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Origin and Development of Pāramitā in Theravāda Buddhism


Khemawati Bhikkhuni

An independent Study submittedin partial fulfillment of requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts at the International Buddhist Collage, Thailand.

(October) 2013



I declare that this Independent Studies entitled Origin and development of Pāramitā-s in

Thervāda Buddhism and the research work has been done under the supervision of Professor

Tilak Kariyawasam, Dean of Graduate School and thereof represents my own work, except

where due acknowledgement is made, and that it has not been previously included in a thesis,

dissertation or report submitted to this University or to any other institution for a degree, diploma

or other qualifications.



Khemawati Bhikkhuni

Professor Tilak Kariyawasam



This Independent Study highlights the pragmatic and holistic aspects of Pāramitā has

been very much a point of a discussion when talk about the Concept of the Bodhisattva. The

Concept of the Bodhisattva also has been divided in to two when taken to consider two Buddhist

traditions: Theravāda and Mahāyāna. Some of the Western writers thought the Concept of the

Bodhisattva has been developed by Mahāyānists and they did not see Theravādin-s also have

developed it according to their point of view.After reading Pali Commentaries were so many

scholars realized Pāāāāli Commentaries have developed Pāramita-s along with the Concept of the

Bodhisattva. When they developed Pāramitā-s they developed the number of Pāramitā-s into ten

to include all the virtues qualities of the Bodhisattva. When they realized the attaining to the

Buddhahood is a matter with great difficulty they thought to increase the ten Pāramitā-s to thirty

with the degrees of intension of fulfilling. Further they wanted to give a meaning of difficult path

and any difficult matter to complete it is needed a long time, therefore length of fulfilling

Pāramita-s also have been extended to form the categories of Buddha’s who would be able to


certain amount of time also have been worked out by Theravadins. And they try to

develop further the benefit of Pāramita-s which could have achieved by the virtuous persons like

the Mother and the Father of the Buddha,Buddha’s Chief Attendant and the Son of the Buddha.



I completed this independence study for the submission to international Buddhist

College (IBC) in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Mater of Arts in

Buddhist studies.

First of all, I am deeply grateful to my thesis Supervisor, Prof. Tilak Kariyavasam, Dean

of graduate School of IBC. He has given me an invaluable Advice and gentle guidance on how

to proceed with the Topic. I would also like to record a note of thanks to Dr. Krishna Ghosh,

who advised me to write this independence study.

I also wish to express my thanks to the member of the Faculty Office of IBC for

providing me with the facility to carry out the present study, and also as take this opportunity to

express my sincere thanks to my friends and well- wishers who have been constantly giving

encouragement and care.



A or AN


D or DN

: Anguttara-Nikaya


: Digha-Nikaya


: Dhammapada



M or MN

: Majjima-Niakaya

S or SN

: Samyutta-Nikaya


: Vibhanga




Page No





Abbreviations of Scriptures


1. Introduction


2. Origin of the Concept of Pāramitā


3. Criteria of Forming Perfections


4. The Development of Ten Pāramitā


5. Theravāda Pāramitā English Term Mahāyāna Pāramitā


5.1. Dāna Pāramita – Sasa Jātaka


5.2. Sla Pāramita -Samkhpāla Jātaka


5.3.Nekkamma Paramita-Culla-Sutasoma


5.4.Paññā Pāramitā- Ummagga Jātaka


5.5.Viriya Pāramita- Mahajanaka Jātaka


5.6.Khanti Pāramita- Khantivādi Jātaka


5.7.Sacc Pāramita – MahaSutasoma Jātaka


5.8.Adhitthana Pāramita – Mugapakkha Jātaka


5.9.Mettā Pāramita- Ekarāja Jātaka


5.10.Upekkhā Pāramita- Lomahamsa Jātaka


6.Pāramita-s in Cariyāpitaka and Atthakathās


7.Purpose and the Length of fulfilling Pāramitā


8. Conclusion



1. Introduction

In Buddhism Pāramitā becomes a major teaching to advance the spirituality to

attain to the highest position. According to the given meaning to the word Pāramitā, it

directly applies to the Bodhisattva in Theravāda Buddhism.

The reason for directly

attaching the word ‘Pārami’ to the Bodhisattva is his determination to fulfill certain

qualities in himself to become a completely Enlightened One. The story mentioned in the

Buddhawamsa is the ascetic


met the Dipankara Buddha and had the

prediction (vyākaraņa) to declare that he will be the Buddha in future. Then the ascetic

Sumedha searched for the qualities to develop to become the Buddha (Buddha kāraka

Dhamma). Then he realized the ten perfections (Dasa Pāramitā) as necessary qualities

one has to develop to become a Buddha. This word Pāramitā indicates the mechanism of

the Bodhisattva’s ability to become a Buddha. His ability to fulfill each perfection to the

uppermost extent will lead him to the Buddhahood.

The word Pārami means ‘going to the end.’ Pāramitā means ‘has gone to the

end’. This word cannot trace in the early scriptures such as DN, MN, SN, AN. But we

come across this word Pāramitā in the later works Buddhawasa and Cariyā. Those

works are belonged to Khuddakanikāya. Khuddakanikāya was recognized as later

compiled Nikāya. Therefore the word Pāramitā also recognized as a word used later

time. Later than the early scriptures of Pali Nikāya-s.If it is used in later time, that create

some problems with regard to the concept of Bodhisattva.

That because of when we

mentioned the word Pāramitā, it directly applies to the concept of the Bodhisattva.

The Concept of the Bodhisattva is a part of the Biography of the Buddha.

Buddha’s biography is different from any other human being’s biography. Buddha’s

biography is the story of a long journey with very pure intention to become a Buddha to

help enormous beings in the world. According to Buddhist teachings every other being


also has a long journey in the Sasāra. In order to differentiate the journey of the human

being who aspires to become a Buddha the word “Bodhisattva” has introduced. In that

case the word Pāramitā also must have introduced much later time.

If the word Pāramita has introduced much later period then there will be some

problems to explain the Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha’s life in this world and his

intensions to become a Buddha. All these problems and possible answers given for those

problemsand will be discussed in this study. Then it will be much easier to find out the

proper answers for those matters to clarify the real story of Pāramitā-s.

2. Origin of the Concept of Pāramitā

We can think of the origins of the concept of Pāramitā-s in relation to the writing

of the biography of the Buddha. This writing the biography must have started during the

time of the Buddha, but at the last stage of the Buddha’s life. During the life time was the

collection of materials necessary to compile the Biography were searched. After the

Parinibbāna necessity of a biography was felt very hard way. Then the faithful Sāvaka-s

started to write the biography.

This writing biography soon after the parinibbāna has

created a tradition in Theravāda Buddhism up to the present time. Even now days the

important first activity upon the death of a abbot of a Buddhist temple is a writing

biography. In that manner when the faithful disciples started to write the biography of the

Buddha soon after the Mahā Parinibbāna they compelled to write Bodhisattva’s certain

kind of behavior towards achieving the goal of Buddhahood. This kind of inspiration

emerged with certain kind of terms used with the connection of the Bharmā. Brahma

cariyaand Four Brahma Vihāra-s 1 were the some words inspired Buddhist disciples to

search what kind of practice could have developed in to the life of the Bodhisattva. In the









1. prof. P. v. Barat. 2500 Years of Buddhism. Chapter. IV. p. 33





Buddhahood) 2 .





particular practice has been categorized with ten components.

3. Criteria of Forming Perfections

The aim of Bodhisattva practice is also cannot be different from the path of

Nibbāna. Path of Nibbāna is the path to end of suffering. This end of suffering should be

achieved through cultivation of one’s physical part and the mental part. That has been

shown in the Nikāya-sveryoften. In the Sayuttanikāyamentions “The intelligent person

having established in the morality (Sila) and cultivate mind (Citta) and improve wisdom

(Paññā), one such monk who is ardent in subduing the passions, disentangles the tangles

like klesa-s.” Here it is mentioned that one who cultivate Sila, Citta (Samadhi) and

Paññāis capable of eliminating klesa-s. This is the path one has to follow in order to

attain the enlightenment. These three has named as TividhaSikkhā, because one has to

cultivate these three in order to get release. When one fulfills these three he has followed

the Noble eight fold path 3 (Ariyoaṁṁhagikomaggo). Therefore Pāramitā-s also has

developed on the basis of three kinds of discipline- Sila, Samādhi and Paññā. These

three kinds of discipline serves for any individual to end of suffering through elimination

of klesa-s, but for the Bodhisattva it is not only end his own suffering but also to end the

suffering of many other beings around him. This altruistic attitude had to be addressed

properly with the cultivation of Bodhisattva career. The answer for this dilemma has

created the concept of Pāramitā.

Therefore Pāramitā-sare nothing but the Bodhisattva’s career towards the helping

other beings to fulfill their aspirations with whatever the aims would be. By doing so the

Bodhisattva automatically fulfills his aspirations towards becoming the Buddha. This is


3. Bhikkhu Bodhi, The all-embracing net of views, Kandy: Buddhist Society publication, Sec, 2007.p. 41.


the one action with double benefit. One example may comprehend this double benefit


The Bodhisattva practices Dāna Pāramita. The double benefit is The Bodhisattva

fulfills his practicing of Pāramitā when he is engaged in offering things to somebody.

Then the recipient also fulfills his aspiration of receiving what he wants. This is the

double benefit and this of course is a benefit the Buddha has expressed by observing

precepts. Buddha expressed “When one protects himself, protect others and when one

protect others protects himself” 4 . This double sided effect has been explained very often

in Early Buddhist Scriptures as well as used as a criteria to define what is wholesome

(Kusala) and what is unwholesome (Akusala).In the AmbalaṁṁhikāRāhulovādaSutta 5

“If any action is harmful to himself and harmful to others, harmful to both sides, that

brings suffering, that brings results of suffering, therefore that action is unwholesome” 6

“If any action, which is not harmful to himself, not harmful to others, not harmful

to both the sides, that action is wholesome”. 7 On the basis of this theory wholesome

action and unwholesome action has been analyzed in Buddhism. Pāramitā-s also have

been built on the same ground. In short whole Buddhist moral background has been

designed on the same basis.

Therefore categorization of Pāramitā-s have done taking into consideration one’s

spiritual advancement and what kind of way the society will be influenced with his

spiritual advancement.Sila (Morality), Samādhi (Concentration) and Paññā (Wisdom)

these three kinds of discipline will not show very much the benefit to the society.


order to clarify the Bodhisattva’s social relevance some of the Pāramitā-shavebeen

4.S.V. 169.Attānambhikkhaverakkhantopararakkhati.pararakkhantoattānarakkhati. 5.M. i.415-419 6.M.i.415, “attabyādhāya pi savatteyyaparavyābādhāya pi savatteyyaubhayavyābādhāyapi savatteyyaakusalaida… 7.M.i.416 ,” n’ ev’attabyābādhāyasavatteyyanaparavyābādhāyasavatteyyanaubhayavyābādhāyasavatteyya, akusalaida


introduced.DānaPāramitā, (Perfection of generosity), KhantiPāramitā (perfection of










especially attached to the list of Pāramitā-s to show the Bodhisattva’s social relevance.

Generosity (Dāna) is very important as most of the people are selfish and not

ready to offer something to somebody free. The things are not readily available and

difficult to search things. Therefore offers are very important. Generosity trains towards

sacrificing. If someone has not trained to sacrifice he cannot practice Sila (Morality).

Morality needs a lot of sacrificing; exampleone may really like to engage in sexual

misconduct. If he does not engage in considering moral behavior that is the time he

sacrifices his wish. This is the way Dāna helps Sila.

Patience (Khanti) is very important for someone to live in the society.One has to

be patience to live with others. Live alone is also one has to be patience.Life is not as

easy as one has problems from the people around and from the situation as well as from

himself. In order to live, one has to bear up hunger and thirsty. Everybody has hopes and

wishes whichare not going to be fulfilled. At that time one needs to have patience. In this

manner patience is an important character for a pious one has to build up. Truthfulness

(Sacca) 8 is essentially one has to have to live in the society with dignity. If one is not

truthful then he will be look down upon by others as well as truthful person will be

honored and respected.Therefore Bodhisattva has to develop this truthfulness to be

truthful for himself and others.These new components of s have been added to the list of

Pāramitā to form the Bodhisattva’s long patience to fulfill his aspiration.

8. Arunasiri. K. Encyclopaedia of Buddhism Volume- V. Government of SrilanlaPublising, 1971. P. 312.


4. The Development of Ten Pāramitā-s

It is not possible to reject some views with regard to the influence of other

Buddhist sects for the development of the Theravada Concept of Pāramitā. B. Keith 9

mentioned the Mahayanists should be given full credit for the development of the

Bodhisattva ideal. E.J. Thomas 10 mentioned that Theravada and Mahayana both were

influenced by early texts which do not exist anymore.











Bodhisattva Ideal but Theravadins also has developed the Bodhisattva ideal to the upper

most extent according to Theravada point of view. E.J.Thomas has not left Theravadins

to talk about the development of Bodhisattva ideal, but mentioned Theravada and

Mahayana both the traditions were influenced by some unknown texts existed earlier.

There is no evidence to prove that there have been some unknown texts earlier to

influence present development of Bodhisattva Ideal. But on the other hand these two

views give some insight into the development of the Bodhisattva ideal, Theravada and

Mahayana both must have been influenced each other in reciprocate way is the insight

we can gather through this argument.

We can have the picture of development of Theravāda Pāramitā-swhen compared it with

Mahāyāna Pāramitā-s. In Mahāyāna there are six Pāramitā-s mentioned in early

Mahāyāna scriptures 11 . These six Pāramitā-s are Dāna (Generosity), Šla (Morality),

Kṁānti (Patience) Vrya (Effort), Dhyāna (Meditation) and Prajñā (Wisdom). When

Mahāyānists have these six Pāramitā-s Thervādins have ten Pāramitā-s 12 . Those are

Dāna (Generosity), Sla (Morality), Nekkhamma (Renunciation), Paññā (Wisdom),

9.Keith.B, “Buddhist Philosophy”


11.AṁṁasāhasrikāPrajñāpāramitā, ed. 12.Buddhavasa, RatanacakramaņKāņṁa, 76 Gāthā, BuddhajayantiTripiaka Publication Series No.38.


Viriya (Effort), Khanti (Patience), Sacca (Truthfulness), Adhiṁṁhāna (Determination),

Mettā (Loving Kindness), and Upekkhā (Equanimity).

If these lists of Pāramitā-s in both the traditions display as a chart similarities and

difference can easily view to understand the possible influence of each other tradition to

develop these Pāramitā-s.

5. Theravāda Pāramitā English Term Mahāyāna Pāramitā


Generosity, Giving, Donating



Morality, Good Character









Effort, Exertion



Patience, Forbearance






Determination, Decision, Resolution Adhiṁṁhāna


Loving Kindness, Amity



Equanimity, Indifference, Neutrality

This chart of Pāramitā-s in both the traditions clarifythe similarities of Pāramitā-

s.Here it can see one section hassix Pāramitā-s and the other section has ten Pāramitā-s.

What we can understand is this, whoever the tradition has ten, must have been the

developed forms of Pāramitā-s than that of the tradition whoever may have six

Pāramitā-s. If it is the case Mahāyāna list of Pāramitā-s would be the earliest than that

of Thervāda list. It also not logical to think as long as Mahāyāna tradition is a later

developed tradition those Pāramitā-s cannot accept as earlier than that of Theravāda. But








development of Pāramitā-s.







Akira Hirakāwa writes 13 Sarvāstivādins declared four perfections as conventional

perfections andMahāvibhāsā maintained four and six Pāramitā-s. With this information

we can decide first Sarvāstivādins accepted For Pāramitā-s:-Dāna, Šla, Vrya and

Prajñā and Kṁānti and Dhyāna were added as necessary components of Šlaand Prajñā.

In that manner Sarvāstivādins incorporated six Pāramiā-swerein to the Biography of the

Buddha. Sarvastivadins were derived from Theravada. Therefore these six Pāramitā-s

must have influenced the Theravadins to develop to the ten Pāramiā-s.


number 10 was the set number in a certain period for the categorization of any matters.

In Theravada Buddhism number ten is somewhat popular and most of the matters have

been grouped in ten numbers:-Dasa Dharma, DasaBala, DasaSenā, DasaSaññojana, and

the four main Scriptures divide into chapters with Vagga-s. Every vagga has ten suttas.

In this manner when Theravadins developed Pāramiā-s they grouped it as ten, Dasa

Pāramitā. Therefore when Theravādins developed these Pāramiā-stheywere influenced

not by Mahayanists, but by Sarvastivadins. Mahayanists also were influenced by

Sarvastivada view through Mahāsanghikas. These six Pāramiā-s category has been used

by Mahāsanghikas also. That shows even Mahāsanghika’s were also influenced by


Bhattacharyya is on the opinion that “Whether the concept of the Bodhisattva and

thepracticeof six Pāramitā-s were introduced forthe first time by the Mahasanghika’s or

by the Sarvastivadins is uncertain.” 14 It seems that he is confused with regard to the

nature of Mahasanghika’s. Though the Mahasanghikas originated much earlier to

Sarvastivadin’s, they composed their literature much later time. We can find about it

through “Mahāvastu”. Mahavastu belong to the ĀryaMahāsanghika group. That group

13. A. Hirakawa. History of Indian Buddhism (Delhi: Motilal, 1993).P.266, 299. 14.Bhattacharyya,N.N. Buddhism in the History of Indian Ideas, ManoharaPunlishes, New Delhi,1993.























Bhattacharyya also admits the Mahasanghika-s developed nature of Bodhisattva practice

by explaining the four Caryās 15 .

If it is the development of Bodhisattva concept in Mahāsanghika’s that proves their



later than


of Sarvāstivadin’s.




justifiable to


Mahāyānists were influenced by the Sarvāstivāda through Mahāsanghikas to develop


It is evident that the Theravadins developed these Pāramiā-s into ten looking at

the Jātaka stories and made it as rule for anyone who aspires to become a Buddha has to

fulfill these Pāramiā-s.When the Bodhisattva fulfills Pāramiā-seach Pāramiās has to

fulfill in three degrees:- Pārami (Ordinary way), UpaPārami (Better way), Paramattha

Pārami (Superior way). These three ways have been explained in the commentaries in

this manner. Take for example Dāna Pāramitā, Giving away one’s external possessions.

DānaUpa-pāramita, giving away one’s own limbs similar to blood, kidney, Eyes ect,

Paramattha Paramita, Giving away one’s life. When each Pāramiā fulfills in three

degrees at the end it will be thirty. Therefore it mentions the Bodhisattvahas to fulfill

thirty Paramiata-s 16 . Commentary of Jātakaand the Commentary of Buddhawasa

mentions certain Jātaka stories to represent ten perfections.














Bodhisattva and 547 birth stories are written in the Birth Story book called ‘Jātaka’.

There are a lot of controversies with regard to the stories contained in the Jātaka story


Some of the births of the Bodhisattva as an animal such as Monkey, deer,

Elephant, Rabbit have been explained even in the animal forms the Bodhisattva has not

15.Ibid. P.205.



separated from the Dharma.Commentators have selected ten Jātaka stories to present the

Bodhisattva’s performance to fulfill the Pāramiā-s. The followings are the Jātaka


1. Dâna Pâramitâ -

Sasa JâtakaNo.316

2. Sila Paramiatâ-

Samkhapâla JâtakaNo.524

3. NekkhammaPâramitâ -

CûlaSutasoma JâtakaNo.525

4. Paññâ Pâramitâ-

5. Viriya Pâramitâ-

6. Khanti Pâramitâ-

Ummagga Jâtaka

No. 546

MahâJanaka JâtakaNo.539

Khntivâdi Jâtaka


7. Sacca Pâramitâ-

MahâSutasoma JâtakaNo. 537

8. AdhiṁṁhânaPâramitâ-

Mugapakkha JâtakaNo.538

9. Mettâ Pâramitâ-

10. Upekkhâ Pâramitâ-

Ekarâja Jâtaka

No. 303

Lomahasa JâtakaNo. 94

Among these Jātaka stories only three Jātaka stories Sasa Jātaka, Ummagga Jātaka,

Khantivādi Jātaka are very popular among faithful listeners. Therefore reading the

summery of other jātaka stories will give the understanding the Bodhisattva’s effort to

fulfill the Pāramiā-s.

5. 1.Dāna Pāramita – Sasa Jātaka

- Jātaka No.316

jātaka story related by the Buddha when he was at Jetavana.

One landowner

offered for and other requisites to the Buddha and Sangha for seven days. At the end of

the seventh days The Buddha said to that landowner you are offering things to any

beggar in the same way probably you are ready to offer even your flesh also. Then the

landowner asked the Buddha to relate those stories. Then Buddha uttered the Sasa



Once upon a time there were four animal friends in the wood. Hare had three

friends, monkey, Jackal and Otter. Hare used to advice other three friends during the

night of everyday. One day when the hare looked at the sky he notice tomorrow is the

uposatha day and advised to the friends “Tomorrow is the fasting day and you must

observe morals and be ready to offer for any beggar comes to you”.

Then the hare also having kept nearby him some grass bundles observing the fast

and stayed. Then the Sakka, the king of Devas saw what the hare was determined to do

and came to check the hare and asked for some food. Then hare said to lit up a fire.

When the beggar did that he jumped into the fire telling that when I am roasted you can

eat my flesh.

But the Sakka deva performed a miracle for not to get burned. The fire felt for the

hare as cooled. Then the hare asked why he was not burned and that felt like cool. Then

the Sakka mentioned who he was and said that came to check him. Then hare said in

time to come so many will come to check me. Then the Sakka said not that will happen

he will draw the picture of the hare on the moon to know the hare’s determination 17 .

This story was related at the time the land owner of Sravasthi made extensive

offerings to the Buddha and the Sangha for seven days. Ven. Ananada is identified with

the Otter, Moggallana with the Jackal and the Sariputta with the monkey.

This story is included in the Cariyāpiaka and in the Jātakamālā

5. 2. Sla Pāramita –Samkhpāla Jātaka – JātakaNo. 524

The Bodhisattva was born as Duyyodhana, the son of the king of Rājagaha.

When the Bodhisattva Duyyodhana came to the age the father king handed over the

Kingdom to him and became an ascetic. He lived sometime in the royal park and later

went to Himālaya and lived there.

When he was in the Himālayas he was visited by

17. Cowell.E. B.The Jātaka or Stories of the Buddha’s former Births. At the University press. 1897. P. 34-



Nāga King Sakhapāla, to whom the ascetic preached the Dharma. Later Duyyodhana

discovered where was the father and visited him, and saw the Nāga king and impressed

by his magnificence, desired to visit the Nāga world. On his return to the capital he was

engaged in works of merits and after the death was born in the Nāga world and became

king in the name of Sakhapāla.

Later he was weary of his magnificence came to the

near Kannpenna River, where the ascetic also was and fasting on an ant- hill there. Some

sixteen men roaming in the wood saw Sakhapāla and caught him and made holes on

his body droving stakes put ropes into those holes and draw him along. ButSakhapāla

did not show any resentment over their harming to his body. But one land owner in

Mithila, called Ālāra saw him being ill treated had him released. Then the Sakhapālaa

invited the land owner to the Naga world. Ālāra lived therefore one year. When he came

back to this world he became an ascetic 18 .

In this Jātaka the Bodhisattva’s father is identified with Mahakasspa Thera, the

King of Banareas with Ananda, and Ālāra with Sariputta. This story also given in the

Cariyāpiaka .

5. 3. Nekkamma Pāramita-Culla-Sutasoma Jataka No. 525

Once, the Bodhisattva was born as the son of the King of Sudassona(Banaras),

under the name of Soma. He was fond of Soma juice especially to offer it at the time of

Pujas. Therefore he was named as Sutasoma.

When he came of age his father gave up

the throne to him. As he had sixteen thousand wives his family became very great, and

he wished to become an ascetic as soon as a grey hair appeared on his head. Everyone in

the palace tried to turn him from this resolve; rich merchants, like Kulavaddhana, offered

him their immense wealth, but all in vain. Having handed over the kingdom to his

brother, Somadatta was wearing the garb of an ascetic and left the city unknown to

18. J.i.45, MA.ii.613, Bu.A.50.


anyone. When people discovered his departure they followed him 19 . Sakka also sent

Visskamma to build for them a hermitage thirty leagues in extent.

5. 4. Paññā Pāramitā- Ummagga Jātaka – No.546

The Bodhisattva once was born in Mithila as the son of Sirivaṁṁaka and

Sumanādev. The child was born with a medicinal plant in hishand, and was therefore








immediately after















intelligence since his childhood and the King Videha of Mithilā wanted to have him in

his court though he was only seven years old. The King had four council of ministers but

Mahosadha was appointed as the fifth councilor.

King’s four councilors were unhappy with Mahosadha, because they could not overcome

his extreme intelligence and plotted to embroil Mahosadhapanditha with the king. Most

of the plots were discovered by the MahosadhaPanditha’s wife, Amarādev. Finally they

had unsuccessful attempt to kill MahosadhaPandita.

Because of MahosadhaPandita’s extreme loyal to the king

he discovered the

plot of CulaniBrahmadatta , the King of Kampilla, and his PurohitaKewaṁṁa to

capture the whole of Jambudvipa

and Mahosadha Pandita

made it complete futile

attempt and finally Mahosadha Pandita

went to Uttara Pañcāla country

because his

king Videha wanted to marry King Brahmadatta’s daughter, Pañcālacaṁṁi. This was

the plot of Kewatta of King Brahmadatta to capture King Videhaand the Mahosadha to

get the Mithila country to his rule.

Mahosadha Pandita used the same plot and went to Uttarapancala country and

became a friend of King Brahmadatta and with his permission in the guise of making a







19. ibid, p. 91.






MotherTalata, the queen Nanda and Pancalacandi and brought the King also and did the

marriage Pancalacandi with the King and took them to Mithila safely. When the King













Brahmadattahewnted to capture them and rounded up the palace newly constructed for

the King Videha, at that time only Mahosadha was there. He revealed everything to King

Brahmadatta and took King Brahmadatta to see the tunnel (Ummagga 20 ). In the Tunnel

they became friends. Lived as friends arethroughout the time.

5. 5. Viriya Pāramita- Mahajanaka Jātaka- Jātaka No.539.

Mahajanaka, King of Mithila in Videha had two sons; Ariṁṁhajanka and

Polajanaka. When he died elder came to the throne and made his brother viceroy, but














Polajanakaescaped from the chain and having gone far had his preparation completed he

came to the city and sent messages to the brother “Earlier I was not enemy of you now I

am enemy. Give me the throne or come to fight.” Arittajanakawent to the battle with his

brother but he was killed. Aritthajanaka’s wife after hearing her husband’s death left the

palace taking a lot of treasures and disguising herself. She was pregnant; the Bodhisattva

was born in her womb. Because of the power of the BodhisattvaSakka, the king of Devas

came for her help as a charioteer took her to Kalacampa. There a Brahmin helped her

making her as his sister. The child was born and had the name as MahaJanaka. When

grew to the age of sixteen mothers revealed the story and gave wealth also to him to get

the throne back. He went on a trade in a ship and ship wrecked in the middle of the sea,

people died. Mahajanaka however swam about a week. On the seventh day, a sea

goddess, Manimekkhala helped him brought him to the shore place him in a mango-

grove. While he was sleeping there Polajankas chariot came and stopped and asked him

20. J.iv.329-478.


to get up and take the throne. As he went to the palace Polajanaka’s daughter, Sivali

liked him so much. The Mahajanaka married to her had a son, Dighavukumara, made

him viceroy.

After long time he was disgusted with everything in the life became ascetic

stayed so many years in his room. Later he decided to leave and go. When he was going

though the queen saw him on the staircase she did not recognized him because of his

ascetic garb. But later when she discovered he has gone she ran after him and try to

persuade him to return to the palace but he did not listen 21 . One sage also helped him to

follow his plight. Ultimately with the cry of Sivali he went to the wood and queen Sivali

also lived ascetic life in the royal garden of Mithila.

5. 6. Khanti Pāramita- Khantivādi Jātaka– No.313

The Bodhisattva, under the name of Kuņṁaka, was once born in a very rich

family of Kās. After the death of his parents he gave away his immense wealth in

charity and became an ascetic in Himālaya. Returning later to Kās, he dwelt in the royal

park, being tended by the commander in chief. One day Kalābu, king of Banaras, visited

park with his harem and, falling into a drunken sleep, women were disperse their own

ways; while they wandering about they met the ascetic, asked him to preach to them.

When the king woke up he was searching where the women were, he saw them with the

ascetic and being told that he had been preaching on patience (khanti), he gave orders

that the ascetic’s own patience he tested. The ascetic was subjected to various forms of

ill treatment until, becoming more and angrier at the ascetic composure; the king gave

orders to cut his limbs. When the king left the park the earth was open and swallowed the

king to Avici. The commander in chief hurried to the ascetic, after seen what had

21. ibid,p. 19-38.


happened, asked the ascetic for forgiveness. Ascetic told he had no malice over the king,

and died because of injuries 22 .

This story had revealed because of the wrathful monk. King Klabu was the

Devadatta. Commander in chief was Sariputta.

5. 7. Sacca Pāramita – Maha Sutasoma Jātaka No. 537

The King Brahmadatta was much addicted to eat meat. One Uposatha day the

meat prepared for him was eaten by dogs. The cook was unable to buy any meat because

of uposatha day. Ultimately he took some human flesh from the cemetery and cooked for

the king. The king ate it and found very delicious and thereafter he used to murder his

subjects for his food and when the people discovered he was driven out of the Kingdom.

He dwelt in the forest with his cook and used eat the travelers through the wood. The day

came he ate his cook also. After that when he was following a Brahmin who came with a

large followers, they gave chase after the king. As he ran an acacia splinter pierced his

foot, causing him a great pain. There was a banyan tree and he made a wow to bath the

tree with the blood of one hundred of one prince if the wound would heal with seven

days. Some or other within seven days the wound healed. Then he captured one hundred

prince and they were hanged passing a rope through their hands.

The deity of the tree was worried and on the instruction of the Sakka he appeared

before the man eater (Parisada) and demanded that he should bring Sutasoma, the Prince

of Kuru to complete the number. However the Prince of Kuru was his friend, but

Parisada brought him to please the deity of the tree. Sutasoma explained the virtues of

the truth. Parisada was pleased and offered to Sutasoma four boons. Sutasoma chose as

his first benefit that Parisada should live one hundred years, as a second one captive

Kings should release immediately, as a third their kingdoms should be restored, as a

22. J. III. P. 26-29.


fourth that Parisada should give up his cannibalism. With many difficulties Parisadahe

agreed with the fourth one. Sutasoma then took Parisada to his kingdom. Where here

stored to him his kingdom, having first assured the people that Parisadanever return to

former vicious habits 23 . A village was built on the spot where the Parisada was

converted, that was called Kammasadamma. This story was related in reference to the

Buddha’s conversion of Angulimala. Sutasoma was the Bodhisattva.

5.8. Adhitthana Pāramita – Mugapakkha Jātaka No.538. (Temiya Jātaka)

Candadevi, wife of the King Kasi did not have son. She was grieved and Sakka

knew that with the heat of his seat. Sakka persuaded the Bodhisattva to be born as her

son. He was called Temiya because on the day he was born there was a great shower

throughout the Kingdom.

When he was one month he was brought to the king and when he was on the lap

he heard punishment were imposed for some robbers brought to the king. When he was

lay in bed Temiya recollected his previous life. Once he had been the King of Banaras for

20 years. As a result he suffered in Ussadaniraya for twenty thousand years. Having

seen all these troubles his suffering seized him at the thought of having to be king once

more. The goddess of parasol, who had once been the his mother, advised him to pretend

to be a dumb and incapable of any action. He took this advice, for sixteen years the king

and queen tried every conceivable means to break his resolve, knowing his physical body

is normal. Finally asked the charioteer to take him to the charnel ground, where he was

to be clubbed to death and buried. At the Queen’s urgent request Temiya was appointed

to rule Kasi for one week before being put to death. But the enjoyment of royal power

did not weaken his resolution.

23. J. V. P. 246.


The charioteer under the influence of Sakka took Temiya to what he considered to

be the channel ground. There the charioteer was digging the ground to be berried the

dead body of Temiya. At that time Temiya stole himself behind Sunandaand confided to

him his purpose and his resolve to lead an ascetic life. Sunanda was so impressed and he

wanted him to become an ascetic immediately. But Temiya wanted him to tell his parents




The King and




the what



immediately came with large retinue to Temiya’s hermitage, after hearing Temiya’s

sermon they all became ascetics. Following their example all the inhabitance of three

kingdoms adjacent to Banaras became ascetics 24 . There was a large crowd of ascetics

Sakka and the Vissakamma provided protection for them. The crowed flocked together

were called Mūgapakkha-samāgama.

Temiya’s parents are identified with the Buddha’s parents, Sunanada with

Sāriputta, the goddess of the parasol with Uppalavannā. This story was told in reference

to the Buddha’s renunciation.

5. 9. Mettā Pāramita- Ekarāja Jātaka No. 303

Once upon time the Bodhisattva was born as the King of Banaras. When the king

was sitting in the meeting with his ministers one rebel prince called Dabbasena captured

him fastening him by a cord hung him on the lintel of the door suspended him head

downwards. But the king of Banaras cultivated Mettā towards the rebel prince and

meditated and attained into jhānas. By the power of jhānas bursting his bonds sat cross

legged in the air. The rebel prince was attacked with a burning pain in the body, and with

cry of “I am burn, I am burn” He rolled over and over on the ground. When he asked for

the reason, he was told by inmates of the court “that because of what you have done for

the holy King you had this pain. Then he said “ Go quickly and release him” when they

24., Cyp.iii.6.


went there, they found the King was in the air sitting cross legged, came and informed

the rebel prince then he went and bow down and asked for pardon and confessed his

wrongdoings and send the King to his kingdom. The Bodhisattva also offered his

kingdom to his ministers and became an ascetic and after the death born in the brahma

world 25 . At that time Ananda was Dabbasena. Buddha was the King of Banaras.

Ekarajamena King of Banaras who escaped with power of Mettā.

5. 10. Upekkhā Pāramita- Lomahamsa Jātaka No. 94

The Bodhisattva once became aĀjvikaand practiced all manner of austerities in

order to test the efficiency of asceticism, enduring extremes of heat and cold. He realized

his mistake as he lay dying, and was reborn in the deva world.

The story was told in reference to Sunakkhatta, who, having left the Order and

joined Korakkhattiya, went about Vesāli, vilifying the Buddha and declaring that his

doctrines did not lead to the destruction of suffering. When Sāriputta reported this to the

Buddha, the Buddha declared that he had tested the efficacy of asceticism ninety kappa’s

ago and had found it wanting. As Mahālomahasacariyā, where it exemplifies the

practice of Upekkhā 26 .

6. Pāramitā-s in Cariyāpiaka and Aṭṭhakathās

These ten Jātaka stories were selected to represent the Pāramitā-s purely on the

responsible of Atthakathācariyās. It is evident this selection is not very authentic when

anyone look at them carefully. It seems that they have selected these Jātaka stories

without proper investigation. For Dāna Pāramitās Sasa Jātaka is not very enthusiastic

story to mention at first. It is very difficult to decide why they have not mention

Vessantara Jātaka. Vessantara Jātaka is the ideal Jātaka story for Dāna, Pāramitā. It

25. J. 303. IV. P. 9. 26. J. 94. II. P. 229.


has given in the Cariyapitaka under the Pāramitā, but also at the last Jātaka story. In

similar manner some given Jātaka stories were not served the purpose properly. There














Cariyāpitaka is the volume belongs to the Khuddaka Nikaya, gives many Jātaka stories

to represent each Pāramitā. In that for Dāna Pāramitā ten Jātaka stories are given. For

Sila Pāramitā also ten Jātaka stories are given. For Nekkhamma Pāramitāan only five

Jātaka stories are given. For Adhitthanaparamita one Jātaka story is given. That is the

Temiyapandita story and this is the same story in the Jātaka Book it has mend as

Mugapakkha Jātaka. For Sacca Pāramitā

six Jātakaastories are given and that Jātaka

stories are different from the Jātaka story given in the Jātaka Book. For Metta Pāramitā

two Jātaka stories are given and for Upekkha Pāramitā one Jātaka story isgiven.

It is very much interesting to read only seven

Pāramitā-s in the Cariyāpiaka.

That shows the development nature of Pāramitā-s whether it has some influence or not.

In any other places ten Pāramitās mentioned. In this text the seven Pāramitā-s are Dāna,

Sla, Nekkhamma, Sacca, Adhiṁṁhāna, Mettā, Upekkhā. Three other Pāramitā-s Paññā,

Viriya, Khanti, have not

mentioned. It is not known why Cariyapitaka mentioned only

seven Pāramitā-s leaving even the very important Paññā Pāramitā-s. According to the

CariyapitakaAtthakatha the explanation is given the whole Pāramitā-s can included in

the six Pāramitā-s Dāna, Sla, Khanti, Viriya, Dhyana and Paññā. These six mentioned

there is not the relevance with Theravada but more exactly similar manner mentions in

Sarvastivada and Mahayana. This shows that when forming Pāramitā-s in Theravada

Buddhism they may had the influence of stories of Pāramitā-s in Sarvastivada or

Mahayana as the Mahayana came into the front later than Sarvastivada, it is better to say

Theravada had the Sarvastivada influence.

7. Purpose and the Length of fulfilling Pāramitā-s


According to Theravada Pāramitā serves very important way in the career of

Bodhisattva. Bodhisattva is the highest being according to Theravada or Mahayana

Buddhism. This being if wishes in the correct manner he can become a Bodhisattva. By

becoming a Bodhisattva he is achieving the highest position. Then from there he has to

start the journey to become a Buddha. The Bodhisattva’s journey in the form of fulfilling

Pāramitā-s. Length of Pāramitā-s has been decided according to the length of fulfilling


This has been clearly explained in the Suttanipāta Atthakatha 27 . Where it

explains to become (1) Full enlightened one (Sammāsambuddha) one has to fulfill

Pāramitā-s Four incalculable and one hundred thousand eons (Caturāsakheyya kappa

satasahassāni). To become a (2) SolitaryBuddha

















hundred thousand eons (Ekāsamkheyyakappasatasahassāni). There are two kinds of











2.Mahāsāvaka (Great deisciples) they are eighty. (AstiMahāsāvaka).To become one of

eighty Mahāsāvaka one has to fulfill Pāramitā-s only one hundred thousand eons.

According to this explanation in Theravada there are three kinds of Bodhisattvas 28 .

Those are Sāvaka Bodhisattva, Pacceka Bodhisatta and MahāBodhisatta 29 . In Theravada

Pāramitā-s extended so many ways to say that it serves for the Bodhisattva and the

Buddha. In Suttanipata Atthakatha mentioned that the mother of the Buddha, and the

Father, the Chief attendant of the Buddha, and the son of the Buddha










buddhassapitā, buddhassaagguppṁṁhāyakabuddhaputta).

27 SN.A. 28 Dictionary of Pali Proper Names,Vol.ii.P.322

29 Th.A.


This indicates how the Theravada Pāramitā concept differs from Mahayana

Pāramitā-s concept. In Mahayana serves only for the Bodhisattva to become a Buddha.

In Theravada it functions in a wider sense to the Bodhisattva and the Buddha as well as

even some others also to get the benefit from Pāramitā-s.

8. Conclusion

In the early Pali scriptures it is very difficult trace the word Pāramitā, but similar

terms can find rarely. The concept of Pāramitā must have influenced to Theravada from

other Nikayas in later time. Once the influence had occurred Theravadins developed it in

the way they wanted. Thervadins had this influence from Sarvastivadins when they try to

develop the concept of Bodhisattva and the Concept of Bodhisattva was in the early

scriptures and Sarvastivadins developed it by starting with four Pāramitā-s and later

developed up to six Pāramitā-s which even given the influence to Mahasanghikas also.

Theravadins with this influence inspired to develop full Bodhisattva career with Dasa

Pāramitā. This development has done in the Pali commentaries. Pāramitā-s divided into

three categories such

as Pāramitā-s, Upa-Pāramitā-s and Paramattha Pāramitā-s

ultimately became early ten Pāramitā-sinto thirty Pāramitā-s. Further explain the

purpose of Pāramitā not only to become Buddha but other categories of the Buddhahood

such as to become a Pacceka Buddha and a Savaka also with the benefit of Pāramitā-s.

Not only that but also to become Buddha’s parents, Buddha’s chief attendant and to

become the Buddha’s son also Pāramitā-s help are needed.



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