The Ten Paramitas (Perfections) of Buddhism

buddhaBeing a Buddhist entails living a life towards becoming enlightened. You want to be free from suffering and desire. You also want other sentient beings to be free from the pain of life and to receive goodness. But while living in this current existence, there are teachings or Dharmas to be followed.

The Ten Paramitas or Perfections are the acts that people need to do in order to live a life of example and in order to attain enlightenment and assist others towards this path. The Ten Paramitas are simple truths that anyone can apply in his or her life to live with kindness, gentleness and purity.

What are The Ten Paramitas?

The Ten Paramitas are the teachings that are guidelines in our day to day existence. They help us to be kind and respectful to all life. They allow us to be more gentle and not hurtful. Unlike other commandments of other schools of thought and religions, these teachings are not harsh but rather useful in our current life

These are:

1. Generosity

2. Morality

3. Renunciation

4. Wisdom

5. Energy

6. Patience

7. Truthfulness

8. Determination

9. Loving-kindness

10. Equanimity

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Generosity

The path towards being enlightened means being able to help others even though we barely have enough for ourselves. We need to help others as much as we can. We need to go out of our ways to assist those who are hungry and alone. And this does not only apply to just humans but also other sentient beings such as stray cats and dogs, birds and other animals.

Morality

Living a moral life means being able to live a life free from desires and show good acts. It means for us to have integrity and do the right thing even if no one is watching us. Morality is doing and ensuring the right thing is done. To be moral means to be always honest; it means not seeking one’s own benefit alone.

Renunciation

Renunciation is to renounce everything that is worldly and does not benefit the path of enlightenment. It means not taking in intoxicating drinks. It means staying away from things that may cause you to feel greed, anger, desire and hate towards others. Renunciation also means to let go of the attachment to this world. To let go of life and desiring to live, but rather living in the way of the path towards enlightenment.

Wisdom (Pradjna)

Wisdom is the ability to hold discernment in your heart. It is the power to properly decide in times of confusion. It is the way of choosing the right path over the easy one. Wisdom is the ability to think first before acting or speaking.

Energy (Prana)

Our energy is the one that runs our body. It is the one that allows us to work and act and love with our whole being. Without proper energy, we will be unable to live a life which is an example of the ways of Buddha.

There are times that we devote our energies into the wrong things, causing us to burn out. This is because if fuel a fire and let it burn without us properly attending it, it may consume us. We need to focus our energys to the right things. These things are the acts and ways and thoughts of enlightenment.

Patience

One of the sacred teachings of Buddhism is to always be amiable and patient. It means for us to be more accepting of others. It means not losing our tempers on little things. It also means allowing kindness in our hearts and helping those who can never repay us. Patience gives us a light heart in the times of toil and hard work.

Truthfulness

The path of enlightenment is the path of honesty and not of lies. Truthfulness means being a witness and saying the right words no matter what the cost is. It means allowing our tongues to only declare what is real. This virtue allows us to be able to freely live without the burden of lies. Observe your heart when you lie and observe it when you say the truth, don’t you see the difference?

Determination

Determination is the ability to work hard and attain the goals set for our spirit as well as the goals of living. It is the ability to stand firm and walk in the path of achieving spiritual freedom no matter how difficult it is.

Determination is also useful in our daily lives as we toil in our fields and work in our offices. It helps us to attain our dreams and aspirations.

Loving – Kindness

One of the most important teachings of Buddhism is Loving – Kindness. It is not only a Paramita, but also a Brahma Viharas or the Four Sublime States. Loving – Kindness is the type of love which is always gentle and meek. It is not self-seeking, but rather giving and kind. It only seeks the welfare of the ones loved. Loving – Kindness is also the way we should treat all sentient beings. It is the path of gentleness to those people and beings considered as nothings of the society.

Equanimity

This is the teaching that asks us to treat all with equality. That we should treat all beings with kindness and gentleness. That we should serve all others. Equanimity asks us to be helpful to not just humans but also animals and to treat them as our equals.

Following the Paramitas

The Ten Paramitas are very simple teachings and traits that any man, woman or child can live by. Through meditation, acts of kindness and working towards enlightenment we can achieve perfection. The teachings of the Paramitas help us to live in this modern day with the heart of a noble Buddha.