07 – Vimalakirti’s pleasure

A dharma teaching by Vimalakirti (5th century BC):

The daughters of the gods asked:
What is this pleasure that has as its object the garden of the Law (dharma)?

Vimalakirti replied:

It is the pleasure which consists in believing firmly in the Buddha, in desiring to hear the Law (Dharma), attending to the community (Sangha), driving away pride and respecting the teachers, extricating oneself from the triple world, not stopping over any object, considering the aggregates (skandha) as transitory and like killers, considering the eighteen elements like poisonous snakes, considering the twelve bases of consciousness [senses] like an empty village, protecting the thought of enlightenment (bodhicitta), benefiting beings, excluding all avarice in giving (dana), avoiding all relaxation in pure morality (shila), exercising endurance and self-control in patience (kshanti), cultivating good roots in vigour (virya), possessing undisturbed knowledge in meditation (dhyana), excluding even a shadow of defilement in wisdom (prajna), spreading enlightenment, overcoming Maras, destroying passions, purifying the Buddha-fields, accumulating all good roots, not trembling on hearing the profound dharmas, penetrating in depth the three doors to deliverance, assembling skillful means (upaya), and finally, cultivating the auxiliary dharmas of enlightenment (bodhipakshikadharma).

It is in this garden of the Law that the great Bodhisattvas always reside.

Lamotte, Etienne: The teaching of Vimalakirti.
Oxford 1976, p. 103