Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Guide To the Bodhisattva Way Of Life - Chapter Two

A Guide To the Bodhisattva Way Of Life

Author: Shantideva Bodhisattva

(* Shantideva Bodhisattva is known as a direct disciple of Manjusri Bodhisattva)

The Key of becoming a Bodhisattva:

One who wishes to protect oneself and others quickly, should practice exchanging oneself for others, which is a great mystery.

All those who are unhappy in the world are so as a result of their desire for their own happiness.

All those who are happy in the world are so as a result of their desire for the happiness of others.

Enough of such talk!

Note the difference between the fool who seeks his own benefit, and the sage who works for the benefit of others.

One, who does not exchange his own happiness for the suffering of others, surely does not achieve Buddhahood. How could one find happiness even in the cycle of existence?

Therefore, in order to alleviate my own suffering and to alleviate the suffering of others, I give myself up to others, and I accept others as my own self.


Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9

[In copying this ancient manuscript we discovered various translations from different traditions. The reader can be comforted to know that they all agreed with one another in substance, however, some were easier to understand in places then others. In making this text available we worked hard to ensure that it would be comprehensible. In every case we selected the verse that we felt was easiest to understand. BIONA ED.]


Chapter Two
The Confession of Sin

1. In order to adopt that jewel of the mind, I make offerings to the Tathagatas, to the stainless jewel of the sublime Dharma, and to the children of the Buddhas, who are oceans of excellent qualities.

2. As many flowers, fruits, and medicinal herbs as there are, and as many jewels as there are in the world, and clear and pleasant waters,

3. Jeweled mountains, forested regions, and other delightful and solitary places, vines shining with the ornaments of lovely flowers, and trees with branches bowed with delicious fruit,

4. Fragrances and incenses, wish fulfilling trees, jeweled trees, lakes adorned with lotuses, enchanting calls of wild geese in the worlds of gods and other celestials,

5. Uncultivated crops, planted crops, and other things that ornament the venerable ones, all these that are un-owned and that extend throughout space,

6. I bring to mind and offer to the foremost of sages, together with their children. May those worthy of precious gifts, the greatly merciful ones, compassionate towards me, accept these from me.

7. Devoid of merit and destitute, I have nothing else to offer. Therefore, may the Protectors, whose concerns are for the welfare of others, accept this by their own power, for my sake.

8. I completely offer my entire self to the Jinas and their children. O supreme beings, accept me! I reverently devote myself to your service.

9. Being free from fear of mundane existence due to your protection, I shall serve sentient beings; I shall completely transcend my earlier vices, and henceforth I shall sin no more.

10. In sweetly fragrant bathing chambers, whose beautiful pillars are radiant with jewels, glowing canopies made with pearls, and crystal floors transparent and sparkling,

11. I bathe the Tath¨¢gatas and their children with many vases studded with superb jewels and filled with pleasing, fragrant flowers, and water, to the accompaniment of songs and instrumental music.

12. I dry their bodies with scented, immaculate, exquisite clothes; then I offer them beautifully colored and sweetly fragrant garments.

13. I adorn Samantabhadra, Ajita, Manjughosa, Lokesvara, and others with those divine, soft, delicate, and colorful raiment's and with the most precious of jewels.

14. With perfumes permeating a thousand million worlds, I anoint the bodies of the lords of sages that are blazing with the luster well refined, well rubbed, and polished gold.

15. I worship the most glorious lords of sages with all wonderfully fragrant and pleasing blossoms-mandarava flowers, blue lotus's, and others-and with splendidly arranged garlands.

16. I perfume them with enchanting clouds of incenses having a pungent and pervasive aroma. I offer them feasts consisting of various foods and drinks.

17. I offer them jeweled lamps, mounted in row of golden lotuses; and I scatter lovely drifts of blossoms on the floor, anointed with perfume.

18. To those filled with love I also offer brilliant multitudes of palaces, delightful with songs of praise, radiant with garlands of pearls and jewels, and ornamented at the entrances in four directions.

19. I bring to mind the great sages exquisitely beautiful, jeweled parasols perfectly raised with golden handles, lovely shapes, and inlaid pearls.

20. Thereafter, may delightful clouds of offerings rise high, and clouds of instrumental music that enrapture all sentient beings.

21. May showers of flowers, jewels and the like continually fall on the images, reliquaries, and all the jewels of the sublime Dharma.

22. Just as Manjughosa and others worship the Jinas, so do I worship the Tath¨¢gatas, the protectors, together with their children.

23. With hymns that are seas of melodies, I praise the oceans of virtues. May the clouds of harmonies of praise ascend to them in the same way.

24. With prostrations as numerous as the atoms within all the Buddha-fields, I bow to the Buddha's present in all the three times, to the Dharma, and to the sublime assembly,

25. Likewise, I pay homage to all the shrines and resting places of the Bodhisattva. I prostrate to the preceptors and to the praiseworthy adepts as well.

26. I go for refuge to the Buddha as far as the quintessence of enlightenment; I go for refuge to the Dharma and the community of Bodhisattvas.

27. With folded hands I beseech the Fully Awaked Ones present in all directions and the greatly compassionate bodhisattvas.

28. Whatever sin, I, a brute, have committed or caused others to commit in this life and others throughout the beginning less cycle of existence,

29. And anything in which I have improperly rejoiced, thereby harming myself, that transgression I confess, overcome by remorse

30. Whatever offence I have committed, out of disrespect, with my body, speech, and mind against the Three Jewels, against mother and fathers, and against spiritual mentors and others,

31. And whatever terrible vices, I, a sinner, defiled with many faults, have done, O Guides, I confess them all.

32. How shall I escape it? Rescue me quickly! May death not soon creep up on me before my vices have vanished!

33. Death does not differentiate between tasks done and undone. This traitor is not to be trusted by the healthy or the ill, for it is like an unexpected, great thunderbolt.

34. I have committed various vices for the sake of friends and enemies. This I have not recognized: "Leaving everyone behind, I must pass away."

35. My enemies will not remain, nor will my friends remain. I shall not remain. Nothing will remain.

36. Whatever is experienced will fade to a memory. Like an experience in a dream, everything that has passed will not be seen again.

37. Even in this life, as I have stood by, many friends and enemies have passed away, but terrible sin induced by them remains ahead of me.

38. Thus, I have not considered that I am ephemeral. Due to delusion, attachment, and hatred, I have sinned in many ways.

39. Day and night, a life span unceasingly diminishes, and there is no adding to it. Shall I not die then?

40. Although lying here on a bed, and relying on relatives, I alone have to bear the feeling of being cut off from my vitality.

41. For a person seized by the messengers of death, what good is a relative, and what good is a friend? At that time merit alone is a protection, and I have not applied myself to it.

42. O Protectors, I, negligent, and unaware of this danger, have acquired many vices out of attachment to this transient life.

43. One completely languishes while being led today to have the limbs of ones body amputated. Parched with thirst, and with pitiable eyes, one sees the world differently.

44. How much more is one overpowered by the horrifying appearances of the Messengers of Death as one is consumed by the fevers of terror, and smeared with a mass of excrement?

45. With distressed glances, I seek protection in the four directions. Which good person will be my protection from this great fear?

46. Seeing the four directions devoid of protection, I return to confusion. What shall I do in that state of great fear?

47. Right now I go for refuge to the Protectors of the world whose power is great, to the Jinas, who strive to protect the world and who eliminate every fear.

48. Likewise, I earnestly go for refuge to the Dharma that is mastered by them and that annihilates the fear of the cycle of existence, and to the assembly of Bodhisattvas as well.

49. Trembling with fear, I offer myself to Samantabhadra, and of my own will I offer myself to Manjughosa.

50. Terrified, I utter a mournful cry to the Protector, Avalokita, whose conduct overflows with compassion, that he may protect me, a sinner.

51. Seeking protection, I earnestly invoke noble Akasagarbha, Ksitigarbha, and all the compassionate ones.

52. I bow to Vajri, upon the sight of whom, the Messengers of Death and other malevolent beings flee in terror to the four directions.

53. After neglecting your council, in terror I go to you for refuge now as I face this fear. Swiftly remove my fear!

54. Even one frightened by a fleeting illness would not disregard the physicians advice; how much more so one afflicted by the four hundred and four diseases,

55. Of which just one can annihilate all people living Jambudvipa, and for which a medicine is not found in any region.

56. If I disregard the council of the Omniscient Physician who removes every pain, shame on me, extremely deluded one that I am!

57. If I stand very attentive, even on a smaller cliff, how much more so on an enduring chasm of a thousand leagues?

58. It is inappropriate for me to be as ease, thinking, "Just today death will not arrive." The time when I will not exist in inevitable.

59. Who can give me fearlessness? How can I escape? I shall certainly not exist. Why is my mind at ease?

60. What of value has remained with me from earlier experiences, which have disappeared, and engrossed in which, I have neglected the council of spiritual mentors?

61. Upon forsaking my relatives and friends, and this world of the living, alone I shall go elsewhere. What is the use of all my friends and enemies?

62. In that case, only this concern is appropriate for me day and night: how shall I surely escape suffering on account of that non-virtue?

63. Whatever vice, whatever natural misdeed, and whatever misdeed by prohibition I, an ignorant fool, have accumulated,

64. Terrified of suffering, all this I confess, standing with folded hands in the presence of the Protectors and bowing repeatedly.

65. May the guides be aware of my transgressions, together with my inequity. O Protectors, may I not commit this evil again!


To be continued to Chapter Three - Adopting the Spirit of Awakening.

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