“The great bodhisattva, the Indian saint, Shantideva, made many prayers to be able to help others in any way, with whatever they need, “May I do or be whatever possible in any way, even the smallest thing, to benefit others, even for a minute – please let that be.”
Shantideva’s famous prayer is:
For as long as space endures
And for as long as living beings remain
Until then may I too abide
To dispel the misery of the world.
You must understand that what is most important in life is doing whatever is most beneficial for all sentient beings. If not all, then most; if not most, as many as you can. Even doing things to benefit one other sentient being is so important. If one’s actions are beneficial for others, naturally they are beneficial for oneself – we have to understand that. It is from this that real happiness, satisfaction, and contentment come. This is the only real way of gaining peace and happiness within oneself, within the family, the country, and the world. Of course, for compassion to be real compassion it has to be performed with wisdom. This makes one’s actions most beneficial.”
Lama Zopa Rinpoche