Shantideva

Shantideva
7th Century
8th Century

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

Author Quotes

You are not here to change the world. The world is here to change you.

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?

Where would there be leather enough to cover the entire world? With just the leather of my sandals, it is as if the whole world were covered. Likewise, I am unable to restrain external phenomena, but I shall restrain my own mind. What need is there to restrain anything else?

What need is there to say more? The childish work for their own benefit, the Buddhas work for the benefit of others. Just look at the difference between them. If I do not exchange my happiness, for the suffering of others, I shall not attain the state of Buddhahood. And even in Samsara I shall have no real joy. The source of all misery in the world lies in thinking of oneself; the source of all happiness lies in thinking of others.

When one intends to move or when one intends to speak, one should first examine one?s own mind and then act appropriately with composure. When one sees one?s mind to be attached or repulsed, then one should neither act nor speak, but remain still like a piece of wood. When my mind is haughty, sarcastic, full of conceit and arrogance, ridiculing, evasive and deceitful, when it is inclined to boast, or when it is contemptuous of others, abusive, and irritable, then I should remain still like a piece of wood. When my mind is averse to the interests of others and seeks my own self-interest, or when it wishes to speak out of a desire for an audience, then I will remain still like a piece of wood. When it is impatient, indolent, timid, impudent, garrulous, or biased in my own favor, then I will remain still like a piece of wood.

Whenever I catch sight of others, by thinking, ?It is through them, that I will reach awakening, I?ll look with sincerity and love.

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.

Those who injure me are really impelled by my actions. For this they will go to the realms of hell. Surely it is they who are harmed by me?

Those who wish to crush the many sorrows of existence, who wish to quell the pain of living beings, who wish to have experience of a myriad joys should never turn away from bodhichitta. Should bodhichitta come to birth in those who suffer, chained in prisons of samsara, in that instant they are called the children of the Blissful One, revered by all the world, by gods and humankind. For like the supreme substance of the alchemists, it takes our impure flesh and makes of it the body of a Buddha, jewel beyond all price. Such is bodhicitta. Let us grasp it firmly!

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.

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.

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 labor to increase my perseverance-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.

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.

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.

Unruly beings are as unlimited as space they cannot possibly all be overcome, but if I overcome thoughts of anger alone this will be equivalent to vanquishing all foes. Where would I possibly find enough leather with which to cover the surface of the earth? But (wearing) leather just 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?

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

The Bodhimind is a great radiant sun to disperse the darkness of unknowing, and it is the very essence of butters gained from churning the milks of Dharma. For all guests on the roads of life who would take the very substance of joy, here is the actual seat of true happiness, a veritable feast to satiate the world.

What arises through the meeting of conditions and ceases to exist when these are lacking, is artificial like the mirror image; how can true existence be ascribed to it?

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.

The Spirit of Awakening is known to be of two kinds: the spirit of aspiring for Awakening, and the spirit of venturing toward awakening. Just as one perceives the difference between a person who yearns to travel and a traveler, so do the learned recognize the corresponding different between these two.

The Spirit of Awakening? is the tree of rest for beings exhausted from wandering on the pathways of mundane existence.

There is no evil similar to anger, and no discipline like patience, strive always therefore for tolerance, cultivating it in varied ways.

They who out of wisdom have seized the supreme Bodhimind 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.

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

Author Picture
First Name
Shantideva
Birth Date
7th Century
Death Date
8th Century
Bio

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