Bodhichitta of Aspiration

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Bodhichitta of aspiration (smon pa'i byang chub kyi sems). Motivated by love and compassion for all sentient beings, the practitioner engenders the wish to liberate all beings from the samsaric existence. Comprised chiefly of the four immeasurables. RY

see also The Traditions of the Two Chariots,

Explanation

byang sdom - bodhisattva precepts. According to the system of Nagarjuna, the Chariot of the Profound View, the precepts are to refrain from the following:

  • to steal the funds of the Three Jewels;
  • to commit the act of forsaking the Dharma;
  • to punish or cause to lose the precepts etc. people who possess or have lapsed from the trainings;
  • to commit the five acts with immediate result;
  • to violate the five definite precepts for a king, such as keeping wrong views and so forth;
  • to violate the five definitive precepts for a minister such as destroying a village, a valley, a city, a district, or a country;
  • to give premature teachings on emptiness to people who haven't trained in the Mahayana;
  • to aspire towards the shravakas of the Hinayana after having reached the Mahayana;
  • to train in the Mahayana after forsaking the Individual Liberation;
  • to disparage the Hinayana;
  • to praise oneself and disparage others;
  • to be highly hypocritical for the sake of honor and gain;
  • to let a monk receive punishment and be humiliated; to harm others by bribing a king or a minister in order to punish them;
  • to give the food of a renunciant meditator to a reciter of scriptures and thus causing obstacles for the cultivation of shamatha.
  • The eighty subsidiary infractions are to forsake the happiness of another being and so forth.

According to the system of Asanga, the Chariot of the Vast Conduct, the precepts for the bodhichitta of aspiration are as follows:

  • to never forsake sentient beings,
  • to remember the benefits of bodhichitta,
  • to gather the accumulations,
  • to exert oneself in training in bodhichitta, as well as
  • to adopt and avoid the eight black and white deeds.

The four precepts for the bodhichitta of application are (to avoid the following):
1) out of desire, to have exceeding attachment to honor and gain and to praise oneself and disparage others,
2) out of stinginess, to refrain from giving material things, Dharma teachings and wealth to others,
3) out of anger, to harm others and be unforgiving when offered an apology,
4) out of stupidity, to pretend that indolence is Dharma and to teach that to others.

The 46 minor infractions are to refrain from making offerings to the Three Jewels and so forth.

The four black deeds are:

  • to deceive a venerable person,
  • to cause someone to regret what is not regrettable,
  • to disparage a sublime person, and
  • to deceive sentient beings.

The four white deeds are their opposites RY


[These several pages under the general heading of 'Bodhichitta' and it's various 'levels' and aspects will for the most part have a repeat of this same defining/explanatory entry. The reasoning is in hopes that perhaps the reader may see how these tie together through the explanation.] [RWB]

Regarding Bodhichitta, in the section of The Light of Wisdom titled The Essence of Generating Bodhichitta it offers this in regards to The Different Types [of bodhichitta]:

"There are four different types of stages, from the devoted engagement of ordinary people - through buddhahood. [These 4 stages and] twenty-two types are taught using analogies in terms of their characteristics. Thus:

The twenty-two analogies given in the Ornament of Realization (Abhisamayalamkara) are:

  • These are like the earth, gold, the moon, and fire.
  • Like a treasure, a jewel mine, and the ocean,
  • Like a diamond, a mountain, medicine, and a teacher,
  • Like a wish-fulfilling jewel, the sun, and a song,
  • Like a king, a treasury, and a highway,
  • Like a carriage and a fountain,
  • Like a lute, a river, and a cloud--

Thus here we have twenty-two kinds.

These twenty-two are examples for pursuing the aim and so forth through dharmakaya. As these are combined with the five paths: pursuance, intention, and superior intention are the path of accumulation; hence application is the path of joining; the paramita of generosity is the path of seeing; and discipline, patience, diligence, concentration, discriminating knowledge, means, strength, aspiration, and wisdom are the nine stages of the path of cultivation; superknowledges, [the accumulations of] merit and wisdom (see above), the thirty-seven factors conducive to enlightenment (byang chub kyi chos sum bcu rtsa bdun), shamatha and vipashyana. recall and courageous eloquence--five altogether--comprise the special path of three pure bhumis together; and the banquet of Dharma, the singular journeyed path (see singularity), and the possession of dharmakaya comprise the three aspects of preparation, main part, and conclusion of the stage of buddhahood. You should know this: all of these can be combined with three more aspects: analogy, helper, and quality; for instance, the helper is the subject, the bodhichitta concurrent with pursuing the aim of enlightenment. The analogy is that this is like the earth, because it serves as basis for all virtuous qualities. [JOKYAB]

These are the two types defined according to their characteristics; aspiration, and application: the bodhichitta of aspiration is the four immeasurables, and the bodhichitta of application is the six paramitas. According to the system of Nagarjuna, the bodhichitta of aspiration is to pledge the effect and the bodhichitta of application is to pledge the cause. According to the system of Asanga, the intention is the bodhichitta of aspiration, and engagement is the bodhichitta of application. The bodhichitta of aspiration is the wish to attain buddhahood, like intenting to travel. The bodhichitta of application is to train in bodhichitta in and as all actions and experience, the means for attaining/revealing buddhahood, like traveling.