Article Index

4. Engaging in Bodhisattva Deeds

“For as long as space endures, and for as long as living beings remain, until then may I too abide, to dispel the misery of the world.”


The teaching on the bodhisattva’s deeds is based on Shantideva’s inspirational verses on Mahayana aspiration and practice, composed more than a thousand years ago and still widely regarded as the most authentic and complete guide for the practitioner dedicated to the enlightenment of all beings. This highest of motivations lies at the heart of the Guide, which ranges in scope from simple, practical techniques for developing generosity and dealing with destructive emotions, up to the most refined discussion of ultimate truth. Due to its authenticity and relevance for everyday life, this classic is probably cited more often in teachings by Tibetan Buddhist masters than any other Buddhist scripture.

ROOT TEXT: Shantideva, Engaging in the Bodhisattva Deeds
COMMENTARY: Gyaltsab Je, Commentary to (Shantideva’s) ‘Engaging in the Bodhisattva Deeds’

5. Mind and Cognition

“All human accomplishment is preceded by correct cognition.”


Mind and Cognition (lo-rig) begins with the study of mind, both in its valid and distorted forms. In addition a number of important themes are introduced, including the relationship between subject and object, supramundane (yogic) knowing and the connection between thought and reality. An introduction to Buddhist psychology forms the latter part of the teaching, where the various positive and negative emotions, as well as the cognitive states relevant to practice of a liberating path, are identified and defined.

TEXTS: Yongdzin Purbu Chok, Explanation of the Presentation of Objects and Object-Possessors As Well As Mind and Cognition and Kachen Yeshe Gyaltsen, Clear Exposition of the Modes of Minds and Mental Factors: A Necklace for Those of Clear Mind

6. Tenets

"My doctrine has two modes: advice and tenets. To children I speak advice, and to yogis, tenets"


Based on the idea that the Buddha taught different things to different people in line with their capacities, Tibetan scholars systemised the numerous trends in Indian Buddhist thought and taught the four schools of Tenets (drub-ta) as a means to approach the most profound philosophical teachings via more accessible levels. The text that is the basis for study of this subject gives a brief overview of the assertions on minds, objects, selflessness and the nature of attainment within each of the schools, culminating in the tenets of the most highly esteemed school, the Madhyamaka.

TEXT: Jetsun Chokyi Gyaltsen, Presentation of Tenets

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