Six paramitas

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Bodhisattva sangha from the Longchen Nyingtik field of merit

The six paramitas or 'transcendent perfections' (Skt. ṣaṭpāramitā; Tib. ཕ་རོལ་ཏུ་ཕྱིན་པ་དྲུག་, parol tu chinpa druk; Wyl. pha rol tu phyin pa drug) comprise the training of a bodhisattva, which is bodhichitta in action.

  1. Generosity (Skt. dāna; Tib. སྦྱིན་པ་, jinpa): to cultivate the attitude of generosity.
  2. Discipline (Skt. śīla; Tib. ཚུལ་ཁྲིམས་, tsultrim): refraining from harm.
  3. Patience (Skt. kṣānti; Tib. བཟོད་པ་, zöpa): the ability not to be perturbed by anything.
  4. Diligence (Skt. vīrya; Tib. བརྩོན་འགྲུས་, tsöndrü): to find joy in what is virtuous, positive or wholesome.
  5. Meditative concentration (Skt. dhyāna; Tib. བསམ་གཏན་, samten): not to be distracted.
  6. Wisdom (Skt. prajñā; Tib. ཤེས་རབ་, sherab): the perfect discrimination of phenomena, all knowable things.

The first five paramitas correspond to the accumulation of merit, and the sixth to the accumulation of wisdom. The sixth paramita can be divided into four, resulting in ten paramitas.

Written Sources

Sutras

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Shastras

The six paramitas are mentioned and explained in many of the most important Indian sources, such as

Teachings Given to the Rigpa Sangha

Further Reading

References

  1. See The Fortunate Aeon: How the Thousand Buddhas Became Enlightened (Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1986), Vol. One, pages 97-477.

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