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five degrees of enlightenment


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Scheme adopted within the Ch'an andzen schools of Buddhism which classifies the nature of bodhi.or religious awakening, into five increasingly profound levels, the fifth being the highest. The gradations are based on the doctrine of ‘Two Truths’, namely relative and absolute truth, as expounded by the Madhyamaka school, and concern the manner in which each level of truth, and the relation between them, is perceived. The five degrees of enlightenment are termed: (1) Sho-chu-hen, or the absolute within the relative; (2) Hen-chu-sho, or the relative within the absolute; (3) Sho-chu-rai, or the absolute alone; (4) Ken-chu-shi, or the relative alone; (5) Ken-chu-to, or the absolute and the relative together.

(1) Sho-chu-hen, or the absolute within the relative; (2) Hen-chu-sho, or the relative within the absolute; (3) Sho-chu-rai, or the absolute alone; (4) Ken-chu-shi, or the relative alone; (5) Ken-chu-to, or the absolute and the relative together.

Subjects: Buddhism.


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