Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

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Jeff H
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by Jeff H » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:11 pm

javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:51 pm
13. Even those who’ve committed intolerable misdeeds,
Through having bodhicitta instantly are freed,
Just like a brave companion banishing all one’s fears—
Why then would the prudent fail to put their trust in it?

http://www.lotsawahouse.org/indian-mast ... yavatara-1
I always wondered how this is possible, it is marvelous, amazing.

I think even depression could be cured this way. It worked well for me, hatred and sadness gone, step by step. No? What's the main cause od depression? Isn't self grasping?
Yes! This is from chapter one, which is Shantideva’s preface to the rest of the book. Here he extols bodhichitta to set the mood of enthusiasm for taking action toward cultivating it. And remember, he says he’s primarily speaking to himself, but we’re welcome to listen in and share his enthusiasm.
In chapter one Shantideva wrote:2cd. I therefore have no thought that this might be of benefit to others;
I wrote it only to habituate my mind.

3. My faith will thus be strengthened for a little while,
That I might grow accustomed to this virtuous way.
But others who now chance upon my words
May profit also, equal to myself in fortune.
I think of the section of chapter one you refer to as v.9:14. First he talks about the transformative power of bodhchitta (v.9), then he gives five examples (v.10-14). In my prior notes, here’s how I understood this passage (with the help of Kunzang Pelden's commentary, The Nectar of Manjushri's Speech).

(v.9) Bodhisattvas are the heirs of Buddha, born of ordinary beings. Every bodhisattva and buddha started right here where I am now. A desire to improve my own life and the lives of others can be kindled into a wish for universal peace and happiness. The wish can be honed into an intention. The intention can take form as bodhisattva deeds (paramitas) undertaken with a firm commitment. The means to actualize each of these steps is presented here in the Bodhicharyavatara. Step by step even I can walk the Path which I venerate. He gives five metaphors for the effects of bodhichitta.

Alchemy (v.10): That which I refer to as my self is contaminated and impure. But these instructions show me how to use that imperfect conveyance (the self) as a force for increasing purity in the world as I know it, thereby transforming myself from an agent of non-virtue into an agent of virtue.

Priceless Jewel (v.11): The resultant being is like a jewel which Buddha the Appraiser has said is beyond estimable value. Therefore the means to bring this jewel into the world, namely the awakened mind of bodhicitta, is itself priceless.

Plantain Tree (v.12): Virtues performed with bodhicitta self-propagate and increase because as a bodhisattva I would understand where, how, and why to apply a remedy. By contrast, when I attempt to do good in my ignorance the results are uncertain and necessarily short-lived.

Hero (v.13): As an ordinary being I walk around in fear because I believe in a self capable of sustaining harm and because I have the baggage of former sins awaiting fruition. Therefore bodhicitta is like a powerful bodyguard who dispels my fears with correct understanding and the creation of positive karma for the future.

Purifying Fire (v.14): As a bodhisattva I would abandon love of self and adopt love of others. In that act I would simultaneously burn away my former misdeeds and happily take on karmic effects for the sake of releasing others.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:31 pm

Jeff H wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:11 pm
I think of the section of chapter one you refer to as v.9:14. First he talks about the transformative power of bodhchitta (v.9), then he gives five examples (v.10-14). In my prior notes, here’s how I understood this passage (with the help of Kunzang Pelden's commentary, The Nectar of Manjushri's Speech).

(v.9) Bodhisattvas are the heirs of Buddha, born of ordinary beings. Every bodhisattva and buddha started right here where I am now. A desire to improve my own life and the lives of others can be kindled into a wish for universal peace and happiness. The wish can be honed into an intention. The intention can take form as bodhisattva deeds (paramitas) undertaken with a firm commitment. The means to actualize each of these steps is presented here in the Bodhicharyavatara. Step by step even I can walk the Path which I venerate. He gives five metaphors for the effects of bodhichitta.

Alchemy (v.10): That which I refer to as my self is contaminated and impure. But these instructions show me how to use that imperfect conveyance (the self) as a force for increasing purity in the world as I know it, thereby transforming myself from an agent of non-virtue into an agent of virtue.

Priceless Jewel (v.11): The resultant being is like a jewel which Buddha the Appraiser has said is beyond estimable value. Therefore the means to bring this jewel into the world, namely the awakened mind of bodhicitta, is itself priceless.

Plantain Tree (v.12): Virtues performed with bodhicitta self-propagate and increase because as a bodhisattva I would understand where, how, and why to apply a remedy. By contrast, when I attempt to do good in my ignorance the results are uncertain and necessarily short-lived.

Hero (v.13): As an ordinary being I walk around in fear because I believe in a self capable of sustaining harm and because I have the baggage of former sins awaiting fruition. Therefore bodhicitta is like a powerful bodyguard who dispels my fears with correct understanding and the creation of positive karma for the future.

Purifying Fire (v.14): As a bodhisattva I would abandon love of self and adopt love of others. In that act I would simultaneously burn away my former misdeeds and happily take on karmic effects for the sake of releasing others.
Interesting. Seems that a being that never had resolution can start a "metamorphosis" once is resolved in boddhicitta.

But, actually, how a new boddhisattva borns? I'm between normal transmigration and metamorphosis.
"Emptiness" without compassion is not real emptiness.
"Compassion" without emptiness is not real compassion.

Jeff H
Posts: 743
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:56 pm
Location: Vermont, USA

Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by Jeff H » Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:58 am

javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:31 pm
Interesting. Seems that a being that never had resolution can start a "metamorphosis" once is resolved in boddhicitta.

But, actually, how a new boddhisattva borns? I'm between normal transmigration and metamorphosis.
I'm not quite sure I understand your question. But here's how I understand the message of Bodhicharyavatara in terms of what I learned through Gelug Lam Rim.

It is taught that when you attain true, active bodhichitta, you are a bodhisattva. If your bodhichitta lapses, you are no longer a bodhisattva.

No empowerment is necessary to take the bodhisattva vows or practice the six paramitas because, in this case, you begin with aspiring bodhichitta and the bodhisattva deeds (in conjunction with accumulating the two collections) in order to cultivate bodhichitta.

When you are able to exchange self for other, then you cross over into active bodhichitta as a bodhisattva and continue practicing the six deeds until you have a direct realization of emptiness in the sixth paramita (wisdom). At that time the bodhisattva deeds becomes the six perfections. In that state one recognizes that the act, the actor, and the beneficiary all lack "self" and yet the action is significant.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:53 am

Jeff H wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:58 am
javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:31 pm
Interesting. Seems that a being that never had resolution can start a "metamorphosis" once is resolved in boddhicitta.

But, actually, how a new boddhisattva borns? I'm between normal transmigration and metamorphosis.
I'm not quite sure I understand your question. But here's how I understand the message of Bodhicharyavatara in terms of what I learned through Gelug Lam Rim.

It is taught that when you attain true, active bodhichitta, you are a bodhisattva. If your bodhichitta lapses, you are no longer a bodhisattva.

No empowerment is necessary to take the bodhisattva vows or practice the six paramitas because, in this case, you begin with aspiring bodhichitta and the bodhisattva deeds (in conjunction with accumulating the two collections) in order to cultivate bodhichitta.

When you are able to exchange self for other, then you cross over into active bodhichitta as a bodhisattva and continue practicing the six deeds until you have a direct realization of emptiness in the sixth paramita (wisdom). At that time the bodhisattva deeds becomes the six perfections. In that state one recognizes that the act, the actor, and the beneficiary all lack "self" and yet the action is significant.
Certainly you did understood my question :)
"Emptiness" without compassion is not real emptiness.
"Compassion" without emptiness is not real compassion.

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