Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Theosophy and the Trikaya 2 (Nirmanakaya, Sambhogakaya, Dharmakaya)

Here are a few more selections from western scholars as well as some Tibetan texts that give a few more specifics about the three Buddha bodies. The next post will present some selections from theosophical writings.
DHARMAKAYA (Tib. Cos kyi sku) lit. the spiritual body. (1.) The first of the 3 qualities (v. Tiikaya) belonging to the body of every Buddha, viz. luminous spirituality. (2) The 4th of the Buddhakchetras.
SAMBHOGA KAYA lit. the body of compensation. (1.) The 2nd of the 3 qualities (v. Trikaya) of a Buddha's body, viz. reflected spirituality, corresponding with his merits. (2.) The 3rd of the Buddhakchetras.
NIRMANAKAYA (Tib. spnil &L lit. a body capable of transformation. (1.) One of the Trikaya (q.v.), the power of assuming any form of appearance in order to propagate Buddhism. (2.) The incarnate avatara of a deity (Tib. Chutuktu. Mong. Chubilgan). See also Anupapadaka. detail  (Eitel, Ernest J. Handbook of Buddhism, Hong Kong, 1888). 

Three manifestations of the Nirmanakaya:
  • One is the manifestation of a completely realized Buddha, such as Gautama Siddhartha, who is born into the world and teaches in it;
  • another is a seemingly ordinary being who is blessed with a special capacity to benefit others: a tulku; and
  • the third is actually a being through whom some degree of enlightenment works to benefit and inspire others through various arts, crafts, and sciences.
(Gyatso, Tenzin H. H. the Dalai Lama. The Opening of the Wisdom-Eye. Wheaton, Quest Books,  1966, pp. 123-125)

AK. Coomaraswamy says that the sväbhävih-hya, sämbhogih-hya, and nairmänih-hya correspond respectively to "the Father," "the figure of Christ in Glory, and "the visible Jesus (A.K. Coomaraswamy, Buddha and the Gospel of Buddhism (Bombay, etc., 1956), p. 239)
Below are quotes detailing a few tantric mystical aspects of the Trikaya:

I take refuge in the triple refuge

Of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

I supplicate the three roots

Of the guru, yidam, and dakini.

Bestow the blessing of the three perfections

Of dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, and nirmanakaya.

(Rangjung, Yshe Tsogya, Kunsang, Erik Pema, transl. The Lotus-born: The Life Story of Padmasambhava.Yeshe Publications, 2004, ch. 41, p. 203)

The seven branches of the three Kayas:
1-      (Nirmanakaya) The highest compassion for all sentient beings being uninterrupted
2-     Your mindstream being completely filled by great compassion.
3-     Being without obstacles.
4-     (Dharmakaya) The union of emptiness and compassion, natureless and without any elaboration.
5-     (Sambohgakaya) Permanent enjoyment of the prayer wheel of the deep and profound mantra.
6-     Union achieved with uniting the wisdom kaya with the consort, which is one’s own radiance.
7-     Uncontaminated great bliss without interruption.
(Van Schaik, Sam. Approaching the Great Perfection: Simultaneous and Gradual Methods of Dzogchen Practice in the Longchen Nyingtig. Simon and Schuster, 2013, p. 203)

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