Six paramitas

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The six paramitas (S. ṣaṭpāramitā; T. pha rol tu phyin pa drug ཕ་རོལ་ཏུ་ཕྱིན་པ་དྲུག་) or six perfections present a gradual path in the training of a bodhisattva according to the Sanskrit tradition.

The six paramitas are:

1. dāna-pāramitā - an attitude of giving, based on nonattachment and the relinquishing of miserliness
2. śīla-pāramitā - skillful conduct, refraining from harm
3. kṣānti-pāramitā - forbearance, the ability not to be perturbed by anything
4. vīrya-pāramitā - joyous effort, to find joy in what is virtuous, positive or wholesome
5. dhyāna-pāramitā - meditative stability, not to be distracted
6. prajñā-pāramitā - discrimating wisdom, the perfect discrimination of phenomena

The first five paramitas correspond to the accumulation of merit (puṇya-saṃbhāra), and the sixth to the accumulation of wisdom (jñāna-saṃbhāra).

The sixth paramita can be further sub-divided into four parts, resulting in ten paramitas.

Traditional texts

The six paramitas are identified in many sources in the Sanskrit tradition, including the following.



Indian commentaries:

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

See also


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