if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

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conebeckham
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Re: if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

Post by conebeckham » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:12 pm

smcj wrote:
So if you take the view that a Buddha sees 1.the essence that is not effected by manifestation, and 2.sees the complete freedom of their Buddha Nature to manifest as anything--even as a tangled knot of suffering--then you could say that a Buddha only sees another Buddha. Some authors take that view.

However the way I've been taught is that an enlightened being sees both the fundamental Wisdoms and the mistaken grasping and emotionality. So they do see a sentient being's confusion as well as his enlightened nature both. It's not as if they can't see the suffering of the sentient being.
**
I liked your post quite a bit, smcj. I would add that Buddha's Omniscience must by definition "see" the mistaken grasping, emotionality, etc. and I think the obscurations would be seen more clearly than we see them. In some sense, we "don't" see them, in fact.

I would hazard a guess that Buddhas "see" only Buddhas, but that they also see these Buddhas perhaps not recognizing themselves as such. Great compassion arises, as do the form kayas, because of this.

That's my take on it, at least.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
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"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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Re: if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

Post by Grigoris » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:35 pm

Zhen Li wrote:
smcj wrote:As far as the 3 Kayas go, they are: 1.the non-manifest essential enlightenment of a Buddha (Dharmakaya), 2.the communication of a Buddha manifesting (Sambhogakaya), and 3.the physical presence of a Buddha manifesting (Nirmanakaya). So technically your "Kayas" are presently being expressed as your body, speech, and mind. Essentially they can be said to be present as Kayas. Some Tibetan authors (Dolpoba) see it that way. Effectively however that is at best a moot point. Their manifestations are limited by unawareness.
I am not sure about the idea of a 'latent' sambhogakaya or nirmanakaya. As I understand it (coming from a non-tantric perspective), both sambhogakaya and nirmanakaya are illusory, like conditioned experience. They're devices employed by a fully awakened Buddha to help beings. The only buddhakaya that we have prior to attaining buddhahood, or the tenth bhumi as a bodhisattva, is the dharmakaya. In the end, that is the only kaya we have, but it has multiplicity from the perspective of deluded beings.

As regards the manifestation of the nirmanakaya, this is not limited for humans. When a Buddha exists on the earth, he is clearly present to our eyes, just like you or I. The same goes for the sambhogakaya. The difference is that the sambhogakaya is the fruition of vows and merits. Ordinary humans often do see sambhogakaya buddhas or bodhisattvas. Seeing a buddha in a pureland is seeing a sambhogakaya buddha.
So the Dharmakaya is real and the other two kaya are illusory?

The Dharmakaya is one thing and the other two kaya are another thing?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

Post by muni » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:08 am

When a Buddha exists on the earth, he is clearly present to our eyes, just like you or I.
Of course when an appearing Master is labeled a Buddha, an Enlightened Master, then we see with our eyes as we trust the source how he/she is presented. But would there always be recognition on the street, market or so, when this is not?
Possible if for example Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche or any other would had written incognito on internet somewhere with a username and particular avatar, he could have received some good lessons, helping him get rid of his limitations. Lol. (Since he said for example once do not fight, even it is certain the other is wrong, let him win.) Or H H Dalai Lama would maybe receive the advice to find a real Buddhist teacher. Lol.
Grigoris wrote: The Dharmakaya is one thing and the other two kaya are another thing?
Ah! Inseparable. Not?
The nature of just what is, in all things, is undifferentiated.
When purified, it is the nature of the tathagata.
Therefore all living beings possess that nucleus.

The fortress of the spacious and timeless expanse has no division into
higher or lower or in between.

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Re: if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

Post by Zhen Li » Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:00 pm

Malcolm wrote:This not a Tibetan idea, this is throughout Mahāyāna in Indian texts.
Can you please point me to those?
Grigoris wrote:The Dharmakaya is one thing and the other two kaya are another thing?
No, Dharmakaya is unbounded.
muni wrote:Of course when an appearing Master is labeled a Buddha, an Enlightened Master, then we see with our eyes as we trust the source how he/she is presented. But would there always be recognition on the street, market or so, when this is not?
If he had the 32 major characteristics and 80 minor characteristics, or even a few of them, he could be recognizable.

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Re: if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

Post by Malcolm » Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:40 pm

Zhen Li wrote:
Malcolm wrote:This not a Tibetan idea, this is throughout Mahāyāna in Indian texts.
Can you please point me to those?
It is based on statements in the Lanka such as:
  • There is no buddhahood in the desire realm,
    it is accomplished in Akaniṣṭha.
And:
  • In the divine palace of Akaniṣṭha
    free from all misdeeds,
    always free of concepts,
    free of mind and mental factors,
    having obtained strengths and the faculties of clairvoyance,
    after obtain the faculty of samadhi,
    the perfect Buddha attains buddhahood there,
    the emanations obtain buddhahood here.
And:
  • In the form realm's Akaniṣṭha
    free from desire, you obtained Buddhahood.
The Ārya-ghanavyūha-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra
  • The perfect buddhas attain awakening
    in the supreme place, Akaniṣṭha,
    there is no buddhahood in the desire realm,
    the deeds of the buddhahood are not performed there...

You can easily find in many Madhyamaka and Yogacara treatises systematically elaborating upon these ideas about the five certainties which the nirmanakāya lacks. This is also taken up systematically in Indian Vajrayāna commentaries.

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Re: if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

Post by Grigoris » Thu Feb 16, 2017 4:46 pm

Zhen Li wrote:No, Dharmakaya is unbounded.
Doesn't really answer my questions, but anyway...
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

Post by Zhen Li » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:18 pm

Malcolm wrote:It is based on statements in the Lanka such as:
Thank you Malcolm. However, the term "five certainties" still does not occur here.

Could you go into how the understanding I presented earlier is "forgetting" these precisely?

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Re: if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

Post by Bristollad » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:54 pm

From the Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism:

pancaniyata: Tib. nges pa Inga; Chi. wu jueding; Jap. goketsujo; Kor. o kyolchong. In Sanskrit, the "5 certainties," five qualities describing a buddha's enjoyment body (SAMBHOGAKAYA), the body that appears in an ideal realm and is visible to BODHISATTVAS. The order and detail of these characteristics vary slightly from source to source. Generally, the enjoyment body will appear (1) as a definite body, adorned with the thrity-two major marks and the eighty minor marks of a great man (MAHAPURUSALAKSANA); (2) in a definite place, such as the heavenly AKANISTHA realm (3) in a definite retinue, viz. bodhisattivas who have achieved the first stage (BHUMMI) or above or, according to some sources, the tenth stage; (4) expounding a definite teaching, the doctrines of the MAHAYANA; and (5) in a definite time, until the end of the SAMSARA.

Maybe you are more familiar with it under the Chinese or Japanese terms mentioned above, Zhen Li ?

p.s. sorry for the lack of accented letters

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Re: if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

Post by Caoimhghín » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:05 pm

Here is another way of putting it, as far as I know.

If the Buddha in delusion is not realized than it stands to reason that the sambhogakāya is also not realized, whether or not it pre-exists its own realization.
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: if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

Post by Zhen Li » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:35 am

Bristollad wrote:From the Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism:

pancaniyata: Tib. nges pa Inga; Chi. wu jueding; Jap. goketsujo; Kor. o kyolchong. In Sanskrit, the "5 certainties," five qualities describing a buddha's enjoyment body (SAMBHOGAKAYA), the body that appears in an ideal realm and is visible to BODHISATTVAS. The order and detail of these characteristics vary slightly from source to source. Generally, the enjoyment body will appear (1) as a definite body, adorned with the thrity-two major marks and the eighty minor marks of a great man (MAHAPURUSALAKSANA); (2) in a definite place, such as the heavenly AKANISTHA realm (3) in a definite retinue, viz. bodhisattivas who have achieved the first stage (BHUMMI) or above or, according to some sources, the tenth stage; (4) expounding a definite teaching, the doctrines of the MAHAYANA; and (5) in a definite time, until the end of the SAMSARA.

Maybe you are more familiar with it under the Chinese or Japanese terms mentioned above, Zhen Li ?

p.s. sorry for the lack of accented letters
Hi there Bristollad,

I also found the PDB entry, but of course they do not use citations. Often the Sanskrit terms are back translations and my searches in Sanskrit text databases have been inconclusive on the term's usage in Sanskrit. It does not occur in Edgerton's dictionary of Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit.

I am most familiar with Sanskrit and Pali, and only then Newar, contemporary Nepali, and lastly Chinese texts/terminology. I have no working knowledge of Tibetan, so this is why I must ask such questions when my experience draws a blank for the non-Tibetan Buddhist cases. As far as I know, the only occurrence of this term is the PDB entry and a Rigpa Wiki article that predates it, but which only cites Tibetan sources.
Coëmgenu wrote:If the Buddha in delusion is not realized than it stands to reason that the sambhogakāya is also not realized, whether or not it pre-exists its own realization.
I'd concur.

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Re: if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

Post by Jeff » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:24 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Zhen Li wrote:
Malcolm wrote:This not a Tibetan idea, this is throughout Mahāyāna in Indian texts.
Can you please point me to those?
It is based on statements in the Lanka such as:
  • There is no buddhahood in the desire realm,
    it is accomplished in Akaniṣṭha.
And:
  • In the divine palace of Akaniṣṭha
    free from all misdeeds,
    always free of concepts,
    free of mind and mental factors,
    having obtained strengths and the faculties of clairvoyance,
    after obtain the faculty of samadhi,
    the perfect Buddha attains buddhahood there,
    the emanations obtain buddhahood here.
And:
  • In the form realm's Akaniṣṭha
    free from desire, you obtained Buddhahood.
The Ārya-ghanavyūha-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra
  • The perfect buddhas attain awakening
    in the supreme place, Akaniṣṭha,
    there is no buddhahood in the desire realm,
    the deeds of the buddhahood are not performed there...

You can easily find in many Madhyamaka and Yogacara treatises systematically elaborating upon these ideas about the five certainties which the nirmanakāya lacks. This is also taken up systematically in Indian Vajrayāna commentaries.
Then how would you respond to the Avatamsaka Sutra...

Great bodhisattvas have no attachment to Buddha and do not develop attachments;
they have no attachment to the teachings and do not develop attachments; they have
no attachment to lands and do not develop attachments; they have no attachments
to sentient beings and do not develop attachments. They do not see that there are
sentient beings, yet they carry on educational activity, civilizing and teaching ways
of liberation; they do not give up the practices of bodhisattvas with great compassion
and great commitment. Seeing buddhas and hearing their teachings, they act accordingly;
trusting the buddhas they plant roots of goodness, ceaselessly honoring and serving them.

They are able to shake infinite worlds in the ten directions by spiritual powers; their minds are
broad, being equal to the cosmos. They know various explanations of truth, they know how
many sentient beings there are, they know the differences among sentient beings, they know
the birth of suffering, they know the extinction of suffering; while knowing all acts are like reflected
images, they carry out the deeds of bodhisattvas. They sever the root of all subjection to birth.

They carry out practices of bodhisattvas for the sole purpose of saving sentient beings and yet
do not practice anything. Conforming to the essential nature of all buddhas, they develop a mind
like an immense mountain. They know all falsehood and delusion, and enter the door of omniscience.
Their knowledge and wisdom are broad and vast and unshakable, due to the attainment of true enlightenment.
This is the insight of practical knowledge of equally saving all sentient beings in the ocean of birth and death.

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Re: if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

Post by Malcolm » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:57 pm

Jeff wrote:
Then how would you respond to the Avatamsaka Sutra...

.
The Ārya-ghanavyūha-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra is the final section of the Avatamsaka Sutra.

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Re: if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

Post by Jeff » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:12 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Jeff wrote:
Then how would you respond to the Avatamsaka Sutra...

.
The Ārya-ghanavyūha-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra is the final section of the Avatamsaka Sutra.
So then would Buddhahood be like hitting the eject button? Losing the ability to differentiate like Great bodhisattvas? If so, what is the point of the Sambhogkaya?

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Re: if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

Post by Malcolm » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:46 pm

Jeff wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Jeff wrote:
Then how would you respond to the Avatamsaka Sutra...

.
The Ārya-ghanavyūha-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra is the final section of the Avatamsaka Sutra.
So then would Buddhahood be like hitting the eject button? Losing the ability to differentiate like Great bodhisattvas? If so, what is the point of the Sambhogkaya?
To enjoy (bhoga) the Dharma together (sam) with buddhas and bodhisattvas who are his own embodied (kāya) emanations, as well as bodhisattvas who are reborn in Akaniṣṭha Ghanavyuha.

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Re: if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

Post by Caoimhghín » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:28 pm

Buddha-nature is "latent Buddhahood", right? (I say "right?" because I am legitimately unsure of this terminology, which is off-the-cuff haphazardly adapted from what I know of Tiantai discourse).

If it follows that we have "latent (i.e. unrealized) Buddhahood", than we have "unrealized"/latent kāyas as well. I think?
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: if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

Post by Jeff » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:58 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Jeff wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
The Ārya-ghanavyūha-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra is the final section of the Avatamsaka Sutra.
So then would Buddhahood be like hitting the eject button? Losing the ability to differentiate like Great bodhisattvas? If so, what is the point of the Sambhogkaya?
To enjoy (bhoga) the Dharma together (sam) with buddhas and bodhisattvas who are his own embodied (kāya) emanations, as well as bodhisattvas who are reborn in Akaniṣṭha Ghanavyuha.
Thanks. But if a Buddha sees everyone else as a Buddha doesn't that mean that the Buddha would be with all sentient beings? Or are you saying that it is like those beings don't even exist to enjoy (be with)?

Is it just that a Buddha loses the ability to discern?

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Re: if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

Post by Grigoris » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:22 pm

Jeff wrote:Is it just that a Buddha loses the ability to discern?
Discernement (as we ignorant beings experience it) requires a dualistic relationship with the object of discernment, this requires a misidentification of the skandha as self.

I believe that a Buddha does discern other beings, but not in the same way we do. A Buddha sees things as they actually are, we see them as we think they are.

Enlightenment is an "eject button", an "eject button" from samsaric experience, but we have to remember that experience (for us) is just as much about mental projection, as it is about sensing/sensation.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

Post by Jeff » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:29 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Jeff wrote:Is it just that a Buddha loses the ability to discern?
Discernement (as we ignorant beings experience it) requires a dualistic relationship with the object of discernment, this requires a misidentification of the skandha as self.

I believe that a Buddha does discern other beings, but not in the same way we do. A Buddha sees things as they actually are, we see them as we think they are.

Enlightenment is an "eject button", an "eject button" from samsaric experience, but we have to remember that experience (for us) is just as much about mental projection, as it is about sensing/sensation.
I get it. But my question is really a continuation of the discussion of with Malcolm. Does your "Buddha sees things as they actually are" mean that a Buddha can no longer see the relativistic obscurations that "block" a sentient being from Buddhahood? Or since the Sambkogakaya is for hanging with only with buddhas and high level bodhisattvas, does that mean he doesn't see them at all? As compared to the High Level Bodhisattvas who see everyone (buddhas and sentiment beings) and can specifically help because...

They are able to shake infinite worlds in the ten directions by spiritual powers; their minds are
broad, being equal to the cosmos. They know various explanations of truth, they know how
many sentient beings there are, they know the differences among sentient beings, they know
the birth of suffering, they know the extinction of suffering; while knowing all acts are like reflected
images, they carry out the deeds of bodhisattvas. They sever the root of all subjection to birth.

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Re: if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

Post by Grigoris » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:12 pm

Jeff wrote:I get it. But my question is really a continuation of the discussion of with Malcolm. Does your "Buddha sees things as they actually are" mean that a Buddha can no longer see the relativistic obscurations that "block" a sentient being from Buddhahood? Or since the Sambkogakaya is for hanging with only with buddhas and high level bodhisattvas, does that mean he doesn't see them at all? As compared to the High Level Bodhisattvas who see everyone (buddhas and sentiment beings) and can specifically help because...
My guess (not being enlightened and all that) is that a Buddha sees our true (enlightened) nature when they see us. They would probably see our afflictions and obscurations, but since they know that these have no true existence, they would not identify us as these.

My guess is that when a Samboghakaya Buddha is hanging with Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, partying hard, that actually they are not in some sphere of existence somewhere separate to here; but that they are right here with us right now, enjoying this magical and illusionary play of phenomena that we take so seriously, since we believe it is actually real.

That's my take. Probably highly heretical, but it makes me feel all soft and mushy, so there must be some value to it (at least for me). :tongue:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: if we are Buddhas are we the 3 Kayas

Post by openmind » Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:00 am

This whole scenario you bring up sounds like a movie plot. The imagination is ruling the direction of the inquiry.

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