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Bhumi [Skt.] - (Tib./Wyl. sa), stage or level. The word bhumi literally means ‘ground’. Just as the ground is the support for all everything, animate and inanimate, the bhumis are said to be ‘supports’ for enlightened qualities. So this term is used when referring to the stages a bodhisattva traverses on the path to enlightenment. There are ten bhumis in the Sutrayana, with the eleventh being buddhahood, and thirteen in the Tantrayana. The Dzogchen teachings sometimes speak of sixteen bhumis.

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