The Perfection of Generosity - The gifts of Bodhisatta
We should develop the perfections together with satipatthana, life after life. The Bodhisatta had developed the perfections for aeons to an incomparably high degree. He accumulated the perfection of generosity together with panna and all other wholesome qualities which formed together the conditions (as the khandha of formations, sankharakkhandha) for the realization of the four noble Truths when he attained Buddhahood. The accumulation of the perfection of dana and the other perfections led to this result.
We read in the Commentary about the Bodhisatta’s accumulation of the perfection of giving:
“When he gives a material gift, the Great Man gives food, thinking:
‘May I, by this gift, enable beings to achieve long-life,
beauty, happiness, strength, intelligence, and the supreme fruit of unsullied bliss.’
He gives drink, wishing to allay the thirst of sensual defilements;
garments to gain the adornments of shame and moral dread and the golden complexion (of a Buddha);
vehicles for attaining the modes of psychic potency and the bliss of nibbana;
scents for producing the sweet scent of virtue;
garlands and unguents for producing the beauty of the Buddha-qualities;
seats for producing the seat on the terrace of enlightenment;
bedding for producing the bed of a Tathagata’s rest;
dwellings so he might become a refuge for beings;
lamps so he might obtain the five eyes.
He gives visible forms for producing the fathom-wide aura(surrounding a Buddha);
sounds for producing the Brahma-like voice (of a Buddha);
tastes for endearing himself to all the world;
and tangibles for acquiring a Buddha’s elegance.
He gives medicines so he might later give the ageless and deathless state of nibbana.
He gives slaves the gift of freedom so he might later emancipate beings from the slavery of defilements.
He gives blameless amusements and enjoyments in order to produce delight in the true Dhamma.
He gives his own children as a gift so that he might adopt all beings as his children by granting them an ariyan birth.
He gives his wives as a gift in order that he might become master over the entire world.
He gives gifts of gold, gems, pearls, coral, etc. in order to achieve the major marks of physical beauty (characteristics of a Buddha’s body),
and the gifts of the diverse means of beautification in order to achieve the minor features of physical beauty.
He gives his treasuries as a gift in order to obtain the treasury of the true Dhamma;
the gift of his kingdom in order to become the king of the Dhamma;
the gift of monasteries, parks, ponds, and groves in order to achieve the jhanas, etc.;
the gift of his feet in order that he might approach the terrace of enlightenment with feet marked with the auspicious wheels;
the gift of his hands in order that he might give to beings the rescuing hand of the true Dhamma to help them across the four floods ;
the gift of his ears, nose, etc. in order to obtain the spiritual faculties of faith,etc.;
the gift of his eyes in order to obtain the universal eye;
the gift of his flesh and blood with the thought:
‘May my body be the means of life for all the world!
May it bring welfare and happiness to all beings at all times,
even on occasions of merely seeing, hearing, recollecting, or ministering to me!’
And he gives the gift of his head in order to become supreme in all the world.”
- When giving is a perfection
- A higher kind of giving
- Giving of freedom from danger and fear.
- Giving of external objects I
- Giving of external objects II
- Giving of the Dhamma
- The gifts of Bodhisatta
- The gift of sounds
- The Bodhisatta’s giving I
- The Bodhisatta’s giving II
- The Bodhisatta’s giving III
- Understanding based on giving
- Giving with right understanding