Quote

95.
When both myself and others
Are similar in that we wish to be happy,
What is so special about me?
Why do I strive for my happiness alone?

96.
And when both myself and others
Are similar in that we do not wish to suffer,
What is so special about me?
Why do I protect myself and not others?

120.
Thus whoever wishes to quickly afford protection
To both the self and other beings
Should practice that holy secret:
The exchanging of self for others

129.
Whatever joy there is in this world
All comes from desiring others to be happy,
And whatever suffering there is in this world
All comes from desiring myself to be happy.

— Shantideva – Verses from the Chapter 8 of the Bodhicharyavatara

Exchanging Self and Others

8 responses »

    • Thanks Namita! ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess I succeeded to combine the best portrait to that text in order to emphasize its meaning. Indeed it is a sad portrait and I usually do not take pictures of poor and/or sad people, but in this exceptional case I have, of course, asked permission and showed her the picture on the display. Thanks again for your regular feedback. I really appreciate your comments. ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Great Photograph. I like the patina of the sack which has seen a lot of use and like this woman is beautiful because of age . I particularly like that the woman has her hand out for your portrait. From my own observations in Tibet, begging does not necessarily carry the stigma that it does in other places, and often means that the person is on a pilgrimage and needs to be supported by the community, so I don’t see this picture as necessarily sad. Was she happy to be photographed , and what was her reaction to this vision of herself?

    • Thanks a lot for your comment and analysis of the picture. I have, of course, asked permission to take a picture of her. I have shown her the picture on my display but to my surprise, she was less interested of seeing herself than the people that were surrounding her when I took the picture. She didn’t really show any emotion but she was happy about the donation I have left her before I continued my way. It was a nice experience that is still very vivid in my mind.

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