THE EIGHTEEN ROOT BODHICITTA VOWS
Praising yourself and belittling others because of your attachment to receiving
offerings, being respected and venerated as a teacher, and gaining profit in general.
Not giving material aid or teaching the Dharma to those who are pained with suffering
and without a protector because of your being under the influence of miserliness,
wanting to amass knowledge for yourself alone.
3. Not listening to someone
who has previously offended you but who declares his offence and begs forgiveness,
and holding a grudge against him.
4. Condemning the teachings of Buddha and
teaching distorted views.
5. Taking offerings to the Three Jewels of Refuge
for yourself by such means as stealth, robbery or devious schemes.
the Tripitaka and saying that these texts are not the teachings of Buddha.
Evicting monks from a monastery or casting them out of the Sangha even if they
have broken their vows, because of not forgiving them.
8. Committing any of
the five heinous crimes of killing your mother, your father, an Arhat, drawing
blood intentionally from a Buddha or causing division in the Sangha by supporting
and spreading sectarian views.
9. Holding views contrary to the teachings of
Buddha such as sectarianism, disbelief in the Three Jewels of Refuge, the law
of cause and effect and so forth.
10. Completely destroying any place by such
means as fire, bombs, pollution and black magic.
11. Teaching Sunyata to those
who are not yet ready to understand it.
12. Turning people away from working
for the Full Enlightenment of Buddhahood and encouraging them to work merely for
their own Liberation from suffering.
13. Encouraging people to abandon their
vowed rules of moral conduct.
14. Causing others to hold the distorted views
you might hold about the Hinayana teachings, as well as belittling the Hinayana
teachings and saying that their practice does not lead to Nirvana.
supporting or teaching the Dharma for financial profit and fame while saying that
your motives are pure and that only others are pursuing Dharma for such base aims.
Telling others, even though you may have very little or no understanding of Sunyata,
that if they obtain as profound an understanding as you have, that then they will
become as great and as highly realised as you are.
17. Taking gifts from others
and encouraging others to give you things originally intended as offerings to
the Three jewels of Refuge.
18. Taking anything away from those monks who are
practising meditation and giving it to those who are merely reciting texts.
forty-six auxiliary vows are to abandon the following actions:
1. Not making
offerings every day to the Three Jewels of Refuge with your body, speech and mind
by making prostrations, offering praises and doing meditation on their good qualities
in order to develop respectful belief and confidence in them.
and acting out thoughts with which you desire to grasp and possess things because
3. Not showing respect to older monks who may be Bodhisattvas.
Not answering questions you are capable of answering.
5. Not accepting invitations
from others because of either anger, wanting to hurt the other person's feelings;
pride, considering yourself of too exalted a rank to be with more humble people;
or jealousy, thinking other people of more respected rank than yourself will look
down on you if you are seen with humble people.
6. Not accepting gifts of money
and so forth from others because of either anger, pride or jealousy.
teaching the Dharma to those who wish to learn it.
8. Ignoring, not forgiving
and not helping those who have broken their discipline of moral self-control.
Not teaching someone another aspect of the Dharma which he wishes to learn and
which you are qualified to teach, but which is not your own personal practice
10. Not committing one of the seven non-virtuous actions of the
body and speech with a Bodhicitta motivation, if circumstances deem it necessary,
by saying that to do so would be against the vowed rules of moral conduct.
Not committing one of the seven non-virtuous actions of the body and speech with
a Bodhicitta motivation, if circumstances deem it necessary, because of lack of
12. Accepting things from others who have obtained them by one
of the five wrong livelihoods, namely flattery, extortion or blackmail, contrivance,
bribery or deceit.
13. Having your main interest be in frivolous activities
such as entertainment, sports, drinking, being silly and so forth, causing your
mind to wander and you to waste your time limitlessly, which you could be using
more constructively for the practice of Dharma.
14. Holding an attitude of
wishing to escape from samsara by yourself alone.
15. Not keeping these Bodhicitta
vows because you think this will make you unpopular.
16. If you have broken
one of your vows because of defilements, not doing opponent virtuous actions assigned
17. Still becoming angry, while you are practising virtue, and retaliating
if you are hit, scolded, called a derogatory name or are the object of someone's
18. Neglecting to help those who are angry with you.
to accept the apology of others who admit they have wronged you.
and acting out thoughts of anger.
21. Gathering a circle of disciples and followers
because you wish to obtain such things as profit, praise, love and security from
22. Not eliminating from yourself such obstacles as laziness, procrastination,
delusions of incapability and wasting your time and energy on trivial matters
23. Being addicted to frivolous talk and gossip about sex, drinks,
drugs, sectarianism and so forth because of your attachment and desire for them.
Not making an effort to study the means for attaining single-minded concentration.
Not eliminating the distractions that block your meditation.
26. Seeing the
exhilarating good feelings and other benefits you obtain from meditation as being
ends in themselves, and being attached to them.
27. Neglecting to study the
28. Turning to another means of practice when you already
are following an effective means yourself, for this would be like changing teachers
and vehicles in mid-stream once you are on a steady and sure course to Enlightenment.
Spending all your time and energy on reading non-Buddhist teachings which, although
permitted and even beneficial for enabling you to understand and help others,
should not be pursued to the neglect of studying the Dharma.
and becoming attached to non-Buddhist teachings even when merely reading about
31. Rejecting the Mahayana teachings.
32. Praising yourself and belittling
others in general because of arrogance or anger.
33. Not attending religious
discourses, meetings, pujas, ceremonies and so forth.
34. Despising your Guru
and not relying on his words.
35. Not giving help to those who need it,
Avoiding taking care of sick people.
37. Not working to alleviate the physical
suffering of others.
38. Not showing the teachings of the Dharma to those who
are unaware of them and who work only for this life.
39. Not repaying the kindness
others have shown you.
40. Not working to relieve the mental grief of others.
Not giving material aid to the poor and needy.
42. Not taking care of your
circle of disciples, relatives, attendants and friends by giving them teachings
and material aid.
43. Not encouraging and supporting the practice of Dharma
and the virtuous actions of others.
44. Not praising and encouraging others
who deserve praise.
45. Not preventing those who are committing harmful actions
in general, and, specifically those who are a menace to the Dharma, from continuing
their harm by whatever means are deemed necessary by circumstances.
you possess extra-physical powers, not using them at a time of need.
are four attitudes that must all be present in transgressing any vow for a vow
to be broken completely. With the first attitude, you do not regard what you have
done as being a mistake. With the second, you do not turn away from thinking to
repeat this action. With the third, you rejoice and are happy about what you have
done. And with the fourth attitude, being shameless and inconsiderate, you do
not care about the consequences of your action for yourself and for others.
you break any of these Bodhicitta vows, you must invoke the four opponent powers
of declaring your previously committed non-virtuous actions in order to avoid
experiencing their black karmic consequences. Then you must retake the Bodhicitta
vows at an appropriate ceremony.
Dharma Therapy Trust
the guidance of
Venerable Geshé Damchö Yönten
from sales of this publication are used to support the monks at Drepung Loseling
Monastic College, Mundgod, India