The Jewel Rosary of the Bodhisattvas by Atisha Dipamkara
In the language of India: Bodhisattvamaṇyāvalī
In the language of Tibet: byang chub sems dpa’i nor bu’i phreng ba
In the English language: The Jewel Rosary of the Bodhisattvas
Homage to great compassion!
Homage to the masters!
Homage to the deities who inspire devotion!
Put aside all doubt and hesitation,
And take delight in earnest practice,
Abandon entirely lethargy, dullness and laziness,
And exert yourself constantly with enthusiasm.
With mindfulness, vigilance and carefulness,
Guard the doors of your senses at all times.
Again and again, thrice by day and by night,
Examine the continuum of your mind.
Proclaim your own failings,
But do not look for faults in others.
Hide any good quality you may have,
While declaring others’ virtues.
Let go of concerns for gain or respect,
And always renounce the desire for fame.
With few wants, remain contented,
And repay any kindness you receive.
Cultivate loving kindness and compassion,
And make your bodhichitta stable.
Avoid the ten unwholesome actions,
And let your faith be forever strong.
Overcome all anger and conceit,
And adopt an attitude of humility.
Renounce unethical forms of livelihood,
And sustain yourself according to the Dharma.
Forsake material possessions,
And adorn yourself with the riches of the Aryas.
Leave behind all busyness and distraction,
And remain in places of solitude.
Refrain from idle gossip,
And always guard your speech.
Whenever you see your masters or preceptors,
Cultivate the wish to serve them, with respect.
Both those possessing eyes of Dharma,
And those first setting out upon the path,
Are to be regarded as your teachers.
And when encountering any other beings,
Look upon them as your parents or your children.
Do not befriend those who act in harmful ways,
But rely instead on true spiritual friends.
Abandon any feelings of hostility or ill will,
And be always joyful, wherever you may go.
Avoid becoming attached to anything at all,
And remain free from craving and desire.
Attachment prevents the attainment of happy states,
And, furthermore, destroys liberation’s vital force.
Should you discover a means to happiness,
Strive constantly to put it into practice.
Any task you have set out to do,
Should be completed before embarking on another.
With this approach, both will be achieved.
But doing otherwise, nought will be accomplished.
Take no delight in harmful deeds.
Should thoughts of superiority arise,
There and then, subdue your pride,
And recall the instructions of your master.
Should you ever feel daunted or dejected,
Uplift yourself with encouragement and praise.
And meditate on the emptiness of both.
When encountering objects of attachment or aversion,
Regard them as mere apparitions and illusory.
Should you hear unpleasant words,
Consider them merely echoes.
Should you suffer physical harm,
Consider it the fruit of your past deeds.
Keep entirely to solitude, far beyond the town,
And, like the carcass of a beast,
Hide yourself away,
Remaining free of all attachment.
Be forever firm in your commitment.
Should laziness or lethargy take hold,
Be sure to enumerate your faults,
And recall the essence of yogic discipline.
Should you chance upon another,
Speak calmly and sincerely,
Taking care not to frown or grimace,
And always maintaining a cheerful smile.
Generally, whenever you encounter others,
Do not be miserly, but delight in giving,
And forsake entirely feelings of envy.
To protect the minds of others,
Be sure to avoid all quarrels,
And remain always patient and forbearing.
Do not flatter others or be fickle and disloyal,
But remain forever steadfast and reliable.
Avoid disparaging people in any way,
And treat everyone with respect.
When giving advice or instructions,
Do so with compassion and goodwill.
Be sure never to denigrate the teachings.
Set your sights on what inspires you most,
And, through the ten forms of Dharma practice,
Exert yourself, in sessions, by day and night.
Whatever virtues you amass in the past, present and future,
Dedicate them all towards great, unsurpassable awakening.
Divide your merits among all sentient beings.
Continually make prayers of aspiration,
Combining them with the seven branches.
Practising in this way, you will complete
The twofold accumulation of merit and wisdom,
And eliminate the two forms of obscuration.
By making meaningful this human existence,
In time, you will gain unsurpassable awakening.
The jewel of faith, the jewel of discipline,
The jewel of giving, the jewel of learning,
The jewel of dignity, the jewel of self-control,
And the jewel of wisdom—these are the seven riches.
These most sacred forms of wealth
Are seven riches that can not be exhausted.
Do not speak of this to non-human beings.
In the company of others, guard your speech;
Whenever you are alone, guard your mind.
This concludes The Jewel Rosary of the Bodhisattvas composed by the Indian preceptor Dipamkara Shrijnana.
| Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2008