pañca-mārga (Sanskrit). The ‘Five Paths’, being a systematization of the stages of an Arhat's or a Bodhisattva's spiritual progress current in many pre- Mahāyāna forms of Buddhism, and also particularly emphasized in the Yogācāra school.
The five paths comprise:
(1) the path of accumulation (saṃbhāra-mārga) in which one gathers the requisite accumulation of merit and awareness (puṇya-jñāna-saṃbhāra);
(2) the path of preparation (prayoga-mārga) when one develops skill in meditation;
(3) the path of seeing (darśana-mārga) when one attains a direct insight into the true nature of phenomena or emptiness (śūnyatā)
(4) the path of cultivation (bhāvanā-mārga) when one broadens one's experience of emptiness and makes it a living experience;
(5) and the path of ‘no-more-learning’ (aśaikṣa-mārga) when all defilements (kleśa) and perverse views about the knowable—such as a belief in an inherent, permanent self (ātman)—are overcome.
It is at this point one either becomes enlightened as either an Arhat or a Buddha.