Famous quotes from Shantideva
May I become at all times, both now and forever: a protector for those without protection; a guide for those who have lost their way; a ship for those with oceans to cross; a bridge for those with rivers to cross; a sanctuary for those in danger; a lamp for those without light; a place of refuge for those who lack shelter; and a servant to all in need.
All the suffering in the world comes from seeking pleasure for oneself. All the happiness in the world comes from seeking pleasure for others.
If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good.
Whatever happens, I will not let my cheerfulness be disturbed. Being unhappy won’t get me anywhere and will dissipate all my goodness. Why be unhappy about something if you can change it? And if you can’t, how will being unhappy help?
It is not possible to control all external events; But, if I simply control my mind what need is there to control other things?
As long as space abides and as long as the world abides, so long may I abide, destroying the sufferings of the world.
May those whose hell it is to hate and hurt be turned into lovers bringing flowers.
All those who are unhappy in the world are so as a result of their desire for their own happiness. All those who are happy in the world are so as a result of their desire for the happiness of others.
All the harm, fear, and suffering in the world are caused by attachment to the self: Why should I hold on to this great demon?
Instead of trying to cover the whole world with leather, put on some sandals.
It is natural for the immature to harm others.
Getting angry with them is like resenting a fire for burning.
The renunciation of doing harm is the perfection of discipline
We are all slaves of our own actions. Why be angry with anyone else?
There is no evil like hatred, and no fortitude like patience.
May I be a light for those in need of light. May I be a bed for those in need of rest. May I be a servant for those in need of service, for all embodied beings.
May the pain of every living creature be completely cleared away. May I be the doctor and the medicine and may I be the nurse for all sick beings in the world until everyone is healed.
How wonderful will it be when all beings experience each other as limbs on the one body of life.
All happiness comes from the desire for others to be happy.
In the ages marked by scarcity and want, may I myself appear as drink and sustenance.
May I be like a guard for those who are protectorless,
A guide for those who journey on the road.
For those who wish to go across the water,
May I be a boat, a raft, a bridge.
What need is there to say more? The childish work for their own benefit, The Buddhas work for the benefit of others. Just look at the difference between them.
That which is seen and that which is touched are of a dream-like and illusion-like nature. Because feeling arises together with the mind, it is not [ultimately] perceived.
All the happiness there is in this world Arises from wishing others to be happy. And all the suffering there is in this world Arises from wishing oneself to be happy.
Why be unhappy about something if it can be remedied? And what is the use of being unhappy about something if it cannot be remedied?
Take advantage of this human boat;
Free yourself from sorrow’s mighty stream!
This vessel will be later hard to find.
The time that you have now, you fool, is not for sleep!
Shantideva was an eighth-century Indian Buddhist monk and is among the most renowned and esteemed figures in the entire history of Mahayana Buddhism. His Holiness the Dalai Lama comments that the Bodhicaryavatara (Bodhisattva Way of Life) his classic treatise, is the primary source of most of the Tibetan Buddhist literature on the cultivation of altruism and the Spirit of Awakening.
Shantideva, like Buddha Shakyamuni, was born into a royal family and was destined for the throne. But on the verge of his coronation, Manjushri, a divine embodiment of wisdom, and Tara, a divine embodiment of compassion, both appeared to him in dreams and counseled him not to ascend to the throne. Thus, he left his father’s kingdom, retreated to the wilderness, and devoted himself to meditation. During this time, he achieved advanced states of samadhi and various siddhis, and from that time forward constantly beheld visions of Manjushri, who guided him as his spiritual mentor.
Afterward, he served for a while as minister to a king, whom he helped to rule in accordance with the principles of Buddhism. But this aroused jealousy on the part of the other ministers, and Shantideva withdrew from the service of the king. Making his way to the renowned monastic university of Nalanda, he took monastic ordination and devoted himself to the thorough study of the Buddhist sutras and tantras. It was during this period that he composed two other classic works. But as far as his fellow monks could see, all he did was eat, sleep, and defecate.
Seeking to humiliate him and thus expel him from the monastery, the other scholars compelled him to recite a sutra before the monastic community and the public, a task they thought far exceeded his abilities. After some hesitation, Shantideva agreed to the request and asked them, “Shall I recite an existing text or an original composition?” “Recite something new!” they told him, and in response he began chanting the Bodhicaryavatara. During this astonishing recital, when he came to the verse “When neither an entity nor a nonentity remains before the mind…,” it is said that he rose up into the sky. Even after his body disappeared from sight, his voice completed the recitation of this text.
Biography of Shantideva (Santideva Sanskrit), adapted from the introduction to A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life (Bodhicaryavatara) by Santideva. Translated from the Sanskrit and Tibetan by Vesna A. Wallace and B. Alan Wallace. Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, New York US.