Bodhisattva Self-Ordination Vows

Preceptor, from now on, and until I attain enlightenment, I hold to this first vow, that I shall not harbor any thought of violating precepts.

Preceptor, from now on, and until I attain enlightenment, I hold to this second vow, that I shall not harbor any thought of disrespect toward my teachers.

Preceptor, from now on, and until I attain enlightenment, I hold to this third vow, that I shall not harbor any thought of anger or ill-will toward sentient beings.

Preceptor, from now on, and until I attain enlightenment, I hold to this fourth vow, that I shall not harbor any thought of jealousy toward the fame or perfections of others.

Preceptor, from now on, and until I attain enlightenment, I hold to this fifth vow, that I shall not harbor any thought of covetousness towards others’ possessions.

Preceptor, from now on, and until I attain enlightenment, I hold to this sixth vow, that I shall not accumulate wealth for my own use, but shall assist the poor and friendless.

Preceptor, from now on, and until I attain enlightenment, I hold to this seventh vow, that with the four strategies of instruction[i] I shall benefit the sentient beings and not instruct them for my own sake; indeed, I shall seek to instruct the sentient beings with my mind unoccupied with material things, without pause, and not retreating.

Preceptor, from now on, and until I attain enlightenment, I hold to this eighth vow, that when in the future I observe sentient beings who are friendless, trapped and bound, diseased, troubled, poor and miserable, I shall not forsake them for a single moment until they are restored. Teacher, seeing them afflicted by suffering, I shall liberate them from each of those sufferings, conferring upon them whatever they may need.

Preceptor, from now on, and until I attain enlightenment, I hold to this ninth vow, that when I see persons with sinful occupations, and those who violate the Doctrine and Disciple proclaimed by the Tathagata, I shall not take it lightly; and wherever my residence in towns, villages, cities, districts, and capitals, I shall oppose what should be opposed and shall foster what should be fostered. Teacher, by opposing and by fostering, the Illustrious Doctrine will long remain in the world, the superior ways will thrive, and evil destinies will fade. And the Buddha, having turned the Wheel of the Doctrine, will continue to turn the Wheel of the Dharma.

Preceptor, from now on, and until I attain enlightenment, I hold to this tenth vow, that, having embraced the Illustrious Doctrine, I shall not forsake it even in a single thought. If I forsake the Illustrious Doctrine, I forsake the Great Vehicle. If I forsake the Great Vehicle, I forsake the Perfections. If I forsake the Perfections, I abandon the Great Purpose.

Preceptor, a disciple who is uncertain about the Great Vehicle becomes averse to embracing the Illustrious Doctrine and is occupied with his own fancy; he reaps the fortune of entering the stage of the spiritually immature ordinary person. Teacher, this I see to be a great disadvantage and harm.

Preceptor, the perfection of Great Purpose yields incalculable benefit for me and future Bodhisattvas through embracing the Illustrious Doctrine; and so I take this vow to embrace the Illustrious Doctrine.

Preceptor, I take those ten great vows in your presence. You are my witness!

—Srimala Devi Sutra


[i] The four strategies of Dharma teachers are generosity, instruction, encouragement, and example.

 

About Tashi Nyima

I am a Dharma student, and aspire to be a companion on the path. I trust that these texts can offer a general approach and basic tools for practicing the Buddha's way to enlightenment. ||| Soy un estudiante del Dharma, y aspiro a ser un compañero en el sendero. Espero que estos textos ofrezcan a algunos un mapa general y herramientas básicas para la práctica del sendero a la iluminación que nos ofrece el Buda.
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One Response to Bodhisattva Self-Ordination Vows

  1. Patricia Alisha Conway says:

    I really enjoyed reading the vows, I will do my best to keep all of them

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