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Thread: Santiveda's Bodhisattva guide

  1. #1

    Santiveda's Bodhisattva guide

    I just finished Santiveda's Guide to the Bodhisattva way of Life (Wallace & Wallace translation, Snow Lion Press). Interesting and intense book, clearly a product of its ancient times, yet the message shines through if you can get past some of that. The Dalai Lama has a Guide to Santivedas Guide, and Batchelor has "Alone with Others" (which I posted on some time ago here -
    I, for one, plan to go back and reread the Dalai Lama's Guide, and I might even go looking for some type of book club discussion forum on Santiveda's Guide, though I am not expecting or suggesting we do that here.

    Anyway, I find it all quite consistent with our practice here, though I admit it's not Zen, and I was curious that none of these books are on our reading list. Would they be worthy additions on Buddhist ethics, for example? Or are they viewed as more different than I see them? I guess I'm asking Jundo and Taigu, though anyone familiar with these texts is certainly welcome to comment.

  2. #2

    Re: Santiveda's Bodhisattva guide

    Hi Al,

    Well, all the books on our suggested reading list ...


    ... have been personally read by me AND are widely cherished and taught throughout the Soto Zen corner of Buddhism. I am afraid that Santiveda's Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life (while perhaps a wonderful work) is neither of those, although I have not read it ... so I cannot tell you why it is not particularly upheld in the Soto Zen corner of Buddhism.

    I will, however, put it somewhere on my personal *to someday read" list.

    If it is any consolation, Mickey Spillane detective novels are also wonderful works, a few of which I have read ... but they are not on our suggested reading list either! :wink:

    Gassho, J

  3. #3

    Re: Santiveda's Bodhisattva guide

    I guess I just assumed (OOPS, we all know what that results in) that you would have read it, Jundo. My understanding is that it's a classic among the classics in Buddhist lit.

    Ok then, who here has read it and has thoughts on it? Maybe that's the more relevant question here.

    (BTW, Mickey Spillane, whom I have read, is barely within the category of literature, though he was fun to read. But please let's not make a thread that started with Santiveda's Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life into a thread on Mickey Spillane).

  4. #4

    Re: Santiveda's Bodhisattva guide

    Pema Chodron has a commentary on it "No Time to Lose". I've listened to her talk on Shantideva's work, but I've never read all of it or her whole book. it is on my radar, but I'm currently reading Katagiri Roshi's "Each Moment is the Universe" (that's really good btw).



  5. #5

    Re: Santiveda's Bodhisattva guide

    I stand corrected about the Zen World. Norman Fischer has a series of talk on Santiveda that may be of interest ... ... io-240-110

    Gassho, Jundo

  6. #6

    Re: Santiveda's Bodhisattva guide

    Excellent, thank you. I will check these out.

    This from Pema Chodron's introduction sums up the original quite nicely.
    ... read The Way of the Bodhisattva with the intention of accepting and digesting all that rings true. Not everything will inspire you. You might find the language challenging, and you might sometimes feel provoked or offended. But remember Shantiveda's unwavering intention is to encourage us. He never doubts that we have the strength and basic goodness to help others, and he tells us everything he has learned about how to do this. Then, of course, it's up to us to use this information and make it real.

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