Compassion is the guiding principle of the bodhisattvas, those who vow to attain enlightenment in order to liberate all sentient beings from the suffering and confusion of imperfect existence. To this end, they must renounce all self-centered goals and consider only the well-being of others. The bodhisattvas' enemies are the ego, passion, and hatred; their weapons are generosity, patience, perseverance, and wisdom.
In Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama is considered to be a living embodiment of this spiritual ideal. His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama presents here a detailed manual of practical philosophy, based on The Way of the Bodhisattva (Bodhicharyavatara), a well-known text of Mahayana Buddhism written by Shantideva. The Dalai Lama explains and amplifies the text, alluding throughout to the experience of daily life and showing how anyone can develop bodhichitta, the wish for perfect enlightenment for the sake of others. This book will surely become a standard manual for all those who wish to make the bodhisattva ideal a living experience.