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According to the Pali dictionary, the literal meanings of the word bhumi include earth, place,
region ; figuratively it can mean, ground, plane, stage, level; as well as a state of consciousness.
In a metaphorical sense, it is employed in a general way to denote things like range, state,
sphere, station, condition, function, etc. Bhumi has thus become a philosophical term, meaning
a stage of spiritual progress.1
There are a number of different systems2 of bhumis or viharas describing the progress of the bo-
dhisattva. They build upon the viharas and bhumis of the Hinayana. There seem to have been
seven at an earlier time which were later developed into ten. At least four distinct systems can
be distinguished and their ideas are widely divergent.
a. The Mahavastu (a Mahasanghika scripture) gives ten bhumis. These are described differently
from the contemporary tradition. Corresponding to each bhumis is an obstacle that prevents
one from moving onto the next bhumi. The tenth bhumi is called Abhisheka.
b. The Satasharika-Prajñaparamita uses a system of ten bhumis, which it does no name.
c. The Bodhisattvabhumi describes seven bhumis and thirteen viharas. (The Lankavatara also
mentions seven).
d. The Dasabhumikasutra gives the most systematical presentation of the ten bhumis and its
divisions have become the standard. Here the bhumis are connected with the ten paramitas,
the four sangrahavastus as well as with specific topics of knowledge.
An overview including the Tibetan terms is found in an appendix to the Myth of Freedom, p.165.

Bhumi Paramita AVS3

1 pramudita very joyful dana
2 vimala stainless shila six/seven
3 prabhakirti luminous kshanti
4 arcismati radiant virya
5 sudurjaya difficult to conquer dhyana
6 abhimukti face to face prajña
7 durangama far going upaya
8 achala immovable pranidhana three
pure bhumis4
9 sadhumati good intellect bala
10 dharmamegha dharma cloud jñana

Five Paths
Bhumi Path
1 Path of Seeing
2.-7 Path of meditation
8-10 Path of No More Learning

Describe purification of coarse & subtle veils in connection with bhumis.

1 Adapted from Dayal, p.270

2 Summarized from Dayal, pp.271-291.
3 Avatamsaka Sutra, page in Cleary translation in one volume.

4 Tib. dag-pa’i sa-gsum

Entering the path of seeing. Joy.
The practice of the ten equalities.

According to the yogachara, the sense of duality in the seventh consciousness is purified and it
is transformed into the wisdom of equality. From here onwards, the bhumis are called the pure
bhumis (8,9 and 10). Here the bodhisattva receives prophecy (vyakarana) of his future buddha
The ninth bhumi includes the eight great treasures of confidence. It is called sadhumati, legpa’i
lodrö, good intellect, because it is at this point that the bodhisattva reaches the epitome of
prajña. When the bodhisattva achieves the paramita of power, she knows all the languages of
the world. Discriminating awareness (soso yangdagpar rigpa) on this level is said to have four
- chö: understanding the doctrines and customs of all the six realms
- dön: understanding the meaning, rather than the words
- ngetsig: understanding the purpose (or function) of the meaning
- poppa: confidence
Poppa is the confidence which manifested as Mañjushri. Mañjushri has the dual aspects of
knowledge and confidence. It is the latter that is the more important one. This is not just being
unafraid, but being able to communicate with your basic treasury, therefore, there is no poverty
whatsoever. There are eight types of treasure, a fundamental wealth that has never been ques-
tioned and doesn’t need any help or encouragement.5
## summarize 74 seminary too
The transition from ten to eleven is the transition from a bodhisattva to the stage of bud-
dhahood. It is the vajropama-samadhi6, that finally rends the jñeyavarana, overturns the basis &
purifies the basis, the alaya-vijñana7, which becomes the mirror-like wisdom.
The pure bhumis, etc.
In an article entitled The Fundamental Principles of Mahayana by Nalinaksha Dutt in Presence du
Bouddhisme, Saigon 1959, Dutt detailed the ten stages (bhumis) of a Bodhisattva and gave
the corresponding equivalence with the four stages of Theravada as below:
1. Pramudita corresponds to Sotapatti (Stream-Enterer)

5 Summarized from the 1973 Hinayana-Mahayana Transcripts, pp.242-244.

6 See 1973 HMT p.254-256 & 1975 HMT, p.280.
7 See Mahayanasamgraha, p.40. This distinguishes 3 types of skandhas: the momentary defilements, the defilements

that last for a whole lifetime and the defilement that last until the time of the vajra-like samadhi, which is the alaya-

2. Vimala corresponds to Sakadagami (Once-Returner)
3. Prabhakari corresponds to Anagami (Non-Returner)
The last three bhumis correspond to the stage of Arhat
The Dasabhumika-Sutra (included in the Avatamsaska)
Asanga: Madhyantavibhanga, pp.21-23
Chandrakirti: Madhyamakavatara
Trungpa, Chögyam: The Myth of Freedom, pp. 106-124; 165; appendix
1973 HMT
Har Dayal: The Bodhisattva Doctrine in Sanskrit Literature, Chapter VI The Bhumis, pp.270-291.
Etienne Lamotte gives these references:
Kosha, IV, p. 231; VI, p. 190, 228-229, 264, 300; VII, p. 62; VIII, p. 192, 195;
E. Obermiller, Doctrine of P. P., p. 44;
Uttaratantra, p. 223;
Bodhisatvabhūmi. p. 403;
Sutralankara, XIV, v. 45;
Madhyantavibhanga, p. 83, 157;
Mahayanasamgraha, p. 273;
Siddhi, p. 3, 162, 563, 611, 653, 667, 685. 427