Six paramitas (Mahayana)

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Shantideva, the author of the Bodhisattvacaryavatara.
Translations of
"Six paramitas"
English six paramitas,
six perfections,
six transcendental perfections
Sanskrit ṣaṭpāramitā
Chinese 寂天
Tibetan ཕ་རོལ་ཏུ་ཕྱིན་པ་དྲུག་
(THL: parol tu chinpa druk
WYL: pha rol tu phyin pa drug
)

The six paramitas (S. ṣaṭpāramitā; T. pha rol tu phyin pa drug) or six perfections present a gradual path in the training of a bodhisattva according to the Mahayana school.

The six paramitas are:

  1. Dana paramita: to cultivate the attitude of giving
  2. Śīla paramita: refraining from harm
  3. Kshanti paramita: the ability not to be perturbed by anything
  4. Virya paramita : to find joy in what is virtuous, positive or wholesome
  5. Dhyana paramita : not to be distracted
  6. Prajna paramita : the perfect discrimination of phenomena

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 parts, resulting in ten paramitas.

Written Sources

In the Mahāyāna textual tradition, the six paramitas are identified in many sources, including:

Tibetan tradition

The following sources are emphasized in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition:

Sutras

Commentaries

The six paramitas are mentioned and explained in many important Indian commentaries that were translated into Tibetan, such as:

Further Reading

  • Dzogchen Ponlop, Rebel Buddha (Boston: Shambhala, 2010), pages 124-132.
  • Geshe Sonam Rinchen, The Six Perfections, translated by Ruth Sonam (Ithaca: Snow Lion, 1998), ISBN 978-1559390897
  • Khenpo Ngawang Pelzang, A Guide to the Words of My Perfect Teacher (Boston & London: Shambhala, 2004), pages 181-219.
  • Patrul Rinpoche, The Words of My Perfect Teacher (Boston: Shambhala, Revised edition, 1998), pages 234-261.
  • Khenpo Kunpal, The Nectar of Manjushri's Speech, translated by Padmakara Translation Group. Published by Shambhala. ISBN 978-1-59030-439-6
  • Khenpo Palden Sherab Rinpoche,Ceasless Echoes of the Great Silence, a Commentary on the Heart Sutra. Translated by Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche. Pages 81-96. Published by Sky Dancer Press. ISBN 1-880976-01-7

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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