The greatest Bodhisattvas
have the greatest aspirations,
as motivated by great Bodhicitta,
with vows to perfect their virtues
for the liberation of one and all.
As summarised from the Brahmana Sutta, the following dialogue ensued when Unnabha the Brahman came to a park to speak with Ananda, the attendant disciple of the Buddha… Unnabha asked for the aim and path of practising the Buddha’s teachings, to which Ananda briefly replied, that they are for renouncing desire, by developing concentration founded on desire, (exertion, persistence, intention and discrimination – to realise wisdom for liberation). Unnabha remarked that this would be an endless path, as it is impossible to renounce desire with desire.
Ananda then asked Unnabha if he first had desire, (persistence, intention and discrimination) to come to the park, and having arrived, were they not allayed? Unnabha agreed on both. Drawing the parallel, Ananda said that likewise for an Arahant, whatever desire, (persistence, intention, discrimination) he first had for attainment of Arahantship, having attained it, were allayed… Thus, the path to liberation is not an endless path, but with an end.
To further explain, there are two main kinds of desires – worldly desires (or craving-based motivations) that lead to more endless worldly desires, and spiritual desires (or rather, pure aspirations) for liberation of one (and all), that lead to the end of all worldly desires. We should know these differences, instead of assuming as Unnabha did at first, that desire for Dharma learning, practice and realisation is self-defeating. To deludedly assume so, leading to no desire for liberation would be the actual self-defeat, that perpetuates endless samsaric rebirths!
All Buddhas, with perfect ease
as perfected Bodhisattvas,
who are one with perfect Bodhicitta,
continue to selflessly and endlessly
guide all beings to Buddhahood.