Q about the two aspirations that support bodhicitta

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Q about the two aspirations that support bodhicitta

Post by prsvrnc » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:55 am

I am trying to answer the following question: “Discuss the two aspirations that support bodhicitta. Which relates to cause and which arises spontaneously with bodhicitta mind? Explain how this comes about.”

Genuine bodhicitta is endowed with two aspirations: the aspiration to be of benefit to all sentient beings, which is followed by the second aspiration, the genuine aspiration to seek enlightenment because it’s only by having attained enlightenment that one can really help others.

Between those two, I would say that the aspiration to benefit others would serve as the cause (I assume, cause for generating bodhicitta, or cause for both aspirations.) However, intelligent practitioners will first analyze to see if achieving enlightenment is possible and then having ascertained that it is, then develop the wish to benefit others.

The question seems to imply that one serves as the cause and the other one arises spontaneously with the bodhicitta mind, but I would say that both arise spontaneously with the bodhicitta mind. Both are present with the spontaneous generation of bodhicitta, and both need to be considered carefully before they will arise sphis ontaneously.

Is it suggesting that the first is the aspiration and the second has some parallel to engaging bodhicitta??? The firm commitment to achieve enlightenment doesn't arise until one has a spontaneous generation of bodhicitta? The language of this question is unclear and I am confused.

What do you think? How would you answer this? Thanks.

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Re: Q about the two aspirations that support bodhicitta

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:10 am

I would say that both of these aspirations are causes of bodhichitta. The primary wish is great compassion - the wish to liberate all living beings permanently from suffering - and the second is the wish to attain enlightenment in order to fulfil this wish. The analogy I have heard is that, if you have the wish to drink tea, you then wish for a cup. The primary wish is to drink tea and the secondary wish is to find a cup; so it is with bodhichitta - the primary wish is great compassion and the secondary wish is to become a Buddha in order to fulfil the first wish.

Both of these aspirations are only spontaneous when bodhichitta is spontaneous, and this only occurs through having attained tranquil abiding.

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