Golden Blue Lotus Tara

Meditation Group, Moscow

 
 

The Eighteen Root
Bodhicitta Vows

I vow to abandon the following:

1. Praising yourself and belittling others because of your attachment to receiving offerings, being respected and venerated as a teacher, and gaining profit in general.

2. Not giving material aid or teaching the Dharma to those who are pained with suffering and without a protector because of your being under the influence of miserliness, wanting to amass knowledge for yourself alone.

3. Not listening to someone who has previously offended you but who declares his offence and begs forgiveness, and holding a grudge against him.

4. Condemning the teachings of Buddha and teaching distorted views.

5. Taking offerings to the Three Jewels of Refuge for yourself by such means as stealth, robbery or devious schemes.

6. Despising the Tripitaka and saying that these texts are not the teachings of Buddha.

7. Evicting monks from a monastery or casting them out of the Sangha even if they have broken their vows, because of not forgiving them.

8. Committing any of the five heinous crimes of killing your mother, your father, an Arhat, drawing blood intentionally from a Buddha, or causing division in the Sangha by supporting and spreading sectarian views.

9. Holding views contrary to the teachings of the Buddha such as sectarianism, disbelief in the Three Jewels of Refuge, the law of cause and effect, and so forth.

10. Completely destroying any place by such means as fire, bombs, pollution and black magic.

11. Teaching Sunyata to those who are not yet ready to understand it.

12. Turning people away from working for the Full Enlightenment of Buddhahood and encouraging them to work for their own Liberation from suffering.

13. Encouraging people to abandon their vowed rules of moral conduct.

14. Causing others to hold the distorted views you might hold about the Hinayana teachings, as well as belittling the Hinayana teachings and saying that their practice does not lead to Nirvana.

15. Practicing, supporting or teaching the Dharma for financial profit and fame while saying that your motives are pure and that only others are pursuing Dharma for such base aims.

16. Telling others, even though you may have very little or no understanding of Sunyata, that if they obtain as profound an understanding as you have, that then they will become as great and as highly realized as you are.

17. Taking gifts from others and encouraging others to give you things originally intended as offerings to the Three Jewels of Refuge.

18. Taking anything away from those monks who are practicing meditation and giving it to those who are merely reciting texts.

There are four attitudes that must all be present in transgressing any vow for a vow to be broken completely.

  • With the first attitude, you do not regard what you have done as being a mistake.
  • With the second attitude, you do not turn away from thinking to repeat this action.
  • With the third attitude, you rejoice and are happy about what you have done.
  • With the fourth attitude, being shameless and inconsiderate, you do not care about the consequences of your actions for yourself and for others.

If you break any of these Bodhicitta vows, you must invoke the four opponent powers of declaring your previously committed non-virtuous actions in order to avoid experiencing their black karmic consequences. Then you must retake the Bodhicitta vows at an appropriate ceremony.

 

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