The Perfection of Wisdom - Depends on the degree of panna



The perfection of panna can be developed when we perform deeds of generosity, but we should know to what purpose we give things away: to eliminate defilements. Someone who does not know that panna has to be developed in order to realize the four noble Truths, gives without panna, and he may expect a reward for his good deed. However, someone who gives things away with understanding of realities is aware of the fact that, in truth, no beings, people or self are to be found; he knows that birth leads to suffering and trouble, life after life. He knows that the end to rebirth is the end to suffering. This means that seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting or the experience of tangible object and all the sufferings caused by them will not arise any more. All kinds of kusala have to be developed to the degree of a perfection, so that the four noble Truths can be realized and defilements be eradicated. When someone has become a streamwinner, sotapanna, he will not more than seven times be reborn and then attain arahatship.

When sati and panna have become keener and more refined, we shall see that we have many different kinds of defilements through the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, the body and the mind, the whole day. It is extremely difficult to eradicate them completely. This can only be achieved by developing every kind of kusala to the degree of a perfection. If someone has right understanding of the significance of the perfections, he will, when he performs generous deeds, not aim for anything else but the realization of the noble Truths so that defilements can be completely eradicated.

We can only know ourselves whether our kusala is a perfection or not. If someone has no understanding of the way to eradicate defilements, his generosity is not a perfection. Someone who has listened to the Dhamma and notices his defilements, may perform kusala of the degree of a perfection, but it all depends on the strenghth of his panna. Some people who have just begun to listen to the Dhamma say that they do not need to attain nibbana, and that they do not need to be a “streamwinner”, sotapanna, who will not be reborn more than seven times. They want to be reborn more than seven times. Thus, it is evident that in their case panna of the level of listening is still weak. For the development of the perfections it is necessary that panna clearly sees the benefit of developing them, be it the perfection of generosity, of síla, of renunciation or any of the other perfections. Thus, it all depends on the degree of panna to what extent the perfections can be developed.


Topic 280