We use this vow at the end of each service to remind us why we continue to stay on this path.
A “Bodhi” (awake) “sattva” (person) is someone who dedicates themselves to helping make the world a better place through compassion and understanding the connectivity of all beings. It is an ideal we strive for in our daily lives as we have opportunities at each encounter with other beings to make better choices, remove hate and treat others as en extension of ourselves.
The Bodhisattva Vow:
“All beings, one body, I vow to liberate;
endless blind passions, I vow to uproot;
Dharma gates, without number, I vow to penetrate;
the path of the Buddha, I vow to follow”
The verse contains a simple reminder in each line of how we can manage each day.
All beings are interconnected, all part of the same universe, more alike than not. When we can view all beings as part of the same body, we vow to liberate ourselves and others from the suffering of this world. Only when we liberate all beings, can we as well be liberated.
Endless blind passions are the elements of our suffering that we can accumulated over our lives, the choices we make, our views of the world and others around us. Only when we spend time in self reflection can we watch how the mind arises moment to moment to create the world around us. We can, through our practice, learn to remove the roots of our suffering from within.
Dharma gates are any form of practice that we undertake to better understand this life, our universe and our selves a little better. From meditation to self reflection, being part of a sangha to practicing mindful arts, they all provide an opportunity to penetrate deeper into the truth of this universe around us.
The path of the Buddha is the guidance the Buddha provided for us to find our own awakening. The eightfold path, the four truths, the perfections, later teachings from awake teachers have been handed down so we too may understand how to experience a life of peace and joy.