The Life of the Victorious Buddha

[The Story of the Perfections]


nisinno upadhāresi dhamme buddhakare tadā
kim-uddhaṁ vā adho vā pi disāsu vidisāsu ca [60]

Tadā nisinno Buddha-kare dhamme kiṁ uddhaṁ vā adho vā pi disāsu vidisāsu ca upadhāresi,

Then, while sitting, he examined above, below, in the main and intermediate directions what things make one Awakened, i.e. the ten perfections (pārāmitā): generosity, virtue, renunciation, wisdom, energy, patience, truth, determination, friendliness, and equanimity.01


iccevaṁ vicinanto so sakalaṁ dhammadhātukaṁ
addakkhi sakasantāne paṭhamaṁ dānapāramiṁ [61]

so iti-evaṁ sakalaṁ Dhamma-dhātukaṁ vicinanto, saka-santāne paṭhamaṁ dāna-pāramiṁ addakkhi,

examining all the elements of the Dhamma in this way, the first thing he saw in his own stream (of consciousness) I think we must understand santāna in this way here, rather than the continuity of lives, which is what it usually refers to.02 was the perfection of giving,


evam-evaṁ gavesanto uttariṁ pāramiṁ vidū
sabbā pāramiyo disvā attano ñāṇacakkhunā [62]

evaṁ vidū, evaṁ uttariṁ pāramiṁ gavesanto, attano ñāṇa-cakkhunā sabbā pāramiyo disvā,

understanding it thus, and seeking out the next perfection in this way, after seeing by himself with the eye of knowledge all the perfections,


saṁsāre saṁsaranto so bahuṁ dukkhaṁ titikkhiya
gavesantomataṁ santo pūretvā dānapāramī [63]

so Saṁsāre saṁsaranto bahuṁ dukkhaṁ titikkhiya, santo amataṁ gavesanto, dāna-pāramī pūretvā -

and enduring a great deal of suffering in the rolling on of Saṁsāra, Saṁsāra is the continuing round of birth and death that rolls on until the attainment of complete emancipation (parinibbāna). The word is derived from the verb saṁsarati, which means rolling on, moving about continuously.03 seeking the peaceful, the deathless, after fulfilling the perfection of giving -


sattānaṁ kapparukkho va cintāmaṇi va kāmado
icchiticchitam-annādiṁ dadanto dadataṁ varo [64]

sattānaṁ kappa-rukkho va cintā-maṇi va dadanto kāma-do, icchita-icchitaṁ varo anna-ādiṁ dadataṁ -

giving to (all) beings, like a wish-fulfilling tree or a wish-fulfilling jewel, granting their desires, he gave whatever they longed for, beginning with excellent food and so forth -


tārakāhi bahuṁ katvā nabhe cāruvilocane
uppāṭetvā dadaṁ dhīro yācakānaṁ pamodito [65]

nabhe tārakāhi bahuṁ katvā, pamodito Dhīro, cāru-vilocane uppāṭetvā, yācakānaṁ dadaṁ,

and doing a good many other things, (as many as) the stars in the sky, gladly the Hero, having torn out his charming eyes, gave them to beggars, See his life as King Sivi, Jātaka 499.04


mahiyā paṁsuto cāpi samuddodakatodhikaṁ
dadaṁ sarīramaṁsañ-ca lohitam-pi ca attano [66]

Attano mahiyā paṁsuto sarīra-maṁsaṁ ca-api; samudda-udakato-adhikaṁ ca pi lohitaṁ dadaṁ.

he also gave his body's flesh, more than the dust on the earth; and his blood, more than the waters in the ocean. See e.g. his existence as Maitrībala recorded in the Sanskrit Jātakamālā (not found in the Pāḷi collection).05


molinālaṅkate sīsedhikaṁ katvā sineruto
kampayitvā mahiṁ dento sute cāpi sakaṅganā [67]

Molinā-alaṅkate sīse Sineruto adhikaṁ katvā, mahiṁ kampayitvā, sute saka-aṅganā api ca dento.

After giving away his diadem-ardorned heads in excess of (Mount) Sineru, i.e. the bones piled up would exceed the size of the great Mountain Sineru.06 and making the earth shake, he gave away his wife and children. In his last existence on earth as Vessantara, which forms the subject of the last (547th) Jātaka story in the Pāli collection. Subsequently he was reborn in the Tusita Heaven.07


sīlanekkhammapaññādi pūretvā sabbapāramī
vessantarattabhāvevaṁ patvā tamhā cuto pana [68]

Evaṁ sīla-nekkhamma-pañña-ādi sabba-pāramī pūretvā, Vessantara-atta-bhāvaṁ patvā, tamhā pana cuto

Thus after fulfilling all the perfections such as virtue, renunciation, and wisdom, and attaining his individuality as Vessantara, and from there passing away


uppajjitvā surāvāse sundare tusite pure
vasanto suciraṁ kālaṁ bhutvānānantasampadaṁ [69]

Sura-āvāse sundare Tusite pure uppajjitvā, su-ciraṁ kālaṁ ananta-sampadaṁ bhutvāna vasanto.

and re-arising in the Tusita Heaven, It appears that pura is used in the sense of Heaven here.08 the beautiful abode of the Suras, for a very long time he dwelt (there) enjoying endless blessings.