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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 21 December, 2023

  • 3 Min Read

Bodhicitta

Dalai Lama arrives at Siliguri's Sed-Gyued Monastery to deliver teachings on bodhicitta to his devotees.

Mahayana

  • One of the two major traditions of Buddhism, now practiced in a variety of forms especially in China, Tibet, Japan, and Korea.
  • It emerged around the 1st century CE.
  • It is typically concerned with other-oriented spiritual practice as embodied in the ideal of the bodhisattva.
  • In Mahayana practice, compassion is both a practice and a result.
  • Compassion is used to transform emotional reactivity into attention, and that attention in turn is used to awaken to the nature of mind, emptiness.
  • However, then that same emptiness becomes the basis for a different kind of compassion.

Bodhicitta

  • This interweaving of emptiness and compassion is expressed in the Sanskrit word Bodhicitta, for which an accepted and widely used English translation is awakening mind.
  • Compassion is the stepping-stone into bodhicitta (awakening mind), the central theme of Mahayana.
  • Many people regard bodhicitta as simply a form of altruism.
  • This form of compassion seeks to alleviate suffering and pain as much as possible and takes expression in society as kindness, care, and justice.
  • Bodhicitta permeates every aspect of Mahayana teaching and practice.

In the Mahayana tradition, the major form of Buddhism in Tibet, China, Korea, and Japan, it was thought that anyone who made the aspiration to awakening (bodhicitta).

Bodhisattva

  • Bodhisattva, in Buddhism, one who seeks awakening (Bodhi), hence, an individual on the path to becoming a Buddha.
  • In Theravada, the major form of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, the term bodhisattva was used primarily to refer to the Buddha Shakyamuni (as Gautama Siddhartha is known) in his former lives.
  • The stories of his lives, the Jatakas, portray the efforts of the bodhisattva to cultivate the qualities, including morality, self-sacrifice, and wisdom, which will define him as a Buddha.

Sed-Gyued Monastery

  • It is located in Siliguri, West Bengal.
  • It is the main seat of the Sed-Gyued lineage or whispered lineage.
  • Whispered lineage is a secret teaching transmitted only to the closest disciple through direct communication with their root teacher or meditational deity.
  • The purpose of Sed-Gyued Monastery is to preserve and promote the unique tantric study, practice, experiences and culture of this lineage, as well as the subsequent lineage holders and Sed-Gyued masters.

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