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 three key points [chings gsum] are a condensation of the five great points. The first of the three points, dividing the text into chronological sections, like the leaping of a tigress [dkyus kyi sa gcod pa stag mo’i mchongs stangs lta bu], means that the teacher breaks the texts down into sections and sub-sections.

Paltrül Rinpoche structures the whole Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra according to three sections:

  1. virtuous at the beginning, the meaning of the prefatory part [thog mar dge ba klad kyi don] refers to the introductory sections of the text;
  2. virtuous in the middle, the meaning of the actual text [bar du dge ba gzhung gi don] refers to the actual text of the Bodhisattva-caryāvatāra;
  3. virtuous at the end, the meaning of the conclusion [tha mar dge ba mjug gi don] refers to the concluding sections of the text.

This first key point also includes the first two of the five great points: ’the purpose’ [dgos don] and ’the condensed meaning’ [bsdus don] of the text.

The second of the three key points, covering each syllable of the words like the sliding walk of a turtle [tshig gi ’bru non pa rus sbal gyi nur ’gros lta bu], refers to ’the meaning of the words’ [tshig don]. When a turtle walks, its belly always touches the ground. In the same way, the teacher explains all the words and their meanings, leaving nothing unexplained, without any omission or addition [chad lhag med pa].

The third of the three key points, the occasional condensation of the meaning, like the graceful movement of a lion [skabs kyi don bsdu ba seng ge’i ’gying lta bu], refers to ’the outline’ [mtshams sbyor gyi don] and ’the responses to objections’. The metaphor of the graceful movement of the lion refers to a lion’s noble manner. When a lion has jumped over an abyss, he gracefully looks back. Just as a lion looks gracefully back, the teacher condenses the meaning of what was previously explained.

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