On Generating the Resolve to Become a Buddha
By Ārya Nāgārjuna
The Seven Bases for Generating the Bodhi Resolve
Question: The initial generation of the resolve [to realize buddhahood]
is the root of all vows. What then is meant by this “initial
generation of resolve”?
The initial resolve to realize bodhi
May involve three or four types of causes and conditions.
When beings initially generate the resolve to realize bodhi, it may
find its origin in a set of three causal bases or else in a set of four
causal bases. Thus, when one combines them, one has a total of
seven causes and conditions associated with generating the resolve
to gain anuttara-samyak-saṃbodhi.
Question: What then are those seven?
In the case of the first, the Tathāgatas
May influence one to generate the resolve to realize bodhi.
Second, observing that the Dharma is on the verge of destruction,
One generates the resolve in order to guard and protect it.
In the case of the third, when in the midst of beings,
One feels compassion for them and therefore initiates the resolve.
As for the fourth, one may have a bodhisattva
Instruct one in generation of the resolve to realize bodhi.
Fifth, one may observe the conduct of a bodhisattva
And, in emulating him, one may generate the resolve.
Or alternatively, in the aftermath of an act of giving,
One may generate the resolve to realize bodhi based on that.
Or else, on seeing the characteristic signs of a buddha’s body,
One may feel delight and then proceed to generate the resolve.
Thus it may be on account of seven causes and conditions
That one generates the resolve to realize bodhi.