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Dharma Gems


Quotes from the sutras and shastras of Mahayana:

[verse] 12

If one investigates to find the supreme method
for accomplishing the aims of oneself and others,
it comes down to bodhicitta alone.
Being certain of this, develop it with joy.

Khunu Rinpoche - Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sea.[/verse]


Active Member
Quotes from the sutras and shastras of Mahayana:

[verse] 12

If one investigates to find the supreme method
for accomplishing the aims of oneself and others,
it comes down to bodhicitta alone.
Being certain of this, develop it with joy.

Khunu Rinpoche - Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sea.[/verse]



The present Dalai Lama wrote in the Foreword to the 1966 edition of Khunu Lama's work:

“He developed more and more within his heart the thought of enlightenment (bodhicitta) that cherishes others more than self—that central thoroughfare of the buddhas and their [bodhisattva] children—and in order to keep his commitment to just that development of bodhicitta he set down every day a single verse in praise of bodhicitta in this book called The Jewel Lamp."

Supreme bodhicitta is the wish to remove
every flaw from every living being and to
bring about limitless good qualities in each of them.
This is outstanding even amongst the outstanding!
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First, I shall explain the dharmas causing happiness,
Afterwards, I shall distinguish the dharmas generating liberation.
Beings place obtaining happiness as foremost,
And then afterwards pursue liberation.

1. Definitions and Causes of Happiness and Liberation

Perfection in the path of goodness defines “happiness.”
“Liberation,” refers to the extinguishing of delusions.
Generally speaking, the causes for these two
Lie solely in two faculties: faith and wisdom.

a. The Roles of Faith and Wisdom

Due to faith, one is able to uphold the Dharma.
Through wisdom, one’s comprehension accords with reality.
Of the two, wisdom is superior.
Still, one first relies on faith to initiate the practices.

Nagarjuna, A Strand of Dharma Jewels


The next section contains praises for the amazing qualities of the first [bodhisattva] ground. By the power of insight, one’s mind realizes that all wandering beings are merely conditioned phenomena, empty of the twofold self. Reliant on others, they are dependent arisings that emerge through the formative conditions of ignorance and so forth. It is, likewise, understood that the self of the one who experiences is nothing more than the unfolding of the three sufferings through the power of the ripening of karma and affliction.

Hence, giving up the meaningless view of self that is of the nature of delusion, bodhisattvas discover the view of the great equality of self and other—which is deeply meaningful since it involves benefiting infinite numbers of sentient beings. While lacking the view of self, they nevertheless view other beings as themselves. That is to say, while they themselves have achieved the direct perception of the fact that the two types of self have no establishment, they know that sentient beings do not realize this. In their deluded individual perceptions, they experience all sorts of sufferings just as if self and other actually existed. Bodhisattvas take these sentient beings as their own, and so, without ever turning their back on them, they strive until the end of time to rid all beings of their dream-like suffering.

Part of Ju Mipham's gloss on Ornament of the Mahayana Sutras XV:37


If you do not yank out by the root
this noxious stem of self-interest,
how will the lordly wish-fulfilling tree of bodhicitta
that delights in altruism ever flourish?

Excerpt From: Khunu Rinpoche. Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sea.


In Praise of the Incomparable by Nagarjuna, first five verses:

Homage to you, Incomparable One,
Who knows the actuality of the lack of a nature
And makes efforts to benefit this world
That is ruined by its views. [1]

Nothing whatsoever is seen
By your Buddha-eye,
But your unsurpassable vision, O protector,
Beholds the actuality of true reality. [2]

In ultimate reality, there is neither a realizer
Nor something to be realized in this world.
Ah, you have realized the nature of phenomena
That is most difficult to realize. [3]

Nothing has been produced by you,
Nor did you terminate any phenomenon.
Through just beholding equality,
You have attained the unsurpassable state. [4]

You did not aim at nirvāṇa
Through removing cyclic existence.
It is through cyclic existence being unobservable
That you have found peace, O protector. [5]

Excerpt From: Karl Brunnhölzl. Straight from the Heart


City of 10,000 Buddhas - Flower Adornment Sutra Prologue

Treatise on the Golden Lion, with a traditional commentary starts this text.

Treatise on the Golden Lion

By the Third Hua Yen Patriarch, National Master Hsien Shou [also known as Fa-tsang) (643–712)]

One, Understanding Conditioned Arising
Two, Distinguishing Form and Emptiness
Three, Summarizing the Three Natures
Four, Revealing the Markless
Five, Explaining the Unproduced
Six, Discussing the Five Teachings
Seven, Mastering the Ten Mysteries
Eight, Embracing the Six Marks,
Nine, Achieving Bodhi
Ten, Entering Nirvana

One, Understanding Conditioned Arising​

That is to say, the gold is without a nature of its own. In accordance with the condition of the skillful work of the craftsman, there arise the marks of the lion. Their arising is only due to this condition. Therefore, this is called conditioned arising.

Two, Distinguishing Form and Emptiness​

That is to say, the marks of the lion are unreal. There is only true gold. The lion does not exist. The gold substance is not non-existent. Therefore, they are called form and emptiness.

Moreover, emptiness does not have a mark of its own. Through form it is revealed. It does not obstruct illusory existence. Therefore, they are called form and emptiness.
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Some background on the Golden Lion teaching by Fa Tsang:

Fa Tsang expounded the new translation of the Hwa Yen Sutra [Avatamsaka Sutra] for the Empress [Wu] Tse-T'ien, but when he came to the doctrines of the ten mysteries, of Indra's net, the Ocean-Seal Samadhi, the convergence of the six forms and the realm of the universal perception, which constitute the general and specific principles and teachings in the various chapters of the Sutra, the Empress became puzzled and uncertain. Thereupon, Fa Tsang pointed to the golden lion guarding the palace hall and used it as a metaphor to illustrate the teachings. The doctrines were thereby made extremely clear and easy to understand, and the Empress quickly came to a full comprehension of the essence of the teaching. [This lecture was later written in prose] with ten principles to elaborate the general and specific theories, and it was called the Treatise On The Golden Lion.

From Chang's Buddhist Teaching of Totality