Monday, March 27, 2006

Bodhisaatva Vows

These vows were forwarded to me by my wife whose blog can be found here.

SHANTIDEVA’S BODHISATTVA VOWS

(bodhicaryavatara, chapter 3)

In the spiritual energy that relieves
the anguish of beings in misery
and places depressed beings in eternal joy,
I lift up my heart and rejoice.

In the goodness producing illumination,
I lift up my heart and rejoice.

I rejoice in the beings who have gained
eternal liberation from suffering.
and I rejoice in those who have attained Buddhahood
as well as in their offspring, the noble Bodhisattvas.

In the ocean-like virtue of the Bodhimind
that brings joy to all beings,
and in accomplishing the well-being of others,
I lift up my heart and rejoice.

To the Buddhas of the ten directions,
I join my hands in respect.
Let blaze the light of Dharma’s truth
for the beings lost in darkness.

To the Buddhas considering parinirvana
I join my hands in prayer.
Do not abandon the beings in sorrow,
but remain and teach for countless ages.

May any spiritual energy thus generated
by my devotion to the enlightened ones
be dedicated to dispelling the misery
of living beings without exception.

As long as diseases afflict living beings,
May I be the doctor, the medicine,
and also the nurse
who restores them to health.

May I fall as rain to increase
the harvests that must feed living beings,
and in ages of dire famine
may I myself serve as food and drink.

May I be an unending treasury
for those desperate and forlorn.
May I manifest as what they require
and wish to have near them.

My body, every possession,
and all goodness, past, present and future
without remorse I dedicate
to the well-being of the world.

Suffering is transcended by total surrender
and the mind attains to nirvana.
As one day all must be given up,
why not dedicate it now to universal happiness?

My bodily powers I dedicate
to the well-being of all that lives.
Should anyone wish to kill, abuse or beat me,
the responsibility is purely their own.

Should anyone wish to ridicule me
and make me an object of jest and scorn,
why should I possibly care
if I have dedicated myself to others?

Let them do as they wish with me
so long as it does not harm them.
May no one who encounters me
ever have an insignificant contact.

Regardless whether those whom I meet
respond towards me with anger or faith,
may the mere fact of our meeting
contribute to the fulfillment of their wishes.

May the slander, harm,
and all forms of abuse
that anyone should direct towards me
act as a cause of their enlightenment.

May I be a protector to the helpless,
a guide to those traveling the path,
a boat to those wishing to cross over;
or a bridge or a raft.

May I be land for those requiring it,
a lamp for those in darkness,
May I be a home for the homeless,
and a servant for the world.

In order to fulfill the needs of beings
may I be as a magic gem,
an inexhaustible vase, a mystic spell,
a cure-all medicine, and a wish-granting tree.

May I act as the mighty earth,
or like the free and open skies,
to support and provide the space
whereby I and all others may grow.

Until every being afflicted by pain
has reached nirvana’s shores,
may I serve only as a condition
that encourages progress and joy.

Just as all previous Buddhas
first gave rise to the precious Bodhimind,
and then just as carefully followed
the stages of the Bodhisattva disciplines.

Likewise for the sake of sentient beings
do I now myself generate the Bodhimind,
and likewise will I train myself
in the disciplines of a Bodhisattva.

They who out of wisdom
have seized the supreme Bodhimind,
praise, glorify and rejoice in it,
that it may grow to fulfillment.

From today I will reap the fruit of life;
having well won the state of man,
today I am born in the Buddha-family
and am now a child of the Buddhas.

Thus in the future I should make every effort
to live in accord with the Bodhisattva Ways,
and never should I act as would bring shame
to this noble faultless family.

Like a blind person fumbling in garbage
happens to find a rare and precious gem,
likewise I have discovered
the jewel of the precious Bodhimind.

Thus was found this supreme ambrosia
to dispel the Lord of Death, Destroyer of Life;
an inexhaustible treasure
able to cure the poverty of all sentient beings.

It is the highest of medicines
to quell the ills of the living,
and it is a tree giving shade
to those wandering on the paths of life.

It is a strong and mighty bridge
by which beings can cross from misery,
and it is a moon to shine in the mind
to clear away the pains of delusion.

The Bodhimind is a great radiant sun
to disperse the darkness of unknowing,
and it is the very essence of butters
gained from churning the milks of Dharma.

For all guests on the roads of life
who would take the very substance of joy,
here is the actual seat of true happiness,
a veritable feast to satiate the world.

Thus today in the presence of all awakened Ones,
I invite every living being to this festival,
giving both immediate and lasting joy.
May the gods and all others rejoice.
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