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By Paul Williams

Brings jointly Paul Williams' formerly released papers at the Indian and Tibetan interpretations of chosen verses from the 8th and 9th chapters of the Bodhicaryavatara.

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Extra info for Altruism and Reality : Studies in the Philosophy of the Bodhicaryavatara

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L l The wider application is philosophically different from the narrower application, although I have argued that in the Buddhist context it is a natural development. It is apparently attractive, for not 36 On Altruism and Rebirth all believe in future lives, and even those who do profess a nominal belief do not in fact exert themselves to avoid the sufferings of future rebirths. Just about everyone, however, takes pains to avoid future sufferings which will come in this life. On the other hand the wider application has problems in that it portrays as irrelevant the apparent difference between my normal experience of continuous survival in one life, accompanied ( although by no means necessarily identical with) bodily continuity, and the sort of survival which is claimed to occur in the case of rebirth, normally with a very different bodily form and some rather radical breaks in continuity.

The fact that the suffering is mine does not make it morally more significant. I am neither rationally nor morally j ustified in removing my own suffering rather than the suffering of another just because it is my own suffering. BODHICARyAVATARA 8 : 9 7:2 Supposing one says that the suffering which happens to that [other] person does no harm to me, therefore (s)he should not be protected against [it] I Then since future suffering ( Skt . : 'the sufferings of future bodies' ) also is doing no harm [to you now] why is that to be protected against ?

At that time, having purified completely the three circles ( 'khor gsum),48 being without intentional object, there is complete calming. A bodhisattva who has attained a bodhisattva 26 On Prakrtinirva1JaIPrak;:tinirvrta in the Bodhicaryavatara stage ( bhami) , at the time of meditative absorption, does not have the appearance of an intentional obj ect. When he has arisen from meditative absorption even appearances arise as mere illusions (sgyu ma tsam du snang ba yang 'byung bas so) . When there is Buddhahood both the mind and all intentional objects determined by that mind are calmed in the (dharma)dhatu (sangs rgyas pa na blo dang des bzhag pa'i dmigs pa thams cad dbyings su nye bar zhi bas: p.

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