True or transcendental wisdom. Last of the paramitas. One of the highest attainments of Buddhist practice. Giving is essential to Buddhism. Giving includes charity, or giving material help to people in want. It also includes giving spiritual guidance to those who seek it and loving kindness to all who need it. A collection of texts in the Vinaya-pitaka section of the Pali Canon, lists a number of motivations for practicing charity. These include being shamed or intimidated into giving; giving to receive a favor; giving to feel good about yourself. These are impure motivations.
The Buddha taught that when we give to others, we give without expectation of reward. We give without attaching to either the gift or the recipient. We practice giving to release greed and self-clinging.
Giving with pure motivation is called dana paramita, or "perfection of giving." It is first in a list of paramitas, or perfections. The Six Perfections are:
- Dana paramita, perfection of giving
- Shila paramita, perfection of discipline
- Kshanti paramita, perfection of patience
- Virya paramita, perfection of exertion
- Dhyana paramita, perfection of meditation
- Prajna paramita, perfection of wisdom
The last paramita, wisdom, ties back to the first.