Nagarjuna’s Guide to The Bodhisattva Path // Nagarjuna Buddhism
Excerpts from ( 120-168 )
One’s mind should be like vajra,
Able to penetrate all dharmas.
One’s mind should also be like a mountain,
Remaining unmoved in any circumstance.
Delight in world-transcending discourse
And do not take pleasure in worldly words.
Personally adopt all manner of meritorious qualities.
One should then influence others to adopt them as well.
Cultivate the five bases of liberation.
Cultivate the ten reflections on impurity.
The eight realizations of 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 abodes—
One should cultivate purification of these five spiritual abilities.
The four bases of spiritual powers comprise their root.
They are zeal, vigor, mental focus, and contemplative reflection.
The four immeasurables govern 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.
Whether or not someone has actually committed a transgression,
One must not reveal his situation to others.
Do not seek out the errors and faults of anyone else.
Rather one should become aware of one’s own errors.
Even though one might be put to death for speaking the truth,
Or might be forced to abdicate the throne of a universal monarch,
Or even that of a king among the gods,
One should still utter only truthful speech.
Even if beaten, cursed, or terrorized with death threats or captivity,
One must not hate or condemn others, but should instead reflect:
“This is all the product of my own karmic offenses.
This has happened as a result of karmic retribution.”
Regard all equally in one’s thoughts, speak equally for all,
Be uniformly equal in establishing all others in goodness,
And influence them all equally to accord with what is right.
Thus one refrains from making distinctions between any beings.
One works for the sake of Dharma and not for self-benefit.
One works to develop meritorious qualities, not for renown.
One wishes to liberate beings from suffering
And does not wish merely to ensure his own happiness.
Grow close to good spiritual friends,
Specifically, to the masters of Dharma, to the Buddhas,
To those who encourage one to leave the home life,
And to those who are seekers of alms.
Those who ground themselves in worldly treatises,
Those who exclusively seek worldly wealth,
Those with Pratyekabuddha Vehicle faith and understanding,
And those devoted to the Sravaka Vehicle—
As for these four types of unwholesome spiritual friends,
The bodhisattva should be aware of them as such.
There are, however, other circumstances one should seek out.
This refers specifically to the four great treasuries:
The emergence of buddhas; hearing the perfections explained;
Being able in the presence of a master of Dharma
To behold him with unobstructed mind;
And happily pursuing cultivation in a place of solitude.
Abide in a manner comparable to
Earth, water, fire, wind, and space,
Remaining thus uniformly equal under all circumstances
In providing benefit to all beings.
Give to beings whatsoever is fine
And do not wish that they bestow anything fine in return.
One should prefer it be solely oneself who endures suffering
While not favoring oneself in the enjoyment of happiness.
Although replete with karmic rewards from immense merit,
The mind should not become lofty or overwhelmed with delight.
Although one may be as poverty-stricken as a hungry ghost,
One should still not become downcast or overcome with distress.
The sufferings of cyclic existence are of many kinds,
Involving birth, aging, death, and the wretched destinies.
One should not be frightened by the fearsomeness of these.
One must instead subdue demons and knowledge rooted in evil.
Even in the midst of all dharmas, one is constant
In not seizing on them, thus coursing along in equanimity.
One takes on the burden, wishing to bear it on forth,
Proceeding in this manner for the sake of all beings.
One cultivates these provisions in this manner
For kalpas as numerous as the Ganges’ sands,
Doing so sometimes as a monastic, sometimes as a householder.
Thus one will succeed in perfecting the right enlightenment.
( Nagarjuna’s Guide to The Bodhisattva Path // Nagarjuna Buddhism )