Home » Excerpts » Question Of Maitreya On Eight Qualities

Before attaining Buddhahood,
the swiftest way to attain swiftest progress
to Buddhahood without retrogression
is via swift rebirth in a Pure Land.

– Stonepeace | Books

The Blessed One [Sakyamuni Buddha], in turn, continued, “Maitreya, if a bodhisattva possesses eight qualities, he will become irreversibly set on supreme and perfect enlightenment without regressing, without regressing in the slightest, and will gain special attainments; he will vanquish negative and hostile influences; and, while engaging in the conduct of a bodhisattva, he will realize the intrinsic characteristics of all phenomena just as they are and therefore be indefatigable in saṃsāra; and, as well as having that indefatigable mind, through the pristine awareness that does not rely on anything else, he will quickly awaken to supreme, perfect enlightenment and become a buddha.

“What are those eight qualities? Well, Maitreya, they are for a bodhisattva mahāsattva to have excellent intention, excellent application, and excellent giving; skill in dedicating merit, excellent loving kindness, excellent compassion, skill in methods, and emancipation in the perfection of wisdom… [H]ow does such a bodhisattva have excellent intention? Well, Maitreya, such a bodhisattva mahāsattva, whether he hears praises or slander of the Buddha [Dharma/ Saṅgha], has the intention to attain supreme, perfect enlightenment… [H]ow does such a bodhisattva have excellent application? Well, Maitreya, such a bodhisattva mahāsattva renounces killing, theft, sexual misconduct, falsehood, slander, harsh speech, and gossip…

“… how does such a bodhisattva have excellent giving? Well, Maitreya, such a bodhisattva mahāsattva gives to ascetics, brahmins, poor people, and beggars clothes, food, bedding, curative medicines, and necessities; his generosity then becomes pure… [H]ow does such a bodhisattva have skill in dedicating merit? Well, Maitreya, such a bodhisattva mahāsattva dedicates all the accumulations of roots of virtue that he has created through his body, speech, and mind to supreme, perfect enlightenment… [H]ow does such a bodhisattva have excellent loving kindness? Well, Maitreya, such a bodhisattva mahāsattva’s physical actions are kind, his verbal actions are kind, and his mental actions are kind….[H]ow does such a bodhisattva have excellent compassion? Well, Maitreya, the bodhisattva mahāsattva’s physical actions are without malice, his verbal actions are without malice, and his mental actions are without malice… [H]ow does such a bodhisattva mahāsattva have skill in his methods? Well, Maitreya, such a bodhisattva mahāsattva is skilled in conventional truth, he is skilled in the absolute truth, and he is skilled in both

“… how does such a bodhisattva mahāsattva have emancipation in the perfection of wisdom? Well, Maitreya, such a bodhisattva mahāsattva correctly trains as follows. He thinks, ‘Because one thing exists, another one arises; because this is born, that is born. Conditioned by ignorance, karmic formations come into being. Conditioned by karmic formations, consciousness comes into being. Conditioned by consciousness, name and form come into being. Conditioned by name and form, the six sources of perception come into being. Conditioned by the six sources of perception, contact comes into being. Conditioned by contact, feeling comes into being. Conditioned by feeling, craving comes into being. Conditioned by craving, grasping comes into being. Conditioned by grasping, existence comes into being. Conditioned by existence, birth comes into being. Conditioned by existence, aging and death come into being, as well as misery, lamentations, suffering, unhappiness and agitation. That is how this great heap of suffering comes into being.

“Without these conditions, it does not come into being. When these conditions cease to exist, it also ceases. When ignorance ceases, karmic formations cease. When karmic formations cease, consciousness ceases. When consciousness ceases, name and form cease. When name and form cease, the six sources of perception cease. When the six sources of perception cease, contact ceases. When contact ceases, feeling ceases. When feeling ceases, craving ceases. When craving ceases, existence ceases. When existence ceases, birth ceases. When birth ceases, aging, death, misery, lamentations, suffering, unhappiness and agitation cease. That is how this great heap of suffering ceases.’ This, Maitreya, is how the bodhisattva mahāsattva has emancipation in the perfection of wisdom…”

42nd section of ‘The Noble Heap of Jewels Dharma’ discourse in 100,000 sections, called The Question of Maitreya‌ on the Eight Qualities
 Translated By Jinamitra, Danaśila, Yeshé Dé

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