Shantideva: Bodhicaryavatara

(ca. 700–763)

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The Bodhicaryavatara, or “Introduction to the Path of the Bodhisattva,” was composed by the Indian monk and poet Shantideva sometime in the eighth century. It is both a practical guide outlining meditation practice and proper monastic conduct and a philosophic treatise arguing for the importance and validity of the Mahayana Buddhist perspective. Two particularly important themes associated with Mahayana Buddhism are emptiness and the path of the bodhisattva. Mahayana Buddhist philosophy...