Dharmakaya in Mahayana

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steveb1
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Dharmakaya in Mahayana

Post by steveb1 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:31 am

I have kind of skimmed scattered Dharmakaya references in various books, the "richest" of which was one volume by D.T. Suzuki. The notion continues to be mysterious to me, and I was hoping that some readers on here could refine a few points that are puzzling me.

My understanding is that the Dharmakaya is the most inclusive, "first" Buddha Body. It is unknowable to the human intellect and is manifested more "palpably" in the other two Bodies.

The Dharmakaya is not God, a god, or a divine Creator, yet it is described as the primal source of everything. Do I have this correct? Because if It is "the" Source, would It not also be the causal factor for Samsara and Samsara's associated limitations and sufferings?

Even if the Dharmakaya is not a creator, but is nonetheless "the Source", how is its activity explained, if not by creation? Does it express itself in, or as, a kind of serial "Emanation" as in the Kabbalah's conception of the Ein Sof, or in Gnosticism's conception of emanations derived from the Pleroma?

If anyone would care to address these questions, it would be much appreciated.

Malcolm
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Re: Dharmakaya in Mahayana

Post by Malcolm » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:24 am

steveb1 wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:31 am
I have kind of skimmed scattered Dharmakaya references in various books, the "richest" of which was one volume by D.T. Suzuki. The notion continues to be mysterious to me, and I was hoping that some readers on here could refine a few points that are puzzling me.

My understanding is that the Dharmakaya is the most inclusive, "first" Buddha Body. It is unknowable to the human intellect and is manifested more "palpably" in the other two Bodies.

The Dharmakaya is not God, a god, or a divine Creator, yet it is described as the primal source of everything. Do I have this correct? Because if It is "the" Source, would It not also be the causal factor for Samsara and Samsara's associated limitations and sufferings?

Even if the Dharmakaya is not a creator, but is nonetheless "the Source", how is its activity explained, if not by creation? Does it express itself in, or as, a kind of serial "Emanation" as in the Kabbalah's conception of the Ein Sof, or in Gnosticism's conception of emanations derived from the Pleroma?

If anyone would care to address these questions, it would be much appreciated.

:popcorn:

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Wayfarer
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Re: Dharmakaya in Mahayana

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:23 am

Hi Steve - here is an OP on this question that might be a bit controversial but I really relate to

https://brightwayzen.org/resources/kyog ... ic-buddha/

I think the origin of Dharmakaya is the teaching ‘He that sees the Dharma sees Me.’
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

steveb1
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Re: Dharmakaya in Mahayana

Post by steveb1 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:36 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:23 am
Hi Steve - here is an OP on this question that might be a bit controversial but I really relate to

https://brightwayzen.org/resources/kyog ... ic-buddha/

I think the origin of Dharmakaya is the teaching ‘He that sees the Dharma sees Me.’
Thank you so very much - I will apply my attention to this interesting-looking article.

:)

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Re: Dharmakaya in Mahayana

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:32 am

Karma from a previous universe, avidya..ignorance is what 'created' samsara, so samsara is a unbroken chain until enlightenment, with no true beginning by my understanding. Now how the Dharma Kaya relates to or 'contains' samsara is an interesting question and not something I've seen specifically answered exactly. However, ultimately samsara and nirvana are nondual..so at the level of Dharma Kaya nothing is created or destroyed, nothing arises or ceases etc.

My hunch is that a ballpark answer is that samsara only sees itself, the whole creation/destruction etc. Thing -is- samsara, it's a way of seeing, or a limitation on seeing, not merely a collection of temporal and spatial phenomena. Nothing is actually created or destroyed, so there is nothing to 'emanate' from or to.
There's no hoarding what has vanished,
No piling up for the future;
Those who have been born are standing
Like a seed upon a needle.

-Guhatthaka-suttaniddeso

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doublerepukken
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What is Dharmakaya?

Post by doublerepukken » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:44 am

Hello all,

I have been coming across this concept several times in my exploration of Mahayana, and I am simply baffled as to what it is supposed to be. is the Dharmakaya essentially 'God' in Buddhism? A being that exists as the 'source' of all things seems to fit in very well conceptually with the Tao, or God or something similar, but I can't really find a clear explanation of this concept anywhere. I guess I am confused because initially I was informed that there is no concept of a creator, or supreme being in Buddhism, yet this seems to be exactly that (for instance, I read that it is said if the universe and all physical matter were destroyed, the Dharmakaya body would still exist... it is a being that is not conditioned, but how could it come to be without working its way through rebirth to Buddhahood?). It seems like something that wasn't created or 'born' but has always existed, and I guess I was under the impression there was nothing 'eternal' in Buddhist thought. Any clarification would be much appreciated.

Ethan
南無阿弥陀仏
なむ あみだ ぶつ
Namu Amida Butsu

krodha
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Re: What is Dharmakaya?

Post by krodha » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:07 am

Dharmakāya is the nature of your mind.

thecowisflying
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Re: What is Dharmakaya?

Post by thecowisflying » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:21 am

doublerepukken wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:44 am
Hello all,

I have been coming across this concept several times in my exploration of Mahayana, and I am simply baffled as to what it is supposed to be. is the Dharmakaya essentially 'God' in Buddhism? A being that exists as the 'source' of all things seems to fit in very well conceptually with the Tao, or God or something similar, but I can't really find a clear explanation of this concept anywhere. I guess I am confused because initially I was informed that there is no concept of a creator, or supreme being in Buddhism, yet this seems to be exactly that (for instance, I read that it is said if the universe and all physical matter were destroyed, the Dharmakaya body would still exist... it is a being that is not conditioned, but how could it come to be without working its way through rebirth to Buddhahood?). It seems like something that wasn't created or 'born' but has always existed, and I guess I was under the impression there was nothing 'eternal' in Buddhist thought. Any clarification would be much appreciated.

Ethan
I guess the nature of phenomena, emptiness, is taught to be unborn since under analysis from Madhyamakas like Nagarjuna any dharma is found not be arisen.

steveb1
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Re: Dharmakaya in Mahayana

Post by steveb1 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:37 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:32 am
Karma from a previous universe, avidya..ignorance is what 'created' samsara, so samsara is a unbroken chain until enlightenment, with no true beginning by my understanding. Now how the Dharma Kaya relates to or 'contains' samsara is an interesting question and not something I've seen specifically answered exactly. However, ultimately samsara and nirvana are nondual..so at the level of Dharma Kaya nothing is created or destroyed, nothing arises or ceases etc.

My hunch is that a ballpark answer is that samsara only sees itself, the whole creation/destruction etc. Thing -is- samsara, it's a way of seeing, or a limitation on seeing, not merely a collection of temporal and spatial phenomena. Nothing is actually created or destroyed, so there is nothing to 'emanate' from or to.
Thank you for the clarifications. I'd mostly forgot about non-duality as well as Samsara being how we preceive things.

muni
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Re: What is Dharmakaya?

Post by muni » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:17 am

Between two thoughts, there is a gap, indescridable openess revealing.
*Om Mani Peme Hung*

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Caoimhghín
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Re: What is Dharmakaya?

Post by Caoimhghín » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:42 am

Part of me wanted to take a picture of my shoe, upload it here, and ask "is this dharmakāya?". It might sound like a joke or like I would be mocking Buddhism, but that is a very real question/scandal, apparently, in (certain) "Buddhism(s)". Is dharmakāya also dharmadhātu? What is the difference between them?

Some teachers will give you a description of dharmakāya that includes all noumena within it.
歸命本覺心法身常住妙法心蓮臺本來莊嚴三身徳三十七尊住心
城遠離因果法然具普門塵數諸三昧無邊徳海本圓滿還我頂禮心諸佛

In reverence for the root gnosis of the heart, the dharmakāya,
for the ever present good law of the heart, the lotus terrace,
for the inborn adornment of the trikāya, the thirty-seven sages dwelling in the heart,
for that which is removed from seed and fruit, the upright key to the universal gate,
for all boundless concentrations, the sea of virtue, the root perfection,
I prostrate, bowing to the hearts of all Buddhas.

胎藏金剛菩提心義略問答鈔, Treatise on the teaching of the gnostic heart of the womb and the diamond, T2397.1.470c5-8

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Re: What is Dharmakaya?

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:10 pm

muni wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:17 am
Between two thoughts, there is a gap, indescridable openess revealing.
🙏
"Don't profess a view you haven't realized!
Since the view is devoid of viewing, mind essence is an expanse of great emptiness.
Since the meditation is without meditating, leave your individual experience free from fixation.
Since the conduct is without acting, it is unfabricated naturalness.
Since the fruition is without abandoning or achieving, it is the dharmakaya of great bliss.
These four sentences are words from my heart:
Contradict them and you fail to discover the nature of Ati Yoga."


Guru Padmasambhava.
From "Advice from the Lotus-Born".

krodha
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Re: What is Dharmakaya?

Post by krodha » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:19 pm

Dharmakāya is not the space between two thoughts.

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Aryjna
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Re: What is Dharmakaya?

Post by Aryjna » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:29 pm

krodha wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:19 pm
Dharmakāya is not the space between two thoughts.
Yes, ChNNR points that out many times, it seems it is a relatively common mistake.

Punya
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Re: What is Dharmakaya?

Post by Punya » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:31 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:42 am
Is dharmakāya also dharmadhātu? What is the difference between them?
viewtopic.php?t=14172
We abide nowhere. We possess nothing.
~Chatral Rinpoche

Crazywisdom
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Re: What is Dharmakaya?

Post by Crazywisdom » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:36 pm

doublerepukken wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:44 am
Hello all,

I have been coming across this concept several times in my exploration of Mahayana, and I am simply baffled as to what it is supposed to be. is the Dharmakaya essentially 'God' in Buddhism? A being that exists as the 'source' of all things seems to fit in very well conceptually with the Tao, or God or something similar, but I can't really find a clear explanation of this concept anywhere. I guess I am confused because initially I was informed that there is no concept of a creator, or supreme being in Buddhism, yet this seems to be exactly that (for instance, I read that it is said if the universe and all physical matter were destroyed, the Dharmakaya body would still exist... it is a being that is not conditioned, but how could it come to be without working its way through rebirth to Buddhahood?). It seems like something that wasn't created or 'born' but has always existed, and I guess I was under the impression there was nothing 'eternal' in Buddhist thought. Any clarification would be much appreciated.

Ethan
Dharma, stuff happens. Kaya, where it happens
Vajra fangs deliver vajra venom to your Mara body.

Punya
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Re: Dharmakaya in Mahayana

Post by Punya » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:01 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:32 am
Now how the Dharma Kaya relates to or 'contains' samsara is an interesting question and not something I've seen specifically answered exactly.
This is just a thought, so see what you think. Thrangu Rinpoche says:
All illusory appearances of condition existence are only an illusion they are only the result of a mistake, of a misapprehension of the truth, they are only a delusion..... When we speak about liberation it means the end of all mistakes the end of Illusion. What we need to do is awake and from this mistake which is like sleep. Or we can say to remove the mistake..... So we say "awakened" or cleared away" rather than "to remove or eliminate", because it is not a matter of taking away and external object, but is a matter of understanding our mistake, our illusion.
So this is how dharmakaya relates to samsara. Make the mistake and samsara is experienced, correct the mistake and dharmakaya is experienced.
We abide nowhere. We possess nothing.
~Chatral Rinpoche

muni
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Re: What is Dharmakaya?

Post by muni » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:07 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:29 pm
krodha wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:19 pm
Dharmakāya is not the space between two thoughts.
Yes, ChNNR points that out many times, it seems it is a relatively common mistake.
Nobody said "is".
*Om Mani Peme Hung*

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Aryjna
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Re: What is Dharmakaya?

Post by Aryjna » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:22 pm

muni wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:07 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:29 pm
krodha wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:19 pm
Dharmakāya is not the space between two thoughts.
Yes, ChNNR points that out many times, it seems it is a relatively common mistake.
Nobody said "is".
I did not say that you did say that in any case. But what relevance does the space between two thoughts have to this thread?

Malcolm
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Re: What is Dharmakaya?

Post by Malcolm » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:27 pm

muni wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:07 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:29 pm
krodha wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:19 pm
Dharmakāya is not the space between two thoughts.
Yes, ChNNR points that out many times, it seems it is a relatively common mistake.
Nobody said "is".
Sure you did:
Between two thoughts, there is a gap, indescridable openess revealing.

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