This colosal sutra, dating approximately from the 1st or 2nd century AD, has been described as “the richest and most grandiose of all Buddhist scriptures, held in high esteem by all schools of Buddhism that are concerned with universal liberation.”
We present the introduction and Book 26 from Thomas Cleary’s translation, which runs to more than sixteen-hundred pages.
Click here to read the Introduction.
Book twenty-six is the famous book on the ten stages of enlightenment. The teaching of the ten stages is presented as the foundation of all Buddhist teachings, just as an alphabet is the foundation of all writings in its language. This book is of such significance that it was translated into Chinese no fewer than five times, three times as an individual scripture, over a period of five hundred years; it also exists in Sanskrit as an individual scripture.
Click here to read the Ten Stages Sutra.
There are ten stages of enlightening beings that enter into the stage of knowledge of the buddhas. And what are these ten stages of enlightening beings that have been, will be, and are being explained by the buddhas of the past, future, and present? Having meditated on them, I will now tell you. They are the enlightening beings’ stage called Extreme Joy, that called Purity, that called Refulgence, that called Far-Going, that called Immovable, that called Good Mind, and the stage of enlightening beings called Cloud of Teaching. These are the ten stages of enlightening beings that have been, will be, and are expounded by the buddhas of the past, future, and present.
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