(The Way of the Bodhisattva)
selected chapters from the poem by Shantideva
translated by Alexander Berzin
(1) Respectfully, I prostrate to the Blissfully Gone (Buddhas)
endowed with Dharmakaya,
As well as to their (bodhisattva) offspring
and to everyone worthy of prostration.
Let me explain (how to) engage in the Blissfully Gone offsprings' code,
Which I’ve compiled and condensed in accord with Buddhas’ words.
(2) I’ve nothing to say here that’s not come before,
And I lack any skill in the crafting of verse;
Yet, though I lack even the thought to help others,
I’ve composed this to familiarize my mind.
(3) For, due to acquaintance with what is constructive,
The force of my belief may increase for a moment,
even just through these (words).
And if others, equal to myself in fortune, happen to see them,
Perhaps they might find them meaningful (too).
(4) Having gained this (body with) respites and enrichments, so hard to find,
Which can fulfill the wishes of (every) being,
If, in this (lifetime), I don’t actualize its benefits,
When later will a perfect endowment with one come?
(5) Just as a flash of lightening on a dark, cloudy night,
For an instant, brightly illuminates all;
So, in this world, through the might of the Buddhas,
A positive attitude rarely and briefly appears.
(6) Thus, constructive (behavior) is constantly weak,
While negative forces are extremely strong, and most unbearable.
Except for a full bodhichitta aim,
Can anything else constructive outshine it?
(7) The Kings of the Sages, having thoroughly reflected for many eons,
Have seen this very (mind) to be of (best) help,
For by it, limitless masses of beings
Will quickly and easily attain Supreme Bliss.
(8) Those who wish to destroy the hundreds of sufferings of compulsive existence,
Those who wish to dispel the sorrow of limited beings,
And those who wish to enjoy the hundreds of states of much happiness,
Will never give up the bodhichitta aim.
(9) The moment miserable beings bound in the prison
Of uncontrollably recurring samsara develop a bodhichitta aim,
They’re called spiritual offspring of the Blissfully Gone,
And become figures to be honored by the gods of this world,
as well as by men.
(10) Like the supreme creation of a gold-making elixir,
This unclean body, having been taken, will be transformed
Into the priceless gem of a Triumphant One’s body.
So, firmly gain hold of what’s known as bodhichitta.
(11) Since the immeasurable mind of the sole Navigator
for wandering beings
Has (seen) its precious worth upon examining fully;
Please, anyone wishing to be parted from the plights
of wandering beings:
Gain hold, truly firmly, of (this) gem, bodhichitta.
(12) Everything else that’s constructive resembles the plantain tree:
Having given birth to its fruit, it’s depleted.
But the tree of bodhichitta forever bears fruit
And, never depleted, it grows ever more.
(13) Even if they’ve committed extremely unbearable negative acts,
Why don’t the caring rely on that
Which, when relied on, will instantly free them,
Like relying on a hero when greatly afraid.
(14) Like the time-ending fires, it burns off with certainty,
In an instant, enormous negative karmic force.
With wisdom, the Guardian Maitreya has explained
Its fathomless benefits to Sudhana.
(15) Bodhichitta is to be known, in brief,
As having two aspects:
A bodhichitta aim that aspires to enlightenment
And a bodhichitta that’s engaged with (attaining) enlightenment.
(16) As is understood by the distinction
Between aspiring to go and (actually) going,
So the learned understand the distinction
Between these two to be as if stages.
(17) Although great fruits arise, even in recurring samsara,
From an aspiring bodhichitta aim,
Positive force doesn’t accrue without interruption
As it does with an engaged bodhichitta aim.
(18) As soon as someone perfectly gains hold
Of that mind, with the thought
Never to turn back from totally liberating
Infinite realms of limited beings,
(19) From that time onward,
Whether asleep or even not caring,
A profusion of positive force gushes forth,
Without interruption, equal to space.
(20) For the sake of limited beings admiring modest (aims),
The Thusly Gone (Buddha) himself
Has proclaimed that this is correct
In The Sutra Subahu Requested.
(21) If having a thought to be of help,
Even thinking, "May I relieve limited beings
Merely of headaches,"
Comes to have fathomless positive force,
(22) What need to mention the wish to relieve
Each and every limited being of fathomless miseries,
And the wish to help each and every limited being
To actualize fathomless good qualities.
(23) Who has such an altruistic mind as this?
Do even fathers? Do even mothers?
Do even gods and sages?
Does even Brahma have it?
(24) If those limited beings, even in their dreams,
Have never before dreamt of such a mind
(Even) for their own sakes,
How would it have arisen for the sakes of others?
(25) This extraordinary jewel of the mind –
A mind for the sake of limited beings, which in others
Doesn’t arise for even their own sakes –
Crystallizes as something of unprecedented wonder.
(26) How can the positive force of a jewel-like mind,
Which is the cause of happiness for all wandering beings
And the elixir for the sufferings of limited beings,
Be something whose measure can be taken?
(27) If merely a thought to be of help is more especially noble
Than making offerings to the Buddhas,
What need to mention striving for the sake of the happiness
Of all limited beings without exception?
(28) Although having the mind that wishes to shun suffering,
They rush headlong into suffering itself.
Although wishing for happiness, yet out of naivety,
They destroy their own happiness as if it were a foe.
(29) For those who are destitute of happiness
And who have many sufferings,
It satisfies them with all happiness,
Cuts off all suffering,
(30) And eliminates even their naivety.
Where is there anything comparably constructive as that?
Where is there even such a friend as that?
Where is there even such a force as positive as that?
(31) If some consider as worthy of praise
Even someone who’s paid back for helping,
What need to mention a bodhisattva
Who does good without seeking (anything in return)?
(32) People honor as someone who acts constructively
Someone who only briefly gives merely a morsel of meager food
In a demeaning manner to a few wandering beings,
Satiating them for half a day.
(33) What need to mention someone who constantly looks to give,
For an eternity of time,
the peerless bliss of the Blissfully Gone (Buddhas)
To endless numbers of limited beings,
Fulfilling the wishes of all their minds?
(34) The Sage has said that if someone generates negative thoughts
Toward a philanthropist offspring of the Triumphant like that,
That person will remain in a joyless realm for as many eons
As the number of negative thoughts that were spent.
(35) However, if someone has an extremely clear-minded
(belief in such persons),
Its fruits will multiply far more than that.
For even in the most acute situations,
Triumphant’s offspring never will generate anything negative.
Rather, their positive actions naturally increase.
(36) I prostrate to the bodies of those in whom
The sacred state of mind, the gem, has arisen.
I take safe direction from those sources of bliss
Who join to bliss even those who harm them.
Adopting the Spirit of Awakening
(1) With pleasure, I rejoice in the positive actions
That relieve the sufferings of the worse rebirth states
For all limited beings and that place these, who suffer,
In better rebirth states.
(2) I rejoice in that build up of positive (force)
That became the causes for the (arhats’) purified state;
I rejoice in the definite freedom of (these) embodied beings
From the miseries of uncontrollable rebirth.
(3) I rejoice in the purified state of the Guardian (Buddhas)
And also in the levels of mind of their spiritual offspring;
And with pleasure, I rejoice in the ocean of positive force
From their having developed bodhichitta aims
To bring every limited being joy
And in their deeds that have aided limited beings.
(4) With palms pressed together, I beseech
The Buddhas of all directions:
Please shine Dharma’s lamp for limited beings
Suffering and groping in darkness.
(5) With palms pressed together, I beseech
The Triumphant who would pass beyond sorrow:
I beg you, remain for countless eons
So as not to leave in their blindness these wandering beings.
(6) By whatever positive force I’ve built up
Through all of these that I’ve done like that,
May I remove every suffering
Of all limited beings.
(7) So long as wandering beings fall sick,
May I serve as the medicine,
The doctors and their nurse,
Until they’ve been cured of their illness.
(8) May I eliminate the pain of hunger and thirst
With a shower of food and drink;
And, in the times of the middle eons of famine,
May I myself change into food and drink.
(9) For limited beings, destitute and poor,
May I become a treasure that never runs out
And remain in their presence
As a variety of sorts of useful things.
(10) To fulfil the aims of all limited beings,
I give, without sense of a loss,
My body and likewise my pleasures,
And all my positive forces of the three times.
(11) Giving everything away (brings) release with nirvana,
And my mind is (aimed) for realising nirvana.
As giving away all comes together (with death),
It’s best to give (now) to limited beings.
(12) Having given this body to all those with limited bodies
To do with as they like,
It’s up to them to do what they want:
Let them kill it, revile it, always beat it, or whatever.
(13) Let them toy with my body,
Make it into a source of ridicule or a joke.
Having given away this body of mine,
For what should I hold it dear?
(14) Let them do whatever to (my) body,
So long as it doesn’t cause them harm;
But may anything focused on me
Never turn out to be meaningless.
(15) If anyone, having focused on me,
Develops an angry or negative mind,
May that always turn into a cause
For fulfilling all of his or her aims.
(16) And may everyone who speaks badly of me,
Or does something else that’s of harm,
Or likewise hurls ridicule at me,
Become someone with the fortune for a purified state.
(17) May I be a guardian for those with no guardian,
A pathfinder for those who are on the road,
And a boat, a ship, and a bridge
For those who would cross.
(18) May I be an island for those seeking an island,
A lamp for those desiring a lamp,
A bed for everyone wishing a bed,
And a servant for every embodied being
who would want a servant.
(19) May I be a wish-granting gem, a vase of excellence,
Mantras of pure awareness, magnificent medicine,
Wish-granting trees, and cows of plenty
For embodied beings.
(20) And eternally, like earth and so on –
The great elements – and space,
May I serve, in a plenitude of forms, as the basis for life
For fathomless numbers of limited beings.
(21) And till they pass to nirvana,
May I serve, as well, in all ways,
As the causes for life in the realms
Of limited beings till the ends of space.
(22) Just as the Blissfully Gone (Buddhas) of the past
Have generated a bodhichitta aim,
Then lived by the stages
Of bodhisattva training;
(23) So, too, do I generate a bodhichitta aim
To help those who wander,
And shall train in the stages
Of bodhisattva training.
(24) Purely gaining hold, like this,
Of bodhichitta with (this) sound state of mind,
Afterwards, as well, to enhance it further,
Celebrate (that) mind in this way:
(25) Now my life’s become fruitful,
For having wonderfully attained a human existence,
Today I’ve awakened my Buddha-nature
And now have become a Buddha’s spiritual child.
(26) Now, in whatever way possible,
I shall undertake actions that accord with its traits,
And never defile this impeccable nature
That lacks any fault.
(27) Just like a blind man
Finding a gem in a pile of trash,
Likewise, it’s come about by some force
That within me has developed a bodhichitta aim.
(28) It’s the supreme nectar, indeed, for defeating
The Lord of Death of wandering beings;
It’s the inexhaustible treasure as well
For dispelling the poverty of those who roam.
(29) It is the best medicine, too, that brings to full rest
The diseases of those who are passing through;
It’s the tree that shelters all wandering beings,
Roaming and exhausted on the roads of their compulsive lives.
(30) It’s the public bridge for freeing
All wandering beings from the worse rebirth states;
It’s the risen mind-moon for dispelling the fever
Of the disturbing emotions of those who roam.
(31) It’s the magnificent sun for clearing away
The mist of not knowing of wandering beings;
It’s the fresh froth of butter that rises to the top
From the churning of the milk of the sacred Dharma.
(32) For wandering beings roaming, as guests,
on the roads of compulsive existence,
Wishing to enjoy a share of bliss,
This is the best for setting (them) with bliss,
Satisfying the entirety of beings (who’ll come) as guests.
(33) Today, before the eyes of all sources of direction,
I’ve summoned as guests (all) wandering beings
For bliss up to the state of a Blissfully Gone (Buddha).
Gods, anti-gods, and so on, take joy!
The Practice of Patience
(1) Whatever generosity,
Offerings to the Blissfully Gone (Buddhas) and the like,
And positive deeds I've amassed over thousands of eons -
One (moment of) hatred will devastate them all.
(2) As no negative force resembles anger,
And no trial resembles patience,
I shall therefore meditate on patience,
With effort and in various ways.
(3) When the thorn of anger lodges in my heart,
My mind doesn't feel any peace,
Doesn't gain any joy or pleasure,
Doesn't fall asleep, and becomes unstable.
(4) Even those on whom he lavishes wealth and honor
And those who've become dependent on him
Get provoked to the point of murdering
A lord who's possessed with anger.
(5) Friends and relations get disgusted with him,
And though he might gather (others) with gifts,
he isn't regarded with trust and respect.
In brief, there's no way at all in which
A raging person is in a happy situation.
(6) Hence the enemy, rage,
Creates sufferings such as those and the like,
While whoever clamps down and destroys his rage
Will be happy in this (life) and others.
(7) Finding its fuel in the foul state of mind
That arises from its bringing about things I don't want
And its preventing what I wish,
Anger, once enflamed, destroys me.
(8) Therefore, I shall totally eradicate
The fuel of that enemy,
For this enemy hasn't a mission
Other than injuring me.
(9) No matter what happens,
I shall never let it disturb my good mood.
For if I've fallen into a foul mood, what I want
will not come about,
And my constructive behavior will fall apart.
(10) If it can be remedied,
Why get into a foul mood over something?
And if it can't be remedied,
What help is it to get into a foul mood over it?
(11) For myself and my friends,
Suffering, contempt, verbal abuse,
And disgrace aren't things that I'd wish for;
But for my enemies, it's the reverse.
(12) The causes for happiness rarely occur,
While the causes for sufferings are overly abundant.
But, without any suffering,
there wouldn't be the determination to be free;
Therefore, mind, you must think to be firm.
(13) If devotees of Durga and people of Karnata
Pointlessly endure the torments of burning
And cutting themselves, and the like,
Then why am I such a coward for the sake of liberation?
(14) There isn't anything that doesn't become easier
Once you've become accustomed to it;
And so, by growing accustomed to minor pains,
Greater pains will definitely become bearable.
(15) Don't you see (this) with problems, (borne)
without a (great) purpose,
From snakes and mosquitoes,
Discomforts such as hunger and thirst,
As well as rashes and the like?
(16) (So,) I shall not be soft
Regarding such things as heat and cold, rain and wind,
Also sickness, captivity, beatings, and the like;
For if I've acted like that, the injury is worse.
(17) There are some who, seeing their own blood,
Develop exceptional courage and resolve;
And there are some who, seeing the blood of others,
Collapse and faint.
(18) That comes from their states of mind being
Either of a resolute or a cowardly type.
Therefore, I must be dismissive of pains
And must not be thrown off by suffering.
(19) Even when he's in agony, someone skilled
Will never let the composure of his mind be stirred;
And in a war that's waged against disturbing emotions,
Bruises abound, when fighting the battle.
(20) Those who, having been dismissive of suffering,
Destroy the enemies, anger and so on,
They are the heroes who have gained the victory;
The rest (merely) slay corpses.
(21) Furthermore, there are advantages to suffering:
With agony, arrogance disappears;
Compassion grows for those in recurring samsara;
Negative conduct is shunned; and joy is taken in being constructive.
(22) As I don't get enraged
With great sources of suffering, for instance with bile,
Then why get enraged with those having limited minds?
All of them, as well, are provoked by conditions.
(23) For example, without being wished for,
Their sicknesses arise;
And likewise, without being wished for,
(Their) disturbing emotions also strongly arise.
(24) Without thinking, "I shall get enraged,"
People just become enraged;
And without thinking, "I shall arise,"
Likewise, rage arises.
(25) All mistakes that there are
And the various sorts of negative behavior -
All arise from the force of conditions:
There aren't any under their own power.
(26) A collection of conditions
Doesn't have the intention, "I shall create";
And what it's created didn't have the intention,
"I'm to be created."
(27) The darling (the Samkhyas) call "primal matter"
And what they imagine to be "the self" -
They don't think with some purpose, "I shall come into being
(to cause some harm),"
And then come about.
(28) (In fact,) as they haven't arisen, they do not exist,
So what would have then had the wish to arise?
And, since (a static sentient self) would be something that was
permanently occupied with an object,
It would never come to cease (being so).
(29) But if the self were static (and nonsentient, like Nyaya asserts),
It would obviously be without actions, like the sky;
So even if it met with other conditions,
What activity could something unchangeable have?
(30) If even at the time of the action, it (remains) as before,
What could have been done by it from the action?
And if there were something called "This is its action,"
Which is the one that made them connected?
(31) Thus, everything's under the power of others,
And the powers they're under aren't under their (own) power.
Having understood this, I shall not become angry
With any phenomenon - they're like magic emanations.
(32) And if I said, then, "Warding off (anger) would indeed be unfitting,
For who (or what) can ward off what?"
I'd assert that it's not unfitting,
Since, by depending on that, the continuity of suffering
can be cut.
(33) Thus, when seeing an enemy or even a friend
Acting improperly, I'll remain relaxed,
Having reflected that it's arising
From some such condition as this.
(34) If all embodied beings had things
Turn out as they liked,
Then, since no one wishes ever to suffer,
It would never come about that anyone suffered.
(35) People hurt even themselves
With such things as thorns, because of not caring,
And, in a rage, because of desiring to obtain women and the like,
With such acts as refusing food.
(36) There are some who destroy themselves
By hanging themselves, jumping off cliffs,
Eating poison and unhealthy foods,
And through negative acts (bringing worse rebirth states).
(37) When people kill even their beloved selves
From coming under the power of disturbing emotions,
How can it be that they wouldn't cause injury
To the bodies of others?
(38) When I can't even develop compassion, once in a while,
For those like that, who, with disturbing emotions arisen,
Would proceed to such things as killing themselves,
At least I won't get enraged (with them).
(39) (Even) if acting violently toward others
Were the functional nature of infantile people,
Still, it'd be as unfitting to get enraged with them
As it would be for begrudging fire for its functional nature
(40) And even if this fault were fleeting instead,
And limited beings were lovely by nature,
Well, still it would be as unfitting to get enraged
As it would be for begrudging the sky for the (pungent) smoke
that was rising (in it).
(41) Having set aside the actual (cause of my pain),
a staff or the like,
If I become enraged with the person who wielded it,
Well he, in fact, was incited by anger, so he's secondary (too).
It would be more fitting to get enraged with his anger.
(42) Previously, I must have inflicted
Such pain on limited beings,
Therefore, it's fitting that harm comes to me,
Who've been a cause of violence toward limited ones.
(43) Both his weapon and my body
Are the causes of my suffering.
Since he drew out a weapon and I a body,
Toward which should I get enraged?
(44) Blinded by craving, I've grabbed hold of a painful boil
That's shaped like a human and can't bear to be touched,
And so when it's bruised,
Toward what should I get enraged?
(45) Childish me, I don't wish to suffer
And yet I'm obsessed with the cause of my suffering.
Since it's my own fault that I get hurt,
Why have a grudge toward anyone (else)?
(46) It's like, for example, the guards of the joyless realms
And the forest of razor-sharp leaves:
This (suffering too) is produced by my impulsive karmic behavior;
So toward what should I be enraged?
(47) Incited by my own karmic behavior,
Those who hurt me come my way,
And if, by their (actions), these limited beings should fall
to the joyless realms,
Surely, wasn't it I who have ruined them?
(48) Based on them, my negative karmic force
Is greatly cleansed, because of my patience;
But, based on me, they fall
To the joyless realms, with long-lasting pain.
(49) Since I'm, in fact, causing harm to them,
And they're the ones who are benefiting me,
Why, unreasonable mind, do you make it the reverse
And get into a rage?
(50) If I have the advantage of wishing (to be patient),
I won't be going to a joyless realm;
But although I'm safeguarding myself (in this way),
What happens to them in this matter?
(51) And if I were to harm them back instead,
They wouldn't be safeguarded either,
While my (other bodhisattva) behavior would also decline,
And, consequently, those having trials would be lost.
(52) Because of its being immaterial,
No one can destroy my mind, by any means;
But because of its obsessive involvement with my body,
It's hurt by suffering (in connection) to the body.
(53) (Yet) Insults, cruel language,
And defaming words
Don't hurt my body,
So, why, O mind, do you become so enraged?
(54) Others' dislike for me -
That won't devour me,
Either in this life or in any other lifetime;
So why do I find it undesirable?
(55) If I don't wish for it
Because it would hinder my material gain;
Well, although my material gain in this life will have to be discarded,
My negative karmic forces will remain secured.
(56) Death today would in fact be better for me
Than long life through an improper livelihood;
For even having lived a long time, there will still
Be the suffering of death for someone like me.
(57) Someone who wakes up after having experienced
A hundred years of happiness in a dream
And another who wakes up after having experienced
Just a moment of happiness:
(58) Once they've awakened, that happiness
Doesn't return, after all, to either of the two.
(Similarly,) it comes down to exactly the same
For someone who's lived for long and someone who's lived
for a short while.
(59) Though I may have obtained great material gain
And even have enjoyed many pleasures for long,
I shall still go forth empty-handed and naked,
Like having been robbed by a thief.
(60) Suppose I said, "While living off my material gain,
I'd consume my negative karmic force and do positive things."
Well if, for the sake of material gain, I became enraged,
Won't my positive karmic force be consumed
and negative karmic force come about?
(61) If the very purpose for which I am living
Should fall apart,
What use is there with a life
Committing only negative deeds?
(62) Well, suppose I said, "Rage for someone who maligns (me)
Is because it makes limited beings lose (their trust)."
Well then, why don't you get similarly enraged
With someone defaming someone else?
(63) If you can tolerate distrust (when it's for someone else),
Because that lack of trust hinges on another;
Then why not be patient with someone who maligns (me),
Since that hinges on disturbing emotions arising?
(64) Even toward those who revile and destroy
Images, stupas, and the sacred Dharma,
My anger's improper,
Since there can be no harm to Buddhas and the rest.
(65) And toward those who injure my spiritual teachers,
My relatives and so on, and my friends as well,
My rage will be averted, by having seen that
This arises from conditions, as in the manner before.
(66) Since injury is inflicted on embodied beings
By both those with a mind and things having no mind,
Why single out and begrudge (only) those with a mind?
Therefore, be patient with harm!
(67) Some commit misdeeds because of naivety,
And, because of naivety, some get enraged:
Which of them can we say is without fault,
And which of them would be at fault?
(68) Why did you previously commit those impulsive actions,
Because of which others now cause me harm?
Since everything hinges on karmic behavior,
Why do I bear a grudge against this one?
(69) Seeing it's like that, I'll put effort
Into positive things in whatever way
Whereby everyone will become
Loving-minded toward each other.
(70) For example, when fire in a burning house
Is advancing to another home,
It's fitting to remove and throw out
Whatever it's in that would cause it to spread,
such as straw and the like.
(71) Likewise, when the fire of anger is spreading,
Due to my mind being attached to something,
I shall throw it out at that instant,
For fear of my positive force being burned.
(72) Why would a man about to be put to death
Be unfortunate if, by having his hand chopped off, he were spared?
So why would I be unfortunate if, through human sufferings,
I were spared joyless realms?
(73) If I'm unable to bear
Even this minor suffering of the present,
Then why don't I ward off the rage
That would be the cause of hellish pain?
(74) On account of my impassioned (rage), I've experienced
burning and the like
For thousands of times in the joyless realms;
But (through it), I haven't brought benefit to myself
Or benefit for others.
(75) But, since great benefits will be brought about
In this, which is not even a fraction of that damage,
Only delight is appropriate here
In the suffering dispelling (all) damage to wandering beings.
(76) If others obtain the pleasure of joy
From praising someone (I dislike) who possesses good qualities,
Why, O mind, don't you make yourself joyous like this,
By praising him too?
(77) That pleasure of joy of yours would be
An arising of pleasure that was not disgraceful,
Something permitted by the Ones with Good Qualities,
And superlative, as well, for gathering others.
(78) If you wouldn't like this pleasure of his,
"Such pleasure as that would be only his!"
Then, from stopping (as well) giving wages and the like,
(Your) ruin will come, both seen and unseen.
(79) When your own good qualities are being extolled,
You wish others, as well, to take pleasure;
But when others' good qualities are being extolled,
You don't wish yourself to take pleasure too.
(80) Having developed a bodhichitta aim
Through wishing for happiness for all limited beings,
Then why do you become angry instead
At the happiness that limited beings have found by themselves?
(81) (Having given your word) that you wish limited beings
To have Buddhahood, honored throughout the three realms,
Then why, when seeing them merely shown miserable respect,
Do you burn up inside at it?
(82) If there were someone needing care
Who's to be cared for by you and provided for by you,
And that family member were to get something to live on,
Wouldn't you be delighted, or would you be enraged in return?
(83) How could someone who doesn't want (even) that
for wandering beings
Be anyone who wishes for them to be Buddhas?
Where is there bodhichitta in someone
Who becomes enraged at others' gain?
(84) If, whether he receives it from him
Or it remains in the benefactor's house,
It will in no way be yours,
So what does it matter whether or not it's given (to him)?
(85) Throw away your positive force or (others') faith (in you),
And even your own good qualities? For what?
Don't hold on to what could bring you gain?
Tell me, with whom don't you get enraged?
(86) Not only do you not feel sorry
About the negative things you've done yourself,
You wish to compete against others
Who've enacted positive deeds?
(87) Even if your enemy lacks any joy,
What's there in that for you to take delight?
The mere wish in your mind
Won't become the cause for (any) harm to him.
(88) And even if his suffering came about through your wish,
Still, what's there in that for you to take delight?
If you said that you'd become gratified,
Is there anything else more degenerate than that?
(89) This hook cast by the fishermen, the disturbing emotions,
Is horrendously sharp. Procuring (you) from them, O mind,
The joyless realm guards will cook me, for sure,
In the cauldrons of hell.
(90) Praise and fame, (these) shows of respect,
Won't bring positive force, won't bring a long life,
Won't bring bodily strength, nor freedom from sickness;
They won't bring physical pleasure either.
(91) If I were aware of what's in my self-interest,
What in my self-interest would there be in them?
If just mental happiness were what I wanted,
I should devote myself to gambling and so on, and to alcohol too.
(92) For the sake of fame, (people) would give away wealth
Or would get themselves killed;
But what use is there with words (of fame)?
Once they've died, to whom will they bring pleasure?
(93) At the collapse of his sand castle,
A child wails in despair;
Similarly, at the loss of praise and fame,
My mind shows the face of a child.
(94) Because an impromptu word is something lacking a mind,
It's impossible that it has the intention to praise me.
But, proclaiming, "The other one (offering me praise)
is delighted with me,"
If I consider that a cause (also) to be delighted;
(95) Well, whether it's toward someone else or toward me,
What use to me is another person's joy?
That pleasure of joy is his alone;
I won't get (even) a share of it.
(96) If I take pleasure in his pleasure (with me),
I must do like that in all cases, in fact.
How is it that I don't take pleasure
When he has the pleasure of joy with another?
(97) So joy is arising in me
(Simply due to), "Me, I'm being praised!"
But there, in fact, because (thinking) like that is just nonsense,
It comes down to nothing but the behavior of a child.
(98) Being praised and such things cause me distraction;
They cause my disgust (with samsara) to disintegrate as well.
I become jealous of those with good qualities,
And that makes me demolish success.
(99) Therefore, aren't those who are hovering close by
For striking down praise and the like for me
Actually involved in protecting me from falling
Into a worse rebirth state?
(100) For me, whose primary interest is in gaining freedom,
Bondage to material gain and shows of respect are things I mustn't have.
So how can I get enraged with those who are causing me
To be freed from my having been bound?
(101) For me, who would enter into (a house) of suffering,
How can I get enraged with those who've come,
As if from Buddha's inspiration,
In the nature of a door panel not letting me pass in.
(102) "But this one is impeding my positive practices!"
Still, it's unfitting to be enraged with him.
There isn't any trial that's equal to patience,
So shouldn't I be staying just close to that?
(103) If, in fact, it's through my own fault
That I'm not acting patiently here,
Then while a cause for positive practice is biding nearby,
It's actually me who's causing the impediment here.
(104) If there were something that wouldn't come about
if something were absent,
But if something were present, would also be present,
That very thing would be the cause of that,
So how can it be said that it's an impediment to it?
(105) There's no impediment to giving caused by a mendicant (monk)
Gone out (for alms) at the proper time;
And it can't be said that the coming of someone conferring vows
Is an impediment for becoming a monastic.
(106) Alms-seekers are plentiful in this life,
But scarce are those who cause (me) harm,
Because no one will cause me harm
If I haven't harmed them like this (in past lives).
(107) Therefore, I shall be delighted with an enemy
Who's popped up like a treasure in my house,
Without having had to be acquired with fatigue,
Since he becomes my aide for bodhisattva behavior.
(108) It's because of its having been actualized
through this one and me (having met)
That a fruit of patience (comes about);
(So,) let me award it first to him,
For he was, like this, the (earlier) cause of my patience.
(109) Suppose I said, "But he had no intention for (me)
to actualize patience,
So this enemy isn't someone to be honored."
Well, how is it that the hallowed Dharma is honored
As suited to be a cause for actualizing (it)?
(110) Suppose I said, "But this enemy's intention was to cause me harm,
So he can't be honored."
Well, how could patience be actualized by me
If, like a doctor, he were intent on my benefit?
(111) Therefore, since patience arises dependently
From his vicious intention,
This one himself is fit to be honored like the hallowed Dharma,
Because he's a cause of my patience.
(112) Thus, the Sage has spoken of the field of limited beings
As well as the field of the Triumphant,
(For,) having made them happy, many have gone, thereby,
To the far-shore of excellence.
(113) When the acquisition of a Buddha's Dharma (attainments)
Is equally due to (both) limited beings and the Triumphant,
What kind of order is it that the respect shown to limited beings
Is not like that to the Triumphant?
(114) The preeminence of an intention is not from itself,
But due to its result, and by that, the preeminence
Of that which is had by limited beings is, in fact, the same;
And because of that, they are equal.
(115) Whatever is honored in having a loving intention (toward them),
That, in fact, is the greatness (coming) from limited beings;
And whatever positive force there is in confident belief in the Buddhas,
That, in fact, is the greatness from the Buddhas.
(116) It's the share they have
in actualizing a Buddha's Dharma (attainments),
And because of that, they're asserted as their equals;
But, of course, no one can be the equal of the Buddhas
In endless oceans of excellent qualities.
(117) If even a speck of the excellent qualities
Of the unique syntheses of the best excellent qualities
Were to be seen somewhere, an offering of the three planes of existence
Would be inadequate for honoring it.
(118) Since a share giving rise to a Buddha's
Foremost Dharma (attainments) exists in limited beings,
It's fitting that limited beings be honored,
In accordance with this very share.
(119) Further, besides making limited beings happy,
What other repayment is there
For those who befriend them without pretension
And help them beyond any measure?
(120) Since it would repay them to benefit those for whose sake
They sacrifice their bodies and plunge into joyless realms
of unrelenting pain,
Then even if these (limited beings) should cause great harm,
Everything wholesome is to be done (for them).
(121) For the sake of even, in this case, my master himself,
They disregard even their own bodies.
So how can I, bewildered about this, act with pride
And not act in the nature of a servant?
(122) The Sages delight in their happiness
And enter into distress at their injury;
And so, in (my) bringing them joy,
the Sages will all have become delighted,
And in bringing them harm, the Sages will have been hurt.
(123) Just as there could be no mental pleasure from desirable objects
For someone whose body were completely on fire,
Likewise, there's no way to delight the Greatly Compassionate Ones
When limited beings have, in fact, been harmed.
(124) Therefore, whatever displeasure I've brought
to all the Greatly Compassionate Ones,
By my having caused harm to limited beings,
I openly admit, today, that negative deed,
And request the Sages, please bear with that displeasure you have.
(125) From now on, for the sake of delighting
the Thusly Gone (Buddhas),
I shall act, with definite restraint, as a servant to the world.
Let mobs of people kick me in the head with their feet or
even beat me to death, I shall not venture (anything back).
Let the Guardians of the World take delight!
(126) There's no doubt that Those with a Compassion Self-Nature
Have taken all wandering beings (to be the same) as themselves.
The very nature they've seen as the essential nature of limited beings
Is those Guardians' self-nature,
so why don't I show (them the same) respect?
(127) Just this, is what brings pleasure to the Thusly Gone (Buddhas);
Just this, is what perfectly accomplishes my own aims as well;
Just this, is what dispels the world's suffering too;
Therefore, let it be just this, that I always shall do.
(128) For example, even when some member
of the royal court
Is harming the public,
Farsighted people do not hurt him back
Even if they're able,
(129) For that one, (acting) like this, is not alone:
On the contrary, the king's power and might are his military forces.
Likewise, some lowly person creating harm
Is not to be belittled,
(130) For his armed forces are the guards of the joyless realms
And all the Compassionate Ones.
So, like a commoner toward a violent king,
I shall make all limited beings be pleased.
(131) Should even such a king be enraged (with me),
Could he inflict the pain of a joyless realm,
Which is what I'd be brought to experience
By having made limited beings displeased?
(132) Should even such a king be pleased (with me),
It's impossible that he could bestow Buddhahood,
Which is what I'd be brought to attain
By having made limited beings be pleased.
(133) (Leave aside) seeing that the future attainment of Buddhahood
Arises from making limited beings be pleased,
Don't you see that, at least in this life, great prosperity,
Fame, and happiness come?
(134) (Moreover), with beauty and so on,
freedom from sickness, and fame,
Someone with patience, while still in samsara,
Gains extremely long life and the abundant pleasures
Of a universal chakra king.
(1) Through my constructive act of having (reflected upon
and) composed Engaging in Bodhisattva Behavior,
May all wandering beings become (adornments for the world,)
Engaged in the behavior of bodhisattvas.
(2) As many beings as there are in all directions,
Diseased with sufferings of body and mind,
May they all obtain oceans of happiness and joy
Through the forces of my positive acts.
(3) To the end of (their) recurring samsara,
May their happiness never become (old and) decrepit;
(Instead), may those who wander obtain, without interruption,
The (bodhisattvas') unsurpassed bliss.
(4) Whatever joyless realm beings, as many as there are,
Throughout the realms of the world,
May those beings with limited bodies all enjoy
The (joy and) bliss of a Pure Land of Bliss.
(5) May those tortured by cold find warmth;
And those tortured by heat be cooled
By the boundless (oceans of) water pouring down
From the billowing clouds of bodhisattvas.
(6) May the sword-leaved forest become for them
A beautiful pleasure-grove;
And may the diabolical trees of thorns
Transform into wish-granting trees.
(7) May the joyless realm regions become delights
With lakes fragrant from (lake-born) lotuses thickly (rising up),
And made enchanting with the bewitching cries
Of cranes, wild ducks, geese, swans, and the like.
(8) May those mounds of glowing charcoals become mounds of gems,
And the flaming ground a polished (mosaic) floor of crystal;
And may the mountains of the crushing joyless realms become
Celestial temples for offerings, filled with (Buddhas) Gone to Bliss.
(9) May the missiles of glowing charcoals and burning rocks,
From this day on, become a rain of flowers;
And may bombarding (battle) with those missiles, one against the other,
From this day on, become tossing (battle) with flowers,
for frolic sake.
(10) May those sunk in the Uncrossable Infernal River,
(with waters) like fire,
All their flesh fallen off, skeletons jasmine in color,
Gain the bodies of celestials, by the force of my constructive deeds,
And bask in the Gently Flowing Heavenly River,
in the company of celestial maidens.
(11) Wondering, "Why are the terrifying henchmen of the Lord of Death,
crows, and vultures here (suddenly) scared,
And whose is this soothing (moonlike) force
that's eclipsing the darkness everywhere
and giving rise to (our) happiness and joy?"
Gazing upward and having beheld a shining Vajrapani,
poised in the expanse of the sky,
From the strength of delight, their dark karmic forces dispelled,
may they (depart) in his company, together with him.
(12) Seeing the joyless realm fires fizzle and fade out
From a falling rain of water lilies, mixed with scented water,
And wondering, "What can this be?" suddenly relieved with joy,
May these joyless realm beings behold Kamalapani,
(Water Lily in His Hand).
(13) "Friends, shed your fears and come! (Come) here quickly!
(We're brought back to life!)
Who's come before us? It's the radiant Youth with (Five) Knots of Hair
(Manjushri), the bestower of fearlessness,
By whose power all suffering's removed,
rushing (streams) of joy flow forth,
And bodhichitta is born, as is loving affection, (the mother) nurturing
those who wander, everywhere.
(14) "(All of) you, behold him whose lotus feet are touched in honor
by the crowned (foreheads) of hundreds of celestial beings,
Whose gaze is moist with compassion, and on whose
head rains a shower of assorted flowers,
(Tossed) from rooftop chambers, delightful with the singing
of thousands of celestial maidens resounding his praise."
Seeing Manjughosha (before them) like that,
may the joyless realm beings instantly raise a cheer.
(15) Thus, beholding, through my constructive acts as the roots,
Unobscured clouds of bodhisattvas - Samantabhadra and the rest -
Showering cool fragrant rains of joy,
May those joyless realm beings rejoice.
(May the intense pains and fears
Of the joyless realm beings be stilled;
And may everyone living in the worse rebirth states
Be freed from the worse rebirth states.)
(16) May animals be parted from the fear
Of being devoured by each other;
And may the clutching ghosts
Become as happy as the people
of the Northern Island-World.
(17) May the clutching ghosts
Be satiated, bathed, and cooled forever
By streams of milk, pouring from the hand
Of Arya Avalokiteshvara.
(18) May the blind see sights,
And forever may the deaf hear sounds;
And may the pregnant give birth
Without any pain, as did (Shakyamuni's mother,) Mayadevi.
(19) May the naked find clothing,
The hungry food,
And the thirsty water
And delicious things to drink.
(20) May the poor find wealth,
Those stricken with grief find joy;
And may the discouraged become uplifted
And perfectly steadfast.
(21) May as many limited beings as are sick
Be swiftly set free from sickness;
And may the sicknesses of wandering beings,
Without exception, never recur.
(22) May those with fear become fearless,
Those in bondage be released,
Those lacking strength become strong,
And their hearts become friendly toward each other.
(23) May every direction
Be auspicious for all travelers;
And whatever aims they're going for
Be accomplished without any need for effort.
(24) May those who set out on boats and ships
Succeed in fulfilling their hearts' desires,
And safely returning to the water's shore,
Rejoice with their families.
(25) May those who've strayed onto desolate detours
Meet fellow travelers and, without fear
Of thieves, bandits, tigers, and the like,
Journey at ease, without fatigue.
(26) May those fallen asleep, become drunk, or deranged,
In danger in trackless tracts, such as jungles and the like,
As well as the young and the elderly without any guardian,
Be protected by the gods.
(27) May they be free from all states that lack respite,
Be endowed with belief in the facts, discriminating awareness,
and affectionate care,
Have a splendid sustenance, (appearance,) and demeanor,
And always be mindful of previous lives.
(28) May everyone have inexhaustible wealth
As with a Treasury of Space,
And without dispute and without any violence,
Use (it) according to their personal wills.
(29) May those limited beings who have little splendor
Come to have magnificent splendor;
And may those in difficult straits, with disfigured bodies,
Come to have splendid beautiful bodies.
(30) As many women as there are in the world,
May they attain the status of men;
And may the lowly attain high position,
And the arrogant become humble.
(31) By this positive force of mine,
May all limited beings, without an exception,
Rid themselves of all negative acts
And always engage in what is constructive.
(32) May they never be parted from a bodhichitta aim;
May they be absorbed in bodhisattva behavior;
May they be taken care of by the Buddhas,
And be rid of Mara's demonic acts.
(33) May all limited beings
Have immeasurably long lives;
May they always live happily,
Without the word "death" being even known.
(34) May all directions abound
With pleasure groves of wish-granting trees,
Replete with Buddhas and Buddhas' spiritual offspring,
Proclaiming the melodious Dharma.
(35) May the ground everywhere
Lie as smooth as the palm of the hand,
Free of pebbles and the like,
Gentle, and be made of beryl.
(36) As the circles of disciples,
May hosts of bodhisattvas be seated all around,
Gracing the surface of the earth
With their personal splendor.
(37) May all embodied beings
Unceasingly hear the melodious Dharma
From birds, from trees,
From all beams of light, and even from the sky.
(38) May they always encounter the Buddhas
And the Buddhas' spiritual offspring,
And make offerings to the Spiritual Teacher of the World,
With clouds of offerings without any end.
(39) May the gods cause timely rains to fall
And may there be bountiful harvests;
May kings rule in accord with the Dharma
And the people of the world thrive well.
(40) May medicines be potent,
And the chanting of hidden mantras be successful;
May dakini-witches, cannibal demons, and the likes
Be endowed with compassionate minds.
(41) May no limited being ever have pain,
Nor act with negative force, nor be sick,
Nor be frightened, nor be derided,
Nor ever be depressed.
(42) May the monasteries be well-established,
Spread with reading and recitation;
May the monastic community be always in harmony,
And the monastic purpose be fulfilled.
(43) May monks who wish to train (their minds)
Find isolated places,
And being rid of all distractions,
Absorb themselves in meditation,
their minds fit for the task.
(44) May nuns have material support,
And be rid of conflict and harm;
And likewise may all renunciates
Have unbroken ethical discipline.
(45) May those with poor ethical discipline,
(Devote themselves) always to cleansing themselves
of their negative karmic force;
And once they've reached the better rebirth states,
May their (vows of) tamed behavior remain unbroken.
(46) May the learned be shown respect,
And receive alms (and material support).
May their mental continuums be completely pure,
And (their fame) renowned in all directions.
(47) Without experiencing the sufferings
of the worse rebirth states,
And without conduct that's difficult to carry out,
May (wandering beings) swiftly attain Buddhahood,
With bodies superior to those of the gods.
(48) May all limited beings honor all the Buddhas,
Numerous times (and in numerous ways),
And may they always be happy (to the highest degree)
With the inconceivable bliss of the Buddhas.
(49) May the bodhisattvas' heart-wishes
(To be able) to benefit the world be fulfilled,
And may whatever those guardians have intended
Indeed come to pass, for limited beings.
(50) May the self-realized pratyekabuddhas be happy,
And likewise the shravaka listeners,
(Always being honored with respect
By gods, anti-gods, and by men.)
(51) And may I too, through the kindness of Manjughosha,
Always gain mindfulness of previous lives
And ordination as a renunciate,
Till attaining the (realized bodhisattva first) stage of mind,
the Joyous One.
(52) May I live (filled with strength)
On a simple (diet) of food), even (just) grain;
And may I obtain isolated places to live in,
Filled with perfection, in all of my lives.
(53) Whenever I might wish to see
Or might wish to ask about any little thing,
May I behold the Guardian, Manjunatha himself,
Without any impediment.
(54) Just as Manjushri works
To fulfill the aims of all limited beings
To the far reaches of space in the ten directions,
May my behavior become just like that.
(55) For as long as space remains,
And for as long as wandering beings remain,
May I too remain for that long,
Dispelling the sufferings of wandering beings.
(56) Whatever sufferings wandering beings might have,
May all of them ripen on me,
And through the bodhisattva assembly,
May wandering beings enjoy happiness.
(57) May the teachings, the sole medicine
for the sufferings of wandering beings
And the source of all happiness,
Continue to endure for a very long time,
With material support and shows of respect.
(58) I prostrate to Manjughosha, through whose kindness
My thought has become constructive;
I prostrate as well to my spiritual teacher and friend,
Through whose kindness, I've been able to have it expand.