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                                                         Steps of consciousness

Bhumikas(floor, degree) are steps of development and consiousness in the Yoga - systems. The 7 Bhumikas are also known as saptha bhoomikas and as jnana bhoomikas.

They are mentioned in chapter 4 of the Varaha Upanishad and the Yogavasishta (or Laghu yoga Vasishtha), a dialogue on Jnana yoga between the teacher Vasishta and his pupil Rama. The Laghu-Yoga-Vasishtha  counts : Śubhecchā, Vicāraṇa, Tanumānasa, Sattvāpatti, Asaṃsakti, Padārtha abhāvana (Brahman everywhere) and Turīya (permanent samādhi)

The seven categories also correspond to the seven steps mentioned in the Kaivalya Navaneetam (The Butter of Self-Realization), a Tamil-advaitic text [2].

In the Pancaratra, Pradyumna and Samkarsana represent the states of the dream and of deep sleep.

In book 12 Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata(Chap. 291) Yudhishthira speaks about steps of consciousness. Chapter 293 describes three steps of consciousness :

  1. The unawakened state  (also : abuddhiman, 291.41; apratibuddha 291.42 ; 296 Primeval state of equilibrium ). The subject of experience is here saguna ishvara. By abhimana he creates the play of the gunas and identifies with them.
  2. The awakening state (budhyamana) recognices that the play of the gunas should be avoided as not real essence. The self is described as the 25th or individual soul(Purusha - later also Jiva).
  3. The awakened state (293.45 prabuddha; 293.10 buddha) points to the state, who recognizes that the quality-free God controls Nature and the Gunas . It crosses the Hindu system of the 25(24+1) Tattvas.
The Svacchanda Tantra 11.83-84 mentions five stages of  spiritual awakening of the fivefold Atman.

The 10 Bodhisattva - Bhūmi ("byang chub sems dpa'i sa") are the 10 steps of the path of a Bodhisattva in the Mahayana The bhūmis are subcategories of the five paths (pañcamārga, Tib. Lam lnga). The Jhanas of the Pali canon contain 9 states of consciousness.

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