Chapter 35. The Equation of Perfected Merits
The Equation of Merit & Perfection
According to the teachings of Lord Gotama Buddha, Buddhists learn that they can earn merit energy from their meritorious deeds, and the repeated accumulations of merit energy can be crystallised into perfection of virtues which can be sorted into as many as 10 qualitative categories.
In Dhammonomics, we can render definitions and equations to explain this phenomena which naturally occurs to everyone regardless of belief, race, age, and gender.
Firstly, merit energy itself is a kind of element or dhatu. The merit energy can be very strong when it is condensed with more element or dhatu. And one can quantitatively earn more dhatu in a volume of merit energy when one strives more in physical, verbal, and mental meritorious deeds whereas the merit dhatu from thinking alone is usually ‘light,’ with some exceptions.
As the thinking gives rise to speeches and actions, the mental deeds become stronger and the more merit dhatu can be earned upon the completion of mental, verbal, and physical deeds based on the 10 ways to earn merit (punja-kiriya-vaddhu) namely (1) generosity (2) morality (3) meditation (4) humble behaving (5) helpful deed (6) sharing merit to others (7) appreciating others’ merit (8) learning dharma (9) teaching dharma, and (10) correcting one’s view.
Thus, these can be converted into the equation:
“y” = Merit Element or Quantitative Merit or dhatu =
(Mental + Verbal + Physical) x (the Ten Ways to earn Merit)
Other than the merit element, there is the merit essence or ‘punja dharma’ which occurs to one’s mind. This is the quality of merit which can be distinguished into three major categories as morality (sila), concentration (samadhi), and wisdom (panna) whereas these qualities can be divided into the 84,000 categories of Dharma or dharma-khanda. However, we can sort the merit essences according to the 10 virtues namely (1) generosity (2) morality (3) renunciation (4) wisdom (5) perseverance (6) patience (7) truthfulness (8) compassion (9) resolution, and (10) equanimity.
These are the quality of virtues in one’s mind when making merit, and they are the merit essences which coexist with the merit elements. Hence, these give rise to the expressions and equations as follows:
Mentalmorality = Purity
Mentalconcentration = Mental Calm or Concentration
Mentalwisdom = Knowledge & Understanding & Competency
As cofactors, they cause the merit energy to be, more or less, (1) clean, (2) powerful, and (3) abundant.
“x” = Merit Essence or Qualitative Merit or Punja Dharma =
(Mentalmorality + Mentalconcentration + Mentalwisdom ) x (The Ten Perfection of Virtues)
With the above equations of merit element and essence, we can derive an integral equation of merit energy where element equals to ‘y’ and essence equals to ‘x’ which occur within a time frame of (a) before deeds, (b) during deeds, and (c) after deeds. Therefore, the integral equation can be used to approximately calculate the merit element and essence of merit energy earned before deeds (m1), during deeds (m2), and after deeds (m3).
Finally, the merit element and merit essence are conjointly perfected to become the perfection of virtues or parami based on the active processing of 5 mental faculties or indriya (orientation of merit cultivation) namely (1) wisdom (2) faith (3) perseverance (4) mindfulness, and (5) concentration as shown in the equation below whereas "mindfulness" and "concentration" coexist altogether with wisdom, faith, and perseverance, causing the consistency of perfection (mindfulness) and intensity in crystallisation or condensation (concentration).
As such, we can derive an equation of ‘perfected merit’ where merit is to the power of “L” and within the ‘root’ of any or more of the mental faculties (i):
(A) Wisdom = 2 (merit can be fully perfected more quickly and effectively, but less capacity)
(B) Faith = 3 (merit can be moderately perfected with moderate time, efficiency, and capacity)
(C) Perseverance = 4 (perfection of merit required more time, less efficiency, but the most capacity)
Perfection of Virtues or Perfected Merits or Parami =
[ i √ (Merit)L] x T
In term of the five mental faculties or indriya which comprise of wisdom, faith, perseverance, mindfulness, and concentration, all of these are mental faculties whereas one or more of the wisdom, faith, and perseverance motivate the merit cultivation, causing more or less of merit element and essence gained.
In addition, mindfulness is the mental consistency or attention which can be accounted as the ‘processing time’ to perfecting merit (t) whereas the overall period of lifetimes cultivation (T) requires more or less ‘eons’ of time to achieve the completion of cultivation where enlightenment is the end result. As such, the longer period of (T) signifies the greater volume of perfected merit or perfection in multiplication whereas ‘wisdom’ takes the least period of time in cultivation, and faith takes moderate time whilst perseverance takes the longest, in order to reach the requirements to attain enlightenment and noble statuses with different capability and capacity as follows:
(T) = 100,000 sub-eons for a regular Arahat Buddhist Saint who achieves full enlightenment
= 1.1 eons for a right-sided or left-sided chief Arahat Buddhist Saint
= 2.1 eons for a Silent-Buddha who does not establish a religion
= 20.1 eons for a wisdom oriented Lord Buddha
= 40.1 eons for a faith oriented Lord Buddha
= 80.1 eons for a perseverance oriented Lord Buddha
In parallel, concentration, the last indriya, is how powerful the mind is attempted in pursuit of perfections when it is wisdom-oriented (light), faith-oriented (moderate), and perseverance-oriented (strong).
As such, the 5 faculties or indriya perfect the merit element & merit essence sorted into the 10 perfection of virtues to become the 5 powerful strength or bala which are required for uprooting the lower and higher fetters or samyojana whenever there is the unification of magga in compliance to the right resolve, in order to enable the enlightenment or magga & phala, which is the ultimate goal of Buddhism.
By Pirajak T. S. (formerly Pittaya Wong)
20 November 2020
8 January 2021 (First Revision)