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Bodhicharyavatara the Way of the Bodhisattva

The Way of the Bodhisattva

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BA first year students study this text, the Way of the Bodhisattva, at Rangjung Yeshe Institute. Its Sanskrit name is Bodhicharyavatara, and in Tibetan, popularly called by its abbreviated title; sphyod ‘jug.
I haven’t had a chance to study it with khenpos or other teachers except for parts of it, but I cannot count how many times I have read this text in my life (in Japanese). It was when I read the below verse in chapter 8 that I first developed interest in Buddhism. I guess it’s ten years ago.

All the joy the world contains
Has come through wishing happiness for others.
All the misery the world contains
Has come through wanting pleasure for oneself.

This was shocking, but very true.
Since then, I open any page of the book when I am sad, sick, or just feel like reading it. There are verses that reflect my feeling of the time. There are verses that teach something different in different times though the words are exactly the same. There are verses that finally reveal the meaning after reading dozens of times. But, the most powerful message of the book for me is the above verse.

I close the book at wherever I feel like closing it. But, every time I read, it reminds me of something important, something that can easily be forgotten in our daily lives. I have heard hundreds of times how important compassion and patience are, and how harmful anger is, but they are so often and easily forgotten.


I have to confess that I usually skip chapter 9, the Wisdom chapter, because of its complexity. However, I think the time will come when this chapter will also teach me something that is equally important as teachings in other chapters.

~Tomoko from Japan

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