Sutra of the Ten Bhumis

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Sutra of the Ten Bhumis (Skt. Daśabhūmika-sūtra; Tib. ཕགས་པ་ས་བཅུ་པ་འི་མདོ་, pakpa sachupé do, Wyl. phags pa sa bcu pa'i mdo) — name given to the 31st chapter[1] of the Avatamsaka Sutra, in which bodhisattva Vajragarbha describes in detail each of the ten bhumis to other bodhisattvas gathered in the heavens of Paranirmatavashavartin.

This important and popular Mahayana sutra is often considered a sutra in its own right, and is frequently quoted in many commentarial materials. It is considered to be part of the third turning of the wheel of Buddha's teachings.

Text

The original Sanskrit text is still extant.

  • English translation: Daśabhūmikasūtra, translated by Honda Megumu and revised by Johannes Rahder (New Delhi, Indo-Asian Literatures, 1968)

It was translated into Chinese no fewer than five times, three times as an individual scripture, over a period of 500 years.[2]

  • English translation: The Flower Ornament Scripture: A Translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra, translated from Chinese by Thomas Cleary (Boston & London: Shambhala, 1987, 1993), Book Twenty-Six: The Ten Stages
  • French translation: Soûtra des Dix Terres, translated from Chinese by Patrick Carré (Paris: Fayard, 2004)

The text was also translated in Tibetan in the 9th century by Surendra and Vairocana Rakṣita. The Tibetan translation can be found in the Dergé Kangyur, Ornaments of the Buddhas section, Toh 44-31.

  • No existing English translation yet.

Commentaries

  • Vasubandhu wrote an important commentary to this sutra: the Dashabhumivyakhyana, which was only translated into Chinese, during the sixth century.

Quotation

དུ་བ་ལས་ནི་མེར་ཤེས་དང༌། །

ཆུ་སྐྱར་ལས་ནི་ཆུར་ཤེས་ལྟར། །
བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་དཔའ་བློ་ལྡན་གྱི། །

རིགས་ནི་མཚན་མ་དག་ལས་ཤེས། །

Just as one infers the presence of fire by seeing smoke,
Or the presence of water by seeing aquatic birds,
The presence of the intelligent bodhisattvas’ disposition
Can be understood from certain signs.

Buddha Shakyamuni, Sutra of the Ten Bhumis

References

  1. In its Tibetan translation.
  2. Thomas Cleary, The Flower Ornament Scripture.

Further Reading

  • Johannes Rahder (Ed.), Dasabhumikasutra et Bodhisattvabhumi (Paris: Guethner, 1926)