Engaging in Bodhisattva Behavior

(sPyod-'jug, Bodhisattvacharyavatara)

by Shantideva

Translated from the Tibetan, as clarified by the Sanskrit by Alexander Berzin, 2004

8. Far-Reaching Mental Stability

(1) Having increased my zestful vigor like that,
I shall set my mind in absorbed concentration;
Since a person having a distracted mind
Is set between the fangs of disturbing emotions.

(2) Through dissociating (both my) body and mind,
There'll be no occurrence of any distraction;
Therefore, I'll set aside worldly concerns
And bring my rambling thought to a halt.

(3) Worldly concerns are not discarded
Because of sticky attachments
   and thirst for material gain and the like;
Therefore, to set these things aside,
Someone with knowledge would discern like this:

(4) "An exceptionally perceptive state of mind,
   joined onto a stilled and settled state,
Completely destroys the disturbing emotions."
Having understood this, first I shall seek
   a stilled and settled mind;
And that's achieved through delight in detachment
from worldly concerns.

(5) (After all,) any impermanent person
Having sticky attachment to impermanent beings
Won't see those loved ones again (after death)
For many thousands of lives.

(6) Not seeing them, I'll be unhappy
And my mind won't settle in absorbed concentration;
Even if I've seen them, I'll never be satisfied,
And, as before, I'll be tormented by longing.

(7) From being attached to limited beings,
I'm blocked from (seeing) things as they are;
I lose any sense of disillusionment too;
And, in the end, I'm tormented by grief.

(8) Because of thinking only of them,
This life will pass without any meaning,
And through noneternal friends and relations,
I will come to lose the eternal Dharma.

(9) Having acted e'qual to the lot of infantile people,
I'll surely go to a worse reb'irth state;
If I'm led to a lot that's not (even) e'qual,
Then what have I gained by relying on those infantile folk?

(10) One moment, they're friends;
In an instant, they're enemies.
At a time for being delighted, they fall into a rage:
Ordinary beings are so difficult to please.

(11) Told what's of benefit, they get enraged
And cause me to turn from what's of benefit too.
But, if their words aren't listened to,
They fall into a rage and go, then, to a worse reb'irth state.

(12) They're envious of superiors, competitive with e'quals,
Arrogant toward inferiors, conceited when praised,
And hateful when told what they don't want to hear:
When is there benefit from infantile beings?

(13) If I associate with infantile people,
Then destructive behavior inevitably arises
   among infantile folk,
Such as praising myself and belittling others,
And prattling on about the pleasures of samsara.

(14) From entrusting myself to others in this way,
Nothing but loss comes about in the end,
For they'll be, in fact, no-good for me
And I'll be, in fact, no-good for them.

(15) So let me flee far away from infantile folk;
But if encountered, I'll please them with pleasantries,
And without becoming overly familiar,
I'll conduct myself nicely, merely as an ordinary person would.

(16) Obtaining only what's helpful for Dharma,
Like a bumblebee honey from a flower,
I'll live without having familiars,
Like having never seen any of them before.

(17) "But I get a lot of material gain and honor,
And many people like me."
If I hold on to being conceited like that,
Terrifying things will arise after death.

(18) Thus, no matter what my bewildered mind
Becomes attached to;
In conjunction with each of them,
Thousandfold problems arise and stay around.

(19) Hence, the wise have no attachments,
(Because,) from attachments, terrifying things arise.
As these (objects) will naturally be discarded (at death),
Be firm and consider this well:

(20) There've been many people with material wealth
And there've been many with fame and reputation.
But it's never been known that they've passed on to some place
Where their amassed wealth and fame have come with.

(21) If there are others who belittle me,
What pleasure is there when I'm being praised?
And if there are others who praise me,
What displeasure is there when I'm being belittled?

(22) If limited beings, with varied dispositions,
Couldn't be pleased by even the Triumphant,
What need to mention by the poor likes of me?
Therefore, let me give up my preoccupation
   with worldly people.

(23) They belittle limited beings lacking material gain,
And, regarding those with material gain, they say bad things;
How can any pleasure arise with those
Whose company is, by nature, so difficult?

(24) The Thusly Gone (Buddha) has said,
"An infantile person isn't anyone's friend,"
That's because the friendliness of an infantile person
Doesn't arise except through its serving his own self-aims.

(Friendliness through the gateway of its serving self-aims,
Is friendliness just for the aims of a "self";
Just as distress at the breaking of some material possession
Is something, in fact, that comes from a loss of self-pleasure.)

(25) In forests, however, wild creatures, birds, and trees
Never say bad things about you
And are happy when befriended.
When shall I come to live with them?

(26) Oh when shall I become detached,
Living in caves, an empty shrine,
Or at the foot of a tree,
And never look back?

(27) When shall I come to live in nature,
In vast regions, not privately owned,
Moving under my own incentive or
Staying put, without attachment.

(28) When shall I come to live without fears,
Having (just a few) small things,
   a (clay) begging bowl and the like,
Wearing clothes that no one would want,
And not even sheltering this body?

(29) When, having gone to a charnel ground,
Shall I come to compare,
With the piles of others' bones,
My body, having the nature to rot.

(30) This very body of mine
Will also become (putrid) like that,
And because of its stench,
Not even the jackals will slink near.

(31) Though this body was born as a single object,
The flesh and bones that arose with it
Will fall apart and go their own ways.
What need to mention friends that are other (than it)?

(32) A man is born alone, when taking birth,
And dies alone too, when undergoing death.
As no one else can take a share of this pain,
What can be done by encumbering friends?

(33) Just as the way in which travelers on a road
Take up a place to lodge,
Similar is the way in which travelers on the road
   of compulsive existence
Take up a reb'irth as a place to lodge.

(34) So, let me retire to the forest
Until four pallbearers
Haul that body out from there,
While all my worldly (relations) grieve.

(35) Let this body stay there in isolation, alone,
Making neither intimate friends nor conflicts.
If I'm already counted as if I were dead,
There'll be no mourners when I actually die.

(36) As there'll be no attendants (hovering) nearby,
Mourning and causing distress,
There'll be no one to distract this (hermit)
From continuing mindfulness of Buddha and more.

(37) So, let me live in solitude
In lovely, delightful forests,
With little trouble, happiness and well-being,
Quieting all distractions.

(38) Having cast off all other intentions,
And with my intent single-pointed,
I shall strive (there) for settling my mind
   in absorbed concentration
And making it tamed;

(39) (For) lustful desires give rise to disas'ters
In this world and in the next ones as well.
In this one, they bring about murder, imprisonment,
   and knifings,
And in the next, joyless realms and the like.

(40) Those (bodies) for which sake,
   you repeatedly begged
Before male and female go-betweens,
And for which sake, you didn't shrink
From either negative behavior or disgrace,

(41) (For which) you threw yourself even in danger
And even spent all your wealth,
And embracing which,
You experienced the utmost pleasure (of sexual release) -

(42) They were nothing but skeletons,
Inde'pendent, and never yours!
Why not push on, (instead,) to nirvanic release,
Which you can fully embrace to your heart's content?

(43) That face, which, (at your wedding,) you lifted up first with effort
    and drew near,
Although it was bashfully looking down,
And whether previously seen or not seen (by you),
Was covered with a veil,

(44) That face, which emotionally disturbed you so,
Is now unveiled by the vultures
And can be directly seen.
Why do you run away now?

(45) That (face) which you protected (before)
From the leers of others' eyes,
Why aren't you protecting it now, (jealous) miser,
While it's being devoured by them?

(46) Seeing this pile of meat
Being gulped down by vultures and the rest,
(Tell me), is the food of others something to be offered
With garlands of flowers, jewelry, and sandalwood scent?

(47) If you (experience) fright from seeing even a skeleton,
Though it lacks any movement,
Why wasn't there horror when it was set into motion
By some (intent), like a zombie.

(48) You lusted after it, even when it was covered,
Why don't you lust for it (now), when uncovered (from its skin)?
If you have no use for it (now),
Why did you sexually embrace it when covered?

(49) Its excrement and saliva
Arise from one and the same food;
So why, out of the two, do you take no delight
   in the excrement
And yet delight in (a taste of) saliva?

(50) Finding no sexual pleasure in pillows,
Filled with cotton and soft to the touch,
(After all) "They don't exude a foul stench,"
Lustful people are bewildered about excrement.

(51) Lustful, gross, bewildered people,
(Thinking,) "It's impossible to make love
To cotton, soft to the touch,"
Become furious with it (instead).

(52) If you have no attachment for what is foul,
Why do you sexually embrace another (body):
A cagework of bones, bound together with sinews,
And plastered over with a mud of flesh?

(53) You yourself contain plenty of excrement,
So manage by yourself, steadfastly with that.
Glutton for excrement,
You long for yet another bag of excrement?

(54) (Thinking,) "But it's the flesh I delight in,"
You long to touch and look at it.
But why have you no desire for the flesh
(Here,) in its natural state, devoid of a mind?

(55) And whatever mind you might desire,
Cannot be touched or looked at,
And whatever can, hasn't a consciousness.
So it's no use! Why do you sexually embrace it?

(56) Though it's no great surprise that you don't understand
That another's body, by nature, is something (full of) excrement;
But that you don't understand that your very own
Is, by nature, something (full of) excrement - that's really shocking!

(57) Having rejected the tender lotus, (born from the muck
And) opened by the rays of the unclouded sun,
What delight is there in a cagework (of bones, full) of feces,
For a mind obsessed with excrement?

(58) If you don't wish to touch soil and places
That are smeared with excrement,
How is it that you wish to touch the body
Out of which it was excreted?

(59) If you have no attachment for what is foul,
Why do you sexually embrace another (body):
The seed of which grew from a field (full) of excrement
And was nourished by it.

(60) Is it because of its tininess that you don't long
For a foul maggot, born from excrement?
You desire, in fact, a body, also born from excrement,
(Since) by nature, it's (full) of a lot of excrement!

(61) Not only do you not disparage
The excremental nature of yourself,
You glutton for excrement,
You long for other bags of excrement too!

(62) Whether it's refreshing (chews) with camphor and the like,
Or cooked rice with vegetable curries,
Once put in the mouth and then spat out or vomited,
Even the ground becomes filthy and foul.

(63) If you still have doubts about its being, like this,
In the nature of excrement, though it's so obvious,
Look at the (ghastly) foul bodies of others,
Thrown away in the charnel ground.

(64) When the skin is torn open,
Great horror comes up from it.
Knowing just that, how can delight
Come up any more from that very same thing?

(65) And that smell sloshed on the body
Is from sandalwood and such things,
   not from the other (person).
So why are you attracted to someone else
By the smell of something other?

(66) If, because of its naturally foul smell,
There's no attraction to it, isn't that fortunate?
Why do people in this world, who relish what's useless,
Slosh it with sweet smelling things?

(67) Well then, if what has the sweet smell is sandalwood,
What comes from the body in this case?
So why are you attracted to someone else
By the smell of something other?

(68) If the natural state of the body is totally horrific -
Naked, coated with a tarnish of grime,
Its hair and nails long,
Its teeth yellow and stained -

(69) Why spruce it up with (so much) hard work,
Like a weapon for inflicting self-harm?
(Oh dear,) this world is truly bustling with madmen
Working so hard deluding themselves!

(70) Having seen merely a few skeletons,
You were so turned off in the charnel ground;
Yet you find sexual pleasure in charnel-ground cities
Crowded with moving skeletons?

(71) Further, that (bag) full of excrement like that
Isn't obtained without a price:
There's exhaustion in earning (money) for its sake
And torment (later) in joyless realms and the like.

(72) It's not possible to build up wealth as a child,
So as a teenager, what is there to get pleasure with?
Spending adulthood accumulating wealth,
What can an old person do with sexual desires?

(73) Some people, (though) having gross desires,
Exhaust themselves with work all day long
And, coming home (at night), their bodies spent,
Drop down asleep like the dead.

(74) Some must go abroad (on army expeditions)
And, with disturbing emotions, have the suffering of being
   far away.
Longing for their children and wives, they don't see
Their children and wives, though the years roll by.

(75) Confused by desires for what would be of self-benefit,
They even sell themselves for the sake of that
Which they never obtain, and so (toil) pointlessly,
Driven by the winds of others' karmic whims.

(76) And the wives of some of those who have sold
   their own bodies
And must follow others' orders, powerlessly,
Have to give birth to their children, with them plopping out
At the feet of trees or in desolate places.

(77) (Some) foolish people, deceived by desires,
Wishing to make a livelihood, thinking, "I'll earn a living,"
Enter into w'ar, (thus) risking their lives,
Or go into servitude for the sake of self-gain.

(78) Some, having greed, are even bodily mutilated
And some get impaled on spikes.
Some are seen being stabbed with daggers
And some even burned alive.

(79) With the torments (involved) in amassing, protecting, and losing it,
Know that material advantage is a disadvantage without an end:
(For) those distracted by obsession with wealth
Haven't the time to free themselves
   from the sufferings of compulsive existence.

(80) (Thus,) for those with desire, drawbacks like these and more
   are abundant
And (any) tastes of pleasure are paltry,
Like the snatches of a few mouthfuls of grass
(Won) by an ox while pulling a cart.

(81) For the sake of that paltry taste of pleasure,
Not hard to find for even an ox,
This hard-to-find splendor of respites and endowments
Is destroyed by those who waste their (good) karma.

(82) Whatever hardships there are in exhausting yourself
All the time for the sake of the puny desires (of the body)
That will definitely perish and (consequently)
Fall to joyless realms and worse,

(83) With one millionth of the hardship, there would be Buddhahood;
Whereas those with desires have suffering
Greater than those engaged in bodhisattva behavior,
And yet they have no enlightenment.

(84) Neither weapons, poison, fire,
Precipices, nor foes
Compare with desires when I think
Of the tortures of joyless realms and the like.

(85) Recoiling from desires in this way,
I shall enhance my delight in solitude.
In peaceful forests,
Devoid of strife and emotional disturbance,

(86) Amongst (beautiful) boulders,
Huge as palaces, cooled by the sandalwood rays of the moon,
Joyfully roam the fortunate ones, fanned by the silent, gentle,
   forest breezes,
Reflecting on the aims of benefiting others.

(87) Staying anywhere, for as long as desired -
In an empty shelter, at the foot of a tree, or in caves -
Those rid of the strain of safeguarding possessions
Live relaxed, without any cares,

(88) Acting according to their own intent,
Without attachments, not bound by anyone,
Savoring the joy of contentment,
Difficult to find for even powerful rulers.

(89) Having considered, with aspects such as these and more,
The benefits of dissociating (myself),
And thus fully quieting my rambling thoughts,
I shall meditate on bodhichitta.

(90) First, I shall meditate strongly on
The e'quality of myself and others (in this way):
As everyone's a fellow being, having happiness and pain,
(Others) are to be cared for (by me) in the same way as I am.

(91) Just as, despite its many parts, with divisions into hands and so on,
The body's to be cared for as a whole;
Similarly, despite the differences among wandering beings,
Yet in regard to happiness and pain, they're all e'qual to myself
   in wishing to be happy, and (thus form) a whole.

(92) Although my own pain
Doesn't hurt the bodies of others,
Yet being, like that, the pain of a "me,"
It's unbearable, because of clinging to a "me."

(93) Likewise, though the pain of others
Doesn't befall me,
Yet being, like that, the pain of a "me,"
It's (also) difficult to bear, because of clinging to a "me."

(94) Thus, the pain of others is something to be eliminated by me,
Because of its (nature as) pain, like the pain of a "me";
And others are beings to be helped by me,
Because of their (natures as) limited beings, like the body of a "me."

(95) When happiness is something e'qually liked,
Both by myself and others,
What's so special about me
That I strive after happiness for myself alone?

(96) And when suffering is something e'qually disliked,
Both by myself and others,
What's so special about me
That I take care of myself and not others?

(97) If it's because their suffering doesn't harm me
That I don't safeguard them,
Why safeguard myself against future (life) suffering,
If it doesn't harm me (now)?

(98) That notion is distorted that thinks,
"But I'm the one who'll experience it,"
For, like this, it's someone else who has died
And someone else who takes birth.

(99) If whatever suffering anyone has
Must be taken care of by that one himself,
Then since the foot's suffering is not the hand's,
Why is that to be taken care of by it?

(100) If it's the case that (ignoring) it would be illogical
And so here it's undertaken from a sense of a (whole) self;
Well then, surely what's illogical regarding (the whole
   formed by) myself and others
Is something to be dismissed, as much as I can.

(101) What are called "a continuum" and "a group,"
Such as a rosary, an army, and the like,

   are not truly (a findable whole),
And so, since a possessor of suffering doesn't exist,
Whose responsibility is it (as "mine")?

(102) In their being without an owner,
All sufferings lack a distinction:
So it's (simply) because they're suffering
   that they're to be averted.
Why are there fixed (limitations) made here?

(103) "But why is the suffering of everyone to be averted?"
Well, it's indisputable:
If (anyone's) is to be averted, then everyone's is to be averted;
If not, (that applies) to me as well,
   just like to (every other) limited being.

(104) "But with compassion there's much suffering,
So why develop it with (such) effort?"
Well, having thought about the sufferings of wandering beings,
How could the suffering of compassion be much?

(105) If the suffering of many disappears
Through the suffering of one,
That suffering would be something that someone
   with loving compassion
Would bring on, for the sake of himself and others.

(106) Thus Supushpa?chandra,
Though knowing the punishment (he'd receive) from the king,
Didn't avoid the suffering for himself
In order to dispel the sufferings of many.

(107) Those with mental continuums accustomed like this,
And who (hold e'qually) dear quelling the sufferings of others,
Plunge themselves into even (a joyless realm of) unrelenting pain
Like a swan into a lotus pond.

(108) And then, as limited beings are liberated,
   they have oceans of joy:
These are the ones (who've gained real fulfillment).
Wouldn't that be sufficient?
What is there with the wish for (insipid) liberation?

(109) Thus, even though working for the benefit of others,
There's no conceit; there's no amazement;
There's no hoping for a ripening result (for oneself),
When it's with an appetite exclusively for what benefits others.

(110) Therefore, just as I safeguard myself
Against becoming debased, to the tiniest extent,
Likewise, I shall act like that toward others
With a protective mind and a mind of compassion.

(111) Just as, out of familiarity,
There's an understanding of a "me"
Regarding drops of semen and blood
   belonging to others,
Despite it's not existing as some "thing,"

(112) Why couldn't I likewise take as "me"
A body that belongs to someone else?
(After all,) it's not difficult to set it, in the same way,
As something other than a body that's "mine."

(113) (So,) having understood the faultiness of (cherishing) myself
And the oceans of advantages of (cherishing) others,
I shall meditate on discarding my way
Of taking a "me," and extend it to others.

(114) Just as the hand and so on are held dear
Through their being the limbs of the body,
Why couldn't beings having a body be similarly held dear
Through their being limbs of wandering life?

(115) Just as, out of familiarity, an attitude of "me"
Has come about with respect to this body (of mine),
   despite its lacking a "me,"
Likewise, out of familiarity, why couldn't an attitude of "me"
Arise with respect to other limited beings as well?

(116) Even though working, like that, for the benefit of others,
Amazement or conceit doesn't arise:
It's like the hope for a reward doesn't arise
From feeding food to myself.

(117) Therefore, just as I safeguard myself
Against becoming debased, to the tiniest extent,
Likewise, I'll habituate myself to having
A protective mind and a mind of compassion
   toward (all) wandering beings.

(118) That's why, out of great compassion, the Guardian
Has elevated even (the power of) his own name
To dispel the fears of wandering beings,
(Such as shyness) in front an audience.

(119) So, I shall not turn away from what's difficult to do,
Since, through the force of familiarity like this,
That very person whose name I was even afraid to hear
(Can become) someone, without whom, I can have no joy.

(120) Thus, anyone who wishes to give safe direction
Swiftly to himself and others
Needs to practice the most sacred secret:
The exchange of self with others.

(121) Because of sticky attachment to this body as "me, "
From even small situations for fear, fear arises.
So who wouldn't reject, like a fear-inspiring foe,
Such a body (as "me")?

(122) (This) body, which, with the wish to remedy
Afflictions such as hunger, thirst, and the like,
Kills fowl, fish, and deer
And hides by the road in ambush (to steal),

(123) And which, because of profit and shows of respect,
Would murder even its father and mother,
And, by stealing the property of the Triple Gem,
Would burn in (a joyless realm of) unrelenting pain -

(124) What wise man would desire, protect,
And venerate such a body (as "me")?
Who wouldn't view it as a foe
And not scorn it?

(125) "If I were to give, what would I have to enjoy myself?"
Such thinking of my own self-aims is the way of clutching ghosts.
"If I were to enjoy it myself, what would I have to give?"
Such thinking of the aims of others is a quality of the divine.

(126) Paining others for my own self-aims,
I'll be tormented in joyless realms and the like;
But paining myself for the aims of others,
I'll acquire all glories.

(127) Through the wish for just myself to advance
Come the worse reb'irth states, low status, and stupidity;
But transferring that very (wish) to others
Brings the better reb'irth states, honor, (and intelligence).

(128) Ordering others around for my own self-aims,
I'll experience being a servant and worse;
But ordering myself around for the aims of others,
I'll experience being a lord and better.

(129) All whosoever who are happy in the world
Are (so) through the wish for the happiness of others;
While all whosoever who are miserable in the world
Are (so) through the wish for the happiness of themselves.

(130) But what need is there to elaborate more?
Just look at the difference between the two:
An infantile person acting for his own self-aims
And Sage (Buddha) acting for the aims of others.

(131) For those who haven't exchanged their happiness
For the sufferings of others,
Buddhahood'll be impossible to attain
And there'll be no happiness even in samsara.

(132) Leave aside the hereafter, not even the aims
Of this seeable life will be fulfilled
For a waged servant not doing his work
And a master not paying his wages.

(133) Dropping the production of happiness (for one another) -
A festival of glorious happiness in (this) seeable (life)
   and unseeable (beyond) -
Bewildered people grab hold, instead, of unbearable suffering,
Because of causing suffering to one another.

(134) Whatever violence there is in the world,
And as much fear and suffering as there is,
All of it arises from grasping at a self:
So what use is that terrible demon to me?

(135) If I don't fully drop (such) a self,
I won't be able to drop my suffering;
Just as if I don't fully drop a fire,
I won't be able to drop being burned.

(136) Therefore, for the sake of quelling my own suffering
And for quelling the sufferings of others as well,
I shall give myself over to others,
And take (others) on as myself.

(137) O mind, decide for sure,
"I'm under the governance of others."
Except for the welfare of all limited beings,
You're not going to have other intentions now.

(138) It's inappropriate (to look) to accomplish my own self-aims
With eyes and so on governed by others;
It's also inappropriate to dally improperly
   (for my own self-aims)
With (hands), eyes and so on (given over) to them.

(139) Taking limited beings as the boss through that (view),
Whatever you see on this body of mine,
Rob each and every one of them
And use it for the benefit of others.

(140) Creating in lesser beings and so forth (the sense of) a "me"
And creating in yourself (the sense of) others,
Meditate on envy, rivalry, and arrogance (like this),
With a mind free from prejudiced thoughts:

(141) "This one's shown respect, but I'm not;
I don't have wealth like this one has.
This one's praised, but I'm belittled;
This one has happiness, but I have suffering;

(142) "I do all the work,
While this one lives (a life of) ease.
This one's renowned in the world as superior,
While I as inferior, without any good qualities.

(143) "But how could (any work) be done
   by someone having no good qualities?
Thus, all of us possess good qualities!
(And, after all,) there are those among whom this one is inferior
And there are those among whom I'm in fact superior.

(144) "Such things as the decline of my ethical discipline and outlook
Are due to disturbing emotions, and not from their being
   under my control.
I need to be healed to the best of his ability:
I even readily accept the pain (involved).

(145) "But (not only) does this one not treat me
   as someone to be healed,
Why does he look down on me?
What use are his good qualities to me,
When this one is the 'me' having good qualities?

(146) "With no compassion in this one for wandering beings
Caught in the jaws of the carnivorous beast of the worse reb'irth states,
And with arrogance (instead) toward everybody else
   about his own good qualities,
He wants to outdo the skilled masters!"

(147) "Perceiving me on (his) same level,
He would (struggle to) secure the material gain
And show of respect that I have, even through contentious means,
For the sake of increasing his own lead, in any way.

(148) "But if my own good qualities
Were to be evident throughout the whole world,
Then, by contrast, any good qualities this one might have
Wouldn't be heard of by anyone.

(149) "And if my own shortcomings were to be concealed,
Then offerings would be made to me, not to him.
Material gain, today, would be well accruing to me
And honors would be coming to me, not to this one.

(150) "And we would (all) look on, with delight,
As this one, finally, is put down as incompetent,
Made the laughing stock of all wandering beings,
And rev'iled all around."

(151) "(Further,) it's come out that this deluded (miserable) being
Is even (enviously) in competition with me.
But how could the learning, intelligence, physique,
   class, or wealth
Of this one be the e'qual of mine?

(152) "That being so and hearing
My own good qualities proclaimed everywhere,
I shall feast on a banquet of joy,
So delighted that the hairs on my body
   will stand up on end.

(153) "Even if this one might somehow
   come to have material gain,
If he's doing work for us,
He's to be given merely enough to live on
And the rest is to be taken forcefully by us.

(154) "This one is to be brought down from his (idle) state of ease
And invariably linked to the harms we've experienced.
For hundreds of times, all around,
We've been harmed in recurring samsara by this one."

(155) O mind, countless eons have passed
In your obsessive quest for your own self-aims;
Yet, with such enormous exhaustion as that,
All you've procured is just suffering.

(156) Please, definitely engage yourself like that
(Right now) for the aims of others;
Then you'll see the benefits of that in the future,
Since the words of the Sage are never wrong.

(157) If, in the past, it would have occurred
That you had taken this action,
Then a situation like this would never have occurred,
In which you've been freed (instead) of the bliss
   of success as a Buddha!

(158) Therefore, just as you've placed the sense of a "me"
Onto drops of the semen and blood of others,
Likewise, make it a habit (of placing it)
Onto those of others as well.

(159) Having become a scout for others,
Whatever you see on this body of mine,
Rob each and every one of them
And use it for the benefit of others.

(160) "This 'me' is happy, the others are unhappy;
This 'me' is lofty, the others are lowly;
This 'me' does what's of (self) benefit, others do not,"
Thinking (like that), why wouldn't you engender
   envy toward yourself?

(161) So, deprive yourself of your happiness
And take onto yourself the sufferings of others.
Investigate what's the fault of this "me," by asking,
"When does this one do anything (for others)?"

(162) Any mistake that others might make,
Transform it (by seeing it) as the fault of this "me";
But any, even minor mistake that this "me" might make,
Openly admit it to many people.

(163) With declarations that the renown of others is superior,
Let it outshine the renown of this "me";
And like the lowest of servants,
Set this "me" to (doing) what's of benefit for all.

(164) Don't praise this naturally fault-ridden one
For some (tiny) share of temporary good qualities;
(Rather) act such that none will ever know, somehow,
Of any good qualities that this one might have.

(165) In short, any harmful act you've done to others
For the sake of your own self-aims,
Let that (very same) harm descend on yourself,
For the sake of the aims of limited beings.

(166) Never give any strengthening to this one
So that he would become boisterous;
Make him, (instead,) behave like a newlywed bride,
Bashful, timid, and restrained.

(167) "Do that! Remain like that!
Don't you ever act like that!"
This one's to be brought under control like that
And knocked down, if he ever transgresses beyond that.

(168) But even when being instructed like that,
If you don't act in that way, O mind,
Then since all wrongs depend on you,
It's exactly you whom I shall knock down.

(169) That time before was different,
When I was being ruined by you.
But (now) I see you; so where can you go?
I'm going to knock all the arrogance out of you.

(170) Throw away, now, any hope,
"I still have my own self-interest."
I've sold you to others, so don't think
   of your weariness;
I've offered your energies (to them).

(171) If, because of not caring,
I don't hand you over to limited beings,
Then, for sure, you'll hand me over
To the guards of the joyless realms.

(172) I've been handed over, like that,
Many times by you and long tormented;
But now, recalling those grudges,
I shall smash you, you creature of self-interest.

(173) If you want self-happiness,
Don't work for happiness in yourself;
If you want self-protection,
Protect always others.

(174) To whatever degree
This body is pampered,
To that degree it degenerates
To a state of becoming ever more dainty.

(175) And when it's degenerated like that,
Not even this entire (wealth-bearing) earth
Has the ability to fulfill its longings;
So, who will be able to grant its desires?

(176) For someone desiring the impossible,
Disturbing emotion and the dashing of hopes
   come about;
But for someone having no hopes for anything,
His fulfillment never knows an end.

(177) Therefore, don't leave the chance open
For an increase in desire concerning the body.
That object is best, which isn't taken
Because of its being desirable.

(178) It winds up as ashes in the end
And, (even when alive,) being inert,
   it's set into motion by something else -
This filthy form is (truly) ghastly.
Why grasp to it as "mine?"

(179) Whether it's alive or dead,
What use is this device to me?
What difference does it have
   from a lump of clay and such things?
But, oh no, you're not removing
   your pride (of identifying with it)!

(180) Suffering accumulates pointlessly
Through being partial toward the body;
So what use is being fawning or angry
Over this thing that resembles a block of wood?

(181) Whether nurtured by me in this way
Or devoured by vultures and such,
It doesn't have sticky attachment or anger,
So why do I have sticky attachment to it?

(182) Something getting furious at being belittled
Or something getting pleased at being praised -
If it doesn't know to be either of these,
For whom am I exhausting myself?

(183) "But those who desire this body -
They and I are friends."
Well, since everyone desires the body of oneself,
Why aren't they as dear to me too?

(184) Therefore, without partiality, this body's
   been given over by me
For the benefit of wandering beings.
Nevertheless, though it has many faults,
It needs to be held like a tool for the job.

(185) So enough of behaving like an infant,
I'm following in the footsteps of the wise!
(Thus,) recalling the teaching on taking care,
I shall turn back sleepiness and being muddleheaded.

(186) Like the compassionate offspring of the Triumphant,
I shall bear the rigors of what's appropriate (to do);
For if I don't make a constant effort, day and night,
When will my suffering ever come to an end?

(187) Therefore, withdrawing my mind from distorted pathways,
I shall continuously set it in absorbed concentration
On the perfect object,
In order for its obscurations to be gone.

<< Prev   Table of Contents   Next >>