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Yes, I checked wikipedia. That article is low quality.

These 10 Bhumis are part of the 53 stages of liberation as set out in the Avatamsaka sutra.

The 10 Bhumis for me are completely bemusing. In a path of liberation, I'd expect to find a description of what to do, but the titles of the Bhumis seem to describe results or suggestive adjectives.

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The ten Bhumi are stages of enlightenment post initial breakthrough or satori (what I personally equate with stream-entry). As such they are not meant to be comprehensible or serve as instructions for those who did not make it to the first Bhumi yet. They speak about practitioner's relationship with the world as he or she transitions from student's perspective to that of a buddha and teacher.

To get to the first Bhumi, the student must accomplish non-conceptual (experiential) realization of Emptiness. This in its turn requires disbanding the ego -- the main purpose behind the six paramitas and various "humiliating" experiences teacher drives student through.

  • You may be confirming one of my suspicions, the original author seems to be implying "You aren't going to understand any of this, so I'm just going to elaborate on how awesome the accomplishment of each level is" – MatthewMartin Jul 1 '14 at 19:07
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This was getting a bit long to be a comment on your question. I'm not sure this is really adequate for an "answer."


The article could be better. If you scan through doing a search on "perfection," it shows that the first six bhumis follow the 6 paramitas. Reading the section on the seventh Bhumi claims that someone at the 7th can practice all the perfections at once. This implies that each bhumi beforehand is the stage at which individual traits are perfected; suggesting someone at the 1st bhumi has perfected generosity.

So the practice manual for reaching each bhumi would be the same as any practice manual or instructions as the Mahayana paramitas. For that, I would point you towards your favorite Lamrim text, as the paramitas are the path of sutra. I'm a fan of Gampopa's "Jewel Ornament of Liberation."

  • Good point. Now I'll have to go research the connection between lamrim and the 53 stages. Superficially the seem to be different things (other than they can't help put to hit on similar buddhist themes) – MatthewMartin Jul 1 '14 at 19:09

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