Comprising almost a thousand verses, Shantideva's Bodhicaryavatara combines devotional, practical and philosophical elements to skilfully elucidate the practices of a bodhisattva. The text is structured around the six perfections, and the difficult wisdom chapter presupposes a knowledge of Buddhist epistemology and tenets. Gyaltsab-je's text is a popular commentary, adding a practice oriented structure to the text by means of an extensive outline.
Of this text, His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself has said:
If I have any understanding of compassion and the bodhisattva path, it all comes from studying this text.
Chapter 8 – Meditation – extolling the advantages of solitude, and meditating on the equality of self and other, and meditating on the exchange of self and other. This is the peak of a bodhisattva's practice which takes us to the heart of Buddhist wisdom from which all the teachings of Engaging in the Bodhisattva Way of Life derive their sense and find their completion.
Chapter 9 – Wisdom – Tibetan scholars consider this chapter to be one of the most succinct expositions of the Madhyamaka, Middle Way, view.
Chapter 10 – Dedication – the tenth chapter is used as one of the most popular Mahayana prayers, dedicating all the value of the text to the benefit of all beings; as a culmination of this peerless work, these verses on dedication exemplify the perfection of giving.
Root Institute is a delightful, semi-monastic meditation centre.
To maintain a conducive, spiritually harmonious atmosphere for inner reflection and meditation, we kindly ask all our students, guests and visitors to observe the following guidelines:
Respect all life: do not intentionally kill any living being, even small insects.
Respect others' property: do not steal or take anything not freely given.
Be honest and straightforward: do not lie or intentionally deceive others.
Be celibate: no sexual activity; this also includes no romantic holding hands, hugging, massages and other physical displays of affection.
Be alert and mindful*: avoid intoxicants such as alcohol, drugs and cigarettes; we encourage you to stop smoking while here, but if this is impossible, you can smoke outside the gates.
Be considerate of others' silence: keep silence in the appropriate areas and at all times during residential courses, especially in the meditation hall (gompa) and dormitories; no singing or playing music and, in general, maintain a quiet demeanour while on the property.
Be considerate of the monks and nuns: dress respectfully; please no shorts above the knee, tank-top shirts, or tight and revealing clothing.
Couples: can stay in the same room for two weeks or less under the celibacy policy.
Please be aware:
* The Bihar state government has passed laws totally prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol in the state, with very severe penalties! Please ensure that you do not carry any alcohol with you in Bihar.
Also, please note that those in service or teaching in FPMT centers and projects do not engage in the practice of Shugden and, due to our commitment to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we do not share our materials and facilities with those who knowingly continue to practice Shugden against his advice.