Chandragomin: Twenty Verses on the Bodhisattva Vow

Bodhisattva, Dunhuang cave

Bodhisattva, Dunhuang cave

Chandragomin: Twenty Verses on the Bodhisattva Vow

Make prostration with reverence and offer what you can

To the Buddhas and their disciples;

Then the moral code of bodhisattvas

Who abide in all time and space

That treasury of all merit

Should be taken, with lofty intention,

From a lama maintaining and learned in the vow,

Who is capable [of bestowing it].

At which time, because of the virtue in that

The Jinas and their disciples

With their virtuous hearts, forever

Consider you their beloved son.

For others, as for oneself,

What is suffering may be beneficial;

Do beneficial pleasant things,

But not the pleasant, if not beneficial.

That which, developed from severe defilement,

Functions as destruction of the vow,

The four transgressions of it,

Are considered as defeats.

With attachment to gain and respect,

Praising oneself and deprecating another;

Stingily not giving Dharma and wealth

To the suffering, [poor] and forsaken.

Heedless of another’s confession,

Striking him out of anger;

Rejecting the Greater Vehicle,

And showing what appears like good Dharma.

The vow should be taken again;

Confess the middling outflows to three,

The rest before one [person],

The defiled and not, in one’s own mind thus.

Not offering three to the Precious Three;

Following thoughts of desire;

Not paying respect to elders;

Giving no answer to questions;

Not accepting an invitation;

Not taking such things as gold;

Not giving to those who seek Dharma.

Disdaining the immoral.

Not training for the sake of others ‘faith;

Doing little for the welfare of sentient beings;

With mercy there is no [deed] without virtue.

Ready acceptance of wrong livelihood;

Laughing aloud, and so on, from levity;

Thinking to travel only in samsara

Failing to ward off defamation;

Not to give treatment even comprising affliction;

Abuse in return for abuse, and so forth;

Disdaining those who are angry;

Rejecting another’s excuses;

Following thoughts of anger.

Attracting followers out of desire for honour;

Not dispelling laziness and so forth;

Giving way with a passion to gossip.

Failure to seekthe goal of concentration;

Not to eliminate hindrances in meditation;

Regarding the taste of meditation a good quality.

Rejecting the auditors ‘vehicle;

Diligent in it while having one’s own method;

Diligent only in outside treatises;

Taking enjoyment in that diligence;

Rejecting the Greater Vehicle,.

Praising oneself and deprecating another;

Not to go for the sake of Dharma;

Deprecating it and relying upon the letter.

Not being a friend in need;

Refusing to serve the sick;

Not acting to remove suffering,.

Not teaching what is relevant to the careless.

Not to repay a good turn;

Not to assuage the sorrow of others;

Not giving to those who seek wealth;

Not working the welfare of followers.

Not to conform to the expectations of others;

Not speaking in praise of good qualities.

Not to suppress in accord with conditions;

Not using psychic powers to threaten and so forth.

There is no fault in a wholesome thought either,

Compassionate and [acting] out of love.