Tuesday, August 12, 2008
A Bodhisattva epitomises compassion and self-sacrifice. A Bodhisattva refuses to enter the nirvana of absolute quiescence until he saves everyone in this world. This self-giving spirit is well expressed by one of the six perfections which a Bodhisattva is expected to cultivate, namely, the perfection of giving. Charity does not mean to give to others when one has more than enough. Rather it means to give away whatever one has, even one's own life. Also insofar as one thinks of himself as a giver of charity, one thereby negates the spirit of charity itself. An act attains perfection when it is realised that no practice whatsoever has an intrinsic nature. If charity is seen as having an intrinsic quality, it is not perfect. When it is seen to be empty of any nature, then the act of charity is said to be perfect.
Likewise is the case with enlightenment. If an intrinsic quality is attached to it, it turns out then to be a mere illusion. The attainment of perfect wisdom means to realise that nothing has permanent nature: everything is emptiness.
Sunyata - The Essence of Mahayana Spirituality
by Moti Lal Pandit
Picture: All Rights Reserved ® aml.2008