Excerpt from "The Way of the Boddhisattva"
Shantideva’s "Way of the Bodhisattva" is a guide to cultivating the mind of enlightenment, and to generating the qualities of love, compassion, generosity, and patience. "The Way of the Boddhisattva" is treasured by Buddhists of all traditions; we are pleased to share this excerpt with you.
With joy, I celebrate the virtue that relieves all beings from the sorrows of the states of loss, exalting in the happy states and joyed by those who yet are suffering. I revel in the stores of virtue, cause of gaining the enlightened state, and celebrate the freedom won by living beings from the round of pain. And in the buddhahood of the protectors I delight, and in the grounds of realization of the buddhas heirs, their enlightened attitude, an ocean of great good that seeks to place all beings in the state of bliss and every action for the benefit of beings, such is my delight and joy, and so I join my hands and pray the buddhas who reside in every quarter kindle now the dhama’s light for those who grope bewildered in the dark of pain.
I join my hands beseeching the enlightened ones who wish to pass into nirvana - do not leave us wandering in blindness. Stay among us for unnumbered ages. Through these actions now performed and all the virtues I have gained, may all the pain of every living being be wholly scattered and destroyed. For all those ailing in the world, until their every sickness has been healed, may I myself become for them. The doctor, nurse, the medicine itself. Raining down a flood of food and drink, may I dispel the ills of thirst and famine and in the eons marked by scarcity and want, may I myself appear as drink and sustenance. For sentient beings, poor and destitute, may I become a treasure, ever plentiful and lie before them closely in their reach, a varied source of all that they might need. My body, thus, and all my goods besides and all my merits gained and to be gained, I give them all and do not count the cost to bring about the benefit of beings.
Nirvana is attained by giving all.Nirvana is the object of my striving. And all must be surrendered in a single instant; therefore, it is best to give it all to others. This body I have now resigned to serve the pleasure of all living beings. Let them ever kill, despise, and beat it, using it according to their wish. And though they treat it like a toy, or make of it the butt of every mockery, my body has been given up to them. Why should I make so much of it? And so let beings do to me whatever does not bring them injury. Whenever they may think of me, let this not fail to bring them benefit, and if in my regard they have a thought of anger or respect, may these states always be the cause, whereby their good and wishes are fulfilled. All those who slight me to my face, or do to me some other evil, even if they blame or slander me, may they attain the fortune of enlightenment.
- Linda Woznicki