Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Guide To the Bodhisattva Way Of Life - Chapter Three

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 Three

Adopting the Spirit of Awakening

1. I happily rejoice in the virtue of all sentient beings, which relieves the suffering of the miserable states of existence. May those who suffer dwell in happiness!

2. I rejoice in sentient beings' liberation from the suffering of the cycle of existence, and I rejoice in the Protectors' Bodhisattva Hood and Buddhahood.

3. I rejoice in the teachers' oceanic expressions of the spirit of awakening, which delight and benefit all sentient beings.

4. With the folded hands I beseech the Fully Awakened Ones in all directions that they may kindle the light of Dharma for those who fall into suffering owing to confusion.

5. With folded hands I supplicate the Jinas who wish to leave for Nirvana that they may stay for countless eons, and that this world may not remain in darkness.

6. May the virtue that I have acquired by doing all this relieve every suffering of sentient beings!

7. May I be the medicine and the physician for the sick. May I be their nurse until their illness never recurs!

8. With showers of food and drink may I overcome the afflictions of hunger and thirst! May I become food and drink during times of famine.

9. May I be an inexhaustible treasury for the destitute! With various forms of assistance may I remain in their presence.

10. For the sake of accomplishing the welfare of all sentient beings, I freely give up my body, enjoyments, and all my virtues of the three times.

11. Surrendering everything is Nirvana, and my mind seeks Nirvana. If I must surrender everything, it is better that I give it to sentient beings.

12. For the sake of all beings I have made this body pleasure less. Let them continually beat it, revile it, and cover it with filth.

13. Let them play with my body. Let them laugh at it and ridicule it. What does it matter to me? I have given my body to them.

14. Let them have me perform deeds that are conductive to their happiness. Whoever resorts to me, may it never be in vain.

15. For those who have resorted to me and have an angry or unkind thought, may even that always become the cause for their accomplishing every goal.

16. May those who falsely accuse me, who harm me, and who ridicule me all partake of awakening!

17. May I be a protector for those who are without protectors, a guide for travelers, and a boat, a bridge, and a ship for those who wish to cross over!

18. May I be a lamp for those who seek light, a bed for those who seek rest, and may I be a servant for all beings who desire a servant.

19. To all sentient beings may I be a wish-fulfilling gem, a vase of good fortune, an efficacious mantra, a great medication, a wish-fulfilling tree, and a wish-granting cow.

20. Just as earth and other elements are useful in various ways to innumerable sentient beings dwelling throughout infinite space,

21. So may I be in various ways a source of life for the sentient beings present throughout space until they are liberated.

22. Just as the Sugatas of old adopted the spirit of awakening, and just as they properly conformed to the practice of the Bodhisattvas,

23. So I myself shall generate the spirit of awakening for the sake of the world; and so I myself shall properly engage in those practices.

24. Upon gladly adopting the spirit of awakening in this way, an intelligent person should thus nurture the spirit in order to fulfill his wish.

25. Now my life is fruitful. Human existence is well obtained. Today I have been born into the family of the Buddhas. Now I am a child of the Buddha.

26. Thus, whatever I do now should accord with the Bodhisattvas' family, and it should not be a stain on this pure family.

27. Just as a blind man might find a jewel amongst heaps of rubbish, so this spirit of Awakening has somehow arisen in me.

28. It is the elixir of life produced to vanquish death in the world. It is an inexhaustible treasure eliminating the poverty of the world.

29. It is the supreme medicine that alleviates the illness of the world. It is the tree of rest for beings exhausted from wondering on the pathways of mundane existence.

30. It is the universal bridge for all travelers on their crossing over miserable states of existence. It is the rising moon of the mind that soothes the mental afflictions of the world.

31. It is the great sun dispelling the darkness of the world's ignorance. It is the fresh butter formed from churning the milk of Dharma.

32. For the caravan of beings traveling on the path to mundane existence and starving for the meal of happiness, it is the feast of happiness that satisfies all sentient beings who have come as guests.

33. Today I invite the world to Sugata-hood and temporal happiness. May the gods, asuras, and other rejoice in the presence of all the Protectors!

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