In Theravada Buddhism's canonical Buddhavamsa[6] the Ten Perfections (dasa pāramiyo) are (original terms in Pali):



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In Theravada Buddhism's canonical Buddhavamsa[6] the Ten Perfections (dasa pāramiyo) are (original terms in Pali):

1. Dāna parami : generosity, giving of oneself
2. Sīla parami : virtue, morality, proper conduct
3. Nekkhamma parami : renunciation
4. Paā parami : transcendental wisdom, insight
5. Viriya (also spelt vīriya) parami : energy, diligence, vigour, effort
6. Khanti parami : patience, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance
7. Sacca parami : truthfulness, honesty
8. Adhiṭṭhāna (adhitthana) parami : determination, resolution
9. Mettā parami : loving-kindness
10. Upekkhā (also spelt upekhā) parami : equanimity, serenity

Two of the above virtues, Metta and Upekkha, also comprise two of the Four Immeasurables (Brahmavihara).

In the sramanic traditions of ancient India (most notably those of Mahavira and Gautama Buddha) arhat (Sanskrit) or arahant (Pali) signified a spiritual practitioner who hadto use an expression common in the tipitaka"laid down the burden"and realised the goal of nibbana, the culmination of the spiritual life (brahmacarya). Such a person, having removed all causes for future becoming, is not reborn after biological death into any samsaric realm.

Theravada Buddhism

In Theravada Buddhism the Buddha himself is first named as an arahant, as were his enlightened followers, since he is free from all defilements, without greed, hatred, and delusion, rid of ignorance and craving, having no "assets" that will lead to a future birth, knowing and seeing the real here and now. This virtue shows stainless purity, true worth, and the accomplishment of the end, nibbana.[2]

In the Pali canon, Ven. Ānanda states that he has known monastics to achieve nibbana in one of four ways:

* one develops insight preceded by serenity (Pali: samatha-pubbaṇgamaṃ vipassanaṃ);
* one develops serenity preceded by insight (vipassanā-pubbaṇgamaṃ samathaṃ);
* one develops serenity and insight in a stepwise fashion (samatha-vipassanaṃ yuganaddhaṃ);
* one's mind becomes seized by excitation about the dhamma and, as a consequence, develops serenity and abandons the fetters (dhamma-uddhacca-viggahitaṃ mānasaṃ hoti).[3][4]

As the name indicates, there are eight elements in the Noble Eightfold Path, and these are divided into three basic categories[1] as follows:

* Wisdom (Sanskrit: prajā, Pāli: paā)

1. Right view
2. Right intention

* Ethical conduct (Sanskrit: śīla, Pāli: sīla)

3. Right speech
4. Right action
5. Right livelihood

* Mental discipline (Sanskrit and Pāli: samādhi)

6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right concentration

In all of the elements of the Noble Eightfold Path, the word "right" is a translation of the word samyac (Sanskrit) or sammā (Pāli), which denotes completion, togetherness, and coherence, and which can also carry the sense of "perfect" or "ideal".

Four Noble Truths

1. The Nature of Dukkha: Suffering exists in life. This is the noble truth of dukkha: Dukkha is usually translated as "suffering" in English. Birth is dukkha, aging is dukkha, sickness is dukkha, death is dukkha; union with what is displeasing is dukkha; separation from what is pleasing is dukkha; not to get what one wants is dukkha; to get what one does not want is dukkha; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are dukkha. This first Noble Truth reflects on the nature of suffering. It comments on types of suffering, identifying each type in turn. A more accurate simplification of this truth is "Life is full of suffering."

2. The Origin of Dukkha (Samudaya): Suffering is caused by craving. This is the noble truth of the origin of dukkha: It is craving which leads to renewed existence, accompanied by delight and lust; that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for existence, craving for extermination. The second Noble Truth reflects on the sources of suffering.) Put very simply, it states that suffering results from expectations linked to our desires, and our attachment to those desires themselves.

3. The Cessation of Dukkha (Nirodha): To eliminate suffering, eliminate craving. This is the noble truth of the cessation of dukkha: It is the remainderless fading away and cessation of that same craving, the giving up and relinquishing of it, freedom from it, and non-reliance on it. The third Noble Truth reflects on the belief that suffering can be eliminated. It asserts that it can be done, and that it has been done.

4. The Way Leading to the Cessation of Dukkha (Magga): To eliminate craving follow the Eightfold Path. This is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of dukkha: It is the Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. [7][9]

What promises were included in the covenant God made with Abraham? Here is a list:

1. A great nation was to come out of Abraham, namely, the nation of Israel (Genesis 12:2; 13:16; 15:5; 17:1-2, 7; 22:17b)
2. Abraham was promised a land -- specifically, the Land of Canaan (Genesis 12:1, 7; 13:14-15, 17; 15:17-21; 17:8). Later we learn that the privilege of Abraham's descendants, the Jewish people, for living in their land under God's blessing is conditioned upon their obedience (see, for example, Deuteronomy 28-29). But whether the Jews are physically residing inside or outside of the land, or whether anyone else may control it by conquest or any other means, the land belongs to the Jewish people by divine right.
3. Abraham himself was to be greatly blessed (12:2b; 15:6; 22:15-17a)
4. Abraham's name would be great (12:2c)
5. Abraham will be a blessing to others (12:2d)
6. Those who bless will be blessed (12:3a)
7. The one who curses will be cursed (12:3b) -- again and again this principle is operative in the prophets as they pronounce judgment on the nations surrounding Israel for the treatment of His chosen people.
8. In Abraham all the earth will ultimately be blessed, a promise of Gentile blessing (12:3c; 22:18)
9. Abraham would receive a son through his wife Sarah (15:1-4; 17:16-21)
10. His descendants would undergo the Egyptian bondage (15:13-14)
11. Other nations as well as Israel would come forth from Abraham (17:3-4, 6; the Arab states are some of these nations)
12. His name was to be changed from Abram to Abraham (17:5)
13. Sarai's name was to be changed to Sarah (17:15)
14. There was to be a token/sign of the covenant -- circumcision (17:9-14).

In Abraham's day, Ur was the wealthiest city in Mesopotamia, with a complex system of government and a well-developed system of commerce; trade routes joined Ur with other great towns to the north and the south. Citizens of Ur during the time of Abraham were able to enjoy a high standard of living in their prosperous city. So it is not surprising to find that they felt superior to the nomads who lived in the semi-desert beyond the areas watered by the Euphrates.

Abraham's life after God called him was very different from the one he had before the call of God. At the Lord's command, Abraham left the sophisticated city, with all its security and comfort, to become one of the despised nomads. What is more, God didn't even tell him where He was leading him. No wonder Abraham is held up as an example of faith [see Romans 4]!

As part of the call of Abraham, the Lord made specific promises to which He committed Himself. This contractual agreement has been called by many the "Abrahamic covenant." The Bible records six occasions on which God appeared to Abraham to make or reinforce the promises (Genesis 12:1-3, 7; 13:14-18; 15:4, 5, 13-18; 17:1-8; 18:17-19; 22:15-18).

The provisions of these agreements, which ultimately would result in bringing blessing to all the families of the earth (Genesis 12:3), were extended to Abraham's descendants after him. In a cluster of predictions found in Genesis 12-28, God defined clearly the chosen line through which Messianic blessing would come into the world: Abraham, Isaac (son of Abraham and Sarah), and Jacob (Isaac and Rebekah's son). Toward the end of the Patriarchal period Jacob (whose name was changed by God to "Israel") singled out Judah as the chosen one among his twelve sons to whom the scepter (symbol of rulership) was given (Genesis 49:10).

Let us go back to the beginning of the story to examine Abraham's covenantal relationship with God. "Now the LORD said to Abram, 'Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed'" (Genesis 12:1-3).

Some Buddhists meditate on (or contemplate) the Buddha as having nine characteristics:

1. a worthy one (Skt: arhat)
2. perfectly self-enlightened (Skt: samyak-saṃbuddha)
3. perfected in knowledge and conduct (Skt: vidyā-caraṇa-saṃpanna )
4. well gone (Skt: sugata)
5. unsurpassed knower of the world (Skt: anuttara-loka-vid)
6. unsurpassed leader of persons to be tamed (Skt: anuttara-puruṣa-damya-sārathi)
7. teacher of the gods and humans (Skt: śāstṛ deva-manuṣyāṇaṃ)
8. the Enlightened One (Skt: buddha)
9. the Blessed One or fortunate one (Skt: bhagavat)

These characteristics are frequently mentioned in the Pali Canon, and are chanted daily in many Buddhist monasteries.

Spiritual realizations
The Buddha, in Greco-Buddhist style, 1st-2nd century CE, Gandhara (Modern Pakistan). (Standing Buddha (Tokyo National Museum)).
The Buddha, in Greco-Buddhist style, 1st-2nd century CE, Gandhara (Modern Pakistan). (Standing Buddha (Tokyo National Museum)).

All Buddhist traditions hold that a Buddha has completely purified his mind of desire, aversion and ignorance, and that he is no longer bound by Samsara. A Buddha is fully awakened and has realized the ultimate truth, the non-dualistic nature of life, and thus ended (for himself) the suffering which unawakened people experience in life.

the Buddha tells of how his initial teachings on suffering, impermanence and non-Self were given to those who were still like "small children", unable to digest the full "meal" of Truth, whereas when those spiritual students "grow up" and are no longer satisfied by the preliminary ingredients of the Dharmic meal fed to them and require fuller sustenance, they are then ready to assimilate the full and balanced fare of the Mahayana teachings (Mahaparinirvana Sutra).


The Mahaparinirvana Sutra is a voluminous and major Mahayana scripture which purports to enshrine the Buddha's "final explanation" of his Doctrine, an explanation characterised by "exhaustive thoroughness" and allegedly delivered on the last day and night before his parinirvana. The Buddha in this sutra declares that this scripture is "peerless" and the "all-fulfilling conclusion" of authentic Dharma (verbalised Truth), and that "all the various secret gates to Dharma, the words of implicit meaning uttered by the tathagatas [Buddhas] are gathered up in this Mahaparinirvana". It is in this sutra, the Buddha states, that he will impart to his followers the "intended gist" of his teachings. It is proclaimed by the Buddha as "unique, perfect, pure .... the most excellent, the foremost of all sutras". So powerful is this scripture deemed to be that the very hearing of its name is said by the Buddha to bring happiness, and it is claimed that merely by listening to it, most people will lay the causal foundations for later Awakening (bodhi).

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