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I have heard, therefore I am yet to discover in Tipitaka, that to achieve certain stream winner stages, one needs to fulfill paramithä. Could you please give me the names of some sutta which I can read further on this (or the Tipitaka vagga / section).

Ten Paramithä
1. Däna
2. Sîla
3. Nekkhamma 4. Pañña 5. Viriya 6. Khanthi 6. Sacca 8. Adhitthana 9. Mettha 10. Upekka

Thanks in advance!

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Could you please give me the names of some sutta which I can read further on this

I think that SN 55.2 implies perfection of Sila.

People say that Dana parami is an essential beginning, for example here ...

Giving (dana) is one of the essential preliminary steps of Buddhist practice.

... but I don't know a sutta where it's named as a characteristic of a stream winner.

I wonder where the talk about practicing paramithä came from. Have you encountered people or books that speak of requiring paramithä to become a stream winner?

There are a couple of talks on Access to Insight.

I didn't find any (after only a brief search) on dharmafarer.org

My theory is that "perfection" isn't a doctrine which is talked about in the suttas.

The "Ten Perfections" for example starts by saying,

Each path was defined as consisting of perfections (paramī) of character, but there was a question as to what those perfections were and how the paths differed from one another.

So I guess those doctrines (the doctrines about "perfections") were developed after the suttas.

The "Treatise" talks about the sequence in which they should be developed, and how to practice them and so on:

Here "sequence" means sequence of teaching. This sequence is rooted in the order in which the paaramiis are initially undertaken, which in turn is rooted in the order in which they are investigated.

It finishes with:

Their fruit is, in brief, the state of perfect Buddhahood.

The introduction says,

The "requisites of enlightenment" are the paaramiis themselves, the main topic of the treatise. The word paaramii derives from parama, "supreme," and thus suggests the eminence of the qualities which must be fulfilled by a bodhisattva in the long course of his spiritual development.


So far as I know, when Theravada talks about the Four stages of enlightenment (starting with "stream winner") it's more usual to talk about the "fetters" which are overcome, rather than about "perfections".

  • 1
    No that's 55.21. I meant SN 55.2 which is here on SuttaCentral, in Pali and with translations into nine other language but not in English (which is why I didn't quote it). The Pali says ariyakantehi sīlehi samannāgato hoti akhaṇḍehi which I think translates as, "possessing unbroken sila (morality) agreeable to the ariya" ... that is stated to be the fourth characteristic -- the first three characteristics are pasada (clarity and confidence) in the triple gem. – ChrisW Apr 24 '17 at 1:34
  • got it. I read them. So it looks like more of sila is important. Then maybe, it's something of a fact that people with bad karma (no paramithä) are not skilled enough to practice even that? I wonder where the talk about practicing paramithä came from. Have you encountered people or books that speak of requiring paramithä to become a stream winner? – Ravindranath Akila Apr 24 '17 at 4:38
  • Chose this answer because the reference links quotes many sutta. – Ravindranath Akila Apr 24 '17 at 4:45
  • @RavindranathAkila I edited the answer to try to answer the question in your comment. – ChrisW Apr 24 '17 at 13:57
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Please don't make any confusion. Only Buddha-to-be, pacceka Buddha and chief disciples of Buddha need parami to fulfill. No such need to be a stream winner. Having no huge negative karma i.e., killing the parents, causing the blood flow from Buddha, causing disunity in Sangha, and killing an arahat, and having intent desire to be a stream-winner, keeping faith in triple gems, having good meditation master(preferably at least a stream winner), and oneself also work hard through insight meditation with sila and Samadhi, all these surely lead to be a stream winner. No parami to be a stream winner.

  • sila is a paramita, as you mentioned. – Dhammadhatu Apr 25 '17 at 0:25
  • Thank you for your comment. Sometimes most people talk about parami to fulfill in the long long samsara and forget about the most important present moment which is the most precious time to concentrate on insight meditation only with khanika sila and Samadhi is enough which I would like to focus. – MYO10293 Apr 25 '17 at 12:21
  • OK. I agree with your comment. – Dhammadhatu Apr 25 '17 at 17:30
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The doctrine of 'paramithä' is not found in the suttas but found in late canonical books and post-canonical commentaries (Wikipedia).

However, the basic requirement for giving (dana) & morality (sila) to be excellent or 'higher' ('parama') than ordinary is found in the suttas.

For example, AN 7.49 lists seven types of giving (dana), where six types of giving are based in views & self-views that can lead to suffering. Where as the 7th kind of giving, namely, giving for the purpose of beautifying & supporting the mind (citta) rather than giving to beautify & support the 'self' (atta) is said to lead to non-returner. Therefore, such giving can obviously lead to stream-entry.

Also, since the end of MN 118 states each of the seven factors of enlightenment has 'giving up' ('vossagga') as its primary quality, this shows the ability to give open-handedly or unselfishly is an important factor for stream-entry.

As for morality (sila), many suttas (such as SN 55.1 & MN 6) make it clear that morality must be higher than ordinary for the attainment of stream-entry.

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Paramithä is a determination and not a wish nor a prior set of accomplishment that needs to be fulfilled. A real determination has a firm commitment attached to it. It could be a wish of a kind that is accompanied by a plan to make the wish come true. But this is NOT the kind of a Paramithä that of a Buddha, for which a ‘Buddha-to-be needs to have a firm commitment carried over billions of lives. I have not come across the mention of “Paramita” for disciples been mentioned in the original suttas, but in the commentaries, there may be.

  • Thank you for affirming that such references are not something you have encountered! – Ravindranath Akila Apr 23 '17 at 23:17
  • SN 55.1 states "He/she is endowed with verified confidence in the Dhamma: 'The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One, to be seen here & now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves.'" rather than commitment carried over billions of lives. – Dhammadhatu Apr 25 '17 at 0:27

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