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.

Jeff H
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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 :)

Sennin
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by Sennin » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:29 am

Josef wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:10 am
I'm not sure if this has been done before, or if folks are interested but I thought it might be useful to start an ongoing thread for discussion different aspects of the Bodhicaryavatara, both from the perspective of practice and interpretation of the stanzas etc.

This is the first teaching I ever received and I have received it numerous times since then. Personally, I draw a great deal of grounding and inspiration from it and would love to hear (and discuss) the experiences of you all.
Hi,

I recently started listening to a playlist on souncloud regarding this text and it's very good.
https://m.soundcloud.com/user-12482562 ... attvas-way
Go no paradigm! ;)

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Josef
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by Josef » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:25 am

Sennin wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:29 am
Josef wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:10 am
I'm not sure if this has been done before, or if folks are interested but I thought it might be useful to start an ongoing thread for discussion different aspects of the Bodhicaryavatara, both from the perspective of practice and interpretation of the stanzas etc.

This is the first teaching I ever received and I have received it numerous times since then. Personally, I draw a great deal of grounding and inspiration from it and would love to hear (and discuss) the experiences of you all.
Hi,

I recently started listening to a playlist on souncloud regarding this text and it's very good.
https://m.soundcloud.com/user-12482562 ... attvas-way
Wonderful contribution Sennin.
Thanks!
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

Terma
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by Terma » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:00 pm

Ringu Tulku did an online shedra of sorts in which he goes through the text line by line. Each video is only around 15 minutes in length so it is easy to take in a little at a time. It was never quite completed, as the chapters on meditation and wisdom were not covered. Nonetheless, I found it to be a wonderful resource on this text.

[urlhttps://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j ... Z_CgEa6jvw[/url]

I am awful at embedding links so if someone can help then it would be appreciated.

6 chapters worth of playlists can also be found on youtube with a quick search of "Ringu Tulku + Bodhicaryavatara.

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Vasana
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Re: Bodhicaryavatara Discussion

Post by Vasana » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:50 am

Here is a great audio-recording of the text being narrated as it is (no commentary or teachings), separated by chapters.



https://archive.org/details/AGuideToThe ... 50522_2344
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

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