Four prerequisites

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The four prerequisites are required for anything one may undertake, be it teaching, studying, meditating, and so forth. They are:

  1. Declaring respect
  2. Pledging to endeavour in a task
  3. Casting away pride
  4. Generating joy

The four prerequisites are usually mentioned as being necessary when composing a treatise and for that purpose are:

  1. Declaring respect,
  2. Pledging to compose,
  3. Casting away pride, and
  4. Generating joy

The reason for them is:

  1. By declaring respect obstacles will not arise for this or that undertaking;
  2. By pledging to endeavour in a task it will be completed;
  3. By casting away pride one will overcome the haughtiness of an arrogant mind; and
  4. By generating joy one will overcome reluctance caused by laziness.

Therefore, if one is endowed with these four prerequisites, whatever work one undertakes will be completed in an excellent manner. For this reason it is known as the approach of a noble person. [1]


  1. Khenpo Kunpal’s Commentary – Drops of Nectar - on Shantideva’s Entering the Conduct of the Bodhisattvas, Volume One, p.209. Translated by Andreas Kretschmar. See link below.

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