The Ten Great Vows
- To pay homage and respect to all Buddhas
- To praise all the Buddhas
- To make extensive offerings to all the Buddhas
- To repent misdeeds and evil karmas
- To rejoice in others' merits and virtues
- To request the Buddhas to continue teaching (Turning the wheel of Dharma)
- To request the Buddhas to remain in the world
- To always follow Buddha's teachings
- To accommodate and benefit all living beings
- To dedicate all merits for the welfare of all living beings
The first eight vows guide one to enlightenment through oneself; while the last two vows are drawn out to help others reach enlightenment. The first vow is to show respect to all buddhas for their wisdom and compassion. The second refers to Samantabhadra’s belief that there are infinite number of Buddhas and how all should be praised for their virtues. The third is to make offerings like food or flowers to the Buddhas. However, Samatabhadra stated that the most valuable offering is to practice the teachings of the Buddha so everyone can benefit. In the fourth vow, Samatabhadra identifies how everyone has sinned from thoughts, words, or actions throughout their past lives. So, it is best to repent these sins by commiting one's self to not make the same mistakes. With the fifth vow, Samantabhadra proposed to benefit from others merits and share the Buddhist teachings. The sixth is intended to ensure that the Buddhist teachings will continues to be passed on. The seventh vow is for the Buddhas to remain in the world so they would be able to guide more individuals. By always following the Buddha’s teaching in the eighth vow, people are able to attain enlightenment by taking the Buddha’s same path. The ninth is meant for all living beings to be able to live in harmony. Finally, the last vow is designed to save all living beings by gaining merits from following the first nine vows.
For his dedication to the Buddhist teachings and through his Ten Great Vows, Samantabhara also became known as the Bodhsattva of Extensive Conduct. As well as, Samantabhadra’s vows have become a common practice in East Asian Buddhism and have been used regularly for morning rituals. The Ten Great Vows have even become basic guidelines for bodhisattvas.