Namo Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva Mahasattva


Mañjuśrī (Skt: मञ्जुश्री) is a bodhisattva associated with transcendent wisdom (Skt. prajñā) in Mahāyāna Buddhism. In Esoteric Buddhism he is also taken as a meditational deity. The Sanskrit name Mañjuśrī can be translated as "Gentle Glory". Mañjuśrī is also known by the fuller Sanskrit name of Mañjuśrīkumārabhūta. [Wikipedia]



Mahāyāna (Sanskrit: महायान mahāyāna, literally the "Great Vehicle") is one of the two main existing branches of Buddhism and a term for classification of Buddhist philosophies and practice. Mahāyāna Buddhism originated in India, and is associated with one of the oldest historical sects of Buddhism, the Mahāsāṃghika. According to the teachings of Mahāyāna traditions, "Mahāyāna" also refers to the path of seeking complete enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings, also called "Bodhisattvayāna", or the "Bodhisattva Vehicle." [Wikipedia]

Engaged Buddhism: It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act. There are two aspects to action. One is to overcome the distortions and afflictions of your own mind, that is, in terms of calming and eventually dispelling anger. This is action out of compassion. The other is more social, more public. When something needs to be done in the world to rectify the wrongs, if one is really concerned with benefiting others, one needs to be engaged, involved.  [The Dalai Lama]

Bodhicitta is a mind (including thought, action, feeling and speech) totally dedicated to others and to achieving full enlightenment in order to benefit all sentient beings as fully as possible. There are two levels of bodhichitta: (1) aspirational, (2) engaged. Aspirational bodhicitta is the complete wish to overcome our emotional afflictions and delusions to realise our full potentials to bring all fellow beings to the enlightened state free from suffering. Engaged bodhicitta means engaging in the practices and behaviour that bring about this goal by taking the bodhisattva vows to restrain from actions detrimental to it. []

Vajrayana (Skt. vajrayāna; Tib. dorje tekpardo rje theg pa) or 'Vajra Vehicle'. The teaching, and practice, of the Vajrayana or ‘Secret Mantra Vehicle’ lies at the heart of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition of Tibet. Based on the motivation of bodhichitta—the wish to attain, for the sake of others, the state of complete enlightenment—the Vajrayana is a path centred on cultivating pure perception. It contains many powerful methods for accumulating merit and wisdom, in order to arrive swiftly at a direct realization of buddha nature and the nature of reality itself. Through the practices of visualization, mantra recitation and meditation, ordinary perception is transformed into a ‘sacred outlook,’ where everything is seen and experienced purely in its true nature.

It is important to remember that all these methods are merely skilful means, not the goal itself. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama says, “Buddhism is not about rituals, mantras, visualizations, or ceremonies. They may be part of it, but the fundamental point of Buddhism is to transform the mind.” He also explains that the word ‘mantra’ in Secret Mantrayana means ‘that which protects the mind.’ Here, mantra protects the mind against ordinary perception. This is also the real meaning of ‘vajra’ in the word ‘Vajrayana.’

The Vajrayana is not a separate vehicle from Mahayana, but actually belongs within Mahayana as a distinctive vehicle of skilful means. [Rigpawiki]

Prajnaparamita, ( Sanskrit: “Perfection of Wisdom”) body of sutras and their commentaries that represents the oldest of the major forms of Mahayana Buddhism, one that radically extended the basic concept of ontological voidness (shunyata). The name denotes the female personification of the literature or of wisdom, sometimes called the Mother of All Buddhas. In the Prajnaparamita texts,prajna (wisdom), an aspect of the original Eightfold Path, has become the supreme paramita(perfection) and the primary avenue to nirvana. The content of this wisdom is the realization of the illusory nature of all phenomena—not only of this world, as in earlier Buddhism, but of transcendental realms as well. []


The Terms Hinayana and Mahayana
(Alexander Berzin, Feb 24, 2002)

The terms Hinayana (theg-dman, lesser vehicle, modest vehicle) and Mahayana (theg-chen, greater vehicle, vast vehicle) appeared first in the Prajnaparamita Sutras (Sher-phyin mdo, Sutras on Far-Reaching Discriminating Awareness, Perfection of Wisdom Sutras) in approximately the second century of the modern era. These sutras were among the earliest Mahayana texts and they used the two terms to assert that the scope and depth of their teachings far exceeded those of the preceding Buddhist schools.

Although the two terms carry sectarian connotations and appear exclusively in Mahayana texts, it is difficult to find adequate "politically correct" substitutes. "Hinayana" has become a collective term for eighteen Buddhist schools, only one of which is currently extant, Theravada. "Mahayana" similarly spans several schools. When the Indo-Tibetan tradition studies and discusses Hinayana systems of philosophical tenets, their reference is Vaibhashaka and Sautrantaka, which are Sarvastivada, another of the eighteen schools. Since some of the Hinayana schools appeared later than Mahayana, we cannot call Hinayana "Early Buddhism" or "Original Buddhism" and Mahayana "Later Buddhism."

Theravada is currently found in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Dharmagupta, another of the eighteen Hinayana schools, spread to Central Asia and China. The Chinese monastic tradition follows the Dharmagupta version of the monastic rules of discipline (Skt. vinaya). Moreover, Mahayana spread to Indonesia, although it no longer survives there. Thus, calling Hinayana "Southern Buddhism" and Mahayana "Northern Buddhism" is also inadequate.

Both the Hinayana and Mahayana schools outline paths for shravakas (listeners to Buddha's teachings) and pratyekabuddhas (self-realizers) to reach the purified state of an arhat (liberated being), and for bodhisattvas to reach Buddhahood. Therefore, it is confusing to call Hinayana "Shravakayana" and Mahayana "Bodhisattvayana."

Consequently, although Theravada practitioners may find the terms Hinayana and Mahayana offensive, we shall reluctantly use them to refer to the classification of Buddhist schools, in face of the inaccuracy of the above-mentioned politically more correct terms.



As I develop the awakening mind
I praise the Buddhas as they shine
I bow before you as I travel my path to join your ranks
I make my full time task
For the sake of all beings I seek
The enlightened mind that I know I'll reap
Respect to Shantideva and all the others
Who brought down the darma for their sisters and brothers

I give thanks for this world as a place to learn
And for this human body that I will have earned
And my deepest thanks to all sentient beings
For without them there would be no place to learn what I'm seeing
There's nothing here that's not been said before
But I put it down now so that I'll be sure
To solidify my own views and I'll be glad if it helps
Anyone else out too

If others disrespect me or give me flack
I'll stop and think before I react
Knowing that they're going through insecure stages
I'll take the opportunity to exercise patience
I'll see it as a chance to help the other person
Nip it in the bud before it can worsen
A chance for me to be strong and sure
As I think on the Buddhas who have come before

As I praise and respect the good they've done
Knowing only love can conquer in every situation
We need other people in order to create
The circumstances for the learning that we're here to generate
Situations that bring up my deepest fears
So we can work to release them until they're cleared
Therefore, it only makes sense
To thank our enemies despite their intent

The Bodhisattva path is one of power and strength
A strength from within to go the length
Seeing others are as important as myself
I strive for a happiness of mental wealth
With the interconnectedness that we share as one
Every action that we take affects everyone
So in deciding for what a situation calls
There is a path for the good of all

I try to make my every action for that highest good
With the altruistic wish to achieve buddhahood
So I pledge here before everyone who's listening
To try to make my every action for the good of all beings
For the rest of my lifetimes and even beyond
I vow to do my best to do no harm
And in times of doubt I can think on the dharma
And the enlightened ones who've graduated samsara

Source: Beastie Boys - Bodhisattva Vow Lyrics | MetroLyrics