Śāntideva's eighth-century work, the Guide to Bodhisattva Practice (Bodhicaryāvatāra)
, is known for its eminently practical instructions and its psychologically vivid articulations of the Mahāyāna path. It is a powerful, succinct poem into which are woven diverse Buddhist traditions of moral transformation, meditative cultivation, and philosophical insight. Since its composition, it has seen continuous use as a ritual, contemplative, and philosophical manual, making it one of the crucial texts of the Buddhist ethical and philosophical tradition.
This book serves as a companion to this Indian Buddhist classic. The fifteen essays contained here illuminate the Guide
's many philosophical, literary, ritual, and ethical dimensions. Distinguished scholars discuss the historical significance of the text as an innovative piece of Indian literature, illuminate the important roles it played in shaping Buddhism in Tibet, and bring to light its contemporary significance for philosophy and psychology. Whether experienced or first-time students of Buddhist literature, readers will find compelling new approaches to this resonant masterpiece.