guṇapāramitā (T. yon tan pha rol tu phyin pa [alt. yon tan gyi pha rol tu phyin pa]; C. gongde boluomi 功德波羅蜜), or "perfection of qualities," refers to four qualities of the tathāgatagarbha, as described in the Śrīmālādevī Siṃhanāda Sūtra and other texts. These four qualities are: permanence, purity, bliss, and self.
Karl Brunnholzl states:
- Thus, based on the tathāgata heart, bodhisattvas develop bodhicitta, practice the six pāramitās, and so the entire path unfolds. In the context of explaining the mantra of prajñāpāramitā, Mahājana says that the phrase “the mantra that calms all suffering” refers to this mantra’s being the cause for realizing the four pāramitās of purity, self, permanence, and bliss on the final path of nonlearning. As described in several tathāgatagarbha sūtras and the Uttaratantra, these four pāramitās are the ultimate defining characteristics of the tathāgata heart.
- ...the qualities of the tathāgata heart (such as the four pāramitās of supreme purity, bliss, self, and permanence) exist only when the mode of appearance and the actual mode of being are in accord. Therefore, they are established only through "the valid cognition of the pure vision of the noble ones" ( ’phags pa dag gzigs gi tshad ma) but never through "the valid cognition of seeing just this life" (tshur mthong tshad ma). For more details, see Duckworth 2005 and Kapstein 1988.
- yon tan gyi pha rol tu phyin pa, Christian-Steinert Dictionary
- Robert E. Buswell Jr., Donald S. Lopez Jr., The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Princeton: 2014), s.v. guṇapāramitā
- FromWhen the Clouds Part, as quoted in Different Ways of Explaining the Meaning of Tathāgatagarbha, Buddha Nature: A Tsadra Foundation Initiative