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 ...

After completing the commentary on what is meant by ’the jewel of the dharma’, Khenpo Kunpal proceeds to explain ’the jewel of the saṃgha’. The Buddha has three sons: his physcial son [sku’i sras], the sons of his speech [gsung gi sras], and the sons of his mind [thugs ky sras]. Rāhula was his physical son.

The śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas are the sons of his speech, and the bodhisattvas are the sons of his mind. Generally, these are collectively known as the jewel of the saṃgha [dge ’dun dkon mchog], the third of the three jewels. Here, ’saṃgha’ [dge ’dun] means ’those aspiring to virtue, whose minds will not divert from virtuous actions’ [thugs dge ba la ’dun zhing dge ba’i las las slar mi ldog pa].

One should be aware that, in text section 169, Khenpo Kunpal explicitly classifies the bodhisattvas as the Mahāyāna saṃgha and counts them among the three jewels. In text section 170, he classifies the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas as being ’worthy of veneration’.

When Buddha Śākyamuni was the young prince Siddhārtha [gzhon nu don grub], he married Yaśodharā [grangs ’dzin ma], Gopā [sa ’tsho ma] and Mrigaja [ri dvags skyes]. His union with Gopa produced Rāhula, his physical son [sku’i sras]. The śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas are called the sons of his speech [gung gi sras] because they attained liberation by listening to and practicing the dharma he taught them. They have arisen from his speech.

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