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 these degenerate times, however, even bodhisattvas accumulate misdeeds easily because of thinking badly about others. It is easy to think, “That person is really bad,” thus accumulating a misdeed [nyes pa]. It is better to practice pure perception and ignore the defects of others.
We should be like the Indian Brahmins who consider the moon to be a god. They do not worship the full moon but only the moon on the third day [tshes pa gsum], the day when it begins to wax. These Brahmins consider the third day as the day of the moon god’s birth. By prostrating to the moon of the third day they acknowledge the preciousness of the moon god’s birthday.
Just as a crown prince is honored because he will become king, by honoring a bodhisattva we honor someone who will eventually become a buddha. The bodhisattva’s practice of bodhicitta is the cause [rgyu] for his becoming a buddha. A bodhisattva is a buddha in the making. Beginning bodhisattvas are like baby buddhas. Just as one nurtures children with kindness, one should support bodhisattvas, as they are on their way to becoming buddhas. Honoring a bodhisattva is like honoring a prince, an heir to the throne.
Eventually, the prince will take hold of the kingdom. Even Buddha Śākyamuni honors and prostrates to bodhicitta because bodhicitta is the teacher of all the buddhas. In this manner even a fully enlightened buddha like Buddha Śākyamuni always honors his teacher.