Tag Archives: Bodhisattvahood

True Bodhisattvahood

Seventeen: True Bodhisattvahood

At that time Subhuti addressed Buddha, saying: World-honored One, if good men and good women seek the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment, by what criteria should they abide and how should they control their thoughts? read more

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True Compassion

Bodhisattvahood, Part 2

Karunā, or compassion, has been a foremost attribute for anyone aspiring to Bodhisattvahood. Avalokiteśvara is usually the bodhisattva associated with this karunā, and in Tibetan circles the Dali Lama is considered to be a form of reincarnation of this karunā aspect. In effect, this has become the modern dominate-take when even bringing to mind the whole notion of just what constitutes a bodhisattva. In early Mahayana, though, there was a balance between this karunā aspect and holy wisdom (prajnā )—as exhibited through Mañjuśrī. The Vimalakirti Sutra is a true refinement of this balanced equation and was composed at the supreme apex of the Mahayana—the perfect blend of this essential balanced quotient. When aspiring to Bodhisattvahood one needs to have a certain predisposition with bodhi-gnosis, of being fundamentally attuned with the gnosis of the Tathagatas—wherein the very “thought of Bodhi” (bodhi-citta) is comparable to a pearl and the sweet-tasting elixir that cures all defilements. This very bodhi-thought instills a deep awareness behind the significance of one’s present-reincarnation—an opportunity that may not come again in a billion years; like that ol’ blind turtle (See bodhi-post, The Narrow Gate) rearing its head in the ocean’s turbulent waves and trying to pass that weary head through a tiny bobbling yoke—such is the very present-precipitous chance that one would take rebirth again as a human. Therein lies the True Compassion in the spirit of a Bodhisattva—even the worms and bedbugs have a place in their karunā; there’s a story about Avalokiteśvara taking the shape of a bee and comforting those very worms and bedbugs in their foul abodes. The dharani behind Om mani padme Hum is the bodhi-jnana bearing infinite compassion within the Lotus. In this degenerate age, with unimaginable defilements rearing its ugly head at every turn, what better resolve is there but to embrace the Nobility of Bodhisattvahood? The following “Bodhi-Pearl” offers a gentle glance into this noble aspiration. read more

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Bodhisattvahood, Part 1

These 40 days of spiritually sojourning with Vimalakirti have left an indelible imprint on my psyche. I have literally awoken daily with Vimalakirti, walked with Vimalakirti , meditated with Vimalakirti, absorbed Vimalakirti’s teaching and have received the auspicious gift of being afforded the grace to catch a tiny glimpse of just what constitutes Bodhisattvahood. The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti has been classified as the “Crowning-Jewel” of the Mahayana; as indicated earlier, the Mahayana was originally referred to as the Bodhisattva-yana—and this auspicious Sutra certainly highlights why that was so. The Vimalakirti Sutra is a wonderful blend of the Prajñāpāramitā, Mādhyamikas and Avatamsaka traditions. One can indeed see the influences of these in their respective chapters—like when embracing the six paramitas (Prajñāpāramitā), the total re-evaluation of all values wherein the Bodhisattva is both sinner and saint and neither (Mādhyamikas) and the absolute mind-blowing stanzas that relay Vimalakirti’s miraculous powers (in sundry universes and planes of realities) and manomayakāyaic-transformations (Avatamsaka). While my heart shall always be devoted to the Lanka first and foremost, the Vimalakirti Sutra as well shall forever hold a place of undivided reverence. read more

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