Just as the stem of a banana tree does not exist
when it has been divided into parts,
the ego likewise becomes unreal when examined reflectively.

One might think that because no being can be discovered,
there are none on whom to bestow compassion,
but what is done even in confusion is because of a purpose.

If, however, there is no being, whose is the purpose?
The effort is illusory, but because it serves to tranquillize sorrow,
this delusion is not forbidden.

When, through my effort and by raising a cloud of merit,
may I make tranquil those who are troubled in the fire of sorrow?

When, by zealous and meritorious deeds
for the unveiling of the truth,
may I point towards shunyata those who see only fantasies?

the way of the bodhisattva - shantideva - 8th century