The Five Vows taken in Shugendo are nearly identical to the Four Vows taken in other East-Asian Buddhist traditions, mainly because they are first and foremost the Bodhisattva vows of Mahayana Buddhism. Shugendo, following the Esoteric-Buddhist framework, includes Mahayana thought and concepts as it's foundation.  Mahayana expounds 52 Bodhisattva stages (gojuni-i) which are successive stages taken in the ascent to Buddha-hood, the levels to eliminate delusion and gain wondrous enlightenment. The fifty-two stages are divided into two phases; the first forty stages, called the 'prior stages' (jizen), culminate in the attainment of Awakening; the next stages, called the 'superior stages' (jijo) include the ten stations ('juji') which are stages in which the Buddha Wisdom (prajna) acquired with the attainment of awakening are increased and perfected, followed by two stages of enlightenment. There are various versions of the list found broadly across the Tendai and Shingon schools, all with minor differences. They derive from the Lotus Sutra (myohorengekyo; 妙法蓮華経), the Jeweled Necklace Sutra (菩萨璎珞本业经) and the Sutra of Benevolent Kings (niokyo). Listed here are both the '42 stages' and '52 stages'

The 52 Stages of Bodhisttvahood

1-10: The Ten Stages of Faith (信心; jusshin): those of aspiration, remembrance, endeavor, concentration of mind, wisdom, keeping the precepts, dedication of Bodhicitta to others, protection of the Dharma, giving unsparingly, and the making of vows. Also listed as Faith (信心), Recollection (念心), Zeal (精進心), Wisdom (慧心), Concentration (定心), Not slipping backwards (不退心), Protection of the Truth (護法心), Reflexive power (迥向心) Precept (戒心) and Vow (願心)

11-20. The Ten Stages of Security (十住; juju), those of the attainment of the truth, seeing the Void (Sunyata, ku), the performance of good deeds, the comprehension of selflessness, doing good, obtaining wisdom, never sliding back, having no more illusions, becoming a child of the Buddha and the annihilation of life and death.

Also listed as the 'Ten Stages of Dwelling (十住)'
The stage of setting goals (發心位)
The stage of clear insight and mental discipline (治地位)
The stage of unhindered practice cultivation (修行位)
The stage of acquiring the seed of Tathagata (生貴位)
The stage of perfect expedience (方便具足位)
The stage of the whole mind as Buddhas (正心位)
The stage of non-retrogression (不退位)
The stage of being Buddhas son (童真位)
The stage of being a receptacle of the law (法王子位 )
The stage of Abhiseka/Kanjo (灌頂位)

21-30. The Ten Stage of Practice (十行; jugyo), those of joyful service, beneficial service, non-resentment, dauntlessness, no misconduct, appearing in any form at will, attachment to the Voidness of existence, acquisition of the root of virtue, preaching the Dharma and attainment of the Middle Way (chudo). Also listed as:
Joyful service  (歡喜行)
Beneficial service (饒益行)
Never resenting (無嗔恨行)
Without limit (無盡 )
Never out of order (離癡亂行)
Appearing in any form at will (善觀行)
Unimpeded (無著行)
Exalting the paramitas amongst all beings (尊重行)
Perfecting the Buddhas law by complete virtues (善法行)
Manifesting in all things the pure, final and true reality (真實行)

31-40. The Ten Stages of the Transference of Merit (十迴向; jueko), those of assisting others in secret, seeing the non-substantiality of all things without analysing them, propagating the teachings of all the Buddhas, making oblations to all the Buddhas, giving the Buddha-nature to others, seeing the Middle Way, leniency towards evil persons, seeing everything as the Dharma World, seeing that all thing are equal, seeing that all things are the middle way (chu-do). Also listed as:
Assisting all beings ( 救護一切眾生、離眾生相迴向 )
Non-destruction ( 不壞迴向 )
Equalizing all Buddhas ( 等一切佛迴向 )
Reaching everywhere ( 至一切處迴向 )
Store of boundless virtues (無盡功德藏迴向 )
Good roots of equality and harmony ( 隨順平等善根迴向 )
Viewing all sentient beings in equality and harmony ( 隨順等觀一切眾生迴向 )
The mark of True Suchness ( 真如相迴向 )
Liberation without any tie nor attachment ( 無縛無著解脫迴向 )`
Equalizing the boundless Dharma-realm ( 等法界無量迴向 )

The Superior Stages

41-50. The Ten Stations (dasa-bhumi/juji). These are ten stages in the development of the Buddha Wisdom, the cutting away of the hindrances of delusion and the realisation of the supreme fruition of Buddhahood. Each station is the attainment of a Paramita. Entry into the tenth station, the completion of the Paramita of Knowledge (hannya haramitsu), is the perfection of Buddhahood. The Ten stages are:

1. The Station of Joy (pramudita-bhumi/kangi-ji 歡喜地). The stage of joy at having overcome previous difficulties, and entering the path to Buddhahood. This is the perfection of the Paramita of Giving (dan-haramitsu). A great spiritual joy arises in the Bodhisattva because all deluded views have been cut away, attaining the single thought of non-discriminating knowledge, the realisation of Suchness and the Middle Way of the Buddha Wisdom.

2. The Station of Freedom from Defilements (vimala-bhumi/riku-ji 離垢地). The stage of purity, i.e. freedom from all possible defilement. The Paramita of the Precepts (kai-haramitsu) is perfected, the delusions of practice cut away, all the defilements of improper action stemming from beginningless time are removed, and purity of body/mind are attained.

3. The Station of Manifesting Light (prabhakari-bhumi/hakkoji 發光地). The stage of illumination/further enlightenment. This is the station of the perfection of the Paramita of Patience (ninniku-haramitsu), in which the delusions of practice are cut away. The Bodhisattva attains the 'patience to assess the dharma truly' and manifests supreme knowledge with radiant light. The Three Types of Patience are 1. the patience to endure persecution without anger or revenge, 2. the patience to endure suffering, the attainment of a mind that remains unmoved in sickness, calamity, attack and son on; 3. the patience that understand the essence of the dharmas, the patience acceptance of the truth that the dharmas do not come into or go out of existence.

4. The station of Blazing Wisdom (arcismati-bhumi/enneji 焰慧地). This is the station of the perfection of the Paramita of Effort (shojin-haramits), in which the light of supreme knowledge shines with ever increasing brilliance and reaching its greatest intensity, burns away the last vestiges of illusions.

5. The Station of Overcoming the Supremely Difficult (sudurjaya-bhumi/gokunan-shoji 極難勝地). This is the station of the Perfection of the Paramita of Meditation (zenjo-haramitsu), in which the non duality of the two truths, mundane and absolute is effected. The station derives its name from the extreme difficulty in unifying the two truths.

6. The station of being face to face with wisdom (abhimukhi-bhumi/genzenji 現前地). The stage of open mind; The open way of wisdom above definitions of impurity and purity. This is the station of the perfection of the Paramita of Wisdom (hannya-haramits). It is also called the 'Station of the Immediate Presence of Wisdom because it is the station in which the Bodhisattva perceives 'before their eyes' the absolute identity of the worlds of defilement and purity.

7. The Station of Far Reaching Practice (durangama-bhumi/ongyoji 遠行地 ). The stage of proceeding afar, getting above the ideas of self in order to assist others. This is the station of the perfection of the Paramita of Method (hoben haramitsu) in which the Mind of Great Compassion is manifested and all the attachments to the concept of self benefit as expounded in the doctrines of the Two Vehicles are cut away. The Bodhisattva enlarges his spiritual aims to encompass the good of all beings; perfecting the practice of great compassion using expedient means for the sake of all beings.

8. The Station of Immovability (acala-bhumi/fudoji 不動地). The stage of being calm and unperturbed in mind. This is the station in which the Bodhisattva perfects the Paramita of Vows (gan-haramitsu) and fulfills the vows to liberate all beings. Abiding immovably in the formless, immutable and eternal Wisdom which manifests the great practices and bodhicitta that liberate all beings.

9. The Station of the Wisdom of Skills (sadhumati-bhumi/zenneji 善慧地). The stage of finest wisdom. In this the Paramita of Power (riki-haramitsu) is perfected. The Ten Powers (mind, faith, compassion, love, dharani, discrimination, the paramitas, vows, siddhi and kaji) and the four kinds of 'unhindered eloquence' are mastered. With this mastery of skills the Bodhisattva has complete freedom to aid and assist all beings in the worlds of the ten directions. The Bodhisattva can preach the dharma everywhere with great versatility.

10. The Station of the Dharma Cloud (dharmamegha-bhumi/hounji 法雲地 ). This is the perfection of the Paramita of Knowledge (chi-haramitsu) and is the station in which Wisdom and compassion having both been perfected, the immeasurable virtues of the Bodhisattva permeate like a cloud, the whole of the Dharma World. It is the stage in which the Bodhisattva becomes like a great and all pervading cloud of knowledge that rains down the elixir of the dharma to irrigate and nourish all beings.

Beyond these Ten Stations there are two more; the stage of 'similar awakening (togaku) and 'wondrous awakening (myogaku). These are the near and supreme stages of Buddhahood.

Ten Bodhisattva Vows of Fugen Bosatsu (普賢菩薩)

The following are the Ten Great Vows and Conducts (十大行願 ) which are taught in the Avatamsaka Sutra (Flower Adornment Sutra) (華嚴經 ) in the Chapter on the Practices and Vows of Bodhisattva Samantabhadra (普賢菩薩行願品)

To respect all Buddhas. (禮敬諸佛)
To praise the Tathagatas (稱讚如來)
To give generously; to practice profoundly the giving of offerings (廣修供養)
To reform all karmic hindrance (懺悔業障)
To rejoice and follow merit and virtue in self and others (隨喜功德)
To request that the Dharma Wheel be turned (請轉法輪)
To request that the Buddhas remain in the world." (請佛住世)
To follow the Dharma teachings (常隨佛學)
To accommodate and be of benefit to all beings (恆順眾生)
To transfer Bodhicitta, all merit and virtue universally to all beings (普皆迴向)

Om Bodhicitta Utpadayami
I generate Bodhicitta; the mind of enlightenment for self and others.

Om Samaya Satvam
Om Identity/Vow and Beings: VAM; I am one with my vows: BAN.

The Fifty Two Stages of the Path of the Bodhisattva

The 42 Stages of Bodhisttvahood

The Ten Abodes (Stations) of Inspiration:
Opening up an understanding of enlightenment
#1-#4 are entry into the womb of enlightenment, #5-#8 are its gestation, #9 is its birth and #10 is its consecration


The Inspiration of the Mind: Being resolved with determination to realize the wisdom that is difficult to attain and so broadening one’s understanding of the Buddha’s teaching (Dharma).


Preparing the Ground: Inspiring the state of mind towards living beings that develops greatness of compassion.


Cultivating the Practice: Observing all things spiritual with the practice of meditation in order to make one’s wisdom and insight turn clear and penetrating.


The Precious Life: Studying and learning the Noble Doctrine and realizing all things spiritual in order to make progress in the understanding of the equality or consistency of the mind throughout the past, the present and the future.


Perfection of the Ways & Means: Cultivating good spiritual qualities (roots) in order to progress in the mastery of non-attachment.


The Straight Mind: Having a mind that is steadfast and unshaken in order to make progress in the attainment of non-regression and endurance in that which is without birth.


Non-Regression: Having a mind that is solid and strong and never turns and retreats in order to progress in attaining equanimity in all things spiritual.


The Child of the Truth: Abiding in the making of karmic deeds that foster progress in skillful application of the teachings.


Prince of the Dharma: Skillfully recognizing spiritual things that foster progress in the non-obstruction of the mind


Consecration: Attaining the realization of wisdom in one’s life and one’s deeds, in spiritual penetration and transformation, in the wisdom of the past, the present and the future, as well as the realization of the spiritual land of the Buddhas and the sphere of all the spiritual realms of the mind that are impossible to know. Even the Bodhisattva that is the Prince of the Dharma is not able to recognize this. This is to foster progress in the Wisdom of All Kinds

The Ten Practices of Virtue; The Ten Paramitas - The Bodhisattva practices that earn spiritual merit.
Revealing spiritual enlightenment in one's life.


The Practice that bestows joyfulness to living beings: This is the perfection of generosity (dana paramita), charity, and giving of oneself.


The Practice that abundantly benefits living beings: With the perfection of morality (sila paramita), there are the blessings of moral virtue and obedience to the precepts or rules of proper conduct


The Practice without agitation: This is the perfection of endurance, forbearance, & patience (ksanti paramita)


The Practice that is irrepressible: This is the perfection of diligence , vitality & energy. (virya paramita)


The Practice without confusion: This is meditation, samadhi, calm, serenity, and mental concentration (dhyana paramita)


The Practice of spiritual presence: This spiritual insight , penetrating observation (prajna paramita)


The Practice without attachments: This is skillfulness in the ways & means of non-attachment and its use as a means of salvation.(upaya paramita)


The Practice that is difficult to attain: This is spiritual vows, resolve, and the determination to save. (pranidhana paramita)


The Practice of manifesting the Dharma: This is spiritual power (bala paramita)


The Practice of absolute reality This is spiritual wisdom (jnana paramita).

The Ten Components of Imparting of Spiritual Merit - 'Turning It Over' - Parinamana
Awakening Enlightenment in Others
The bestowal of enlightenment; The turning over of spiritual merits & virtues from one to another. There are two aspects:
Turning It Over & Leaving: Turning over spiritual merits to others so that they may attain enlightenment, and then leaving and entering into Pure Land of Nirvana. This is the lineage of the revealed body of enlightenment in this world (Nirmanakaya).
Turning It Over & Returning: Returning to this world from the Pure Land to enlighten living beings. This is the glorified body of enlightenment that is worshipped (Sambhogakaya). By turning oneself over to the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas in the Pure Land, one receives their spiritual merits because of the power of their original vows.


Rescuing and protecting all living beings but free from the appearance of doing so


Indestructible faith


Being the equal of the Buddhas


Reaching everywhere


The inexhaustible treasury of merits & virtues


Strengthening and firming up of good spiritual roots


Universally adapting to all living beings


The aspect of the absolute as it is


The liberated understanding that is without binds or attachments


Entering into the limitless spiritual realms

The Ten Groundings - The Ten Bhumis: The one enlightenment is in reality beyond self & other
Entry into the realm of spiritual enlightenment - The Realm of the Buddhas


Joyfulness (Pramudita)


Freedom from Defilement (Vimala)


The Emitting of the Light (Prabhakari)


Blazing Insight (Arcismati)


Overcoming Difficulties (Sudurjaya)


Manifesting Before All (Abhimukhi)


Far Reaching (Duramgama)


Unshaken (Acala)


Skillful Insight (Sadhumati)


The Cloud of Dharma (Dharmamegha)

Finally there are the two stages of the Buddha's Enlightenment

The Two Levels of Enlightenment (the provisional and the real):


The Universal Awakening (Samyak Sambodhi) The Manifestation of the Buddha in the World


The Wonderful Awakening (Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi) The Original or Eternal Buddha