
of the disadvantages of non-giving, etc.,
and the advantages of giving, etc.
Reflective knowledge of the disadvantages of not fulfilling the ten Perfections such as generosity, morality. etc., and of the advantages of fulfilling them also form basic conditions of the Pāramī.
(This section should be carefully studied by those who aspire after Buddhahood).
1. Detailed method of reflecting on the Perfection of Generosity
“Personal possessions such as land, gold, silver, cattle, buffaloes, female servants, male servants, children, wives, etc., bring great harm to their owners who become attached to them. Beause they are the objects of sense desire, coveted by many people; they can be taken away or destroyed by five enemies (water, fire, kings, thieves, and unloved heirs); they cause quarrels and disputes; they are insubstantial; their acquisition and protection necessitate harassment of others; their destruction leads to intense suffering such as sorrow, lamentation, etc.; through attachment to them those who are filled with stinginess (macchariya) are bound to be reborn in the realms of suffering. Thus these possessions bring much harm to the possessor in diverse ways. Giving them away, forsaking them, renouncing them, is the only means of escape to happiness.” A Bodhisatta should reflect in this manner and practise mindfulness so as not to be remiss in acts of generosity.
A Bodhisatta should also reflect in the following manner whenever a supplicant presents himself for alms: “He is a very intimate friend, confiding all his personal secrets to me; he instructs me well how to take along with me by this means (of dāna) to the next existences my possessions, which I will have to leave behind otherwise. He is a great friend who assists me in removing to a safe place my possessions from this world which, like a blazing house, is raging with the fires of death. He is to me like an excellent storehouse where my possessions can be kept safe from burning”; and “He is my best friend, for by enabling me to perform the act of generosity he helps me achieve the most eminent and difficult of all attainments, the attainment of the ground for Buddhahood (Buddhabhūmi).”
Likewise, he should reflect thus: “This man has favoured me with an opportunity to do a most noble deed; I should therefore seize this opportunity without fail.” “My life will certainly come to an end; I should therefore give even when not asked, (indeed I should do) all the more when asked.” “Bodhisattas who are intensely inclined towards generosity go about searching for someone to receive their alms; in my case, a supplicant has come on his own accord to receive my offering because of my merit.” “Although an act of generosity is shown to recipients, true to its nature, it benefits me only.” “I should benefit all these beings as I benefit myself.” “How could I fulfil the Perfection of Generosity if there wre no one to receive my offering.” “I should acquire and accumulate properties only for those who may ask.” “When would they come and avail themselves of my belongings freely on their own accord without asking me?” “In what way could I endear myself to recipients and how could they become friendly with me?” “How would I rejoice while giving and after giving?” “How would recipients come to me and inclination for giving them develop in me?” “How would I know their mind and give them (what they need) without their asking?” “When I have things to offer and supplicants to receive, should I fail to give them, it would be a great deception on my part.” “How would I sacrifice my life and limb to those who come for them?” He should thus contantly develop the propensity to perform acts of generosity.
“Just as a hopping insect (kītaka)¹ springs back to one who throws it away without any concern, good results come back to one who has performed dāna generously without expecting any reward.” Reflecting thus he should develop the mind which does not wish or expect any fruit out of his act. (Here, ‘fruit’ means celestial or human bliss, but not attainment of Buddhahood).
Mental attitude at the time of offering
When the recipient of alms happens to be a dear person, he should be glad by reflecting, “One who is dear to me asks me for something.” If the recipient is a neutral person, he should be glad by reflecting, “By making this offering to him, I will surely gain his friendship.” If the recipient is a hostile person, he should specially rejoice by reflecting, “My enemy asks for something; by this offering to him, he will surely become a dear friend of mine.”
Thus he should make an offering to a neutral person or a foe in the same way he does to a dear person with compassion preceded by loving-kindness.
¹ Kītaka: According to Tipiṭaka Pāli-Myanmar Dictionary ‘hopping insect,’ according to Sanskrit-English Dictionary by Monier Williams ‘weapon’ P.E.D. quoting Petavatthu Commentary says, kītaka= (hot) copper plate.
When in great difficulty
If the aspirant to Buddhahood finds himself so attached to objects of offering that relinquishing is impossible through with which he is imbued over long stretches of time, he should reflect thus:
“You, good man, aspiring after Buddhahood, when you resolved to attain it, in order to assist and support beings, did you not give up this body as well as the good deeds done by sacrificing it and the fruits thereof? Even then you are now attached to external objects; it is like the bathing of an elephant. So you should not remain attached to any object.”
(Other animals bathe to wash their bodies. Elephants bathe not to clean themselves, but to crush and destroy lotus shoots and stems. Just as an elephant’s bathing is futile, attachment to external objects will not be fruitful, will not bring about the benefit of Buddhahood).
Suppose there is a medicine tree; those in need of its roots, take away its roots; those in need of its crust, bark, trunk, fork, heartwood, branches, leaves, flowers, fruits, take whatever they need. Although thus stripped of its roots, crust, etc., the medicine tree is not disturbed with such a thought as “They have deprived me of my possessions.”
Likewise, the Bodhisatta should reflect thus: “I, who have worked strenuously for the welfare of beings, should not entertain even one iota of wrong thought in serving others by making use of this body, which is miserable, ungrateful, and unclean. The four great elements whether internal (of the body) or external (of the outside world) are all subject to decomposition, dissolution; there is no distinction between internal and external elements. In the absence of such distinction, attachment to this body, thinking: ‘This is mine, this am I, this myself’ is apparently a mere display of activity by delusion.¹ So without regard for my hands, feet, eyes, flesh, and blood, as in the case of external objects, I should be prepared to give up my whole body, thinking, ‘Let those who need any of them take it away.’”
When he reflects in this way, with no regard for his life and limb, relinquishing them for the sake of self-enlightenment, his deeds, words, and thoughts easily become more and more purified. The Bodhisatta who is thus purified in physical, verbal, and mental actions, comes to possess purity of livelihood, and becomes established in the practice of the true path leading to nibbāna. He gains accomplishment also in the knowledge of what is detrimental and what is beneficial, as a result, he become indeed a person who is capable of rendering more and more services to all beings through gifts of material goods (vatthu dāna), gift of harmlessness (abhayadāna), and gifts of Dhamma (Dhammadāna).
(This is the detailed treatment of the Bodhisatta’s reflection on the Perfection of Generosity).
2. Detailed treatment of reflection on the Perfection of Morality
“Morality is the Dhamma water which can wash away mental defilements that cannot be removed by the waters of the Ganges, etc. Morality acts as a good medicament to eradicate the heat of passion, which cannot be assuaged by yellow sandalwood, etc. It is the ornament of the wise, having nothing in common with the adornments such as necklaces, diadems, and earrings of ordinary people.
It is a kind of natural perfume whose fragrance pervades all directions and which is suitable for all occasions; it is an excellent mantra of spell-binding power (vācīkaraṇa mantaṃ), which commands homage and reverence of the high-born humans such as kings, brahmins, etc., and of Devas and Brahmas; it is a stairway to Deva and Brahma worlds. It serves as a means of gaining jhānas and abhiññā, a highway leading to the great city of nibbāna, the foundation of the three forms of Enlightenment. As it fulfils all that one wishes, it is superior to the wish-fulfilling gem (cintamāni), and the tree of plenty (kappa rukkha).” Thus should one reflect on the attributes of morality.
(The commentary recommends the Aggikkhandhopama Sutta, etc., for reflecting on the faults of not being endowed with morality. The following is a summary of the Aggikkhandhopama Sutta mentioned in the Sattakanipāta, Aṅguttaranikāya).
At one time the Buddha was touring in the country of Kosala accompanied by many bhikkhus. On seeing a blazing fire at one place, he left the highway and sat down on the seat of four-folded robe prepared by the Venerable Ānanda at the foot of a tree.
Then the Buddha addressed the bhikkhus:
(i) Bhikkhus, which would be better, to sit and lie down embracing a raging flame or to sit and lie down embracing a damsel of high birth with a lovely soft body, pleasant to the touch. Bhikkhus responded (unwisely) that it would be better to sit and lie down, embracing a damsel.
The Buddha explained that for an immoral person, it would be better to sit and lie down embracing a raging flame for it would cause suffering for one existence only, whereas embracing a damsel would lead them to the lower realms of existence.
He continued to question the bhikkhus:
(ii) Would it be better to be tormented by a strong man who lashed one’s legs with a leather tether until the skin, flesh, muscles, and bones are all torn and crushed, or to take delight in the homage paid by the faithful?
(iii) Would it be better to have one’s chest pierced by a strong man with a sharp spear or to be paid homage by the faithful?
(iv) Would it be better to have your body enveloped in a red hot iron plate by a strong man or to make use of the robe offered by the faithful?
(v) Would it be better to have your mouth opened and held up with a red hot iron prop and to have burning hot lump of iron thrown into it so that it burns up all the internal organs (the lips, palate, tongue, throat, chest, stomach, and intestines) along its way to the lower orifice of the body, or to partake of the almsfood offered by the faithful?
(vi) Would it be better to be seized firmly by the head or shoulder by a strong man and forcibly pushed down to sit or lie down on an iron couch, which is burning red hot, or to make use of the couch or divan offered by the faithful?
(vii) Would it be better to be held upside down by a strong man and flung into a big pan of boiling iron or to dwell in a monastery offered by the faithful?
To all these six latter questions, the bhikkhus answered (unwisely) as they did to the first question. The Buddha gave answers similar to that given to the first one, namely, that for an immoral person, it would be better to have one’s legs torn and crushed, to be pierced by a sharp spear, etc., for they would cause suffering for one existence only; whereas to take delight in the homage paid by the faithful, etc., would lead to the woeful realms of intense suffering where they remain for a long time.
The Buddha ended his discourse with these words:
In order to bring utmost benefit to the faithful donors, who offer requisites and to make one’s life advantageous in the Order, a bhikkhu should undergo the Three Trainings (sikkhā).¹ A bhikkhu wishing for his own welfare as well as that of others must be ever mindful and diligent.
At the end of the discourse, sixty immoral bhikkhus vomitted hot blood; sixty bhikkhus who had infringed light disciplinary rules left the Order for household life; sixty bhikkhus who had led a pure life attained Arahantship.
(This is a summary of the Aggikkhandhopama Sutta)
¹ Sikkhā: the training which the Buddha’s disciples have to undergo is of three kinds: training in Higher Morality (adhisīla sikkhā); Higher Mentality (adhicitta sikkhā), and Higher Wisdom (adhipaññā sikkhā). This threefold training forms the threefold division of the Noble Eightfold Path, namely, Sīla, Samādhi, and Paññā.
One should continue reflecting on the attributes of morality in this manner also thus:
“A moral person takes delight in the thought, ‘I have done a faultless good deed, which protects one from harm.’ He is free from the danger of self-reproach or reproach by others who are wise; to him there is no possibility of punishment, or of a destination in woeful states. He is praised by the wise who say, ‘This man is moral and of good conduct. Unlike an immoral person, he is absolutely free from remorse.’”
Since morality is the root cause of mindfulness; since it brings manifold benefit such as prevention of loss of one’s wealth (bhogavyasana), etc., and since it eradicates demeritoriousness, it is the best source of one’s prosperity and well being.
Even a person of low caste, when endowed with morality, receives homage and respect from a person of high birth such as kings, brahmins, etc. Thus accomplishment in morality excels high birth or caste.
The wealth of moral virtues surpasses that of external material things because it cannot be endangered by the five enemies; it follows one to the next existence; its benefit is great and it serves as a foundation for the development of concentration and wisdom.
Even those so-called rulers in the world have no control over their own minds, only those who are moral have control over their minds (cittissariya). Therefore morality is superior to the authority of kings, etc.
Those who are moral, gain the attribute of Supremacy (issariya) in their respective existences.
Morality is superior even to life itself as the Buddha explains that a single day in the life of a person with morality is far better than a hundred years in the life of an immoral one and that mere living without any moral virtue amounts to death.
Because a moral person is esteemed even by his enemy and because he cannot be vanquished by aging, sickness, and misfortunes, his morality transcends physical beauty. As it is the foundation for states of happiness of devas or nibbāna, it is far superior to the best mansions and palaces or to the highest status and positions of kings, princes, or generals.
Morality is better than one’s relatives and friends who are solicitous of one’s well-being, because it truly promotes one’s welfare and interest and follows one closely to the next existence.
Morality serves as a specially bodyguard, protecting this body, which is difficult to be guarded against harm even by the four divisions of an army or by such devices as drugs, spells, and charms.
When one reflects that “morality is full of immeasurable qualities,” one’s imperfect morality will become perfect or one’s impure morality will become pure.
Should aversion in his life continuum antithetical to morality and having accumulative effect occur to the aspirant for Buddhahood from time to time, he should reflect thus:
“Have you not resolved to attain Arahattamagga ñāṇa and Omniscience? If your morality is defective, you cannot prosper even in mundane matters, let alone in supramundane ones. The Omniscience you aspire to is the highest of all achievements. Since morality is the foundation of Omniscience, your morality should be of very high quality. Therefore you should be a person who regards morality with much affection.”
Or, “You should teach Dhamma and save beings by three vehicles of such characteristics as anicca, dukkha, and anatta; you should also help immature beings in the five faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom, to reach maturity. Just as the treatment of a doctor who gives a wrong prescription is untrustworthy, even so the word of an immoral person is unreliable to many. Therefore, reflecting, ‘as a trustworthy person how could I save them and help them reach maturity in those faculties,’ you should be pure in morality.”
Furthermore, “Only when I have special attributes such as attainments of jhāna, etc., will I be able to help others and fulfil the Perfections such as Wisdom, etc., and such specially attributes as attainment of jhāna, etc., are not possible without pure morality. Therefore you should be a person of naturally pure morality.”
Reflecting thus, the Bodhisatta should earnestly strive to purify his morality.
(This is the detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Morality).
3. Detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Renunciation
The Bodhisatta should reflect on the disadvantages of a household life, which is constricted with duties towards one’s wife and children, and on the advantage of the life of a bhikkhu, which like space is free and vast, being exempted from such obligations.
As explained in the Dukkhakkhandha Sutta (of the Majjhimanikāya), one should dwell upon the fact that sensual objects are more of worry and lamentation than of enjoyment and so on; upon suffering from contact with heat, cold, gadflies, mosquitoes, flies, wind, sun, reptiles, fleas, insects, etc., while in quest of sense-objects, as motivated by sense-desires; upon pain and distress when one’s laborious quest for sense-objects ends up fruitless; upon worry and anxiety for their security against the five enemies after they have been acquired; upon great suffering caused by terrible wars waged through desire for sense-objects; upon the thirty-two kinds of severe punishment (kamma-karaṇa) meted out in this life to those who have committed crimes through sense-desires; upon terrible suffering in the life beyond in the four realms of miserable existences.
(This is the detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Renunciation).
4. Detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Wisdom
“Without wisdom, such Perfections as Generosity, etc., cannot become pure; and volition for giving, volition for observing morality, etc., cannot perform their respective functions.” In this manner, one should reflect on the attributes of wisdom.
Without life, this bodily mechanism loses its significance and cannot function properly. Without consciousness, the sense faculties of the eye, ear, etc., cannot perform their respective functions of seeing, hearing, etc. Similarly, the faculties of faith, energy, etc., cannot do their respective duties effectively in the absence of wisdom. Therefore wisdom is the main and chief cause for the fulfilment of Perfections such as Generosity, etc.
How wisdom helps fulfilment of other Perfections
(a) Because they keep their eyes of wisdom always open, even when Bodhisattas give away their limbs and organs, they do so without extolling themselves or disparaging others. (As mentioned above) like the great medicine tree they give without developing wrong thoughts, and are always filled with joy in the past, present, and future.
Only when endowed with wisdom does one become equipped with Upāya-kosalla ñāṇa, and gives for the benefit of others; and only such an act of generosity is a genuine perfection. (Without wisdom, one is likely to give with the motivation of self-interest; such an act of generosity for one’s own benefit is like earning interest for oneself from an investment).
(b) Morality without wisdom, but overwhelmed by greed, ill-will, etc., cannot achieve purity, much less serve as the foundation of Omniscience.
(c) Only a person of wisdom discerns faults in the household state and benefits of an ascetic life, faults in sensual pleasures and benefits of attaining jhānas; faults in saṃsāra and benefits of nibbāna. Discerning thus, he goes forth into homelessness, develops jhānas and realizes nibbāna for himself. He can then help others to go forth and get established in jhāna and nibbāna.
(d) Energy without wisdom is wrong striving; it does not serve the purpose desired. (It is better not to strive at all than to make wrong application of energy). When accompanied by wisdom, it becomes right endeavour achieving the required object.
(e) Only a person of wisdom can bear with patience wrongs done by others; for one devoid of wisdom, offensive actions by others incite in him unwholesome states such as ill-will, etc., which go against forbearance. For the wise, such wrongs help him develop patience and strengthen it.
(f) Only a person of wisdom comprehends the three truths as they really are — truth of abstinence (viratī sacca), truth of speech (vacī sacca), truth of knowledge (ñāṇa sacca); their causes and opposites. Having understood them himself perfectly (by abandoning what should be abandoned and cultivating what should be cultivated) he could help others keep to the Path of Truth.
(g) Having fortified himself with the power of wisdom, a wise person becomes accomplished in concentration. With concentration mind, unshakable determination to fulfil all the Perfections is possible.
(h) Only a man of wisdom can direct his thoughts of loving-kindness towards the three types of person without discriminating them as dear ones, neutrals, or enemies.
(i) And only by means of wisdom can one remain indifferent to vicissitudes of life (whether good or bad) without being affect by them.
In this way, one should reflect on the attributes of wisdom, realizing it to be the cause for the purification of the Perfections.
Or, the Bodhisatta should admonish himself thus: “Without wisdom, there can be no perfect and pure view; without perfect and pure view, there can be no perfect and pure morality; without perfect and pure morality, there can be no perfect and pure concentration. Without concentration, one cannot work out one’s benefit, much less that of others. Therefore, practising as you are for the welfare of others, should you not make an earnest effort to develop your wisdom?”
For it is by the power of wisdom that the Bodhisatta becomes established on the four foundations,¹ benefits all beings with four objects of support,² helps them remain on the path of liberation and brings their five faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom to maturity.
Likewise, by the power of wisdom, he engages in the investigating of absolute realities such as aggregates (khandha), sense-bases (āyatana) etc., and comes to understand truthfully the processes of saṃsāra and its cessation; he endeavours to bring meritorious deeds such as Perfection of Generosity, etc., to the most beneficial stage of development and to enjoy the profits of the Path and Fruition; thus he works to complete and perfect the training of Bodhisattas.
¹ The four foundations, catu-adhiṭṭhāna: the foundation of insight (paññā), of truth (sacca), of liberality (dāna), and of tranquillity (upasama).
² Four objects of support: catu saṅgaha vatthu: liberality (dāna), kindly speech (peyya vācā), a life of usefulness (attha cariya), and impartiality (samānattata).
Comprehending the various virtues of Wisdom in this manner, he should repeatedly develop the Perfection of Wisdom.
(This is the detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Wisdom).
5. Detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Energy
Even in worldly pursuits, the end of which is foreseeable, one cannot achieve the desire goal without the necessary energy; but there is nothing which a man of indefatigable energy cannot achieve. It should be reflected that: “One lacking energy cannot even begin the task of rescuing all beings from the whirlpool of saṃsāra; one with moderate energy will undertake the task, only to give it up half-way without pursuing it to the end; it is only the person with superior kind of energy who will see to the completion of the task, without regard to one’s personal well-being, to realise the goal (Omniscience).”
Again, “Without sufficient energy, even aspirants for Sāvakabodhi or Paccekabodhi,¹ intent on liberating themselves from saṃsāra, cannot achieve their desired goal of Enlightenment. How can one aspiring after Perfect Self-enlightenment rescue the entire world of beings with devas and brahmas without sufficient exertions?”
“A host of defilements such as greed, hatred, etc., are as hard to restrain as elephants in must; one’s actions (kammas), that happen out of these defilements are like executioners holding high their swords and threatening to put one to death; the four woeful states caused by these kammas have their doors constantly open; evil friends are always around to instigate one to commit these kammas and thus despatch one to these states of woe; the nature of a foolish worldling is such that he succumbs easily to the ill advice of such evil friends; one should therefore keep oneself away from these evil friends who are sophists, who put forward their wrong, irrational argument, saying, ‘If emancipation from saṃsāra were a reality, it should be achieved automatically without any need to strive for it.’ Dissociation from such wrong sayings is possible only through the power of energy.”
¹ Sāvakabodhi, Paccekabodhi: see p.6, Vol 1, Part 1.
Or, “If Buddhahood is attainable through personal effort, what difficulty can there be for a superior person like me to put forth the required energy?”
In this manner the attributes of energy should be reflected upon.
(This is the detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Energy).
6. Detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Forbearance
“Forbearance dispels anger, which is opposed to all wholesome attributes and serves as an indestructible weapon of good people in the acquisition of such attributes; it is the adornment of Bodhisattas who can dominate others; the strength of samaṇas and brāhamaṇas; a stream of water that extinguishes the fire of anger; a magic charm for neutralizing the poison of rude, abusive words of evil persons; it is the natural disposition of those established in the faculties of restraint and of those supremely wise ones.”
“Forbearance is a faculty deep like an ocean; the shore where the waves of the ocean terminate; the door that closes the way to the realms of misery; the stairway that ascends to the realms of devas and brahmas, the sanctum where all wholesome attributes reign; the supreme purity of body, speech, and mind.” Thus one should reflect on the virtues of forbearance.
Again, forbearance should be cultivated repeatedly by reflecting thus: “Without holding on to forbearance, which gives calm and peace, these beings pursue demeritorious deeds, which afflict them, in consequence they are subjected to affliction in this life as well as in the life to come.”
“Although it is true that I suffer through wrongs of others, this body of mine which serves as a field and the action which serve as seeds of that suffering have been done by none other than myself.”
“This forbearance of mine is the means of settling the debt of suffering.”
“If there were no wrong doers, how could I fulfil the Perfection of Forbearance?”
“Although this person has wronged me now, he had brought certain benefits to me in the past.”
“His wrong deed forms a cause for my practice of forbearance, and it therefore proves beneficial to me.”
“All these beings are like my own children, how could a wise man become angry about the misdeeds of his own children?”
“He has wronged me as he is seized by the demon of wrath; I should exorcise this demon that has seized him.”
“I am also the cause of the wrong deed which gives rise to this suffering, (for if I were not in existence, there could be no wrong doing.”
“The mental and physical phenomena (nāma-rūpa) which did the wrong deed, and the mental and physical phenomena to which the wrong deed was done, both sets of phenomena at this very moment have ceased. Who should then be angry with whom? There should be no arising of anger.”
And “When all the phenomena are non-self in the absolute sense, there could be no wrong doer and no one to whom any wrong is done.” Reflecting in this manner, he should repeatedly develop forbearance.
Should the anger that arises from wrongs done by others continue to overpower one’s mind through force of habit gained for a long time, the aspirant for Buddhahood should reflect thus: “Forbearance is a complementary to practices which oppose the wrongs of others.”
“Wrongs of others, by causing my suffering, become a factor of arising in me of faith; (since suffering is the cause of faith) and also a factor of the perception of unhappiness and dissatisfaction with the world (anabhirati saññā).”
“It is the nature of the sense faculties, eyes, etc., to encounter various objects, good and bad; it is not is impossible not to come across undesirable sense-objects.”
“Following the dictates of anger, a person is distraught and mad with fury. What is the use of retaliating wrongs of such a person?”
“An Omniscient Buddha looks after all these beings as if they were his own dear children. Therefore aspiring after Omniscient Buddhahood, I should not despair because of them or be angry with them.”
“Should the wrong-doer be one endowed with noble attributes such as morality, one should reflect, ‘I should not show anger to such a virtuous one.’ Should the wrong-doer be one without any noble attributes such as morality, one should reflect, ‘He is a person I should regard with great compassion.’”
“By getting angry, my virtues and fame will diminish.”
“Becoming angry with him, I shall look ugly, sleep in discomfort, and so forth¹ to the delight of my enemies.”
“This anger is a powerful enemy that brings about all harm and destroys all prosperity.”
“When one has forbearance, one can have no enemies.”
¹ The remaining consequences are loss of wealth, loss of subordinates, loss of friends, and rebirth in a woeful state. Sattakanipāta, Aṅguttaranikāya.
“Thinking that with forbearance I will meet with no suffering (which will befall the wrong-doer); or, by retaliating with anger, I shall only be following in the footsteps of my foes.”
“Should I overcome anger through forbearance, I would be completely vanquishing also the foe who is a slave of anger.”
“It is not proper for me to relinquish the noble quality of forbearance because of anger.”
“How could I be endowed with noble qualities such as morality, etc., when anger, the antithesis of all good qualities, is arising in me? And in the absence of such noble qualities how could I render help to beings and achieve the vowed goal of Omniscient Buddhahood.”
“Only with forbearance, can one remain undistracted by external objects and have concentration of mind; and only with concentration of mind can one discern all conditioned formations (saṅkhārā) to be impermanent and unsatisfactory, and all dhammas to be non-self, nibbāna to be unconditioned, deathless, etc., and the attributes of a Buddha to be of inconceivable, immeasurable powers.”
Because of such discernment one becomes established in Vipassanā Insight (anulomka khantī) through which it is realized that “All these dhammas are natural phenomena devoid of self or anything pertaining to self; they arise and pass away in accordance with their individual conditions; they came from nowhere and they go nowhere; they are not permanently established as an entity anywhere; there is no (operating) agency in this group of natural phenomena” (as there is no such thing as individuality in the first place). Realizing what they really are, one could comprehend that they are not the abode of ‘I-conceit.’ With such reflection, Bodhisattas stand firmly and irreversibly in their destiny, bound to attain Omniscience.
(This is the detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Forbearance).
7. Detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Truthfulness
The Perfection of Truthfulness should be reflected on thus:
“Without truthfulness, attributes such as morality, etc, are impossible and there can be no performance of the vow of attaining Buddhahood.”
“When truthfulness if transgressed, all kinds of evil come together.”
“One who does not speak truth constantly is regarded as untrustworthy in this very life; in every future existence too, his word will not be accepted by others.”
“Only with truthfulness, can one develop attributes such as morality, etc.”
“Only with truthfulness as a foundation, can one purify and fulfil noble qualities such as pāramī, caga, cariya. Therefore, by being truthful with regard to phenomena, one can perform the functions of pāramī, cāga, cariya and become accomplished in the practice of Bodhisattas.”
(This is the detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Truthfulness).
8. Detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Resolution.
“In the absence of firm resolution in doing good deeds such as the Perfection of Generosity, etc., on encountering their opposites such as miserliness (macchariya) immorality (dussīlya), etc., one could not maintain steadfastness in performing such good deeds; and without steadfastness, one could not practise them with skill and valour. And without skill and valour, the Perfection of Generosity, etc., which form the requisites for Omniscience could not be accomplished.”
“Only when resolution in doing good deeds such as the Perfection of Generosity, etc., is firm, can one maintain steadfastness on encountering their opposites such as miserliness, immorality, etc. Only when such steadfastness is maintained can one gain skill and valour in performing such good deeds. Then only Perfection of Generosity, etc., which form the requisites of Omniscience could be accomplished.” In this manner, the attributes of resolution should be reflected upon.
(This is the detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Resolution).
9. Detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Loving-kindness
“Even one occupied entirely with one’s personal welfare (a selfish person) could not gain prosperity in this or future life without promoting loving-kindness for the well-being of others. How much more should a Bodhisatta wishing to establish all beings in the bliss of nibbāna develop it? Only by fostering infinite loving-kindness for them, can a Bodhisatta establish all beings in nibbāna.”
“Wishing to help later all beings achieve the supramundane bliss of nibbāna when I become a Buddha, I should begin right now wishing them in advance mundane prosperity.”
“If I could not perform now the mere mental act of wishing for their welfare, when would I accomplish the verbal deeds of helping them achieve their welfare?”
“These beings whom I nurture now with loving-kindness would in future become heirs and companions on the future occasion of sharing my Dhamma inheritance.”
“Without these beings, there could be no requisites for my pāramī. Therefore they form complementary conditions for fulfilment and accomplishment of all the attributes of a Buddha; and they serve as a highly fertile field for sowing the seeds of merit, the best location for performing of meritorious deeds, the unique site to be revered.”
In this manner one should especially cultivate goodwill towards all beings.
The attributes of loving-kindness should also be reflected on in this way:
“Compassion is the first and foremost of all fundamental practices which lead to Buddhahood. For the Bodhisatta who delights in providing welfare and happiness of all beings without discrimination (metta), the desire to remove their suffering and misfortune (karuṇā) becomes firmly rooted and powerful. Thus loving-kindness which forms the foundation of compassion should be developed towards all beings.”
(This is the detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Loving-kindness).
10. Detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Equanimity
“In the absence of equanimity, abuses and wrongs done by others may cause disturbances in my mind. With a disturbed mind, there is no possibility even of doing good deeds of generosity, etc., which are the requisites of Buddhahood.”
“When loving-kindness is cultivated towards beings as mere affection, unaccompanied by equanimity, purification of requisites of the pāramī is not possible.”
“Having no equanimity, one cannot channel requisites of meritorious deeds and their results towards the promotion of welfare of beings.”
“A Bodhisatta makes no discrimination of gifts and of their recipients. It is impossible not to do so without equanimity.”
“When not endowed with equanimity, one cannot attend to purification of morality without taking into consideration the dangers that may befall one’s life and life-accessories (jīvitaparikhāra).”
“Only one who has overcome by virtue of equanimity the dislike of good deeds and delight in sensual pleasuers can acquire the power of renunciation.”
“All functions of pāramī requisites can be accomplished only by examining them rightly with intelligent equanimity (ñāṇupekkhā).”
“In the absence of equanimity, excess of energy makes engagement in meditation impossible.”
“Only with equanimity, it is possible for one to concentrate with forbearance.”
“Only because of equanimity, beings can possess truthfulness.”
“By remaining indifferent to the vicissitudes of life, one’s resolution to fulfil the pāramī becomes firm and unshakeable.”
“Only with equanimity can one disregard others’ wrong; only such disregard promotes abiding in loving-kindness.”
Building up the requisites of all the pāramī in this manner, remaining unshakeable in determination, fulfilling and accomplishing them — all these become possible by vitue of equanimity.
Thus should the perfection of Equanimity be reflected on.
(This is the detailed treatment of reflecting on the Perfection of Equanimity).
Thus reflections (paccavekkhaṇā ñāṇa) on the disadvantages of not doing meritorious deeds such as almsgiving, etc., and on the advantages accruing from such deeds of merit form the basis of the pāramī.
F. Fifteen kinds of Conduct (Caraṇa)
and fivefold Higher Knowledge (Abhiññā)
together with their components
Like reflections stated above, fifteen kinds of Conduct and fivefold Higher Knowledge together with their components also form the basis of the pāramī.
Fifteen kinds of Conduct are:
(1) Observance of precepts (sīla saṃvara).
(2) Closing securely with mindfulness the six doors of the sense faculties, namely, eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind so that no plunder by bandits in the form of evil deeds could take place (indriyesu guttadvarata).
(3) Being moderate in eating (bhojanamattaññutā).
(4) Out of the six divisions of a (24-hour) day, namely, morning midday, evening, first watch, second watch, and last watch of the night, sleeping only in the second watch, and engaging in meditation only in the two postures of sitting and walking during the remaining five periods (jagariyānuyoga).
(5-11) The seven virtues of the good: faith, mindfulness, moral shame of doing evil, moral dread of doing evil, learning, energy, and wisdom.
(12-15) The four jhānas (the first, second, the third, and the fourth).
Of these fifteen caraṇa, the components of the first four are the thirteen ascetic practices (dhutaṅga),¹ and such qualities as having few wants, being easily contented, etc.
Of the seven virtues of the good:
(a) The components of faith are:
(i) recollection of the Buddha (Buddhānussati),
(ii) recollection of the Dhamma (Dhammānussati),
(iii) recollection of the Saṃgha (Saṃghānussati),
(iv) recollection of one’s morality (Sīlānussati),
(v) recollection of one’s generosity (Cāgānussati),
(vi) recollection of one’s faith, morality. learning, sacrifice, and wisdom, with devas as witness (devatānussati),
(vii) recollection of attributes of nibbāna (Upasamānussati),
(viii) non-association with people of barren, dry faith (Lukhapuggala parivajjana);
(ix) association with amiable men of faith (Siniddhapuggala),
(x) reflection on dhammas which inspire devotional faith (Pasādanīya dhamma pacavekkhaṇā), and
(xi) inclination to generate faith in all postures (Tadadhimuttatā).
¹ Thirteen dhutaṅgas are enumerated in the Visuddhimagga: (1) wearing patched-up robes, paṃsukūlika’aṅga, (2) wearing only three robes, tecīvarak’aṅga, (3) going for alms, piṇḍapātik’aṅga, (4) not omitting any house whilst going for alms, sapadānik’aṅga, (5) eating at one sitting, akāsanik’aṅga, (6) eating only from the almsbowl, pattapiṇḍik’aṅga, (7) refusing all other food, khalupacchabhatik’aṅga, (8) living in the forest, āraññik’aṅga, (9) living under a tree, rukkhamūlik’aṅga, (10) living in the open air, abbokāsik’aṅga, (11) living in a cemetery, susānik’aṅga, (12) being satisfied with whatever dwelling, yathāsanthatik’aṅga, (13) sleeping in the sitting position (and never lying down), nesajjik’aṅga.
(b) The components of mindfulness are:
(i) mindfulness and clear comprehension in the seven movements such as moving forward, moving backward, etc.,
(ii) non-association with careless and negligent people,
(iii) association with mindful people,
(iv) inclined to generate mindfulness in all postures.
(c-d) The components of moral shame and moral dread of doing evil are:
(i) reflection on the danger of demeritoriousness,
(ii) reflection on the danger of the realms of misery,
(iii) reflection on the supporting character of meritoriousness,
(iv) non-association with people devoid of moral shame and moral dread of doing evil,
(v) association with people endowed with moral shame and moral dread of doing evil, and
(vi) inclination for developing moral shame and moral dread of doing evil.
(e) The components of learning are:
(i) previous efforts made for learning,
(ii) being a constant enquirer,
(iii) association with and practice of good Dhamma,
(iv) pursuit of blameless knowledge,
(v) maturity of faculties such as faith, etc.,
(vi) keeping away from defilements,
(vii) non-association with the ignorant,
(viii) association with the learned, and
(ix) inclination for extending knowledge in all postures.
(f) The components of energy are:
(i) reflection on the danger of the realms of misery,
(ii) reflection on the benefit of strenuous effort,
(iii) reflection on the desirability of following the path trod by the virtuous such as the Buddha, etc.
(iv) honouring the almsfood by devoting oneself to practice of Dhamma,
(v) reflection on the noble heritage of the good Dhamma,
(vi) reflection on the supremacy of the teacher, who is the Buddha,
(vii) reflection on one’s eminent lineage as a descendant of a Buddha,
(viii) reflection on the nobility of companions in the Dhamma,
(ix) non-association with the indolent,
(x) association with the industrious, and
(xi) inclination for developing energy¹ in all postures.
(g) The components of wisdom are:
(i) making repeated enquiries about the aggregates (khandha), the bases (āyatana), the elements (dhātu), etc., of one’s body,
(ii) purity of objects both inside and outside the body,
(iii) keeping in perfect balance of the two pairs of faith and wisdom on the one hand and energy and concentration on the other in accordance with the saying:
“Excess of faith leads to over enthusiasm, excess of wisdom leads to craftiness;
excess of energy leads to restlessness, excess of concentration leads to ennui (mental weariness);
but there is never an excess of mindfulness.”
(iv) non-association with the foolish,
(v) association with the wise,
(vi) reflection on the diversity of profound knowledge related to subtle subjects such as the aggregates, etc., and
(vii) inclination for developing wisdom (paññā) in all postures.
¹ See also Vol. 1, Part 1, Anudīpanī, p. 228, 231.
(h) The components of the four jhānas are:
(i) the first four caraṇa dhammas beginning with observance of the precepts,¹
(ii) the beginning portion of Samatha meditation, and
(iii) the fivefold mastery² (vasībhava).
Through these Caraṇa and Abhiññā, it is possible to achieve purity in application (payogasuddhi) and purity of disposition (asayasuddhi). Through purity in application one can make the gift of harmlessness (abhayadāna) to beings and through purity of disposition one can make the give of material objects (āmisadāna); and through the purity of both, the gift of Dhamma (Dhammadāna) becomes possible.
In this way it may be understood how Caraṇa and Abhiññā form the requisites of the Pāramī.
¹ See F (1) above.
² The five masteries, vasībhāva, see Vol 1, Part 1, Anudīpanī pp.307-308.