Are Buddhas formless or form?

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MatthewAngby
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Are Buddhas formless or form?

Post by MatthewAngby » Mon Oct 08, 2018 1:28 am

Are buddhas actually formless in reality but only appear in form when needed? Or are buddhas beyond form and formlessness, yet not seperate from both?

AlexanderS
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Re: Are Buddhas formless or form?

Post by AlexanderS » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:44 pm

Both?

Buddha's are the formless dharmakaya, but also the from sambogakaya and Nirmanakaya.

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Re: Are Buddhas formless or form?

Post by AlexanderS » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:49 pm


TrimePema
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Re: Are Buddhas formless or form?

Post by TrimePema » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:22 pm

Kayas are simultaneous - that is the notion of the nature body, svabhavikakaya :)

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Karma Dondrup Tashi
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Re: Are Buddhas formless or form?

Post by Karma Dondrup Tashi » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:50 am

Those who hold the second view that buddhas do not possess the pristine awareness of things as manifold quote as their authority the Infinite Means of Purification Sutra:

Having reached true and perfect buddhahood, the Tathāgata neither knows nor has in mind any phenomenon whatever. Why is this? Because there exists no objective reality whatsoever to be known.


Sgam-po-pa, Ken Holmes, and Thupten Jinpa. Ornament of Precious Liberation. Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications, 2017.

MatthewAngby
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Re: Are Buddhas formless or form?

Post by MatthewAngby » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:32 am

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:50 am
Those who hold the second view that buddhas do not possess the pristine awareness of things as manifold quote as their authority the Infinite Means of Purification Sutra:

Having reached true and perfect buddhahood, the Tathāgata neither knows nor has in mind any phenomenon whatever. Why is this? Because there exists no objective reality whatsoever to be known.


Sgam-po-pa, Ken Holmes, and Thupten Jinpa. Ornament of Precious Liberation. Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications, 2017.
Um, so they don’t know what is happening around them? Why would anyone ever want such a state?

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Aryjna
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Re: Are Buddhas formless or form?

Post by Aryjna » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:47 am

MatthewAngby wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:32 am
Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:50 am
Those who hold the second view that buddhas do not possess the pristine awareness of things as manifold quote as their authority the Infinite Means of Purification Sutra:

Having reached true and perfect buddhahood, the Tathāgata neither knows nor has in mind any phenomenon whatever. Why is this? Because there exists no objective reality whatsoever to be known.


Sgam-po-pa, Ken Holmes, and Thupten Jinpa. Ornament of Precious Liberation. Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications, 2017.
Um, so they don’t know what is happening around them? Why would anyone ever want such a state?
As has been said many times in the previous threads on this matter, they know perfectly everything around them and anywhere else. They always also have form because the three kayas are inseparable.

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Astus
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Re: Are Buddhas formless or form?

Post by Astus » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:12 pm

A monk asked Zen master Guizong, “What is Buddha?”
Guizong said, “When I tell you it becomes something else.”

(Zen's Chinese Heritage, p 370)

"Those who have conceptions of the Buddha,
Who, beyond conception, is unbounded,
Are blinded by those very concepts;
They do not behold the Tathagata.
The nature of the Tathagata
Is the nature of this world of beings.
The Tathagata is without intrinsic being;
This world of beings is without intrinsic being."

(Nagarjuna: MMK 22.15-16, tr Padmakara)

"Jetsun Mila's position regarding primordial wisdom. He said this unfabricated awareness is beyond words and conceptual thoughts such as existence or non-existence, eternalism or nihilism, and so forth. It will not be contradicted whatever name is used to express it. Primordial wisdom is also like this. Those who would be expected to be scholars— even if they asked the Buddha himself—I don't think he would say one way or the other. Dharmakaya is beyond conception, unborn, free from elaborations."
(Gampopa: JOoL, p 286, tr Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche)

"Space and the Dharma body are without any dissimilar characteristics (lit., “characteristics of differentiation”). The Buddhas and sentient beings are without any dissimilar characteristics, samsara and nirvana are without any dissimilar characteristics, and the afflictions and bodhi are without any dissimilar characteristics.
To transcend all characteristics is to be a Buddha. Ordinary people grasp at [their sensory] realms, while religious persons grasp at the mind. For the mind and the realms to both be forgotten is the True Dharma. To forget the realms is relatively easy, but to forget the mind is extremely di‡cult. People do not dare to forget the mind, fearing that they will fall into the void (i.e., the emptiness of space) with nowhere to grab hold. They do not understand that the void is without void, that there is only one true Dharma body."

(Huangbo: Essentials of the Transmission of Mind, in Zen Texts, BDK ed, p 21)
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

MatthewAngby
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Re: Are Buddhas formless or form?

Post by MatthewAngby » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:06 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:47 am
MatthewAngby wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:32 am
Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:50 am
Those who hold the second view that buddhas do not possess the pristine awareness of things as manifold quote as their authority the Infinite Means of Purification Sutra:

Having reached true and perfect buddhahood, the Tathāgata neither knows nor has in mind any phenomenon whatever. Why is this? Because there exists no objective reality whatsoever to be known.


Sgam-po-pa, Ken Holmes, and Thupten Jinpa. Ornament of Precious Liberation. Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications, 2017.
Um, so they don’t know what is happening around them? Why would anyone ever want such a state?
As has been said many times in the previous threads on this matter, they know perfectly everything around them and anywhere else. They always also have form because the three kayas are inseparable.
Ok


Astus wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:12 pm
A monk asked Zen master Guizong, “What is Buddha?”
Guizong said, “When I tell you it becomes something else.”

(Zen's Chinese Heritage, p 370)

"Those who have conceptions of the Buddha,
Who, beyond conception, is unbounded,
Are blinded by those very concepts;
They do not behold the Tathagata.
The nature of the Tathagata
Is the nature of this world of beings.
The Tathagata is without intrinsic being;
This world of beings is without intrinsic being."

(Nagarjuna: MMK 22.15-16, tr Padmakara)

"Jetsun Mila's position regarding primordial wisdom. He said this unfabricated awareness is beyond words and conceptual thoughts such as existence or non-existence, eternalism or nihilism, and so forth. It will not be contradicted whatever name is used to express it. Primordial wisdom is also like this. Those who would be expected to be scholars— even if they asked the Buddha himself—I don't think he would say one way or the other. Dharmakaya is beyond conception, unborn, free from elaborations."
(Gampopa: JOoL, p 286, tr Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche)

"Space and the Dharma body are without any dissimilar characteristics (lit., “characteristics of differentiation”). The Buddhas and sentient beings are without any dissimilar characteristics, samsara and nirvana are without any dissimilar characteristics, and the afflictions and bodhi are without any dissimilar characteristics.
To transcend all characteristics is to be a Buddha. Ordinary people grasp at [their sensory] realms, while religious persons grasp at the mind. For the mind and the realms to both be forgotten is the True Dharma. To forget the realms is relatively easy, but to forget the mind is extremely di‡cult. People do not dare to forget the mind, fearing that they will fall into the void (i.e., the emptiness of space) with nowhere to grab hold. They do not understand that the void is without void, that there is only one true Dharma body."

(Huangbo: Essentials of the Transmission of Mind, in Zen Texts, BDK ed, p 21)
Um, why would you want to even forget the sensory realms and mind? That sounds to me like escaping the outer and inner worlds dude, and again, does that mean they ( buddhas ) are without mind and sensory perceptions , which sounds to me personally like a person that is dead and unconscious.

Seeker12
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Re: Are Buddhas formless or form?

Post by Seeker12 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:42 pm

Nice quotes, Astus.
Therein is nothing to remove
And thereto not the slightest thing to add.
The perfect truth viewed perfectly
And perfectly beheld is liberation.

Uttaratantra

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Astus
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Re: Are Buddhas formless or form?

Post by Astus » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:37 pm

MatthewAngby wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:06 pm
Um, why would you want to even forget the sensory realms and mind? That sounds to me like escaping the outer and inner worlds dude, and again, does that mean they ( buddhas ) are without mind and sensory perceptions , which sounds to me personally like a person that is dead and unconscious.
Being buddha means freedom from identification. As long as there is something pointed at to be the buddha, that is just ordinary deluded perception, where one keeps grasping at appearances and generating dissatisfaction. Let me quote this entertaining and educational story from the Vimalakirti Sutra (ch 3, BDK ed, p 95-96):

The Buddha told Ānanda, “You go inquire about Vimalakīrti’s illness.”
Ānanda addressed the Buddha, “World-honored One, I dare not accept your instruction to go inquire about his illness. Why? I remember once in the past, the World-honored One had a slight illness requiring cow’s milk [as medicine]. I took my bowl and proceeded to the gateway of a great brahman home.
“While I was standing there Vimalakīrti came and said to me, ‘O Ānanda, why are you standing here with your bowl so early in the morning?’
“I said, ‘O retired scholar, the World-honored One has a slight illness requiring cow’s milk, and so I have come here.’
“Vimalakīrti said, ‘Stop, stop, Ānanda! Do not speak thus. The Tathāgata’s body is the essence of vajra. [In it] the evils are already eradicated and the host of goods universally assembled. What illness could it have, what vexation could there be?
“‘Go silently, Ānanda—do not revile the Tathāgata, and do not let anyone else hear such coarse talk. Do not allow the gods of awesome power and virtue and the bodhisattvas who have come from pure lands in other directions to hear these words.
“‘Ānanda, even a small degree of blessings (i.e., merit) allows the wheelturning sage king (cakravartin) to be without illness—how could the immeasurable blessings of the Tathāgata fail to exceed his in every regard?!
“‘Go, Ānanda—do not make us experience this shame. If brahmans in the heterodox paths hear this, they will think, “Who is this teacher, who is unable to save himself from illness but would save others of their ills?” Sir, go in secret haste and do not let anyone hear this.
“‘You should understand, Ānanda, the bodies of the Tathāgatas are bodies of the Dharma, not bodies of longing. The Buddha is the World-honored One, who has transcended the triple world. The Buddha’s body is without flaws, the flaws having been extinguished. The Buddha’s body is unconditioned and does not fit the [conventional] analytic categories. A body such as this—how could it be ill, how could it be vexed?’
“At the time, World-honored One, I was really ashamed that I might have mistakenly heard what the Buddha had said in spite of being so close.
“‘I then heard a voice from space saying, ‘Ānanda, it is as the retired scholar has said. It is just that the Buddha has appeared in this evil age of the five corruptions and manifests this Dharma to emancipate sentient beings. Go, Ānanda. Take the milk without shame.’
“World-honored One, the eloquence of Vimalakīrti’s wisdom is like this. Therefore, I cannot accept [your instruction] to go inquire about his illness.”
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Karma Dondrup Tashi
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Re: Are Buddhas formless or form?

Post by Karma Dondrup Tashi » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:05 pm

Astus wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:12 pm
"Jetsun Mila's position regarding primordial wisdom. He said this unfabricated awareness is beyond words and conceptual thoughts such as existence or non-existence, eternalism or nihilism, and so forth. It will not be contradicted whatever name is used to express it. Primordial wisdom is also like this. Those who would be expected to be scholars— even if they asked the Buddha himself—I don't think he would say one way or the other. Dharmakaya is beyond conception, unborn, free from elaborations."
(Gampopa: JOoL, p 286, tr Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche)
:thumbsup:

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Aryjna
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Re: Are Buddhas formless or form?

Post by Aryjna » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:08 pm

MatthewAngby wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:06 pm
Ok
Apparently it is not ok, as you keep ignoring everything anyone posts here and repeat the same thing over and over.

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Wayfarer
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Re: Are Buddhas formless or form?

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:20 am

The original question has been addressed by the citations provided here. Speculation about what 'formless' means is not conducive to sound practice, so this thread is now locked. Please PM any objections.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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