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 ...

The second preliminary assessment through which scholars in the tradition of Nālandā University examine a Buddhist treatise is to ask,

“Upon which scriptures does it draw?”

Śāntideva based his treatise on the tripiṭaka in general and in particular on the Mahāyāna sūtra piṭaka. All Buddhist treatises must be in accord with the Buddha’s teachings [lung dang mthun pa], because only the Buddha is utterly free from any ego-clinging [bdag ’dzin]. A treatise that fails to prove its reliance on the Buddha’s teachings [lung] is considered as being ’without source, without basis’ [khung med lung med] and is not considered beneficial for the path to liberation and omniscience.

As one great scholar said,

“All that is true and beneficial is the teaching of the Buddha”

[bden pa dang phan ’dogs pa gang yin pa sangs rgyas kyi gsung].

The Buddha’s teachings bestow both temporary [gnas skabs kyi phan pa] and ultimate benefits [mthar thug gi phan pa]. They are true both on the level of relative truth [kun rdzob gyi bden pa] and on the level of absolute truth [don dam gyi bden pa]. The teaching of the Buddha is that which expounds the genuine path to liberation [thar pa] and omniscience [thams cad mkhyen pa].

The Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra belongs to the Mahāyāna sūtra teachings.

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