The Principal Book of Won-Buddhism

Part Three : Practice

Chapter Seventeen: Stages of Dharma Status

According to the level of a practitioner’s practice, six stages of dharma status are established: the ordinary grade, and the grade of special faith and the battle between dharma and Māra (evil personified); and the ranks of dharma strong and Māra defeated, beyond the household, and greatly enlightened tathāgata.
1. The ordinary grade is the rank of people who have first taken refuge in the gateway of the buddha and received the ten precepts of the ordinary grade, regardless of whether they are learned or ignorant, male or female, old or young, good or bad, or of high or low status.
2. The grade of special faith is the status of people who, having practiced each and every one of the ten precepts of the ordinary grade and advancing to the preparatory grade of special faith, receive and keep the ten precepts of the grade of special faith, substantially understand our doctrines and regulations, and none of whose works, thoughts, faith, and dedication are swayed by any other world.
3. The grade of the battle between dharma and Māra is the status of people who, having practiced each and every one of the ten precepts of ordinary grade and the ten precepts of the grade of special faith and advancing to the preparatory grade of the battle between dharma and Māra, receive and keep the ten precepts of the grade of the battle between dharma and Māra; analyze each and every aspect of dharma and Māra and make no serious mistakes in interpreting our scriptures; delight in eliminating perverse states of mind amid myriad sensory conditions and do not meddle in things that are not their business; understanding the significance of the battle between dharma and Māra, engage in that battle; do not commit any major offense against the essential Way of human life and the essential Way of practice; and for whom, even in minute matters, dharma wins more than half the time.
4. The status of dharma strong and Māra defeated is the status of people who, having practiced each and every item for advancement to the grade of the battle between dharma and Māra and advancing to the preparatory status of dharma strong and Māra defeated, engage in the battle between dharma and Māra in every application of their six sense organs and win victory for dharma a hundred times in a hundred battles; elucidate each and every idea in our scriptures and master completely the principles of great and small, being and nonbeing; and have gained liberation from birth, old age, sickness, and death.
5. The status of beyond the household is the status of people who, having practiced each and every item for advancement to the status of dharma strong and Māra defeated and advancing to the preparatory status of beyond the household, establish right and wrong, benefit and harm, in human affairs, according to the principles of great and small, being and nonbeing; are intimately conversant with the principles of all contemporary religions; and, going beyond the limits of remoteness and closeness, intimacy and distance, self and others, have no regrets even in undergoing a thousand hardships and a myriad sufferings or facing death on behalf of all living creatures.
6. The status of the greatly enlightened tathāgata is the status of people who, having practiced each and every item for advancement to the status of beyond the household and advancing to the preparatory status of the greatly enlightened tathāgata, embody myriad of abilities in delivering all living creatures with great loving-kindness and great compassion; edify by flexibly responding with myriad expedients, but without ever straying from the main principle and without revealing those expedients to the people who are being edified; and are free of attachment to discrimination even when active, and for whom discrimination is properly regulated even at rest.