Mystic Lotus

Abhimukhi Bhumi

At the Doorstep of Enlightenment Stage

Abhimukhi Bhumi

The Sixth Stage

At the Doorstep of Enlightenment Stage

Why is a bodhisattva’s commitment different from

  1. stream-enterer?
  2. once-returner?
  3. non-returner?

  1. Because the stream is imperfect as regards to the practice of the Mahayana path of knowledge of the emptiness of all conditioned and unconditioned dharmas.

  2. Because, after having thought carefully, he has accepted an unlimited number of rebirths to come back and help others on the path.

  3. Because, after having dwelled in the meditative absorptions, he deliberately goes for birth in the realm of desire [where helping others happens].

The sixth stage is at the Doorstep of Enlightenment, because the Bodhisattva is so close! The Bodhisattva understands the nature of dependent origination for all ordinary entities and objects (pratitya samutpanna). The Bodhisattva’s mind is now filled with the perfection of wisdom (prajna paramita) in conjunction with the realization of emptiness (sunyata).

The sixth stage is called abhimukhi, because in this stage the Bodhisattva, by means of the perfection of wisdom (prajna-paramita), is face-to-face with Saṃsāra and Nirvana, without being established in either Saṃsāra or Nirvana [as it is still a duality].

After completing the first five stages, the Bodhisattva continues the fourth type of purification and perfection. In the first stage, determination was purified, in the second stage discipline and moral virtue was purified, in the third stage concentration was purified, and in the fourth to sixth stage onward the purification and perfection of insight is practiced.

Various types / levels of ignorance have been purified in the first four stages, and in each subsequent stage the ignorance that is to be purified is more subtle and difficult to address than in the previous stage.

  1. In the first stage, the ignorance of clinging to person and things, and the ignorance of the defilement of wrong tendencies and actions have been purified.

  2. The second stage, the ignorance of minute errors and transgressions, and the ignorance of what various actions lead to have been purified.

  3. In the third stage, the ignorance of greed, and the ignorance of complete mental control to retain what is learned have been purified.

  4. In the fourth stage, the Bodhisattva addressed the ignorance of attachment to attainments in concentration, and the ignorance of attachment to religion.

  5. In the fifth stage, the Bodhisattva addressed the ignorance of one-sided thought rejecting life and death, and the ignorance of one-sided thought heading for nirvana.

  6. In the sixth stage, the Bodhisattva addresses the ignorance of observing the flux of events at the moment, and the ignorance of elaborate active mental patterns.

A Bodhisattva on the completion of the fifth stage, goes on to the sixth stage and has to understand and realize the ten kinds of sameness when it comes to dharmas being:

  1. Without discoverable base

  2. Without discoverable sign or identifiable mark

  3. Without discoverable origin and not produced

  4. Unborn and unmade

  5. Unattached and non-isolated

  6. Pure from the very beginning and untainted

  7. Unimpeded and free from all multiplicity

  8. Aimless (not desired and not averted)

  9. Unreal like a dream, an illusion (imagined), a mere reflection

  10. Without the designation of becoming and non-becoming

Furthermore, in the sixth stage, the Bodhisattva should avoid six dharmas and fulfill the six perfections.

  1. Avoid pondering the Disciple path (Sravaka-yana), because it is not the Bodhisattva Mahayana path [to enlightenment].

  2. Avoid pondering the Solitary Buddha path, because it is not the Bodhisattva Mahayana path [to enlightenment].

  3. Avoid worrying and having doubt, because it is not and aid to the Bodhisattva Mahayana path [to enlightenment]. Confidence is the antidote to doubt.

  4. Avoid thoughts of annoyance when he sees those in need who beg about it. Patience is the antidote to annoyance.

  5. Avoid becoming sad about renouncing all one’s possessions. Giving is the antidote to attachment to material things.

  6. Avoid distractions from those you help. Concentration is the antidote to distractions.