Now let’s go back to the motivation again. As I said, first of all, your motivation to listen to this teaching should be because you want to achieve enlightenment. Really. If not, if your motivation of listening to this teaching is to have a, I don’t know, successful buying or selling of a share or a stock market or something, won’t help. I will tell you honestly. All this, not one word will help you. Better go a business conference, or somewhere. Better you read some other books. This actually is the opposite I tell you. This tells you how samsara is futile, how they are meaningless, how they are useless. And then yet you go to a teaching and ask for, and look for a teaching that will make your business successful. It is wrong, it doesn’t work like that. That is the first motivation. The second is a Mahayana exclusive motivation. We should be listening to this teaching not only for the enlightenment of ourselves individually but also for the sake of all sentient beings. That is very very important. If you are a Mahayana practitioner that’s so important. Specially for the Mahayana practitioners. It is easier to the say then done. Just briefly. If we are Mahayana practitioner, you know how many Mahayana practitioner including myself, firstly we don’t practice much. Secondly, even so if we do practice, we are so worried about our practice and the result of this practice. We don’t really care about other people’s enlightenment. A Mahayana practitioner should not really care about the failure or the success of their spiritual practice. Mahayana practitioner must be practicing Dharma for the sake of others. If a Mahayana practitioner observes someone else doing spiritually or materially or worldly better than yourself and if you feel envious or jealous, that means the bodhicitta is not there. That means you are still more important than all the others. That needs to be changed and we have to think, we receive this teachings for the sake of all the sentient beings. That is the second kind of motivation.
In the Vajrayana we talk about pure perception. To really see everything is pure, everything as a deity, everything as a mantra, impossible for now. In fact I have seen lot of people struggling, looking at your friend, and then thinking that: “Oh this my friend has sixteen arms, eight heads.” You are trying to think. That is actually not really the pure perception by the way. You are making up stories here. Actually the pure perception is rooted to this Mahayana concept that every perception is your mind. If you can just remember that, even simple things like if you and your husband or wife is having a really heated argument, really big dispute, really aggressive dispute, suddenly if you can remember that what I am seeing is actually my own perception. This will be like a cold water poured on a boiling water. Just to know that everything is your perception is a key to lots of enlightened qualities.
In the Shravakayana your main practice is abandoning harming the others. For the Mahayana, on top of that, you try to help others. On the Tantrayana, on top of those two, you try to have a pure perception.
In fact, bluntly speaking, when a Mahayana bodhisattva is taking refuge, not like all the other practitioners, who will take refuge to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha to protect them from samsara only. Mahayana bodhisattvas they take refuge to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha to protect them from both, samsara and nirvana.
Now, let’s discuss a little bit about sattva. The word Bodhisattva has a connotation of a courageous being, a courageous person. When we talk about courage, we are not only talking about being able to face the enemy or the problem. We are also talking about being able to give up, do without friends, path, the tools that you use to counter the enemy. You should also be able to do without. That is really very profound courage. This is why the Mahayana path is the path that is not only afraid of samsara, but is also afraid of nirvana.
The Essence of Shantideva’s Writings, Prague 2010