The Perfection of Determination - Eight qualifications I

The person who has the supreme aspiration to become a Sammasambuddha, should have eight qualifications: the human state, the male sex, the cause (which are the necessary supporting conditions), the sight of the Teacher, the going forth, the achievement of noble qualities, extreme dedication and strong desire.
As regards the first qualification, the human state, this is necessary for the fulfilment of his aspiration.
As to the second qualification, the male sex, a woman cannot become a Buddha.
The third qualification is the cause (hetu), and this means that in the life when he aspires to be the Sammasambuddha, he must be endowed with the necessary supporting conditions.
As to the fourth qualification, the sight of the master, he must be in the presence of a Sammasambuddha. His aspiration will only succeed when it is made in the presence of a living Buddha, not after he has finally passed away. His aspiration will not succeed when it is made at the foot of the Bodhi-tree, before a shrine, in front of an image, in the presence of Paccekabuddhas (silent Buddhas) or the Buddha’s disciples. The aspiration only succeeds when made in the presence of a Buddha. When he has not met a Buddha in person, the power that is necessary to confirm his dedication is lacking.
As to the fifth qualification, the going forth, he must have gone forth into the homeless state, either as an ascetic or as a bhikkhu who believes in the doctrine of kamma and its appropriate result. His aspiration does not succeed when he lives as a layman. At the time he makes his resolution to become a Sammasambuddha, he should have gone forth, because a monk is stronger in his determination than a layman.
As to the sixth qualification, the achievement of noble qualities, we read in the Commentary to the “Basket of Conduct”:

“ 6) The achievement of noble qualities (gunasampatti):

the achievement of such noble qualities as the direct knowledges (abhinna), etc.

For the aspiration only succeeds when made by one who has gone forth

and gained the eight meditative attainments (samapatti)

and the five mundane types of direct knowledge;

it does not succeed for one devoid of these qualities. Why?

Because one devoid of them is incapable of investigating the paramís.

It is because he possesses the necessary supporting conditions

and the direct knowledges that the Great Man,

after he has made the aspiration, is able to investigate the paramís by himself.”

 

Topic 284