CHAPTER 3 * Taking Hold of Bodhichitta.



With joy I celebrate the virtue that relieves all beings from the sorrows of the states of loss, exulting in the happy states enjoyed by those who yet are suffering.


I revel in the stores of virtue, cause of gaining the enlightened state, and celebrate the freedom won by living beings from the round of pain.


And in the Buddhahood of the protectors I delight and I the grounds of realization of the Buddhas’ heirs.


In their enlightened attitude, an ocean of great good, that seeks to place all beings in the state of bliss, and every action for the benefit of beings: such is my delight and joy.


And so I join my hands and pray the Buddhas who reside in every quarter: kindle now the Dharma’s light for those who grope, bewildered, in the dark of pain!




I join my hands beseeching the enlightened ones who wish to pass into nirvana: do not leave us wandering in blindness, stay among us for unnumbered ages!


Through these actions now performed and all the virtues I have gained, may all the pain of every living being be wholly scattered and destroyed!


For all those ailing in the world, until their every sickness has been healed, may I myself become for them the doctor, nurse, the medicine itself.


Raining down a flood of food and drink, may I dispel the ills of thirst and famine. And in the aeons marked by scarcity and want, may I myself appear as drink and sustenance.


For sentient beings, poor and destitute, may I become a treasure ever-plentiful, and lie before them closely in their reach, a varied source of all that they might need.


My body, thus, and all my goods besides, and all my merits gained and to be gained, I give them all and do not count the cost, to bring about the benefit of beings.


Nirvana is attained by giving all, nirvana is the object of my striving; and all must be surrendered in a single instant, therefore it is best to give it all to others.





This body I have now resigned to serve the pleasure of all living beings. Let them ever kill, despise, and beat it, using it according to their wish.


And though they treat it like a toy, or make of it the butt of every mockery, my body has been given up to them. Why should I make so much of it?


And so let beings do to me whatever does not bring them injury. Whenever they may think of me, let this not fail to bring them benefit.


And if in my regard they have a thought of anger or respect, may these states always be the cause whereby their good and wishes are fulfilled.


All those who slight me to my face or do to me some other evil, even if they blame or slander me, may they attain the fortune of enlightenment!


May I be a guard for those who are protectorless, a guide for those who journey on the road. For those who wish to cross the water, may I be a boat, a raft, a bridge.


May I be an isle for those who yearn for land, a lamp for those who long for light; for all who need a resting place, a bed; for those who need a servant, may I be their slave.





May I be the wishing jewel, the vase of wealth, a word of power and the supreme healing, may I be the tree of miracles, for every being the abundant cow.


Just like the earth and space itself and all the other mighty elements, for boundless multitudes of beings may I always be the ground of life, the source of varied sustenance.


Thus for everything that lives, as far as are the limits of the sky, may I be constantly their source of livelihood until they pass beyond al sorrow.


Just as all the Buddhas of the past have brought forth the awakened mind, and in the precepts of the Bodhisattvas step-by-step abode and trained.


Likewise, for the benefit of beings, I will bring to birth the awakened mind, and in those precepts, step-by-step I will abide and train myself.


Those who thus with clear intelligence take hold of the awakened mind with bright and lucid joy, that they may now increase what they have gained, should lift their hearts with praises such as these:


“Today my life has given fruit. This human state has now been well assumed. Today I take my birth in Buddha’s line, and have become the Buddha’s child and heir.





“In every way, then, I will undertake activities befitting such a rank. And I will do no act to mar or compromise this high and faultless lineage.


“For I am like a blind man who has found a precious gem inside a heap of dust. For so it is, by some strange chance, that bodhichitta has been born in me.


“This is the supreme draft of immortality that slays the Lord of Death, the slaughterer of beings, the rich unfailing treasure-mine to heal the poverty of wanderers.


“It is the sovereign remedy that perfectly allays all maladies. It is the tree that gives relief to those who wander wearily the pathways of existence.


“It is the universal bridge that saves all wandering beings from the states of loss, the rising moon of the enlightened mind that soothes the sorrows born of the afflictions.


“It is the mighty sun that utterly dispels the misty ignorance of wandering beings, the creamy butter, rich and full, that’s churned from milk of holy teaching.


Living beings! Wayfarers upon life’s paths who wish to taste the riches of contentment, here before you is the supreme bliss. Here, O ceaseless travelers, is your fulfillment!




“And so, today, within the sight of all protectors, I summon beings, calling them to Buddhahood. And, till that state is reached, to every earthly joy! May gods and demigods and all the rest rejoice!”