Five Bodhisattva Paths

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Five Bodhisattva Paths (lam lnga)

  • There are five successive paths traversed by all practitioners of the three causal vehicles, i.e. those of the pious attendants (śrāvaka), the hermit buddhas (pratyekabuddha) and the bodhisattvas. The following sequence is common to all three types of practitioner: 1) On the path of accumulation (sambhāramārga) one cultivates the four foundations of mindfulness (body, feeling, mind, and phenomena), the four correct trainings (non-development of non-virtuous actions which have not arisen, renunciation of non-virtuous actions which have arisen, development of virtuous actions which have not arisen, and non-renunciation of virtuous actions which have arisen), and the four supports for miraculous ability (aspiration, mind, perseverence and scrutiny- each imbued with renunciation). 2) On the path of connection (prayogamārga) one cultivates the five faculties and powers (faith, perseverence, recollection, meditative stability, and discriminative awareness). 3) On the path of insight (darśanamārga), one cultivates the seven aspects of genuine enlightenment (recollection, analysis of the sacred doctrine, perseverence, delight, physical refinement, meditative stability, and equanimity). 4) On the path of meditation (bhāvanāmārga) one meditates on the eight aspects of the sublime path (correct view, thought, speech, goal of activity, livlihood, effort, recollection, and meditative stability). 5) On the path of no-more-learning (aśaikṣamārga), one attains nirvāṇa as an arhat. In addition, the hermit buddhas include meditation dependent origination, while the bodhisattvas focus on the cultivation of the six perfections (generosity, moral discipline, patience, perseverence, meditative concentration, and discriminative awareness) or the ten perfections (which additionally include skilful means, power, aspiration, and pristine cognition). GD (from the Glossary to Tibetan Elemental Divination Paintings)