23. How to be a Buddha: Timing of Virtues Cultivation (Parami)
How to be a Buddha: Timing of Virtues Cultivation
By Pittaya Wong
10 Feb 2018
 As mentioned in the earlier chapter that every Buddha-to-be has to go through an incredibly long period of virtues cultivation until the required transcendental virtues energy are fulfilled and enable such Buddha-to-be to attain enlightenment and become a Silent Buddha or Lord Buddha, some may doubt why the requirement for Buddhahood is accounted as the period of cultivation, 20.1 eons, 40.12 eons, and 80.1 eons, instead of the volume of transcendental merit energy earned from doing good deeds and accumulated in oneself.
 To clarify this, we can compare the cultivation of virtues for Buddhahood to ‘bread baking’ where the mass of bigger or smaller chunks of raw bread are baked in an oven over a period of time until it becomes fully and completely baked. In contrast, the Wisdom-Oriented Buddha-to-be person is like a smaller chunk of raw bread which requires less time, 20.1 eons, to be completely baked whereas the Faith-Oriented and Perseverance-Oriented Buddha-to-be persons need more time for cultivation, 40.1 eons and 80.1 eons respectively, to attain enlightenment, similar to bigger chunks of raw bread in an oven that take more time to be completely and fully baked.
 Timing in virtues cultivation plays an important role in pursuit of perfection as different types of Buddha-to-be namely the Wisdom-Oriented, Faith-Oriented, and the Perseverance-Oriented have more or less timing requirements for Buddhahood. The Wisdom-Oriented Buddha-to-be can attain enlightenment similar to the Faith-Oriented and Perseverance-Oriented Buddha-to-be with less accumulated merit energy and shorter period of cultivation. This is because when ‘wisdom’ is the leading quality in virtues cultivation of a Buddha-to-be, it allows the Buddha-to-be to be wiser in developing other virtues more quickly whereas the Faith-Oriented Buddha-to-be relies on wisdom moderately, and the Perseverance-Oriented Buddha-to-be relies on wisdom the least among all types of Buddha-to-be.
 Thus, this eventually differentiates the performance among Lord Buddhas as the Lord Buddhas with longer period of virtues cultivation normally have more accumulated transcendental merit energy that enables them to perform their duties at a greater extent while comparatively have similar scope of insight and knowledge of the Dhamma.