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The 18 Root Downfalls (རྩ་ལྟུང་བཅོ་བརྒྱད་) of the bodhisattva vows
February 26th, 2013
illustration

illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)

The 18 Root Downfalls (རྩ་ལྟུང་བཅོ་བརྒྱད་) of the bodhisattva vows:
• Praising oneself, or belittling others,
• Not sharing the buddhist teachings, or one's wealth,
• Not forgiving (notably when others apologise),
• Discarding the Mahāyāna teachings and propounding made-up ones,
• Taking offerings intended for the Three Jewels,
• Abandoning the Dharma through sectarianism
  (notably by despising the Theravāda 's Tripitaka, in favour of later sūtras),
• Causing an ordained person to disrobe,
• Committing any of the five heinous crimes,
• Holding distorted views (on the nature of reality),
• Destroying places (homestead, village, town or region… environment),
• Teaching śūnyatā to those whose minds are untrained,
• Turning others away from full enlightenment,
• Turning others away from their prātimokṣa vows (i.e. Theravādin 'rules'),
• Belittling the śrāvaka vehicle (i.e. Theravāda),
• Proclaiming false realisation (notably of śūnyatā),
  or making commerce of the Dharma,
• Accepting what has been stolen from the three jewels,
• Establishing / enacting unfair policies,
• Giving up bodhichitta (i.e. loving-kindness, altruism).

There also are 46 secondary downfalls.

This is an important guideline in Tibetan Buddhism,
but it would not harm any Mahāyāna practitioner…


#Buddhism   #Dharma   #buddhistcircle  

The Three Jewels are: Buddha, Dharma and Saṅgha.

The five heinous crimes are: killing one's father, killing one's mother,  killing an arhat, maliciously drawing blood from the body of a tathāgata,
and creating a schism in the saṅgha.

For those interested, there seems to exist several versions of the "root downfalls", cf. e.g. • http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/practice_material/vows/bodhisattva/root_bodhisattva_pledges.html
http://www.bodhicitta.net/BODHISATTVAVOWS.htm
http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=article&id=616
and the very different formulation from
• http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Eighteen_root_downfalls

(photo © Denis Wallez, 2011)