stages of the Bodhisattva Way (菩薩階位). The spiritual levels of a Bodhisattva on the Way to Buddhahood. According to the 80-fascicle version of the Mahāvaipulya Sūtra of Buddha Adornment (T10n0279), a Bodhisattva progresses through fifty-two levels, which are classified into seven stages:
(1) ten faithful minds,
(2) ten levels of abiding,
(3) ten levels of action,
(4) ten levels of transference of merit,
(5) Ten Grounds,
(6) virtually perfect enlightenment, and
(7) perfect enlightenment.
A Bodhisattva will continue to be an ordinary being as he cultivates the ten faithful minds; he will be a sage as he practices the ten pāramitās, progressing through the ten levels of abiding, ten levels of action, and ten levels of transference of merit; and he will be a holy being as he progresses through the Ten Grounds. A Bodhisattva will ascend to the first ground when he realizes that all dharmas have no birth. As he progresses on the first through tenth grounds, he will achieve the ten pāramitās one after another, in one-to-one correspondence with the Ten Grounds. At the fifty-first level, his enlightenment being virtually perfect, he will be in the holy position of waiting to become a Buddha in his next life. At the fifty-second level, he attains the perfect enlightenment, achieving the ultimate fruit of the aspiration and training of a Bodhisattva.