“The goal for bodhisattvas is to make a person enlightened which means the same thing as the understanding of emptiness.”Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Way of the Bodhisattva (Brazil), Vol. IV, CD12, track 9
|From Siddhartha’s Intent Teaching Program notes:
Foes are as unlimited as space,
They cannot possibly all be overcome;
Yet if you just overcome the thought of hatred
That will be equal to overcoming all foes.- Shantideva
The Way of the Bodhisattva (in Sanskrit, Bodhicaryavatara) is universally regarded as a quintessential instruction on the practice of the Mahayana path. Its poetic beauty and provocative thought makes for a most expansive presentation of the very heart of Buddhism: the possibility of removing fundamental confusion and uncovering the basic brilliance common to all life.
The extraordinary dimension of this work is reflected in its origin: in the early 8th century the author, Shantideva, was studying at the prestigious Buddhist university of Nalanda. Giving everyone the impression he was a thoroughly unmotivated and lazy student, he was challenged to give a public lecture, to justify his expulsion after presumably proving his lack of learning. To the surprise of all he confidently delivered this original and supremely profound teaching, ‘The Way of the Bodhisattva’, which immediately all recognized as sublime. As Shantideva proceeded to the final sections of the teaching, he is said to gradually have risen into the air, until finally only his voice was heard.
As Buddhism was brought to Tibet, the lineage of practice and realization of ‘The Way of the Bodhisattva’ was continued, and is with us until the present day. H.H. the Dalai Lama frequently quotes this text in his teachings.
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