Ten strengths

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The ten strengths (Skt. daśabala; Wyl. stobs bcu; Tib. top chu) of the realization of a buddha correspond to his unobstructed knowledge of all things. They are also part of the twenty-one sets of immaculate qualities.

  1. knowing what is correct and incorrect (Tib. གནས་དང་གནས་མ་ཡིན་པ་མཁྱེན་པའི་སྟོབས་, Wyl. gnas dang gnas ma yin pa mkhyen pa);
  2. knowing the results of actions (rnam smin mkhyen pa);
  3. knowing the aspirations of beings (‘gro ba mos pa sna tshogs mkhyen pa);
  4. knowing all the elements (khams ji rnyed pa sna tshogs mkyen pa);
  5. knowing the different capacities of beings (dbang po rno rtul rnam pa sna tshogs mkhyen pa);
  6. knowing all the paths (kun tu ‘gro ba’i lam sna tshogs mkhyen pa);
  7. knowing all the different ways to establish meditative concentration (bsam gtan gyi bkod pa sna tshogs ji rnyed pa mkhyen pa);
  8. knowing previous lives of oneself and others (rang gzhan gyi sngon gyi gnas sna tshogs pa ji rnyed mkhyen pa);
  9. the knowledge of transference, death and future rebirth (‘chi ‘pho ba dang ma ‘ongs pa’i skye ba ji rnyed mkhyen pa);
  10. knowing that the defilements are exhausted or knowing the path and result (zag pa thams cad zad pa nyid du gyur pa’i lam dang ‘bras bu mkhyen pa).

Further Reading

  • The Fortunate Aeon: How the Thousand Buddhas Became Enlightened (Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1986), Vol. One, 'The Teaching on the Ten Strengths'.