The 52 Stages of Bodhisattva Practices


 

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The 52 Stages of Bodhisattva Practice
The 52 Stages of Bodhisattva Practices are enumerated in Jeweled Necklace Sutra (菩萨璎珞本业经). The stages are systematic processes through which bodhisattvas advance from the time of their initial resolve until they finally attain Buddhahood.
The 52 Stages of Bodhisattva Practice consist of:
– 10 Stages of Faith
– 10 Stages of Dwelling
– 10 Stages of Behavioural Practice
– 10 Stages of Transferences
– 10 Stages of Development
– Stage of near-perfect enlightenment
– Stage of perfect enlightenment

10 Stages of Faith (十信)

The 10 Stages of Faith are also the 1st ten progressive stages in the 52 Bodhisattva Practices. All false views are subdued by 10 Stages of Faith. They are:

Faith (信心)
Remembrance (念心)
Zeal (精進心)
Wisdom (慧心)
Concentration (定心)
Non-retrogression (不退心)
Protection of the Truth (護法心)
Reflexive power (迥向心)
Precept (戒心)
Vow (願心)

10 Stages of Dwelling (十住)

The 10 Stages of Dwelling is the 2nd ten stages in the 52 Bodhisattva Practices.  All false views on dwelling are cut off and all desires are subdued by 10 Stages of Dwelling. They are:

The stage of setting objective ( 發心位 )
The stage of clear understanding and mental control ( 治地位 )
The stage of unobstructed cultivation ( 修行位 )
The stage of acquiring the seed of Tathagata ( 生貴位 )
The stage of perfect expedience ( 方便具足位 )
The stage of the whole mind as Buddhas ( 正心位 )
The stage of non-retrogression ( 不退位 )
The stage of being Buddhas son ( 童真位 )
The stage of being the prince of the law ( 法王子位 )
The stage of Abhiseka ( 灌頂位 )

10 Stages of Behavioural Practice (十行)

10 Stages of Behavioural Practice is the 3rd ten stages in the 52 Bodhisattva Practices. These are the actions done for the benefit of others. They are:

Joyful service ( 歡喜行 )
Beneficial service ( 饒益行 )
Never resenting ( 無嗔恨行 )
Without limit ( 無盡行 )
Never out of order ( 離癡亂行 )
Appearing in ant form at will ( 善觀行 )
Unimpeded ( 無著行 )
Exalting the paramitas amongst all beings ( 尊重行 )
Perfecting the Buddhas law by complete virtues ( 善法行 )
Manifesting in all things the pure, final and true reality ( 真實行 )

10 Stages of Transferences (十迴向)

10 Stages of Transferences is the 4th ten stages of the 52 Bodhisattva Practices. All existence and attachment are subdued by Ten Transferences. They are:

Transference of salvaging all sentient beings, yet detaching from any form of sentient being( 救護一切眾生、離眾生相迴向 )
Transference of non-destruction ( 不壞迴向 )
Transference of equalizing all Buddhas ( 等一切佛迴向 )
Transference of reaching everywhere ( 至一切處迴向 )
Transference of the store of boundless virtues (無盡功德藏迴向 )
Transference of the good roots of equality and harmony ( 隨順平等善根迴向 )
Transference of viewing all sentient beings in equality and harmony ( 隨順等觀一切眾生迴向 )
Transference of the mark of True Suchness ( 真如相迴向 )
Transference of the liberation without any tie nor attachment ( 無縛無著解脫迴向 )`
Transference of equalizing the boundless Dharma-realm ( 等法界無量迴向 )

10 Stages of Development (十地)

The 10 Stages of Development is the 5th ten of the 52 Bodhisattva Practices. Each of the ten stages is connected to each of the Ten Paramitas practiced by the bodhisattvas. They are:

Pramudita ( 歡喜地 ) – the stage of joy, i.e. joy at having overcome the previous difficulties, and entering the path to Buddhahood.
Vimlala ( 離垢地 ) – the stage of purity, i.e. freedom from all possible defilement.
Prabhakar ( 發光地 ) – the stage of illumination, i.e. further enlightenment.
Arcismati ( 焰慧地 ) – the stage of glowing wisdom.
Sudurjaya ( 極難勝地 ) – the stage of mastery of utmost difficulty
Adhimukhi ( 現前地 ) – the stage of open mind, i.e. the open way of wisdom above definitions of impurity and purity
Duramgama ( 遠行地 ) – the stage of afar practice, i.e. proceeding afar, getting above the ideas of self in order to save others.
Acala ( 不動地) – the stage of unperturbed state, i.e. calm and unperturbed in mind.
Sadhumati ( 善慧地 ) – the stage of the finest wisdom, i.e. wisdom to determine where and how to save others, and possession of the Ten Powers.
Dharmamegha ( 法雲地 ) – stage of Dharma-cloud. i.e. attaining the fertilizing powers of the Dharma-cloud.

One Stage of near-perfect enlightenment

One Stage of Supreme Perfect Enlightenment


About Minerva Lee

Minerva is the translator of The Lotus Sutra: A Beautiful Translation with Deep Love from a Lay Buddhist Practitioner. She founded a website - Lotus Happiness - to share her experience in the areas of Buddhism, Spirituality and Self-Actualization for the benefits and happiness of humanity.

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