10 Perfections of Buddhism

Giving. As a full jar overthrown pours out the liquid and keeps back nothing, even so shall your charity be without reserve — as a jar overturned.

Duty. As a yak-cow, when the hairs of her tail become entangled in anything, would rather suffer death than injury to her tail, even so should you keep to your duty — as the yak to her tail.

Renunciation. As a man in prison, suffering pain for long, knows that there is no pleasure for him but only to await release, so shall you look upon your existences on earth as in prisons, and turn your face toward renunciation and await release.

Insight. As the beggar-monk shuns no families from whom he begs, whether lowly or high or in between, and acquires his daily fare, so shall you at all times question the wise and gain insight.

Courage. As the lion, king of beasts, whether when lying down or standing up, lacks no courage, but is ever light-hearted, so also shall you in each of your individual-existences hold fast to your courage.

Patience. As the earth bears all that is cast upon it, both the pure and impure, and feels no resentment nor rejoicing, so also shall you receive favors and rebuffs alike with indifference.

Truth. As the star of healing is balanced in the heavens, and swerves not from its path in its time and its season, so shall you remain fixed on your path of truth.

Resolution. As the stone mountain, firmly based quails not before the tempest, but abides in its place, so shall you abide in your resolution once resolved.

Loving-kindness. As water quenches the thirst of the good and the bad alike, and cleanses them of dust and impurity, so also shall you treat your friend and your foe alike with loving-kindness.

Serenity. As indeed the earth looks with serenity on all the pure and impure that are cast upon it, even so shall you approach with serenity both joy and sorrow — if you are to attain wisdom.


Thus many are the things which in this world make wisdom perfect; beyond these there are no others.