"Words are things, and a small drop of
falling like dew, upon the thought produces
that which makes
consider the positions of kings and
rulers as that of dust motes.
treasures of gold and gems as so
many bricks and pebbles.
I look upon the finest silken robes as tattered
I see myriad worlds of the universe as small seeds of fruit, and
the greatest lake in India as a drop of oil on my foot.
the teachings of the
world to be the illusion of
the highest conception of
emancipation as a golden brocade in a dream, and view the
holy path of the illuminated
ones as flowers appearing in one's eyes.
I see meditation as a pillar of
a mountain, Nirvana as a daydream.
I look upon
the judgement of right and wrong
as the serpentine dance of a
dragon, and the rise and fall of
beliefs as but traces left by the four seasons." - Siddhartha
bodhisattvaAccording to many traditions within Mahāyāna Buddhism,
on the way to becoming a Buddha,
a bodhisattva proceeds through ten grounds or bhūmis.
bhūmis and their descriptions according to the Avataṃsaka Sūtra
and The Jewel Ornament of Liberation, a treatise by Gampopa, an influential
teacher of the Tibetan Kagyu school.
Before a bodhisattva arrives at
the first ground, he or she first must travel the first two of the five
the path of accumulation
the path of
The ten grounds of the bodhisattva then can be grouped into
the next three paths
bhūmi 1 the path of insight
bhūmis 2-7 the path of meditation
bhūmis 8-10 the path of no
The chapter of ten grounds in the Avataṃsaka
Sūtra refers to 52 stages.
The 10 grounds are:
Great Joy: It is said that being close to
seeing the benefit for all sentient beings, one achieves great joy, hence the
In this bhūmi the bodhisattvas practice all perfections
(pāramitās), but especially emphasizing generosity
Stainless: In accomplishing the
second bhūmi, the bodhisattva is free from
the stains of immorality, therefore,
this bhūmi is named "stainless".
The emphasized perfection is
Luminous: The third
bhūmi is named "luminous", because, for a bodhisattva who accomplishes
this bhūmi, the light of Dharma is said to radiate for others from the
The emphasized perfection is patience
Radiant: This bhūmi
is called "radiant", because it is said to be like a radiating light that fully
burns that which opposes
The emphasized perfection is vigor (vīrya).
Incorrigible: Bodhisattvas who attain this bhūmi strive
to help sentient beings attain maturity, and do not become emotionally involved
when such beings respond negatively, both of which are difficult to do.
The emphasized perfection is meditative concentration
Obviously Transcendent: By
depending on the perfection of wisdom, [the bodhisattva] does not abide in
either saṃsāra or nirvāṇa, so this state is "obviously transcendent".
The emphasized perfection is wisdom (prajñā).
Gone Afar: Particular emphasis is on the perfection of
skillful means (upāya), to help others.
Immovable: The emphasized virtue is
aspiration. This, the "immovable" bhūmi, is the bhūmi at which
one becomes able
to choose his place of rebirth.
Discernment: self-focused material
grasping is transmuted into clear-sighted compassion.
Cloud of Dharma:
The emphasized virtue is the practice of
After the ten bhūmis, according to
Mahāyāna Buddhism, one attains complete
becomes a Buddha.
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