Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Shantideva NULL

Indian Buddhist Master, Philosopher and Buddhist Scholar, Monk, Author of the Bodhicharyavatara

"Eager to escape sorrow, men rush into sorrow; from desire of happiness they blindly slay their own happiness, enemies to themselves."

"I will cease to live as a self and will take as my self my fellow-creatures."

"The whole earth cannot satisfy the lust of the flesh; who can do its will? To him who longs for the impossible come guilt and bafflement of desire; but he who is utterly without desire has a happiness that ages not."

"Thus with patience I will bravely persevere Through zeal it is that I shall reach enlightenment. If no wind blows, then nothing stirs And neither is there merit without perseverance. Heroic perseverance means delight in virtue Its contrary may be defined as laziness: An inclination for unwholesome ways, Despondency and self-contempt. Complacent pleasure in the joys if idleness, A craving for repose and sleep, No qualms about the sorrows of samsara: These are the source and nurse of laziness. Take advantage of this human boat, Free yourself from sorrow's mighty stream! This vessel will be later hard to find. The time that you have now, you fool, is not for sleep! Merit is the true cause of the body's ease, While happiness of mind is brought about by training, What can sadden those who have compassion, Who linger in samsara for the sake of other beings? The forces that secure the good of beings Are aspiration, firmness, joy, and moderation. Aspiration grows through fear of suffering And contemplation of the benefits being attained. Therefore leaving everything that is adverse to it, I'll labour to increase my perserverance- Through cheerful effort, keenness, self-control, Through aspiration, firmness, joy and moderation.. Every time, then, that I fail, I will reprove and vilify myself, Thinking long that by whatever means Such faults in the future shall no more occur. At all time and in any situation, Mindfulness will be my constant habit. This will be the cause whereby I aim To meet with teachers and fulfill the proper tasks. By all means then, before I start this work, That I might have the strength sufficient to the task, I will reflect upon these words on mindfulness And lightly rise to what is to be done. The lichen in the trees wafts to and fro Stirred by every breath of wind Likewise, all I do will be achieved, Enlivened by the moments of a joyful heart."

"The hostile multitudes are vast as space What chance is there that all should be subdued? Let but this angry mind be overthrown And every foe is then and there destroyed All the suffering in the world comes from seeking pleasure for oneself. All the happiness in the world comes from seeking pleasure for others. As long as space abides and as long as the world abides, so long may I abide, destroying the sufferings of the world. Where would I possibly find enough leather With which to cover the surface of the earth? But (just) leather on the soles of my shoes Is equivalent to covering the earth with it Likewise it is not possible for me To restrain the external course of things But should I restrain this mind of mine What would be the need to restrain all else? My body, thus, and all my good besides, And all my merits gained and to be gained, I give them all away withholding nothing To bring about the benefit of beings. All those who slight me to my face, Or do me any other evil, Even if they blame or slander me, May they attain the fortune of enlightenment! Take advantage of this human boat; Free yourself from sorrow’s mighty stream! This vessel will be later hard to find. The time that you have now, you fool, is not for sleep! Examine thus yourself from every side. Note harmful thoughts and every futile striving. Thus it is that heroes in the bodhisattva path Apply the remedies to keep a steady mind. Examine thus yourself from every side. Note harmful thoughts and every futile striving. Thus it is that heroes in the bodhisattva path Apply the remedies to keep a steady mind. Those who have no mental vigilance, Though they may hear the teachings, ponder them or meditate, With minds like water seeping from a leaking jug, Their learning will not settle in their memories. Suffering also has its worth. Through sorrow, pride is driven out And pity felt for those who wander in samsara; Evil is avoided, goodness seems delightful. May I be like a guard for those who are protectorless, A guide for those who journey on the road. For those who wish to go across the water, May I be a boat, a raft, a bridge. And so let beings do to me Whatever does not bring them injury. Whenever they catch sight of me, Let this not fail to bring them benefit. 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. As a blind man feels when he finds a pearl in a dustbin, so am I amazed by the miracles of awakening rising in my consciousness. It is the nectar of immortality that delivers us from death, the treasure that lifts us from death, the treasure that lifts us above poverty into the wealth of giving to life, the tree that gives shade to us when we roam about scorched by life, the bridge that takes us across the stormy river of life, the cool moon of compassion that calms our mind when it is agitated, the fun that dispels darkness, the butter made from the milk of kindness by churning it with the dharma. It is a feast of joy to which all are invited. All that I possess and use Is like the fleeting vision of a dream. It fades into the realms of memory; And fading, will be seen no more. Nothing that has passed can be regained. How much suffering and fear, and How many harmful things are in existence? If all arises from clinging to the “I”, What should I do with this great demon? Exchanging Self and Other. "

"All joy in this world comes from wanting others to be happy, and all suffering in this world comes from wanting only oneself to be happy."

"All the suffering there is in this world arises from wishing our self to be happy. All the happiness there is in this world arises from wishing others to be happy."

"All those who slight me to my face, or do me any other evil, even if they blame or slander me, may they attain the fortune of enlightenment!"

"As a blind man feels when he finds a pearl in a dustbin, so am I amazed by the miracles of awakening rising in my consciousness. It is the nectar of immortality that delivers us from death, the treasure that lifts us from death, the treasure that lifts us above poverty into the wealth of giving to life, the tree that gives shade to us when we roam about scorched by life, the bridge that takes us across the stormy river of life, the cool moon of compassion that calms our mind when it is agitated, the fun that dispels darkness, the butter made from the milk of kindness by churning it with the dharma. It is a feast of joy to which all are invited."

"And so let beings do to me whatever does not bring them injury. Whenever they catch sight of me, let this not fail to bring them benefit."

"All the suffering in the world comes from seeking pleasure for oneself. All the happiness in the world comes from seeking pleasure for others."

"All that I possess and use is like the fleeting vision of a dream. It fades into the realms of memory; and fading, will be seen no more. Nothing that has passed can be regained."

"As one day all must be given up, why not dedicate it now to universal happiness?"

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

"As long as space abides and as long as the world abides, so long may I abide, destroying the sufferings of the world."

"Examine thus yourself from every side. Note harmful thoughts and every futile striving. Thus it is that heroes in the bodhisattva path apply the remedies to keep a steady mind."

"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."

"For as long as space endures and for as long as living beings remain, until then may I too abide to dispel the misery of the world."

"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."

"His the knife, and mine the body the twofold cause of suffering. He has grasped the knife, I my body. At which is there anger?"

"For the sake of all beings I have made this body pleasureless. Let them continually beat it, revile it, and cover it with filth. Let them play with my body. Let them laugh at it and ridicule it. What does it matter to me? I have given my body to them."

"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 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."

"How much suffering and fear, and how many harmful things are in existence? If all arises from clinging to the ?I?, what should I do with this great demon?"

"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."

"If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?"

"If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good."

"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 Dharmas truth for the beings lost in darkness to the Buddhas considering parinirvarna."

"In order to fulfil 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."

"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."

"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 attained to Buddhahood as well as in their offspring, the noble Bodhisattvas."

"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."

"Just as a blind man might find a jewel amongst heaps of rubbish, so this Spirit of Awakening has somehow arisen in me."

"It is the supreme elixir that overcomes the sovereignty of death. It is the inexhaustible treasure that eliminates poverty in the world. It is the supreme medicine that quells the world?s disease. It is the tree that shelters all beings wandering and tired on the path of conditioned existence. It is the universal bridge that leads to freedom from unhappy states of birth. It is the dawning moon of the mind that dispels the torment of disturbing conceptions. It is the great sun that finally removes the misty ignorance of the world."

"Just as all previous Buddhas first gave rise to the precious Bodhimind and just as then carefully followed the stages of the Bodhisattva disciplines. Likewise for the sake of sentient beings do I know myself generate the Bodhimind, and likewise will I train myself in the disciplines of a Bodhisattva."

"Just as one analyzes one's own body, so too should one analyze the bodies of other living beings, as well as other phenomena in the outer universe, such as mountains and continents, arriving at the firm conviction that they are like space, without inherent existence. Once this has been understood, and when all dualistic clinging to one's body and the bodies of others has been rejected, all that manifests in the post-meditative state should be regarded as illusory - appearing but without inherent existence. And when meditating, one should rest in the natural state, spacious and free from conceptual activity. As it is said in the sutras, "Whoever, O Manjushri, sees that his body is like space is applying to his body the close mindfulness of the body.""

"Just as those standing in the midst of boisterous people carefully guard their wounds, so those standing in the midst of evil people should always guard the wounds of their minds."

"Let my possessions vanish; let my honor, my body, livelihood, and everything else pass away. But may my virtuous mind never be lost."

"Like a blind man 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."

"May I be a protector to the helpless, a guide to those travelling 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."

"Let those who falsely accuse me, who harm me, and who ridicule me all partake of Awakening."

"May all beings everywhere plagued by sufferings of body and mind obtain an ocean of happiness and joy by virtue of my merits. May no living creature suffer, commit evil or ever fall ill. May no one be afraid or belittled, with a mind weighed down by depression. May the blind see forms, and the deaf hear sounds. May those whose bodies are worn with toil be restored on finding repose. May the naked find clothing, the hungry find food; may the thirsty find water and delicious drinks. May the poor find wealth, those weak with sorrow find joy; may the forlorn find hope, constant happiness and prosperity. May there be timely rains and bountiful harvests; may all medicine be effective and wholesome prayers bear fruit. May all who are sick and ill quickly be freed from their ailments. Whatever diseases there are in the world, may they never occur again. May the frightened cease to be afraid and those bound be freed; may the powerless find power and may people think of benefiting each other."

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

"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 like a guard for those who are protectorless, a guide for those who journey on the road. For those who wish to go across the water, may I be a boat, a raft, a bridge."

"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."

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

"May no one who encounters me ever have an insignificant contact."

"May the blind see the forms, may the deaf hear sounds. May the naked find clothing, the hungry find food; may the thirsty find water and delicious drinks. May the poor find wealth, those weak with sorrow find joy; may the forlorn find new hope, constant happiness and prosperity. May the frightened cease to be afraid and those bound be freed; may the powerless find power, and may the people think of benefiting one another."

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

"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."