The Bodhisattva Ideal

Wisdom and Compassion in Buddhism

by Sangharakshita

To consider the Bodhisattva ideal is to place one’s hand on the very heart of Buddhism, and feel the beating of the heart.

How can we live an ideal life in the real world? How can we be happy and at the same time responsive to the suffering of others? It can be done; this is the message of the Bodhisattva ideal.

The Bodhisattva’s life exemplifies the resolution of the conflict between our own desires and the needs of others. Sustained by a deep understanding gained through meditation and reflection, the Bodhisattva works tirelessly for the benefit of all. The development of inner calm and positivity that leads to true wisdom is balanced by a genuine and active concern for others which flowers into great compassion.

Sangharakshita places the ideal of the Bodhisattva, one of the sublimest spiritual ideals mankind has ever seen, within the context of the entire Buddhist tradition. Unfolding this vision of our potential, he demonstrates how we ourselves can faithfully engage with that vision and make our lives worthwhile.

Paperback, 256 pages
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Believe nothing merely because you have been told it… Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings — that doctrine believe and cling to and take it as your guide.
The Buddha

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