Tagarchief: Nalanda

Great Ancient Masters


      Jampa in Nalanda India                                                                               foto : jampa
Great Ancient Masters ( many of whom taught in Nalanda )

The wisdom teachings of the Mahayana are contained in three primary sets of writings. The first and oldest of these are the Prajnaparamita texts, which date to the beginning of the current era. These wisdom texts go beyond conventional understanding and speak directly to one’s innate enlightened nature. They are the first pointing out texts –transmitting the transcendent wisdom that sees the emptiness of all conceptualized views of reality.

Later, Nargarjuna applied the insights of the Prajnaparamita to classical Indian philosophy and through his articulation of the nature of emptiness beautifully and impeccably dismantled prevailing scholastic views on the nature of reality, establishing the primacy of the inexpressible as the heart of the Buddhist path. In the Mahayana tradition Nargarjuna is seen as the primary spokesperson of the Pranjaparamita literature.

These teachings were united with the meditative and devotional traditions of Mahayana by a brilliant set of teachers from Gandhara, Asanga and Vasubandu, whose works are the culmination of the early Mahayana movement. The school that held this transmission tradition was Yogacara, which became the leading philosophical school in India during the 3rd to 5th centuries, at the same time that Neoplatonism was the leading philosophical school in the Classical Western World. Yogacara teachings still form the philosophical core of the great Buddhist contemplative lineages such as Zen, Mahamudra and Dzogchen. In a similar manner Neoplatonism underlines Western contemplative lineages.

Yogacara translates as “practitioners of yoga” emphasizing the school’s commitment to meditation as the essential nature of the Buddhist path. It is also known as the Consciousness Only School for their central teaching that all reality is a display of consciousness.


According to the Tibetan tradition, Asanga was born in Purusapura, the capital of Gandhara, of a Brahmin woman who was herself a considerable adept in the teachings of Buddhism and who taught him the “eighteen sciences” which he mastered easily. He became a monk and for five years applied himself diligently, memorizing one hundred thousand verses of dharma each year and correctly understanding their meaning.

He then left the monastery to practice the Arya Maitreya Sadhana in a cave at the foot of a mountain. For three years, not a single good sign appeared, and he became depressed and decided to leave his retreat. Emerging from his cave he noticed a bird’s nest by the mountain where the rock had become worn just by the brushing of the bird’s wing as it flew back and forth. Realizing his perseverance was weak, he returned to his cave to practice. For three more years he meditated, but again not a single good sign appeared. He became discouraged and left again. This time he saw a rock beside the road that was slowly disintegrating because of the trickle of single drops of water. Inspired by this, he returned and practiced another three years.

When again no signs appeared, he left his retreat a third time. He encountered an old man who was rubbing a piece of iron with a smooth cotton cloth. “I am just finishing this needle,” the man said to Asanga. “I have already made those over there” and pointed to small pile of needles lying nearby. Asanga thought, “If such effort is put into a mundane task such as this, my effort so far has been merely a trifle.”

He returned and meditated for another three years. Although he had by now meditated for 12 years on Maitreya, he still had no signs of favor. He became extremely despondent and walked away from his cave. After awhile he came across a half-dead dog lying beside the road, infested with maggots, crying out in pain. Asanga thought, “This dog will die if these worms are not removed, but if I try to lift them out with my hand, I will crush them.” So using his tongue so as not to hurt them, and cutting off some of his own flesh for them to live in, he bent down to remove them. At that moment the dog vanished and Maitreya appeared, showering cascades of light in all directions.

Asanga burst into tears and cried, “Ah, my sole teacher and refuge, all those years I made so much effort in my practice, exerting myself in a hundred different ways, but I saw nothing. Why has the rain and the might of the ocean come only now when tormented by pain, I am no longer thirsting?” Maitreya replied, “In truth, I was in your presence constantly, yet because of karmic obscuration you were unable to see me. However, your practice has purified your karma and removed your obstacles. Now by the force of your great compassion you are able to meet me. To test my words, put me on you shoulders for others to see and carry me across the city.”

Asanga was overjoyed. Lifting Maitreya onto his shoulders carried him into town, yet no one saw Maitreya. One old woman saw Asanga was carrying a dead dog and that brought her endless good fortune. A faithful servant saw Maitreya’s feet and found himself in a state of samadhi which granted him all the siddhis. Asanga himself realized the samadhi called “Continuum of Reality”. “What is your desire now?” Maitreya asked him. “To revive the teachings of the Mahayana,” Asanga replied. “Well then, hold onto the end of my robe.” Asanga did this and together they ascended to the pure land of Tushita where they stayed for fifty years. Here Asanga mastered the teachings of the Mahayana and received the famous Five Texts of Maitreya, each of which opens a different door of samadhi.

Dedicated to actualizing these teachings, Asanga returned to the earth and built a small temple in a forest. At first only a few students came to learn teachings from him, but gradually the fame of his doctrine spread and the Yogacara School was established. He became the abbot of Nalanda and lived to be well over 100, but always had a youthful look, with no gray hair or wrinkles.

He compiled many important Mahayana works including what has come to be known as The Five Texts of Maitreya. These include the Abhisamayalamkara (Ornament of Clear Comprehension), the  Mahanaya Sutralankara (Ornament of the Mahayana Sutras),  the Madhyanta-vibhanga (Discourse on the Middle between the Extremes), the Dharma-dharmata-vibhaga, and the Uttaratantra (The Peerless Continuum). His Mahayana-samparigraha (Compendium of the Mahayana), Abhidarma-samuccaya (Compendium of Higher Doctrine), and Yogacharabhumi-shastra (Treatise on the Stages of Yoga Practice) are also famous.

According to the Tibetan historian Taranatha, Tantric teachings were handed down in secret through the Yogacara lineage from the time of Asanga. In the Tibetan canon are several Tantric works ascribed to Asanga including a Maitreya Sadhana and a Prajna-Paramita Sadhana.


The cofounder of Yogacara, Vasubandu, is traditionally said to be the younger brother of Asanga. He was also born in Purusapura in Gandhara and became a monk of the Sarvastivadin school. He went to Kashmir to study their teachings including their renown Abhidharma works. He also was said to possess a complete understanding of the Tripitaka and the tenets of all the Hinayana schools.

Vasubandu wrote Seven Branches of Metaphysics, an encyclopedic work clarifying the main points of teachings of the early Arhats, The Four Oral Traditions of Vinaya on Buddhist discipline, and the most famous compendium of Abhidharma teachings in the Buddhist tradition, the Abhidharma-kosa and a commentary to it called the Abhidharma-kosa-Bhayasa. The Kosa describes the Buddhist path to enlightenment by categorizing and analyzing the basic factors of experience called dharmas.

Impressie uit Nalanda hd from jampa gyatso on Vimeo.

Already famous for his intellectual understanding of Buddhism, Vañsubandu came to Nalanda University and was converted to the Mahayana by Asanga. According to a traditional account, Asanga summoned Vasubandu under the pretext that he was dying. When Vasubandu arrived and asked the cause of his illness, Asanga replied, “I have a serious disease of the heart which arose on account of you.” Vasubandu asked, “How did it arise on account of me?” Asanga replied, “Because you do not believe in the Mahayana and are forever attacking and criticizing it. For this wickedness you will be reborn in a miserable existence. Grieving for you has brought me close to death.” Vasubandu was surprised at this and asked Asanga to expound the Mahayana to him. Upon doing so he became convinced of the truth of the Mahayana and asked his brother what he could do to overcome the negative karma he had accumulated. Asanga answered, “Since your skillful and eloquent speech against the Mahayana earned you this negative karma, you must now use your skillful and eloquent speech to propound the Mahayana.”

De ruines van Nalanda , Bihar , India                                                                                                                           foto : jampa

Vasubandu went on to write many works which systematized the Consciousness Only teachings including On the Three Natures, the Twenty Verses, and the Thirty Verses, perhaps the most famous of the Consciousness Only texts. He also wrote devotional hymns and commentaries on Mahayana texts, including works of Asanga. He is also credited with being the founder of Pure Land Buddhism.

According to one Tibetan account,

Vasubandu was in the habit of reciting daily the Perfection of Wisdom in 8000 Verses. Once a year he would sit in an iron cauldron filled with sesame oil and for fifteen consecutive days and nights would recite five hundred Hinayana sutras and five hundred Mahayana sutras. After Asanga passed away, he became abbot of Nalanda. Every day he taught 20 classes on various Mahayana Sutras and constantly met in debate and defeated the false views of other teachers. For over 100 years he traveled in India and Nepal establishing the dharma and teaching the Mahayana doctrine.

Many of his debates were with Samyka teachers, a school like Yogacara based on yogic experience that flourished at that time. Other debates were with proponents of yoga as reflected in Patanjali’s famous sutras.

After a long life, Vasubandu eventually left this world to reside in the Tushita heaven with Maitreya.


Stirmati was one of the famous disciples of Vasubandu. He was born in the southern Indian city of Dandakaranya of low caste parents, and studied with Vasubandu from age seven. He wrote commentaries on Abhidharma and the works of Vasubandu, including the Trimsikabhasya (Commentary on The Thirty Verses).


Dignaga, another disciple of Vasubandu, was one of the most respected Indian philosophers. Born in the southern Indian city of Simhavakta to a Brahmin family, he became a monk with a Hinayana teacher, but dissatisfied with the Hinayana teachings went in search of further instruction and met Vasubandu.

Every day he would recite 500 Mahayana sutras. From a tantric master who was an emanation of Heruka he received the empowerment and the “Method of Actualization” of Manjushri. By practicing this, he received a vision of Manjushri, and from then on received teachings from Manjushri whenever he wished.

Dignaga is known as the founder of Buddhist logic. He wrote over a hundred works on logic and other matters including Arya Prajnaparamita -samgraha-karika (A Verse Compendium of the Noble Perfection of Wisdom), and the Pramanasamuccaya (The Synthesis of All Reasoning). The later was such a profound and timely text that according to the Tibetans when Dignaga wrote the salutation to the work, “Homage to him who is Logic personified…”, the earth shook, thunder and lightning flashed, and the legs of all the heretical teachers in the vicinity became as stiff as wood. Using his skills at logic, he became famous as a debater. He was also famous for his miracles and had many disciples. He traveled throughout India establishing Mahayana, and spent many years in Kashmir. He completed his life meditating in a remote cave in the jungles of Odivisha.


Gunaprabha, one of Vasubandu’s closest disciples, is famous for his mastery of Vinaya. He was born in Mathura of a Brahmin family. He studied the Vedic teachings, and the Hinayana teachings in addition to receiving Mahayana teachings from Vasubandu.

According to the Tibetan accounts, he recited the Hundred Thousand Vinayas daily and resided in a monastery in Mathura called Adrapuri that had 5000 monks, all of whom kept the Vinaya rules perfectly.

He composed the Vinaya-Sutra, Basic Teachings of the Vinaya and One Hundred Actions. His Aphorisms of Discipline are one of the “five great books” that form the basis for the twenty year study program in Tibetan monastic colleges.


Vimuktasena was another close disciple of Vasubandu. He is famous for his mastery of the Prajna-Paramita sutras. He was born in Jvala-guha in south-central India. He was a devotee of Maitreya and received both advice and teachings from the celestial Buddha.

He wrote a text called Twenty Thousand Lights on the Prajna-Paramitas. Towards the end of his life he became the spiritual guide of a king in South India and supervised twenty-four temples where he widely taught the Prajna-Paramita Sutras.


A disciple of Dignaga, Dharmapala became the head of Nalanda after his teacher died. After that he went to Bodhgaya and became abbot of the Mahabodhi Monastery. He died at the age of 32. He wrote a number of original works and commentaries most of which have been lost.


Dharmakirti was born in the southern Indian town of Cudamani to a Brahmin family. At an early age he became learned in the arts, the teachings of the vedas, medicine, grammar, and the tenets of the various sages. Then becoming inspired by the teachings of Buddha and the lineage of Pure Consciousness, he took ordination as a monk from Ararya Dharmpala and studied the Tripitaka from beginning to end. Every day he recited 500 different sutras and mantras.

He became a great adept at logic, equal to the master Dignaga himself, and wrote a famous commentary on Dignaga’s Synthesis of All Reasoning. He also wrote Seven Treatises of Logic. His works became the basis for debate training in the Tibetan monasteries. He himself was said to be such an excellent debater that the population of Indian sages of other schools was quite depleted by his efforts, since after losing they had to convert to Buddhism or throw themselves into the Ganges.


A disciple of Dharmapala, Silabhadra was born to a royal Brahmin family in the East Indian city of Samatata. He was conversant with the teachings of all sects, famous for his mastery of Buddhist sutras and commentaries, and became head of Nalanda where 104 years old, he taught the Chinese Master, Hsuan-Tsang, the Consciousness Only doctrine through his exposition of Asanga’s Treatise on the Stages of Yoga Practice.


Paramartha was one of the great translators of Buddhist texts into Chinese, Paramartha was already a master in India when he traveled to China in 546 at the age of 47. At the request of the emperor of China, he settled in the capital and began the translation of texts. Political instability in China forced him to move quite often, but he was still able to translate the important works of the Yogacara lineage into Chinese including the Abhidharmakosa, the Mahayana-Samparigraha, and various works of Vasubandu. He is also famous for his translation of the Diamond Sutra. All together, Paramartha translated sixty-four works in 278 volumes. His translations made the later success of Yogacara possible in China and inspired Hsuan-Tsang several generations later to travel to India for additional texts and commentaries.


Hsuan-Tsang in de Hsuan-Tsang Memorial Hall in Nalanda, India foto : Jampa


Hsuan-Tsang was a remarkable spiritual pilgrim who became one of the most famous Chinese Masters. The son of a poor Chinese official, he left home at the age of 13 to study Buddhism. According to a traditional account,

During those early years of study, if there was a Dharma Master lecturing on a Buddhist text, no matter who the Dharma Master was or how far away the lecture was being held, he went, whether it was a Sutra lecture, a Shastra lecture or a Vinaya lecture. He listened to them all. Wind and rain couldn’t keep him away from lectures on the Tripitaka, to the point that he even forgot to be hungry. He just took the Buddhadharma as his food and drink. He did this for five years and then took the Complete Precepts.

In 629 at the age of 27, having been a monk for fifteen years, he secretly left China and made the dangerous journey across the silk road to India. Sixteen years later, having learned Sanskrit and studied with the best Indian teachers, he returned with an incredible collection of 657 Indian texts, a number of statues of the Buddha and various relics. He was acclaimed by the Emperor who supported him the remainder of his life so he could translate the texts and convey the Mahayana teachings to China. On his deathbed he dedicated his merit so that all present would be born again among the inner circle of Maitreya in Tushita Heaven

De reis van Hsuan-Tsang in de Hsuan-Tsang Memorial Hall Nalanda India                                  foto : Jampa

His Cheng Wei Shih Lun (Treatise on the Attainment of Consciousness Only), a compendium outlining Yogacara doctrine, became the standard text for the Consciousness Only schools of China and Japan.

He translated many other Sanskrit texts into Chinese including the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras, which filled 600 volumes, Asanga’s Treatise on the States of Yoga Practice, the Master of Lapis Lazuli Radiance Tathagata which established the practice of the Medicine Buddha in China and the Far East.

Yogacara Masters After Hsuan-Tsang

Kuei-Chi (638-682 A.D.) was Hsuan-Tsang’s most prominent Chinese student. He systematized the Yogacara teaching and established Yogacara as a distinct school in China, called Fa-hsiang. He also wrote commentaries to Hsuan-Tsang’s Yogacara works including the Fa-yuan-i-lin-chang and the Wei-shih-shu-chi.

Hsuan-Tsang also had several notable Japanese and Korean students. Dosho (628-700) studied with Hsuan-Tsang for ten years sharing a room with Kuei-Chi. When he left to go back to Japan he was given sutras, treatises and Yogacara commentaries to help him establish Yogacara there which he did, teaching at Bwangoji monastery. His most famous student is Gyogi (667-748). A Korean student Chiho studied with Hsuan-Tsang and also went to Japan to teach. His pupil Gembo went back to China in 716 and was instructed by Chih-Chou, a pupil of Kuei-Chi. Another early Japanese student who studied with Hsuan-Tsang was Chitsu. “Thus,” as Junjiro Takakusu wrote in his Essentials of Buddhist Philosophy in 1947, “Japan received the orthodox teaching sacrosanct from first-hand authorities of the Indian and Chinese Yogacara School and with the Japanese even now it is the chief subject of Buddhist learning.”

Hosso, the Japanese name for Yogacara, thrived during the Nara period and today several prominent ancient temples are still functioning. Yogacara proper in India and China did not fare so well. The Yogacara School in India became part of a Yogacara-Madhyamika School which thrived in the last centuries before Buddhism disappeared in India under Islamic persecution. This school became influential in Tibet through Santaraksita, one of the first Buddhist Masters to teach in Tibet, and today all Tibetan sects have a strong Yogacara component. This is especially visible in the more contemplative Kagyu and Nyingma practice traditions. Several Kagyu teachers have supervised English translations of Asanga’s works in recent years.

An example of the respect Tibetan teachers have for Yogacara is this appreciation taken from a dharma talk by the Venerable Traleg Rinpoche,

People have generally ignored how Yogacara philosophy influenced Buddhist tantra and its development. Even though it’s quite patent in the writings of Buddhist tantra… Yogacara philosophy itself developed as a reaction against too much theorization. It came to emphasize individual experience and practice,hence the name Yogacara, meaning practitioners of yoga… You could not theorize about Yogacara philosophy without meditating. In fact, you could not be a Yogacara philosopher unless you meditate. When we look at the writings of Yogacara philosophy, we discover many tantric concepts mentioned.

The Fa-hsiang School suffered under the general persecution of Buddhism in China during the middle of the 9th century and gradually disappeared. However, its works are still preserved, and it was revived in the 20th century by several Masters including Ou-Yang Ching-Wu (1871-1943), Abbot Taiuhso (1889-1947, and Hsin Shih-Li (1883-1968), who wrote A New Doctrine of Consciousness Only in 1944. This revival led to the Hsuan-Tsang’s Cheng Wei Shih Lun being translated into English for the first time in 1973 by Wei Tat, a member of a Hong Kong Yogacara group.

Perhaps the greatest success of the Yogacara teachings was in Gandhara where it Third Turning was revealed. There Yogacara became the foundation for Dzogchen which flourishes today in Tibet as the summit of Buddhist philosophy. That is no small honor for the remarkable work the early Yogacara Masters accomplished in clarifying the essence of the Mahayana path.


38 keer boeddhistische wijsheid



38 keer boeddhistische wijsheid

1 Als je de leegte niet kent kun je de bevrijding niet bereiken en zal je verwarde geest rond blijven zwerven in de gevangenis van de zes bestaanswerelden Bodhicittavivarana

2 Samsara en nirvana zijn geen twee veschillende werkelijkheden.In het begrijpen van de werkelijke natuur van samsara begrijpen we nirvana. Samputra Tantra

3 Uit onwetendheid ontstaat zelf-bestaande werkelijkheid.verwijder onwetendheid en samsara wordt nirvana. HeVajra Tantra

4 Omdat er geen actor is , is er geen actie. Er kan geen zelf zijn van een niet-bestaand persoon.Als jij die de waarheid zoekt de leegte van ik en mijn realiseert zul je perfecte bevrijding bereiken. Chandrakirti , Madhyamakavatara

5 Het doet er niet toe waar je zoekt tussen de tijdelijke fenomenen van het universum ,een boeddha zul je er niet vinden. Als je een perfecte boeddha wilt vinden , kijk dan in je geest. HeVajra Tantra

6 Je zult de oer-boeddha worden , wanneer je de natuur van je eigen geest begrijpt. Vajradakini Tantra

7 Geest is het zaad van alle werkelijkheden , waaruit samsara en nirvana zich ontvouwt. Saraha

8 Ontspan de geest in zijn natuurlijke staat , want als de geest ontspannen is zal bevrijding van innerlijke slavernij bereikt worden. Mahasiddha Tilopa

9 Concentratie onderdrukt slechts de verstoringen van de geest , doch wijsheid vernietigt de verborgen wortel-verstoringen. Samadhi-Nirmocana Sutra

10 Alle voortgebrachte dingen zijn vergankelijk Alle bezoedelde dingen zijn ellendig Alle fenomenen zijn leeg en zonder een zelf Nirvana is vrede Shakyamuni Boeddha

11 Monniken en geleerden moeten over mijn woorden goed nadenken . Zoals goud getoetst moet worden door het te smelten , te verdelen in stukken en te poetsen, en dan die woorden aanvaarden , maar niet om mij hun eerbied te tonen. Shakyamuni Boeddha

12 En evenzo komt een begrijpen van de leegte van een fenomeen niet tot ontwikkeling als men zich niet vergewist van datgene waaraan een fenomeen leeg is ( gebrek heeft ) Shakyamuni Boeddha

13 Als de gedachte van het innerlijke en het uiterlijke als “ik” en het “mijne” is vergaan , houdt het inhalige op. En door dat ophouden , komt er een eind aan geboorte (bhava=wording) Shakyamuni Boeddha

14 Als handeling en bezoeking ten einde komen, is er verlossing. Ze ontstaan uit onjuiste begrippen ; deze ontstaan uit de spinsels van onjuiste kijk op inherente existentie ; de spinsels verdwijnen in de leegte. Nagarjuna : Prajna namamula madhyamika karika XIV 4-5

15 Leringen , onderricht door de Boeddha’s berusten geheel op twee waarheden : De conventionele en de wereldse waarheden , en de waarheden die de uiteindelijke zijn. Nagarjuna : Prajnanamamu la madhyamika karika XXIV.8

16 Boeddha zei dat alle fenomenen twee entiteiten hebben : die welke ontdekt worden door waarnemers van goed en van kwaad ; objecten van waarnemers van het ware zijn werkelijkheden , objecten van waarnemers van het onjuiste zijn conventionele waarheden. Chandrakirti :supplement op Nagarjuna’s Verhandeling over de Middenweg Madhymikavatara VI.23

17 Ook zijn zij , die onwerkelijke dingen bespeuren van tweeerlei aard : die met klare heldere zinnen en die met gebrekkige zinnen. bewustzijn met gebrekkige zin staat in onjuiste verhouding tot dat met gezonde zin. Objecten gerealiseerd door de wereld en door de zes niet gebrekkige zinnen begrepen , zijn slechts waar vanuit een werelds standpunt , de rest wordt beschouwd als onwaar vanuit het standpunt der wereld alleen. Chandrakirti :supplement op Nagarjuna’s Verhandeling over de Middenweg Madhyamikavatara VI.24-25

18 Een vorm op een afstand gezien , wordt duidelijk gezien door hen die dichtbij zijn. Als een luchtspiegeling water was , waarom wordt er dan geen water gezien door hen die dichtbij zijn ? De wijze waarop deze wereld gezien wordt als echt door hen die ver af staan , wordt zo niet gezien door hen die dichtbij zijn , voor hen is het zinloos als een waan. Nagarjuna Kostbare Guirlande Ratnavali 52-53

19 De persoon is niet aarde, noch water , noch vuur , noch lucht , noch ruimte. Hij is niet bewustzijn en hij is niet al die dingen. Wat voor persoon is er behalve deze dingen ? Nagarjuna Kostbare Guirlande Ratnavali 80

20 Er is nooit een voortbrengen waar dan ook van enig fenomeen uit zichzelf , uit een ander, uit beide, of zonder oorzaak. Nagarjuna Prajna namamula-madhyamika-karita. De fundamentele wijsheidstekst

21 Omdat het bestaat , wordt het bestaande niet voortgebracht ; omdat het niet bestaat , wordt het niet-bestaande niet voortgebracht. Nagarjuna Sunya tasaptati

22 Dat wat uit oorzaken wordt voortgebracht is niet inherent teweeggebracht , het heeft niet de inherente aard om te produceren. Wat afhankelijk is van oorzaken noemt men ledig. Wie leegte kent is bewust. Anavatapta Sutra

23 Omdat er geen fenomenen zijn die niet afhankelijk ontstaan zijn ,zijn er geen fenomenen die niet leeg zijn. Nagarjuna  Prajna nama mula-madhyamika-karika XXIV.19

24 Wat onafhankelijk van iets anders ontstaat kan geen Kracht-uit-Zichzelf hebben , daar ze alle onafhankelijkheid missen , kan er geen zelf zijn , geen inherent bestaan. Aryadeva Catuhsataka XIV.23

25 Als de ontleder die analyseert of fenomenen inherent bestaan analyseert en constateert dat het hen onbreekt aan inherente existentie omdat ook de ontleder ontleed moet worden ; zou dat dan niet tot in het eindeloze doorgaan ? Als de objecten van de analyse geanalyseerd zijn , dan bestaat er geen basis. Omdat de bases inherent niet bestaan , en de ontkenning ervan niet inherent teweeggebracht worden , noemt men ook dat nirvana. Shantideva  Bodhicaryavatara IX. 110-111

26 Dat wat afhankelijk ontstaan is noemen wij leegte. Dat is iets vermeends dat afhankelijk is van iets anders. En dat is nu precies de Weg van het Midden. Nagarjuna  Fundamentele Wijsheidstekst XXIV.18

27 Een zich vergewissend denken en een onterecht opdrukkend denken zijn entiteiten die uitwissen en uitgewist worden. Alle gebreken zoals begeerten hebben als hun tegengif de wijsheid van zelfloosheid inzoverre hun verminderen en toenemen afhankelijk zijn van het toenemen en verminderen van die wijsheid. En dus neemt het denken door er mee vertrouwd te raken de aard aan van die wijsheid – en aldus worden de beoordelingen na verloop van tijd teniet gedaan. Dharmakirti Commentaar op Dignaga’s Compendium over Valide cognities Pramamavarttika hfst. 1

28 Als de inherente existentie van fenomenen afhing van oorzaken zou de yogi , als hij de leegte (sk.sunya) realiseerde, door die te ontkennen de fenomenen teniet doen. Daarom zou het zien van de leegte een oorzaak zijn , die fenomenen teniet doet , maar aangezien dit niet met de rede strookt , bestaan de fenomenen niet inherent. Als men de fenomenen analyseert , merkt men dat ze niets zijn dan fenomenen met de aard van het werkelijke daar ze niet-inherent bestaand teweeggebracht zijn of ophouden te bestaan en daarom hoeft men de conventionele waarheden der wereld niet te analyseren. Als de realiteit wordt geanalyseerd , is voortbrengen uit het zelf en andere oorzaken niet aannemelijk. Volgens dezelfde beredenering is ook inherent bestaand produceren op conventionele wijze niet aannemelijk. Hoe zou men dan dat inherent bestaande produceren kunnen vaststellen ? Chandrakirti  Supplement VI.34-36

29 Wat dit aangaat , Sariputra , als een bodhisattva , een verheven wezen , de volmaaktheid van wijsheid beoefent , ziet hij een bodhisattva niet als iets werkelijks…En waarom ? Sariputra , dat zit zo : Een bodhisattva is zonder een inherent bestaande bodhisattva. De naam bodhisattva is eveneens zonder het zijn van de naam van een bodhisattva. Waarom ? Omdat dat hun aard is. Het zit zo : Het is niet dat een vorm leeg is wegens zijn leegte ; leegte is niet gescheiden van vorm. Een vorm op zichzelf is dat wat leeg is ; en net precies wat leeg is , is vorm. Pancavimsati sahasuka-prajna-paramita soetra

30 Fenomenen worden niet leeg gemaakt door de leegte . De fenomenen zijn op zichzelf leeg. Ratnakuta (Kasyapa hoofdstuk)

31 De idee dat fenomenen voortgebracht uit oorzaken en toestanden werkelijk zouden zijn werd door de Leraar onwetendheid genoemd; uit die onwetendheid spruiten de twaalf takken (sk. nidana’s) voort. Nagarjuna , Sunya Tasaptati

32 Als iets niet-ledigs bestond dan zou ook iets ledigs bestaan. als het niet-ledige helemaal niet bestaat , hoe zou dan het ledige dat kunnen ! De Onoverwinnelijken zeiden dat  leegte alle slechte visies doet verdwijnen ; Zij die de leegte beschouwen als inherent bestaand werden niet-te-genezen genoemd. Nagarjuna , Fundamentele wijsheidstekst XIII. 7-13

33 Daar de nectar der leegte wordt onderwezen om alle onjuiste begrippen te laten varen , wordt hij die zich eraan hecht als inherent bestaand , krachtig door U de Boeddha gehekeld. Nagarjuna , Lokatitastava

34 Als met de gedachte “het bestaat niet” het geanalyseerde niet wordt begrepen als inherent bestaand , hoe zou zich dan aan het denken van een inherent bestaand iets kunnen voordoen , waaraan een basis ontbreekt , dat wil zeggen een inherent bestaande leegte zonder het object dat het bepaalt ? Wanneer inherent bestaande dingen en niet-dingen ons niet voor ogen staan , aangezien er niets anders is dat inherent bestaat , dan worden met de bedoelde objecten , van het begrip “inherente existentie” , daar zij niet bestaan de doorwrochte ideëen van dualiteit en inherente existentie teniet gedaan . Shantideva Bodhicaryavatara IX 34-35

35 Als een metalen kledingstuk dat verontreinigd is door bezoedeling en in het vuur ontvlekt moet worden , in het vuur gebracht wordt , branden de smetten weg , maar zelf verbrandt het niet. Wat dus het helder lichtend verstand betreft dat de smetten draagt van begeerte en zo , in het vuur van wijsheid worden de smetten verbrand , maar zijn aard , helder licht , blijft onaangetast. Nagarjuna Lofprijzing van het Element van Superieure Kwaliteiten Dharmadhatustratra

36 Omdat lichamen van een volmaakte boeddha zijn uitgestraald omdat het werkelijke niet wordt gedifferentieerd , en omdat de levende wezens de natuurlijke tot ontwikkeling bestemde afkomst hebben geschikt . Daarom hebben alle belichaamde wezens de boeddha-aard. Onoverwinnelijke Maitreya  Uttaratantra

37 Ik buig mij neer voor de volmaakte boeddha , de beste der leraren die ons voorlegde dat wat afhankelijk van iets anders ontstaat nimmer ophoudt , niets teweegbrengt , niet teniet gaat , niet blijvend is , zonder komen of gaan , zonder verschil , zonder gelijkheid is , vrij van bewerkingen van inherent  bestaan en van dualiteit en vredig is. Nagarjuna Fundamentele Wijsheidstekst I aanroep

38 Laatste citaat Boeddha en zijn Leer en de Verheven Gemeenschap zijn de toevlucht van hen die verlangen naar bevrijding. Chandrakirti  Trisaranasaptati

Dit waren de 38 citaten zoals ZH de XIV Dalai Lama ze bij elkaar heeft gebracht in het boek “Tibetaans Boeddhisme en De Sleutel tot de Weg van het Midden” ( Deventer 1979 ISBN 90 202 45589)

The destruction of Nalanda


The Muslim invaders commited a great crime against world culture when they destroyed the greatest university of India at its time,the Buddhist University of Nalanda in 1193.

The University of Nalanda

Nalanda foto: Jampa 2011

It dates from around 450 AD and:

1.At its height has 10,000 students from all over the world:India,China,Japan,Tibet,Burma.Korea,Indonesia. At other times it had 4,000 students.

2.There was an enormous library with hundreds of thousands of books stored in 3 buildings of several stories,one had 9 stories.

3.Education was 100% free but they only accepted the most intelligent.

4.To be a student one had to pass several exams and at least 66% of applicants were rejected.

5.They taught Buddhism,Hinduism,physics,mathematics,medicine,surgery,astronomy and it had an observatory.

For a good description we have the travel narrative of the famous Buddhist monk from China Xuangzan (602-664) who spent 17 years travelling in Central Asia and India gathering Buddhist scripture.

Muslims in India

In the 8th century the Muslims had conquered what is now Pakistan where even in 1947 25% of the population was Hindu, now it is less than 1%. But what is now India itself was to wait for centuries. Mahmud of Ghazni (971-1030)was the sultan of a vast region with its capital in Samarkand, led 17 pillaging raids on India destroying many Hindu temples and according to Abu Nasr Muhammad Utbi, the secretary and chronicler of Mahmud, took 500,000 Hindus as slaves,men and women, back with him.Mahmud is chiefly remembered as the plunderer of India. Between 1000 and 1026 he mounted at least 17 raids against India with the aim of extirpating idol-worshiping Hindu infidels and destroying Hindu temples, which were great repositories of wealth. His most important expedition was against the temple of Shiva in Somanth(one of the most holy temples in Hinduism) in 1025. It is estimated that Mahmud took from India jewels, gold, and silver in excess of 3 billion dinars, in addition to hundreds of thousands of slaves.We know that Muslims in India destroyed literally thousands of Hindu temples.

The Sultanate of Delhi

Later northern India was ruled from Delhi by several Muslim dynasties,in the kingdom of the Sultan(Arabic for ruler) of Delhi, for more than 300 years.They were:

1.Muizzi dynasty(1206-1290)
2.Khaldji dynasty(1290-1320)
3.Tughluq dynasty(1320-1413)
4.Sayyid dynasty(1413-1511)
5.Lodi dynasty(1511-1526)

Nalanda foto : Jampa 2011

The Destruction of the University of Nalanda

Notice the name of the second dynasty,the Khaldji dynasty.It comes from a Turkic general called Bakhtiyar Khaldji.He was the one who in 1193 ordered the burning to death or executed by sword of the thousands of Buddhist students and professors in the university.He destroyed the hundreds of thousands books, which took, so it is written, 3 months to burn all of them. He also destroyed all the buildings, only ruins remained. All this is written by the Muslim historian from Iran called Minhaj-i-Siraj(1193-1259) in his historical book Tabaqat-i-Nasiri. Buddhist pilgrims visit Nalanda again to bring homage to the great Masters of Nalanda , like Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu , Chandrakirti and many others. Tibetan buddhist are urged by HH the Dalai Lama to “follow the Masters of Nalanda” and His Holiness calls himself a Nalanda Master.

Watch the video about Nalanda University

It is an Indian documentary but notice the woman never says why it disappeared.It is obvious the maker had fear of Muslim vengeance.

Buddhists should never hate anyone because all evil deeds are done in ignorance. Buddhists respect all religions and should not judge other convictions. But historical facts must be recognized as such. Religious hatred and” jihad ” against other religions has nothing to do with true religion.



Bodhicaryavatara chapter 3

In the spiritual energy that relieves

The anguish of beings in misery and

Places depressed beings in eternal joy

I lift up my heart and rejoice.

In the goodness producing illumination

I lift up my heart and rejoice.

I rejoice in the beings who have gained

Eternal liberation from suffering.

And I rejoice in those attained to Buddhahood

As well as in their offspring, the noble Bodhisattvas.

In the ocean-like virtue of the Bodhimind

That brings joy to all beings

And in accomplishing the well-being of others,

I lift up my heart and rejoice.

To the Buddhas of the ten directions

I join my hands in respect

Let blaze the light of Dharmas truth

For the beings lost in darkness

To the Buddhas considering parinirvarna

I join my hands in prayer

Do not abandon the beings in sorrow

But remain and teach for countless ages.

May any spiritual energy thus generated

By my devotion to the enlightened ones

Be dedicated to dispelling the misery

Of living beings without exception.

As long as diseases afflict living beings

May I be the doctor, the medicine

And also the nurse

Who restores them to health.

May I fall as rain to increase

The harvests that must feed living beings

And in ages of dire famine

May I myself serve as food and drink.

May I be an unending treasury

For those desperate and forlorn.

May I manifest as what they require

And wish to have near them.

My body, every possession

And all goodness, past, present and future

Without remorse I dedicate

To the well-being of the world

Suffering is transcended by total surrender

And the mind attains to nirvana.

As one day all must be given up,

Why not dedicate it now to universal happiness?

My bodily powers I dedicate

To the well-being of all that lives.

Should anyone wish to kill, abuse or beat me,

The responsibility is purely their own.

Should anyone wish to ridicule me

And make me an object of jest and scorn

Why should I possibly care

If I have dedicated myself to others?

Let them do as they wish with me

So long as it does not harm them.

May no one who encounters me

Ever have an insignificant contact.

Regardless whether those whom I meet

Respond towards me with anger or faith,

May the mere fact of our meeting

Contribute to the fulfilment of their wishes.

May the slander, harm

And all forms of abuse

That anyone should direct towards me

Act as a cause of their enlightenment.

May I be a protector to the helpless,

A guide to those travelling the path,

A boat to those wishing to cross over;

Or a bridge or a raft.

May I be land for those requiring it,

A lamp for those in darkness,

May I be a home for the homeless,

And a servant for the world.

In order to fulfil the needs of beings

May I be as a magic gem,

An inexhaustible vase, a mystic spell,

A cure-all medicine, and a wish granting tree.

May I act as the mighty earth

Or like the free and open skies

To support and provide the space

Whereby I and all others may grow.

Until every being afflicted by pain

Has reached nirvanas shores,

May I serve only as a condition

That encourages progress and joy.

Just as all previous Buddhas

First gave rise to the precious Bodhimind

And just as then carefully followed

The stages of the Bodhisattva disciplines.

Likewise for the sake of sentient beings

Do I now myself generate the Bodhimind,

And likewise will I train myself

In the disciplines of a Bodhisattva.

They who out of wisdom

Have seized the supreme Bodhimind

Praise, glorify and rejoice in it,

That it may grow to fulfilment.

From today I will reap the fruit of life;

Having well won the state of man,

Today I am born in the Buddha-family

And am now a child of the Buddhas.

Thus in future I should make every effort

To live in accord with the Bodhisattva Ways,

And never should I act as would bring shame

To this noble faultless family.

Like a blind man fumbling in garbage

Happens to find a rare and precious gem,

Likewise I have discovered

The jewel of the precious Bodhimind.

Thus was found this supreme ambrosia to dispel

The Lord of death, destroyer of life;

An inexhaustible treasure able to cure

The poverty of all sentient beings.

It is the highest of medicines

To quell the ills of the living,

And it is a tree giving shade

To those wandering on the paths of life.

It is a strong and mighty bridge

By which beings can cross from misery,

And it is a moon to shine in the mind

To clear away the pains of delusion.

The Bodhimind is a great radiant sun

To disperse the darkness of unknowing,

And it is the very essence of butters

Gained from churning the milks of Dharma.

For all guests on the roads of life

Who would take the very substance of joy,

Here is the actual seat of true happiness,

A veritable feast to satiate the world.

Thus today in the presence of all awakened Ones

I invite every living being to this festival

Giving both immediate and lasting joy.

May the gods and all others rejoice.

Trimsatika by Vasubandhu


Nalanda ruines

Trimsatika (Thirty Verses) of Vasubandhu (Nalanda Master)

Everything that is taken as a self;
Everything that is taken as other:
These are simply changing forms of consciousness.


Pure consciousness transforms itself
Into three modes: Store consciousness,
Thought consciousness, and active consciousness.


The store consciousness holds the seeds of all past experience.
Within it are the forms of grasping
And the dwelling places of the unknown.
It always arises with touch, awareness, recognition, concept, and desire.


The store consciousness is clear and undefinable.
Like a great river, it is always changing.
Neither pleasant nor unpleasant, when one becomes fully realized, it ceases to exist.


The second transformation of consciousness is called thinking consciousness.
It evolves by taking the store consciousness as object and support.
Its essential nature is to generate thoughts.


The thinking consciousness
Is always obscured by four defilements:
Self-regard, self-delusion, self-pride, and self-love.


The thinking consciousness also arises with the mental factors
Of touch, awareness, recognition, concept, and desire.
This consciousness ceases when one becomes realized.
It also falls away when consciousness is impaired,
And when one is fully present.

The third transformation of consciousness
Is the active perception of sense objects.
These can be good, bad, or indifferent in character.


This active consciousness arises with three kinds of mental functions: Those that are universal, those that are specific, and those that are beneficial.
It is also associated with primary and secondary defilements
And the three kinds of feeling.


The universal factors are touch, awareness, recognition, concept, and desire.
The specific factors are intention, resolve, memory, concentration, and knowledge.
The beneficial factors are faith, modesty, respect, distance, courage, composure, equanimity, alertness, and compassion.

The primary defilements are:
Passion, aggression, ignorance,
Pride, intolerance, and doubt.


The secondary defilements are:
Anger, hatred, jealousy,
Envy, spite, hypocrisy, deceit…


Dishonesty, arrogance, harmfulness,
Immodesty, lack of integrity, sluggishness,
Restlessness, lack of faith, laziness, idleness,
Forgetfulness, carelessness, and distraction.


Remorse, sleepiness, reasoning, and analysis
Are factors which can be either defiled or undefiled.


The five sense consciousnesses arise in the store consciousness
Together or separately, depending on causes and conditions,
Just like waves arise in water.


Thought consciousness manifests at all times,
Except for those born in the realms of beings without thought,
Those in the formless trances, and those who are unconscious.


These three transformations of consciousness
Are just the distinction of subject and object, self and other–
They do not really exist.
All things are nothing but forms of consciousness.


Since the storehouse consciousness contains all seeds,
These transformations of consciousness arise
And proceed based upon mutual influence.
On account of this, discrimination of self and other arises,


All actions leave traces,
And because of grasping at self and other,
Once one seed has been exhausted, another arises.


That which is differentiated
In terms of self and other,
Or by whatever sort of discrimination,
That is just mental projection:
It does not exist at all


Appearances themselves
Which arise dependently through causes and conditions
Exist, but only in a partial and dependent way.


Ultimately, perfect nature, the fully real, arises
When there is an absence of mental projection onto appearances.
For that reason, the fully real is neither the same nor different from appearances.
If the perfected nature is not seen, the dependent nature is not seen either.


Corresponding to the threefold nature,
There is a threefold absence of self-nature.
This absence of self-nature of all dharmas
Is the secret essence of the Buddha’s teachings.


Projections are without self-nature by definition.
Appearances too are without self-nature because they are not
Perfect nature is without any differentiation whatsoever.


The true nature of consciousness only
Is the true nature of all dharmas.
Remaining as it is at all times, it is Suchness.


As long as consciousness does not see
That subject-object distinctions are simply forms of consciousness
Attachment to twofold grasping will never cease


By merely thinking
The objects one perceives are forms of consciousness
One does not realize consciousness only


One realizes consciousness only
When the mind no longer seizes on any object
When there is nothing to be grasped, there is no grasping
Then one knows – everything is consciousness only.


That is the supreme, world-transcending knowledge
Where one has no mind that knows
And no object that is known
Abandoning twofold grasping
The storehouse consciousness is emptied


That alone is the pure, primordial reality
Beyond thought, auspicious, unchanging
It is the blissful body of liberation
The dharmakaya nature of the enlightened ones

Adapted from English translations of the Sanskrit original

Conditionering ?


Hoe ga je om met mensen om die niet erg spiritueel zijn of zelfs bedreigend op je kunnen overkomen ? Hoe kun je voorkomen dat er arogantie in je groeit als je hen dreigt af te wijzen en jezelf superieur dreigt te wanen ? Ik denk door gewoon te doen. Door gewoon mens te willen zijn en een open hart te hebben voor de ander. Natuurlijk is er het spiritueel advies van de boeddhistische meesters. Dit onovertroffen onderricht is zo verheven dat je er soms een beetje moedeloos van zou kunnen worden. Zo in de trant van : dat bereik ik nooit. Toch ben ik niet ontmoedigd. Mijn geestelijk Leraar zegt altijd dat je je spirituele bankrekening moet blijven spekken door iedere dag één positief ding meer goed te doen en één negatief ding te laten. Iedere positieve daad vermeerdert zich in het kwadraat.

Duizend jaar geleden vroeg men Atisha Dipamkara, de Indiase Meester die de Dharma opnieuw naar Tibet bracht, wat de belangrijkste dingen waren die spirituele mensen zouden moeten doen.Mediteer maar eens op zijn woorden.

Atisha antwoordde :

“De hoogste vaardigheid ligt in de realisatie van zelfloosheid.
De hoogste edelheid is het temmen van je eigen geest. De hoogste voortreffelijkheid is het hebben van de houding die anderen wil helpen. Het hoogste voorschrift is voortdurende oplettendheid van geest.. De hoogste remedie is het begrijpen van de intrinsieke transcendentie van alles. De hoogste mystieke realisatie is het verminderen en het omvormen van de begeerten. De hoogste vrijgevigheid is niet gehecht zijn. De hoogste moraal is het hebben van een vredige geest. De hoogste verdraagzaamheid is nederigheid . De hoogste inspanning is het afzien van gehechtheid aan je werken. De hoogste meditatie is de geest zonder aanspraken. De hoogste wijsheid is het niet grijpen naar iets als zijnde wat het lijkt te zijn.”
” En wat is het uiteindelijke doel van de leringen ?”
” Het uiteindelijke doel van de leringen is die leegte waar de essentie mededogen van is.”

Mededogen dus. De wens dat de ander niet lijdt .Geen schade berokkenen. Lijden niet vermeerderen en het negatieve na laten.Het zien dat het steeds weer onderscheid maken tussen de ander en jezelf onjuist denken is. Geshe Langri Tangpa dichtte , ook duizend jaar geleden DE ACHT VERZEN VAN GEESTELIJKE OEFENING.

Het zijn wensen die je jezelf kunt wensen, maar blijf vooral mild naar jezelf.

1e Licht Omdat ik de hoogste realisaties wil bereiken , veel beter dan een wensvervullend juweel ,dien ik alle andere wezens te koesteren.

2e Licht Wanneer ik omga met andere mensen , dien ik mijzelf en mijn wensen als onbelangrijk te beschouwen , en met een goed hart dien ik anderen te koesteren.

3e Licht Mij bewust van al mijn handelingen van lichaam , spraak en geest , moge ik op het moment dat een begoocheling opkomt die mijzelf en anderen tot niet-vaardig handelen aanzet , het onder ogen zien en verhinderen
te groeien.

4e Licht Als ik ongeduldige mensen vol van kwade en donkere , geweldige emoties zie, moge ik hen dan beschouwen als kostbare schatten.

5e Licht Zelfs als iemand waar ik bijzondere zorg voor had en die ik helemaal vertrouwde , zich tegen mij keert , moge ik hem dan als mijn speciale leraar zien.

6e Licht Wanneer anderen vol van jaloezie , of andere begoochelingen, mij veel moeilijkheden bezorgen , moge ik de nederlaag op mij zelf nemen en hen de overwinning schenken.

7e Licht Moge ik als besluit , in het openbaar en in het geheim , hulp en geluk aan alle levende wezens schenken en al hun pijn en lijden op mij nemen.

8e Licht Moge ik vrij van verstoring , door de acht onevenwichtige gevoelens en alle dingen als illusie ziende, bevrijd worden van de gevangenis van negatieve gedachten.

De acht onevenwichtige gevoelens

1- gelukkig voelen als het leven goed voor je gaat
2- ongelukkig voelen als het leven tegen je schijnt te zijn

3- gelukkig voelen als we rijk zijn
4- ongelukkig voelen als we arm zijn

5- gelukkig voelen als we beroemd en belangrijk zijn
6- ongelukkig voelen als we onbekend en onopgemerkt zijn

7- gelukkig voelen als anderen ons prijzen en bewonderen
8- ongelukkig voelen als anderen ons kritiseren en ons beschuldigen

The Bodhisambhara Shastra


The Treatise on the Provisions Essential to Enlightenment


By Arya Nagarjuna

Translated into Chinese by the Great Sui Dynasty’s
South Indian Tripitaka Master Dharmagupta (550?-619 ce)

English Translation by Bhikshu Dharmamitra

Now, in the presence of all the Buddhas,
With palms pressed together, I bow down my head in reverence.
I shall, in accordance with the teachings, explain
The provisions essential for the bodhi of the Buddhas.

How would one be able to describe without omission
All of the provisions for the realization of bodhi?
This could only be accomplished by the Buddhas themselves,
For they, exclusively, have realized the boundless enlightenment.

As for the boundless meritorious qualities of a buddha’s body,
The provisions for enlightenment constitute their very root.
Therefore the provisions for enlightenment
Themselves have no bounds.

I shall then explain but a lesser portion of them.
I respectfully offer reverence to the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas.
All such bodhisattvas as thesexc2x97
They, after the Buddhas, should be given one’s offerings.

Since it is the mother of the Bodhisattvas,
It is also the mother of the Buddhas:
The Prajxc3xb1aparamita :
Is the foremost among the provisions for enlightenment.

Giving, moral virtue, patience, vigor, and meditative discipline
As well as that which extends beyond these fivexc2x97
In every case, because they arise from the perfection of wisdom,
They are subsumed within this prajnaparamita;.

These six paramita’s
Encompass the provisions for bodhi,
They are comparable in this to empty space,
Which entirely envelopes all things.

There is in addition the opinion of another master
That, as for the provisions for enlightenment,
Truth, relinquishment , quiescent cessation, and wisdomxc2x97
These four bases subsume them all.

The great compassion penetrates even the marrow of one’s bones.
Thus one becomes for all beings one on whom they can rely.
One’s regard for them is like that of a father towards his only son.
Thus loving-kindness then extends to everyone.

If one brings to mind the meritorious qualities of a buddha
Or hears of a buddha’s spiritual transformations,
One may be purified through one’s affection and joyfulness.
This is what qualifies as the great sympathetic joy.

As regards his relations with beings, the bodhisattva
Should not, on realizing equanimity, simply forsake them.
In accordance with whatever abilities his powers enable,
He should always strive to draw them in.

The bodhisattva, even from that time when his efforts begin,
Should, as befits the power of his abilities,
Employ skillful means to transform beings,
Thus causing them to enter the Great Vehicle.

If one transformed through teachings a Ganges’ sands of beings,
Causing them all to gain the fruit of arhatship,
Still, transforming a single person so he enters the Great Vehiclexc2x97
The merit from this is superior to the former.

Instructing through resort to the Hearer Vehicle
Or through resort to the Pratyekabuddha Vehicle
Is undertaken where, on account of lesser abilities,
Beings are unable to accept instruction in the Great Vehicle.

Where, even by utilizing the Hearer and Pratyekabuddha Vehicles
In addition to drawing on the Great Vehicle,
There are those who still cannot accept transformative teachingxc2x97
One should establish them in merit-creating circumstances.

If there be persons who are unable to accept
Transformative teachings conducing to the heavens or liberation,
One should employ the means of bestowing present-life benefits
And, as one’s powers dictate, one should draw them in.

Where a bodhisattva with respect to particular beings
Has no basis through which to teach and transform them,
He should raise forth great loving-kindness and compassion
And should not then simply cast them aside and forsake them.

Drawing in through giving, or through explaining Dharma,
Or through listening in return to others speaking about Dharma,
Or also through endeavors beneficial to themxc2x97
These are skillful means by which one may draw them in.

In that which is done for the benefit of beings,
One should not become either weary or negligent.
One should bring forth vows for the sake of bodhi.
Benefiting the world is just benefiting oneself.

Entering the extremely profound state of the Dharma realm,
One extinguishes and abandons discriminations.
They all become devoid of any useful function.
Thus, in every circumstance, one naturally abides in equanimity.

Personal gain, reputation, praise, and happinessxc2x97
In every case, one refrains from attachment to these four points.
Moreover, even their opposites present no obstacle.
Conduct of this sort constitutes the practice of equanimity.

In the bodhisattva’s striving for bodhi,
So long as he has not yet gained irreversibility,
He acts as urgently as the person whose turban has caught fire.
Thus one should take up just such intensely diligent practice.

Thus it is that those bodhisattvas,
When striving for the realization of bodhi,
Should not rest in their practice of vigor,
For they have shouldered such a heavy burden.

So long as he has not generated great compassion or the patiences,
Even though he may have gained an irreversibility,
The bodhisattva is still subject to a form of “dying”
Which occurs through allowing negligence to arise.

The grounds of the Hearers or the Pratyekabuddhas
If entered, become for him the same as dying.
Because he would thereby sever the bodhisattva’s
Roots of understanding and awareness.

Even at the prospect of falling into the hell-realms,
The bodhisattva would not be struck with fright.
The grounds of the Hearers and the Pratyekabuddhas, however,
Do provoke a great terror in him.

It is not the case that falling into the hell realms
Would bring about an ultimate obstacle to his bodhi.
The grounds of the Hearers and the Pratyekabuddhas, however,
Do create just such an ultimate obstacle.

Just as is said of he who loves long life,
That he becomes fearful at the prospect of his own beheading,
So, too, the grounds of the Hearers and Pratyekabuddhas
Should bring about a fearfulness of just this sort.

Not produced and not destroyedxc2x97
Neither unproduced nor undestroyedxc2x97
Nor is it the case that one posits “both” or “neither”xc2x97
As for “emptiness” and “non-emptiness”xc2x97it is the same for them.

No matter which among all dharmas one encounters,
In their midst, one remains unmoving in one’s contemplation.
Those who achieve this abide in the unproduced-dharmas patience
On account of having cut off all forms of discrimination.

Once one has succeeded in gaining this patience,
One immediately receives the prediction:
“You will definitely become a buddha.”
It is then that one succeeds in achieving irreversibility.

Those bodhisattvas already dwelling at the stage of immovability
Have gained irreversible knowledge of dharmas as they really are.
Their knowledge is invincible to those of the Two Vehicles.
Hence this stage alone is designated “irreversible.”

Up until the bodhisattva has gained
The ground of all Buddhas’ present manifestation
Along with its durably-solid samadhis,
He should not allow any negligence to arise.

The ground of all buddhas’ present manifestation
With its durably-solid samadhisxc2x97
This constitutes the bodhisattva’s father
While the great compassion and the patiences serve as his mother.

As for the perfection of wisdom serving as his mother
And skillful means serving as his father,
It is on account of the one’s giving birth and the other’s support.
Thus those are also claimed as the bodhisattva’s father and mother.

With but a lesser accumulation of merit
One remains unable to realize bodhi.
Merit the measure of a hundred Mount Sumerusxc2x97
Only an accumulation exceeding that would enable its realization.

Although one may perform but a minor meritorious deed,
Even in this, one possesses a skillful means:
Taking all beings as the object of this act,
One in all cases brings about transformation of the conditions.

As for he who reflects, “Whatever actions I undertake,
They will always be for the sake of benefiting beings”xc2x97
With a mind which courses on in this wayxc2x97
Who could be able to measure his merit?

When he is not cherishing of even his relatives, his retinue,
Or of his own body, life, or wealthxc2x97
When he does not covet the “sovereign-independence” happiness,
The Brahma-world heavens, or any other heavensxc2x97

When he does not covet even nirvana,
This because his actions are undertaken for the sake of beingsxc2x97
When in this way, he bears in mind only other beingsxc2x97
Who could be able to measure his merit?

When for those of the world without refuge or protection,
He rescues and protects them from their bitter afflictionsxc2x97
When he raises forth such thought and actions as thesexc2x97
Who could be able to measure his merit?

If he were to act in accord with the perfection of wisdom
Only for the moment of tugging cow’s milk, it would then be so.
If he did so for a month or for many more monthsxc2x97
Who could be able to measure his merit?

When, taking up those profound sutras praised by buddhas,
One recites them to himself, teaches them to others,
Or provides analysis and explanation for their sakesxc2x97
It is this which generates the accumulation of merit.

When one causes countless beings
To generate the mind resolved on bodhi,
That treasury of merit becomes even more supreme.
One thus becomes bound to gain the ground of immovability.

When one follows along in turning what the Buddha turned,
The wheel of the most supreme Dharma,
Bringing to quiescent cessation all of the evil piercingsxc2x97
It is this which establishes the bodhisattva’s treasury of merit.

For the sake of bringing benefit and happiness to beings,
One would endure even the great sufferings of the hells,
How much the more so the other lesser sufferings.
In such a case, bodhi resides in one’s own right hand.

When in initiating actions, it is not for one’s own sake,
But rather solely to bring benefit and happiness to beingsxc2x97
Because in all cases this arises from the great compassion,
Bodhi resides in one’s own right hand.

When one’s wisdom abandons frivolous discoursexc2x97
When one’s vigor abandons indolencexc2x97
When one’s giving abandons miserlinessxc2x97
Bodhi resides in one’s own right hand.

When meditative concentration is free of dependence or ideationxc2x97
When moral precepts are perfectly fulfilled and unadulteratedxc2x97
When one has gained the unproduced-dharmas patiencexc2x97
Bodhi resides in one’s own right hand.

Those now abiding in the ten directionsxc2x97
All of those who have gained the right enlightenmentxc2x97
I, in the presence of them all, directly before them,
Lay forth and describe those unwholesome deeds I have done.

In those realms throughout the ten directions,
If there be buddhas who have gained realization of bodhi
And yet have not proclaimed and expounded the Dharmaxc2x97
I request of them that they turn the wheel of Dharma.

In the present era, throughout the ten-directions’ realms,
Among all those possessed of the right enlightenmentxc2x97
If there be those about to relinquish their lives and practices,
I prostrate in reverence, exhorting and requesting them to remain.

Wherever there are any beings who,
By their physical, verbal, or mental deeds,
Generate merit through giving, moral virtue,
And so forth, on through to the cultivation of meditationxc2x97

Whether it be that of aryas or common persons,
And whether it be created in the past, present, or futurexc2x97
All of their accumulated meritxc2x97
In every case, I am moved to accord with and rejoice in it.

If all of the merit which I have created
Could be formed into a single ball,
I would bestow it on all beings through transference
For the sake of causing them to realize the right enlightenment.

My acting in this manner in repentance of transgressions,
Exhortation, requesting, accordant rejoicing in others’ merit,
And the transference through dedication to bodhixc2x97
One should realize these accord with the acts of all Buddhas.

That confession and repentance of the evils of my karmic offenses,
The requesting of the Buddha, the accordant rejoicing in merit,
And the transference through dedication to bodhixc2x97
These accord with the instructions of the most supreme ones.

Kneeling down with the right knee touching the ground,
And the upper robe arranged, baring the one shoulderxc2x97
Three times each day and three times each night,
One places the palms together and proceeds in this manner.

The merit created in even a single instance of this,
If it were allowed to manifest in material form,
Even a Ganges’ sands number of great chiliocosms
Could not be able to contain it.

After the initial generation of resolve,
In relating to bodhisattvas of lesser standing,
One should bring forth for them a veneration and cherishing
Comparable to that reserved for one’s own guru and parents.

Although a bodhisattva may have committed transgressions,
Even so, one still should not speak about them.
How much the less might one do so where no actual case exists.
One should then engage only in praises which accord with truth.

In an instance where a person has vowed to become a buddha
And one wishes to influence him to achieve irreversibility,
Make matters manifestly apparent, cause him to blaze full of fire,
And also inspire in him the happiness of sympathetic joy.

When one has not yet understood extremely profound scriptures,
One must not claim they were not spoken by a buddha.
If one makes statements of this sort,
One undergoes the most intense suffering in retribution for evil.

As for karmic offenses generating “nonintermittent” retributionsxc2x97
If one were to form them all into a single ball
And compare them to the two karmic offenses described above,
They would not amount even to the smallest fraction thereof.

As regards the three gates to liberation,
One should skillfully cultivate them:
The first is emptiness, the next is signlessness,
And the third is wishlessness.

Because they have no self-existent nature, phenomena are empty.
If already empty, how could one establish any characteristic signs?
Since all characteristic signs abide in a state of quiescent cessation,
What could there be that the wise might wish for?

When cultivating and bearing these in mind,
One goes toward and draws close to the nirvana path.
Do not bear in mind anything not resulting in a buddha’s body
And, in that matter, one must not allow any negligence.

“In this matter of nirvana, I
Should not immediately bring about its realization.”
One ought to generate a resolve of this sort,
And then should bring to ripeness the perfection of wisdom.

Just as an archer might shoot his arrows upwards,
Causing each in succession to strike the one before,
Each holding up the other so none are allowed to fallxc2x97
Just so it is with the great bodhisattva.

Into the emptiness of the gates to liberation,
He skillfully releases the arrows of the mind.
Through artful skillful means, arrows are continuously held aloft,
So none are allowed to fall back down into nirvana.

“I refuse to forsake beings
And so continue on for the sake of benefiting beings.”
One first brings forth just such resolve as this,
And thence, forever after, one’s practice accords with that.

There are those who’ve attached to existence of beings and the like
Throughout time’s long night and in present actions as well.
They retain inverted views regarding characteristic signs.
This is due in every case to confusion wrought by delusion.

For those attached to marks who retain inverted views,
One resolves to proclaim Dharma that they might be severed.
One first generates just such a mind as this.
And thence, forever after, one’s practice accords with that.

The bodhisattva strives on for the benefit of beings
And yet does not perceive the existence of any being.
This in itself is the most difficult among endeavors
And is such a rarity, it transcends one’s powers of conception.

Although one may have entered “the right and definite position,”
And one’s practice may accord with the gates to liberation,
Because one has not yet fulfilled one’s original vows,
One refrains from proceeding to the realization of nirvana.

Where one has not yet reached the “definite” position,
One holds oneself back through the power of skillful means.
Because one has not yet fulfilled one’s original vows,
In this case, too, one refrains from opting for realization of nirvana.

Equipped with the most ultimate renunciation of cyclic existence,
One nonetheless still confronts cyclic existence directly.
While maintaining faith and happiness in nirvana,
One still turns one’s back on taking up the realization of nirvana.

Although one should maintain a dread of afflictions,
One still should not bring afflictions to their final end.
One should proceed to accumulate the many forms of goodness,
Employing blocking techniques to block off the afflictions.

For the bodhisattva, afflictions fit with his very nature.
He is not one for whom nirvana is the basis of his very nature.
It is not the case that the burning up of the afflictions
Can bring about the generation of the bodhi seed.

As for the predictions accorded to those other beings,
These predictions involved their own causes and conditions.
They were only a function of the Buddha’s excellent skillfulness,
And were expedient means to facilitate reaching the far shore.

The comparisons involve “empty space,” “lotus flowers,”
“Precipitous cliffs,” and “a deep abyss.”
Just so, their realms. Analogies cite “non-virility” and “klecamani,”
With an additional comparison made to “seeds which are burned.”

All of the treatises as well as artisan’s skills,
The esoteric skills of higher clarity, all of the sorts of livelihoodsxc2x97
Because they bring benefit to the world,
One brings them forth and establishes them.

Adapting to beings amenable to transformative teaching,
To their realms, paths, and birth circumstances,
As befits one’s reflections, one proceeds forthwith to them,
And, through power of vows, takes birth among them.

In the midst of all sorts of circumstances rife with evil
And in the midst of beings prone to guileful flattery and deceit,
One should put to use one’s sturdy armor
And so must not yield to loathing and must not become fearful.

One equips oneself with the supremely pure mind,
Does not resort to guileful flattery or deception,
Reveals all of the evils of one’s karmic offenses,
And keeps concealed his many good deeds.

One purifies the karma of body and mouth
And also purifies the karma of the mind,
Cultivating observance of all passages in the moral-code training.
One must not allow any omissions or diminishment in this.

One establishes himself in right mindfulness,
Focuses on objective conditions, and meditates in solitary silence.
Having put mindfulness to use to serve as a guard,
The mind becomes free of any obstructive thoughts.

When bringing forth discriminations,
One should realize which are good and which are not.
One should forsake any which are not good
And extensively cultivate those which are good.

If the mind trained on the objective sphere becomes scattered,
One should focus one’s mindful awareness,
Return it to that objective sphere,
And, whenever movement occurs, immediately cause it to halt.

One should not indulge any laxness, any grasping at what is bad,
Nor any intense cultivation of such things.
Since one is prevented thereby from maintaining concentration,
One should therefore constantly cultivate accordingly.

Even if one were to take up the vehicle of the Hearers
Or the vehicle of the Pratyekabuddhas,
And hence practiced solely for one’s own self benefit,
Still, one would not relinquish the enduring practice of vigor.

How much the less could it be that a great man,
One committed to liberate himself and liberate others,
Might somehow not generate
A measure of vigor a thousand kotis times greater?

It may be that one tries to carry on a separate practice half the time,
Thus practicing some other path of cultivation simultaneously.
In cultivating meditative concentration, one should not do this.
One should rather focus only on a single objective phenomenon.

One must not indulge any covetousness regarding the body
And must not cherish even one’s very life.
Even if one allowed a protectiveness towards this body,
In the end, it is but a dharma bound to rot and destruction.

Offerings, reverence from others, or famexc2x97
One must never develop a covetous attachment to them.
In the manner of one whose turban has caught fire, one should
Act with diligence, striving to accomplish what one has vowed.

Acting resolutely and immediately, pull forth the supreme benefit.
In this, one cannot wait for tomorrow.
Tomorrow is too distant a time,
For how can one ensure survival even for the blink of an eye?

Establishing oneself in right mindfulness,
When eating, it is as if consuming the flesh of one’s cherished son.
With respect to that food which one takes to eat,
One must not indulge affection for it or disapproval of it.

For what purpose has one left the home life?
Have I finished what is to be done or not?
Reflect now on whether or not one is accomplishing the endeavor,
Doing so as described in the Ten Dharmas Sutra.

One should contemplate conditioned things as impermanent
As devoid of self, and as devoid of anything belonging to a self.
As for all forms of demonic karmic actionsxc2x97
One should become aware of them and abandon them.

The roots, powers, limbs of enlightenment,
Bases of spiritual powers, right efforts and severances, the Path,
As well as the four stations of mindfulnessxc2x97
One generates energetic diligence for the sake of cultivating these.

In beneficial and happiness-creating acts of goodness, the mind
Serves as the source for their continuously-repeated generation.
It also acts as the root of all manner of evil and turbidity.
One should make it the focus of skillful analytic contemplation.

“In my relationship to good dharmasxc2x97
What sort of daily increase is occurring in them?
And, again, what sort of reduction?”
Those should be the contemplations of utmost concern.

When one observes another gain increasing measure
Of offerings, of reverences, and of fame,
Even the most subtle thoughts of stinginess and jealously
Are in all cases not to be indulged.

One should not cherish any aspect of the objective realms,
But rather should act as if dull-witted, blind, mute, and deaf.
Still, when timely, one should respond by roaring “the lion’s roar,”
Frightening off the non-Buddhist “deer.”

In welcoming them on arrival and escorting them off as they go,
One should be reverential towards those worthy of veneration.
In all endeavors associated with the Dharma,
One should follow along, participate and contribute assistance.

One rescues and liberates beings bound to be killed,
Naturally increasing and never decreasing such works.
One cultivates well those karmic deeds requiring clarity and skill,
Training in them oneself while also teaching them to others.

Regarding all of the supremely good dharmas,
One adopts them through enduring and solid practice.
One cultivates the four means of attraction,
Making gifts of clothing as well as food and drink.

One does not turn away from those who beg for alms,
Brings together in harmony all who are related,
Does not allow his retinue to drift into estrangement,
And provides them with dwellings as well as material wealth.

As for one’s father, mother, relatives, and friends,
One provides circumstances for them befitting their station
And, wherever they are provided such fitting circumstances,
One treats them as supreme and independent sovereigns.

Although there are yet others who act as one’s servants,
One speaks to them with goodness and also, in effect, adopts them.
One should accord them the highest esteem,
Providing them with medicines and treatment for any illnesses.

Being the first to act, one becomes foremost in good karmic deeds,
Speaks with smooth and marvelously sublime words,
Is skillful in discourse guided by right intention,
And has none above or below to whom he does not proffer gifts.

One avoids any harm to the retinue of another,
Regards beings with the eye of loving-kindness,
Does not course in disapproving thoughts,
And treats all as one would close relatives or friends.

One should accord with the words he speaks,
Immediately following them with concordant actions.
If one immediately acts in accordance with his words,
Other people will then be caused to develop faith.

One should support and protect the Dharma,
Being aware of and looking into instances of neglectfulness,
Going so far as to create even a canopy of gold and jewels
Which spreads over and covers a caitya.

For those who wish to find a maiden mate,
Once adorned, one may see to her presentation,
And also discourse to them on Buddha’s meritorious qualities,
Presenting them with prayer beads gleaming in varying hues.

One creates images of the Buddha
Which sit upright on supreme lotus blossoms.
And, in the six dharmas of monastic harmony,
One cultivates them, thus creating common delight and happiness.

Of those who may be given offerings, none are not given offerings.
Even for the sake of preserving one’s life, one still does not slander
The Dharma spoken by the Buddha
Or the person who expounds the Dharma.

Gold and jewels are distributed among teaching masters
And also among the caityas of teaching masters.
If there are those who forget what is to be recited,
One assists their remembrance, enabling them to stay free of error.

When one has not yet reflected on what should be done,
One must not be impulsive and must not simply emulate others.
As for the non-Buddhists, gods, dragons, and spiritsxc2x97
In every case, one must not invest one’s faith in them.

One’s mind should be like vajra,
Able to penetrate all dharmas.
One’s mind should also be like a mountain,
Remaining unmoved by any circumstance.

One finds delight and happiness in world-transcending discourse,
But must not derive pleasure from words based on the worldly.
Having adopted all manner of meritorious qualities oneself,
One should influence others to adopt them as well.

One cultivates the five bases of liberation,
And also cultivates the ten reflections on impurity.
The eight realizations of the great men
Should also be the focus of analytic contemplation and cultivation.

The heavenly ear, the heavenly eye,
The bases of spiritual powers, the cognition of others’ thoughts,
And the cognition of past lives and abodesxc2x97
One should cultivate purification of these five spiritual abilities.

The four bases of spiritual powers constitute the root.
They are zeal, vigor, mental focus, and contemplative reflection.
The four immeasurables control and sustain them.
They are kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity.

The four elements are like poisonous serpents,
The six sense faculties are like an empty village
The five aggregates are like assassins.
One should contemplate them in this way.

One esteems the Dharma as well as the masters of Dharma
And also relinquishes any stinginess with the Dharma.
The instructing masters must not be tight-fisted or secretive
And those listening must not be mentally scattered or confused.

Free of arrogance and free of any particular hopes,
One resorts only to the mind motivated by compassion and pity.
With intentions imbued with veneration and reverence,
One expounds the Dharma for the sake of the assembly.

In learning, one never becomes weary or sated,
And having heard, in every case, one then recites and retains it.
One does not deceive any among the venerable fields of merit,
And, additionally, causes the teacher to be delighted.

One should not pay visits to the houses of others,
With a mind cherishing hopes for reverence or offerings.
One must not, for the sake of debating challenging topics,
Take up study and recitation of worldly texts.

One must not, on account of hatefulness or anger,
Defame anyone who is a bodhisattva.
With respect to dharmas not yet received or learned,
In those cases, too, one must not initiate slanders.

In order to cut off and get rid of arrogance and pride,
One should abide in the four lineage bases of the arya.
One must not course in disapproval of others
And must not allow oneself to become conceited.

Whether someone has actually committed a transgression or not,
One must not bring their cases to the attention of others.
Do not seek out the errors and faults of anyone else.
As for one’s own errors, one should become aware of them.

As for the Buddha and the Dharma of all Buddhas,
One should not course in discriminations and doubts about them.
Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe,
One should still maintain one’s faith in it.

Even though one might be put to death for speaking the truth
Or be forced to abdicate the throne of wheel-turning king,
Or even that of a king of the gods,
One should still engage only in truthful speech.

Even if beaten, cursed, terrorized, slain, or bound up,
One must never subject others to enmity or castigation.
Think, “This is all the product of my own karmic offenses.
It is on account of karmic retribution that this has manifested.”

One should, with the most ultimate respect and affection,
Provide offerings in support of one’s father and mother,
Also supplying the needs of and serving the upādhyāyas,
While extending one’s reverence to the ācāryas as well.

When, for the sake of those who believe in the Hearer Vehicle
Or those who resort to the Pratyekabuddha Vehicle,
One discourses on the most profound of dharmas,
This, for a bodhisattva, is an error.

When, for believers in the profound Great-Vehicle teachings,
One discourses to those beings
On the Hearer or Pratyekabuddha vehicles,
This, too, is an error for him.

So, too, where some eminent personage comes seeking the Dharma
And one delays this, thus failing to speak Dharma for him,
And then, on the contrary, one draws in and accepts what is evilxc2x97
So, too, if one appoints the unfaithful to positions of responsibility.

One should depart far from the errors herein described.
As for such herein-described meritorious practices as the dhūtas,
One should bear them in mind, come to know them,
And also draw close to them all in one’s practice.

Regard all equally in one’s thoughts, speak equally to all,
Be uniformly equal in skillfully establishing others,
And also in influencing others to accord with what is right.
Thus, in relating to beings, one remains free of discrimination.

One acts for the sake of Dharma and not for the sake of benefit,
Acts for the sake of what is meritorious, not for the sake of fame.
One aspires to liberate beings from suffering,
And does not wish simply to bring about one’s own happiness.

With purposes kept to oneself, one seeks fruition in one’s works.
When the results of one’s merit-generating endeavors come forth,
Even then, one applies them to the ripening of the many.
Thus, in this, one relinquishes and abandons one’s own concerns.

One should grow close to good spiritual friends (kalyānamitra).
This refers to the masters of Dharma, to the Buddhas,
To those who encourage one to leave the home life,
And to that class of persons which comes begging for alms.

Those who ground themselves in worldly treatises,
Those who exclusively seek worldly wealth,
Those with faith and awareness in the Pratyekabuddha Vehicle,
And those who are devoted to the Hearer Vehiclexc2x97

As for these four types of unwholesome spiritual friends,
The bodhisattva should be aware of them.
There are moreover those things which one should strive to gain.
This refers specifically to four great treasuries:

The emergence of Buddhas; hearing the perfections explained;
Being able where a Dharma master dwells,
To behold him with unobstructed mind;
And being able to abide happily in a place of solitude.

Earth, water, fire, wind, empty spacexc2x97
One should abide in a manner comparable to them.
In all places, one should remain uniformly equal to all
And bestow one’s benefit to all beings.

One should skillfully reflect upon the meanings
And should be diligent in generation of the dhāraṇīs.
In relating to those who listen to Dharma, one must not
Manifest any sort of obstruction of them.

In the midst of afflictions, one should be able to overcome them.
In minor matters, one is able to relinquish them without a trace.
In the eight circumstances involving indolence,
One should also in all cases cast it aside and cut it off.

One must not engage in covetousness for what is not one’s lot,
Unprincipled covetousness will not bring satisfaction.
The estranged should be influenced to come together
Regardless of whether or not they are one’s relations.

As for trying to get at emptiness itself in what is empty,
Those who are wise must not base their practice on that.
In the case of one determined to get at emptiness itself,
That wrong is even more extreme than viewing the body as a self.

From sweeping and maintaining floors to setting up adornmentsxc2x97
This as well as providing many sorts of drums and musicxc2x97
Offering fragrances, flower garlands, and other sorts of offeringsxc2x97
One should bestow all such sorts of offerings on the caityas.

One should create all sorts of lantern wheels
To make as offerings to the caityas and their buildings.
Provide then canopies as well as sandals,
Horse-drawn carriages, sedan chairs, and the like.

One should especially find delight and happiness in the Dharma
And be happy realizing what is gained through faith in Buddha.
One finds delight and enjoyment supplying and serving Sangha,
While also being pleased by listening to right Dharma.

They do not arise in the past.
They do not abide in the present.
They do not extend forward, thus arriving into the future.
One should contemplate dharmas in this way.

As for those things which are fine, one bestows them on beings
And does not seek that they will proffer fine rewards in return.
One should act so that only oneself is bound to endure suffering
And not favor oneself in the partaking of happiness.

Although one has become complete in rewards from great merit,
One’s mind is not raised up by it nor should one feel delighted.
Although one may be as poverty-stricken as a hungry ghost,
Still, one does not become dejected or overcome with distress.

If there be one already accomplished in study,
One should accord him the most ultimate honorific esteem.
Those who’ve not yet studied, one should cause to take up study.
One should not generate towards them any slighting or disdain.

To those perfect in moral prohibitions, one should be reverential.
Those who break precepts, one should cause to adopt precepts.
To those equipped with wisdom, one should draw close.
Those who act foolishly, one should influence to abide in wisdom.

The sufferings of cyclic existence are of many kinds,
Involving birth, aging, death, and the wretched destinies.
One should not be frightened by their fearsomeness,
But rather should overcome demons and knowledge rooted in evil.

In the lands of all the Buddhas,
One amasses every form of merit.
So that all will reach one of them for themselves,
One generates vows and proceeds with vigor.

In the midst of all dharmas, one is constant
In not seizing on them, thus coursing along in equanimity.
Proceeding in this manner, for the sake of all beings,
One accepts the burden, wishing to carry it on forth.

One abides in the right contemplation of all dharmas
Wherein there is no self and nothing belonging to a self.
Even so, one must not relinquish the great compassion
And must also avail oneself of the great loving-kindness.

As for that which is superior even to using every sort of gift
In making offerings to the Buddha, the World Honored One,
What sort of action might that be?
This refers specifically to making offerings of Dharma.

If one upholds the Bodhisattva Canon,
Even to the point of gaining realization of the dhāranīsxc2x97
If one enters into and reaches the bottom of Dharma’s sourcexc2x97
This is what constitutes the offering of Dharma.

One should rely upon the meaning.
One must not cherish only the various flavors.
In the Path of the profound Dharma
One enters skillfully and does not fall prey to negligence.

It is in this manner that one cultivates these provisions
Across the course of kalpas as numerous as the Ganges’ sands,
Doing so as a monastic as well as in the role of a householder,
Thus becoming bound to gain fulfillment of right enlightenment.

End of Nagarjuna’s Root Text

Translation  2005 by Bhikshu Dharmamitra