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Engaging in Bodhisattva Behavior

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Engaging in Bodhisattva Behavior[1]-  by Śāntideva[2]

 

Gaining Hold of a Bodhichitta[3] Aim

 

(1) With pleasure I rejoice in the positive actions
That relieve the sufferings of the worse states of existence for all beings
And the actions that place those who suffer,
In better situations.

(2) I rejoice in that build up of positive force
That became the causes for the purified state of the wise;
I rejoice in the definite freedom of these embodied beings
From the miseries of rebirths over which they have no control.

(3) I rejoice in the purified state of the Guardian Buddhas
And also in the levels of mind of their spiritual offspring;
And with pleasure I rejoice in the ocean of positive force
That flows forth from their set aim do free all beings
And what they did for them to bring joy to every being.

(4) With reverence I beseech
The Buddhas of all directions:
Please shine the lamp of the holy doctrine on all beings
Who are suffering and groping in darkness.

(5) With reverence, I beseech
The Triumphant One who could pass beyond sorrow:
I beg you, remain for countless eons
So that these wandering beings are not left alone in their blindness.

(6) By whatever positive force I have built up
Through that I have done for that aim,
May I remove every suffering
Of all beings.

(7) So long as beings fall sick,
May I serve as their medicine,
Their doctor and their nurse,
Until they have been cured of their disease.

(8) May I eliminate the pain of hunger and thirst
With a shower of food and drink;
And, in times of famine,
May I myself change into food and drink for them.

(9) May I, for the sake of all beings that are destitute and poor,
become a treasure that never runs short
And remain in their presence
In the form of all kinds of useful things.

(10) To fulfill the aims of all beings,
I give my body without sense of a loss,
and likewise my pleasures and all my positive forces of past present and future.

(11) Giving everything away (brings) release with nirvana,
And to realize that is my mind’s aim is.
As when one dies one gives all away,
It is best to give now to all beings.

(12) Having given this body to all
To do with it as they like,
It is up to them to do what they want:
Let them kill it, revile it, always beat it, or whatever.

(13) Let them toy with my body,
Make it into a source of ridicule or a joke.
As I have already given away my body,
Why should I hold it dear?

(14) Let them do to my body what they wish,
So long as it does not harm themselves;
However, may anything that is focused on me
Never turn out to be meaningless.

(15) If anyone, having focused on me,
Becomes angry or negative in mind,
May that always turn into a cause
For fulfilling all his or her aims.

(16) And may everyone who speaks badly of me,
Or does something else that’s of harm,
Or likewise hurls ridicule at me,
Become someone with the fortune for a purified state.

(17) May I be a guardian for those with no guardian,
A pathfinder for those who are on the road,
And a boat, a ship, a bridge
For those who would cross

(18) May I be an island for those seeking an island,
A lamp for those desiring a lamp,
A bed for everyone wishing a bed,
And a servant for every embodied being
who would want a servant.

(19) May I be for all beings A wish-granting gem, a vase of excellence,
Mantras of pure awareness, magnificent medicine,
Wish-granting trees, and cows of plenty .

(20) And may I serve, eternally in a plenitude of forms,
As the basis for life, like do the earth
The great elements and space, For fathomless numbers of beings

(21) And till they pass to nirvana,
May I too serve, in all ways,
As the cause for their life till the ends of space
in the realms where all beings abide.

(22) Just as the Buddhas of the past
Have generated a bodhichitta  aim,
And then lived by the stages
belonging to the bodhisattva training;

(23) I too generate a bodhichitta aim
To help those who wander around in ignorance
And shall train in the stages
Of the bodhisattva training.

(24) Purely in order to gain hold,
Of bodhichitta with this sound state of mind,
And to enhance it further afterwards as well,
Celebrate that healthy mind in this way:

(25) Now my life has become fruitful,
For I have wonderfully attained a human existence,
Today I have awakened my Buddha-nature
And have become a Buddha’s spiritual child.

(26) Now I shall in whatever possible way,
Undertake actions in accordance with that,
And never defile this impeccable nature
That is free from any fault.

(27) Just like a blind man
Who finds a gem in a pile of trash,
by some force  it has come to happen
That within me developed a bodhichitta aim.

(28) It is the supreme nectar, indeed, for defeating
The Lord of Death of beings wandering from life to life
It is also the inexhaustible treasure
For dispelling the poverty of these beings.

(29) It is the best medicine, too, that brings to full rest
The diseases of those who are passing through it;
It is the tree that shelters all wandering beings,
Wandering around and exhausted by their compulsive rebirths.

(30) It is the public bridge for freeing
All wandering beings from bad rebirth states;
It is the risen moon of the mind to dispel the fever
Of the disturbing emotions of those who roam around.

(31) It is the magnificent sun for clearing away
The mist of ignorance in wandering beings;
It is the fresh froth of butter that rises to the top
From the churning of the milk of the sacred teaching.

(32) For all these beings roam, as guests,
on the roads of compulsive existence,
Wishing to enjoy a share of bliss,
This is the best way to give them this,
Satisfying the entirety of these beings who come as guests.

(33) Today, before the eyes of all sources of direction,
I have summoned as guests all wandering beings
To bless them up to the state of a Buddha.
Gods and all other higher beings, take joy!

 

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