How strange that a hero of the Mahayana should begin life as a bum. Unloved by his colleagues, Shantideva was put on stage to embarrass him. As the story reveals, he successfully completed his (first!) teaching. Indeed his words are a source of comfort for many to this day. Yet he chose not to stay in his Centre, why was that? I can only suggest that he had outgrown his centre and moved on to further develop his practice. Plus, how can you continue living in a place where you have been so obviously let down in friendship. So, even in 8th Century Nalanda community could break down and the bodhisattva community prove itself to be no other than normal.


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