The Bodhicharyavatara by SHANTIDEVA

The Way of the Bodhisattva ~ Shantideva
(Revised Edition Padmakara Translation Group)


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 in the grounds of realization of the Buddhas’ heirs.

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 merit 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 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 everything 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 all sorrow.

(to be continued…)