What is Six Perfections (Oaranuta)?

Publish Date:2021-11-30

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The Sanskrit word “Paramita” literally means “gone to the other shore”, that is to cross from this shore of moral affliction to the other shore of enlightenment. Six Paramita are six ways to the other shore. The first Paramita is Liberality or Charity (Dana), which is of three kinds: ⑴ giving material things to others including worldly possetions, even one’s own head, eyes, hands, feet and life, known as material Dana; ⑵ giving protection to all beings and to free them from terror, called the free-from-fear givings (abhaya Dana); ⑶ giving all beings the truth, is the Dhamma Dana. The second Paramita is morality or abiding by the precepts (Sila), this also consists of three categories, (namely), to avoid evils, to cultivate and accumulate wholesomeness and to benefit sentient beings. The most fundamental sila for Boddhisattas is to benefit sentient beings, i.e. all being done is for the public interest, while the other precepts are subordinate to it. The third Paramita is Patience (Khanti), which means that in service of sentient beings one should be able to endure slander, abuse, attack, the sufferings of hunger and cold etc., “Do what is hard to do, bear what is hard to bear”, and never give up the vow to save beings. The fourth Paramita, Effort or Energy (Viriya), is to make every effort and strive constantly for salvation not only for oneself but for all other beings and enlightenment not only for oneself but for all other beings. The fifth is Meditation or Contemplation (Samadhi). The sixth, Wisdom (Panna), is to practice meditation and to gain knowledge for the sake of enlightening oneself and other beings. (From Essentials of Buddhism: Questions and Answers)

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