Modern Bodhisattva’s Way of Life:  The universal panacea of bodhichitta

(1.25) This mind to benefit living beings,
Which does not arise in others even for their own sakes,
Is an extraordinary jewel of a mind,
Whose birth is an unprecedented wonder.

Seeing how far we ourselves are from bodhichitta enables us to truly marvel at the mind of a bodhisattva.  Not only do they wish permanent freedom for themselves, but they wish it for all living beings without exception.  Not only do they have this wish, they have assumed personal responsibility to do whatever it takes to realize this wish.  In this respect, we can say that a bodhisattva loves somebody else more than they love themselves.  We wish for them a happiness and a freedom from suffering much more vast than they even wish for themselves.  Such a being is a true wonder in this world.

In the modern world, we usually marvel at the abilities of our computer scientists and engineers to make the next electronic wonder, such as Google, Facebook or the iPhone.  Who can deny Steve Jobs’ genius?  But such mental abilities pale into petty insignificance compared to the incomparable wonder of the mind of bodhichitta.  Google knows a lot, but only the omniscient mind of a Buddha realizes all things past, present and future.  Facebook connects billions of people together as friends, but only a Buddha is a true friend of the whole world.  The iPhone is a technological wonder without equal, but only the “apps” of full enlightenment have the power to bring lasting happiness.  Who has made the greater contribution to the world, Bill Gates or Jesus?  Henry Ford or Gandhi?  Who has more power to shape eternity, the President of the United States or a cute Tibetan monk in Cumbria?

If we are going to marvel at and aspire towards greatness, there is no greater wonder in the world than the mind of bodhichitta.

(1.26) How can we possibly measure
The benefits of this jewel of a mind –
The source of joy for all living beings
And the cure for all their sufferings?

Why is bodhichitta the source of joy for all living beings?  All happiness comes from the ripening of virtuous karma.  All virtuous karma is planted with virtuous actions.  All virtuous actions are inspired by receiving blessings from the Buddhas.  All Buddhas arise in dependence upon the precious mind of bodhichitta.  Therefore, bodhichitta is the real cause of all happiness of all living beings.  Indeed, we can say there is no other root cause of joy.

Why is bodhichitta the cure for all the suffering of all living beings?  Because the only cure to suffering is escaping from samsara, and only Buddhas know the way out.  Without bodhichitta, there can be no Buddhas.  It is not enough to just intellectually understand these reasons, we need to have them touch our heart.  We chase after wealth, fame, and pleasurable experiences, but what do they bring us?  Usually only new problems.  But the precious mind of bodhichitta will never deceive us.  It gives us an inexhaustible source of inner wealth, a great renown held only for holy beings, and the supreme uncontaminated pleasure of great bliss.  It is a treasure we can take with us beyond death, it is a jewel we can bequeath to all living beings.  Nothing can compare to bodhichitta, it is a veritable universal panacea available to us all.  We merely need want it enough to do what is required to generate it, and it’s fruit will be ours.


2 thoughts on “Modern Bodhisattva’s Way of Life:  The universal panacea of bodhichitta

  1. On point 1.25, most other religious belief system do not believe there is after life therefore their intelligence will just gravitate towards what they can get in this life. When we have the mind of a Bodhisattva we will be concerned of the future of all beings and the wish for them to attain happiness that lasts forever.

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