Bodhisattvacharyavatara by Acharya Śāntideva

Chapter VI– verses 18ii-19i

Transglomeration: [S18b/T18cd] In this way, I should become the master, invulnerable to all sorrow, harm and injury, not allowing discomfort and hardship to throw me off, not allowing it to become unbearable, insurmountable.   [S19a/T19ab] Not even when in pain or distress – not even in the thick of battle – should I, using my wisdom, let my mind become troubled or disturbed, my spirit retaining its tranquillity, its lightness, its composure, its balance, its confidence, its joy.

~~~ “BCA” ~~~

Text: the Sanskrit phrases the result of enduring suffering as ‘overcoming’ suffering, the Tibetan as ‘not being affected’ by it … ‘plus c’est la même chose’

Summary Practice: the essential point of practice: keeping a happy mind, keeping the mind happy, keep on keeping on; and not despite the suffering that one may be experiencing – not with gritted teeth – but with wisdom (reference to the ‘wise person’), knowing the context and cause of the suffering, knowing the faults of adding more anger on top of the suffering; ‘happy’ means a mind of equanimity, not wavering towards any of the eight worldly dharmas … ‘is that so’ with a funny half-smile; in the end, this is a simple practice, ‘don’t worry, be happy’, but it needs quite a bit of explanation because it could be so easy to get off-balance with this practice, like thinking ‘right, I’ll be happy, come what may’ and we go through life with a rigor-mortis smile before we have even encountered any adversity: we have put the result before the cause, it is when adversity arises that we should maintain our balance in response to the adversity, not despite it, it’s … a very subtle balance; the ‘happiness’ or balance of the mind is achieved on the basis of an understanding of what’s going on (cause and effect, conditionality, karma, the faults of reacting angrily), it is not based on happiness for its own sake, it is a ‘wise’ understanding, a wisdom, it sees what is going on and it puts what-is-going-on in its proper perspective, it is wisdom on recognising what is, not what one would hope it to be (the cause, usually, of falling to any of the eight worldly dharmas)