Description: The act of giving as a religious act directed towards a person of religious commitment is said to be of great potency, even akin to magic. The power of sacrifice of personal possessions is said to transform the mind, reducing possessiveness and selfishness and leading to sensitivity to others' needs. It leads naturally to the next stage of commitment to control of external activity.
Context: The first of the six (and later ten) [paramita] (virtues) a bodhisattva perfects on the path of enlightenment. The first of five perfections or [paramitas] of Zen which, when achieved, render the mind ready for the sixth - [maha paramita] or great perfection, [prajna]. Also the first of the ten meritorious deeds of South Asian Buddhist thought. Also one of five practices listed in the "Awakening of Faith" of Tsung-mi, which should be cultivated on the path of enlightenment.<