Common Buddhist Religion Terms 3

There are many different practices and beliefs attached to the religion of Buddhism that become a part of the daily lives of followers. In this article, you will learn of the Ten Perfections of the Theravada Buddhist school, as well as the differences in the Mahayana school of Buddhism.


metta: In Pali, this is the term used to refer to the kindness and goodwill associated with the Buddhist culture. In Sanskrit, the term is seen as Maitri, which also translates into a “loving kindness,” which is marked by unconditional and unattached characteristics. This term also belongs to one of the ten paramitas, which is associated with the Theravada school of Buddhism. Metta is also one of the first four Brahmaviharas.


Paramita: Meaning “perfection” or “transcendent” in the Pali and Sanskrit language, Paramita is used as a reference to the perfection of various practices associated with the religion. Primarily geared towards Bodhisattvas, who are crossing from a life filled with desire (referred to as Samsara) to a state of enlightenment (Nirvana). Pertaining to Theravada Buddhist school, there are ten of these “perfections,” which are referred to as Paramis. This is the original term taken from Pali language.


Samsara: This term refers to the reincarnation or rebirth of a Buddhist, which is often encountered during the Indian philosophical tradition of Buddhism. The word comes from the reference of going or passing through different states. It also means, “to wander.” To explain the rebirth of a follower, it is often portrayed as a revolving door, which provides a gateway to life and death. It also deals with the new life one receives once they enter a reincarnated life cycle. During ancient Indian times, Samsara was often referred to as “a game.” The term is also associated with Hinduism. Jainism, as well as other related religions.


The Ten Perfections: This are the various stages associated with the Theravada Buddhist school of religion.

They are:


1) Viriya parami: (diligence, energy, vigor, effort)

2) Khanti parami: (patience, acceptance, endurance tolerance, forbearance)

3) Sacca parami: (truth, honesty)

4) Adhitthana parami: (determination, resolution)

5) Nekkhamma parami : (renunciation)

6) Pañña parami: (transcendental wisdom, insight)

7) Metta parami: (loving-kindness)

8) Upekkha parami: (equanimity, serenity)

9) Dāna parami: (generosity, giving of oneself)

10) Sīla parami: (virtue, morality, proper behavior)


The Mahayana school of Buddhism treats the “perfections” differently and only has six attached to their particular belief system. They only adhere to the following: Dāna parami; Sīla parami; Viriya parami; Khanti parami; Dhyana paramita; and Pranjna paramita.


Brahmavihara: This term refers to a group of Buddhist meditations, which is part of the Pali Brahmavihara Sutra, as well as the Sanskrit Brahmavihara Sutra. There are four instances regarding this part of the Buddhist belief system. They are: Metta/Maitri: This deals with the loving and kindness that one shows towards another. It also refers to the genuine feeling of hoping that someone is doing well; Upejjha/ Upedksha: This term refers towards the acceptances in life, in both the losses and gains. It also refers to praise, as well as blame.


Successes and failures also fall under this category, with an emphasis of equality for all; Mudita: This is the joy that one genuinely feels when they have accomplished something, which is just as much as the feeling that they feel when another has accomplished something as well; Karuna: This term refers to compassion. It is the feeling that one possesses when they hope that the suffering of another will end.