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A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life Paperback – January 1, 1997
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"The Wallaces have produced a concise, literal, and elegant translation. The extant Sanskrit edition frequently differs from the one used in Tibet a millennium ago, and the Wallaces have noted these differences in copious footnotes. These features make their translation both highly readable and an excellent source for scholars of the original languages."—Tricycle
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Top Customer Reviews
Although i feel this translation is the best English one, this version should not be used as a first version of the Bodhicaryavatara by newcomers. The translation from Crosby and Skilton is better suited for people not used to the context and the meaning of this text...thanks to its many excellent comments.
Compassion is a path that takes constant work in order to walk steadily upon it. Even then, it's a pretty rough road to travel in the beginning. It is my hope that books such as these will open some minds to that path, and also to the plight of the Tibetan people. Wiping this culture from the face of the earth would be a great detriment to all of humanity.
I would recommend that if you are new to such philosophies that you attempt Thích Nh't H'nh or Dali Lama literature to develop a clearer background in more laymen's terms before attempting this - but I would not hesitate putting it in the same amazon cart.
Read it little by little and digest the words. I don't think it's a sit down and plough through book, but it could just be one of the most brilliant books you read - if you are interested in such concepts.
This is appropriate reading for readers with a very strong comprehension of English as well as some relationship with Buddhist terminology. While any student should attempt to get teachings on this text directly from a living teacher who has had the text "transmitted" to her or him, some students will nonetheless have a much easier time relating to the text immediately, while others may find it to be dense and difficult to understand.
Speaking from over a millenium back, Śāntideva accomplishes what few other Buddhist teachers do: in so few words he will describe with shocking prose and precision, both how and why to become a Buddhist. While other classic texts such as the Seven-Point Mind Training may be found more immediately practical in their application, Śāntideva takes the cake for the breadth of material covered, and the profound clarity of his arguments.
Having already read a number of modern books on Buddhism, by the time I reached Śāntideva I think I still had not grasped the incredible importance of basing one's aspiration in the actual experience and appreciation of the suffering of others as well as the suffering brought to one by the world of confused beings. He manages to get this across with stunning beauty, clarity and cogency.
The book reads a teensy bit like a bible, what with its frequent talk of arriving in hell realms as a consequence of misconduct. But you can get past that. It's not a doctrine, and there's no Pope (and he has no minions) who will force you to take it literally. You can interpret it how you like without losing what he's saying there, which is that our actions all have broader effects than we foresee.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book! His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama recommends it, so it must be good ... and it is. It covers a lot of ground, but explains complex Buddhist concepts in an easy to... Read morePublished 4 months ago by CombatCritic
I have several different translations of Shantideva's Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life. They each have their flaws, especially the ones that use the word "sin" in... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Zen Elder
My favorite translation of this amazing classic of Buddhist thought with both Sanskrit and Tibetan interpretations of different sections from alan Wallace and Versa both amazing... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Rama K Khalsa PHD
I would recommend studying the basics of Buddhism first before reading this. Translation and context are very important for proper understanding. Read morePublished on January 5, 2013 by Sean Sweeney
This one of the basic, book to read to go further on the Buddhist path, good at the beginning, middle, end of the path.Published on December 31, 2012 by henri lopez
Excellent English translation of Santideva's work. I love that it provides both the Sanskrit and Tibetan translations in the text.Published on December 21, 2012 by H. Coats
Just got the kindle version for a class. Wanted to let others know that the footnotes are intact and easy to navigate, easier than a paper book because you can toggle with the... Read morePublished on September 9, 2012 by Samsara