by ﬁc›rya KamalaŸıla (tyanslated by Paramananda Sharma)
3“moreover, O bhadanta,
Sh›radavati’s son! the bodhisattvas’ ‘mah›karu˚›’ isinexhaustible. And, how is it so? Because, it is ‘purvangam›’,
O bhadanta Sh›radavati’sson! just as breathing in and breathing out is the ‘purvagami’
or precursor of life-breath,so also in Mah›y›na, a bodhisattva ‘s ‘m›hakaru˚›’ is a pre-requisite for the collection of ‘punya’ or merit”.Also, in the ﬁrya-gay›Ÿir˝a:“O MañjuŸrı! What is the beginning of the conduct of bodhisattvas and what theiradhi˝th›na?
” “MañjuŸrı replied ‘O Deva-putra! the beginning of a bodhisattva’s conduct is‘m›h›karu˚›’ and its adhi˝th›na the beings.”By it, i.e. ‘mah›karu˚›’, inspired the bodhisattvas, with
little concern for themselves,work assiduously for collecting merit through long, arduous periods of time with the sole objectof others’ well-being. So it has been said in ﬁrya-Ÿraddhbal›dh›na:“For the well-being of sattvas through ‘mah›karu˚›’, there is no joy which a bodhisattvadoes not renounce.”In this manner, by engaging himself in the most difficult situations and by collecting(sambh›ra)
merit quickly, he attains ‘sarvajñat›’. Therefore, the root of all Buddha-dharmas is‘mah›karu˚›’.” It was through holding on to ‘mah›karu˚›’ that Lord Buddha, after attaining‘sarvajñat›’, continued to work for the whole world. The Lord’s ‘mah›karu˚›’ is thus the veryreason for the Lord not entering ‘nirv›˚a’.It, i.e. ‘mah›karu˚›’, is (born from and) augmented by constantly reflecting in the mind overthe sufferings of beings. All ‘sattvas’ are suffering from the three-fold pain
of du¯khasrampant in the three worlds’,
– (reflecting) like this one should fix one’s thought on all beings.The Lord has described how hell-beings continue to suffer for long periods from such tortures asfire-burning; so also ‘pretas’,
through suffering from du¯kha-fire with extreme hunger andthirst, get emaciated in body and suffer terribly for a hundred years even; such as these have
bhadanta – an honorific for a realised monk.
pÒrvangam› – that which goes ahead of a thing; precursor, fore-runner.
as at 9 above.
adhiŸth›na – object of contemplation, focal idea to reflect on.
sambh›ra – accumulation, collection.
trividha du¯kha – three-fold suffering of body, mind and speech.
traidh›tuka – beings living in the three worlds of humans, gods and hell dwellers, the earth, the heavens,the hells.
pretas – disembodied spirits, ‘preta-loka’ is one of the six realms of existence after death.