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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This translation of Shantideva's Buddhist classic reads almost like poetry
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...
Published on 2 Oct. 2009 by Jerome Ryan

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars great text, clunky translation
i love this text, but, subjectively at least, found the translation of this most passionate and personal of buddhist texts, read in a very stilted way.

any translation throws light on an original text, but i've enjoyed, and found more helpful, translations by stephen batchelor, andrew skilton and, the one i grew up on, marion matics.
Published on 18 July 2009 by dr ian


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This translation of Shantideva's Buddhist classic reads almost like poetry, 2 Oct. 2009
By 
Jerome Ryan (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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."

In addition to the Shantideva's 10 chapters on the Way of the Bodhisattva, there is a 24-page introduction with a concise and engaging explanation of what the practice and study of Buddhism entails, and three appendices by Kunzang Pelden - a 7-page biography of Shantideva, and special commentary on chapters 8 called Equalizing Self and Other from the Nectar of Manjushri's Speech and Exchanging Self and Other.

I enjoyed reading and thinking about this Buddhist classic. This translation reads almost like poetry. I also read No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva by Pema Chodron, but prefer reading the text straight through without so much comment and explanation, and The Nectar of Manjushri's Speech by Kunzang Pelden and Padmakara Translation Group, but thought it was far too esoteric and complex.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite Version (just), 6 Feb. 2010
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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 The Nectar of Manjushri's Speech: A Detailed Commentary on Shantideva's "Way of the Bodhisattva" (whose commentary is composed largely of teachings by the great Patrul Rinpoche). The translation of this commentary is by the same group who translated 'The Way of the Bodhisattva' so meshes best with this translation.

I highly recommend all the works in this review.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book in every sense, 13 Feb. 2011
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Micah J. Hall "MahayanaMike" (Gosport, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Way of the Bodhisattva (Shambhala Library) (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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shantideva's Way of the Bodhisattva, 15 Jun. 2008
An excellent translation of a classic. This work helped to transform my understanding and motivated me to practise.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and inspiring., 30 Jan. 2013
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book in all respects, 3 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: The Way of the Bodhisattva (Shambhala Library) (Hardcover)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic text and foundation in dharma, 25 Mar. 2015
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This is the most precious gem of dharma,showing us our own mind and how to be happy through bringing happiness to others.
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5.0 out of 5 stars an essential text, 8 Aug. 2012
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This is an amazing work and more and more benefit is found as it is studied and contemplated over time...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shantideva, 18 April 2012
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Little can be added to what has been said on this page except that should you be fortunate to get to a teaching by the present Dalai Lama you will hear a few quotes from Shantideva.
It's an essential text on compassion which is needed around the globe at all levels of life.
Read it, think about or listen to it & may all beings be happy because we all are involved together globally.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars great text, clunky translation, 18 July 2009
By 
dr ian (london, uk) - See all my reviews
i love this text, but, subjectively at least, found the translation of this most passionate and personal of buddhist texts, read in a very stilted way.

any translation throws light on an original text, but i've enjoyed, and found more helpful, translations by stephen batchelor, andrew skilton and, the one i grew up on, marion matics.
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The Way of the Bodhisattva (Shambhala Library)
The Way of the Bodhisattva (Shambhala Library) by Shantideva (Hardcover - 21 Nov. 2008)
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