Bodhisattva Aspiration

Requesting and offering prayers and aspirations for those in need.

Bodhisattva Aspiration

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:51 am

May I assist all sentient beings to attain Buddhahood, and may I be the last one to attain Buddhahood when all sentient beings have attained Buddhahood, as did Avalokiteshvara.

It is not possible to succeed on the Mahayana path without keeping in mind the 64 bodhisattva vows. They are found in Highway for Bodhisattvas (Tib.: Jangchub Shunglam) by Je Tsongkapa (1357-1419) which contains Asanga's root text along with a commentary.

In it are the definition and types of bodhichitta, the types of morality, the types of vows and how bodhisattva vows are taken, an explanation of the eighteen root bodhisattva vows and the forty-six secondary ones; the four factors that cause one to break bodhisattva root vows, how the vows are broken, how they may be lost; how to keep them, how to restore them, and all the benefits of keeping the bodhisattva vows.

May I be a guard for all those who are protector-less,
A guide for those who journey on the road,
For those who wish to go across the water,
May I be a boat, a raft, a bridge.

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.

~ Shantideva
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Re: Bodhisattva Aspiration

Postby thornbush » Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:17 am

From a partial quote of Chinese Mahayana Buddhist Liturgical Repentance Bowing:

Living beings are boundless, Yet I vow to deliver Them all.
Defilements are inexhaustible, Yet I vow to eradicate Them all.
Dharma Doors are innumerable, Yet I vow to cultivate Them all.
The Buddha Path is unsurpassed, Yet I vow to accomplish It.

I Vow to deliver sentient beings of my own Nature,
I Vow to sever afflictions of my own Nature,
I Vow to master Dharma Doors of my own Nature,
I Vow to realize the Buddha Path of my own Nature.

Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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Re: Bodhisattva Aspiration

Postby Drolma » Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:42 pm

SHANTIDEVAS' BODHISATTVA VOWS

(Bodhicaryavatara chapter 3)

Image
In the spiritual energy that relieves

The anguish of beings in misery and

Places depressed beings in eternal joy

I lift up my heart and rejoice.



In the goodness producing illumination

I lift up my heart and rejoice.



I rejoice in the beings who have gained

Eternal liberation from suffering.

And I rejoice in those attained to Buddhahood

As well as in their offspring, the noble Bodhisattvas.



In the ocean-like virtue of the Bodhimind

That brings joy to all beings

And in accomplishing the well-being of others,

I lift up my heart and rejoice.



To the Buddhas of the ten directions

I join my hands in respect

Let blaze the light of Dharmas truth

For the beings lost in darkness



To the Buddhas considering parinirvarna

I join my hands in prayer

Do not abandon the beings in sorrow

But remain and teach for countless ages.



May any spiritual energy thus generated

By my devotion to the enlightened ones

Be dedicated to dispelling the misery

Of living beings without exception.



As long as diseases afflict living beings

May I be the doctor, the medicine

And also the nurse

Who restores them to health.



May I fall as rain to increase

The harvests that must feed living beings

And in ages of dire famine

May I myself serve as food and drink.



May I be an unending treasury

For those desperate and forlorn.

May I manifest as what they require

And wish to have near them.



My body, every possession

And all goodness, past, present and future

Without remorse I dedicate

To the well-being of the world



Suffering is transcended by total surrender

And the mind attains to nirvana.

As one day all must be given up,

Why not dedicate it now to universal happiness?



My bodily powers I dedicate

To the well-being of all that lives.

Should anyone wish to kill, abuse or beat me,

The responsibility is purely their own.



Should anyone wish to ridicule me

And make me an object of jest and scorn

Why should I possibly care

If I have dedicated myself to others?



Let them do as they wish with me

So long as it does not harm them.

May no one who encounters me

Ever have an insignificant contact.



Regardless whether those whom I meet

Respond towards me with anger or faith,

May the mere fact of our meeting

Contribute to the fulfilment of their wishes.



May the slander, harm

And all forms of abuse

That anyone should direct towards me

Act as a cause of their enlightenment.



May I be a protector to the helpless,

A guide to those travelling the path,

A boat to those wishing to cross over;

Or a bridge or a raft.



May I be land for those requiring it,

A lamp for those in darkness,

May I be a home for the homeless,

And a servant for the world.



In order to fulfil the needs of beings

May I be as a magic gem,

An inexhaustible vase, a mystic spell,

A cure-all medicine, and a wish granting tree.



May I act as the mighty earth

Or like the free and open skies

To support and provide the space

Whereby I and all others may grow.



Until every being afflicted by pain

Has reached nirvanas shores,

May I serve only as a condition

That encourages progress and joy.



Just as all previous Buddhas

First gave rise to the precious Bodhimind

And just as then carefully followed

The stages of the Bodhisattva disciplines.



Likewise for the sake of sentient beings

Do I now myself generate the Bodhimind,

And likewise will I train myself

In the disciplines of a Bodhisattva.



They who out of wisdom

Have seized the supreme Bodhimind

Praise, glorify and rejoice in it,

That it may grow to fulfilment.



From today I will reap the fruit of life;

Having well won the state of man,

Today I am born in the Buddha-family

And am now a child of the Buddhas.



Thus in future I should make every effort

To live in accord with the Bodhisattva Ways,

And never should I act as would bring shame

To this noble faultless family.



Like a blind man fumbling in garbage

Happens to find a rare and precious gem,

Likewise I have discovered

The jewel of the precious Bodhimind.



Thus was found this supreme ambrosia to dispel

The Lord of death, destroyer of life;

An inexhaustible treasure able to cure

The poverty of all sentient beings.



It is the highest of medicines

To quell the ills of the living,

And it is a tree giving shade

To those wandering on the paths of life.



It is a strong and mighty bridge

By which beings can cross from misery,

And it is a moon to shine in the mind

To clear away the pains of delusion.



The Bodhimind is a great radiant sun

To disperse the darkness of unknowing,

And it is the very essence of butters

Gained from churning the milks of Dharma.



For all guests on the roads of life

Who would take the very substance of joy,

Here is the actual seat of true happiness,

A veritable feast to satiate the world.



Thus today in the presence of all awakened Ones

I invite every living being to this festival

Giving both immediate and lasting joy.

May the gods and all others rejoice.
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Re: Bodhisattva Aspiration

Postby thornbush » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:12 pm

Some excerpts from Chapter 40, The Avatamsaka Sutra: "ON ENTERING THE INCONCEIVABLE STATE OF LIBERATION THROUGH THE PRACTICES AND VOWS OF THE BODHISATTVA SAMANTABHADRA"
http://www.geocities.com/cobinri/samantabhadra.html
To dedicate all of one's merits to (benefit) all beings
"O Noble-minded Man, what signifies "Dedicating all one's merits (to benefit all sentient beings)"?
This means that all one's merits acquired from the first vow of paying the highest homage and respect to all Buddhas, up to and including the vow to dedicating all one's merit to all beings.
All these shall be transferred to all beings throughout the Dharma-worlds and immeasurable spaces of the universe, wishing them to be constantly peaceful and happy without sickness or suffering.
I will see all beings' evil projects fail, and all their virtuous intentions will be quickly achieved.
I will close the door against evil destinies, and open the right paths of Nirvana to men and devas.
If the beings are suffering the most terrible tortures in expiation of their accumulated evil doings, I will substitute myself and take upon myself the sufferings that their evil deeds have brought upon them, so shall they be released (from their evil deeds), and finally attain the supreme Bodhi.
Thus do all the Bodhisattvas devote themselves to the cultivation of virtue and merit, and dedicate all the rewards over to the benefit of all beings (in this way).
My loving embrace of all beings is eternal.
Even though the void of space has ended, (or) the worlds of beings, (or) the karmas of beings, (or) the sorrows of beings all have ended, yet my compassion for all beings, by turning over my rewards of merit to them is endless.
Thought succeeds thought without interruption, and in bodily, vocal, and mental deeds, without weariness.

Namo Amitabha Buddha!
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Re: Nagarjuna's Aspiration

Postby Will » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:47 pm

From his Strand of Jewels (Ratnavali) - Bhikshu Dharmamitra translator:

077 / (65)
For the sake of generating these causes as well as their effects,
In the direct presence of a caitya dedicated to the Buddhas,
Three times each day and three times each night,
I pray that one will recite these following twenty verses:
078 / (66)
Before the Buddhas, the Dharma, and the Sangha,
And also before all Bodhisattvas,
I bow down in reverence and take refuge in them,
Expressing reverence as well to all others worthy of veneration.
079 / (67)
I hereby abandon every form of evil
And gather in and assimilate every form of goodness.
All of the goodness practiced by beings—
I rejoice in it all, while according with it in my own actions.
080 / (68)
I bow down my head in reverence to the Buddhas,
And, palms together, urge and beseech them to abide among us.
I pray that they shall set in motion the wheel of Dharma,
Even to the very end of all births and deaths throughout the future.
081 / (69)
Whatsoever merit accrues to me from these practices,
Including that already created as well as that not yet created—
Through the power of this, I pray that beings
Shall all generate the mind resolved on realizing bodhi.
082 / (70)
May they overstep the difficulties arising from any obstructions,
Entirely perfect the undefiled faculties,
And accord completely with pure livelihood.
I pray they shall enjoy sovereign independence in their endeavors.
083 / (71)
May they be able to obtain all things without limit,
Just as if they held in their hands a wish-fulfilling jewel.
May this continue endlessly, even to the exhaustion of future time.
I pray that beings will enjoy just such circumstances as these.
084 / (72)
I pray that all women
Will be able to achieve rebirth as the most supreme men
And will constantly forever after
Be able to gain perfect fulfillment in the clarities and bases.
085 / (73)
May beings gain superior stature, countenance, stateliness,
And fine physical features others find pleasing to behold.
Free of sickness, strong, able to carry out endeavors,
And enjoying long lives—I pray their circumstances may be just so.
086 / (74)
May they become liberated from all forms of suffering and fear,
At all points along the way take the Refuges in the Three Jewels,
And find the expedients and fine skillful means
Within the Buddha’s Dharma to be for them great wealth.
087 / (75)
Kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and pure equanimity—
May they constantly abide in these four abodes of Brahmā.
Through cultivating giving, moral virtue, patience, vigor,
Meditation, and wisdom, may they thereby be gracefully adorned.
088 / (76)
Becoming perfectly complete in cultivation of merit and wisdom,
Producing the illumination radiating from major and minor marks,
I pray that, through inconceivable and immeasurable conduct,
They will course unhindered through the ten grounds.
089 / (77)
Whatever else might correspond to these meritorious qualities,
May there also be adornment with those other such qualities
As well as liberation from all karmic transgressions.
I pray I shall embody cherishing concern for the welfare of beings.
090 / (78)
May I completely perfect all forms of goodness
And whatever might conduce to the happiness to beings,
Becoming able to eliminate their manifold sufferings.
I pray I shall always act in this way.
091 / (79)
Should they become afflicted with fear
At any time or place,
Through merely calling to mind my name,
May they straightaway gain liberation from all sufferings.
092 / (80)
Whether extending respectful trust to me or even hating me,
If they but behold me or merely bear me in mind,
Even to the point that they only hear my name,
May they thus be bound for certain success [on the path to] bodhi.
093 / (81)
I pray that I will be able to gain the five superknowledges
And that they will constantly follow me in every succeeding life.
I pray that I will always be able to cause the development
Of goodness in beings while bringing them happiness as well.
094 / (82)
Should they be about to engage in evil deeds
Within any of the worlds,
I pray I will be everywhere able to halt their evil endeavors
And then influence them in a principled way to cultivate goodness.
095 / (83)
Just as they utilize the earth, water, fire, and wind,
The wild herbs, and the forest trees,
So too, in whatever way they wish to put me to use,
I pray I will naturally be able to endure and accept it.
096 / (84ab)
I pray I will be cherished by them
To the same degree that they feel concern for their own lives.
I pray I will maintain a mindful concern for the welfare of beings
Ten thousand times greater than my cherishing of self.
097 / (84cd)
I pray that whatever evil they have done
Will have its fruit of retribution ripen in me
And that this goodness which I practice
Will have its fruit of retribution ripen in them.
098 / (85)
Should there remain even one person who hasn’t gained liberation
And who, abiding in existence, courses on in the paths of rebirth,
I pray I shall continue to abide therein for their benefit,
Refraining from opting for bodhi before they have reached it.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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King of Prayers

Postby Will » Fri May 28, 2010 4:28 am

Near the end of the Avatamsaka Sutra is a famous bodhisattva aspiration or prayer; here is one translation of it:

http://community.palouse.net/lotus/kingprayer.htm
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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