Acchariya-abbhuta Sutta

This is about the birth of Siddartha Gautama…partially in his own words…

Majjhima Nikaya 123

Acchariya-abbhuta Sutta

Discours sur le merveilleux et l’extraordinaire

Ainsi l’ai-je entendu:

Une fois le Béni du Ciel résidait au monastère du Jetavana d’Anathapindika à Sâvatthi. A cette occasion, la conversation suivante surgit entre les nombreux bhikkhus qui avaient reçu leur aumône de nourriture, avaient quitté l’endroit (des repas) et s’étaient assemblés dans la salle de réunion:

«Amis! Quelle merveille! Et, effectivement, qu’il sont extraordinaires, amis, le pouvoir et la grandeur du Tathagâta! Même par rapport aux bouddhas du passé qui avaient réalisé le Nibbâna, qui avaient retranché les facteurs qui prolongent le samsâra (1), qui avaient retranché la ronde des existences, qui avaient mis fin à la ronde des existences, qui avaient surmonté tout dukkha, le Tathagâta peut réfléchir et connaître ainsi: ‘Ces Bienheureux appartenaient à telle et telle castes; ces Bienheureux sur les connaissait par tel ou tel nom: ces Bienheureux ils étaient nés dans tel et tel clan; cces Bhagavas étaient dotés de telle et telle moralité; ces Bienheureux étaient dotés de telle et telle concentration; (2) ces Bienheureux étaient dotés de telle et telle sagesse (pañña); ces Bienheureux soulaient demeurer de telle façon (restant dans la réalisation soutenue de la cessation de la conscience); ces Bienheureux étaient dotés de telle et telle sorte d’émancipation (vimutti) (3). Lorsque ceci fut dit, le vénérable Ânanda parla ainsi à ces bhikkhus:

Bodhisattva in the Blue Books

From Initiation, Human and Solar – Glossary B-E

Bodhisattva Literally, he whose consciousness has become intelligence, or buddhi. Those who need but one more incarnation to become perfect buddhas. As used in these letters the Bodhisattva is the name of the office which is at present occupied by the Lord Maitreya, who is known in the occident as the Christ. This office might be translated as that of World Teacher. The Bodhisattva is the Head of all the religions of the world, and the Master of the Masters and of the angels.

Buddha (The) The name given to Gautama. Born in India about B.C. 621 he became a full buddha in B.C. 592. The Buddha is one who is the “Enlightened,” and has attained the highest degree of knowledge possible for man in this solar system.

Buddhi The Universal Soul or Mind. It is the spiritual soul in man (the Sixth Principle) and therefore the vehicle of Atma, the Spirit, which is the Seventh Principle.

Causal Body This body is, from the standpoint of the physical plane, no body, either subjective or objective. It is, nevertheless, the center of the egoic consciousness, and is formed of the conjunction of buddhi and manas. It is relatively permanent and lasts throughout the long cycle of incarnations, and is only dissipated after the fourth initiation, when the need for further rebirth on the part of a human being no longer exists.

Chohan Lord, Master, a Chief. In this book it refers to mind an those Adepts who have gone on and taken the sixth initiation.

Deva (or Angel) A god. In Sanskrit a resplendent deity. A Deva is a celestial being, whether good, bad, or indifferent. Devas are divided into many groups, and are called not only angels and archangels, but lesser and greater builders.

Egoic Groups On the third subplane of the fifth plane, the mental, are found the causal bodies of the Individual men and women. These bodies, which are the expression of the Ego, or of the individualized self-consciousness, are gathered together into groups according to the ray or quality of the particular Ego involved.

Elementals The Spirits of the Elements; the creatures involved in the four kingdoms, or elements, Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Except a few of the higher kinds and their rulers they are forces of nature more than ethereal men and women.

Etheric body (Etheric double) The physical body of a human being is, according to occult teaching, formed of two parts, the dense physical body, and the etheric body. The dense physical body is formed of matter of the lowest three subplanes of the physical plane. The etheric body is formed of the four highest or etheric subplanes of the physical plane.

———–

From Initiation, Human and Solar – Chapter V – The Three Departments of Hierarchy

The Work of the World Teacher, the Christ

Group two has the World Teacher for its presiding Head. He is that Great Being whom the Christian calls the Christ; he is known also in the Orient as the Bodhisattva, and as the Lord Maitreya, and is the one looked for by the devout Mohammedan, under the name of the Iman Madhi. He it is who has presided over the destinies of life since about 600 B.C. and he it is who has come out among men before, and who is again looked for. He is the great Lord of Love and of Compassion, just as his predecessor, the Buddha, was the Lord of Wisdom. Through him flows the energy of the second aspect, reaching him direct from the heart center of the Planetary Logos via the heart of Sanat Kumara. He works by means of a meditation centered within the heart. He is the World Teacher, the Master of the Masters, and the Instructor of the Angels, and to him is committed the guidance of the spiritual destinies of men, and the development of the realization within each human being that he is a child of God and a son of the Most High.

Just as the Manu is occupied with the providing of the type and forms through which consciousness can evolve and gather experience, thus making existence in its deepest sense possible, so the World Teacher directs that in dwelling consciousness in its life or spirit aspect, seeking to energize it within the form so that, in due course of time, that form can be discarded and the liberated spirit return whence it came. Ever since he left the earth, as related with approximate accuracy in the Bible story (though with much error in detail) has he stayed with the sons of men; never has he really gone, but only in appearance, and in a physical body he can be found by those who know the way, dwelling in the Himalayas, and working in close cooperation with his two great Brothers, the Manu and the Mahachohan. Daily he pours out his blessing on the world, and daily he stands under the great pine in his garden at the sunset hour with hands uplifted in blessing over all those who truly and earnestly seek to aspire. To him all seekers are known, and, though they may remain unaware of him, the light which he pours forth stimulates their desire, fosters the spark of struggling life and spurs on the aspirant until the momentous day dawns when they stand face to face with the one who by being “lifted up” (occultly understood) is drawing all men unto himself as the Initiator of the sacred mysteries.

—–

From “From Intellect to Intuition – Chapter Eight – The Universality of Meditation”

The Method in Chinese Buddhism

One of the main contributions to the process of enlightenment is an understanding of the way in which the Buddha found the Light. It demonstrates in a most remarkable way the use of the mind to overcome ignorance and its subsequent futility to carry a man on into the world of Light and spiritual being. Dr. Suzuki, Professor of Zen Buddhism at the Buddhist College at Kyoto, tells us about it in the following illuminating paragraphs. He tells us that it was through “supreme perfect knowledge” that the Buddha arrived at the wisdom which changed him from a Bodhisattva into a Buddha. This knowledge is

“…a faculty both intellectual and spiritual, through the operation of which the soul is enabled to break the fetters of intellection. The latter is always dualistic inasmuch as it is cognizant of subject and object, but in the Prajna which is exercised ‘in unison with one-thought-viewing’ there is no separation between knower and known, these are all viewed in one thought, and enlightenment is the outcome of this…

“Enlightenment we can thus see is an absolute state of mind in which no ‘discrimination’ …takes place, and it requires a great mental effort to realize this state of viewing all things ‘in one thought’. In fact our logical as well as practical consciousness is too given up to analysis and ideation; that is to say, we cut up realities into elements in order to understand them; but when they are put together to make the original whole, its elements stand out too conspicuously defined, and we do not view the whole ‘in one thought’. And as it is only when ‘one thought’ is reached that we have enlightenment, an effort is to be made to go beyond our relative empirical consciousness… The most important fact that lies behind the experience of Enlightenment, therefore, is that the Buddha made the most strenuous attempt to solve the problem of Ignorance and his utmost will-power was brought forth to bear upon a successful issue of the struggle… Enlightenment therefore must involve the will as well as the intellect. It is an act of intuition born of the will… The Buddha attained this end when a new insight came upon him at the end of his ever-circulatory reasoning from decay and death to Ignorance and from Ignorance to decay and death… But he had an indomitable will; he wanted, with the utmost efforts of his will, to get into the very truth of the matter; he knocked and knocked until the doors of Ignorance gave way; and they burst open to a new vista never before presented to his intellectual vision.”
– Suzuki, Daisetz Taitaro, Essays in Zen Buddhism, pages 113-115.

Earlier he points out that the attainment of Nirvana is after all essentially the affirmation and realization of Unity. In the same essays we find the words:

“They (Buddhists) finally found out that Enlightenment was not a thing exclusively belonging to the Buddha, but that each one of us could attain it if he got rid of ignorance by abandoning the dualistic conception of life and of the world; they further concluded that Nirvana was not vanishing into a state of absolute non-existence which was an impossibility as long as we had to reckon with the actual facts of life, and that Nirvana in its ultimate signification was an affirmation – an affirmation beyond opposites of all kinds.”
– Suzuki, Daisetz Taitaro, Essays in Zen Buddhism, page 47.

The term Prajna used above is very interesting. It is

“the presence in every individual of a faculty… This is the principle which makes Enlightenment possible in us as well as in the Buddha. Without Prajna there could be no enlightenment, which is the highest spiritual power in our possession. The intellect… is relative in its activity… The Buddha before his Enlightenment was an ordinary mortal, and we, ordinary mortals, will be Buddhas the moment our mental eyes open in Enlightenment.”
– Suzuki, Daisetz Taitaro, Essays in Zen Buddhism, pages 52-53.

Thus we have the mind focused and used to its utmost capacity, and then the cessation of its work. Next comes the use of the will to hold the mind steady in the light, and then – the Vision, Enlightenment, Illumination!

—–

From Initiation, Human and Solar – Chapter XI – The Participants in the Mysteries

The Departmental Heads

The Manu.
The Bodhisattva.
The Mahachohan.

As has been said, these three great Beings, represent the triplicity of all manifestation, and might be expressed under the following form, remembering that all this deals with subjectivity, and therefore with the evolution of consciousness and primarily with self-consciousness in man.

 


Consciousness

 

The Manu

The Bodhisattva

The Mahachohan

Matter aspect

Spirit aspect

Intelligence aspect.

Form

Life

Mind.

The Not-Self

The Self

The relation between.

Body

Spirit

Soul.

 

Or, in words strictly dealing with self-conscious realization:

Politics

Religion

Science.

Government

Beliefs

Civilization.

Races

Faiths

Education.

 

All human beings belong to one or other of these three departments, and all are of equal importance, for Spirit and matter are one. All are so interdependent, being but expressions of one life, that the endeavor to express the functions of the three departments in tabular form is liable to lead to error.

The three Great Lords closely cooperate in the work, for that work is one, just as man, though a triplicity, is yet an individual unit. The human being is a form through which a spiritual life or entity is manifesting, and employing the intelligence under evolutionary law.

Therefore the Great Lords are closely connected with the initiations of a human unit. They are too occupied with greater affairs and with group activities to have any relationship with a man until he stands upon the probationary path. When he has, through his own effort, brought himself on to the Path of Discipleship, the particular Master who has him under supervision reports to the Head of one of the three departments (this being dependent upon a man’s ray) that he is nearing the Portal of Initiation and should be ready for the great step during such and such a life. Each life, and later each year, report is made, until the final year upon the Path of Probation, when closer and more frequent reports are handed in. During this final year also, the applicant’s name is submitted to the Lodge, and after his own Master has reported upon him, and his record has been briefly summarized, his name is balloted, and sponsors are arranged.

During the initiation ceremony the important factors are:

  1. The Initiator.
  2. The triangle of force formed by three adepts or three Kumaras.
  3. The sponsors.

In the case of the first two initiations, two Masters stand, one on each side of the applicant, within the triangle; at the third, fourth and fifth initiations, the Mahachohan and the Bodhisattva perform the function of sponsor; at the sixth and seventh initiations two great Beings, who must remain nameless, stand within the esoteric triangle. The work of the sponsors is to pass through their bodies the force or electrical energy emanating from the Rod of Initiation. This force, through radiation, circles around the triangle and is supplemented by the force of the three guardians; it next passes through the centers of the sponsors, being transmitted by an act of will to the initiate.

Enough has been said elsewhere in this book anent the Lodge of Masters and their relation to the applicant for initiation, whilst the work of the initiate himself has been likewise touched upon. That work is not unknown to the children of men everywhere, but remains as yet an ideal and a far-off possibility. Yet when a man strives to reach that ideal, to make it a demonstrating fact within himself, he will find that it becomes not only a possibility, but something attainable, provided he strives sufficiently. The first initiation is within the reach of many, but the necessary one-pointedness and the firm belief in the reality ahead, coupled to a willingness to sacrifice all rather than turn back, are deterrents to the many. If this book serves no other purpose than to spur some one to renewed believing effort, it will not have been written in vain.

——

From Letters on Occult Meditation – Letter VI – The Use of Form in Meditation

b. The Line of the Bodhisattva

This is the line of religion and of philosophy, and of the development of the indwelling life. It deals with consciousness within the form more than with the form itself. It is the line of least resistance for the many. It embodies the wisdom aspect of the Logos, and is the line whereby His love is manifested in a predominant fashion. The solar system being in itself a direct expression of the Logos, and of His love aspect, all in manifestation is based upon it – love in rule, love abounding, love in activity, – but in this second line the above manifestation is supreme, and will eventually absorb all the others.

The man who meditates on this line seeks ever to enter into the consciousness of all that breathes, and by graded expansions of consciousness to arrive eventually at the All-Consciousness, and to enter into the life of the Supreme Being. Thus he enters into the life of all within the Logoic Consciousness.

He broods not so much upon the Law as upon the life that is governed by that Law. Through love he comprehends, and through love he blends himself first with his Ego, then with his Master, next with his group egoic and then with all groups, till finally he enters into the consciousness of the Deity Himself.

 

The Thirty-Seven Practices of All the Bodhisattvas

by Gyalse Tokme Zangpo

I have selected various verses also from Lotsawa House

———————

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to leave behind one’s homeland,

Where our attachment to family and friends overwhelms us like a torrent,

While our aversion towards enemies rages inside us like a blazing fire,

And delusion’s darkness obscures what must be adopted and abandoned.

 

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to take to solitary places,

Avoiding the unwholesome, so that destructive emotions gradually fade away,

And, in the absence of distraction, virtuous practice naturally gains strength;

Whilst, with awareness clearly focused, we gain conviction in the teachings.

 

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to renounce this life’s concerns,

For friends and relatives, long acquainted, must all go their separate ways;

Wealth and prized possessions, painstakingly acquired, must all be left behind;

And consciousness, the guest who lodges in the body, must in time depart.

 

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to arouse bodhicitta,

So as to bring freedom to all sentient beings, infinite in number.

For how can true happiness ever be found while our mothers,

Who have cared for us throughout the ages, endure such pain?

 

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to make a genuine exchange

Of one’s own happiness and wellbeing for all the sufferings of others.

Since all misery comes from seeking happiness for oneself alone,

Whilst perfect buddhahood is born from the wish for others’ good.

 

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to subdue the mind,

With the forces of loving kindness and compassion.

For unless the real adversary—my own anger—is defeated,

Outer enemies, though I may conquer them, will continue to appear.

 

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to let go of grasping

When encountering things one finds pleasant or attractive,

Considering them to be like rainbows in the summer skies—

Beautiful in appearance, yet in truth devoid of any substance.

 

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to cultivate patience,

Free from any trace of animosity towards anyone at all,

Since any potential source of harm is like a priceless treasure

To the bodhisattva who is eager to enjoy a wealth of virtue.

 

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to let go of attachment

To the households of benefactors and of family and friends,

Since one’s study, reflection and meditation will all diminish

When one quarrels and competes for honours and rewards.

 

In short, no matter what one might be doing,

By examining always the status of one’s mind,

With continuous mindfulness and alertness,

To bring about the good of others—this is the practice of all the bodhisattvas.

 

The practice of all the bodhisattvas is to dedicate towards enlightenment

All the virtue to be gained through making effort in these ways,

With wisdom that is purified entirely of the three conceptual spheres,

So as to dispel the sufferings of the infinity of beings.

Fully Adopting Bodhicitta

This is sometimes referred to as the Bodhisattva Vow of Śāntideva from the Bodhicaryāvatāra.

I have excerpted this translation by Adam Pearcey from Lotsawa House a wonderful online treasury of material.

Chapter III — Fully Adopting Bodhicitta

Joyfully I celebrate all the acts of virtue
That ease the pains of the lower realms,
And rejoice as well when those who suffer
Find themselves in states of happiness.

I rejoice in the gathering of virtue
That is the cause of awakening,
And celebrate the definite liberation
Of beings from saṃsāra’s pain.

I rejoice in the awakening of the buddhas,
And the bhūmis gained by bodhisattvas.

Gladly I rejoice in the infinite sea of virtue,
Which is the noble intention of bodhicitta,
Wishing to secure the happiness of beings,
And acting in ways that bring benefit to all.

Now I join my hands and pray
To you, the buddhas of all quarters:
Shine the lamp of Dharma upon us,
As we suffer in confusion’s darkness!

With my palms clasped at my heart,
I urge all buddhas longing for nirvāṇa:
Do not leave us blind and all alone,
But remain with us for countless ages!

Through whatever virtue I have gained
By all these actions now performed,
May the pain of every living being
Be cleared away entirely, never to return.

For all the beings ailing in the world,
Until their sickness has been healed,
May I become the doctor and the cure,
And may I nurse them back to health.

Bringing down a shower of food and drink,
May I dispel the pains of thirst and hunger,
And in those times of scarcity and famine,
May I myself appear as food and drink.

For all beings who are destitute and poor,
May I be a treasure, unending in supply,
A source of all that they might call for,
Accessible always and close by.

My own body and all that I possess,
My past, present and future virtues—
I dedicate them all, withholding nothing,
To bring about the benefit of beings.

By letting go of all I shall attain nirvāṇa,
The transcendence of misery I seek,
Since everything must finally be abandoned,
It would be best if I gave it all away.

This body of mine I have now given up,
Entirely for the pleasure of all who live.
Let them kill it, beat it and abuse it,
Forever doing with it as they please.

And if they treat it like a toy,
Or an object of ridicule and jest,
When I have given it away,
Why should I then become upset?

Let them do to me as they please,
Whatever does not harm them;
And when anyone should think of me,
May that only serve them well.

If the sight of me inspires in others
Thoughts of anger or devotion,
May such states of mind be causes
For eternally fulfilling their desires.

May those who insult me to my face,
Or cause me harm in any other way,
Even those who disparage me in secret,
Have the good fortune to awaken.

May I be a guard for those without one,
A guide for all who journey on the road,
May I become a boat, a raft or bridge,
For all who wish to cross the water.

May I be an isle for those desiring landfall,
And a lamp for those who wish for light,
May I be a bed for those who need to rest,
And a servant for all who live in need.

May I become a wishing jewel, a magic vase,
A powerful mantra and a medicine of wonder.
May I be a tree of miracles granting every wish,
And a cow of plenty sustaining all the world.

Like the earth and other great elements,
And like space itself, may I remain forever,
To support the lives of boundless beings,
By providing all that they might need.

Just so, in all the realms of beings,
As far as space itself pervades,
May I be a source of all that life requires,
Until beings pass beyond saṃsāra’s pain.

Just as the sugatas of former ages,
Aroused bodhicitta and then, in stages,
Trained themselves in skilful practice,
On the genuine path of the bodhisattvas,

Like them, I take this sacred vow:
To arouse bodhicitta here and now,
And train myself for others’ good,
Gradually, as a bodhisattva should.

Like this, all those whose minds are clear,
And who adopt bodhicitta with inspiration,
Will, to ensure that it grows thereafter,
Praise it highly in the following way:

Now my life has great significance,
At birth I found this human existence,
And now I’m born into the buddhas’ line,
As a son or daughter of the noble kind.

From this day on, come what may,
I’ll act only in an appropriate way,
And never shall I bring disgrace
Upon this flawless, noble race.

For like a beggar, poor and blind,
Who, by chance, a jewel might find,
So now, by chance, auspiciously,
In bodhi-mind is born in me.

This is the perfect nectar of immortality,
Through which the Lord of Death is overcome.
It is an inexhaustible treasury of wealth,
To dispel the poverty of all who live.

It is the very best of medicines
That heals the sickness of the world,
And the tree that shelters all who wander
Wearily along the pathways of existence.

It is the universal bridge to freedom,
Leading us all from the lower realms,
And it is a rising moon within the mind,
To cool the passions of all living beings.

It is the mighty sun whose light dispels
The darkness of ignorance in our minds.
And it is the very purest form of butter
Churned from the milk of sacred Dharma.

For beings travelling life’s pathways,
And seeking to taste its greatest joys,
This will satisfy their eternal wanderings,
By granting them the highest form of bliss.

Now with buddhas as my witness,
I invite all beings to lasting happiness,
And, before that, to ordinary joys:
May gods, asuras and others rejoice!

Translated by Adam Pearcey 2007

Bodhisattva – बोधिसत्त्व

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

In Buddhism, a bodhisattva (/ˌboʊdiːˈsʌtvə/ BOH-dee-SUT-və) is any person who is on the path towards Buddhahood.

In the Early Buddhist schools as well as modern Theravada Buddhism, a bodhisattva (Pali: bodhisatta) refers to anyone who has made a resolution to become a Buddha and has also received a confirmation or prediction from a living Buddha that this will be so.

In Mahayana Buddhism, a bodhisattva refers to anyone who has generated bodhicitta, a spontaneous wish and compassionate mind to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.

The elaborate concept refers to a sentient being or sattva that develops bodhi or enlightenment — thus possessing the boddisattva’s psyche; described as those who work to develop and exemplify the loving-kindness (metta), compassion (karuṇā), empathetic joy (mudita) and equanimity (upekkha). These four virtues are the four divine abodes, called Brahmavihara (illimitables).

From Wikipédia

Bodhisattva (sanskrit : बोधिसत्त्व (devanāgarī), IAST : bodhisattva ; pâli : bodhisatta ; chinois traditionnel : 菩薩 ; chinois simplifié : 菩萨 ; pinyin : púsà ; japonais : 菩薩 (bosatsu) ; thaï : พระโพธิสัตว์ ; coréen : 보살 (bosal (hanja : 菩薩)) ; tibétain : changchub sempa tibétain : བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་དཔའ།, Wylie : byang-chub sems-dpa’ ; vietnamien: Bồ Tát (菩薩)) de sattva « être », bodhi « éveil », est un terme sanskrit qui désigne dans le bouddhisme hinayana un bouddha avant que celui-ci ait atteint l’éveil.

Dans le bouddhisme mahayana, il désigne celui qui a formé le vœu de suivre le chemin indiqué par le bouddha Shakyamuni, a pris le refuge auprès des trois joyaux (Bouddha, Dharma et Sangha) et respecte strictement les disciplines destinées aux bodhisattvas, pour aider d’abord les autres êtres sensibles à s’éveiller, retardant sa propre libération par compassion.

Selon l’Avataṃsaka sūtra, il existe cinquante-deux niveaux (ou étapes de formation) de bodhisattvas : dix degrés de la foi, dix degrés de la demeure, dix degrés de la pratique, dix degrés du transfert de mérites, dix terres, éveil correct et équivalent, et éveil merveilleux. Au début se trouvent les novices qui apprennent les théories en les mettant en pratique, ils doivent s’entraîner pendant trois grands kalpas d’après le Mahāyāna pour devenir bouddhas, et au bout du chemin se situent les grands bodhisattvas tels qu’Avalokiteshvara et Manjushri qui, ayant déjà été bouddhas dans le passé, reviennent dans notre monde en jouant le rôle de bodhisattva pour faciliter le progrès et l’éveil de ceux qui le veulent de leur plein gré.

Shantideva’s Bodhisattva Vows.

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.

 

In the ocean-like virtue of the Bodhi-mind

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

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 fulfilment 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 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.

 

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.

 

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 Bodhi-mind

And just as they carefully followed

The stages of the Bodhisattva disciplines.

 

Likewise for the sake of sentient beings

Do I now myself generate the Bodhi-mind,

And likewise will I train myself

In the disciplines of a Bodhisattva.

 

They who out of wisdom

Have seized the supreme Bodhi-mind

Praise, glorify and rejoice in it,

That it may grow to fulfilment.

 

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.

 

Like a blind man fumbling in garbage

Happens to find a rare and precious gem,

Likewise I have discovered

The jewel of the precious Bodhi-mind.

 

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 Bodhi-mind 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.

THE BODHISATTVAS RENUNCIATION

IT was night. The prince found no rest on his soft pillow; he arose and went out into the garden. “Alas!” he cried “all the world is full of darkness and ignorance; there is no one who knows how to cure the ills of existence.” And he groaned with pain.

Siddhattha sat down beneath the great jambu-tree and gave himself to thought, pondering on life and death and the evils of decay. Concentrating his mind he became free from confusion. All low desires vanished from his heart and perfect tranquility came over him.

In this state of ecstasy he saw with his mental eye all the misery and sorrow of the world; he saw the pains of pleasure and the inevitable certainty of death that hovers over every being; yet men are not awakened to the truth. And a deep compassion seized his heart.

While the prince was pondering on the problem of evil, he beheld with his mind’s eye under the jambu tree a lofty figure endowed with majesty, calm and dignified. “Whence comest thou, and who mayst thou be asked the prince.

In reply the vision said: “I am a samana. Troubled at the thought of old age, disease, and death I have left my home to seek the path of salvation. All things hasten to decay; only the truth abideth forever. Everything changes, and there is no permanency; yet the words of the Buddhas are immutable. I long for the happiness that does not decay; the treasure that will never perish; the life that knows of no beginning and no end. Therefore, I have destroyed all worldly thought. I have retired into an unfrequented dell to live in solitude; and, begging for food, I devote myself to the one thing needful.

Siddhattha asked: “Can peace be gained in this world of unrest? I am struck with the emptiness of pleasure and have become disgusted with lust. All oppresses me, and existence itself seems intolerable.”

The samana replied: “Where heat is, there is also a possibility of cold; creatures subject to pain possess the faculty of pleasure; the origin of evil indicates that good can be developed. For these things are correlatives. Thus where there is much suffering, there will be much bliss, if thou but open thine eyes to behold it. Just as a man who has fallen into a heap of filth ought to seek the great pond of water covered with lotuses, which is near by: even so seek thou for the great deathless lake of Nirvana to wash off the defilement of wrong. If the lake is not sought, it is not the fault of the lake. Even so when there is a blessed road leading the man held fast by wrong to the salvation of Nirvana, if the road is not walked upon, it is not the fault of the road, but of the person. And when a man who is oppressed with sickness, there being a physician who can heal him, does not avail himself of the physician’s help, that is not the fault of the physician. Even so when a man oppressed by the malady of wrong-doing does not seek the spiritual guide of enlightenment, that is no fault of the evil-destroying guide.”

The prince listened to the noble words of his visitor and said: “Thou bringest good tidings, for now I know that my purpose will be accomplished. My father advises me to enjoy life and to undertake worldly duties, such as will bring honor to me and to our house. He tells me that I am too young still, that my pulse beats too full to lead a religious life.”

The venerable figure shook his head and replied: “Thou shouldst know that for seeking a religious life no time can be inopportune.”

A thrill of joy passed through Siddhattha’s heart. “Now is the time to seek religion,” he said; “now is the time to sever all ties that would prevent me from attaining perfect enlightenment; now is the time to wander into homelessness and, leading a mendicant’s life, to find the path of deliverance.”

The celestial messenger heard the resolution of Siddhattha with approval. “Now, indeed he added, is the time to seek religion. Go, Siddhattha, and accomplish thy purpose. For thou art Bodhisatta, the Buddha-elect; thou art destined to enlighten the world. Thou art the Tathagata, the great master, for thou wilt fulfill all righteousness and be Dharmaraja, the king of truth. Thou art Bhagavat, the Blessed One, for thou art called upon to become the savior and redeemer of the world. Fulfill thou the perfection of truth. Though the thunderbolt descend upon thy head, yield thou never to the allurements that beguile men from the path of truth. As the sun at all seasons pursues his own course, nor ever goes on another, even so if thou forsake not the straight path of righteousness, thou shalt become a Buddha. Persevere in thy quest and thou shalt find what thou seekest. Pursue thy aim unswervingly and thou shalt gain the prize. Struggle earnestly and thou shalt conquer. The benediction of all deities, of all saints of all that seek light is upon thee, and heavenly wisdom guides thy steps. Thou shalt be the Buddha, our Master, and our Lord; thou shalt enlighten the world and save mankind from perdition.

Having thus spoken, the vision vanished, and Siddhattha’s heart was filled with peace. He said to himself: “I have awakened to the truth and I am resolved to accomplish my purpose. I will sever all the ties that bind me to the world, and I will go out from my home to seek the way of salvation. The Buddhas are beings whose words cannot fail: there is no departure from truth in their speech. For as the fall of a stone thrown into the air, as the death of a mortal, as the sunrise at dawn, as the lion’s roar when he leaves his lair, as the delivery of a woman with child, as all these things are sure and certain-even so the word of the Buddhas is sure and cannot fail. Verily I shall become a Buddha.”

The prince returned to the bedroom of his wife to take a last farewell glance at those whom he dearly loved above all the treasures of the earth. He longed to take the infant once more into his arms and kiss him with a parting kiss. But the child lay in the arms of his mother, and the prince could not lift him without awakening both. There Siddhattha stood gazing at his beautiful wife and his beloved son, and his heart grieved. The pain of parting overcame him powerfully. Although his mind was determined, so that nothing, be it good or evil, could shake his resolution, the tears flowed freely from his eyes, and it was beyond his power to check their stream. But the prince tore himself away with a manly heart, suppressing his feelings but not extinguishing his memory.

The Bodhisattva mounted his noble steed Kanthaka, and when he left the palace, Mara stood in the gate and stopped him: “Depart not, O my Lord,” exclaimed Mara. “In seven days from now the wheel of empire will appear, and will make thee sovereign over the four continents and the two thousand adjacent islands. Therefore, stay, my Lord.”

The Bodhisattva replied: “Well do I know that the wheel of empire will appear to me; but it is not sovereignty that I desire. I will become a Buddha and make all the world shout for joy.”

Thus Siddhattha, the prince, renounced power and worldly pleasures, gave up his kingdom, severed all ties, and went into homelessness. He rode out into the silent night, accompanied only by his faithful charioteer Channa. Darkness lay upon the earth, but the stars shone brightly in the heavens.

 

excerpted from:

BUDDHA, THE GOSPEL

By Paul Carus

Chicago, The Open Court Publishing Company,

[1894]