A bodhisattva may choose any of three paths to help sentient beings in the process of achieving enlightenment:
- the Bodhisattva King aspires to become a Buddha as soon as possible, and then help sentient beings attain enlightenment, guiding them through his example and protecting them with his power;
- the Bodhisattva Boatman aspires to become a Buddha simultaneously with other sentient beings, sharing their difficulties and encouraging them along the way;
- the Bodhisattva Shepherd aspires to delay his own enlightenment until all other sentient beings become Buddhas, consoling and protecting those who falter.
Which one will you be?
—after the Kun-bzang bla-ma’i zhal-lung