24-Indian History-BC-1 - Bodhisattwa Practices
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India has a continuous civilization since 2500 BC. During the 2nd millennium,
Aaryan speaking tribes migrated from northwest into the Indian subcontinent. The
following information has been take from "The Aangirasa Dictionary of the
Hindu Religion and Culture", by Aangiras Muni. 1999. p 249-254.
[Text in green is my comments]
Bodhisattwa Practices -
Taken from - Inputs from HH Dalai Lama's writings.
In the Mahaayaan stream of Buddhist practice, a Bodhisattwa, once embracing
the practice of Dharm, is supposed to adhere to 37 strict guidelines and
practice them diligently to achieve Liberation; they are briefly explained
1 .Precious Human Life:
When the elusive great vessel of leisure and beneficial circumstances
has been obtained, it is the practice of the Bodhisattwa to listen,
contemplate and meditate day and night to free themselves and others
from the Ocean of Sansaar.
2. Conducive Circumstances for Practice-I:
It is the practice of the Bodhisattwa to renounce their Homeland; which
condition desire like water, wavering towards relatives; anger like fire,
spreading towards enemies; and, ignorance creating a cloudiness in the
mind so one forgets what to accept and discard.
3. Conducive Circumstances for Practice-II:
It is the practice of the Bodhisattwa to remain in remote places where afflictions
gradually diminish by abandoning disturbing locations, where wholesome deeds
naturally increase by being undistracted, and where clear-mindedness gives rise
to conviction in the Dharm.
4. Death and Impermanence:
It is the practice of the Bodhisattwa to renounce this life, since relatives
and friends of long-standing must part; wealth and material goods accumulated
with great effort must be left behind and the body, like a guest-house, must
be discarded by the guest of consciousness.
5. The Importance of Having Proper Friends-I:
It is the practice of the Bodhisattwa to abandon non-virtuous friends who, when
associated with, cause the three poisons to increase, the actions of listening,
contemplating and meditating to diminish, and love and compassion to become
6. The Importance of Having Proper Friends-II:
It is the practice of the Bodhisattwa to hold excellent spiritual friends
as even more dear than their own bodies; when relying on them fault decrease
and good qualities increase like waxing of the moon.
7. Safe Refuge:
How can a worldly god imprisoned in the jail of Sansaar, be able to protect
anyone . . . . ? so, it is the practice of the Bodhisattwa to go to the
refuge of the Triple-gem, which will never deceive the person who does
8. Refraining from Destructive Behavior:
It is said by the Muni that the unbearable sufferings of the lower realms
are the result of negative Karm; therefore, it is the practice of the
Bodhisattwa never to create negative Karm, even at the cost of their
9. Working for Liberation:
The happiness of the three worlds like dew-drops at the tip of a blade
of grass has the nature of vanishing in a moment; therefore, it is the
practice of the Bodhisattwa to strive for the excellent state of changeless
10. Developing Bodhichitta Behavior:
What is the use of our own happiness when all mothers who have been kind
to us since beginning-less time are suffering . . . ? therefore, it is the
practice of the Bodhisattwa to generate Bodhichitta in order to liberate
all sentient beings.
11. Exchanging Self with Others:
As all sufferings are born out of desiring one's own happiness, and Buddha
are born out of the mind which benefits others; it is the practice of the
Bodhisattwa to engage in the actual exchange of their happiness for the
sufferings of others.
12. Bodhisattwa Behavior-I:
If someone, under the power of strong desire, robs or forces others to steal
all one's belongings; it is the practice of the Bodhisattwa to dedicate their
body, wealth and the virtues of the three times to them.
13. Bodhisattwa Behaviour-II:
Even if someone to cut-off one's head, without any fault within oneself,
it is the practice of the Bodhisattwa to take on all that person's negativity
with the power of compassion.
14. Bodhisattwa Behavior-III:
Even if someone were to shout different types of insults at oneself throughout
the three thousand worlds; it is the practice of the Bodhisattwas still to
speak of the person's good qualities with loving mind.
15. Bodhisattwa Behavior-IV:
Even if someone to uncover one's most intimate faults and say harsh words
in the centre of a crowd of many people; it is the practice of the Bodhisattwa
to bow humbly to that person, with the thought that he is a spiritual master.
16. Bodhisattwa Behavior-V:
Even if a person whom one has cared for lovingly like one's own son were
to regard one as an enemy; it is the practice of the Bodhisattwa to show
greater kindness , like a mother to her son who is stricken by an illness.
17. Bodhisattwa Behavior-VI:
Even if a person of same or lower status than oneself were to attempt to
insult one out of arrogance; it is the practice of the Bodhisattwa
respectfully to take that person, like a Guru, on top of their heads.
18. Critical Dharm Practice-I:
Even if one has a poor livelihood, is always insulted by people and is
afflicted by a very severe illness or evil spirits; it is still the
practice of the Bodhisattwa undauntedly to take on the negativity and
sufferings of all living living beings.
19. Critical Dharm Practice-II:
Even if one is famous, respected by many and with the wealth of Vishravan
(the guardian king); it is the practice of the Bodhisattwa, having seen
the essencelessness of the glory and wealth of worldly existence, to remain
20. Overcoming Hostility:
If outer enemies are destroyed while not restraining the enemy of one's
own hatred, the outer enemies will increase; therefore, it is the practice
of the Bodhisattwa to conquer their own minds with the powerful army of
love and compassion.
21. Overcoming Attachment:
Sensual pleasures, like salt water, increase desire no matter how much they
are enjoyed; so the practice of the Bodhisattwa is to immediately abandon
all objects that generate a desire towards them.
22. Developing deepest Bodhichitta (Realization of Voidness)-I:
Whatever appears is the manifestation of one's own mind, the nature of
mind itself is primordially free from fabrication; knowing this, it is
the practice of the Bodhisattwa not to conceive the signs of subject
23. Developing deepest Bodhichitta (Realization of Voidness)-II:
It is the practice of the Bodhisattwa to renounce clinging attachment when
meeting with pleasant objects; for although they appear beautiful, like a
rainbow in summer, they should not be seen as truly existent.
24. Developing deepest Bodhichitta (Realization of Voidness)-III:
The various sufferings are like a death of a son in a dream, there is
weariness due to holding illusive appearances as real; therefore, meeting
with unfavorable conditions, it is the practice of the Bodhisattwa to view
them as illusory.
25. The Far-reaching Attitude-I:
If it is necessary to give up even one's body when seeking enlightenment, what
need is there to mention giving up external objects . . . . ? therefore, it is
the practice of the Bodhisattwa to be generous without hoping for reward or
26. The Far-reaching Attitude-II:
If through lacking moral discipline, one can not achieve one's own
purpose, it is laughable to want to benefit others; therefore, it
is the practice of the Bodhisattwa, who have no craving for worldly
pleasure, to preserve moral discipline.
27. The Far-reaching Attitude-III:
To the Bodhisattwa, who desire the wealth of virtue, all agents of
harm is like a precious treasure; therefore, cultivating the practice
that is free from hatred and animosity towards all is the practice of
28. The Far-reaching Attitude-IV:
Even if Sarvakas and Pratekshabuddhas, working for self gain, are
seen to make efforts as if their heads on fire; it is the practice
of the Bodhisattwa to benefit all beings by expending joyous effort,
the source of all good qualities.
29. The Far-reaching Attitude-V:
Through having realized that calm abiding in combination with special
insight completely destroys afflictions, it is the practice of the
Bodhisattwa to train in the concentration which surpasses the four
30. The Far-reaching Attitude-VI:
It is the practice of the Bodhisattwa to train in the wisdom supported
by method that does not conceptualize the three spheres; without wisdom
one will be unable to achieve complete Buddha-hood by means of the five
31. Bodhisattwa Daily Practice-I:
With the external appearance of a practitioner, if one does not examine
one's own mistake, one may act in opposition to Dharm; therefore, it is
the practice of the Bodhisattwa always to examine one's own mistakes and
32. Bodhisattwa Daily Practice-II:
If, due to power of afflictions, one were to discuss the faults of other
Bodhisattwa, one would degenerate; therefore not speaking of the faults
of others who abide in Mahaayaan is the practice of the Bodhisattwa.
33. Bodhisattwa Daily Practice-III:
Material offerings and gifts cause arguments among people, and degenerate
the actions of listening, contemplating and meditating; so it is the
practice of the Bodhisattwa to abandon attachment to the households of
friends and patrons.
34. Bodhisattwa Daily Practice-IV:
Using harsh words disturbs the minds of others and cause the character
of Bodhisattwa to degenerate; therefore it is the practice of the
Bodhisattwa to abandon abuse directed at others which is unpleasant
35. Bodhisattwa Daily Practice-V:
Habitual afflictions are hard to reverse with an antidote; so it is
the practice of the Bodhisattwa to destroys afflictions, such as
attachments and others, as soon as they appear, by bearing the
additional sword of mindfulness and introspection.
36. Bodhisattwa Daily Practice-VI:
In brief, wherever one is and whatever one's behavior, one should always
possess mindfulness and introspection to examine the condition of one's
own mind; in that way, it is the practice of the Bodhisattwa to achieve
benefits for others.
37. Bodhisattwa Daily Practice-VII:
It is the practice of the Bodhisattwa to dedicate the virtue achieved by
enduring in this way to Enlightenment, in order to eliminate the sufferings
of limitless migratory beings, with the wisdom of the purity of the three spheres.