Shantideva's Bodhisattvacharyavata (A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life) holds a unique place in Mahayana Buddhism akin to that of the Dhammapada in Hinayana Buddhism and the Bhagavadgita in Hinduism. In combining those rare qualities of scholastic precision, spiritual depth and poetical beauty, its appeal extends to a wide audience of Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. Composed in India during the 8th century, it has since been an inspiration to millions of people throughout the world.
This translation by Stephen Batchelor is based upon a 12th century Tibetan commentary as orally explained by Ven. Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey. The ninth chapter has been expanded for this edition with relevant passages from the commentary for the sake of clarifying the often cryptic style of the root text.
Just like space
And the great elements such as earth,
May I always support the life
Of all the boundless creatures.
And until they pass away from pain
May I also be the source of life
For all the realms of varied beings
That reach unto the ends of space.
--From Chapter III.
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