Entering the Conduct of the Bodhisattvas
Text Section 243
According to this statement by Asaṅga, there is one cause for the rise of unstable [mi brtan pa] bodhicitta, the power of a friend, and there are four causes that lead to a stable [brtan pa] bodhicitta.
(1) The first power through which relative bodhicitta arises is the power (or influence) of a friend [grogs kyi stobs], as in meeting a spiritual friend [dge ba’i bshes gnyen] or a good dharma friend [chos grogs] who inspires you to follow his example and make an aspiration [smon lam] to attain enlightenment for the sake of all beings. This is illustrated by the following story:
“In former times, three children made aspirations in front of the Buddha and his two chief disciples. One prayed to become a buddha and the other two prayed to become his supreme śrāvaka-arhat disciples. Through the power of their aspirations, one actually became Buddha Śākyamuni, and the other two became his two chief disciples, Śāriputra and Maudgalyāyana.”
This is the power of aspirations inspired by a friend [grogs smon lam gyi stobs]. Bodhicitta can also be born directly through the influence of a spiritual friend [grogs kyi nus] who tells stories and inspires one.