Bodhisattva Behaviour | Śāntideva | 10


Engaging in Bodhisattva Behaviour

by Śāntideva c. 8th century

Part 10


(1) Through my constructive act of having (reflected upon and) composed Engaging in Bodhisattva Behaviour, may all wandering beings become (adornments for the world,) engaged in the behaviour of Bodhisattvas.

(2) As many beings as there are in all directions, diseased with sufferings of body and mind, may they all obtain oceans of happiness and joy through the forces of my positive acts.

(3) To the end of (their) recurring Saṁsāra, may their happiness never become (old and) decrepit; (instead), may those who wander obtain, without interruption, the (Bodhisattvas') unsurpassed bliss.

(4) Whatever joyless realm beings, as many as there are, throughout the realms of the world, may those beings with limited bodies all enjoy the (joy and) bliss of a Pure Land of Bliss.

(5) May those tortured by cold find warmth; and those tortured by heat be cooled by the boundless (oceans of) water pouring down from the billowing clouds of Bodhisattvas.

(6) May the sword-leaved forest become for them a beautiful pleasure-grove; and may the diabolical trees of thorns transform into wish-granting trees.

(7) May the joyless realm regions become delights with lakes fragrant from (lake-born) lotuses thickly (rising up), and made enchanting with the bewitching cries of cranes, wild ducks, geese, swans, and the like.

(8) May those mounds of glowing charcoals become mounds of gems, and the flaming ground a polished (mosaic) floor of crystal; and may the mountains of the crushing joyless realms become celestial temples for offerings, filled with (Buddhas) Gone to Bliss.

(9) May the missiles of glowing charcoals and burning rocks, from this day on, become a rain of flowers; and may bombarding (battle) with those missiles, one against the other, from this day on, become tossing (battle) with flowers, for frolic sake.

(10) May those sunk in the Uncrossable Infernal River, (with waters) like fire, all their flesh fallen off, skeletons jasmine in colour, gain the bodies of celestials, by the force of my constructive deeds, and bask in the Gently Flowing Heavenly River, in the company of celestial maidens.

(11) Wondering, "Why are the terrifying henchmen of the Lord of Death, crows, and vultures here (suddenly) scared, and whose is this soothing (moonlike) force that's eclipsing the darkness everywhere and giving rise to (our) happiness and joy?"

Gazing upward and having beheld a shining Vajrapāṇi, poised in the expanse of the sky, from the strength of delight, their dark karmic forces dispelled, may they (depart) in his company, together with him.

(12) Seeing the joyless realm fires fizzle and fade out from a falling rain of water lilies, mixed with scented water, and wondering, "What can this be?" suddenly relieved with joy, may these joyless realm beings behold Kamalapāṇi, (water Lily in His Hand).

(13) "Friends, shed your fears and come! (Come) here quickly!
(We're brought back to life!) Who's come before us?

It's the radiant Youth with (5) Knots of Hair (Mañjuśrī), the bestower of fearlessness, by whose power all suffering's removed, rushing (streams) of joy flow forth, and Bodhichitta is born, as is loving affection, (the mother) nurturing those who wander, everywhere.

(14) "(All of) you, behold him whose lotus feet are touched in honour by the crowned (foreheads) of hundreds of celestial beings, whose gaze is moist with compassion, and on whose head rains a shower of assorted flowers, (tossed) from rooftop chambers, delightful with the singing of thousands of celestial maidens resounding his praise."

Seeing Mañjughoṣa (before them) like that, may the joyless realm beings instantly raise a cheer.

(15) Thus, beholding, through my constructive acts as the roots, unobscured clouds of Bodhisattvas – Samantabhadra and the rest – showering cool fragrant rains of joy, may those joyless realm beings rejoice.

(May the intense pains and fears of the joyless realm beings be stilled; and may everyone living in the worse rebirth states be freed from the worse rebirth states.)

(16) May animals be parted from the fear of being devoured by each other; and may the clutching ghosts become as happy as the people of the Northern Island-World.

(17) May the clutching ghosts be satiated, bathed, and cooled forever by streams of milk, pouring from the hand of Ārya Avalokiteśvara.

(18) May the blind see sights, and forever may the deaf hear sounds; and may the pregnant give birth without any pain, as did (Śākyamuni’s mother,) Māyā-devi.

(19) May the naked find clothing, the hungry food, and the thirsty water and delicious things to drink.

(20) May the poor find wealth, those stricken with grief find joy; and may the discouraged become uplifted and perfectly steadfast.

(21) May as many limited beings as are sick be swiftly set free from sickness; and may the sicknesses of wandering beings, without exception, never recur.

(22) May those with fear become fearless, those in bondage be released, those lacking strength become strong, and their hearts become friendly toward each other.

(23) May every direction be auspicious for all travellers; and whatever aims they're going for be accomplished without any need for effort.

(24) May those who set out on boats and ships succeed in fulfilling their hearts' desires, and safely returning to the water's shore, rejoice with their families.

(25) May those who've strayed onto desolate detours meet fellow travellers and, without fear of thieves, bandits, tigers, and the like, journey at ease, without fatigue.

(26) May those fallen asleep, become drunk, or deranged, in danger in trackless tracts, such as jungles and the like, as well as the young and the elderly without any guardian, be protected by the gods.

(27) May they be free from all states that lack respite, be endowed with belief in the facts, discriminating awareness, and affectionate care, have a splendid sustenance, (appearance,) and demeanour, and always be mindful of previous lives.

(28) May everyone have inexhaustible wealth as with a Treasury of Space, and without dispute and without any violence, use (it) according to their personal wills.

(29) May those limited beings who have little splendour come to have magnificent splendour; and may those in difficult straits, with disfigured bodies, come to have splendid beautiful bodies.

(30) As many women as there are in the world, may they attain the status of men; and may the lowly attain high position, and the arrogant become humble.

(31) By this positive force of mine, may all limited beings, without an exception, rid themselves of all negative acts and always engage in what is constructive.

(32) May they never be parted from a Bodhichitta aim; may they be absorbed in Bodhisattva behaviour; may they be taken care of by the Buddhas, and be rid of Mara's demonic acts.

(33) May all limited beings have immeasurably long lives; may they always live happily, without the word "death" being even known.

(34) May all directions abound with pleasure groves of wish-granting trees, replete with Buddhas and Buddhas' spiritual offspring, proclaiming the melodious Dharma.

(35) May the ground everywhere lie as smooth as the palm of the hand, free of pebbles and the like, gentle, and be made of beryl.

(36) As the circles of disciples, may hosts of Bodhisattvas be seated all around, gracing the surface of the earth with their personal splendour!

(37) May all embodied beings unceasingly hear the melodious Dharma from birds, from trees, from all beams of light, and even from the sky.

(38) May they always encounter the Buddhas and the Buddhas' spiritual offspring, and make offerings to the Spiritual Teacher of the World, with clouds of offerings without any end.

(39) May the gods cause timely rains to fall and may there be bountiful harvests; may kings rule in accord with the Dharma and the people of the world thrive well.

(40) May medicines be potent, and the chanting of hidden mantras be successful; may Ḍākinī-witches, cannibal demons, and the likes be endowed with compassionate minds.

(41) May no limited being ever have pain, nor act with negative force, nor be sick, nor be frightened, nor be derided, nor ever be depressed.

(42) May the monasteries be well-established, spread with reading and recitation; may the monastic community be always in harmony, and the monastic purpose be fulfilled.

(43) May monks who wish to train (their minds) find isolated places, and being rid of all distractions, absorb themselves in meditation, their minds fit for the task.

(44) May nuns have material support, and be rid of conflict and harm; and likewise may all renunciates have unbroken ethical discipline.

(45) May those with poor ethical discipline, being disgusted, (devote themselves) always to cleansing themselves of their negative karmic force; and once they've reached the better rebirth states, may their (vows of) tamed behaviour remain unbroken.

(46) May the learned be shown respect, and receive alms (and material support); may their mental continuums be completely pure, and (their fame) renowned in all directions.

(47) Without experiencing the sufferings of the worse rebirth states, and without conduct that's difficult to carry out, may (wandering beings) swiftly attain Buddhahood, with bodies superior to those of the gods.

(48) May all limited beings honour all the Buddhas, numerous times (and in numerous ways), and may they always be happy (to the highest degree) with the inconceivable bliss of the Buddhas.

(49) May the Bodhisattvas' heart-wishes (to be able) to benefit the world be fulfilled, and may whatever those guardians have intended indeed come to pass, for limited beings.

(50) May the self-realized Pratyekabuddhas be happy, and likewise the Śrāvaka listeners, (always being honoured with respect by gods, anti-gods, and by men.)

(51) And may I too, through the kindness of Mañjughoṣa, always gain mindfulness of previous lives and ordination as a renunciate, till attaining the (realized Bodhisattva first) stage of mind, the Joyous One.

(52) May I live (filled with strength) on a simple diet (of food), even (just) grain; and may I obtain isolated places to live in, filled with perfection, in all of my lives.

(53) Whenever I might wish to see or might wish to ask about any little thing, may I behold the Guardian, Mañjunātha himself, without any impediment.

(54) Just as Mañjuśrī works to fulfil the aims of all limited beings to the far reaches of space in the ten directions, may my behaviour become just like that.

(55) For as long as space remains, and for as long as wandering beings remain, may I too remain for that long, dispelling the sufferings of wandering beings.

(56) Whatever sufferings wandering beings might have, may all of them ripen on me, and through the Bodhisattva assembly, may wandering beings enjoy happiness.

(57) May the teachings, the sole medicine for the sufferings of wandering beings and the source of all happiness, continue to endure for a very long time, with material support and shows of respect.

(58) I prostrate to Mañjughoṣa, through whose kindness my thought has become constructive; I prostrate as well to my Spiritual Teacher and Friend, through whose kindness, I've been able to have it expand.

This concludes Engaging in Bodhisattva Behaviour, composed by the great teacher Śāntideva (first half of the 8th century C. E.).