Saturday, May 11, 2013

Bodhisattva, Take Me By The Hand

Tenzin Gyatso – the XIV Dalai Lama – was born to a peasant family in a small village called Takster in northeastern Tibet in 1935. Recognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of his predecessor, His Holiness is the living manifestation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, who chose to reincarnate to serve the people.

In Buddhism, a bodhisattva is an enlightened being, one who is on the path to becoming a Buddha. According to tradition, a bodhisattva must journey through at least 10 “grounds” or “bhumis.” At the first ground, the bodhisattva must travel five paths toward accumulation, preparation, insight, meditation and practice.

After navigating the ten grounds, a bodhisattva is said to achieve great joy in seeing the benefit for all sentient beings. The bodhisattva is stainless, in the sense of being free from the stains of immorality, and luminous -- the light of Dharma is said to radiate for others from within. The emphasized perfection in this ground is patience.

A key ground: attainment of the ability to help sentient beings achieve maturity while not becoming emotionally involved when such beings respond negatively -- a difficult task. The emphasized perfection in this ground is meditative concentration.

After the 10 bhumis, according to Buddhist tradition, one attains complete enlightenment and becomes a Buddha. Yet it’s not enough for a bodhisattva to upholed the precepts of Buddhism; there are times when they must be broken. When that happens, it must be with the acknowledgement of whatever consequences will follow.

So what is a bodhisattva? You could define one as a true adult. That is, many people in the world act like children. Today, most people who are called adults are only pseudo-adults. Physically, they grow up and become adult but spiritually, too many people never mature to adulthood. They don’t behave like adults in their daily lives.

A bodhisattva is one who sees the world through adult eyes and whose actions are the actions of a true adult. Bodhisattva, would you take me by the hand?

No comments: