The Complete MĀhĀyana Path of the YogĀcĀra



in the Bodhisattvabhūmi section 

of the great Yogācārabhūmi-śāstra 

attributed to Asanga, (4th century CE)

extracted from 

A Comprehensive Commentary on the Heart Sutra

by K'uei-chi, 

and Translated by Heng-ching Shih with Dan Lusthaus, 

Numata Center for Buddhist Translation.

Table of Contents


Brief Bibliography:

Part One

The Situation for Us as described from the Viewpoint of the Madhyamika and the Yogācāra

The Ground of Practice are these two natures: 

(1) On having an Innate nature

(2) On having an Acquired nature

I. The stage of accumulating provisions (sambhārāvasthā).

II. The stage of intensified effort (prayogāvasthā). 

III. The stage of penetrating understanding (prativedhāvasthā).

IV. The path of cultivation (bhāvanā-mārga) 

V. The stage of ultimate realization (niṣṭhāvasthā). 

Before the Practice: Preparations

(1) The ten supreme virtues and the three profound vipaśyanās (contemplations). 

a. The ten supreme virtues

b. The three profound vipaśyanās

(2) Generating one's initial aspiration


(1) the sphere or Field of Objects to be Contemplated

The trisvabhāva are defined:

One interpretation 

There is another interpretation

(2) the actual practice of transformation 

1. Eradicating the false and maintaining the true. 

2. Rejecting the false and preserving the pure. 

3. Gathering the branches (parts) into the root (foundation). 

4. Concealing the inferior and revealing the superior. 

5. Eradicating forms and realizing its self-nature.

(3) the results obtained from attainment 

I. In the stage of cultivation

II. In the stage of intensified effort

III. In the stage of penetrating understanding

IV. In the stage of practice in traversing the Bhumis

In the fifth bhūmi 

In the seventh bhūmi

Beyond the eighth bhūmi

In the stage of complete realization


(1) the sphere or Field of Objects to be Contemplated 

1. Regarding those to be trained. 

2. Regarding beneficial deeds. 

3. Regarding true meaning. 

4. Regarding power. 

5. Regarding bodhi. 

(2) the actual practice of transformation  

On Taking the Qualities of the Dharma Wisdom and Worldly Wisdom into Consideration for Practicing

As for inner thought, one should vigorously and enthusiastically seek to hear [the Buddha-Dharma]. 

the [five fields of knowledge (pañca-vidyā):

On Taking the Qualities of the Dharma into Consideration for Practicing

On Taking One's own Qualities into Consideration for Practicing

On Taking the Qualities of those to be Taught into Consideration for Practicing

The Practice Itself: Practicing with the 6 pāramitās.

I. The Practice of Giving

II. The Practice of Morality

1. First is the morality of discipline. 

2. Second is the morality that consists of positive actions. 

3. Third is the morality of wishing to greatly benefit sentient beings.

IV. The Practice of Patience

1. The patience of enduring enmity and harm. 

2. The patience of enduring suffering.

3. The patience of true insight into the Dharma. 

IV. The Practice of Effort

1. Increasing effort. 

2. Effort in accumulating merits. 

3. Effort benefiting sentient beings. 

V. The Practice of Concentration

VI. The Practice of Wisdom

First is the wisdom that realizes the truth of things as they are. 

Second is profound wisdom pertaining to the five fields of knowledge and the three kinds of concentration. 

Third is the wisdom of developing compassion and benefiting beings. 

[ed. Note: The Section on the Collections of Aspirations]

Part Two

(3) the results obtained from attainment (or, The Qualities of those that can learn these dharmas)

A bodhisattva's practice comprises twelve abodes that encompass all bodhisattva stages.

Differing Qualities of the passage in the various Abodes.

The five kinds of births for Bodhisattvas to take:

The Four Acts of a Bodhisattva which include Sentient Beings into their Field of Merit *

The 13 Abodes as attributed to the Seven Bhumis

Looking Backward from Buddha-hood: Some Questions as Answered by both the Mādhyamikans and the  Yogācārins

(1) Why are the practices said to be "profound"? 

(2) What is meant by "when" [in the second line of the Prajñāpāramitā-hṛdaya-sūtra]? 

 © Leo Rivers 2013