Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Bodhisattva Vow

The Bodhisattva's Vow

So long as space remains,

So long as sentient beings remain,

I will remain,

In order to help,

In order to serve,

In order to make,

My own contribution.

~ Tibetan prayer translated by The Dalai Lama


At 10:51 AM, Blogger Ryan G said...

How can one not be inspired by the Bodhisattva Vow? Come to think of it, that's not a bad little test: if I'm not inspired by it in some sense, I'm missing some key emotion or state that I value...

One thing (among many) I find quite cool about many buddhist passages is the many variations available - a google search comes up with many of them on the first page. Several good ones are here:

I like one of KW's comments on it from his wonderful essay "A Spirituality That Transforms":

"Because, you see, the alarming fact is that any realization of depth carries a terrible burden: Those who are allowed to see are simultaneously saddled with the obligation to communicate that vision in no uncertain terms. That is the bargain. You were allowed to see the truth under the agreement that you would communicate it to others (that is the ultimate meaning of the bodhisattva vow). And therefore, if you have seen, you simply must speak out. Speak out with compassion, or speak out with angry wisdom, or speak out with skillful means, but speak out you must.

This is truly a terrible burden, a horrible burden, because in any case there is no room for timidity. The fact that you might be wrong is simply no excuse: you might be right in your communication, and you might be wrong, but that doesn't matter. What does matter, as Kierkegaard so rudely reminded us, is that only by investing and speaking your vision with passion, can the truth, one way or another, finally penetrate the reluctance of the world. If you are right, or if you are wrong, it is only your passion that will force either to be discovered. It is your duty to promote that discovery-either way-and therefore it is your duty to speak your truth with whatever passion and courage you can find in your heart. You must shout, in whatever way you can."

At 11:09 AM, Blogger Brian Johnson said...

Genius, Ryan. Genius.


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