Six Perfections in Every Perfection: Generosity

Each perfection should have the quality of all the perfections. Now under generosity all the six paramitas are covered.

Generosity of generosity. That is the three types we mentioned: protecting from fear, giving dharma, giving material help.

Morality of generosity. We observe generosity because it is part of our religious practice. I committed to do so and I am honoring my commitments; that is the morality part.

Patience of generosity. Then why am I doing that? For the purpose of getting enlightened, of obtaining the buddha stage for the benefit of all sentient beings. That buddha stage is very far away; when I look at it, it is a hell of a far-away distance, so I have to be patient. Not only that: while I am practicing generosity, I’ll definitely have to face a lot of obstacles, like being discouraged, because of difficulties within the individual, because of discouragement from the others, or because of conditions. So patience is needed.

Enthusiasm of generosity. The activity of generosity needs to be developed more and more, so you need enthusiasm, otherwise you may generate it only once and then finish. Not only do you need enthusiasm, it should be continuously there like a good water source, which never stops running. If the source of a river is good, it will continue; if the river source is bad it will be a huge river during the rainy season and when the dry season comes it dries out completely. When you find a huge powerful stream coming from time to time only, there is a danger of stopping; that is not good. With good diligence it becomes continuous.

Concentration of generosity. It says, “The pure Mahayana practice of generosity is single-pointedly concentrated.” Single-pointedness is the Mahayana quality. At the time of the motivation, during the action as well as at the conclusion the Mahayana principle is total dedication for others’ benefit rather than for the narrow selfish interest.

Wisdom of generosity. To whom you give, what you give, who the giver is, and also the giving itself, is all like a magician’s trick, nothing else. That is the wisdom part of this paramita of generosity. Each one of these paramitas has six within.

~ Gelek Rimpoche, The Six Perfections, pg. 19-20, 2013

Scroll to Top