I felt motivated to write some of the verses from the The Way of the Bodhisattva which is a translation of the Bodhicharyavatara composed by the Indian scholar Shantideva,renowned in Tibet as one of the best teachers of buddhism.It mainly focusses on the cultivation and enhancement of Bodhichitta(awakening mind).The following lines are excerpts from the fourth chapter - Vigilance.
Those who wish to keep a rule of life
Must guard their minds in perfect self-possession.
Without this guard upon the mind,
No discipline can ever be maintained.
Wandering where it will,the elephant of mind,
Will bring us down to pains of deepest hell.
No worldly beast,however wild,
Could bring upon us such calamities.
If,with mindfulness' rope.
The elephant of the mind is tethered all around,
Our fears will come to nothing,
Every virtue drop into our hands.
Snakes and every hostile beasts,
Those who guard the prisoners in hell,
All ghosts and ghouls and every evil phantom,
By simple binding of this mind alone,
All these things are likewise bound.
By simple taming of this mind alone,
All these things are likewise tamed.
For all anxiety and fear,
All sufferings in boundless measure,
Their source and wellspring is the mind itself,
Thus the Truthful One has said.
The hellish whips to torture living beings-
Who has made them and to what intent?
Who has forged this burning iron ground;
Whence have all these demon women sprung?
All are but the offsprings of the sinful mind,
Thus the Mighty One has said.
Thus throughout the triple world (the desire realm,the form realm,and the realm of formlessness)
There is no greater bane than mind itself.
When in wild,unruly crowds
We move with care to shield our broken limbs,
Likewise when we live in evil company,
Our wounded minds we should not fail to guard.
For if I carefully protect my wounds
Because I fear the hurt of cuts and bruises,
Why should I not guard my wounded mind,
For fear of being crushed beneath the cliffs of hell?
All you who would protect your minds,
Maintain awareness and your mental vigilance.
Guard them both, at cost of life and limb-
Thus I join my hands,beseeching you.
Those disabled by ill health
Are helpless,powerless to act.
The mind,when likewise cramped by ignorance,
Is impotent and cannot do its work.
And those who have no mental vigilance,
Though they may hear the teachings,ponder them or meditate,
With minds like water seeping from a leaking jug,
Their learning will not settle in their memories.
Many have devotion,perseverance,
Are learned also and endowed with faith,
But through the fault of lacking mental vigilance,
Will not escape the stain of sin and downfall.
Lack of vigilance is like a thief
Who slinks behind when mindfulness abates.
And all the merit we have gathered in
He steals,and down we go to lower realms.
Defilements are a band of robbers
Waiting for their chance to bring us injury.
They steal our virtue,when their moment comes,
And batter out the life of happy destinies.
Therefore,from the gateway of awareness
Mindfulness shall not have leave to stray.
And if it wanders,it shall be recalled,
By thoughts of anguish in the lower worlds.
To keep a guard again and yet again
Upon the state and actions of our thoughts and deeds-
This and only this defines
The nature and the sense of mental watchfulness.