IX. Further Explanation of the Six Paramitas
Hye Ka: The six paramitas are contribution, upholding precepts, patience and tolerance, zeal in progress, serenity, and wisdom. And now you have said, 'when the six sense roots are pure, that is the six paramitas'; what does that mean?
Budhidharma: If you want to practice the six paramitas you have to purify the six sense roots; to do that you must prevail over the Six Thieves.
If you get rid of a thief in the eye, then you will be free from the color of outer perspectives; your mind would not be stingy anymore. And then you can call it unconditional contribution.
If you get rid of a thief in your ear, then you will be free from the sound of outer perspectives. That is why they call it upholding the precepts.
If you get rid of a thief in your nose, then you will be free of both stench and fragrance. That is the reason they call it patience and tolerance.
If you get rid of a thief in your tongue, then you will be free of any craving for evil taste. Whether speaking or reading, you would not raise any thought of dislike. That is why it is called, zeal in progress.
And if you get rid of a thief in your body, then you will be superb and immovable by any affection. That is why it is called, unmovable serenity.
If you prevail over the consciousness thieves, then you will not chase the ignorant darkness, will always practice the self-gnostic wisdom, and will cultivate all various virtue and merit. That is why it is called wisdom.
Besides, wisdom means, 'carrying out'; so, the six perfections, like a ship, carry the indigent-being
toward the other shore; that is why they call the six paramitas, or liberation,
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