by Andreas Kretschmar | 246,740 words

The English translation of the Bodhisattvacharyavatara (“entering the conduct of the bodhisattvas”), a Sanskrit text with Tibetan commentary. This book explains the bodhisattva concept and gives guidance to the Buddhist practitioner following the Mahāyāna path towards the attainment of enlightenment. The text was written in Sanskrit by Shantideva ...


In 1998 Dzogchen Khenpo Chöga began teaching Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary on the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra, carefully explaining all facets of the text. Khenpo Chöga’s in-depth explanations form the basis for this first volume and the ones that will follow.

In addition, Dzongsar Ngari Tulku Rinpoche, Phugkhung Khenpo Sherab Zangpo, Dzogchen Khenpo Rigdzin Tharchin and Dzongsar Khenpo Khyenrab Wangchuk were kind enough to provide their oral commentaries on Khenpo Kunpal’s text. Without the generous help of these eminent Tibetan scholars, it would not have been possible to capture the living explanation lineage on this text. The ‘living explanation lineage’ means the lineage of orally transmitted teachings on written texts.

I want to express my gratitude to Helmut Eimer, Silke Hermann, Rudolf Kaschewsky, Alexander von Rospatt, and Geshe Pema Tsering for their kind help and support and to thank them for the improvements they offered to this work. The translation of the beginning part of the first chapter of Khenpo Kunpal’s commentary was systematically re-worked with Tony Duff.

The English text was edited by Judith S. Amtzis and John Deweese. It was proof-read by Madhu Cannon, Idan Ruebner and Pamela Ann Davis. During the editing process, Judy pointed out various translation mistakes in the Tibetan based on her knowledge of classical Tibetan. John Deweese provided many books which were invaluable for background research on this work. Furthermore, thanks to John’s many questions, Khenpo Chöga was inspired to offer substantial and enriching elaborations on his oral commentary. For helpful suggestions I am indebted to Michael Burroughs, Richard Babcock (Copper), Eva M. Hill, Khenpo Tenzin Norgey, Marit Kretschmar, Tina Lang, Punya Prasad Parajuli and Rodney Yoder.

The entire layout of the book was done by Walter Thomas who also wrote the database software for the dictionary portion of the book. The Palatino typeface for the publication with its diacritical marks was produced by Tony Duff.

Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Khenpo Ape Yönten Zangpo, Kyabje Khenpo Trashi Palden, Khenpo Palden Sherab and Khenpo Namdröl gave invaluable advice on how to study this text. Each described the lineage of the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra he holds and freely shared his personal insights gained from practicing this text in a traditional manner. My heart-felt thanks go to them for their kindness.

Finally, this entire project would not have been possible without the sponsorship of Marit and Siegfried Kretschmar.

Andreas Kretschmar
Kathmandu, Nepal

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: