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How to Develop the Bodhi-Citta

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Chapter I: What Does Bodhi-Citta Mean?

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Bodhi-citta is a Sanskrit term which is borrowed from the one in the consequence position to be used as the one in the causal position (ed. note: a complete explanation of the positions of cause and consequence may be found in C. M. Chen's book Buddhist Meditation: Systematic and Practical.) Bodhi-citta, means "an enlightened mind" or "heart" or "the final awareness wisdom of a Buddha who is in the consequence position"; yet it can be borrowed by a Bodhisattva in all stages of his development in order to imitate and practice it in the causal position. Hence, it is a most important term; every practice of Buddhism starts with it and aims at it.

The public translation department of the T'ang Dynasty set up a rule covering five kinds of non-translatable terms, viz: 1) those with esoteric meanings 2) those with several meanings 3) those without equivalents in the translator's country 4) those which would be less impressive when translated 5) those which were old and established. This term Bodhi-citta belongs to numbers 4 and 5. Dr. Herbert V. Guenther in his translation of The Jewel Ornament of Liberation (p. 112) translated Bodhicitta as "enlightened attitude". I am not in agreement with this.

"Attitude" is a psychological term and can only partially cover the meaning of Bodhi-citta. The Chinese translation "Bodhi-Hsin" seems to be better as the word "Hsin" has an original meaning of "heart" in the physical sense which may also cover the esoteric meanings since the fourth kind of Bodhi-citta of Samadhi is visualized in the heart and the fifth Bodhi-citta of Kunda likewise lays most emphasis on Red Bodhi and White Bodhi, both of which are psycho-physical. "Hsin" also means "mind" psychically and means "essence" philosophically, which may cover the third category of Victorious Significance.

Among the five kinds of Bodhi-citta systematized by me are the following:

  1. Bodhi-citta of Will
  2. Bodhi-citta of Conduct
  3. Bodhi-citta of Victorious Significance
  4. Bodhi-citta of Samadhi
  5. Bodhi-citta of Kunda

The term "enlightened attitude" only covers the first Bodhi-citta. The second kind has a clear meaning of action but not of attitude. The third one is philosophical. The fourth and fifth are more or less psycho-physical. All of these meaning are not included in the term "attitude". The Chinese word "Hsin" seems to be a better choice than "attitude" but the problem is that only Chinese scholars may recognize it. Hence, in my humble opinion it is better to do without translation.

ed. note: a complete explanation of the positions of cause and consequence may be found in C.M. Chen's book Buddhist Meditation: Systematic and Practical

Regarding the correspondence of Bodhi-citta with the three yanas we may say: The Bodhi-citta of Will is practiced by all yanas; the Bodhi-citta of Conduct is practiced partially by Hinayana and thoroughly by Mahayana and Vajrayana. As the Hinayana lays most stress on doing Goodness and holding steadfastly to their vinaya, whenever profitable Bodhi-citta conduct includes any evil, the Hinayanists would not be able to do it. For instance, Buddha converted a beautiful lady by accepting her evil request and saved 500 merchants by killing a robber. "Every sweet has its sour, every evil its good" - even Emerson who was a layman said such things; nevertheless, the Hinayana would not consent to evil action for the sake of good results. The Bodhi-citta of Samadhi and that of Kunda are only practiced by Vajrayana. As for the most important Bodhi-citta of Victorious Significance, it should be practiced by all yanas, yet many practitioners neglect it. In this booklet I have to ask their attention so they may retain a deep impression of its importance.

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To save a lengthy statement or dissertation a list of Bodhi-citta correspondences is offered below:

BODHI-CITTA DOCTRINE YANA POSITION CONSEQUENCE
Of Will exoteric all three yanas causal nirmanakaya |- Of Conduct exoteric Hinayana partly; Mahayana and Vajrayana entirely course sambhogakaya
Of Victorious Significance exoteric Hinayana partly; Mahayana and Vajrayana entirely course dharmakaya
Of Samadhi esoteric Vajrayana Yogic Tantra consequence sahajakaya
Of Kunda esoteric Vajrayana Anuttara Tantra consequence Mahasukha prajnakaya

As the Vajrayana in ancient times had not breathed a word about its own particular Bodhi-citta to the multitudes, all the essays on Bodhi-citta written by the sages were limited to the first three kinds. Now, however, the Hevajra Tantra has been translated into English; every reader may purchase it. The Tantra is no longer like a needle in a haystack. It comes to every man's and woman's ears. With the great convenience of world-wide communication, international religious comparative study is going on very East and each religion likes to put their most secret, most sacred doctrines into the light of the whole world. In our age if one is still keeping the Vajrayana in secret, he is like a thief who steals another's bell and hides his own ears in hope that the sound of the bell would not be heard by the other. It is really foolish!

Much the more since I am the only person of this age who emphasizes the whole system of Buddhism, I should connect the two doctrines, exoteric and esoteric, into one system. I shall deal with them separately in detail in the following chapters.

Before presenting the description of each Bodhi-citta, some terms which may be easily confounded should be discriminated in order to let the reader and practitioner get a clear understanding of the significance of those terms for their contemplations and performances.

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A Chinese essay titled "Discriminations between Goodness, Love, Great Compassion and Bodhi-citta" was written by me many years ago, published in Hong Kong and was presented freely to various famous libraries of the world. I hope someone will translate this essay of mine into English someday. Here I can just translate a few points from that essay:

  1. Bodhi-citta is not only goodness; the Bodhi-citta of Conduct surely connects with goodness, but the latter can not be called Bodhi-citta because the motive and the consequence of the former is aimed at full-enlightenment, and the latter at heaven only.
  2. Bodhi-citta is not worldly love; a worldly love is a sorrow and a poison which causes us to fall into an animal state. A Vajra love is a reasonable love deriving from the sunyata truth but not from passion or emotion. Bodhi-citta even contains such a reasonable vajra love which is quite different from worldly love. On pretext of this some people refuse renunciation by saying "I should love my parents and my wife and my children; without loving them, what is my Bodhi-citta?!" This is quite wrong. Without Bodhi-citta one does not really love his family and renunciation is a practical step toward developing Bodhi-citta. He who leaves his family may still have the reasonable love when he practices Bodhi-citta in solitude.
  3. Bodhi-citta is not the same as great compassion; great Bodhi-citta is a virtue possessed partially by Bodhisattvas, and completely by Buddhas. It is a term in the consequence position. Bodhi-citta, as I have said before, is a term borrowed from the consequence position yet used as a term in the causal position. One should develop Bodhi-citta first before great Compassion is gained. Many Buddhists, even scholars, confuse these two terms, thus confounding the issue. Some very well-known essays write of Bodhi-citta but actually only describe compassion.
  4. A very common definition of Bodhi-citta which is known to every student and scholar is this:
"For the sake of ultimately saving others one must continuously practice until Buddhahood is achieved."
This definition consists of three parts: 1) "ultimately saving others". It is why Bodhi-citta has been confused with goodness, love, and compassion (but the adverb "ultimately" has been ignored). 2) "continuously practise". It is why every kind of practice is connected with Bodhi-citta. Hence, five kinds of Bodhi-citta influence the whole system of Buddhist practices, including the three yanas. It should not be confined only to compassion alone. 3) "until Buddhahood is achieved". It is why Bodhi-citta has the two great important parts: one is compassion, the other is wisdom. Both make the noble name of Buddha as the Noble-Two-Foot. Many have neglected the factor of wisdom, and overemphasized that of compassion. By practicing compassion without wisdom, Buddhahood will never be gained.

After all confused terms are clarified, we may then set forth the "5 Hows" in the following chapters:

Chapter II: How to Develop the Bodhi-Citta of Will?

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Even in the realm of worldly knowledge men know will is a power. Clarence

Day who said, "Will and wisdom are both mighty leaders of our times," worships the will. Max Lerner said, "Man's will creates the things that paralyze his brain and brutalize his heart." The doctrine of three yanas all emphasize that practitioners should develop their Bodhi-citta of Will before any other practice is done. Where there is the will, there is the way. Even an ill will may get a chance to succeed. Two real stories may be mentioned here:

  1. One was told by my friend Mr. Chang Shen Chen. He was born in a Buddhist family. His grandmother advised him that when he passed over the dangerous hills where robbers usually gave trouble to rich passengers, he should carefully repeat the incantation of Tara. Mr. Chang complied with her advice and had no trouble. But once he seemed doubtful of the incantation and purposely stopped. and with a feeling of ill-will said to himself, "If the incantation is really useful, this time I might meet the robbers!" Just a minute later after having the ill-will feeling, he met robbers and escaped just with his life.
  2. he other story was told by Chang Yu-Nea-Tzih. She is now in the U.S.A. She is a graduate of Chin-Lin College which is a Christian school, but her husband Garma C. C. Chang is a Buddhist. When they met me in Kalimpong it was only a few months after their marriage. Certainly she had not yet followed the bent of Buddhism at that time
Her husband asked me to perform a Homa sacrifice to Tara. She saw that all those precious things would be put into the fire It seemed to her just like casting pearls before swine. Her doubt was continuously kept in her mind until sleep. She had a feeling of ill-will and said to herself, "If it can be really inspired by Tara, try to send me a bad dream to cudgel my brain." Thereupon she very easily fell into a dream. Many corpses and skulls were present. After she as awakened by such a terrible vision, she created ill-will again: "It is not enough proof unless I get a disease very soon. Immediately she suffered a high fever. She, however, never satisfied, was so bold as to vow a very dangerous thing by saying, "Please try to make me run a risk even between two fires on the next day!" which was the day before the date of Homa chosen by me.
The next evening she had a small quarrel with her husband. The latter came to me and said, "I heard that when you were invited by Mr. Lee Pai Hwa of Quen-Min, with your forefinger pointing on Mr. Lee's body his demon departed and he felt his body become very light. Was it true?" I replied "yes!" Then he asked me to do the same to him and said, "If I get such a light sensation, I would like to leave my wife and follow you to be a hermit." I refused. It was because the demon of Lee was a demon only of the bad habit of opium! At that time I did not know that they had had a quarrel. And a most dangerous thing happened to his wife when C, C. Chang left her and came to me. She had taken a large quantity of poison adding some brandy and then made two Wills; one Will was intended to be given to the police. It said that her suicide was by her own will and in no way concerned her husband. The other Will provided for giving ten thousand rupees to her servant Mr. Wong Qua Chong.
It was extremely fortunate that her servant came to call her to dinner just after the Will was written for him. After finding out such a dangerous thing, he immediately called the doctor and all poisons were ejected through the doctor's treatment. She was saved!
Actually the contention of their quarrel as it stood was a pretty, lovely, beautiful private secrecy, as she told me frankly the next morning when I went to her house to perform the Homa. But as the ill-will invoked proved to be very dangerous, it almost resulted in divorce of one half and in death of the other. How powerful is the Will!! It is written in Confucius' Analects: "The commander of a force of a large state may be carried off, but the will of even a common man cannot be taken from him." No one can rob us of our free will. He who is firm in will molds the world to himself, With will one can do anything; ill-will does evil, good will does good, Bodhi-citta of will leads us to Buddha's full enlightenment.

Since the good will is difficult to achieve, some suffering might happen in its course, yet sooner or later it will succeed. Tennyson has written:

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"O! Well for him whose will is strong,
He suffers but he will not suffer long!
He suffers but he cannot suffer wrong!"

Many Buddhas have set their good examples for us. The Chinese Pureland School which has induced or lured many souls to its teachings is a school of will based upon the 48 great vows of Buddha Amitayus. The Buddha of Healing has 12 great vows. Gautama and the future Buddha Maitreya both have 4 great vows. The great Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara has 32 vows; Manjusri and Samantabhadra both have 10 great vows. I introduce here neither the too long vows numbering 48 nor the too short vows numbering 4. The 12 great vows of the Healing Buddha are listed below:

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  1. I VOW THAT, AFTER HAVING ATTAINED UNEXCELLED FULL ENLIGHTENMENT, MY BODY SHOULD BE SHINING LIKE A BRILLIANT LIGHT THROWING BEAMS ON INFINITE AND BOUNDLESS WORLDS, ADORNED WITH A RETINUE OF THIRTY-TWO FORMS OF THE GREAT MAN AND WITH EIGHTY PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BUDDHA, I SHALL MAKE ALL BEINGS EQUAL TO ME.
  2. IVOW THAT, AFTER HAVING ATTAINED FULL ENLIGHTENMENT, MY BODY SHOULD BE LIKE A CRYSTAL IN SPOTLESS PURITY BOTH WITHIN AND WITHOUT, WITH SPLENDOROUS RADIANT LIGHT IN THE MAJESTY OF ITS VIRTUE, SITTING SERENELY, ADORNED WITH THE AUREOLE, BRIGHTER THAN THE SUN AND THE MOON, I SHALL REVEAL MY GREAT POWER TO ALL THE BEINGS IN OBSCURITY IN ORDER THAT THEY MAY ACT FREELY ACCORDING TO THEIR BENT.
  3. I VOW THAT, HAVING ATTAINED FULL ENLIGHTENMENT, I SHOULD GRANT BY MEANS OF BOUNDLESS WISDOM TO ALL BEINGS THE INEXHAUSTIBLE THINGS THAT THEY MAY NEED SO THAT THEY MAY BE FREE FROM ANY WANT.
  4. I VOW THAT, AFTER HAVING ATTAINED WITH TRANQUILITY FULL ENLIGHTENMENT, I SHOULD BRING THOSE WHO HAVE GONE THE HETERODOX WAYS TO DWELL IN THE WAY OF BODHI; AND THOSE WHO TRAVEL ON THE VEHICLE OF THE SRAVAKA AND THE PRATYEKA-BUDDHA WILL BE ENABLED TO STAND FIRMLY ON THE GREAT VEHICLE OF THE BODHISATTVA.
  5. I VOW THAT, AFTER HAVING ATTAINED FULL ENLIGHTENMENT, I SHOULD LEAD THE INNUMERABLE BEINGS TO OBSERVE ALL THE MORAL LAWS OF PURE LIVING AND TO KEEP THE THREE KINDS OF VINAYAS. SHOULD THERE BE ANY RELAPSE OR VIOLATION, THEY SHALL BECOME PURE AGAIN AND NOT FALL INTO EVIL STATES WHEN ONCE THEY HEAR OF MY NAME.
  6. I VOW THAT, AFTER HAVING ATTAINED FULL ENLIGHTENMENT, THOSE BEINGS WHO ARE PHYSICALLY INFERIOR WITH IMPERFECT SENSES, SUCH AS THOSE WHO ARE BLIND, DEAF, MUTE, CRIPPLED, PARALYZED, HUMP-BACKED, UGLY, STUPID, LEPEROUS, INSANE OR SUFFER ANY KIND OF ILLNESS, SHALL ALL REGAIN THEIR NORMAL APPEARANCE AND BECOME INTELLIGENT WHEN THEY HEAR OF MY NAME. ALL THEIR SENSES SHALL BE PERFECTLY RESTORED AND THEY SHALL NOT SUFFER FROM DISEASE.
  7. I VOW THAT, HAVING ATTAINED FULL ENLIGHTENMENT, THOSE WHO ARE TORMENTED BY DISEASES AND ARE WITHOUT HELP, REFUGE, DOCTOR, MEDICINE, RELATIVES AND HOME, ALL OF THESE POOR AND MISERABLE BEINGS SHALL BE FREE FROM DISEASES AND TROUBLES AND SHALL ENJOY PERFECT HEALTH OF BODY AND MIND ONCE MY NAME REACHES THEIR EARS. THEY SHALL HAVE FAMILIES, FRIENDS, AND PROPERTIES APLENTY AND SHALL ALL BE BROUGHT TO THE SUPREME ENLIGHTENMENT OF BUDDHA.
  8. I VOW THAT, AFTER HAVING ATTAINED FULL ENLIGHTENMENT, THOSE WOMEN WHO ARE TORMENTED BY THE VARIOUS SUFFERINGS OF THE FEMALE SEX, WHO ARE MUCH WEARIED BY THE FEMALE BODY, SHALL BE TRANSFORMED INTO MEN IN THE NEXT REBIRTH ONCE THEY HEAR MY NAME AND SHALL ATTAIN THE SUPREME ENLIGHTENMENT OF BUDDHA.
  9. I VOW THAT HAVING ATTAINED FULL ENLIGHTENMENT, I SHALL LET ALL BEINGS ESCAPE THE EVIL NET OF MARA AND LET THEM BE FREE FROM NON-BUDDHIST CULTS. IF THEY SHOULD HAVE FALLEN INTO THE DENSE FOREST OF FALSE DOCTRINES, I SHOULD ASSIST AND LEAD THEM TO THE NOBLE TRUTH AND GRADUALLY INDUCE THEM TO PRACTICE THE DHARMA OF THE BODHISATTVA SO THAT SOON THEY SHALL ATTAIN THE SUPREME ENLIGHTENMENT OF BUDDHA.
  10. I VOW THAT, AFTER HAVING ATTAINED FULL ENLIGHTENMENT, ALL THOSE WHO ARE JUDGED AND CONDEMNED BY THE ROYAL LAW TO BE BOUND AND WHIPPED, ENCHAINED IN PRISONS, SENTENCED TO CAPITAL PUNISHMENT, AT THE MERCY OF NUMEROUS OTHER DISASTERS AND INSULTS, AFFLICTED WITH SORROWS AND ANGUISHES, AND TROUBLED IN BOTH BODY AND MIND, SHALL WHEN THEY HEAR OF MY NAME, ESCAPE EVIL KALPAS THROUGH THE AWE-INSPIRING MAJESTY OF MY BLESSEDNESS AND VIRTUE.
  11. I VOW THAT, AFTER HAVING ATTAINED FULL ENLIGHTENMENT, I SHALL BRING IT TO PASS THAT ALL WHO ARE TORMENTED BY HUNGER AND THIRST AND THOSE WHO IN ORDER TO OBTAIN FOOD HAVE DONE EVIL KARMA WILL BE SATIATED FIRST WITH SUPERIOR DRINK AND FOOD IF THEY CAN CAREFULLY REMEMBER MY NAME AND CHERISH IT, THEN I SHOULD LET THEM TASTE THE FLAVOUR OF THE DHARMA AND EVENTUALLY THEY WILL COME TO LEAD A TRANQUIL AND HAPPY LIFE.
  12. I VOW THAT, AFTER HAVING ATTAINED FULL ENLIGHTENMENT, ALL BEINGS WHO ARE POOR AND NAKED, TORMENTED DAY AND NIGHT BY MOSQUITOES AND WASPS, BY COLD AND HEAT, WHEN THEY HEAR MY NAME AND CAREFULLY REMEMBER AND CHERISH IT SHALL RECEIVE WONDERFUL GARMENTS OF ALL KINDS AS WELL AS VALUABLE ORNAMENTS, CHAPLETS OF FLOWERS FRAGRANT , AND VARIOUS KINDS OF INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC SHALL RESOUND; WHATEVER THEY DREAM OF THEY SHALL HAVE IN ABUNDANCE.

I was asked by the Ven. Bhikshu Sangharakshita: "Were those vows of Buddhas developed before or after their full enlightenment?" I replied: "Most of them were developed before their full enlightenment; as I have said, Bodhi-citta is a kind of practice in the causal position. Nevertheless, when one is already enlightened one may develop some special vows again which are not for practice but for blessing. It can be exemplified by Kuntu Zanpo's twelve vows in the Nyingmapa School; these twelve vows are repeated by every believer of their school:

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1. Samsara-Nirvana are not two lands.

    But one may be made as two paths, two ends.
    Through this prayer one attains Buddhahood,
    In the sacred Dharmadhatu abode.

2. The unity of world and Nirvana is indescribable!

    Awareness of the full enlightenment is inconceivable!
    He who is without awareness wanders in Samsara.
    May all beings realize the true nature ineffable.

3. The nature is without cause and condition.

    Awareness arises spontaneously within.
    There is no existential primacy.
    It is untainted by darkness of anything.
    All those manifest forms could not defile it.
    There is no fear but pristine awareness which dwells in.
    Even when the three great realms have been destroyed,
    Awareness still remains there without strain.
    Unattached to the five desirable sensations
    Spontaneous perception arises without thinking.
    Five poisons material are not existing.
    To the awareness there is not any obstruction.

4. In this nature there is the Primordial Buddha.

    His five wisdoms are symbolized by the five Buddhas.
    The wisdom natures form forty-two peaceful Buddhas.
    But their powers form fifty-eight wrathful Buddhas.
    All beings of the three great realms have faith in those.
    They will get the five wisdoms and become Buddhas!

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5. I emanate many incarnations to teach,

    With many kinds of Law for whosoever each!
    Let all beings who are suffering in Samsara
    Depart from the sorrow of evil ocean's beach!

6. Unawareness is the basis of delusion!

    It rouses five poisons and endless suffering!
    Through this prayer the prayer of Adi Buddha,
    Let all beings depart from their inclination.

7. The inborn Ignorance causes clinging.

    To the self-and-others division.
    Through this prayer of Adi Buddha,
    Let them depart from the delusion.

8. When duality is there, lust appears.

    It leads to tortured spirit area.
    Through this prayer of Adi Buddha,
    Comes bright awareness of one's own sphere.

9. When hated object is considered,

    It leads to great violence and murder.
    Through this prayer of Adi Buddha
    One is saved to be a freeholder.

10. When pride is to develop

    Even a god has no hope.
    Through Adi Buddha's prayer
    Wisdom of equality may rise up!

11. When one is dull, lazy and foolish,

    It leads one to become beasts and fish.
    Through this prayer of Adi Buddha
    Bring one's own wisdom to accomplish.

12. All beings are with me without exception

    Yet wander in six realms in delusion.
    Through this good prayer of Adi Buddha,
    May all attain Buddha's realization!!

I myself developed 10 vows when I was twenty-three. They have been translated into English in my book Buddhist Meditation: Systematic and practical. I will not list them again here. Those are my general vows; I also developed a particular set of vows when I was thirty-nine. An astrologer foretold that I would die at the age of forty. I then developed nine vows of non-death. They can be translated as follows:

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  1. BEFORE I ACCUMULATE ALL THE REALIZATIONS OF TANTRA, I WOULD BE NON-DEATH.
  2. BEFORE I FULFILL ALL THE WILLS OF MY GURUS, I WOULD BE NON-DEATH.
  3. BEFORE I GET ALL THE ATTAINMENT OF MY YIDAM, I WOULD BE NON-DEATH.
  4. BEFORE I OFFER PLEASURE AND SATISFY ALL THE DESIRES OF THE DAKINIS, I WOULD BE NON-DEATH
  5. BEFORE I FULFILL ALL THE OATHS OF ALL MY PROTECTORS, I WOULD BE NON-DEATH.
  6. BEFORE I PILGRIMAGE TO ALL THE BUDDHA LANDS, WORSHIP ALL THE BUDDHAS, AND PROMOTE ALL THE BUDDHA'S TEACHINGS I WOULD BE NON-DEATH.
  7. BEFORE I FULFILL ALL THE VOWS OF ALL BODHISATTVAS, I WOULD BE NON-DEATH.
  8. BEFORE I CONVERT ALL THE ARHATS INTO MAHAYANA, I WOULD BE NON-DEATH
  9. BEFORE I SAVE ALL THE SENTIENT BEINGS IN OR OUT OF MY BODY, I WOULD BE NON-DEATH.

Now I have passed the dangerous age of forty. I still repeat these vows until the nine holy karmas related to the vows are thoroughly performed.

Developing the Bodhi-citta of Will belongs to practical knowledge which comes after the two knowledges of hearing and thinking. One should learn all those ancient Bodhisattva's Bodhi-citta from sutras, Tantras, and biographies A Mahayana sutra named Flower of Great Compassion contains many good vows of various Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Such a doctrine full of tears never has been paid attention to by those Hinayana believers. It is a pity.

When I prepared to pilgrimage to India, I passed Mr. Garma C. C. Chang's home and stayed there for a few days. I asked all his family, servants, and maidservants to each write their good vows, and promised that I would repeat them before Gautama Buddha when I arrived at Bodhi Gaya. The contents of their vows, nine out of ten, were centralized upon themselves and a little extended to their parents and relatives. From Chang's place I flew to Yunan province and stayed with Professor Lo. Ying-Chung who was a very learned Buddhist. I also asked him to do the same. He then developed ten vows which are worthwhile to translate below:

  1. FOR LEADING ALL THE PARENT-LIKE SENTIENT BEINGS TO ATTAIN SAMYAK-SAMBODHI MAY I IN THIS LIFETIME PERFECTLY DISCOVER MY PROFOUND WISDOM AND GREAT COMPASSION AND MY DHARMAKAYA BE ACHIEVED AS WELL AS ALL BUDDHAS IN THE TEN DIRECTIONS.
  2. FOR UNFOLDING THE DHARMADHATU AND CARRYING ON ALL THE INEXHAUSTIBLE COMPASSIONATE VOWS, MAY I IN THIS LIFETIME ATTAIN THE PERFECT SAMBHOGAKAYA AS WELL AS ALL THE BUDDHAS IN THE TEN DIRECTIONS.
  3. FOR INDUCING ALL DIFFERENT KINDS OF SENTIENT BEINGS TO PRACTICE VARIOUS DHARMAS UNTIL ATTAINING SAMYAK-SAMBODHI, MAY I IN THIS LIFETIME ACHIEVE NIRMANAKAYA WITH NUMBERLESS INCARNATIONS AS WELL AS ALL BUDDHAS IN THE TEN DIRECTIONS.
  4. FOR LEADING ALL SENTIENT BEINGS TO BE FIXED UPON THE SACRED AND SECRET MAHAMUDRA AND TRULY REALIZE THE NON-DISCRIMINATING WISDOM, MAY I IN THIS LIFETIME ACHIEVE THE SAHAJAKAYA AS WELL AS ALL ANCIENT BUDDHAS.
  5. FOR LEADING THOSE WHO ARE IN THE NATURAL SUNYATA ENTITY TO GET THE FUNCTIONS OF TANTRA AND SO THAT EVEN THE LAST UNBELIEVING ONE OF THE KALI AGE WOULD NOT BE SET ASIDE, MAY I IN THIS LIFE BE ABLE TO PROMOTE ALL THE DOCTRINES OF ANUTTARA YOGA AND REVEAL MY MAHASUKHA-PRAJNAKAYA AS WELL AS THE GREAT GURU PADMASAMBHAVA.
  6. FOR REVEALING THE WONDERFUL WISDOM WITHIN THE DELUSIONS, AND RENOUNCING ALL THE PAINS OF ALL SENTIENT BEINGS, MAY I ALWAYS ABIDE IN THE PERMANENT-SILENT-LIGHT AND LET ALL THE BEINGS IN THE SIX REALMS REALIZE THE NATURAL EMANCIPATION.
  7. FOR INDUCING NUMBERLESS SENTIENT BEINGS TO ABIDE IN THE DHARMA-POSITION AND ALL ACHIEVE EVERY KIND OF BODHI MAY I ESTABLISH THE SUKHAVATI AS WELL AS AMITABHA.
  8. FOR LETTING ALL SENTIENT BEINGS REVEAL THE EQUAL AND RIGHT WISDOM FAR APART FROM EVERY DISCRIMINATION, MAY I BE ABLE TO INDUCE ALL THE OUTSIDERS, DEVAS, AND DEMONS INTO THE DHARMADHATU OF THE TATHAGATA.
  9. FOR LEADING ALL THE SENTIENT BEINGS TO DISCOVER THE TRUTH FAR APART FROM FALSE VIEWS, MAY I BE ABLE TO GUIDE THEM SKILLFULLY TO ENTER INTO THE BUDDHA'S INTELLECTUAL SPHERE .
  10. FOR LEADING THE SENTIENT BEINGS TO PRACTICE THE BUDDHA DHARMA AND FULFILL ALL THE BUDDHA'S GOOD VOWS, MAY I AND ALL SENTIENT BEINGS RECEIVE ALL THE SPIRITUAL FOODS TO ACHIEVE THE GREAT PERFECTION IN THIS LIFETIME.

For those who have never developed their own good vow, usually the five great vows and the four boundless wills of Maitreya Buddha are quoted and repeated in every ritual.

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  1. the five great vows:
    1. I VOW TO SAVE ALL THOSE NUMBERLESS SENTIENT BEINGS.
    2. I VOW TO ACCUMULATE ALL THOSE NUMBERLESS WELFARES AND WISDOMS.
    3. I VOW TO LEARN ALL THOSE NUMBERLESS DIFFERENT DHARMAS.
    4. I VOW TO SERVE ALL THOSE NUMBERLESS BUDDHAS.
    5. I VOW TO ATTAIN ALL THOSE SAMYAK-SAMBODHIS.
  2. The four boundless vows (or minds):
    1. MAY ALL SENTIENT BEINGS HAVE PLEASURE AND ITS CAUSES.
    2. MAY ALL SENTIENT BEINGS LEAVE PAIN AND ITS CAUSES.
    3. MAY ALL SENTIENT BEINGS NOT DEPART FROM THE REAL PLEASURE WHICH IS WITHOUT PAIN.
    4. MAY ALL SENTIENT BEINGS DEPART FROM DISCRIMINATIONS, LOVE, AND HATRED, AND ABIDE IN THE GREAT AND EQUAL RENUNCIATION.

I was told by my Buddhist friend, Mr. Chang Shan-Chen, that he took all the vows of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas after I asked for his own vows. Such an attitude is representative of a large number of Buddhists. Was it right? It was not wrong, but it seemed to be too lazy and too cool. In our Kali age there are so many pitiful persons and events, and so many downs and ups of life that fall to one's lot. Each may have his special chapter of accidents which may be a motive to develop one's own good vows if he could be a kind Buddhist. That was why I asked all of my friends to develop their own good vows. In the following statement I would like to suggest some principles which one may use to develop his good vows.

  1. Bodhi-citta of Will is altruism but not egoism. It lays more stress on others than on oneself. Dr. Walter Reid Hunt is a Christian pastor from Mass., U.S.A. He wrote ten morning wills introduced and translated into Chinese by Chou Chan Shong. They were published in the central newspaper of Formosa. Each will centralized upon himself. For instance, the third will: "I wish I had a little quiet house."; the seventh: "I wish I have a loud laugh. " These kinds of will to a Christian are not so bad. They are probably a little better than daily bread. But to a Buddhist who should destroy his ego, they are not Bodhi-citta of Will. Hence, those common persons will is not fixed in Buddhism but in their self-interest; as Abraham Lincoln said: "Will springs from the two elements of moral sense and self-interest." But Buddhist wills should spring from altruism and unconditioned excellent morality.
  2. Bodhi-citta is cosmic in the Buddhist sense -- the Ten Dharmadhatus include four kinds of excellent states beyond the transmigration and six states within the transmigration, but these are not cosmic in the non-Buddhist sense which only includes the six states. And much the more, the cosmic aspect is not at all like an individual who has some particular conditions connecting him with his parents, relatives, countrymen, and party. Cosmic Bodhi-citta is unlike Bean Anouilh Cecile's saying: "One cannot weep for the entire world. It is beyond human strength; one must choose." But a Buddhist is not like the common human being who is self-centered. He must have compassion covering all the ten Dharmadhatus; he must be equally sympathetic to everyone - even cries to the extend that tears are mixed with blood. As for those Tantric Buddhists, their conception of a human being is to be meditated away. They think of themselves as the same as the yidam who transcends human strength. never should a practitioner choose someone to pity.
  3. Bodhi-citta of Will is aimed at the full enlightenment; hence, it is more extra-mundane than mundane. In non-Buddhist religions, matter, body, substance, flesh and blood, physics, somatology, physical sciences, positivism, materialism, pragmaticism, and experimental philosophy are mundane, but commandments, concentration, meditation, spiritualism, idealism, God, heaven, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, and supernatural power are extra-mundane. But to a Buddhist even God, heavens, angels, commandments, concentration, meditation, godly omnipotence, godly omniscience, godly omnipresence, the five previous supernatural powers are all mundane; there are only the sunyata, the Ch'an, the five Buddhist wisdoms, the full enlightenment, the unabiding Nirvana, the great compassion in the Buddhist sense, the non-egoism, the Anasrava supernatural power (the last one among the six), the Dharmakaya, the Sambhogakaya, the Nirmanakaya, the Sahajakaya, the Mahasukha-Prajnakaya, the Mahamudra, the great Perfection, and the non-death yoga which are extra-mundane. One should skillfully distinguish between them. He who says every religion is the same is quite a fool!

Chapter III: How to Perform the Bodhi-Citta of Conduct?

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After one has developed the Bodhi-citta of Will, certainly one should put it into practice. "Conduct is three-fourths of our life and its largest concern," Matthew Arnold warned. And the conduct of our lives is the true mirror of our doctrine. If one's conduct does not follow his vows, it is just like Samuel Butler's song:

"Oaths are but words,
and words but wind
Too feeble and implement to bind!"

Buddhists should not be like this! However, to develop a Bodhi-citta of Will is easy, but to put it into practice is very difficult. One has to train oneself in daily activities with the good vows, then one may carry on one's own vows in one's conduct until each action in daily life is fixed in one's special vows. There is very good bridge taught in the Avatamsaka Sutra. It is concentratedly collected in a chapter called "Pure Conduct". When I was 22, I practiced the repetition of the Pureland School. In this school of Buddhism two doctrines are emphasized; one is the performance of the good vows of the great Bodhisattva Samantabhadra; the other is the above mentioned "Pure Conduct." Both are chapters of the Avatamsaka Sutra. As the Sutra is in a large voluminous book, the chapter of Samantabhadra's good vows has been separately printed for a wide distribution. But the Pure Conduct chapter has been neglected. Therefore I wrote it in Chinese calligraphy in many copies to present to my Buddhist friends when I was twenty-three. I also encouraged Mr Lee Shih Hwa of Hong Kong to reprint it in many thousands of copies and to send it freely to all famous libraries in the whole world when I was forty-six. Now I translate the chapter completely below. I always thought that good vow without conduct is like a lie. It is like the delusive hope as Mary Wrother said in her poem:

Hope tells a flattering tale,
Delusive, vain and hollow.
Ah! Let not hope prevail
Lest disappointment follow!

But when the Bodhi-citta of Conduct is closely followed, the good vow adds leather to the heel "I will this, I command this, let my will be the voucher for the deed." One should thus encourage oneself as Juvenal did. However, the beginners usually make a vow at one time, but forget it at another time of practice. For them the following stanzas of the "Pure Conduct" chapter should be repeated and practiced daily.

    "Pure Conduct"

    When Bodhisattva is at home,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To know voidness of family,
    And be rid of all the painful things!

    When he serves his parents,
    He must wish all beings,
    To serve Buddha nicely
    And offer all the best things!

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    When he is with wife and sons
    He must wish all sentient beings
    Be equal to kinsmen and foes,
    And rid of lustful worldly things!

    When he gets desirous things,
    He must wish all sentient beings
    To dig out the arrow of lust,
    And abide in the most quiet realm.

    When he joins in a music meeting,
    He must wish all those sentient beings,
    Enjoy themselves with only Dharma,
    And know all good sound is nothing!

    When he goes into the palace,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    Be enabled to go to the Pureland,
    And purify their unclean things!

    When he puts on some ornaments,
    He must wish all those sentient beings,
    To take off all those false honours,
    Reach at the true palace of kings!

    When one goes up to the tower,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    Climb up to the Dharma attic,
    Have a right view to all things!

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    When he is giving alms,
    He must wish all beings,
    To void all those desires,
    Give up all worldly things!

    When he joins into a meeting,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To get all Buddha's wisdom,
    And renounce all evil things.

    When he falls into affliction,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To do all things at his will,
    Without any obstacles therein!

    When he leaves his family,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To get ordination soon,
    And gain liberty within!

    When he goes to the Temple,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    Be enabled to give lectures,
    As a right Dharma king!

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    When he visits his Gurus,
    He must wish all sentient beings
    To serve his Gurus nicely,
    Work for Gurus out and in!

    When he seeks to be a Bhikshu,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To get the Avinivartaniya (no regress),
    Have no obstacles within!

    When he gives up the layman's dress,
    He must wish all sentient beings
    To take pains for all good Karmas,
    And be rid of all the evil things!

    When he is cutting his hair,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To get rid of all sorrows,
    Reach the holy and final realm!

    When he is putting on the robe,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    Practice the course of Buddhism,
    Defiled not by any kind of sin!

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    When ordained as a Bhikshu,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To take the Buddha's best example,
    and save all beings from many sins!

    When he takes refuge in the Buddha,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To flourish the seeds of Buddha,
    Develop a supreme being!

    When he takes refuge in Dharma,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To study the profound knowledge,
    and gain the ocean-like wisdom!

    When he takes refuge in the Sangha,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To be able to control the group,
    No obstacle happens within!

    When he studies the vinaya,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To learn all silas skillfully,
    And be rid of doing evil things!

    When he listens to the Guru,
    He must wish all sentient beings
    To have all kinds of good manners,
    Do all good things with blessing!

    Accepting the Gurus's teaching,
    He must wish all sentient beings
    Get the wisdom of non-born,
    Reach the state of non-dwelling.

    Receiving the complete vinaya,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To have all the convenience to
    Get all the profound doctrine.

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    When he enters into a hall,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To reach the supreme Dharma home,
    Dwell in the state of non-moving!

    When he arranges the mattress,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    Develop all good Dharmas,
    Able to see the real truth within!

    When he is sitting straight,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To sit on the Bodhi-seat,
    Mind attached to no thinking!

    When he crosses his two legs,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To have firm foundation,
    Reach the stage of non-moving

    When he practices Samadhi,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    Have Samatha to control mind
    And no worldly thought remaining.

    When he practices Samapatti,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    Can see the entire reality,
    And have no kind of rebutting!

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    When he stops his Samadhi
    He must wish all sentient beings
    See the actions of Dharma,
    All vanishes into nothing.

    When he is standing
    He must wish all beings,
    Liberate their minds,
    Stand without moving!

    When he starts to walk,
    He must wish all beings,
    Leave the ocean of death,
    Keep on good practising.

    When he wears trousers
    He must wish all beings,
    Wear the clothes of merits,
    Always have shame within!

    When he tightens the girdle,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    Keep all the good merits well,
    Don't let them be relaxing!

    When he puts on the coat,
    He must wish all beings,
    To be a winner of Law,
    Do have the other-shore-wings!

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    When he wears samahati (Bhikshu robe),
    He must wish all sentient beings
    To get the first position of the world,
    And attain the Dharma of non-moving!

    When he holds the branch of willow,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    Do get the wonderful Dharma,
    Finally purify all sins.

    When he chews the willow branch, (note: Indians used to chew willow to clean the teeth)
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    Do have their mind purified
    And cut off all the sorrow-twines!

    When he goes to the privy,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    Do renounce all the sorrows,
    And be rid of every sin.

    When he washes his two hands,
    He must wish all beings,
    To renounce the Saha world,
    With very speedy wings!

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    When he bathes his body,
    He must wish all beings,
    To become most holy,
    Without any defiled things.

    When he washes his two palms,
    He must wish all beings,
    To have two pure hands,
    To do all the pure things.

    When he washes his face,
    He must wish all beings,
    To enter the pure gate,
    Be defiled by no-thing.

    When he holds a monk's staff,
    He must wish all sentient beings.
    To be able to give great alms.
    Show the true path within!

    When he holds the Bhikshu's bowl,
    He must wish all sentient beings
    To become the best Dharma vessel,
    Receive heaven's and men's offering!

    When he starts a trip,
    He must wish all beings,
    To go on the path of Buddhism,
    Reach the state of non-practising.

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    When he is walking on the road,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    Be able to practice Buddhist course,
    And reach the Nirvana within!

    When he passes over some land,
    He must wish all beings
    To walk on the Pureland,
    No obstacles by any thing!

    When he ascends a highway,
    He must wish every-being
    To pass beyond the three realms,
    No fear or shame within!

    When he descends a slippery way,
    He must wish all beings
    To have humility
    And grow merit therein !

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    When he sees the declivity
    He must wish all sentient beings
    To renounce all evil paths
    Get rid of all false views within!

    When he sees the straight way,
    He must wish all beings
    To have straight and good mind,
    No lie flatters therein!

    When he sees much dust
    He must wish all beings
    To renounce all the dirt,
    Keep pure Dharma within.

    When he sees the dust on the way,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    Have their minds kind and merciful
    And practice the great compassion!

    When he sees a dangerous way,
    He must wish all sentient beings
    To abide on the right path
    And be rid of all kinds of sin.

    When he joins an assembly,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    Be able to give profound speech
    And make all in harmony.

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    When he sees the great pillar,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To be rid of all kinds of struggles
    and renounce angry fighting.

    When he sees the forest,
    He must wish all beings
    To be respected by men
    And by the God as the best!

    When he sees the high hill,
    He must wish all beings
    To have excellent merit,
    None higher than him still.

    When he sees a tree with thorns,
    He must wish all beings
    To cut off all obstacles,
    Poisons couldn't harm upon.

    When he sees tree with many leaves,
    He must wish all sentient beings
    To achieve the best of Samadhi,
    Save men from hot place to leave!

    When he sees the flower blossom,
    He must wish all sentient beings
    To get supernatural power
    Which is like a flourishing plum.

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    When he sees tree with flowers,
    He must wish all sentient beings
    To have magnificent forms
    Like the thirty-two manifestations.

    When he sees the fruits,
    He must wish all beings
    To learn the best Laws
    Leading to the Bodhi.

    When he sees the great river,
    He must wish all beings,
    Swim in the Dharma sea
    As Buddha's wise ocean.

    When he sees the straight stream,
    He must wish all the beings,
    Quickly realize all Laws
    In only one tasting.

    When he sees the pool,
    He must wish all beings,
    Get verbal merits,
    Be skillful in preaching!

    When he sees the well,
    He must wish all beings,
    Utter good lectures,
    Reveal truth as well!

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    When he sees the spring,
    He must wish all beings
    Increase all wisdoms
    Without exhaustions.

    When he sees the Bridge,
    He must wish all beings
    To save all the men,
    From dangerous things.

    When he sees water flowing,
    He must wish all beings,
    To get merit at will,
    And wash away all evils.

    When he sees the tendered garden,
    He must wish all sentient beings
    To cut off all lustful grasses,
    Rid all the five desirable things!

    When he sees the Ashoka forest,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To renounce the worldly pleasure
    And get comes neither sorrow nor sin.

    When he sees a green house,
    He must wish all beings,
    To practice Dharma,
    Grow Bodhi therein!

    When he sees a man with ornaments,
    He must wish all sentient beings
    To have thirty-two excellent forms
    And get the full enlightenment.

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    When he sees a man without ornaments
    He must wish all sentient beings
    Renounce the worldly adornments
    Practice Dhuta conduct as those saints .

    When he sees the man of pleasure,
    He must wish all sentient beings
    To get best pleasure from Dharma,
    He should practice without ceasing!

    When he sees the man of non-pleasure
    He must wish all kinds of sentient beings
    Toward every worldly task
    Have no attachment or sin.

    When he sees the happy man
    He must wish all sentient beings
    Always get happiness
    And be glad to give offerings.

    When he sees the painful man,
    He must wish all sentient beings
    To have the basic wisdom,
    Rid of his sorrow and sin!

    When he sees the healthy man
    He must wish all sentient beings
    Turn into the true wisdom
    Never have any kind of pain.

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    When he sees the rich man,
    He must wish all beings
    To know impermanence,
    Be rid of struggle and sin.

    When he sees the gentle man,
    He must wish all beings
    To have faith in Dharma,
    And in all holy men.

    When he sees the ugly man,
    He must wish all sentient beings
    Toward all evil things,
    Have no more pleasure within!

    When he sees the grateful man,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    Toward all those weak persons,
    Don't return to them bad things.

    When he sees a shramana,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To enjoy themselves in quietude
    And get the first position.

    When he sees Brahman,
    He must wish all beings,
    To have pure conduct,
    Get rid of all sins!

    When he sees the Dhuta,
    He must wish all beings,
    To learn asceticism,
    Reach the state of Buddha!

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    When he sees the practitioner,
    He must wish all kinds of beings,
    To hold all kinds of practice,
    Don't be apart from the Dharma.

    When he sees man wearing armour,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    Wear clothes of all kinds of goodness!
    And be guided by the Dharma king!

    When he sees man without armour,
    He must wish all sentient beings
    Do renounce every evil.
    Don't commit any kind of bad thing.

    When he sees man who likes debate
    He must wish all sentient beings
    Subdue all kinds of outsiders
    Rid their heretic discussion!

    When he sees man of right life,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To get the pure livelihood,
    Don't assume a good living!

    When he sees the king,
    He must wish all beings
    To be king of Law,
    Guide them free of sin.

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    When he sees the prince,
    He must wish all beings,
    Born in a good race,
    As Buddha's offspring!

    When he sees the elder,
    He must wish all beings
    To have a skillful learning,
    Do no evil thing!

    When he sees a great official
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To keep the right mind often
    And do all kinds of good things.

    When he sees the city wall
    He must wish all beings,
    Keep their heal thy body
    Have no disturbance as well.

    When he sees the capital
    He must wish all beings
    To collect all merits
    Let their mind be blessing.

    When he lives in a forest
    He must wish all beings
    To be respected by all
    Gods and all human beings.

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    When he goes to a village to beg,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    Enter into Dharmadhatu
    Their minds have no obstacle or sin.

    When he stands by the gate,
    He must wish all beings.
    Come into the door,
    Of Buddha-Doctrine.

    When he enters into a family,
    He must wish all kinds of sentient beings,
    To get the Buddha's courage exactly,
    Keep the three periods in equality!

    When he sees the stingy man,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    Never try to depart from
    That belonging to the Doctrine!

    When he sees the generous man,
    He must wish all sentient beings
    Ever renounce the three bad worlds,
    In which there is nothing but pain!

    When he sees his bowl empty,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    Their mind is clean and so pure,
    Within which there is no sin.

    When he sees his bowl full,
    He must wish all beings
    To have accumulated all
    Merits which will not fall !

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    When he is respected,
    He must wish all beings,
    Humbly to practise
    All of the teaching!

    When he is not respected,
    He must wish all beings,
    Do not do any evil,
    Which may commit some sins.

    When he sees a man of shame,
    He must wish all beings
    To get rid of disgrace
    To keep the state of good fame.

    When he gets sweet food,
    He must wish all beings
    Fulfill all good wishes,
    Rid of lustful mode!

    When he gets bad food,
    He must wish all beings
    To get good Samadhi,
    Taste the nectars therein!

    When he gets soft food,
    He must wish all beings
    To have great mercy,
    Mind is meek therein!

    When he gets coarse food,
    He must wish all beings,
    Be rid of worldly lust,
    Mind is pure therein!

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    When he is taking a meal,
    He must wish all beings,
    To get the food of Ch'an,
    With happiness to fill!

    When he is tasting a sweet,
    He must wish all beings,
    To get supreme nectar,
    As Dharma food to eat!

    When he finishes the meal,
    He must wish all beings,
    To fulfill all Karmas,
    Nothing is remaining still!

    When he is to speak,
    He must wish all beings
    To get good ability,
    Spread widely the teaching.

    When he is going out,
    He must wish all beings
    To know the true wisdom
    And leave the three realms, no doubt!

    When he swims in water
    He must wish all beings
    To have no dirt
    And all parts are clean.

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    When it is very hot
    He must wish all beings
    To renounce all sorrows
    All pains are finishing!

    When it becomes cool
    He must wish all beings
    To get the assurance
    Purify the soul.

    When he recites the sutra
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To remember the Dharmas,
    Never forget the teaching!

    When he sees the Buddha
    He must wish all beings
    To be like the All-Good,
    So handsome and well-being.

    When he sees the pagoda
    He must wish all sentient beings
    To be respected as the temple
    Receives alms as all Buddhas do.

    When he looks at the pagoda
    He must wish all sentient beings
    To be respected by all gentlemen
    And heavenly beings like a Buddha .

    When he worships the pagoda
    He must wish all zentient beings
    To achieve the best realization
    That his hair tuft could not be seen!

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    When he goes around the pagoda
    He must wish all kinds of sentient beings
    To achieve all the Buddha's wisdoms
    And do all things without mistaking.

    When he goes around the pagoda three times
    He must wish all kinds of sentient beings
    Follow Buddha's path with diligence
    Have no laziness nor mistaking!

    When he praises Buddha's virtues,
    He must wish all sentient beings
    To collect merits of sages.
    And be praised by all men!

    When he praises Buddha's countenance,
    He must wish all sentient beings
    To attain Buddha's body,
    Realize the non-form experience!

    When he is washing his feet,
    He must wish all sentient beings,
    To have supreme power,
    Walk without limit.

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    When he sleeps regularly,
    He must wish all beings
    To get the comfort,
    Mind's quiet is keeping!

    When he awakwes,
    He must wish all sentient beings
    To achieve all wisdoms,
    Look in all directions!

The above stanzas exemplify a Bhikshu. When I was young I had a plan to add some more stanzas exemplifying five classes: scholars, farmers, laborers, merchants, and soldiers. I am sorry that I have had no time to do it. Some more important works such as meditations, yogic exercises, and other Buddhist literature works which cannot be found in the Tripitakas I have done by myself. This old plan was neglected so long I hope there are some other scholars who may be glad to do it.

When one follows these stanzas of Pure Conduct one's every action may be in correspondence with the Bodhi-citta. There are no limitations in these stanzas. One may develop the Bodhi-citta of Will in every action, in every profession, on every occasion, at all times, as John Wesley said in his Rules of Conduct:

Do all the good you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the time you can,
As long as ever you can!
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Furthermore, in the above stanzas, though the Bodhi-citta of Will corresponds with daily conduct, they are two things united. They are not the Bodhi-citta conduct themselves, as daily conduct is not actually based upon the Bodhi-citta of Will. Hence, to perform the Bodhi-citta of Conduct, which may not be the same as daily life action and since some more profitable conduct other than that of the daily layman's life may be followed, sentient beings should be guided by the Buddhist principles. I, therefore, offer them below. May they guide all my readers to perform the Bodhi-citta of Conduct fruitfully and meaningfully.

Coleridge said: "The more oath taking, the more lying generally among the people." It is because they have no principles to guide their conduct to be commensurate with the oath concerned. Cicero said, "An oath sworn with the clear understanding in one's mind that it should be performed must be kept." What is the clear understanding? It is certainly found in the principles of Buddhism; so the following offered principles should be carefully carried on:

1. One must perform the Bodhi-citta of Conduct according to the Vinayas
  1. Vinaya of five precepts; These five belong to every religion. If one commits the act of killing either man, animal or insect, one is not performing the Bodhi-citta of Conduct. I often see many Buddhist laymen who always kill chicken, fish, dove, prawn, duck and some other animals for their food. I dare to say 98% of Chinese Buddhist families have committed killing. On the other hand, in the West many have become vegetarians. They are hopeful Buddhists. The other four precepts must also be followed. One must abstain from stealing, lust, lying, intoxicants as well as killing.
  2. Vinaya of right profession; When one takes refuge in the Three Gems, he should exchange his bad profession for a good one.
  3. One should not be an executioner, hangman, electrocutioner, firing squad member, headsman, scoundrel, robber, communist, blackguard, cut-throat, jailbird, blood hound, bloodsucker, butcher, hag prostitute, siren fury, Jezebel, pimp or panderer. One should not make wine spirits, cigarettes, or sell them, or peddle poisons, such as opium and morphine, When I pilgrimaged to Varanasi I discovered some Buddhists and Hindus who took advantage of pilgrims and actually peddled some opium and morphine there where there is a center of poison business. I was very sad. I also felt entrusted by Buddha and the Bodhisattvas to advise them that anyone who does such a business will surely fall into hell. I did advise them, but only a few persons believed it.
  4. Vinaya of Bodhi-citta: There are four negative and four positive items:
    1. Do not cheat spiritual teachers and persons worthy of worship.
    2. Do not make others feel ashamed without cause.
    3. Do not, out of spite, say improper words to a bodhisattva who has adopted the Bodhi-citta.
    4. Do not behave meanly to sentient beings.

The other four are:

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  1. A lie willingly told, even to save one's own life, is wrong. (Peter did not admit Jesus as his guru to save his own life for three times. It was a lie. Buddhists should not do so.)
  2. To set all sentient beings on the path of the good and wholesome in general and of the Mahayana in particular.
  3. To consider a Bodhisattva who has performed the Bodhi-citta as the teacher - the Buddha - and to proclaim his virtues in the ten regions of the world.
  4. To love all sentient beings without ever behaving meanly to them.

There are 4 articles of those won by evils, 5 mulapattis of the king or a leader, 5 mulapattis of the officials or officers, 8 mulapattis of entering into the Mahayana, 46 pattis of Bodhisattvas, 14 ethics leading to acquiring the good Dharma, and 11 ethics leading to work for the benefit of others. Readers are advised to read my booklet No. 12 Mahayana Silas. All the above vinayas are included therein.

A vinaya of the four principles of Bodhi-citta may be a totality for all kinds of conduct; one should always keep them in mind;

  1. Things benefiting both others and oneself should be done.
  2. Things benefiting others but not oneself or which even harm oneself should also be done.
  3. Things benefiting nobody should not be done.
  4. Things benefiting oneself but harming others should not be done.
2. One must perform the Bodhi-citta of Conduct according to the Charity Perfection. There are three kinds of charity
  1. Giving alms of wealth
  2. Giving alms of Dharma
  3. Giving alms of fearlessness!

There are eight fields of welfare within which one should act with Charity:

1) Buddha,
2) Sages,
3) Bhikshus and Bhikshunis,
4) Acraryas,
5) monks or nuns,
6) father or mother,
7) any sick person or patient.

In another source, the eight fields are described as follows:

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1) To build good wells and roads
2) To build bridges
3) To repair dangerous roads
4) To honor one's parents
5) To make offerings to Bhikshus and Bhikshunis
6) To help the patients
7) To save those who are ill or poor
8) To offer food to the public without any condition

One should try to be civil to all, sociable to many, familiar with few, friend to one, and enemy to none. Walk groundly, talk profoundly, serve roundly, give aboundly -- thus sleep soundly. Make yourself accessible to all; do not make life hard for any. Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, teach more; hate less, love more; and all good conducts are yours.

He whose power is sufficient to give his life in order to save others should do it. Many Bodhisattvas have set many good examples. I have introduced them in my other works (see page 24 of Booklet No. 36). I do not repeat them again here.

The Tantric methods of giving alms have some special rituals:

  1. There is a ritual of giving alms to the ghost which the exoteric school also uses very often in every Mahayana monastery. The ritual only requires a cup of water; seven or more grains of rice may be put into the water. There are some incantations to transform these materials into a large quantity and pure quality, delicious taste and different kinds.
  2. There is a ritual to give alms with one's own body which every man and woman, either rich or poor, either healthy or ill, either old or young does possess.
  3. ne should visualize one's own body as a dead body and cut each part of the body to make offerings to the Three Gems, all ghosts, and all demons. There are some stanzas and some incantations and some visualizations written for that ritual. Please refer to the book Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines by Evans-Wentz.
  4. n agreeable attitude to the good conduct done by others is always as useful as the alms done by oneself.

    When one sees that somebody is going to do some good and beneficent action, one should think, "What goodness he is doing; I'm very glad to see it." He who thinks in this way will share the same merit as the doer.

    For instance, when one sees that a monastery is making public tea for all the Lamas, if one puts even a blade of tea leaf inside the boiler, he might share the merit which comes from making offerings to the Lamas.
  5. Bodhi-citta of Conduct through breath::

When one exhales one should think that the breath radiates forth to every evil being and takes their sin, disease, demons, distress, low-self, and high-self, and returns these to one's own body. When one retains the breath inside, he should think that those bad things taken from those sinful beings become a great force to destroy one's own egoism, pride, and the root of Avidya ("ignorance") until only the Bodhicitta remains.

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When one exhales the breath again, one thinks that one's own wisdom, merit, Samadhi, and realization become a bright light which comes into every sentient being, making them fully enlightened. And last but not least, the being who receives this light will change his mind, habit, thought and attitude to be in accord with Buddhism.
The above four methods of good Bodhi-citta conduct may be practiced by even poor man who has no money.
3. One should practice the Bodhi-citta of Conduct according to the Patience of Prajnaparamita or "Perfection" in the following instances
  1. When one is harmed or obstructed by some persons.
  2. When one does good conduct and meets some miseries.
  3. When one wants to attain the Sunyata truth, but is hindered by sorrows or false views from one's own ignorance accumulated in past lives.

For saving sentient beings and practicing the Bodhi-citta conduct with patience one should pass all the eight hardships:

  1. Finding food and clothes after complete renunciation.
  2. Worshipping the Three Gems and the spiritual teachers.
  3. Listening to the Dharma.
  4. Explaining.
  5. Discussing.
  6. Making a living experience of it.
  7. Devoting oneself to spiritual exercises instead of sleeping in the first and last parts of the night.
  8. The hardships that result from striving to do all this for the sake of sentient beings.

It is said of the effectiveness of Bodhi-citta conduct with patience in our lives, that even though we do not look for it, we become beautiful, healthy, famous, and long-lived and attain the position of a universal monarch in our lives. So we should always think of the benefit of the Bodhi-citta conduct done in patience, and also encourage our selves to do it very often.

One should practice the Bodhi-citta of Conduct with diligence.

One should know that self-nature without spiritual exercise is like a seed shut up in a pod, and Bodhi-citta conduct without performance is nothing at all. One must get rid of:

  1. Lassitude and give up sleepiness, restfulness and dreaminess.
  2. Idleness is faintheartedness from thinking, "How can dejected people like myself ever attain enlightenment even if we try to do so?"
  3. Gross laziness is the cause of real misery; one must give it up.

One must perform all the Bodhi-citta conducts with the following five kinds of diligence:

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  1. Ever active -- one must make continual efforts without getting weary in body or mind.
  2. Devoted -- one should act with deep devotion: joyfully, eagerly, and quickly.
  3. Unshakable -- when one meets some interruptions, conflicting emotions, and misery, one should keep patience and should not be shaken by them.
  4. Never turn back -- even if one is hurt or mocked or upset by others, one should still go on with the Bodhi-citta conduct and never turn back.
  5. Indefatigable -- one should exert oneself, but not keep any high opinion of oneself. One should act without pride or passion.

Charles Kingsley said, "Thank God every morning when you get up that you have some thing to do that day which must be done, whether you like it or not; Being forced to work, and forced to do your best, will breed in you temperance and self control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle never know." Much the more, one who has developed the Bodhicitta of Will must willingly do the Bodhi-citta of Conduct, but not by being forced by either God or man.

Shakespeare is so wise a poet but he is never proud of his wisdom, but only of his diligence, as he wrote in his work "King Lear": "That which ordinary men are fit for, I am qualified in; and the best of me is diligence". Hence, the person who practices Bodhi-citta of Conduct with only the previous Prajnaparamitas, but without diligence, will not be able to carry out all his good conducts to their full extent.

4. One should practice Bodhi-citta with concentration.
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When one practices the Bodhi-citta of Conduct with concentration, one's mind has become harmonized; one sees every action and its related persons and circumstances according to their true nature; one may be steeped in great compassion for sentient beings. If one has no concentration, his tranquility is not realized; super sensible cognition does not rise; then one is unable to work for sentient beings reasonably and fruitfully, and one's movements, words, and thoughts are not restrained. Without concentration conflicting emotions are rampant; one is addicted to worldly talk, open to the attacks of Maras, and steeped in carelessness.

It is also written in the vinaya of the Bodhisattva that "a Bodhisattva should not neglect to practice concentration at least three times a day."

5. One should practice Bodhi-citta of Conduct according to the wisdom of Sunyata.

The most important discrimination between the good conduct done by non-Buddhists and the Bodhi-citta conduct done by Buddhists is what is called "Bodhi" -- Bodhi is the full enlightenment and this is of the sunyata truth which was discovered for the first time by Buddha Himself, but not by any God. Hence, our Bodhi-citta of Conduct should begin with this philosophic motive and continued through this philosophic course and ended at this philosophic embodiment of assurance of realization.

Each Bodhi-citta conduct should be qualified by this sunyata wisdom. To make this qualification strong and confirmed, one has to practice it according to the following course:

  1. The three important essential points in each course of Bodhi-citta conduct have been taught by the great sage Milarepa.
    1. Beginning with a prayer such as saying, "For the sake of every sentient being to get full-enlightenment, I do this."
    2. Holding the truth of sunyata that every Bodhi-citta conduct is in the nature of sunyata; there is no admission to the volition of "I" or "mine" when the procedure of the good conduct is going on.
    3. Ending with a parinamana ("turn the merit to") to help all sentient beings attain the full enlightenment .
  2. he Three Wheels of sunyata should be used to measure all the Bodhi-citta conducts .
    1. The giver or doer is himself sunyata; there is neither high-self or low-self .
    2. The methods or means which are used in the conduct are also of sunyata.
    3. The man or woman to whom you have given or benefitted is also of sunyata.

Such a measurement is taken by the practitioner to certify his Bodhi-citta conduct. Such conduct is aimed at the full-enlightenment, and not at any kind of heaven. The practitioner is thus able to ultimately help sentient beings.

One must distinguish those merits for getting good rebirth in heaven and those for the PureLand. It all depends upon the manner of the doer. If he has some volition of egoism or he does not know how to turn the merit into sunyata, he will fall into heaven. If he has measured his conduct well with the measurement of sunyata, he will get the full enlightenment This important discrimination should be well-recognized. Otherwise even if he has taken refuge in the Three Gems, has practiced many kinds of meditations, has repeated incantations many times, has lived in a hermitage for many years, and has seen many visions or lights, he is still an outsider or a Buddhist who is only able to get rebirth in heaven, just as believers of other religions. As the sunyata is a very important condition, the third kind of Bodhicitta which is called "Victorious Significance", is especially practiced.

To sum up all the important practices in this chapter I would say:

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  1. As the first step of Practice I have introduced the "Pure Conduct" stanzas. Even if it seemed to break the record, occupying so many pages, I emphasize its practical value. Common people who have never been trained do their daily conducts with any control, and give a loose rein to their habitual actions which have been shaped by Karma for many past lives. Having never been taught about Bodhi-citta the pure conduct stanzas are a must for such types of new students. In this stage a person's Bodhi-citta of Will and his habitual daily life actions are two separate things. They just meet, but the one does not control the other. However, as they are brought into some form of correspondence, the Bodhi-citta of Will does get an opportunity to influence the daily actions. For instance, Tibetan robbers usually kill a person with knife in hand and incantation in mouth. Although it does not help or redeem the sin, yet it seems better than no incantation at all. The other story taught by my Root Guru Rona Rimpoche was this: When three robbers were chased by some police, the two who ran very fast and did not repeat an incantation were seized and punished, but the one who ran slowly skulked off. He seemed to disappear in the sight of the policemen. As the Pure Conduct stanzas have shown every action to be accompanied with the Bodhi-citta of Will, so each action may be influenced to become good in the future if not all immediately,
  2. When the Bodhi-citta of Will corresponds with the conduct of daily life, it becomes stronger. At least the bad habits from past bad karmas get no chance to flourish, and the good ones have the opportunity to identify with the Bodhicitta. Hence, through the first stop of pure conduct one is able to control one's actions and bring them under the guidance of the Prajnaparamitas. These Prajnaparamita Bodhi-citta conducts have been introduced above.
  3. When every conduct is fixed with the right Dharma in general, then in particular one's vows which one has developed according to the advice given in the second chapter have an opportunity to carry on throughout one's whole life.
  4. Some of the good wills or vows of Bodhi-citta may succeed easily but it is also easy to commit volitional or prejudicial actions; some of the good wills or oaths need samadhi to help in their accomplishment, or may even be in want of the supernatural powers of Buddhahood to affect their achievement. Hence one has to practice the Bodhi-citta of Victorious Significance to get rid of volition, and in order to learn and meditate the Bodhi-citta of Samadhi in esoteric doctrine and the Bodhi-citta of Kunda in the Anuttara Tantra; then all of the vows might succeed in this life time. These three kinds of Bodhi-citta will be dealt with one by one in future Chapters.

Chapter IV: How to Develop the Bodhi-citta of Victorious Significance?

As the previous two kinds of Bodhi-citta should be measured by the victorious signification of sunyata, and the aim of the Bodhi-citta is toward the victorious signification of sunyata, this third Bodhi-citta should be well-recognized and carefully practiced.

The ultimate benefit and final goal of every good Bodhi-citta conduct are both related to sunyata. If sunyata has not been practiced, all good conducts will lead the practitioner to fall into heaven, which is one state of the transmigration. Therefore, readers are advised to pay much more attention to this chapter:

Three Emancipations

Emancipation has been wrongly used by those ambitious politicians. Actually, "Emancipation from the bondage of the soil is no freedom for the tree", as Rabindranath Tagore asserted. Most good people, after they become free from evil conduct, are fettered by good conduct from which grows the bondage of pride, selfishness, volition, and ambition. The so-called Bodhi-citta is a mind of both wisdom and compassion -- not only the latter one. For he who has not become free from the ignorance of egoism, all the good Bodhi-citta conduct becomes mundane and far apart from the emancipation of sunyata. One, therefore, has to practice the following meditations to make the Bodhicitta of Victorious Significance stronger:

  1. No form -- One should know in one's practice that every Dharma, either good or evil, has no form. It is changeable and transmutable. When one does a good action, one should not hold it as good, as something one should be proud of. It is just like the hair of a lady; at some times it is fashionable one way, but then it is no longer in vogue. That is why, "To make a vow for life is to make oneself a slave", as Voltaire said. It does not mean that one should not vow, but that one should know the vow should be identified with sunyata.
  2. No will -- Every will is itself of sunyata; as one's consciousness is of sunyata, so is one's will. One should develop the will within the sunyata, but not with egoism. Although the mirror is sunyata in nature, the shadow thereof is also sunyata in condition. We should have beautiful shadows in the mirror instead of ugly ones, peaceful ones instead of wrathful ones.
  3. No birth -- Everything, either of mentality or materiality, is of sunyata. When it arises it is like a bubble of water; when it vanishes it returns into the water.
Because every sentient being does not know this truth, he is always in sorrow and tangled by wills, either good or evil, and by forms,either beautiful or ugly. So he is transmigrating and turning around without ceasing in the circle of death and rebirth. One has to meditate on the sunyata of non-birth, and for those who do not meditate on the sunyata, one should develop the Bodhi-citta of Will and Conduct to lure them to learn the truth of non-birth.

Six Similes

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  1. The sunyata in the simile of a flower in the air.

    When one does some good conduct, one should think that conduct is just like a flower in the air, which is like the real flower but not always there; sometimes maybe it disappears. All the surroundings and the people and things concerned with the conducts are in the nature of sunyata. There is no real thing which should be held to steadfastly.
  2. The sunyata in the simile of the second moon reflecting in the ocean.

    When one establishes a Tantric Mandala for the sake of sentient beings, one should think that all the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Gods in the Mandala, and the sentient beings in the six realms are like the second, or the shadow of, the moon reflecting in every river and ocean. They are not the real moon; the real moon has no egoism, no selfishness, nor entity, no existence, and nothing which should be held.
  3. The sunyata in the simile of shadows in the mirror.

    When one has converted somebody who recently has joined the Order of Buddhists, or when one has become disappointed by the lack of results to convert that one whom one has tried many times to persuade, one must think that the beautiful shadow in the mirror is like the former, and that the ugly one is like the latter. Both are only shadows; there is nothing to be delighted in nor to be hated. Yet one would like the ugly one to be a beautiful one in his doing; the ugly one may by and by become aware of his own nature of sunyata.
  4. The sunyata in the simile of dream.

    When one works in the plastic society and passes through all the showy cities, poor villages, and magnificent landscapes, one must think that one's self is in a long dream, the same as those short ones each night. The one who is angry with me or kind to me are both unreal, yet one has to try to make the angry one happy and the kind and lovely ones, right and merciful; in so doing, one will gradually recognize the truth.
  5. The sunyata in the simile of the dew on the grass.

    When a good conduct is done, for instance, when a bridge is made completely for the passenger, one has to think of it: Every merit is not durable; it may be changeable For the time being it seems very new; after some time it may be broken and destroyed; yet for sentient beings at this moment, whatever I can do to help, I should do. There is nothing which is able to remain forever. Everything is like the dew on the grass; when the sun rises it will very soon be gone. One should not hold to things steadfastly.
  6. The sunyata in the simile of lightening.

    When one honors his guru with many precious gems, or adorns some new monastery or pagoda, it seems very beautiful and delightful. One must then think of this simile. The lightning happens in the sky and suddenly disappears. One must not hold it tight in one's mind. Even though beauty is created to make Gurus happy and to make magnificent the monastery for luring sentient beings to believe in Buddhism, in the end all must recognize that every Dharma is itself void in nature -- temporarily appearing as does the lightning under certain conditions.

Besides the above six similes, there are eight negations and eighteen kinds of voidness which have been taught by Buddha in the Mahayana. Please refer to my book Buddhist Meditation: Systematic and Practical.

Change oneself with others.

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The sunyata truth does not mean that everything is void, but it is as we have seen from the above six similes. Everything has its appearance as a shadow inside of which there is no self. It is non-egoism. The common fool is always a slave of his self. If the ego is void, he is really emancipated. Hence, the only inner foe to cause one sorrow, to increase one's pride, to run up one's prejudice, to heighten one's anger, and to enhance one's lust is oneself, and not another. When I was visited by many visitors I was asked, "Am I disturbing you?" I always answered, "No! If I do not disturb myself even Mao is not sufficient to disturb me."

When one's ego is so strong, others such as his friends, his relatives, his nation. his society, his party, and his related sentient beings -- all will be victims of his selfishness; that is why Mao is the enemy of his members Liu and Pan and Ho and even other communist countries. That is why one should change his own ego with other's when one's ego is destroyed. Egoism will become altruism and all the Bodhi-citta conducts might be carried out rightly and profitably,

Furthermore, one must be aware of these following dangers: When one does the good Bodhi-citta conduct with vinaya, it may cause others to be more harmful; with patience to be more cruel; with charity to be more lustful; with diligence to be more idle; with concentration to be more heedless; with wisdom to be selfish. It seems that non-egoism is only helping one's self, and altruism is harmful to others. Hence, one must know that after the others have been lured into the Order of Buddhism, one has to teach them the same selflessness of sunyata; then they will be really and ultimately saved.

Hence, a Buddhist should hold the following idea:

  1. No man is more cheated than the selfish man.
  2. Human history is the sad result of each one looking out for himself.
  3. Selfish people are incapable of loving others; they are not capable of loving themselves either.
  4. He who lives for himself is dead to others.
  5. Self-love is the greatest of all flatterers and never emancipates.
  6. The more a man denies himself, so much the more will he receive from the Buddhas and Gods.
  7. In order that you may please, you ought to be forgetful of self.
  8. So by never preferring oneself to others you very readily find praise without envy and friends to your taste.
  9. Self-love is a golden calf.
  10. Self-love is the most forbidden sin in the Canon.
  11. The least pain in our little finger gives us more concern and uneasiness than the destruction of million of our fellow-beings.
  12. Whoever lives not somewhat for others, lives little for himself.
  13. The disease of men is this: What they require from others is great; what they lay upon themselves is light.
  14. He who keeps his food to himself, has his sin to himself also.
  15. By oneself alone is evil done; it is self-born and self-caused. Evil grinds the unwise as a diamond, a hard gem.
  16. The fools of little wit move about with the very self as their own foe doing evil deeds the fruit of which is bitter.
  17. All those virtuous terms such 35 good, righteous, noble, kind, delightful, faithful, pure, saint-like, and wise are used to praise others but are not used for becoming proud of oneself. All those vicious terms such as evil, wicked, wrong, mean, cruel, lazy, unworthy, shameless, corrupt, sinful, devilish, and stupid are used to check oneself, but are not used to blame others.
  18. It is due to selfishness that I have fallen into the endless transmigration for so long; now I should develop the Bodhi-citta to help others become as a seed to grow up in the Buddhist field until full enlightenment results.

One must always destroy one's ego with the above thoughts, with one's heart and soul, through fire and water, thick and thin.

Chapter V: How to Develop the Bodhi-citta of Samadhi?

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The above three kinds of Bodhi-citta of Will, of Conduct, and of Victorious Significance, were emphasized by ancients of India and of China. They are exoteric in nature though the next two are esoteric. They have not been connected into a complete system until now. As I am the man who was born here for this great event during this very age to arrange all the important doctrines into a reasonable, complete system for the whole world, I have to introduce them to my readers without any imperfection.

The previous three kinds of Bodhi-citta lay most stress on the mentality. They have not been connected with the physical body, so the wisdom nerves have not been opened and utilized for developing the Bodhi-citta. This Bodhi-citta of Samadhi provides the technique and the function to complete the practice. The above three kinds of Bodhi-citta only succeed after three great Kalpas, but they may shorten their required period into only one life time or at the most, sixteen life times. So the earnest and quick-tempered Bodhisattva has to learn the esoteric doctrines: Samadhi Bodhi-citta first, and Kunda Bodhi-citta last.

For Samadhi Bodhi-citta I have written Booklet No.42 in which the theory of philosophy and the system and all their connections are dealt with in detail. Here I have to introduce the practical method in order to solve the problem "How?"

These methods were imparted by the great sage Nagarjuna who was an incarnation of an ancient Buddha before Gautama Buddha. He received the method from Vajrasattva in the Iron Pagoda in South India which was the third yoga called "Yogic Tantra" in the Vajrayana.

He wrote a very well-known essay titled "Developing the Bodhi-citta" in which he emphasized that anyone who practices this Bodhi-citta will succeed with his fresh body in, at most, sixteen lives. This doctrine has been practiced very earnestly in Japan where it has even been declared that one may get full enlightenment in this life time with this doctrine. They have also purposely mistaken the sixteen life times to mean the sixteen Bodhisattvas in the mandala. This is an error. In Tibet, this kind of Bodhi-Citta has not been paid reasonable attention. It is surely neglectful; I have written an essay giving some frank criticism to both Japanese and Tibetan Buddhists.

The esoteric doctrine is based upon the philosophy of causation of six elements in which the first five belong to the materiality, the last one to the mentality, i.e. in the former group are earth, water, fire, wind, and space, and in the latter category is right view. These six elements are not separately independent but perpetually harmonized with any kind of yoga and its function.

The Bodhi is not only in psychical enlightenment but also in physical light. It is known as the "will" in psychology and as the "heart" in physiology. Its conduct is a function of physiology, but its victorious significance is a function of both psychology and philosophy. The Samadhi Bodhi-citta is more psychical than physical while the Kunda Bodhi-citta is more physical than psychical. Eventually the wise practitioner must skillfully employ the identification of mentality and materiality when he is practicing Yidam even in the position of cause in Vajrayana.

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This kind of Bodhi-citta of Samadhi is called "The Five Forms to Develop the Buddha-body" while the essay written by the above mentioned Guru Nagarjuna is called "The Essay of Developing the Bodhi-citta". His essay deals with the same thing as the Five Forms. From these different names one should recognize that the body and the Bodhi-citta, or the enlightened heart or mind, are the same thing. This recognition fixes the philosophy of the identification of mentality and materiality. The following five steps are translated from the Yogic Tantra ritual of Japan. The same tradition is available in the Tibetan Tripitaka, but the Tibetans do not practice the tradition as earnestly as the Japanese.

To realize the original mind, one should:

1. first realize that the original mind is neither only in the mind nor only in the body. It penetrates inside and outside the body, is available in every body, and practically to every person. The practitioner in his meditation must think that this mind is one with him, without differentiation. His recognition of this is the final truth. He should repeat the following incantation the time:

OM (Dharmakaya) CITTA (mind and heart) BOR RO DHI PHY DAR (realize) KAR RO ME (as I do).

He should visualize himself and all phenomenon as unified in oneness of the truth, which may be called "the original mind", but eventually is neither only mind nor only body, neither present, nor future, neither haveness nor voidness. There is nothing new to be gained, nor is anything lacking. The practitioner should keep this kind of meditation as long as he can.

2. Developing the Bodhi-citta: As the truth is so profound, everybody can not recognize it. For this reason the practitioner must have great compassion for all sentient beings who are in the long running of transmigration and should develop the Bodhi-citta to help them.

The practitioner should visualize this Bodhi-citta as symbolized by a full moon, perfect and round and bright, eight inches in diameter, situated in his heart, and consisting of great compassion and deep wisdom.

He should repeat the following incantation one time:

OM (Dharmakaya) BODHI-CITTA (enlightened mind or heart) BHU DAN BAR RA (develop) WA ME (as now I do).

Although the original size of the symbolic moon is eight inches in diameter, after this visualization is clear and confirmed the practitioner has to enlarge its size until it fills his hermitage, then until it fills the sky, and then until it fills the Dharmadhatu -- the universe in Buddhist cosmology. After the enlargement is finished and confirmed, one should draw it back to its original size by reversing the order given above. One should think that the blessings of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are gathered into the full moon.

3. To realize the Vajra-citta: The Bodhi-citta symbol of the moon contains only the great compassion in mentality, but not the great function in materiality. Therefore, a symbol which contains the five wisdoms in its upper part and the five elements in its lower part joins these two important factors and produces many functions for saving others effectively and fruitfully. One should visualize a vajra standing on the full moon. This vajra is called "vajra-citta". It is able to serve the purpose of good vow as well as the yeoman's service or help in need. The enlargement of this vajra should be visualized in the same manner as that of the full moon, and its diminution should follow the reverse order as explained previously.

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One should repeat the following incantation one time with the visualization:

OM (Dharmakaya) DHI SYIA THA (abide on) VAJRA (the Dharma instrument).

4. To achieve the vajra body: Although one has visualized a vajra at the third stage, it has not become personalized. Without personalization the visualization of the vajra cannot stand in good stead. So in this stage one has to visualize oneself as a Buddha-body. When the vajra has been diminished, then one's Buddha-body increases and reduces in the sizes mentioned above.

One should repeat the following incantation once and must keep the idea or meaning with the visualization:

5. To integrate all parts inside and outside with the body of Buddha Vairocana or the body of the great Bodhisattva Samantabhadra. Both Buddha and the great Bodhisattva who previously was a Buddha who, in order to help the Buddha, descended into the position of a Bodhisattva, can save sentient beings effectively and fruitfully with either their inner powers or with their outer countenance, Hence, in this stage one has to visualize the Buddha or the Bodhisattva in all their thirty-two best forms and their eighty best bodily signs until every part of the holy body is integrated.

One should repeat the following incantation one time:

OM (Dharmakaya) SAMADHA (all) PADHALEN (goodness) HOM (I am).

One should visualize one's self as being the same as Vairocana when one is given initiation; and the same as Samantabhadra when one is carrying on one's Bodhi-citta of Conduct. Both are seated on the Lotus throne and wear the crown with five Buddhas as the highest blessing or ornament. All the Bodhi-citta of Will will completely succeed through such a Buddha or Bodhisattva. Hence, all conduct will be performed by such a holy being.


From the above five steps, one might recognize that the Tantric philosophical background continually penetrates all samadhis of identification of mentality and materiality In the first step the original mind is not only mind in the psychic sense but also holy matter in the philosophical truth sense. In the second step the Bodhicitta symbolized by the moon is somewhat material though its light is mental. When visualized in the heart it seemed material, but it included the great compassion of the heart which is mental. In the third step, the vajra has two parts: the upper is a symbol of wisdom which is mental, while the lower is d symbol of elements which are material. In the fourth step the body is material, but the samadhi with the body is mental. In the last step the signs or forms are material but their source and denotations are all mental. These are the special functions from the true philosophy of Tantra which are not possible in the exoteric school.

Nevertheless, though materiality has been visualized and accompanied by mentality, the actual function has not been practiced with the breath, nerves, and drops in the wisdom system of the Tantric body. Hence, the fifth Bodhi-citta of Kunda is needed.

Chapter VI: How to Develop the Bodhi-Citta of Kunda Which Contains the Red Bodhi and the White Bodhi in a Psycho-Physical System of Holy Quality?

The Buddha-body visualized in the Bodhi-citta of Samadhi course consists only of outer appearance, and the vajra's lower part of five elements has not been utilized completely. Inside the Buddha-body are his wisdom nerves, wisdom drops, and wisdom energy, or breath. Without practicing the Anuttara Yoga but only the Yogic Yoga, one could not develop the real Buddha-body -- much less its functions. The identification of mentality and materiality in the four kinds of Bodhi-citta of Samadhi has only the philosophic theory. The real five elements have not yet taken place in that samadhi. But in this fifth Bodhi-citta, the eventual union of the Red Bodhi and White Bodhi of the practitioner's body with that of his Dakini is quite a psychological matter, in fact. Readers who read over the following lines will recognize the Bodhi-citta of Kunda is quite a must.

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1. When one has the first great initiation named "Precious Vase Initiation" one practices the growing yoga or the evolutional yoga. One's body becomes completely like a Buddha's body. This seems to be a review of the fourth Bodhi-citta of Samadhi, but many such Tantric methods in evolutional yoga are not taught in the course of Samadhi Bodhi-citta. Also, the first initiation differs from the Yogic initiation, as the former is able to bring the wisdom yidam in the position of consequence into the practitioner's body. Further, the fifth step of the complete Buddha-body is a visualization only. After the first initiation of Anuttara Yoga, the body is harmonized with the real Buddha-body, and the mandala of the Buddha-body should then be visualized again. The realization of the Buddha-body should not only appear in one's own sight, but also in other's vision as well.

2. In the Buddha-body, one should visualize the three main nerves which belong to the practice of the second initiation. It is called "Secret Initiation" and since this technical method is never included in the previous yogas, it is very secret. The breath which passes through the three nerves is the breath of Buddhahood. The five elements formed in the wisdom breath are also secret to outsiders and to the Hinayana and Mahayana. The wisdom drops directly form the red Bodhi in the lower part of the median nerve and the white Bodhi in the upper part of the median nerve. Both are the Bodhi-citta of Kunda which makes the fifth Bodhicitta an available and reasonable practice, through which it becomes possible to traverse the entire length of the whole system of Bodhi-citta.

Through the practice of wisdom breath, the red Bodhi ascends and the white Bodhi descends. Both become harmonized and prevail in the whole body of Heruka or Buddha.

3. When one gets the third great initiation one is given a Dakini by his Guru in order to practice the Vajra love. His accomplished white Bodhi-citta harmonizes with the red Bodhi-citta of his Dakini. Since the male Heruka has more white Bodhi than red Bodhi, the Heruka needs to exchange and to identify with the red Bodhi of the Dakini. As the female Dakini has more red Bodhi than white, both are benefitted through the action of Vajra love. By such practice it is said that one easily and quickly develops the power of salvation in this life time, and that the ultimate Bodhi-conduct and the success of the Bodhi-will are finally achieved.

Padmasambhava practiced the Vajra love and attained the full enlightenment and immortality. Tsongkapa had a good idea to keep the Vinaya perfectly and to show that the Bhikshu rules clearly forbade him to use a Dakini personally and only allowed him to visualize a Dakini. Thus he could only get the full enlightenment in his Bardo state This has been written in his biography and the believers of the Gelugpa School all admit it. These two sages very clearly have set a good example for us.

It is said that Buddha can save sentient beings without even arising from his seat. This is because a meditative seat of Vajra love which acts with white and red Bodhi passing through the secret and sacred mandala of the Lotus of the Dakini may perform every kind of Karma -- either to get rid of sins or diseases or increase wealth and health, or induce power and love, or subdue demons or devils. All can be achieved with one practice of Vajra love on this meditative seat.

4. When one is given the fourth great initiation, one's Dharmakaya light is attested to by the Guru and is identified with either Mahamudra or Mahaperfection, Then full enlightenment for both the practitioner and his believers or sentient beings is realized and there is nothing to do again. The Bodhi-citta has arrived at its perfect completion which is called "Samyak Sambodhi".

To know this Kunda Bodhi-citta more in detail, please read my booklet How to Transform Human Body into Buddha-body.

Here I should give some discriminations between Vajra love and worldly love in order to clarify the doubt of my readers:

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1. Worldly love is in opposition to worldly intelligence; but Vajra love identifies the wisdom of sunyata and the great holy pleasure.

Francis Bacon said, "It is impossible to love and to be wise," while Antoine Bret said, "The first sign of love is the last of wisdom." Ovid said, "Love draws one way and reason another." Publius Syrius also frankly confessed that "when you are in love, you are not wise; when you are wise, you are not in love."

But Vajra love is seriously held in the Samadhi of Sunyata. Even a kiss should be identified with the meditation of sunyata. The great sage Milarepa said, "Sunyata and pleasure should always be balanced; if either one is more, falling follows immediately." Hence, it is only the wise man who is able to practice Vajra love; those who lack in sunyata meditation are forbidden to practice it. The result of Vajra love is that the one who is wise will receive more pleasure practicing it; the one whose pleasure is increased is just the one whose sunyata meditation is strongest. When the wise man achieves the Vajra love practice, he is able to carry on all his great vows in particular, and to do all the salvation Karma to save every sentient being in general.

2. Worldly love ends in pain, but Vajra love ends in full enlightenment and enables the practitioner to stop other's pains.

A Spanish proverb runs, "Where there is love, there is the pain, and fools treat pain as being sweeter than pleasure." John Dryden also writes in a poem:

"Pain of love be sweeter far,
Than all other pleasures are!"

It is said that Vajra love is sixteen-fold that of the love of d new couple of worldly marriage, since the practitioner of Vajra love has the accomplishment of controlling the white drops and to increase the great pleasure by identifying it with sunyata meditation. As far as the sunyata force is projected, the pleasure thereof is also projected, which is why Jean Nathan gave his mournful sigh saying, "Love is an emotion experienced by many but enjoyed by few." Much the more, the sunyata meditation is practiced by many but is realized by only the few!

3. Worldly love is without discretion but Vajra love is with discretion at its three positions:

  1. At its causal position -- One has to choose the Dakini according to Tantric secret instructions. Each kind of Dakini has her special sign on face or body.
  2. At its course position -- Every love action should be done very carefully; within only one minute a practitioner who leaves his meditation of sunyata will fall.
  3. At its consequent position -- It is said, "If one drop of white Bodhi (enlightened semen) is discharged, the Holy wisdom Dakini will weep." Profane love is entirely buried in the ocean of desire, which is why Thomas Hardy so foolishly advocates: "Love without indiscretion is no love at all." What a pity it is!

Much the more, the fundamental practice of the yidam in the causal position, the vinayas of the Tantra in the course position, and the realization of Tzoying (perfect yoga) in the consequent position are all very important conditions of Vajra love, and are never learned or experienced by the common person who knows only the profane love.

4. Worldly love is based upon Haveness, but Vajra love on Voidness. John Keats said in his poem:

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
Its loveliness increases and never
Passes into nothingness!"
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In Tantric love the beauty should be identified with the nothingness of sunyata meditation. It is taught that nine kinds of lovely attitudes and countenances of a Dakini are the signs of Dharmakaya which is the nature of sunyata. Also the sixtyfour different lovely actions should be practiced in the Samadhi of sunyata. Even a little or a subtle thought falling into the profanity of Haveness will be the practitioner's downfall.

5. Worldly love never cares for anything other than itself, but Vajra love is one thing which includes every merit.

Sigmund Freud said, "When a love relationship is at its height, there is no room left for any interest in the environment. A pair of lovers is sufficient to themselves. " Such a kind of love is available to animals.

Ugo Betti said, "When you put a man and woman together, there are somethings they simply have to do. They embrace, they warm each other, all the rest is dead and empty."

Vajra love is not centered within, as with animals, but includes all three principles of beauty, goodness, and truth. When the pleasure is identified with sunyata, a Sambhogakaya achievement of beauty is attained. When the Bodhi-citta of Kunda is identified with sunyata, a Nirmanakaya achievement of goodness is attained. When the light between the vajra and lotus shines forth, a Dharmakaya achievement of truth is attained. How can worldly love be compared with Vajra love!?

6. Worldly human love is better than animal love, and Vajra love is much better than the human love.

  1. Havelock Ellis said, "The sexual embrace can only be compared with music and prayer." But the Vajra love is itself a profound Samadhi and the deepest compassion.
  2. James Boswell said, "If real delight and the power of propagating only to the virtuous existed, it would make the world very good." Vajra love not only benefits the virtuous, but also increases the profound Samadhi of the practitioner. It results not only in the goodness of the world, but also in the salvation of the six realms
  3. Thomas Kempis said, "Love is a great thing, a great good in every wise; it alone makes light every heavy thing and beareth evenly every uneven thing." But Vajra love may set up the whole universe in peace and every sentient being in quietude,
  4. On worldly love Miguel de Unamuno writes: "Love is the child of illusion and the parent of disillusion." But Vajra love begins with sunyata and ends with truth and never is the child of illusion.

Those hypocrites who keep lustful poison in their own minds and assume the air of serious pedant, saying that there is no such doctrine as Vajra love in Vajrayana are like the thief who steals another's bell and hides his own ears in hope that no sound of the bell has been heard by others. He is only a fool himself. In ancient times most sages kept the doctrine of Vajra love in secret; one should never say, however, that this doctrine does not exist. It is said that he who does not pay respect to Vajra love will fall into vajra hell. The only exertion we should make is keeping the vinaya of Vajra love and practicing it carefully in the Samadhi of sunyata and compassion. I have made a chart concerning Vajra love and all its vinayas and Tantra Silas which is collected in two booklets. Readers may borrow these from some libraries.

Chapter VII: Conclusion

The three important parts I shall deal with in this Chapter are, viz: 1. The connection between the five Bodhi-cittas 2. The seven steps in practicing the Bodhi-citta. 3. The stanzas of Bodhi-citta which should be repeated to develop the philosophic background and to form a motivating force to encourage the continuity of the practice.

1. The connection between the five Bodhi-cittas.

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Among the five, it is the third Bodhi-citta of Victorious Significance which is the most important connecting link. For instance, if one holds these five Bodhi-cittas on his shoulder, the middle point of the fulcrum on which the balance depends when placed across the shoulder is the Bodhi-citta of Victorious Significance. As I have already said many times, the great compassion is only one part of the Bodhi-citta; the other part which has been neglected even by the ancients is the victorious signification of sunyata wisdom. He who only practices the great compassion cannot succeed in developing the Bodhi-citta. Hence, both the great compassion and the sunyata wisdom should be identified in practice. Most practitioners ignore the latter and lay more stress on the former. They should take my advice to balance themselves.

Again, the previous two Bodhi-cittas, viz: Bodhi-citta of Will and that of Conduct should be measured by the Victorious Significance. If they are identified with it then their aims are directed towards full enlightenment; if not, their goal is only to reach the heavenly states. The last two Bodhi-cittas, viz: Bodhi-citta of Samadhi and that of Kunda should also be measured by the Victorious Significance. If they are harmonized with it, their samadhi is beyond the heavens, their Vajra love is different from profanity.

One should lay most stress on this Bodhi-citta of Victorious Significance. If one feels that it is very difficult to recognize, one has to learn from a skillful Guru, repeat the Prajna Paramita Sutra many times, pray to the most wise MahaBodhisattva Manjusri for blessings, and repeat my stanza which is mentioned in the third part of this Chapter.

2. The seven steps to develop the Bodhi-citta as taught by the ancients.

Why haven't the seven steps to develop the Bodhi-citta as taught by the ancients been quoted in the booklet? Those members of the Yellow Cap sect of Tibetan Buddhism have obeyed and practiced these steps very often, as their founder Tsongkapa included these seven steps in his very well-known "Bodhi-path" essay (lam rim). I myself have also followed and practiced them for some years. The Indian sage and Bodhisattva Shantideva who began to teach these seven steps had grasped the good human nature as a motive of Bodhi-citta. Every good person loves his mother even more than his father. This love which inspires the seven steps inclines to the side of compassion, but neglects the other side of sunyata wisdom. The seven steps are as follows:

  1. To know that every man or woman and every sentient being has been one or more times one's mother owing to the numberless repetitions of transmigration.
  2. Mother is one's benefactor.
  3. One should reward the benefactor .
  4. One must have kindness (maitri) to his mother the same as to sentient beings.
  5. One must have compassion (Karuna) to one's mother and to sentient beings.
  6. One must have and strengthen a good mind toward sentient beings.
  7. One has to develop the Bodhi-citta.

As to my opinion concerning the practical order of the steps -- the fourth and fifth, kindness and compassion, succeed only after the Bodhi-citta is developed. They are the results of Bodhi-citta, but not its precursors. Again, the first five steps are all based upon great compassion, not on sunyata wisdom, and when one practices the third Bodhi-citta of Victorious Significance these steps lose their importance. On the other hand, even the great compassion of non-conditionality and that of non-entity are both far apart from the condition of one's mother and her individuality. The practice seems somewhat connected with egoism or selfishness.

Because of this, besides this mother idea, I found some more important ideas concerning the practitioner and the sentient beings during my practice of the Bodhicitta.

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  1. one's mother some of the sentient beings may be the incarnations of Buddhas.
  2. All Bodhisattvas are working for every sentient being.
  3. They need salvation, even those who are not my mother.
  4. Every sentient beings suffering helps the practitioner to collect merit as he tries to save them from suffering .
  5. Every sentient being's suffering helps the practitioner to eventually know the four noble truths which are based on the truth of suffering.
  6. Some sentient beings may be in the position of Bodhisattva or Arhat,
  7. Every sentient being has his own nature of sunyata; hence, we are all in the same entity from which we derive the same body and suffer together.
  8. Those who have been saved, help the practitioner to attain the position of Nirmanakaya.
  9. Every sentient being is in the same light or the same truth or the same nature of Dharmakaya -- even if he has not yet recognized it.
  10. Without sentient beings, Buddhahood will never be attained.

The above eleven ideas if held by the practitioner will bring him success in the whole Bodhi-citta system even more quickly than the practitioner who knows only the seven steps. All these ideas are described in the following stanzas. May all my readers carefully repeat them. As it is my essential experience and practiced and collected for more than thirty years, one cannot find it elsewhere, neither in the Tripitaka, nor in modern essays.

3. The Stanzas of the Complete Bodhi-Citta System:

    1.
    Unexhausted is the Holy Karmas of all Buddhas!
    Unending is the merit or demerits of all beings!
    My Bodhi-citta goes between them, has no end too,
    This is the succession of my prayer in three things!

    2.
    Just like the spirit comes down to man for divination,
    I get the inspiration from Buddha for salvation!
    Again, like the evil ghost asked the sick man or woman
    And got something; I also receive it from Buddha's compassion!

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    3.
    From my parents my body takes birth.
    My wisdom is the blessing of Buddhas!
    I could not find who is my self,
    Besides serving others, nothing else!

    4.
    Buddha has blessed me to help beings!
    I guide beings to take refuge in Him;
    Breath after breath it does not cease,
    Bodhi-citta should be like this!

    5.
    Every being is within Dharmakaya!
    No being -- no merit of Sambhogakaya!
    No being -- no mercy of Nirmanakaya!
    If there is no being, there is no kaya!

    6.
    No sentient being -- no Bodhisattva!
    No sentient being -- no Bodhi-citta!
    Many beings have been my pa and ma!
    For beings' sake all sages did their Karma!

    7.
    Some beings incarnated from Buddha,
    In his past lives as Gautama,
    He appeared in some animal Kaya,
    To save the same kind from Karma.

    8.
    To harm beings brings the three evil states!
    To help beings one attains the three Kayas!
    To help beings makes Buddha happy.
    To harm beings is to shed Buddha's tears!

    9.
    One is with beings and Buddhas,
    Three connected with this Bodhi-citta;
    One knows this will become Buddha,
    Have to practice Bodhi-citta.*

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    10.
    Samadhi Bodhi-citta is like the full moon,
    Standing on which is Vajra-citta with wisdom,
    From them Holy light shines over the whole world,
    One practicing it will become Buddha soon!

    11.
    All Buddha's power and wisdom,
    Shine light forth upon my body;
    I then impart it to all beings,
    Buddhas they may become and steady!

    12.
    Most sentient being's Karma is sin;
    Become light and come to my being,
    I, then, transform it into light,
    With which I make my offering!

    * The above stanzas are the right view on Bodhi-citta as introduced in the eleven ideas this Chapter.

    13.
    Manjusri who gathered much wisdom,
    Shines light forth into my own body;
    I give his holy sword to all beings,
    May they cut off darkness so cloudy.

    14.
    May my spirit pervade all being's minds,
    May I agree with their wishes of all kinds;
    May I be enabled to make them happy,
    Metta* follows the wisdom behind!

    15.
    Kwan Yin has gathered much metta,
    It becomes light and comes into me!
    I use it to wash the pain from beings,
    May all beings from their pain be quite free!

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    16.
    May I read all sentient beings' minds;
    May I change them to spiritual kinds;
    May I open their natural truth,
    Wisdom follows the metta behind!

    17.
    Vajrapani has many powers,
    They become light and come into me;
    I use it to subdue the demons,
    Let all sentient beings be very free!

    18.
    May I dig up the seed from beings so soon!
    May I remove the obstacle of demons being so long;
    May I help them to get the ten great Dowers,
    Power, metta, wisdom -- all become strong !

    * Metta means "great compassion."

    19.
    In the East I beg Buddha Aksobhya,
    Whose Pureland manifests unmovable virtues;
    Would you be so unkind as to see all beings disturbed?
    Bless them to return to their unmovable nature!

    20.
    In the South I beg Buddha Ratnasambhava,
    Whose Pureland manifests equality of mind;
    Would you be so unkind as to see beings stingy?
    Bless them to be generous and kind!

    21.
    In the West I beg Buddha Amitabha,
    Whose Pureland is full of longevity;
    Would you be able to see beings with short life?
    Bless them to live long in reality.

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    22.
    In the North I beg Buddha Amoghasiddhi,
    Whose Pureland is full of best Karma;
    Would you be able to see beings lazy?
    Bless them to stabilize the perfect yoga!

    23.
    In the center I beg Buddha Vairocana,
    Whose Pureland is the nature of Dharma;
    Would you be able to see beings lose their nature?
    Kindly bless them to attain Dharmakaya!

    24.
    Just like you do best Karma in your land,
    In Saha, bless me to do the same at hand!
    And in all the other five realms as well,
    May all Karma be established with your good will!*

    * The above stanzas pertain to the fourth Bodhi-citta of Samadhi.

    25.
    Buddha's mirror wisdom comes into my mind,
    My holy light comes into the mind of beings;
    May they realize the mirror wisdom free from anger,
    In service, I use the Great Anger as offering to Him! 1

    26.
    Buddha's equality wisdom comes into my mind!
    My holy wisdom light comes to all sentient beings;
    May all sentient beings realize the wisdom free from pride!
    In holy service I use the Great Pride as offering to Him! 2

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    27.
    Buddha's profound wisdom comes into my mind!
    My holy light comes into all sentient beings;
    May all beings realize deep wisdom free from love,
    In service, I use the Great Love as offering to Him! 3

    28.
    Buddha's Karma wisdom comes into my mind,
    My holy light comes to all sentient beings;
    May they realize this wisdom free from doubt,
    In service, I use the Great Doubt as offering to Him! 4

    29.
    Buddha's nature wisdom comes into my mind,
    My holy light comes to all sentient beings;
    May they realize this wisdom and be freed from stupid dullness,
    In service, I use the Great Dullness as offering to Him! 5

    1 The Great Anger as practiced with the wrathful Yidam.
    2 The Great Pride means the holy pride of Buddhahood.
    3 The Great Love is Vajra Love.
    4 The Great Doubt means the Hwa-tou of Zen.
    5 The Great Dullness means the dream yoga.

    30.
    The Yellow Dakini of earth element,
    Favours me with earth-essence in my body;
    Which enables me to get the growing force;
    This force produces all kinds of Bodhi!

    31.
    The White Dakini of water element,
    Sends water-essence into my body,
    Which enables me to get the Dharma force;
    This force then flourishes all kinds of Bodhi!

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    32.
    The Red Dakini of fire element,
    Sends some fire-essence into my body,
    Which enables me to get warm devotion;
    This force may mature all kinds of Bodhi!

    33.*
    The Green Dakini of wind element,
    Sends some wind-essence into my body,
    Which enables me to get the preaching force;
    This force may achieve all kinds of Bodhi!

    * Stanza 33 has been filled in by Yutang Lin in accordance with the Chinese original.

    34.
    The Blue Dakini of space element,
    Sends some space-essence into my body,
    Which enables me to get the embodiment force;
    This force makes the perfection of all Bodhi!

    35.
    My father Buddha and mother Dakinis!
    Your merciful eyes have surely seen my mind,
    And seen all other minds of all sentient beings,
    Either in the heaven or world of mankind!

    36.
    When five shortages of the heavenly ones appear,
    They will fall into low states and suffer long;
    May I bear their pain in my own body,
    May all heavenly ones Ratna Buddha become!

    37.
    All Asuras are full of hatred and doubt,
    They will fall into painful realms and suffer long;
    May I bear their pain in my own body,
    May all Asuras Amoga Buddha become!

    38.
    All human beings have done many sins;
    They will fall into worse states and suffer long;
    May I bear their pain in my own body,
    May all humans Ratna Buddha become!

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    39.
    All animals have done evil and killed,
    They will fall into bad states and suffer long;
    May I bear their sins in my own body,
    May all animals Aksobhya Buddha become!

    40.
    All ghosts are in hunger and thirst,
    They have unendurable pain and suffer long;
    May I bear their pain in my own body,
    May all ghosts Amitabha Buddha become!

    41.
    The Hell-dwellers are full of different pains!
    They continuously suffer ever so long!
    May I bear their pains in my own body,
    May all Hell-dwellers Vairocana Buddha soon become!

    42.
    When anger does appear in my mind,
    Hell too appears close behind!
    May I know it is sunyata,
    The great Hevajra soon will I find!

    43.
    When Pride does appear in my mind,
    Heaven too appears at its behind!
    May I know it is sunyata,
    Guhyasamaja will soon I find!

    44.
    When lust does appear in my mind,
    Ghosts too appear close behind!
    May I know it is sunyata,
    The Mahamaya soon will I find!

    45.
    When doubt does appear in my mind,
    Asuras too are close behind!
    May I know it is sunyata,
    Yamantaka soon will I find!

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    46.
    When ignorance rises in my mind,
    The wild beast is at its behind!
    May I know it is sunyata,
    Great Samvara soon will I find!*

    * The above stanzas Pertain to the fifth Bodhi-citta of Kunda

    47.
    When one feels the pain of departed love,
    May my mind's light become his right view;
    May he know the impermanence,
    Even endure well the departed Dharma new!

    48.
    When one feels the pain of foe's meeting,
    May my mind's light become his right view,
    May he know renunciation at once,
    Even the Dharma foes do become few!

    49.
    When one feels the pain of sorrows,
    May my light become his right view;
    May his sorrows be transmuted,
    Into Dharma Sunyata new!

    50.
    When one fears birth, sickness, old age, and death,
    May my mind's light become his right view;
    May he know the story of the four gates,
    Ordained into a Bhikshu new!

    51.
    When one feels its too hard to get Siddhis,
    May my mind soon become his Bodhi;
    When one feels there are many demons,
    May my light soon become his will strong!

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    52.
    When one practices without progress present,
    May my mind become his patience;
    When one plans to stop his practice,
    May my mind become his continuance!

    53.
    When one suffers from calamity,
    May I be able to save him from it;
    He might take refuge after being saved,
    Thus Buddha's metta and my mind meet!

    54.
    When all one's evil Karma matures,
    May I be able to save him from it;
    He might take refuge after being saved,
    Thus Buddha's metta and my mind meet!

    55.
    When all his kinsmen and friends depart,
    May I be able to save him from it;
    He might take refuge after being saved,
    Thus Buddha's metta and my mind meet!

    56.
    When he wanders in Bardo alone,
    May I be able to save him from it;
    He might take refuge after being saved,
    Thus Buddha's metta and my mind meet!

    57.
    When he is presented at Yama's palace,
    May I be able to save him from it;
    He might take refuge after being saved,
    Thus Buddha's metta and my mind meet!

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    58.
    Buddha's mind pervades in mine;
    Mine pervades in sentient beings;
    May Beings' minds pervade in mine,
    Mine pervades in Buddha's fine!

    59.
    When Buddha's mind comes into mine,
    I might get Buddha wisdom fine;
    When my mind comes into all beings,
    Carry on my great compassion,

    60.
    When beings' minds come into my mine,
    Thereupon faith is theirs to find;
    When their faith meets my compassion,
    They will surely become the Holy kind!

    61.
    I cannot see Buddha all the time,
    But Buddha can see me at anytime;
    Though not all beings believe in me,
    Yet I have compassion for all of them.

    62.
    May compassion and faith both unite soon,
    I and beings become Buddha before long!
    May pity and metta both join soon;
    Karmas of Buddhas and mine be strong! 1

    1 The above stanzas pertain to the first Bodhi-citta of Will.

    63.
    Thinking of beings pain, I have more pity,
    From which Nirmanakaya is born;
    Get ten powers, five wisdoms soon.
    All may be saved by me thereupon!

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    64.
    Thinking of Buddha's wisdom, I become wise,
    Metta without condition comes likewise;
    May I have all the thirty-two influences,
    May I save all those beings not otherwise!

    65.
    When wisdom and compassion are united,
    Many upayas will happen and be right,
    Use these upayas to save sentient beings,
    Let all Buddha's wills be fulfilled outright! 2

    2 Upaya means methods or means to save others.

    66.
    My body is for the service of Buddhas,
    My mind always prays for sentient beings;
    I know Buddha's vows and mine have no end,
    If one being is left, I keep my long life in hand. 3

    3 The above stanzas pertain to the second Bodhi-citta of Conduct.

    67.
    There is neither Buddha coming into beings,
    Nor are beings coming into Buddha's realm;
    Nor does the practitioner go between,
    The pure Bodhi is without action!

    68.
    There is no mind which awaken the Bodhi,
    When it rises one should not hold to the mind;
    What a victorious Bodhi-truth!!
    May all beings abide in such a kind,

    69.
    Buddha's coming is not really coming,
    My going to beings is not really going;
    The current Dharma is turning around,
    The light of it has no end to be found!

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    70.
    The vertical line in three periods,
    The horizontal line in ten directions;
    This Dharmakaya is my body,
    May I manifest all conditions! *

    * The above stanzas pertain to the third Bodhi-citta of Victorious Significance.

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Some preparations should be made before the repetition of the stanzas:

1. Arrange the images:

If you are a dropout and practice in a cave, arrange a stone in place of all Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Herukas, Dakinis, and protectors.

If you are able to arrange all the Holy images according to the following visualization, this is very good. If you are my readers for many years and have received my Quinkaya gift, please arrange Padmasambhava at the top, the mandala of Samvara in the middle, and the 300 images at the bottom of the upper part of a west wall with the images facing east.

2. Offer everything you have:

If you are a dropout, to offer a drop of water is enough.

3. Toward those images, do prostrations at least three times if your age is over eighty. If you are not so old, do twenty-one prostrations or as many as accord with the number specified in your special vows, if you have made such vows.

4. Do the following visualization:

Sit quietly, make the breath subtle, then visualize the ten Dharmadhatus (the great universe in Buddhist cosmology) all become sunyata from which Padmasambhava suddenly appears. He transforms himself into the Adi Buddha under whom there are five Herukas (see stanzas 42-46) with five Dakinis (see stanzas 30-34). Under the five Herukas are five Buddhas, encircled by many Boddhisattvas. Among them Manjusri, Avalokitesvara, and Vajrapani are standing very clearly in front of the other holy beings who are in the front upper space before the practitioner Before him stand the demons and enemies, and on his right side is his father, on the left his mother. Behind him, in the following order are all those six realms of sentient beings, viz: hell beings, ghosts, animals, insects or beasts, men and women, Asuras, and heavenly beings. Whenever the meaning of the stanzas mention these holy beings and these sentient beings, the practitioner should visualize them accordingly.

Source

written by Buddhist Yogi C. M. Chen
edited by Dr. Yutang Lin
yogichen.org