Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life (Bodhicaryavatara)
A Commentary by Geshe Tenzin Zopa
Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche said it best: “Buddhas are born from Bodhisattvas; Bodhisattvas are born from Bodhichitta.” The Guide to the Way of Bodhisattva’s Way of Life or in Sanskrit, Bodhicaryavatara, is the most celebrated and spectacular exposition on the mighty altruistic intention and conduct of the Bodhisattva.
To embark on the reading, let alone the study of, the Bodhicaryavatara takes guts. Its 914 verses challenge every fibre in your body, every corner of your mind and when you complete the book, it leaves you feeling embarrassed at having your innermost thoughts and deeds spread out on a page in front of you. Yet, hope is a little brighter because the possibilities are infinite.
Like a captain on a ship built for the high seas, Geshe Tenzin Zopa skilfully steers us through the turbulent waters of our minds, spotlighting our flaws, praising our efforts, showing the way by his explanations on the verses. When the brutal honesty of this text gets too much, Geshela steadfastly keeps us afloat by sharing his personal encounters and finally brings us to shore, soggy and whip-lashed but holding a glow in the heart – one that is inspired to take the first baby-step in the Bodhisattva’s way of life. Such is the kindness of Gurus.
With deep gratitude and undying devotion to our Gurus, HH Dalai Lama, Beloved Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, HE Dagri Rinpoche and the irreplaceable Geshe Tenzin Zopa, please bless us to accomplish the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life for the sake of others and to please your holy minds. This is also dedicated to the swift return of the unmistaken reincarnation of Khensur Rinpoche Lhundrup Rigsel, the Virtuous Friends of all sentient beings.
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