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The Way of the Bodhisattva (Shambhala Classics) Paperback – 9 Oct 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc; Revised edition edition (9 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590303881
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590303887
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.6 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 308,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jerome Ryan on 2 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
The Dalai Lama: "If I have any understanding of compassion and the practice of the bodhisattva path, it is entirely on the basis of this text that I possess it." The 8.129 stanza summarizes the Bodhisattva practice: "All the joy the world contains / Has come through wishing happiness for others. / All the misery the world contains / Has come through wanting pleasure for oneself."

"The first three chapters (The Excellence of Bodhichitta, Confession, and Taking Hold of Bodhichitta) are designed to stimulate the dawning of bodhichitta in the mind. The following three chapters (Carefulness, Vigilant Introspection, and Patience) give instructions on how to prevent the precious attitude from being dissipated, while the seventh, eight and ninth chapters (Diligence, Meditative Concentration, and Wisdom) prescribe ways in which bodhichitta may be progressively intensified. The tenth chapter is a concluding prayer of dedication."

My favourite stanzas are: 2.40: "There I'll be, prostrate on my bed / And all around, my family and friends. / But I alone shall be the one to feel / The cutting of the thread of life." 5.13: "To cover all the earth with sheets of leather - / Where could such amounts of skin be found? / But with leather soles of just my shoes / It is as though I cover all the earth!" 6.52: "Because the mind is bodiless / It cannot be destroyed by anyone. / Because of mind's attachment to the body, / This body is oppressed by pain." 8.90: "Strive at first to meditate / Upon the sameness of yourself and others. / In joy and sorrow all are equal; / Thus be guardian of all, as of yourself.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Matt Jenkins on 6 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
H. H. the Dalai Lama has said of this work, a classic of Indo-Tidetan buddhism, "If I have any understanding of compassion and the practice of the bodhisattva path, it is entirely on the basis of this text [The Way of the Bodhisattva] that I possess it."

There are a number of excellent translations of this work available but to my mind this one, translated from the Tibetan, just has the edge. Not only do I find it a most readable translation but the work also contains a fine introduction and several helpful appendices.

Other fine versions of this work are The Bodhicaryavatara (Oxford World's Classics) translated by Andrew Skilton and Kate Crosby and A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life translated by V A Wallace and B Allan Wallace. Both of these works are translated from the Sanskrit with the second of the two including a comparison with the Tibetan. The Skilton/Crosby version also has a fine general introduction by Paul Williams and helpful chapter introductions. I recommend both these versions too.

This version (the Padmakara Translation Group version), is also available in audio book form (The Way of the Bodhisattva). There is also a translation of a commentary on this work by Kunzang Pelden
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Micah J. Hall on 13 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover
There is a joy in a really well presented book. This one, with it's superb and tasteful dust-jacket and gold coloured fabric bookmark, is a lovely book. Shantideva's words resonate through the centuries. Some of it is actually quite hard to take because he is so direct, but the recipe for a happy and selfless life is writ large here. If you really intend to follow the way of the bodhisattva, you are going to need to get your head round some mental gymnastics like loving your enemies and those who test your patience as much as the Buddha. Quite possibly the most thought-provoking book I have ever read, and I would recommend Pema Chodron's No Time To Lose as a companion. She recommends reading the Way of the Bodhisattva aloud if you can, and actually that makes the words resonate inside you with an incredible clarity.
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By Hannah on 30 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love this translation of the Bodhicharyavatara, and have treasured my paper copy for some years. I have been waiting and hoping that it would eventually be released on Kindle, so have now bought that as well. I have two other translations, but neither of them has the poetical quality of this one, and I find the beauty of the language helps to convey the message so much better than the more prosaic translations. The introduction, appendices and notes are also most helpful. I love it!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Review 08 on 15 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
An excellent translation of a classic. This work helped to transform my understanding and motivated me to practise.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful translation, very easy to understand and read. This version is recommended by Ringu Tulku for the first part of the online course in which he teaches Shantideva's verses. Absolutely marvellous, as relevant today - if not moreso, than in the 8th century when it was first laid to text.
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