The Infinite Compassion of the Bodhisattva One of the important figures in Mahayana Buddhism is the Bodhisattva. They may have lived as humans and have delayed their achievements of Nirvana because of their compassion for humankind. In this passage from Shikshasamuccaya (pp. 280-82) is a statement about the compassion of the Bodhisattva. 29 A Bodhisattva resolves: I take upon myself the burden of suffering. I am re-solved to do so, I will endure iL I do not turn or run'away, do not tremble, am not terrified, nor afraid, do not tum back or despond. And why? At all costs I must bear the burdens ofall beings. In that I do not folc. [ow my own inclinations. I have made the vow to save all beings. All beings I must set free. The whole world of living beings I must rescue, from the terrors of birth, of old age, of sickness, of death and rebirth, of all kinds of moral offense, of aU states ofwoe, of the whole cycle of birth-and-death, of thejungle of false views, of the loss of wholesome dharmas, of the concomitants of
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