Mingun Sayādaw

Bhaddanta  Vicittasārābhivaṃsa

Chapter on Miscellany

Edited and Translated by
Professor U Ko Lay and U Tin Lwin
Yangon, Myanmar

The Great Chronicles of Buddhas

The Great Chronicle of Buddhas

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9. What are the factors that oppose the Pāramī?

To the question “What are the factors that oppose the Pāramī?” the answer is: when considered in general, all the defiling factors and all the demeritorious factors are the opposites of the pāramī.

When considered in detail, craving for the object to be offered, and stinginess are the opposite of Paññā Pāramī; wrong doings (physical, verbal, and mental) are the opposite of Sīla Pāramī. Taking delight in sense objects, sense pleasures, and existence is the opposite of Nekkhamma Pāramī. Extreme delusion is the opposite of Paññā Pāramī. The eight occasions of indolence (kusīta vatthu) enumerated above are the opposites of Vīriya Pāramī. Intolerance, through greed or dislike, of desirable and undesirable objects is the opposite of Khantī Pāramī. Not bringing out the real nature (as it truly exists) is the opposite of Sacca Pāramī. Inability to overcome the dhammas which are opposed to the Perfections (not practising them successfully) is the opposite of Adhiṭṭhāna Pāramī. The nine forms of developing hatred are the opposite of Mettā Pāramī. Not viewing with the feeling of neutrality when encountering desirable or undesirable objects is the opposite of Upekkhā Pāramī.

Further details:

(1) Craving for the objects to be given away (lobha), aversion to the recipients (dosa), and getting bewildered over generosity and its beneficial results (moha), are opposed to the Perfection of Generosity because only in the absence of such craving, aversion, and bewilderment is an act of generosity accomplished.

(ii) The ten wrong doings are opposed to the Perfection of Morality because observance of precepts is accomplished only when one is free from evils of wrong thought, word, and deed.

(iii) Renunciation is the noble act of abstinence from sense pleasures, ill-treatment of others, and self-mortification; therefore indulgence in sense pleasures (lobha), ill-treatment of others (dosa), and self-mortification (moha) are opposed to the Perfection of Renunciation.

(iv) Craving, aversion and bewilderment make beings blind, whereas wisdom restored the sight of beings blinded by them. Therefore these three unwholesome factors, which cause blindness in beings, are opposed to the Perfection of Wisdom.

(v) Through craving one flinches from doing meritorious deeds; through aversion one cannot be established in good deeds; and through bewilderment one cannot strive in a right way. It is only by means of energy that one performs meritorious deeds without flinching, becomes established in them and proceeds in a right manner. Therefore these three unwholesome factors are opposed to the Perfection of Energy.

(vi) Only with forbearance can one resist (inclination towards) craving for desirable objects or (towards) ill-will for undesirable objects; and can perceive the non-personality and voidness of natural phenomena. Thus craving, aversion, and bewilderment, which cannot  so perceive the empty nature of phenomena, are opposed to the Perfection of Forbearance.

(vii) Without truthfulness one is likely to be biased by craving because of services rendered to him by others, or by aversion because of harm done by them; hence truth cannot prevail under such circumstances. Only with truthfulness can one in the face of favouritism or antagonism be free from bias caused by craving, or by aversion, ill-will, or bewilderment that deter prevalence of truth. Thus these three unwholesome factors are opposed to the Perfection of Truthfulness.

(viii) With resolution one can overcome the pleasant and unpleasant vicissitudes of life and remain unshakeable in fulfilling the Pāramī; therefore craving, aversion, and bewilderment, which cannot vanquish the vicissitudes of life, are opposed to the Perfection of Resolution.

(ix) Development of loving-kindness can ward of the obstacles (in the path of spiritual progress);¹ therefore these three unwholesome factors, constituents of the obstacles, are opposed to the Perfection of Loving-kindness.

(x) Without equanimity, craving for desirable objects and aversion to undesirable objects cannot be stopped and destroyed; nor can one view them with a balanced mind. Only when endowed with equanimity can one do so. Therefore these three unwholesome factors are opposed to the Perfection of Equanimity.

    ¹ Obstacles in the path of spiritual progress: the obstacles are five in number: (a) kāmacchanda, all forms of craving and desire, (b) byāpāda, ill-will, (c) thīnamiddha, sloth and torpor, (d) uddhacca-kukkucca, distraction and worry, and (e) vicikicchā, doubt or wavering of mind.