The Perfection of Wisdom - The Questions of Pingiya I

The perfection of panna is essential for the development of the other perfections in the right way. We should remember that the goal of the development of the perfections is panna which penetrates the four noble Truths. Since its development to that degree takes an endlessly long time, panna, in its turn, is also dependent on the other perfections. We can notice in this life that someone who has developed the perfections will be inclined to listen to the Dhamma, whereas someone who has not developed the perfections does not see the benefit of the development of panna and does not want to listen to the Dhamma. Even though there is still opportunity to listen to the true Dhamma, he is not interested in listening.
A person who has already developed the perfection of panna to a certain extent, wishes to understand and to know the true nature of realities, no matter where he is born, or even if he is born into a family where there is wrong view. We read in “The Questions of Pingiya” (Culaniddesa of the “Khuddhaka Nikaya”) that the Brahmin Pingiya who was hundred and twenty years old asked the Buddha:

“I am old and weak, I have lost my beauty,

and moreover, my eyesight and my hearing are not clear.

Meanwhile, Lord Buddha, may I not go astray,

may the Lord explain the Dhamma that he penetrated,

the Dhamma that makes an end to birth and old age.”


A person with panna would not ask for anything else but hearing the true Dhamma

which makes an end to birth and old age. Although Pingiya was hundred and

twenty years old, he wanted to listen to the true Dhamma. He had accumulated

panna to such degree that he saw the benefit of listening to the Dhamma. We

read further on:


“The Buddha said to the Brahmin Pingiya:

‘People are intoxicated,

they are oppressed by physical phenomena, rupas.

It can be seen that people are disturbed because of rupas.

Therefore, Pingiya, you should not be neglectful,

you should give up clinging to rupas so that you will not be reborn.’ ”


People who have developed panna know that dukkha, suffering, arises because

of clinging to rupa. In order to abandon dukkha, we should eliminate clinging to

rupas. The dukkha in our life is caused by rupas, because we cling and take

delight in the sense objects of colour, sound, odour, flavour and tangible object.

All these objects are the cause of diverse kinds of dukkha.


Topic 280