Though great benefits are attained by the bodhicitta of aspiring:
And yet the rewards of entering are infinitely more.
Because there is always a real and actual application,
All excellent minds applied to it for even an instant,
Are said to bring together the two accumulations,
Which otherwise would be the work of many kalpas.
As we are motivated by this most excellent of attitudes, because the benefits of an instant of application are immeasurable, even the benefits of an instant of aspiration are therefore also immeasurable. The Sutra of the Girl Excellent Moon (bu mo zla mchog gi mdo) says:
If from just the thought of helping others
the benefits will be immeasurable,
Why even speak about really helping them?
The Bodhicharyavatara says:
If merely thinking about performing benefit
Is so much nobler than making offerings to the buddhas,
Why even speak of really exerting ourselves
For the happiness of all sentient beings without remainder?
In accord with that, the slayer Minak Dungthungchen (mi nag mdung thung can), had gathered the accumulations for forty thousand kalpas. As the bhraman child Karmala Gawa (skar ma la dga’ ba) he had performed pure activity for twenty thousand years in a forest. Then having come into a city to beg alms, he was seen by the daughter of a merchant, who thought, “If I don’t ask for him as a husband, I’ll die.” To save her life he abandoned the pure conduct collected over kalpas and twenty thousand years and so forth, as is said in the Sutra of the Skill of the Great Secret Path of Upaya (gsang chen thabs mkhas pa’i mdo).
Aspiration does not have a fruition of continuously arising merit, but the merit of entering does have the distinction of continuously arising. The Bodhicharyavatara says:
Though indeed, from the bodhicitta of aspiration,
A great fruition arises within samsaric life;
The merit of this does not arise continually,
As it does with the bodhicitta of entering.