Bodhicharyāvatāra 1

15 February 2014
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Year 1 of Pune’s Bodhicaryāvatāra Teaching

Śāntideva’s Bodhicaryāvatāra is probably one of the most intensive, beautiful and systematic mind trainings that one can encounter. This is not just a simple message to overcome gross emotions, discursive thoughts and agitation. The text really offers us a much more profound view into the essence of the mind, why it needs to be trained, how it can be trained and ultimately, why it does not need to be trained.

The way of the bodhisattva has the connotation of a warrior, whose aim is to fight the battle of ignorance, not only for oneself but for all beings who are bound by emotions, defilements and ignorance.

The quintessence of the bodhisattva path is not to be in samsara but also not to aspire to nirvana. Śāntideva teaches systematically that this is achievable. We will have to understand the relationship between relative truth and ultimate truth. Immediately it sounds as if there are two truths that need to be in relationship with one another, but this is not the case.

All the bodhisattva skilful means such as generosity, discipline, patience and diligence are taught by the Buddha as a way to invoke and actualise wisdom. If the wisdom is lost, all the skilful means and even the act of one-pointedness or samādhi concentration is like the blind leading the blind in a desert.

Subtitles: Chinese

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