When we talk of the Bodhisattva Vows/Precepts, is it the one in the The Mahayana Brahma Net Sutra
or do we have other sources for this, as I have read once upon a time in a defunct forum and also encountered in real time, in one short conversation (which was limited by time) with a certain Bhikshuni recently on their organisation's conferment and practice of the Bodhisattva Precepts, that their source is not the Brahma Net Sutra but another known as 'Bodhisattva Sila' something. (Hope to follow up on that conversation some other time for more details)
So far personally, I haven't had the affinity to take up this yet as I find upholding and adhering the basic 5 Lay Precepts & 10 Good Deeds and taking up 8 Precepts on special Upavasatha Days, already an enormous task. And throughout my years with certain places, some have made it so 'mystical' and 'super lofty' that as if the common Laity is not even suppose to hear it, even to say receive it as if its the Vinaya. But thanks to association with still more others, I have been educated that it's not true.
I read an interesting Sutra booklet front page comment of Elder Great Master Yen Pei to a lay Upasika:
Brahma Net Sutra: Moral Code of the Bodhisattvas (Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada)
"After I informed the Assembly of my intention to lecture on the Brahma Net Sutra, a lay woman asked,
"Master, I have not yet received the Bodhisattva Precepts. Would you still allow me to attend the lectures and listen to your explanations?"
I replied: 'Of course, by all means. If I were lecturing on the Bhikshu/Bhikshuni Precepts, you would not be permitted to attend, even if you requested it with utmost sincerity. However, as far as the Bodhisattva Precepts are concerned, I hope that you and all your friends can come and listen; the more people, the better.
Listening to the Bodhisattva Precepts not only does not violate the rules of disciple, it in fact helps us awaken the Bodhi Mind and develop the Precepts of the Buddha Nature, inherent in all of us'"
...that many "serious" practitioners may not actually take these vows very seriously. That is they readily abandon them when they become too challenging. Granted they are "impossible" vows, never the less does it not disparage the Buddhadhamma to make such vows and subsequently not try so hard to live up to them?
I look at it this way: I try to see what can I learn from them and improve my own and encourage/exhort them in their practice of the Bodhisattva Precepts. That's all that I can do within my limited means without forming ideas about what others do or don't. Better for me to spend the same time and energy to focus on my own self reflection.
I recall reading this story...
http://www.ymba.org/parable/parabfr3.htmPARABLE 061:THE BRAHMA NET SUTRA
According to tradition, around the time that Bodhidharma arrived in China (6th century), the Indian Master Paramartha, who was residing in China, heard of the existence of a text that taught the moral code of the Bodhisattvas. He immediately returned to India and succeeded in acquiring the entire Brahma Net Sutra -- all 61 chapters, comprised of 120 fascicles.
However, as Paramartha was sailing toward China with his treasure, a sudden storm arose and his ship began to sink. Piece by piece, all baggage was thrown overboard, but to no avail.
Finally, Paramartha had no choice but to let go of the Brahma Net Sutra -- after which the ship miraculously righted itself. Paramartha then realized the sad truth: the people of the "Eastern Kingdom" (China) were not yet ready for the Brahma Net Sutra.
Note: The Brahma Net Sutra expounds the precepts of the Bodhisattvas, those higher beings who seek Enlightenment for all.