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Entering the Conduct of the Bodhisattvas

Text Sections 234-239

References to other textbooks [gzhan du zhal ’phang ba] means ’to encourage to look somewhere else’.

Since the benefits and qualities of bodhicitta are inconceivable, they cannot all be explained exhaustively here in the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra. Therefore, Śāntideva recommends reading the Gaṇḍha-vyūha-sūtra for further details which recount the story of Sudhana. Sudhana was a student of Mañjuśrī and received from him a directive [lung bstan] to study the conduct of a bodhisattva with the monk Meghaśrī [sprin gyi dpal].

Beginning with Meghaśrī, he studied with one hundred and ten teachers, each of whom taught him one quality of bodhicitta, a single aspect of the bodhisattva conduct. Finally, he met Lord Maitreya, who told him to examine his palace. Sudhana saw one aspect of the conduct of a bodhisattva displayed in each palace window. For instance, he saw the act of sacrificing one’s head and the benefits of performing that act. In this way, through two hundred and thirty examples, the Gaṇḍha-vyūha-sūtra teaches all the benefits of bodhicitta.[1]

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Footnotes / commentary:

1.

See Flower Ornament Scripture, pages 1621-1625.

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