Atisha

A central pillar in the ancient lineage of Tibetan Buddhist mind training (lo jong), this scripture is atttributed to the Indian Buddhist master Atisha (982-1054). For one thousand years, serious meditators have contemplated and actualized the teachings offered in this short but penetrating text. We invite you to continue the tradition: do not take this as light reading. It is meant for deep reflection and daily analysis over many years. Only in this way can its true benefit be experience and realized.

Bodhisattva's Jewel Garland

Sanskrit title: Bodhisattvamanevali

Homage to great compassion.

Homage to the teachers.

Homage to the faith divinities.


1
Discard all lingering doubts,
And strive with dedication in your practice.
Thoroughly relinquish sloth, mental dullness, and laziness,
And strive always with joyful perseverance.

2
With mindfulness, vigilance, and conscientiousness,
Constantly guard the gateways of your senses.
Again and again, three times both day and night,
Examine the flow of your thoughts.

3
Reveal your own shortcomings,
But do not seek out others' errors.
Conceal your own good qualities,
But proclaim those of others.

4
Forsake wealth and ministrations;
At all times relinquish gain and fame.
Have modest desires, be easily satisfied,
And reciprocate kindness.

5
Cultivate love and compassion,
And stabilize your awakening mind [bodhichitta].
Relinquish the ten negative actions.
And always reinforce your faith [in the law of karma].

6
Destroy anger and conceit,
And be endowed with humility.
Relinquish wrong livelihood,
And be sustained by ethical livelihood.

7
Forsake material possessions,
Embellish yourself with the wealth of the noble ones.
Avoid all trivial distractions,
And reside in the solitude of wilderness.

8
Abandon frivolous words,
Constantly guard your speech.
When you see your teachers and preceptors,
Reverently generate the wish to serve.

9
Toward wise beings with Dharma eyes
And toward beginners on the path as well,
Recognize them as your spiritual teachers.
[In fact] when you see any sentient being,
View them as your parent, your child, or your grandchild.

10
Renounce negative friendships,
And rely on a spiritual friend.
Dispel hostility and unpleasantness,
And venture forth to where happiness lies.

11
Abandon attachment to all things
And abide free of desire.
Attachment fails to bring even the higher realms;
In fact, it kills the life of true liberation.

12
When you encounter the causes of happiness,
In these always persevere.
Whichever task you take up first,
Address this task primarily.
In this way, you ensure the success of both tasks,
Where otherwise you accomplish neither.

13
Since you take no pleasure in negative deeds,
When a thought of self-importance arises,
At that instant deflate your pride
And recall your teacher's instructions.

14
When discouraged thoughts arise,
Uplift your mind
And meditate on the emptiness of both [self-importance and discouragement].
When objects of attraction or aversion appear,
View them as you would illusions and apparitions.

15
When you hear unpleasant words,
View them as [mere] echoes.
When injuries afflict your body,
See them as [the fruits of] past deeds.

16
Dwell utterly in solitude, beyond town limits.
Like the carcass of a wild animal,
Hide yourself away [in the forest]
And live free of attachment.

17
Always remain firm in your commitment.
When a hint of procrastination and laziness arises,
At that instant enumerate your flaws
And recall the essence of [spiritual] conduct.

18
However, if you do encounter others,
Speak peacefully and truthfully.
Do not grimace or frown,
But always maintain a smile.

19
In general when you see others,
Be free of miserliness and delight in giving;
Relinquish all thoughts of envy.

20
To help sooth others' minds,
Forsake all disputation
And be endowed with forbearance.

21
Be free of flattery and fickleness in friendship.
Be steadfast and reliable at all times.
Do not disparage others,
But always abide with respectful demeanor.

22
When giving advice,
Maintain compassion and altruism.
Never defame the teachings.
Whatever practices you admire,
With aspiration and the ten spiritual deeds,
Strive diligently, [with no distinction between] day and night.

23
Whatever virtues you gather though the three times,
Dedicate them toward the unexcelled great awakening.
Disperse your merit to all sentient beings,
And utter the peerless aspiration prayers
Of the seven limbs at all times.

24
If you proceed thus, you'll swiftly perfect merit and wisdom
And eliminate the two defilements [obscuration of afflictions, and subtle obscurations to omniscience].
Since your human existence will be meaningful,
You'll attain unexcelled enlightenment.

25
The wealth of faith, the wealth of ethics,
The wealth of giving, the wealth of learning,
The wealth of conscience, the wealth of remorse,
And the wealth of insight - these are the seven riches.

26
These precious and excellent jewels
Are the seven inexhaustible riches.
Do nor speak of these to those not human.
Among others guard your speech;
When alone guard your mind.

This concludes the Bodhisattva's Jewel Garland composed by the Indian abbot Dipamkarasrij├▒ana.

Excerpted from "Mind Training: The Great Collection," Translated by Thupten Jinpa. Published by Wisdom Publications 2006.