Chapter 5

[This is not a translation, but a transglomeration: it is based upon an agglomeration of various part- and complete- translations into English, French and Spanish, and on my word-by-word translations from the Sanskrit root text and Tibetan root translation; I am proficient in none of these languages, but in working to agglomerate them together into a one, I am soaking into the text like cream into a cake and can never eat enough; all missed points, emphases and allusions are mine, all the wisdom is Shantideva’s; I present my work here because it may be useful to anyone else …]


saṃprajanyarakṣaṇaṃ nāma pañcamaḥ paricchedaḥ|
Mindfulness-Guarding Named Fifth Chapter

Chapter V – verse 1

Chapter V – verse 2

Chapter V – verse 3

Chapter V – verses 4-5

Chapter V – verses 6-8

Chapter V – verses 9-10

Chapter V – verse 11

Chapter V – verses 12-14

Chapter V – verse 15

Chapter V – verse 16

Chapter V – verse 17

Chapter V – verse 18

Chapter V – verses 19-20

Chapter V – verse 21

Chapter V – verse 22

Chapter V – verse 23

Chapter V – verse 24

Chapter V – verse 25

Chapter V – verse 26

Chapter V – verse 27

Chapter V – verse 28

These legions, this host, this brotherhood, like a pack, a gang, of bandits, of thieves, of pirates, of brigands, miscreants, these kleśas, our passions, our perturbations, our disturbing emotions, all these that afflict us, that defile us, that delude us, that pry and seek entry into this, my incarnation, where they will pillage, plunder, and ‘de-robe’ me of all my accumulated virtue and destroy all hope of any better course or estate in lifetimes to come.

Chapter V – verse 29

Therefore my mindfulness, my remembrance, my attention must always be posted on close duty, it should never be abandoned, otherwise engaged or allowed a break, it should never stray from the doorways of my mind down to my very heart; if it is lost or becomes distracted, or is about to leave, slip away or wander it should be quickly reset, re-established, reconnected, it should be brought back by recollecting the pain and torture I am sure to experience henceforth and in my hellish futures if I do not.

Chapter V – verse 30

Through [living with] and submitting to the Instructions, the Precepts, the Discipline of the Preceptor, through generating fear and dread of the lower realms (from the Preceptors’ Teachings) and through living closely with the Spiritual Mentor’s – the Guru’s – [Guidance], mindfulness will [naturally] arise and be easily maintained in those fortunate beings who practise with devotion, exertion, respect and reverence in the Trainings.

Chapter V – verses 31-32

[31] “I am constant and always standing before the Eyes of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattva Sons and Heroes who gaze always and everywhere, unimpeded and instantaneous, with omniscient, irresistible, unfailing regard, a watch extended throughout the infinity of space, seeing everything in their presence”   [32] Keeping this thought and awareness with me, I will hold myself with modesty, with dignity, with propriety out of shame and consideration, demure with mastery over myself; I will act with respect and obedience, in reverence and deference and a sense of fear and trepidation.   In this way I shall recollect and renew in my mind the All-Knowing Qualities of the Buddhas, Conquerors of all harmful aspects of the mind, and become close to them in each moment, again and again and again.

Chapter V – verse 33

When mindfulness is set, when it is stationed and poised at the thresholds of the mind, as guard, as sentinel, alertness will arise naturally as a follow-on, watchful, scrutinising, so that even when it wavers and is lost it will be recouped, and all that had been squandered and stolen will be returned.

Chapter V – verse 34

At the outset, either when sitting in meditation or about to act, I should check and audit the mind of my motivation and if I sense or recognise that it is tinged, tainted, entangled or polluted with any of the faults of deception or negative defilement, at that moment I should remain very still, docile, impassive, as if insensate, unresponsive, having no point (of action), keeping control of myself and self-possessed like a chunk of wood, ‘always in the presence…’.

Chapter V – verses 35-39

[35] [In my practice of mindfulness and alertness] I shouldn’t vacantly cast my gaze about here and there, without rhyme or reason, distractedly and purposelessly in idle curiosity; rather it should be cast downward as if in meditation, keeping my mind true, resolute and confident, avoiding any over-excitement or stimulation.   [36] [If I become too fixed in my focus] I should relax my gaze by looking to the distance or horizon.   Should someone appear in my field of vision, I should look up to acknowledge or greet them courteously while holding them as mere appearance.   [37] To ascertain any danger or difficulties in my way, I should check all about every once in a while and, when taking a pause, turn myself around and check behind.   [38] [Conscious of the need to be vigilant in this way] having considered ahead and behind I should either proceed or retreat, so that in all situations I will act with the knowledge of what needs to be done, leaving nothing to happenstance.   [39] [Therefore] having determined and initiated an action, resolving to keep my body composed in a certain posture or to act in a certain way, I will keep checking from time to time that it is doing so, making corrections.

Chapter V – verses 40-41

[40] With all of my might and effort, with great care and with great heed, I shall scrutinise and watch to check that the crazed and rutting elephant of my mind – drunk, unsubdued, wild, rampant – has not broken free and let loose from being bound and fastened to the Pillar (both broad and sunk deep) of Contemplating the Dharma: reflecting on, bringing attention to, focussing on, respecting, being conditioned by, my Bodhichitta Vow.   [41] Those who take on the duty and the responsibility – the yoke – of striving for one-pointed concentration of the mind, should by all means and in all ways, guard against any wandering off or straying, any distraction or just letting go for even an instant by asking: ‘how is my mind behaving’, ‘what is it engaged in’, ‘where is it taking me’; they should very closely, minutely, monitor, watch and probe their mind with intense attention – and herein is what is called the practice of vigilance.

Chapter V – verses 42-44

[42] [Exceptions to this could be]: when in danger, fearful or distressed, when involved in special occasions or religious celebrations, if I cannot maintain mindfulness then I should let the mind accommodate to fit along with the occasion.   It is taught that at times of giving, finer aspects of discipline – those not currently being practised – may rest more in equanimity, be less strictly observed, more discerningly observed, be condensed and left in a more neutral state.   [43] Whatever I have myself considered, reflected on, thought about and recognised to be done, whether it be formal practice or activity for others, engage in that only. Do not think of anything else but involve yourself in it with your entire being, enthusiasm, energy, with heart, soul and determination.   I will work at it until it is finished, focussed and applied for as long as it takes to accomplished, before all else.   [44] In this way all activities will be done well and brought to their fruition.   If I do not work vigilantly in this way neither one thing nor another will be accomplished, and the follow-on afflictions of un-alertness – bewilderment, thoughtlessness, insensitivity – will just increase and proliferate.

Chapter V – verse 45

I will be frequently be involved in all kinds of senseless, frivolous, purposeless, vain, pleasant, unpleasant, idle, confused, wild, worthless and lengthy conversation, chit-chat, gossip; and there are always manifold and spectacular events to draw my gaze and wonder, fascinations to draw my curiosity and intrigue – attractive and unattractive phenomena all about.   Embroiled in them all, [for the sake of all others in the meantime], if I enter into them with practice of alertness and mindfulness, I will nevertheless restrain myself from, cast-aside from my mind, quell any attachment or yearning or eagerness or excitement or appetite or delight or cultivated taste for them, or, even, interest in them, (let alone hatred for, or indifference to, them).   It is necessary to drown them all within themselves of any interest.

Chapter V – verse 46

Finding myself just uselessly digging up the earth, furrowing it about, tracing idle patterns in the soil), ripping up and plucking the grass and plants), (cutting the roots of questions) – any fidgety, mindless, idle pastime done without reason or purpose; remembering the Precepts and Trainings of the Tathāgatas, remembering the Discipline of the Sugātas, I should just drop these activities, renounce them, abandon them, reject them, stop them, restrain myself from them, immediately and right now, with disgust and great fear.

Chapter V – verse 47

When I intend to move to do something, or to say something, I should first of all examine my mind; the stable one then proceeds in the appropriate manner: correct, just and steady, determined and firm with self-possession, rectitude and wisdom so that I act and speak with calm and patience.

Chapter V – verses 48-53

[48] If I become aware that my mind is (1) attached to and compromised with a certain desire, when it is bent on something happening in a certain way and when it gets in a state or becomes obsessed with something; when my mind is becoming (2) repelled by something, repulsed by it, when it becomes blunted by aversion, inflexible or just straight angry, I should not act on it or say anything, I should just stay impassive and insensate as if I were of wood: still, quiet, collected.   [49] If I am (3) agitated or over-excited – distressed even – and am becoming pretentious, arrogant, inflated with myself, even wild; and if I start being (4) grumpy, over-bearing and bullying of others, when I belittle others, contemptuously, sarcastically, when I criticise and mock them, when I am just plain spiteful; when I am (5) arrogant, full of myself, affecting a superior air; and when I am (6) full of self-importance, self-satisfied, self-infatuated and jealous of attention to others; when I want (7) to expose others’ faults, ridicule them, denounce them, when I find myself being arrogant, blunt or just nasty towards them; and (8) when I stir things up with others, bring up old arguments, aggravate dissension, when I am truculent, scheming, insidious, when I cannot give a straight answer to anything and seek profit by a situation, when I am being torturously annoying, pedantic, over-jocose and answer-back needlessly; and when I am being (9) crooked with the truth, deceitful, lying; [50] and when I am (10) fishing for praise or compliment, anxious to advance myself, and when I become conceited and boastful, exalting myself above others, and in so doing (11) become critical and contemptuous them, disparaging them, blaming them, bad-mouthing them, spoiling others’ name; (12) when I am abusive to others, insulting, taunting them, when I am harmful and harsh towards others, when I pour invective on them or disregard their words; when I (13) indulge in argumentation, sparring for a fight, when I am irritable and divisive, when I am contrary and aggressive; regretting all such actions, I should stay impassive as if I were wood.   [51] When I am (14) obsessed with possession, gain, wealth, and am always looking for the profit; when (15) seeking rank, honour and status, wanting display of attention, respect, even reverence; when hungry for (16) celebrity, glory and renown and (17) wanting an entourage of servants, attendants, followers and wanting (18) the special treatment, service and veneration that comes with it, I should stay impassive and insensate as if I were wood.   [52] And then when I have become (19) indifferent and uncaring toward others and want to stop working for them (20) consumed with pursuit of my own advantage and welfare, when I am opposed to others’ interests and (21) feel the need to say something unguarded or inconsiderate, speaking only to gain an audience with my words, I should be impassive and insensate as if I were wood.   [53] If I am (22) without endurance and intolerant of [my own or others’] suffering; if I am (23) lethargic and indolent in the practice of virtue and (24) lack courage to practise virtue, becoming shameful and faint-hearted in my practice; alternatively if I am (25) over-confident and shameless in my practice, becoming impudent, rude and haughty; if, there I am, (26) talking nonsense, being noisy, foul-mouthed and speaking out of turn, speaking insensitively, gossiping or just being absurd; and when mouthing (27) partiality to me, my family, friends and tribe, I should stay impassive and insensate as if I were wood.

Chapter V – verse 54

In these ways , having examined recognised when, and ‘localised’ where , the mind is troubled or disturbed, and having also checked if I am drawn to and actually pursuing any fruitless activity or projects that will only end up making pointless noise anyway, then I should firmly and determinedly maintain and hold my mind steady, constantly, always, by subjecting oneself to the respective counter-minds, the remedies, the opponent forces and thereby hold and ‘bridle’ it heroically and courageously as any good Bodhisattva should.

Chapter V – verses 55-57

[55] Having (1) complete certainty and determination [in practising virtue and training my mind], and (2) with unwavering confidence in the practice of virtue, I shall comport myself with good-nature.   I shall be (3) firm and steady in my conduct, inculcating a sense of constancy and trustworthiness.   I shall pursue (4) devotion to [the guidance of] my Teacher, exhibiting consideration, reserve and respect.   I shall engender (5) a sense of shame and ownership (towards my non-virtue) and a sense of apprehension and dread (for the results of non-virtue) such that I am unassuming in approach but dignified in my bearing.   I shall become (6) quieted and tranquil of the senses, showing a consideration and joy in working to bring help and happiness to others.   [56] I shall (7) not become disheartened or wearied by the capricious and discordant speech and behaviour of the child-like and immature, whether they work against me or each other; as a Bodhisattva, I should know them to be influenced by the kleśas and feel love and compassion overwhelming for them.   [57] Acting beneficially like this – (8) skilfully conscientious in, and genuinely involved with, thoughts of self (-restraint) and other (-benefit) – I should behave free of reproach, pride or delusion like a magical emanation, like a work of art, like an apparition without sense of self, thereby keeping hold of and protecting my mind.

Chapter V – verse 58

(9) Recollecting in mind again and again that, after such a long time, I have somehow – through I know not what miracle – gathered-together and obtained this brief moment of freedom, of respite, of leisure, the fantastic opportunity [of this human life], then I should hold this recognition as steady and immovable in my mind as Mount Meru.

Chapter V – verse 59-61

[59] Look at this, mind: vultures ravenous for flesh toss and tear and fight over a corpse, tugging and pulling at it, dragging it back and forth; you don’t feel that concerned or upset – the body itself certainly isn’t bothered – so why do you pamper and cherish it so much now?   [60] Oh mind, why do you hold on to, with such affection, this carcass, looking after it and persisting in the folly that it is “mine”, that it is “me”?   If you and it are just separate things, why appropriate it as if it were “you”, what can this do for you but give “you” decay and death in a life which will soon be taken from you?   [61] Why, oh why, you confused and bewildered mind, don’t you just acquire and hold on to a clean wooden sculpture instead, a tree, even, (you wouldn’t want to inhabit something rotten and useless, now, would you)?   Why look after this fetid, foul-smelling bag which is patched-together and filled with dirty stuff and just produces shit?

Chapter V – verses 62-64

[62] So, first of all, using your intellect and full use of your imagination take apart this leather bellow, peel off this layer of skin from the flesh, and then with the scalpel-blade of discriminating wisdom – the Sword of Mañjuśrī – slice away and detach the flesh-meat from the skeletal cage; [63] and having opened up the body like this, split open, even, the bones down to their core, to their marrow, investigating ever-more minutely in until you can’t find anything else to look into, all the while questioning the mind closely, “where is the essence of the body, where is its core, where is its root?”, and interrogating myself also ‘to the core’, close up, until there is no doubt in my mind, “what, even, is there at all?”.   [64] So, if I cannot discover or perceive an essence, or anything-ness, at all entirely within this body, having made such a diligent and careful investigation, now, explain, just why do I continue now to cling to and look after this body with such desperation?

Chapter V – verses, Skt. 65-66a; Tib. 65-66ab

[65] Oh, attached mind, of what use is this unclean body to you if its insides are unfit to eat, if its blood is not fit to drink and if its intestines are not fit to suck; [66ab] at the very best you are protecting and looking after it, with all of your anxious attachment, for feeding the vultures and jackals.

Chapter V – verses, Skt. 66b-70; Tib. 66cd-70

[66cd] In the end the human body – wretched karma-making machine that it is – is something that should be put to good use in the service of others, [67] because, although, mind, you might jealously guard and take care of your body with great difficulty today, how will you guard it when it is led away by the heartless and implacable lord of death and fed to the dogs or birds, buried, eaten by worms, burnt, rotted: despite your care the body will come to nothing more than that.   [68] If even servants and workers don’t get food or clothing if they cannot work, then why stress and exhaust yourself keeping this lump of meat when, sooner or later, it will leave your service anyway, its loyalties elsewhere?   [69] So, mind, give this body its subsistence, keep it healthy, (but that’s all – a machine does not receive the wealth it creates, neither should I grasp the ‘wealth’ as mine) and then let it, now, work for my benefit, the benefit of others, make my life meaningful.   If it is not of help or benefit at all, I shall give it nothing.   [70] I regard this body, now – this precious human existence – merely as a vehicle for the mind, driving it about from here to there as needed to be of benefit of other beings, and in this way I will transform it into a body – a wish-fulfilling gem – that grants all needs and guides beings to their destination.

Chapter V – verse 71

Thus freeing myself in spirit, even though I have subdued myself in this way, I should nevertheless present a smiling and affable countenance; I should get rid of any angry, suspicious or menacing looks: grimacing, disapproving, frowning, scowling; I should be the first to greet, be soft-spoken and be honest, open and a counsel to the world.

Chapter V – verses 72-73

[72] From now on I should desist from moving noisily and carelessly about – calling out loud, causing a fracas, pounding on doors, opening them brusquely, slamming them; throwing chairs about in a strop – or acting in any way inconsiderate or disturbing of others; I shall be a lover of acting with humility, quietly, unobtrusively, with discretion.   [73] I shall achieve what I will like the wading bird, the thief, the cat by acting noiselessly and remaining un-noticed by keeping low, proceeding covertly, patiently, carefully, stealthily, gently, calmly, skilfully.   The Bodhisattva practitioner, the sage, the ascetic, the holy one should always act in this manner working towards Enlightenment.

Chapter V – verse 74

I should always listen to and accept words and advice from all those people skilled in guiding through life and nurturing growth, who offer aid and service, who work for the good of others without even waiting to be asked, without even myself having sought their direction – whether they present as Bodhisattvas or not; and I accept it deferentially, gratefully and graciously, taking it to the crown of my head with a bow.   Moreover, there is always something that can be learnt from others, therefore I will keep myself open to all others, looking to see what can be learnt from them.

Chapter V – verses 75-77

[75] Those whom we hear speak well, give good advice, teach the Dharma effectively, have kind words for others, and those whom we know to have accomplished good and meritorious things, we should allow a genuine joy and appreciation to arise in us for what they have done, commending their activity, saying “well said, well done” out loud to them with great joy.   [76] Those of whom we know about their good qualities but who keep them hidden and undisclosed, we should speak of to others discreetly, privately, bringing them out and joyfully lauding them without holding back.   If they are spoken of by others we should affirm what has been said and spread their reputation still further.   If one’s own good qualities are spoken of, I should simply be appreciative and aware of the praise without any trace of pride and feel a satisfaction that others know of virtue enough to recognise it, and that their joy be the cause for them developing those same qualities themselves.   [77] All virtuous activity is done in pursuit of (hi) of happiness, joy, satisfaction all of which so rarely come together even if they could be bought with wealth or fame.   Because they are so rare and because they cannot be bought, I shall acquire all happiness, joy and satisfaction in life both from others finding joy in the virtuous qualities that others have worked to achieve, and in that virtue developed itself.

Chapter V – verse 78

If I maintain a joyful happiness in the virtues of others, no happiness will be lost during this life and in future lives I shall experience an even greater flow of happiness and joy.   But if I act contrary to this – finding fault in others, disliking their good qualities, being jealous, hateful, even hostile – I will simply create the fear and loathing of having made enemies in this life, and even greater turmoil in life after life to come where happiness will forever be out of my reach.

Chapter V – verse 79

I should speak with others with my attention turned full towards them: my speech should be clear, consistent and true, it should be to the point, well-ordered and meaningful for them; it should be measured and in control, honest and from the heart, trustworthy, clean; it should not be partial, not too involved, not adversarial, but nevertheless delivered boldly and with candour.   My speech should be sweet and easy on the ear; it should be calm, tender in tone, harmonious, rooted in care and charity and not go on too long.

Chapter V – verse 80

When my eyes alight upon other beings, I will look directly upon them all with love, friendship, candour and an open heart – drinking them in through my eyes – thinking that I will achieve Buddhahood through contact with this person; by Entering into Refuge with them, we will achieve Buddhahood together.

Chapter V – verse 81

Spontaneously driven by a strong resolve to practise virtue as well as uninterrupted devotion to the Three Jewels, and also applying opponent forces to the kleśas of both myself and others, I shall make great effort within the Fields of Excellence, of Benefit and of Sorrow thereby sowing and cultivating a mighty haul of virtue, benefit and blessing.

Chapter V – verse 82

In all the Bodhisattva work that lays before me I shall always be competent and skilful, taking up the responsibility and acting with understanding of the prevailing causes and conditions.   I shall be earnest and involved, standing on my own two feet and showing a good example for others.   I shall never miss an opportunity to act by making space for indifference; I shall not ‘transfer the load of a dzo onto an ox’ by shirking responsibility.   Without relying on anything or anyone else, I shall act on my own initiative and take on the task without guile.

Chapter V – verse 83

I should understand clearly: the Perfections of Generosity and so on are successively more far-reaching and sublime than those before; I should not neglect or let wither a higher practice – nor even a great act of giving – for some minor aspect of conventional moral conduct.   To do this, before all else, I should vigilantly shore-up the walls of my practice (containing the waters of my merit), thereby developing from strength to strength. Principally, I will apply myself to the Practice Which Bridges the Bodhisattva Way of Life, that which is of the most benefit to the welfare of all.

Chapter V – verse, Skt. 84a; Tib. 84ab

This obligation of benefitting others being well understood and kept in mind, I now, simply and constantly, dedicate myself to the work of providing for the well-being and interests of others – the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life.

Chapter V – verse, Skt. 84b; Tib. 84cd

For such a compassionate practitioner, who sees the benefit of compassion, who understands the work that is to be done, who can even see, and hold to, the benefit in performing an otherwise prohibited action has been allowed by the Far-Seeing Merciful Ones.

Chapter V – verse, Skt. 85ab/a; Tib. 85abc

I should put-aside and share out all that I have and all that I receive: with those who have fallen, the downtrodden, the ruined, the hungry, the disgraced, the destitute, animals … les misérables; with those who have no one to speak with them or speak for them, the helpless, the abandoned, the debilitated, the defenceless; with those who maintain and abide in discipline.   In particular, I should eat moderate – neither too much nor too little – portions, sufficient just for what I need.

Chapter V – verse, Skt. 85b/b; Tib. 85d

Apart from the Three Robes I should renounce ownership and surrender to all others all that is surplus to my living and responsibilities.

Chapter V – verses 86-87

[86] I should not subject my body – that which serves me as instrument in the practice of the Dharma, that in which my practice of the Sublime Dharma dwells – to any harm, injury or abuse for the sake of some slight and trivial [and probably vain] gain, nor for the sake of just some other being; rather I should maintain it with moderation, for only in this way will I be able to fulfil quickly the hopes and wishes of all beings.   [87] Therefore, when the notion of compassion is weak in me – when the receptacle of compassion is not yet clean – or when the request for help from another is not equal to the wish to benefit all, I, the beginning Bodhisattva, should not give away and sacrifice my body or my life.   However I should give it over (sacrifice it) to the Practice of Dharma when my motivation is up to it – when compassion abides within me – both during this life and in the hereafter, in whatever ways I can.   And thus I will not lose out when my life is given up and consumed by dedication to the Great Benefit.

Chapter V – verses 88-90

[88] The Dharma should not be taught or demonstrated to anyone who is disrespectful, vulgar or of ‘little spirit’, nor to the self-sufficient and smug; nor to those wearing a wrap about the head although they are not sick, nor to those who haughtily carry a parasol or move under a canopy, who carry a staff or a sword, nor to those who keep on their hat or headdress.   The Vast and Profound Dharma should not be given to [89] those unprepared for the Teaching, nor to a woman unescorted by a man, although I should teach both the circumspect Hināyāna and the exalted Mahāyāna Dharmas with equal respect.   [90] I should not steer and join a vessel suitable for the Mahāyāna to a Dharma Teaching meant for more modest aspirations but, rather, I should teach it to those who are ready.   I should not irresponsibly seduce or mislead capable pupils with the glamour of reciting Scriptures and verses or with the occultism of spells giving false hope of quick and simple liberation as replacement for the Bodhisattva Way of Ethical Restraint.

Chapter V – verses 91-92

[91] I should not litter the place with my toothpicks or with any other refuse that I generate, but discard of it carefully; neither should I spit, cough or burp having eaten – these are off-putting habits.   More-so, to urinate on, or in any other way defile, water or land which is used by others is both contemptible and shameful.   [92] I should not eat with my mouth stuffed, smack my lips noisily or while talking or with my mouth gaping.   I should not sit with my legs outstretched or otherwise in the way, or have my arms crossed or fidget mindlessly with my hands.

Chapter V – verse 93

I should take care when accompanying, visiting with, being with, or in any other-wise conducting myself too closely with, someone’s unaccompanied spouse or partner, [or with any other relative for that matter].   In all cases I should watch and make sure about everything considered to be proper conduct and behaviour and scrupulously avoid anything that might offend or scandalise others, that might cause others to lose faith, or which is generally unproductive of beings’ welfare.

Chapter V – verses 94-95

[94] I should not make my points, or give instruction, with (either my left hand or) pointing finger rudely and even when showing the way I should use my whole right hand and arm with my palm open in a courteous manner.   [95] I should not exclaim loudly in public or shout at people, nor throw my arms wildly about waving to someone or making provocative gestures; instead I should communicate clearly and directly with discreet gestures and softly-spoken, otherwise I will lose restraint and composure and do something improper.

Chapter V – verse 96

I should lay myself to sleep in the appropriate orientation in the Lion’s Posture adopted when the Protector passed into Nirvāṇa, and with a predetermined resolve to rise again promptly and early ready to apply alertness to my day.

Chapter V – verse 97

Although I am incapable now of practising all the varieties and particularities of the conduct of the Bodhisattvas – boundless and immeasurable as the stars – that have been spoken of and taught by all the Buddhas, nevertheless I should first of all and surely start by engaging in these practices that have been mentioned here, that cleanse the mind until self-control and certainty have been attained.

Chapter V – verse 98

Three times by day, by night, I should engage and recite the Sūtra of the Three Accumulations and in this way I shall quiet, tranquilise and erase my remaining faults and downfalls through relying on the Spirit of Awakening and the Triumphant Conquerors.

Chapter V – verse 99

As I proceed ‘taking my stands’ through life, in whatever time or place I find myself, in whatever I do, whether involved in my own benefit or others’, whether alone or with others, whether by my own choice or the influence of others, I will make efforts to apply myself, to the best of my ability, to the Practices taught for that situation.

Chapter V – verse 100

… For there is no Precept, for any situation, that the Children of the Jina – those who have accepted the Bodhisattva Discipline for the happiness of all beings – do not desire to learn and train in, there is nothing from which they cannot derive good.   Equally, being the earnest Bodhisattva-child, if I carry myself and abide in this Way of Life, in this way nothing I do will be without merit and benefit will become unlimited.

Chapter V – verse 101

Proceeding from one being to another as encountered, I will not practise nor do anything else other, whether directly on the moment or indirectly through some mediation, than tend to the benefit and welfare of other living beings.   I will work for the sole sake and welfare of all beings, and I shall direct and employ, I shall bend and subordinate, I shall apply and, finally, dedicate all my merit and all else to the Great Awakening of All.

Chapter V – verses 102-103

[102] I should never neglect nor ignore, even at the cost of my life, the presence, the influence of a Spiritual Friend and Mentor, who is stable in holding the Bodhisattva Trainings, and who is expert and skilled in the points of the Mahāyāna Way of Life.   [103] I should learn and understand from the Śrī Sambhava Vimoksha how to generate confidence in a Spiritual Mentor, how to entrust myself to, and conduct myself correctly towards, a Spiritual Mentor.   All these and other Bodhisattva Precepts which have been taught by the Buddha should be listened to (reflected and meditated upon) through reciting and studying the Mahāyāna Sūtras.

Chapter V – verses 104-107

[104] The Bodhisattva Trainings are found in, and flow from, the (Mahāyāna) Sūtras, therefore I should read, study and recite the Sūtras.   To begin with I should study the root downfalls and pitfalls as found in the Ākāśagarbha Sūtra – the Essence of the Sky.   [105] Over and over again I should soak myself into the study of the Śikṣā-samuccaya – the Compendium of all Trainings – because all the good conduct that Bodhisattvas are to engage with over and over again, is meticulously revealed and explained there.   [106] Moreover and as well, have a good look first at the condensed Sūtra-samuccaya – the Gist of All Teachings – and then make the effort to deepen your understanding through the study of the same Sūtra-samuccaya and the Śikṣā-samuccaya compiled by the Sublime, the Noble, the Superior, the Realised, the Exalted Ārya Nāgārjuna and study them carefully and with great effort.   [107] Overall, having learned what is to be given up and avoided and what is to be taken up and practised there, I should thereby hold and conduct myself; and since I have generated the Bodhisattva Vow I should implement those Precepts in order to establish in the minds of others the perception of the same conduct so that they may be protected from downfalls too.

Chapter V – verse 108

All of the practices of maintaining mindful alertness, in brief, boil down to just this characteristic: to continuously bring checks and balances to the states and activities of my body, [speech] and mind, and to do this again and again and again.

Chapter V – verse 109

And I shall activate these Instructions, these Trainings, this Way of Life, through my physical activity, because what, really, can be achieved just by mouthing words and paying lip-service?   Would a sick person receive much cure or benefit from reading about the treatment or studying the medical texts?