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Bhumika (Sanskrit: भूमिका) is derived from the word, Bhūmi, which means – the earth, soil, ground, land, a site, situation, land, a story, character or part or situation. The word, Bhūmikā, refers to a tablet or board for writing, subject, object or a receptacle, theatrical dress or an actor’s costume, decoration of an image, a preface or introduction to a book.
According to the Sthaviravāda Saravastivada tradition of Buddhism amongst the 49/52 mental factors (Bhūmikās) are the ten mahā-bhūmikās which are common to all consciousness are – Vedanā (feeling), Saññā (perception), Cetanā (volition), Phassa (contact), Chanda (desire to act), Paññā (wisdom), Sati (mindfulness), Manasikāra (attention), Adhimokkha (decision), Samādhi (mental concentration)or Ekaggata (one-pointedness),
The Upanishads speak about the seven bhūmikās or jñānabhūmis (fields of knowledge) or the seven stages of development of wisdom, and about the four kinds of jivanmuktas. In Chapter IV of the Varahā Upanishad, with regard to the characteristics of jivanmukti, Ribhu tells Nigadha that the first bhūmikā or stage of development is subhechchha or good desires; the second bhūmikā is vichārāna or inquiry; the third bhūmikā is tanumānasī or pertaining to the thinned mind; the fourth bhūmikā is sattvāpatti or the attainment of sattva; the fifth bhūmikā is asamśakti or non-attachment; the sixth bhūmikā is padārthabhāvanā or analysis of objects, and the seventh bhūmikā is turiya or the final stage. Nigadha is also told that the bhūmikā which is of the form of pranava is formed of akāra, ukāra, makāra and the ardhamātra. The turiya essence of akāra embraces the first, second and the third bhūmikās whose function is called mumukshu; the turiya essence of ukāra embraces the fourth bhūmikā when the mind is firmly fixed on the non-dual and is called brahmavit; the turiya essence of makāra embraces the fifth bhūmikā or sushuptipada (dreamless sleep) and is called brahmavidvara; the turiya essence of ardhamātra embraces the sixth bhūmikā (dreamless state) and is called brahmavidvariya, beyond which is the seventh bhūmikā or gudhasupti and is called brahmavidvarishta when one remains in the secondless state without fear and with his consciousness almost annihilated.
Yajna bhumika is the altar on which Vedic rituals are conducted.