The stages of the path to Enlightenment have been transmitted in their
correct order by the proper lineages from Nagarjuna and Asanga, the crowning
jewels of all the erudite Indian masters, the banner of whose fame is
resplendent throughout the Three Realms. As following these stages can bring
about the complete fulfillment of the two basic aims (10) of the
nine kinds of beings (11), they
are considered the power-granting king (12) of the
precious teachings. Because these stages combine the streams of thousands of
good scriptural texts, they are indeed an ocean of excellent and correct
(The four great benefits you will receive from studying the path to
Enlightenment as taught in Atisa's "Bodhipathapradipa,"
are as follows.) You will understand that there is no contradiction in any of
Buddha's teachings. (13) You
will be made aware that all the scriptural texts are to be taken as sound advice
(as there is no contradiction between the texts and their practice.) You will
then easily discover the significance of the threefold theme (14) of
Buddha's teachings: (renunciation of the sufferings of samsara, Bodhicitta, and
a true understanding of Sunyata.) Moreover, you will be protected from the abyss
of the great mistake (15).
Because (the study of the stages of the path to Enlightenment has these four
benefits), what intelligent person among the erudite masters of India and Tibet
will not have his heart and attention stolen away by this best of teachings,
which has been studied by many fortunate ones, and which is taught in a graded
path according to three levels of human motivation. (16)
(There is much good merit to be gained from) listening to or reciting even
once this abridgement of Atisa's summary of the main points of all the
scriptural texts (17).
Furthermore, it is certain that you will amass even more waves of good merit as
a result of actually teaching and studying the pure Dharma contained in it.
Therefore, this being the case, you should think about (the proper way to teach
and study this text and about the benefits of so doing.)