Five paths

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Bodhisattva sangha from the Longchen Nyingtik Field of Merit

The five paths (Skt. pañcamārga; Tib. ལམ་ལྔ་, lam nga; Wyl. lam lnga) are:

  1. the path of accumulation (Skt. sambhāramārga)
  2. the path of joining (also called 'engagement' or 'junction') (Skt. prayogamārga)
  3. the path of seeing (or 'insight') (Skt. darśanamārga)
  4. the path of meditation (or 'cultivation') (Skt. bhāvanāmārga)
  5. the path of no-more-learning (Skt. aśaikṣamārga)

These five paths incorporate the entire spiritual journey, as described in the Mahayana, from its very beginnings with the taking of the bodhisattva vow and the generation of relative bodhichitta, up until its culmination at the stage of complete enlightenment.

It is said in the pith instructions that the path of accumulation is the stage of understanding, the path of joining is the stage of experience, and the path of seeing is the stage of realization.

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