BA1_4 The Precious Human Life


Rinpoche first gives a brief overview of the structure of the Bodhicharyavatara text and then explains the fourth stanza of the first chapter. This stanza is about the precious human life, and how we need to appreciate what we have and not waste it, but use this unique chance for something good and beneficial for ourselves and others. (BA1_4/BA5).

“So hard to find the ease and wealth
Whereby the aims of beings may be gained.
If now I fail to turn it to my profit,
How could such a chance be mine again?”
Bodhicharyavatara; Chapter 1 Stanza 4

To view the video, simply click on the image to view all the Chapter 1 videos.

If you prefer listening to the teaching in audio, use the audio player below.

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The audio as well as the audio translations in different languages and the transcript of this teaching are all available on Chapter 1 page.

We are also studying the commentary transcript on Chapter 1, which you can download here and in the Library section. Further recommended reading: the commentary book by Kunzang Pelden (Khenpo Kunpal), The Nectar of Manjushri’s Speech, p. 43-45.

You’re questions are most welcome. Please log in and leave your questions for Rinpoche as a comment below, or send them via email to studyquestions[at] It is helpful if you can use one short paragraph and, if possible, less than 80 words. Any questions longer than that may have to be edited so please be concise. Questions will be collected from here in November 2010, and included in Rinpoche’s answers video. After that date please send any questions relating to this video teaching via email to studyquestions[at]

If you would like to volunteer in making transcripts of Rinpoche’s online teachings, or in making audio translations to your own language, please email us at shedra[at]

3 thoughts on “BA1_4 The Precious Human Life

  1. Guadalupe

    Rinpoche, thank you for these marvelous teachings. It is really a miracle to have you almost every day. I would like to ask you a question concerning something that a friend told me once: “A bodhisattva should be responsible not only of what he says but also of what people listen when he talks.” Sometimes, our motivation looks for the well of others and people hear just the contrary. Is that quotation true? And if it is: is it possible to always have an impact on what people hear beside their own way to percieve reality?

  2. isabel rodrigues

    Rinpoche, when I read The Life of Buda, sitting in meditation and transforming weapons in flowers, resisting all temptations… I realize that all my actions aren’t free from impurities. I realize that, like the Buda, meditation change conscience inside and outside. Introspection sometimes deals with so much points of vue that it’s really hard to find the ease. How can I develop patience with myself in a world pushing constantly to action and reaction? Thank you for your kindness.

  3. res

    These questions are from Ruth.

    Rinpoche, first of all, do the ‘flashes of lightning’ mentioned in the third stanza refer to moments in our present lives or to the whole of our present lives – as the Buddha described them?

    Secondly, how can we reconcile the idea of a ‘spontaneous response free from second thoughts’ put forward by Bernhard and Tsering with the Mahamudra emphasis on that moment between an event and a response which is characterised by a suspension of judgement and by a pure awareness free from any kind of action?

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