Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön | 2001 | 940,961 words

This page describes “the ten bodhisattva grounds or abodes” as written by Nagarjuna in his Maha-prajnaparamita-sastra (lit. “the treatise on the great virtue of wisdom”) in the 2nd century. This book, written in five volumes, represents an encyclopedia on Buddhism as well as a commentary on the Pancavimsatisahasrika Prajnaparamita.

Note (2). The ten Bodhisattva grounds or abodes

Many are the Mahāyāna texts that arrange the bodhisattva career into ten grounds (daśabhūmi, sa bcu, che ti) or ten abodes (daśavyavasthāna, rnam par dgod pa bcu, che tchou), but the names attributed the bhūmis and the vyasthānas vary according to the schools. Five lists are to be taken into account:

1. Ten bodhisattvabhūmis (according to the Mahāyānist avadānas):

Ten bodhisattvabhūmis, without names or explanations, according to the Mahāyānist avadānas (pen yuan),

Several texts limit themselves to mentioning the ten grounds:

Karuṇāpuṇḍarika, T III, no. 157, p. 195c13. – T III, no. 158, p. 328b19–20.

Ta tch’eng pen cheng sin ti kouan king, T III, no. 159, p. 298c1; 299a9; 305a26; 316c27; 320a19; 324c3; 329b4.

Sieou hing pen k’i king, T III, no. 184, p. 463a25.

T’ai tseu jouei ying pen k’i king, T III, no. 185, p. 473b12.

Lalitavistara, T III, no. 187, p. 550b4.

Kouo k’iu hien tsai yin kouo king, T III, no. 189, p. 623a24.

2. Ten bodhisattvabhūmis (Mahāyānasaṃprasthāna):

Ten bodhisattvabhūmis, not named but analyzed to a large extent according to the large P.P. sūtras in the chapter on the Mahāyānasaṃprasthāna.

This chapter consists of two parts: the first part enumerates the ten bhūmis and, for each of them, indicates the things to be practiced and the things to be avoided; the second part repeats all of these things and comments on them. Nothing leads one to suspect that the commentary is a later addition.

The chapter belongs solely to the Prajñā literature. It does not appear in the Aṣṭasāhasrikā but does appear in all the large P.P. sutras.

Aṣṭādaśa, T VII, no. 220, p. 490b2–497b19.

Pañcaviṃśati, ed. N. Dutt, p. 214, l. 6–225, l. 19. – T VIII, no. 221, p. 27a14–29b29. – T VIII, no. 222, p. 196b8–199a5. – T VIII, no. 222, p. 196b8–199a5; T VIII, no. 223, p. 256c4–259c15. – Tib. trip., vol. 18, no. 731, p. 140–146, fol. 251a8–266a7. – T VII, no. 220, p. 82b21–88c24.

Śatasāh., ed. P. Ghosa, p. 1454, l. 1–1473, l. 18. – T V, no. 220, p. 303a14–309b26.

This is the chapter on which the Traité will comment in the following pages. See also the Āloka, ed. U. Wogihara, p. 99–104.

3. Ten bodhisattvabhūmis (according to the Mahāvastu):

Ten bodhisattvabhūmis, named and explained, according to the Mahāvastu referring to a Daśabhūmikasūtra. The names of the ten bhūmis are indicated in the Mahāvastu, I, p. 76, l. 13–18; altogether it covers pages 63, l. 16 to 157, l. 13.

1) Durārohā, bhūmi difficult of access.

2) Baddhamānā, hindered bhūmi.

3) Puṣpamaṇḍitā, bhūmi adorned with flowers.

4) Rucrā, delightful bhūmi.

5) Cittavistarā, stretching the mind bhūmi.

6) Rūpavatī, bhūmi full of beauty.

7) Durjayā, invincible bhūmi.

8) Janmanideśa, confirmation of birth (?).

9) Yauvarājya, quality of the crown prince.

10) Abhiṣeka, crucial anointment.

The Mahāvastu is alone in proposing this classification of which scholastic Buddhism has no account.

4. Ten bodhisattva vyavasthānas

Ten bodhisattva vyavasthānas (rnam par dgod pa bcu, che tchou), named and explained, in the Avataṃsaka in the chapter on the bodhisattvadaśavyavasthānas.

The Sanskrit names of these ten abodes are given by the Gaṇḍhavyūha, ed. D. T. Suzuki and H.Idzumi, p. 84.

1) Prathamacittotpādika (tch’ou fa sin): bodhisattva producing the mind of bodhi for the first time.

2) Ādhikarmika (tche ti): beginner.

3) Yogācāra (sieou hing): practicing the practices.

4) Janmaja (cheng kouei): of noble birth.

5) Pūrvayogasaṃpanna (fang che kiu tsou): without antecedents.

6) Śuddhādhyāśaya (tcheng sin): animated by high pure resolve.

7) Avivartya (pou t’ouei): without regressing.

8) Kumārabhūta (t’ong tchen): crown prince [of the Dharma].

9) Yauvarājya (fa wang rseu): quality of crown prince.

10) Abhiṣikta (kouang ting): anointed with crucial anointment.

This classification is derived from the Avataṃsaka and related texts:

Avataṃsaka, T IX, no. 278, p. 444c27–446b23. – T X, no. 279, p. 84a21–85c11. P’ou sa pen ye king, T X, p. 449c15–450c27.

P’ou sa che tchou hing tai p’in, T X, no. 283, p. 454c1–456c5.

Ta fang kouang tsong tch’e pao kouang ming king, T X, no. 299, p. 886b15–888b20.

Tsouei cheng wen p’ou tchou tch’ou keou touan kie king, T X, no. 309, p. 967c27–988.

5. Ten bodhisattabhūmis

Ten bodhisattabhūmis, according to the Daśabhūmikasūtra, or Daśabhūmīśvara, the Sanskrit text of which has been edited by J. Rahder, 1926, and by R, Kondō, 1936.

1) Pramuditā (rab tu dgaḥ ba, houan hi or ki hi): the joyous bhūmi.

2) Vimalā (dri ma med pa, li keou): the stainless bhūmi.

3) Prabhākarī (ḥod ḥphro ba can, tseng yao or yen houei): the bhūmi of fiery prajñā).

5) Sudurjayā (śin tu dbyans dkaḥ ba, nan cheng or ki nan cheng): the bhūmi difficult to conquer.

6) Abhimukhī (mṅon du gyur ba, hien tsai): the bhūmi of presence.

7) Dūraṃgamā, (riṅ du soṅ ba, chen jou or yuan hing): the far-going bhūmi.

8) Acalā (mi gyo ba, pou tong): the unshakable bhūmi.

9) Sādhumatī (legs paḥi blo gros, chan ken or chan houei) the bhūmi of good prajñā.

10) Dharmamegha (chos kyi sprin, fa yun): the cloud of Dharma bhūmi.

This classification, like the preceding one, is derived from the Avataṃsaka (of which it forms a chapter) and related texts:

Avataṃsaka, T IX, no. 278, p. 542c27–a1. – T X, no. 279, p. 179b21–24.

Daśabhūmikasūtra, T X, no. 285, p. 458c18–24. – T X, no. 286, p. 498b29–c3. – T X, no. 287, p. 536b3–6.

Daśabhūmikavibhāṣā, T XXVI, no. 1521, p. 21a12–13.

Daśabhūmikasūtropadeśa, T XXVI, no. 1522, p. 127c4–7.

Maitreyaparipṛcchā, T XXVI, no. 1525, p. 235c19.

Upadeśa, T XXV, no. 1509, p. 411a27–29; 586a21–22.

In the large P.P. sūtras, some mention is made of this classification: cf. Pañcaviṃśati, ed. N. Dutt, p. 229, l. 24–230, l. 1; T VII, no. 220, p. 119a12–15; 226c3–5. – Śatasāhasrikā in the translation by Hiuan-tsang, T V, no. 220, p. 14a22–24; 23a23–24; 40a7–9; 67a15–17; 80a28–b3. T VI, no. 220, p. 696b24–27. Even supposing that these comments are authentic, they represent but a few drops in the ocean of the Prajñāpāramitā and had no influence on Buddhist Gnosis.

But the classification into ten bhūmis, Pramuditā, etc., finally supplanted the preceding ones: this is the one that will be retained by the Madhyamaka treatises (e.g., Candrakīrti’s Madhyamakāvatāra) and by the Yogācāras: cf. Sūtrālaṃkāra, ed. S. Lévi, p. 181–183; Madhyāntavibhāga, ed. G. M. Nagao, p.35–36; Ratnagotravibhāga, ed. E. H. Johnston, P. 52; Bodhisattvabhūmi, ed. U. Wogihara, p. 376–370; Abhidharmasamuccaya, ed. P. Pradhan, p. 92, transl. W. Rahula, p. 159; Mahāyānasaṃgraha, transl. Lamotte, II, p. 196–211; Siddhi, transl. L. de La Vallée Poussin, p. 613–619.