A Boat To Those Wishing To Cross Over

Posted by Meghna Banker on Apr 25, 2017
8388 reads  
[Below is an excerpt of a poem by Shantideva, that I have found to be quite inspiring. --Meghna]

May any spiritual energy thus generated
By my devotion to the enlightened ones
Be dedicated to dispelling the misery
Of living beings without exception.
As long as diseases afflict living beings
May I be the doctor, the medicine
And also the nurse
Who restores them to health.
May I fall as rain to increase
The harvests that must feed living beings
And in ages of dire famine
May I myself serve as food and drink.
May I be an unending treasury
For those desperate and forlorn.
May I manifest as what they require
And wish to have near them.
My body, every possession
And all goodness, past, present and future
Without remorse I dedicate
To the well-being of the world
Suffering is transcended by total surrender
And the mind attains to nirvana.
As one day all must be given up,
Why not dedicate it now to universal happiness?
My bodily powers I dedicate
To the well-being of all that lives.
Should anyone wish to kill, abuse or beat me,
The responsibility is purely their own.
Should anyone wish to ridicule me
And make me an object of jest and scorn
Why should I possibly care
If I have dedicated myself to others?
Let them do as they wish with me
So long as it does not harm them.
May no one who encounters me
Ever have an insignificant contact.
Regardless whether those whom I meet
Respond towards me with anger or faith,
May the mere fact of our meeting
Contribute to the fulfilment of their wishes.
May the slander, harm
And all forms of abuse
That anyone should direct towards me
Act as a cause of their enlightenment.
May I be a protector to the helpless,
A guide to those travelling the path,
A boat to those wishing to cross over;
Or a bridge or a raft.
May I be land for those requiring it,
A lamp for those in darkness,
May I be a home for the homeless,
And a servant for the world.
In order to fulfil the needs of beings
May I be as a magic gem,
An inexhaustible vase, a mystic spell,
A cure-all medicine, and a wish granting tree.
May I act as the mighty earth
Or like the free and open skies
To support and provide the space
Whereby I and all others may grow.
Until every being afflicted by pain
Has reached nirvanas shores,
May I serve only as a condition
That encourages progress and joy.
Just as all previous Buddhas
First gave rise to the precious Bodhimind
And just as then carefully followed
The stages of the Bodhisattva disciplines.
Likewise for the sake of sentient beings
Do I now myself generate the Bodhimind,
And likewise will I train myself
In the disciplines of a Bodhisattva. 

Posted by Meghna Banker | | permalink

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Comments (11)

  • Ragunath Padmanabhan wrote ...

    What makes a cultivator see the need for a bodhisattva?

  • Gayathri Ramachandran wrote ...


  • sangeeta wrote ...

    Very beautiful poem

  • Micky wrote ...

    One of my favorites of all time. So beautiful. A few years ago I read this, Meghna, and made this painting. [View Link] Because to live fully like this is so much like Saint Francis prayer, another favorite. Thank you for sharing this poem here. It was a blessing to my heart to read it again tonight. ♥.

  • Joe Houska wrote ...

    This beautiful poem reminds me of the prayer attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi:

    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
    where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    where there is injury, pardon;
    where there is doubt, faith;
    where there is despair, hope;
    where there is darkness, light;
    where there is sadness, joy. 

    O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
    to be consoled as to console,
    to be understood as to understand,
    to be loved as to love.
    For it is in giving that we receive, 
    it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, 
    and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

  • Xiaojuan wrote ...

    Very reassuring. Thanks for sharing.

  • Caryl Sweet wrote ...

    A very inspiring poem. I will treasure it and shate it.

  • Bob wrote ...

    I love this. I'm going to print this out and hang it in my office

  • Jagdish P Dave wrote ...

    Bodhi Mind is Kind Mind. It is going beyond selfish mind. It is a dedicated one pointed mind. It is beyond the beyond mind.

  • Snehal Dharnidharka wrote ...

    Such a selfless powerful message!!

  • Susan Clark wrote ...

    Ah...this poem holds it all. Thank you! I've been repeating this:

    May I act as the mighty earth
    Or like the free and open skies
    To support and provide the space
    Whereby I and all others may grow.