Friday, February 28, 2014

What is Parami? How many Paramis are there? How do they determine the attainment of different types of Bodhi?

Paramis are ‘perfections’ or qualities developed and brought to maturity by Bodhisattas during their past experiences, and they lead to Buddhahood.

There are ten Paramis in the Theravada tradition:
Dana Parami – perfection in giving, generosity
Sila Parami – perfection in virtue, morality
Nekkhamma Parami – renunciation of sensual pleasures
Panna Parami – wisdom, understanding, insight
Viriya Parami – energy, effort (physical and mental)
Khanti Parami – patience, endurance, tolerance, non-violence
Sacca Parami – truthfulness, gentle speech
Adhitthana Parami – resolution, strong determination, will-power
Metta Parami – universal love, loving-kindness, goodwill
Upekkha Parami – equanimity, impartiality

The ten perfections vary in intensity and magnitude with respect to the three different types of Bodhi (enlightenment), ranging from least intense (Arahat) to most intensive (Sammasambodhi). They also vary according to the number of times they are fulfilled, ranging from once (Arahat), twice (Pacceka) to thrice (Sammasambodhi).

Friday, February 21, 2014

How many types of Buddha are there? What are the pre-requisites for becoming these different types of Buddha?

There are three types of Buddha: Arahat Buddha, Pacceka Buddha, and Sammasambuddha.

All three are born human with the highest virtue and supernormal wisdom, they develop from being a Bodhisatta, develop spiritually over countless aeons, and are motivated by compassion.

The first is a disciple who perfects the Paramis over hundreds or thousands of lives, achieves the pre-requisites for becoming an enlightened being, meets the Buddha or a disciple, hears the teaching, grasps the teaching of the four Noble Truths and becomes an Arahat.

The second fulfils the 10 Paramis over two cycles, appears when the teachings are lost and beings are living in ignorance, becomes enlightened on their own, and lives in seclusion as a hermit.

The third fulfils the 10 Paramis over three cycles, becomes supremely enlightened by hearing and understanding the Dhamma from previous Buddhas, enlightens others and makes significant impacts on world history.

Friday, February 14, 2014

What is a 'Bodhisatta'? How many types are there? What are the requirements to become a 'Bodhisatta'?

The term ‘Bodhisatta’ (or 'Bodhisattva') means a would-be Buddha, or a future Buddha, in other words, someone with all the exalted spiritual perfections leading to supreme enlightenment, and destined to achieve Buddhahood. There are three types: those leading to Arahat Bodhi, those leading to Pacceka Bodhi, and those leading to Sammasambodhi.

In the case of all three types they must achieve enlightenment through emancipation and the liberation from worldly bonds. To become a Savaka Bodhi one sacrifices material possessions and their pleasures for the welfare of others. To become a Pacceka Bodhi, in addition to this, one sacrifices parts of the body for others. To become Samma Sambodhi one also sacrifices one’s life.

Friday, February 7, 2014

What is the meaning of the term ‘Bodhi’? How many different types of Bodhi are there?

The term ‘Bodhi’ comes from the verbal root ‘budh’, to awaken or to understand. It means awakenment, enlightenment, supreme knowledge. One awakens from the slumber or stupor of the defilements to comprehend the four Noble Truths.

There are three types of Bodhi: Arahat Bodhi (perfected disciple of Buddha) where one perfects the 10 Paramis over countless lives, hears and grasps the Dhamma, and eventually passes it on to others; Pacceka Bodhi (hermit Buddha) where one perfect the 10 Paramis twice, achieves enlightenment without help from others at a time when the teaching is lost in the world, and lives in seclusion; and Sammasambodhi (supremely enlightened Buddha) where one perfects the 10 Paramis three times, receives and grasps the Dhamma, enlightens others and changes the world significantly. The latter includes the 28 historical Buddhas, Buddha Gotama, and the future Lord Metteyya.