This is a set of questions you can use to self assess your knowledge and understanding of the teachings and reference material relating to the second chapter of the Bodhicharyavatara, “Confession”. You can use these questions if you find it helpful, but it is not compulsory.
You may answer these questions either from your memory alone or by referring to the materials you have available. All of the answers can be found in the video teachings, but you can also refer to the root text The Way of the Bodhisattva, the transcript of Rinpoche’s teachings from 1997-2001 or the commentary by Khenpo Kunpal. You can do this in whatever way suits you. For example you might like to set aside a certain amount of time to answer some or all of the questions in writing. You are also welcome to use the Discussion Forums area of the website to discuss these and other questions and your understanding with others who are following the Shedra teachings.
Chapter 2 questions
1. In the first chapter, one trains in understanding the importance and value of bodhichitta and why one needs to generate it in oneself. The second chapter is about purification. Why is purification needed when starting to generate bodhichitta?
2. What are the four main sections of the second chapter?
3. Why does one need to make offerings in order to generate bodhichitta?
4. How is an offering different from just giving?
5. What are the three objects of offering described in the text? Why does one want to give them offerings? Please elaborate.
6. What are the five different offerings and what are their meanings?
7. What is the meaning and purpose of making prostrations? You can also explain how to make a prostration and describe the key things to remember at each step of a five-point prostration.
8. What are the two aspects of Mahayana refuge? Please elaborate on them.
9. What are the three kinds of negative things one need to confess?
10. What are the four powers of purification? Elaborate on these four, for instance by describing the steps of the process of purification according to the Bodhicharyavatara. You can do this in your own words, as you understand them.
11. How does Rinpoche describe the difference between regret and guilt at the end of BA2_32-46? What are your own thoughts about this?
12. In BA2_60-65, Rinpoche says that stanza 60 is regarded as the most important stanza of this chapter. What is the meaning of this stanza and why is it so important?