Chapter 7

[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 …]

—~~~ “BCA” ~~~—

Chapter 7 – The Perfection of Effort

Chapter VII – verse 1

Then, having established patience, engage joyful effort in your practice; because working toward Awakening only comes about when grounded in engaged effort.   As there is no possibility of movement without the agency of wind, there is no generating merit without effort.

Chapter VII – verse 2

What is effort, vigour, endeavour?   It is taking delight in what is virtuous, it is putting energy to what is beneficial.   What is understood to frustrate effort?   The laziness of indolence, the laziness of being attached to unwholesome, un-virtuous habits and experience, and the laziness of allowing ourselves a lack of resolve and urgency leading us like sheep to the laziness of lacking confidence and low self-esteem.

Chapter VII – verse 3

Lounging about in bittersweet pleasure, abandoning myself to daydream and sleep rendering me inured to the sufferings inherent to the rounds of becoming in life, engenders laziness to grow within me, complete and thorough.

Chapter VII – verse 4

Baited then caught in the traps of the hunters, the kleśas, these disruptive emotions; here I am, snared and trapped in birth after birth, endlessly becoming.   And still do I not see that I am lying here in the open jaws of the lord of death?

Chapter VII – verse 5

And do I still not see all these ones about, my mothers, felled and finished with, one by one, without let?   And all the while I am one who allows himself a complacent slumber like the buffalo unperturbed before the butcher!

Chapter VII – verse 6

And the lord of death has already caught sight of you and closed off all possible exit.   How can you continue taking pleasure eating and copulating, and how can you, contented, turn round and go back to sleep?

Chapter VII – verse 7

There is time before death will have gathered all its conditions and suddenly arrive for me; it will be too late to do anything then, like giving up my lack of effort.   Between now and then I should be gathering my own stores (of merit and wisdom).

Chapter VII – verses 8-10

[8] “B-but, this hasn’t been done … this is only just started … this is only half-finished; and death … all of a sudden at my door; n-ngha, this is it, I’m finished!”   [9] … and there are faces looking down at you, despairing loved ones who have given up hope with red eyes and convulsed faces messed with tears, shocked in the hot grief of loss; and also the fixed faces of the emissaries of Yama coming just for you.   [10] You recall all your past wrong-doings with a burning sorrow and regret, you can hear the cries of assault from the hells that panic you, then terrorise you, you soil yourself as you lose all control of your own body: in this state, at that point, what are you going to do?

Chapter VII – verses 11-13

[11] Look at yourself: a fish caught live and rolled on the ground, the fear of later being killed, cooked and eaten; and then, look back on your lifetime having accumulated acts of wrong-doing, why do you not fear the coming intense and overwhelming sufferings of hell that you shall have to experience?   [12] (As when now) your young and delicate skin is scalded by the merest splash of hot water, yet, having gathered the causes for being born in the hells of intense heat later, how can you be content and remain at ease?   [13] You make no effort but you want the results, you are so precious and delicate living a life of so much pain, harm and bad-luck, you are death-oblivious but death-obliged; and then, like a long-life god you wail, ‘ohh, I am overwhelmed and destroyed by suffering and sorrow!’