The Perfection of Determination - If he were to hear

We read in the Commentary to the “Basket of Conduct” that the Bodhisatta needed to have a strong wish, a strong yearning, to become the Sammasambuddha. We read in the “Miscellaneous Sayings”:

“Strong desire (chandata): wholesome desire, the wish for accomplishment.

One possessed of the aforesaid qualities must have strong desire, yearning,

and longing to practise the qualities issuing in Buddhahood.

Only then does his aspiration succeed, not otherwise.

 

The following similes illustrate the magnitude of the desire required. If he were to

hear: ‘He alone can attain Buddhahood who can cross a whole world-system filled

with water and reach the further shore by the bare strength of his arms’ --he would

not deem that difficult to do, but would be filled with desire for the task and would

not shrink away. If he were to hear: ‘He alone can attain Buddhahood who can

tread across a whole world-system filled with flameless, smokeless redhot coals,

cross out, and reach the other side,’ he would not deem that difficult to do...”

  He does not become disheartened, he does not show the slightest dislike when he hears, “He alone can attain Buddhahood who can cross a whole world-system filled with water and reach the further shore by the bare strength of his arms”. He is filled with joy and has endeavour to attain Buddhahood. We read:

“If he were to hear: ‘He alone can attain Buddhahood

who can cut through a whole world-system

that has become a jungle of thorny creepers covered by a solid thicket of bamboo,

cross out, and reach the other side,’ etc ...

If he were to hear: ‘Buddhahood can only be attained after being tortured in hell

for four incalculables and a 100,000 aeons’ --

he would not deem that difficult to do,

but would be filled with desire for the task and would not shrink away.

Such is the magnitude of the desire required.”

  The Bodhisatta thought that he could achieve this, but his determination was not yet firm enough; he had to continue accumulating keen and refined panna so that his noble qualities could reach accomplishment. When he had visited the sammasambuddha and his noble qualities were accomplished to the degree of being able to make the determination to attain Buddhahood, he could begin to resolve upon the accumulation of the perfections.
We can see that it is extremely difficult to accumulate the perfections which lead to the attainment of the supreme wisdom of the Buddha. When he had penetrated the truth of the realities that are arising and falling away at the present moment, he was able to eradicate all defilements completely and attain Buddhahood.

Topic 284