Here Parama means the noblest, highest, or most excel-lent. Therefore Paramitas are the most excellent virtues, or the noblest qualities of the Bodhisattas. In other words Paramitas are the line of conduct or the Pre-requisites for Enlightenment.
These ten virtues should be practised by every Buddhist who wishes to attain Nibbana - the final Emancipation, through any Yana or vehicle. Nibbana can be reached through one of the following three Yanas:
l. Samma Sam Buddhahood
2. Pacceka Buddhahood
SAMMA SAM BUDDHA
Every Buddhist has a freedom to choose one for himself from the above mentioned three Yanas which is suitable for him according to his temperaments and intellectual capacity in order to attain Nibbana. Here Samma Sam Buddha means fully Enlightened One, the Perfert One, the Holy One, the Omnisrient.
In this world, the appearance of a Samma Sam Buddha is a very rare rhance. In comparison with the other Yanas, it is an extremely difficult one. A person who aspires to become a Buddha, at first, should make a firm mental resolution and verbal expression for his object in the presence of the Buddhas. Then he must receive the proclamation or nomination from a Buddha who will publicly declare him to become a Samma Sam Buddha in the future.
Our Buddha, when he was born as Sumedha Pandit, four Asankheyyas and one hundred thousand,1 Kalpas-aeons ago, received the assurance from the Buddha Dipankara that he would undoubtedly become a Buddha in future.
Thus becoming a fully entitled Bodhisatta,
he renounced his personal salvation, began to practise the ten perfertions, with
the self-sacrificing spirit to serve the suffering humanity and finally became
Samma Sam Buddha.
The second Yana, to reach Nibbana is
Parceka Buddha-hood. Pacceka Buddha is one who attains Enlightenment without any
spiritual assistance from outside sources. He does not possess the faculty to
enlighten others. During the dispensation of a Samma Sam Buddha, Pacceka Buddhas
do not appear. Only one Samma Sam Buddha arises at a time but several Pacceka
Buddhas can appear at the same time. To become a Pacceka Buddha, one
should practise ten perfections for a number of Kalpas.
The third Yana to reach Nibbana is the Arahantship. This path is comparatively an easy one, and it is open to both men and women. Arahant is the one who has completely eradicated all the defilement including the ten fetters and the one who is worthy of offerings and reverence. As he has attained the ultimate realization, he is also capable to render the spiritual assistance to others for their liberation. Therefore the attainment of Nibbana through even this Yana cannot be regarded as selfish ideal.
To become an Arahant, one should have to
fulfil the ten perfection for many series of births.