Sutra text from last issue:
The Buddha told the Bhikshus,“The king was I myself, in a previous life and the seer was the present Devadatta.”
It is because of my good and wise advisor, Devadatta, that I have perfected the Six Paramitas, and also kindness, compassion, joy, and giving, as well as the Thirty-two Marks and eighty fine characteristics, coloring of burnished purple-gold, the Ten Powers, the Four Fearlessnesses, the Four Dharmas of Attraction, the Eighteen Unshared Dharmas, the Power of the Way of Spiritual Penetrations, the Accomplishment of Equal, Proper Enlightenment, and the vast rescue of living beings. All this came about because of my good and wise advisor, Devadatta.
Shakyamuni Buddha said, “It is because of my good and wise advisor, Devadatta.” “Because of” means it had to do with him. It came from Devadatta acting as my good and wise advisor and teaching me. That’s why I have perfected the Six Paramitas.
“Perfected” means fulfilled completely, successfully. What did the Buddha perfect? It was the Six Paramitas of giving, holding precepts, being patient, being vigorous, having Chan samadhi, and being wise—which refers to prajna wisdom. The Ten Benefits of each Paramita have already been explained. Now we will explain the Four Causal Conditions of each of the Six Paramitas.
Four Causal Conditions arising from
Cultivation of the Paramita of Giving
Giving translates the Sanskrit term dana. Cultivating the Paramita of Giving enables us to do the following things.
1. We can break through the causal condition of stingy greed. We can get rid of our greed which makes us unable to renounce things and give them away.
2. We can develop the causal condition of adorning the Bodhi of our own nature.
3. We can create the causal condition of benefitting ourselves and benefitting others. Since we can benefit ourselves, we also can benefit others. We can give when we want to give and after giving we feel happy. That is benefiting ourselves. We can help those who are hungry and thirsty resolve their problem of hunger and thirst. Those who have nothing to eat get fed and if you give those who have nothing to drink a little money they can buy some soda pop to quench their thirst. To give in order to resolve the problem of hunger and thirst and is to benefit others.
4. We can attain the causal condition of great fruition in future lives. Those who can give will, in the future, enjoy wealth and honor. Why do they become rich? It is because they have not been stingy; they were generous in giving to others. That’s why they attain the reward of being very wealthy themselves. Although the causal conditions are like that, we should not hope for that. Why not? A hope like that is far too small; instead we should transfer the merit of giving to seeking the unsurpassed Bodhi.
Four Causal Conditions arising from
Cultivation of the Paramita of Holding Precepts
1. We can create the causal conditions of cultivating wholesome dharmas and putting an end to bad prohibitions. Cultivating wholesome dharmas doesn’t mean just cultivating one, it means cultivating many kinds. If we cultivate wholesome dharmas, then bad dharmas will be eliminated. That’s putting an end to bad prohibitions.
2. We can develop the causal condition of adorning Bodhi and gathering in living beings. We want to adorn the Bodhi of our own nature, but once the adornment of Bodhi is perfected, then what? Well, we want to gather in living beings. We want to gather in and teach absolutely all beings without renouncing a single one. It would never be that we would not want to rescue certain beings with whom we have no affinities; or that we would set out to save certain ones with whom we did have affinities. We want to gather in all beings, whether we have affinities with them or not.
3. We will attain the causal condition of being peaceful when we lie down to rest. Reclining, we will be at peace; we will also be at peace with whatever we awaken to. Our mind will be at peace with external states; our own nature will be at peace and everything external to us will be at peace. We will feel no regrets; nor will we hate anyone. We will never think to harm a single living being. By not harming beings we are upholding the precepts and protecting beings.
4. We will attain the causal condition of receiving the happiness of humans and gods and the bliss of Nirvana. We will enjoy happiness as humans or gods and we will be able to attain the bliss of Nirvana.
To be continued