An examination of bodhicitta, a key concept in Mahauyauna Buddhism.
This book explores an important concept within the Buddhist Mahāyāna tradition, bodhicitta. This term appears frequently in Sanskrit literature relating to the spiritual practices of the bodhisattva in Mahāyāna Buddhism and has been variously translated as "thought of enlightenment" or "desire of enlightenment." Francis Brassard offers a contextual analysis of bodhicitta based on the presuppositions underlying the spiritual practice of the bodhisattva. Since the understanding that emerges involves how one ought to view the process of spiritual transformation, this work contributes to Buddhist psychology and soteriology in particular, and to comparative religions in general. The book surveys the various interpretations of the concept of bodhicitta, analyzes its possible functions in the context of the spiritual path of the aspirant to enlightenment, and discusses an understanding of bodhicitta in the context of the Śāntideva's Bodhicaryāvatāra.
Francis Brassard is Assistant Professor of Religion at Berry College, Georgia.
"Brassard deals clearly and intelligently with key issues involved in this crucial topic." -- Taigen Dan Leighton, cotranslator of Dogen's Pure Standards for the Zen Community: A Translation of Eihei Shingi
"This is a thorough and careful exploration of the psychology and soteriology of a particular medieval Indian Buddhist work, Santideva's Bodhicaryavatara, with occasional reference to its only surviving Indian commentary (by Prajnakaramati)." -- Paul J. Griffiths, author of On Being Buddha: The Classical Doctrine of Buddhahood