Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Shantideva (c.685-763 A.D.)

Shantideva is well-known as the author of "The Way Of the Bodhisattva," one of the most inspiring exhortations in Buddhist literature. The only other work attributed to him is a compendium drawn from nearly 100 scriptures, mostly from the Mahayana. Many of these sutras are now lost to us and known only through Shantideva's quotes.

The Japanese bodhisattva/professor Ven. Shoshin Ichishima had his life-work published this year, "The Essence of Buddhism," which is a study of Shantideva's compendium called "Siksa Samuccaya." In the Bendall/Rouse translation of the Siksasamuccaya, pages 251-263 especially, Shantideva has compiled a series of sutra passages showing the indomitable resolve of the bodhisattva. Here is an example:

If the Bodhisattva turns his face away from the good of all creatures, his field is not pure and his work is not accomplished. Then the wise Bodhisattva thinks, "Therefore whatever beings of animal nature be insignificant, timid, stupid, deaf, dumb by nature, may I meet in my Buddha-field all who in animal form are not behaving so as to attain Nirvana, rejected by all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas; these all I would seat in the bodhi-tree circle, and bring to the knowledge of supreme enlightenment." As thus the Bodhisattva thinks, as his thoughts arise one by one, all the realms of Mara do quake, and all the Buddhas utter his praises.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Jodo-san, a young monk at Sekizan

Kayaki Sensei emerging from the goma-do after giving a Dharma talk to the crowd.

The crowd outside the Goma-do, Nov 23,2010

Below, Ajari Utsumi's disciple Kogen, who will begin the Sennichi Kaihogyo (1,000 day marathon) next March. Here shown performing a juzu (prayer bead) potlatch.