The Concise Sadhana of the Bodhisattva Vow

After his full enlightenment, Buddha Shakyamuni remained in silence for 49 days under the Bodhi tree. Then after being implored by Brahma, and driven by his extraordinary compassion to all living beings, the Buddha turned the Dharma Wheel for the first time. Starting from the Four Noble Truths, the Buddha set in motion the dissemination of the Dharma that has touched the hearts of countless beings who yearn for spiritual pursuit and has brought them to answers of life. Since then, for the next 2,500 years, Buddhists around the world have been honouring this auspicious day, June 4th, the day when the light of wisdom started to illuminate the world.

As Mahayana followers, a great way to repay the kindness of Buddha Shakyamuni is to understand the qualities of bodhicitta and to genuinely engender bodhicitta in one’s mind. Moreover, any historical records about His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche are greatly cherished by his lineage disciples, not to mention the special sadhana of the bodhissttva vow composed by himself. Here, Khenpo Sodargye is taking us to revisit His Holiness’s conferral of the bodhisattva vow by reintroducing the sadhana with a new commentary.

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The bodhisattva vow, or the generation of bodhicitta, is vital for Mahayanists because it is the compassionate commitment to attain unexcelled enlightenment for the benefit of all living beings. As Shantideva said, if bodhicitta is engendered even in the mindstream of someone who has committed serious negative karma and is supposed to fall into the lowest hell right after death, such negative karma can be completely purified just as the kalpa-ending fire consumes all forests to bareness.

Precious bodhicitta is the source of all prosperity and good in both samsara and nirvana. Without exception it is the sole cause of all benefits and happiness. By the power of bodhicitta, the suffering of all beings in the three realms can be completely pacified and auspiciousness can be accomplished easily and in its entirety.

— H. H. Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche

As one of H. H. Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche’s traditions, the conferral of the bodhisattva vow had been performed at Larung Gar annually on the anniversary of the first turning of the Dharma Wheel. Every time, His Holiness would use the sadhana composed by himself, The Concise Sadhana of the Bodhisattva Vow, that mainly follows the lineage of the profound view of emptiness, but also contains the key points of the lineage of the vast deeds of practice in an expedient manner.

From today onwards, by the blessing of His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche and all lineage masters, you’ve been transformed into a noble person with altruism for all beings. Thus, today has become a significant moment in your life trajectory.

— Khenpo Sodargye

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I hope that every year, no matter where you are in this world, as long as you’re alive, you will take the bodhisattva vow on the anniversary of Buddha Shakyamuni’s first turning of the Dharma Wheel.

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