The Bodhicaryavatara is an ancient text written in Sanskrit around 700 CE by Santideva, Buddhist monk and scholar who lived at the Nalanda Monastic University in India.
The Bodhicaryavatara roughly translates to A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life. A Bodhisattva is an enlightened being on their way to attaining full Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. The text has ten chapters that explain how to develop bodhicitta, or the enlightened mind.
Earlier English translations of this text are accurate but difficult to understand for many readers living in the 21st Century. The mode of expression and the figures of speech are the product of that far-off time. This book faithfully re-expresses in modern day language the underlying message of the original text. Every effort has been made to preserve the underlying spirit of the message.
There will be those who object to the changing of the outward form of this much-loved classic. While the author respects the beauty of the original text, the governing principle is to bring the even greater beauty of the underlying message to a whole new audience in the modern world who might otherwise find the original less than easy to fully understand.
If you are embarking on the path to enlightenment, or just curious, this slim little book could be just the change agent you have been looking for. It is said to be one of the Dalai Lama's favorite texts.
Chapter 1 The Benefit of the Spirit of Awakening
Chapter 2 The Confession of Error
Chapter 3 Adopting the Spirit of Awakening
Chapter 4 Attending to the Spirit of Awakening
Chapter 5 Guarding Introspection
Chapter 6 The Perfection of Patience
Chapter 7 The Perfection of Zeal
Chapter 8 The Perfection of Meditation
Chapter 9 The Perfection of Wisdom
Chapter 10 The Post-Dedication