This has three parts: (1) how to practice the path according to this system in general, (2) practicing on the ordinary person’s stage in particular, and (3) presenting the grounds of ārya bodhisattvas.
How to practice the path according to this system in general
“If, in this treatise, the profound and vast paths of the bodhisattva are established by following Nāgārjuna, the question arises as to what kind of stages of the path leading to buddhahood is upheld within the savior Nāgārjuna’s system?”
The purpose of establishing the system of the second Buddha Nāgārjuna and so on by means of study and critical reflection is to ensure that we find a deep conviction in the method of practicing the perfect path so that we cannot be led astray by deceptive false paths.
Those engaged in study and reflection who — however much they engage in the study of the treatises of the systems of the great charioteers — never find ascertainment with respect to their own personal practice are clearly not approaching their study and reflection in an effective manner.
As such, even were they to strive hard in the Great Vehicle, they would fail to extract its value.
Therefore, we must strive to understand how to traverse the stages of path.
In his Praise to the Ultimate Expanse too, Nāgārjuna speaks of generating the awakening mind on the basis of going for refuge, how the ten perfections enhance the natural sphere (dhātu), and he presents the ten bodhisattva grounds as well.
In elaborating on this rough summary of the body of the path, Nāgārjuna speaks in his Compendium of Sutras about how finding a life of leisure and opportunity as well as finding faith in the teaching are difficult, and how, compared to these, generating of the awakening mind is even more difficult to achieve.
He also provides extensive explanations of topics such as how attaining great compassion for sentient beings is difficult, and how, compared to all the things mentioned earlier, it is even more difficult to achieve the elimination of the karmic obscuration borne of injuring a bodhisattva, elimination of the thought disparaging them, elimination of the acts of Māra, and elimination of the deed of abandoning sublime Dharma.