Five perfections

From Rigpa Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The five perfections (Tib. ཕུན་སུམ་ཚོགས་པ་ལྔ་; Wyl. phun sum tshogs pa lnga) or five certainties (Tib. ངེས་པ་ལྔ། ; Wyl. nges pa lnga) are:

  1. the perfect teacher (Tib. སྟོན་པ་ཕུན་སུམ་ཚོགས་པ་)
  2. the perfect teaching (Tib. ཆོས་ཕུན་སུམ་ཚོགས་པ་)
  3. the perfect place (Tib. གནས་ཕུན་སུམ་ཚོགས་པ་)
  4. the perfect disciples (Tib. འཁོར་ཕུན་སུམ་ཚོགས་པ་)
  5. the perfect time (Tib. དུས་ཕུན་སུམ་ཚོགས་པ་)

According to the Shravakayana, this refers to the Buddha Shakyamuni and the various moments and geographical locations in which he expounded the Dharma to his disciples. According to the Mahayana, this refers to the sambhogakaya buddhas such as Vairochana, expounding the teachings of the Great Vehicle in various buddha fields, in the eternal present beyond time, to a vast retinue of bodhisattvas residing on the tenth ground. In the latter case the five perfections are also called the five certainties.[1]


  1. Jikmé Lingpa’s Treasury of Precious Qualities, page 413,Translated by the Padmakara Translation Group, published by Shambhala, ISBN 1-57062-598-0

Alternative Translations

  • Five excellences (Padmakara Translation Group)
  • Five perfect conditions (Ringu Tulku Rinpoche)