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The Buddha said to the monks that they should develop wholesome states (kusalā-dhammā). The development of wholesome states leads to welfare and happiness. What are the wholesome states that should be developed? I put these in three categories:

A Study of Pāramīs - Bhikkhu Bodhi

MP3 lectures downloaded from Bodhi Monastery website:
These are transcripts of talks that Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi gave at Bodhi Monastery in 2003. They have not been edited or reviewed by the author, but he has given us permission to post them on our website.

source picture: www.theravada-dhamma.org

Introduction and the Perfection of Giving (Dāna-pāramī)

Bhikkhu Bodhi


The Buddha said to the monks that they should develop wholesome states (kusalā-dhammā). The development of wholesome states leads to welfare and happiness. What are the wholesome states that should be developed? I put these in three categories:

1. wholesome states included in meritorious actions;

2. wholesome states that constitute the pāramīs or pāramitās; and

3. wholesome states that constitute the bodhipakhkiya-dhammā or aids or requisites of enlightenment (bodhisambhāra).

The governing principle behind the performance of deeds of merits is significant and is called the law of karmic retribution. This is the principle that the volitional action that we perform has the capacity to bring results that correspond to the ethical nature of the original action. According to this law, unwholesome action, immoral or evil action or uUnwholesome deeds bring the accumulation of unwholesome kamma, a kind of energy which has the capacity or potential to ripen in the form of suffering and miseries in the future. In other words, unwholesome action generate undesirable fruits or consequences by way of causing lower rebirth, sickness, poverty, pain, and various types of suffering either later in this life or in future lives.
On the other hand wholesome kamma or virtuous actions, bodily, verbal and mental, generate wholesome karmic potential with the capacity to bring desirable fruits in the future, to bring fortunate rebirth into states of prosperity that ensure success in one’s undertakings, even bring physical beauty, intelligence and success in whatever one undertakes, good health, wealth, everything that people desire in a mundane way.

What lies behind the working of the law of kamma is the principle we retribution, good deed begets good result, bad deed begets bad results. Good kamma that brings good result is called meritorious action. The most basic types of merits are generosity, moral discipline or virtue, and bhāvanā (meditative development). From these three root types of merits, there are different secondary types of merits.... 

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