I take the Buddha as my refuge
I take the Dharma as my refuge
I take the Sangha as my refuge
Birth as a human being is rare and it is rarer still to become a Bodhisattva. Why? Because one may not hear the true Dharma; one may be insensitive to the suffering in the world or one may be misled by false teachings.
All beings face death from the moment of birth. Seeing this, the wise resolve to become Buddha; [this resolve is the thought of Enlightenment] they vow to realise full and perfect Enlightenment and to liberate all beings from suffering; they become Bodhisattvas.
The Buddhas of the past, from the first thought of Enlightenment, practiced the Bodhisattva discipline.
The thought of Enlightenment having arisen in me, I too will tread the Bodhisattva path for the benefit and welfare of all beings, so as to establish them in perfect wisdom and Nirvana.
Now in this moment the good result has come, I have been born a human being and with this Vow I have joined the Buddha’s family and become a Bodhisattva.
From this moment, I will live my life without defilement in the way befitting a follower of the Buddha.
May the thought of Enlightenment arise in all beings.
We may say the Vow in words, but this is not the true Vow.
We may think the Vow with thoughts, but this is not the true Vow.
To have a mind at one with reality, inclined to Enlightenment;
to have great compassion for all beings: this is the true Vow.
May the incalculable merit of this Vow benefit all beings.