Bodhicaryāvatāra Chapter 10
By all the virtue I have now amassed
By composition of this book, which speaks
Of entry to the Bodhisattva way,
May every being tread the path to Buddhahood.
May beings everywhere who suffer
Torment in their minds and bodies
Have, by virtue of my merit,
Joy and happiness in boundless measure.
As long as they may linger in saṃsāra,
May their joy be undiminished;
May they taste of unsurpassed beatitude
In constant and unbroken continuity.
Throughout the spheres and reaches of the world,
In hellish states as many as there are,
May beings who abide there taste
The bliss and peace of Sukhāvatī.111
May those caught in the freezing ice be warmed,
And from great clouds of Bodhisattvas
Torrents rain in boundless streams
To cool those burning in infernal fires.
May forests where the leaves are blades and swords
Become sweet groves and pleasant woodland glades.
And may the trees of miracles appear,
Supplanting those upon the hill of Shālmali.112
And may the very pits of hell be sweet
With fragrant pools all perfumed with the scent of lotuses,
And lovely with the cries of swan and goose
And waterfowl so pleasing to the ear.
May fiery coals turn into heaps of jewels,
The burning ground become an even crystal floor,
May crushing hills become sublime abodes:
Offering temples, dwellings of the Buddhas.
May the hail of weapons, lava, fiery stones
Become henceforth a rain of flowers.
And all the mutual woundings with sharp blades
Be now a rain of flowers thrown in play.
And those engulfed in fiery Vaitaraṇī,
Their flesh destroyed, their bones bleached white as kunda flowers,
May they, through all my merits’ strength, have godlike forms
And sport with goddesses in Mandākinī’s peaceful streams.113
“What fear is it,” they’ll ask, “that grips the henchmen of the Deadly Lord,
the frightful vultures, and the carrion crows?
What noble strength is it that brings us joy and drives away our dreadful
And looking skyward they will see the shining form of Vajrapāṇi.
Then may their sins be quenched in joy and may they go to him.
And when they see the seething lava-flood of hell
Extinguished in a rain of blossoms, drenched in fragrant streams,
At once fulfilled in bliss, they’ll ask, “How can this be?”
May then the denizens of hell behold the One Who Holds the Lotus.114
“Friends, throw away your fears and quickly gather here.
For who is it who comes to us to banish dread, this gleaming youth with
This loving Bodhisattva saving and protecting every being,
Whose power relieves all pain, bestowing joy?
“Behold the hundred gods who lay their crowns before his lotus feet,
The rain of flowers that falls upon his head, his eyes moist with
The splendor of his house that echoes praises of a thousand goddesses!”
May those in hell thus cry on seeing Mañjughoṣha.
And likewise, through my roots of virtue,
Seeing Bodhisattvas like Samantabhadra, free from stain,
Those clouds of bliss all laden with a cooling scented rain,
May all those languishing in hell come now to perfect joy.
And may the stooping animals be freed
From fear of being preyed upon, each other’s food.
And may the famished spirits have such joy
As those who dwell within the northern continent.115
And may they be replete and satisfied
By streams of milk that pour
From noble Lord Avalokita’s hand,
And bathing in it, may they be refreshed and cooled.
And may the blind receive their sight,
And may the deaf begin to hear,
And women near their time bring forth,
Like Māyādevī,116 free from all travail.
And may the naked now be clothed,
And all the hungry eat their fill.
And may those parched with thirst receive
Pure waters and delicious drink.
May the poor and destitute find wealth,
The haggard and the careworn, joy.
May those now in despair be whole in mind,
Endowed with sterling constancy.
May every being ailing with disease
Be freed at once from every malady.
May every sickness that afflicts the living
Be wholly and forever absent from the world.
May those who go in dread have no more fear.
May captives be unchained and now set free.
And may the weak receive their strength.
May living beings help each other in kindness.
May travelers upon the road
Find happiness no matter where they go,
And may they gain, without the need of toil,
The goals on which they set their hearts.
May those who put to sea in boat or ship,
Attain the ports that they desire,
And may they safely come to shore
And sweet reunion with their kith and kin.
May those who lose their way and wander
In the wild find fellow travelers.
And safe from threat of thieves and savage beasts,
May they be tireless and their journey light.
May children and the aged, and all those without protection
Wandering in the fearful, pathless wastes,
Who fall asleep unconscious of their peril,
Have pure celestial beings as their guardians.
May all be freed from states of bondage,
May they be possessed of wisdom, faith, and love.
With perfect sustenance and conduct,
May they always have remembrance of their former lives.
May everyone have unrestricted wealth
Just like the treasury of space,
Enjoying it according to their wish,
Without a trace of harm or enmity.
May beings destitute of splendor,
Be magnificent and bright.
And those who suffer from deformity
Acquire great beauty and perfection.
May all the women of the world
Attain the strength of masculinity.117
And may the lowly come to excellence,
The proud and haughty lose their arrogance.
And thus by all the merit I have gained,
May every being, leaving none aside,
Abandon all their evil ways
Embracing goodness now and ever more.
From bodhichitta may they never separate,
And constantly engage in Bodhisattva actions.
May they be accepted as disciples by the Buddhas,
Drawing back from what is demons’ work.
And may these beings, each and every one,
Enjoy an unsurpassed longevity.
Living always in contentment,
May the very name of death be strange to them.
In all the ten directions and on every side
May groves of wish-fulfilling trees abound,
Resounding with the sweetness of the Teachings,
Spoken by the Buddhas and their Bodhisattva heirs.
And may the earth be wholesome everywhere,
Free from boulders, cliffs, and chasms,
Flat and even like a level palm,
And smooth like lapis lazuli.
For many circles of disciples,
May multitudes of Bodhisattvas
Live in every land,
Adorning them with every excellence.
From birdsong and the sighing of the trees,
From shafts of light and from the sky itself,
May living beings, each and every one,
Perceive the constant sound of Dharma.
And always may they come into the presence of the Buddhas,
And meet with Bodhisattvas, offspring of the same.
With clouds of offerings unbounded,
May the teachers of the world be worshipped.
May kindly spirits bring the rains on time,
For harvests to be rich and plentiful.
May princes rule according to the Dharma;
May the world be blessed with all prosperity.
May medicines be full of strength;
May secret words of power be chanted with success.
May spirits of the air that feed on flesh
Be kind, their minds imbued with pity.
May beings never suffer anguish.
Let them not be sick nor evilly behave.
May they have no fear, nor suffer insults.
Always may their minds be free from sorrow.
In monasteries, temples, and the like,
May reading and reciting widely flourish.
May harmony prevail among the Saṅgha;
May its purposes be all fulfilled.
May ordained monks, intent upon the practice,
Find perfect places for retreat in solitude,
Abandon every vagrant thought,
And meditate with trained and serviceable minds.
May nuns have all their wants supplied;
May quarreling and spite be strange to them.
Let all who have embraced monastic life
Uphold a pure and unimpaired observance.
May those who break their discipline repent,
And always may they strive to cleanse away their faults.
And thus may they acquire a fortunate rebirth,
Wherein to practice stainless discipline.
May wise and learned beings be revered,
And always be sustained by alms.
May they be pure in mind,
And may their fame spread far and wide.
May beings never languish in the lower realms,
May pain and hardship be unknown to them.
With bodies greater than the gods,
May they attain enlightenment without delay.
May beings time and time again
Make offerings to all the Buddhas.
And with the Buddha’s unimagined bliss
May they enjoy undimmed and constant happiness.
May all the Bodhisattvas now fulfill
Their high intention for the sake of wanderers.
May sentient beings now obtain
All that their Guardians wish for them.
And may the Hearers and Pratyekabuddhas118
Gain their perfect happiness.
And till, through Mañjughoṣha’s perfect kindness,
I attain the ground of Perfect Joy,119
May I remember all my lives
And enter into the monastic state.
Thus may I abide, sustained
By simple, ordinary fare.
And in every life obtain
A dwelling place in perfect solitude.
Whenever I desire to gaze on him
Or put to him the slightest question,
May I behold with unobstructed sight
My own protector Mañjughoṣha.
To satisfy the needs of beings
Dwelling in the ten directions, to the margins of the sky,
May I reflect in all my deeds
The perfect exploits of Mañjushrī.
And now as long as space endures,
As long as there are beings to be found,
May I continue likewise to remain
To drive away the sorrows of the world.
The pains and sorrows of all wandering beings—
May they ripen wholly on myself.
And may the virtuous company of Bodhisattvas
Always bring about the happiness of beings.
May the Doctrine, only cure for sorrow,
Source of every bliss and happiness,
Be blessed with wealth, upheld with veneration,
And throughout a vast continuance of time, endure!
And now to Mañjughoṣha I prostrate,
Whose kindness is the wellspring of my good intent.
And to my virtuous friends I also bow
Whose inspiration gave me strength to grow.
This completes the Bodhisattvacharyavatara, The Way of the Bodhisattva,
which was composed by the master Shāntideva.
The text was translated, edited, and finalized in Tibetan on the basis of a
manuscript from Kashmir by the Indian scholar Sarvajñādeva and the
monk, translator, and editor Kawa Peltsek. At a later time, this version was revised and finalized in accordance with the version from Magadha,
together with its commentary, by the Indian scholar Dharmashrībhadra and the Tibetan monks, translators and editors, Rinchen Zangpo and Shākya Lodrö. Still later, it was again revised and finalized by the Indian scholar Sumatikīrti and the monk, translator, and editor Ngok Loden Sherab.120
- 111. Sukhāvatī, the pure land of Buddha Amitābha.
112. See note 56.
113. Vaitaraṇī: name of a river in hell. Mandākinī: name of a river in
114. The One Who Holds the Lotus (Skt. padmapāṇi, Tib. phyag na pad
ma): a title of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.
115. The northern continent (Skt. uttarakuru, Tib. sgra mi snyan): the
continent to the north of Mount Sumeru, according to traditional
Buddhist cosmology. (Our world, Jambudvīpa, is the southern
continent.) The northern continent is said to be a place of great harmony and prosperity.
116. Māyādevī: the mother of Buddha Shākyamuni.
117. Shāntideva simply says, “May all women in the world become men.” It is obvious that he does not mean this literally since this would involve the extinction of the human race. We have translated freely, following the commentary of Kunzang Pelden: “May all the women in the world —who are lacking in physical strength, who have to suffer the pain of bearing children, and who are tormented with the thirty-two special kinds of sickness that afflict women—acquire the same advantages as those who have a male body.”
118. A Pratyekabuddha or “solitary realizer” is a practitioner of the
Hinayana level who attains the cessation of suffering without relying on a teacher.
119. Perfect Joy (Skt. pramuditā-bhūmi, Tib. sa rab tu dga’ ba): name of
the first of the ten Bodhisattva bhūmis or grounds of realization. See
120. Shakya Lodrö was a disciple, along with Rinchen Zangpo, of Atīsha Dīpaṃkara, who re-established Buddhism in Tibet following the period of persecution in the reign of King Langdarma. See the Blue Annals, p. 262. Nothing is known with certainty about the Indian panditas with whom the translators worked. It is possible that the Sumatikīrti who assisted Ngok Loden Sherab (1059–1109) was the same pandita who helped Marpa (1012–1099) in his translation of texts from the Saṃvara cycle. See Blue Annals, p. 384.