The Four Great Bodhisattva Vows are:
- Living beings are numberless, I vow to help them all to cross over the sea of suffering, the sea of birth and death.
- Suffering, desires, afflictions are inexhaustible; I vow to end them all.
- The Dharma Gates are infinite; I vow to enter them all.
- The Buddha Way is unexcelled; I vow to attain it completely.
“Subhuti, someone who gives rise to the supreme, perfect thought of awakening [annuttara-samyak-
sambodhicitta] will resolve thusly:
‘I shall liberate all sentient beings,’ and then having liberated all sentient beings, he understands that in
truth, not a single being has been liberated. Why is this? Subhuti, if a bodhisattva has the view of a self,
a person, of sentient beings, a soul, then that is not a bodhisattva. And why not? Subhuti,
there is no independently existing thing such as the supreme,
prefect thought of awakening. Subhuti, what do you think?”
– The Buddha in the Diamond Sutra