If we generate bodhicitta there are many benefits, many positive things.
It is said that if bodhicitta had a form, then that form could not be contained in the whole of space. That is what the Buddha said. Especially if we generate action bodhicitta, then even if we are not doing anything, if we are just sleeping or completely distracted, even then, beneficial positive deeds are always taking place. But this description of the benefits of bodhicitta is not limited to only words. There is a very deep meaning to be understood.
Wherever there is sky, and throughout the space beyond, there are sentient beings. And where sentient beings are, there are also karma and the kleshas.
And wherever there is karma and klesha there is suffering, therefore the need to have compassion and kindness. This is extended through our compassion and bodhicitta. The bodhicitta covers all the places where sentient beings exist, and wherever there is space there are sentient beings. This is really the case.
At the beginning of the 20th century some people in Tibet did not know much about the different countries of the world. Maybe they’d heard about America, or a few large countries, but maybe not even about Russia. They thought Russia was an imaginary place and Russian people would be like other-worldly beings.
People didn’t know so much, but they had the understanding that wherever space exists there are sentient beings, sentient beings who need to be loved. So therefore, bodhicitta is also there. Even when they did not have any information about the other countries in this world, people had the understanding to send a sense of compassion and care to all the sentient beings throughout space. Therefore, when you generate bodhicitta, love and compassion goes to wherever the sky covers, to wherever space extends.
So it is understandable when they say that when you generate bodhicitta, then the merit, the virtue, the benefit is as vast as space. It is right to say that.
When we think about the happiness and suffering of all sentient beings, we also have to think of this world. This world is the container in which we sentient beings live. It has the capacity to provide all the necessities of all the sentient beings who live here. Therefore, we must be aware of the needs of the environment.
We should realise that we have been very ignorant in our destruction of the environment, destroying the forests, destroying the environment in a very terrible way, without any compassion or consideration. We have wrongly understood what we should do and what we have to get rid of for our well-being. We have been very ignorant about this, so therefore, we would like to get more enlightened, and by becoming enlightened we are able to know what to do, and what not to do, for the benefit of ourselves and others.
This is also a way of thinking. It is generating an aspiration. Just having the aspiration is very good and in one way that is already enough. However, it is not really enough just to have the aspiration. We must also generate bodhicitta and the Bodhisattva commitment.
In order to fulfil that aspiration we make acommitment to do something. We make a commitment to work until we become totally enlightened. We commit to working on the Six Paramitas, to train and act using the Six Paramitas. That is what we call the action of the Bodhisattvas, bodhicitta in action. And when we make the commitment it is important to understand that we have to do it according to our level of mind strength, our level of attainment, whatever stage we are at. It is very good to take the Bodhisattva commitment, but you have to know how to work at your own level.
When we make the Bodhisattva commitment we are promising to help all sentient beings. We are inviting all sentient beings to become enlightened. Therefore, it is very important that we accomplish it and not give up that path or that promise. But it must be done step by step. If we just give up, we are giving up our promise, we are deceiving people and letting them down. So therefore it is something we have to work on, step by step, without giving up.