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THE PRACTICE OF A BODHISATTVA

Translated into Chinese by Kumarajiva (344 - 413, Eastern Jin Dynasty)
English translation: You Zai and Zhi Yue

How does a bodhisattva keep his resolve firm and unregressing?
1. By giving rise to the mind of great compassion for all sentient beings;
2. By persisting to work diligently and tirelessly;
3. By believing and understanding life and death as illusory dreams;
4. By possessing the right thinking on the wisdom of the buddhas.

How does a bodhisattva ensure that the Bodhi Mind is never lost life after life?
1. By always being mindful of the Buddha;
2. By constantly contemplating Bodhi wisdom in the form of meritorious deeds;
3. By being close to good and virtuous friends;
4. By praising the Mahayana teachings.

How does a bodhisattva thoroughly understand the practice of skillful means amongst sentient beings?
1. By obliging sentient beings;
2. By rejoicing in the meritorious deeds of others;
3. By repenting and eliminating transgressions;
4. By requesting and inviting the presence of all buddhas.

How does a bodhisattva remain unwavered by others and autonomously practice the Six Perfections?
1. By guiding others with generosity;
2. By not slandering or speaking of others’ faults;
3. By thoroughly knowing the All-Embracing Virtues and teaching sentient beings;
4. By understanding the profound Dharma.

How does a bodhisattva ensure that the seeds of Buddhahood are never disrupted?
1. By not regressing on one’s original vows;
2. By practicing what one teaches;
3. By desiring to be diligent;
4. By being fully committed to practicing the Way of the Buddha.

──from Siyi Fantian Suowen Jing (Sutra Asked by Visesacinta Brahma Deva)