What are the four All-embracing Virtues (cattar samgaha-vatthuni)?

Publish Date:2021-11-30

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Samgaha-vatthu is the qualities that ensure public unity. The first is liberality or charity (Dana). The second, kindly speech (Peyyavajja), is to speak kind words in a kind manner. The third, beneficial conduct (Atthacariya), means to serve the public welfare. The fourth, equality (Samanattata), is to live the same life as the ordinary people. These four are the means whereby Bodhisattas carry out their work among human beings.



In order to benefit the public welfare and to identify with others, is it necessary for a bodhisatta to acquire various kinds of worldly knowledge?


For the interest of human beings, it is necessary for a bodhisatta to study extensively and to be well informed. Buddhism requires bodhisatta aspirants to learn the Five Vidya (S. vijja, meaning knowledge), these are:

⑴ Sabda-vidya, viz. phonology and philogy;

⑵ Silpakarma-vidya, viz. all technology, techniques, crafts, arithmetic, calendar, etc.;

⑶ Cikitsa-vidya, viz. medical science and pharmacology;

⑷ Hetu-vidya, viz. logic;

⑸ Adhyatma-vidya, viz. Buddhist studies.

The five vidyas must be mastered by scholars. “To be broadly erudite, and sincerely compassionate” is the requirement for bodhisattahood. Mahayana Buddhism particularly calls for learning whatever is difficult to learn, and all that should be learned. (From Essentials of Buddhism: Questions and Answers)

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