Saturday, August 7, 2010

For every being, the abundant cow, and for those who need a resting place, a bed.

Shantideva, an 8th-century Indian Buddhist scholar at Nalanda University and an adherent of the Madhyamaka philosophy of Nagarjuna.
From somewhere in Shantideva's Entering the Path of the Bodhisattva (aka, The Bodhisattvacharyāvatāra):
May I be 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.

May I be an isle for those who yearn for landfall,
And a lamp for those who long for light;
For those who need a resting place, a bed;
For all those who need a servant, may I be a slave.

May I be the wishing jewel, the vase of plenty,
A word of power; and the supreme remedy.
May I be the tree of miracles,
And for every being, the abundant cow.

Like the great earth and the other elements,
Enduring as the sky itself endures,
For the boundless multitude of living beings,
May I be the ground and vessel of their life,

Thus, for every single thing that lives
In number like the boundless reaches of the sky,
May I be their sustenance and nourishment
Until they pass beyond the bounds of suffering.

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