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A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life

By: Shantideva

Shantideva is particularly renowned as the author of the Bodhicaryavatara (sometimes also called the Bodhisattvacaryavatara). An English translation of the Sanskrit version of the Bodhicaryavatara is available online, as well as in print in a variety of translations, sometimes glossed as "A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way Of Life" or "Entering the Path of Enlightenment." It is a long poem describing the process of enlightenment from the first thought to full buddhahood and is still studied by Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists today.

It has ten chapters dedicated to the development of bodhicitta (the mind of enlightenment) through the practice of the six perfections (Skt. Pāramitās). The text begins with a chapter describing the benefits of the wish to reach enlightenment. The sixth chapter on the Pāramitā of patience (Skt. Kṣānti, kshanti) is considered by many Buddhists to be the pinnacle of writing on this subject and is the source of numerous quotations attributed to Śāntideva. Tibetan scholars consider the ninth "Wisdom" chapter to be one of the most succinct expositions of the Madhyamaka view. The tenth chapter is used as one of the most popular Mahāyāna prayers.

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English

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Sanskrit

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Shantideva was an 8th-century CE Indian philosopher, Buddhist monk, poet and scholar at the university at Nalanda. He was an adherent of the Madhyamaka philosophy of Nagarjuna.   He is also consi...

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