Do Buddhas have any true multiplicity, or are they all emanations of the dharmakāya?

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Lokottara
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Do Buddhas have any true multiplicity, or are they all emanations of the dharmakāya?

Post by Lokottara »

From my comprehension, it seems like all Buddhas share the same "mind", so to speak. The Buddhas manifest their activities, assuming various forms and names. Additionally, sūtras such as the Lotus Sūtra and the Śūraṅgama Samādhi Sūtra include magical displays that show the ultimate sameness between Buddhas, with the same Buddha manifesting as multiple Buddhas. The Tathāgatagarbha Sūtras also appear support this viewpoint.

Would it be incorrect to believe that all Buddhas are upaya to appeal to and save different beings, based on their mental inclinations?
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Re: Do Buddhas have any true multiplicity, or are they all emanations of the dharmakāya?

Post by Pema Rigdzin »

Buddhas don't share one mind. They each have their own wisdom continuum. All those continua are the same qualitatively, but not quantitatively. IE all water is the same in substance, but all bodies of water aren't one big body of water. But ultimately the real buddha is the dharmakaya, which is empty of characteristics such as "one" or "many."
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Lokottara
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Re: Do Buddhas have any true multiplicity, or are they all emanations of the dharmakāya?

Post by Lokottara »

Pema Rigdzin wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:54 am Buddhas don't share one mind. They each have their own wisdom continuum. All those continua are the same qualitatively, but not quantitatively. IE all water is the same in substance, but all bodies of water aren't one big body of water. But ultimately the real buddha is the dharmakaya, which is empty of characteristics such as "one" or "many."

Am I correct to assume that the wisdom continuum is the purified citta-santāna? What's the Sanskrit term for the wisdom continuum?

I don't understand what the "point" of separate Samyaksaṃbuddhas is if, via the Śūraṅgama Samādhi, even one Buddha can manifest an infinite amount of emanations (among other things).
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Astus
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Re: Do Buddhas have any true multiplicity, or are they all emanations of the dharmakāya?

Post by Astus »

Lokottara wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:52 amI don't understand what the "point" of separate Samyaksaṃbuddhas is if, via the Śūraṅgama Samādhi, even one Buddha can manifest an infinite amount of emanations (among other things).
There are two perspectives. From the perspective of one's own cultivation, one aims to complete the bodhisattva path and attain buddhahood. From the perspective of one's perception of those who accomplished buddhahood, there are various examples. So, there are different buddhas for two reasons: the manifoldness of practitioners, and the plurality of personal traits that require connection to different buddhas. While actually these ideas about buddhas are 100% conceptual fabrications, they're still meaningful and beneficial.
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"
TrimePema
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Re: Do Buddhas have any true multiplicity, or are they all emanations of the dharmakāya?

Post by TrimePema »

Lokottara wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:52 am
Pema Rigdzin wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:54 am Buddhas don't share one mind. They each have their own wisdom continuum. All those continua are the same qualitatively, but not quantitatively. IE all water is the same in substance, but all bodies of water aren't one big body of water. But ultimately the real buddha is the dharmakaya, which is empty of characteristics such as "one" or "many."

Am I correct to assume that the wisdom continuum is the purified citta-santāna? What's the Sanskrit term for the wisdom continuum?

I don't understand what the "point" of separate Samyaksaṃbuddhas is if, via the Śūraṅgama Samādhi, even one Buddha can manifest an infinite amount of emanations (among other things).
Buddhas can only manifest to beings fortunate enough to be connected with them. This is why the final stage of the path is making aspirations to generate those connections. The number of beings they can actively guide is not infinite. It is (I think) 100 trillion trichiliocosms worth of beings. The diversity of the emanations deployed to those beings, however, is infinite. This is skillful means.
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Lokottara
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Re: Do Buddhas have any true multiplicity, or are they all emanations of the dharmakāya?

Post by Lokottara »

Astus wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:40 am
Lokottara wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:52 amI don't understand what the "point" of separate Samyaksaṃbuddhas is if, via the Śūraṅgama Samādhi, even one Buddha can manifest an infinite amount of emanations (among other things).
There are two perspectives. From the perspective of one's own cultivation, one aims to complete the bodhisattva path and attain buddhahood. From the perspective of one's perception of those who accomplished buddhahood, there are various examples. So, there are different buddhas for two reasons: the manifoldness of practitioners, and the plurality of personal traits that require connection to different buddhas. While actually these ideas about buddhas are 100% conceptual fabrications, they're still meaningful and beneficial.
:good:
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Lokottara
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Re: Do Buddhas have any true multiplicity, or are they all emanations of the dharmakāya?

Post by Lokottara »

TrimePema wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:55 pm
Lokottara wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:52 am
Pema Rigdzin wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:54 am Buddhas don't share one mind. They each have their own wisdom continuum. All those continua are the same qualitatively, but not quantitatively. IE all water is the same in substance, but all bodies of water aren't one big body of water. But ultimately the real buddha is the dharmakaya, which is empty of characteristics such as "one" or "many."

Am I correct to assume that the wisdom continuum is the purified citta-santāna? What's the Sanskrit term for the wisdom continuum?

I don't understand what the "point" of separate Samyaksaṃbuddhas is if, via the Śūraṅgama Samādhi, even one Buddha can manifest an infinite amount of emanations (among other things).
Buddhas can only manifest to beings fortunate enough to be connected with them. This is why the final stage of the path is making aspirations to generate those connections. The number of beings they can actively guide is not infinite. It is (I think) 100 trillion trichiliocosms worth of beings. The diversity of the emanations deployed to those beings, however, is infinite. This is skillful means.
:twothumbsup:

Why would a Buddha ever even have a set limit for beings that they're able to guide? What sūtras/tantras state this? To me, this sounds like skillful means to invoke urgency to pursue the bodhisattva path. The notion of a Buddha having any kind of limit is odd to me, as Mahāyāna supports the idea that Buddhas have no limits, only perceived limits (for example, the Saṃdhinirmocana Sūtra passage explaining that beings aren't able to see the gifts of the Buddhas because of their own minds' limitations).
Sādhaka
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Re: Do Buddhas have any true multiplicity, or are they all emanations of the dharmakāya?

Post by Sādhaka »

See:

The Precious Treasury of Philosophical Systems by Longchen Rabjam.


Also, a helpful post from a couple years ago:

viewtopic.php?t=24717&start=80#p375303
Nicholas Weeks
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Limits of buddhas

Post by Nicholas Weeks »

Two examples from 1000 buddhas in the Bhadrakalpika Sutra showing the limitations of buddhas in terms of caste, lifespan, number of beings in their sangha, how long their Dharma will last - etcetera:
The Tathagata Niyatabuddhi will have as birthplace the
land called Beautiful Joy. This Jina will be of priestly descent,
and his light will extend for ten yojanas. His father’s name will
be Particularly Noble; his mother’s, Filled with Happiness. His
son will be called Fulfilled; his principal attendant, the Star. The
one of skill will be known as Exceeding Knowledge; the one
with miraculous abilities will be known as Mara Rejected. His
first assembly will consist of a great host of one hundred times
ten million; his second, of eighty times; his third, of sixty. The
human life span will be ten thousand years, and the holy
Dharma will remain a further five times that time. His relics will
extend throughout Jambudvipa, and eighty-eight hundred
times ten million stupas will appear. In front of each stupa one
hundred times ten million votive lamps will burn throughout
the night and day. (176)

The Tathagata Anantarupa will have as birthplace the land
called Venerable. He will be of princely descent, and his light
will extend for twenty-four yojanas. Good Friend will be his
father’s name; his mother’s, Lady of Goodness. His son will be
called Fearless; his principal attendant, Full of Light. The one
with skill will be known as Certainty in Mantras; the one with
miraculous abilities will be known as Light of Happiness. His
first assembly will number fifty-six times ten million Arhats with
exceedingly joyful minds; the second, fifty-five; the third
assembly, fifty-four. His life will span ten million years, and even
after this Sugata’s nirvana, the holy Dharma will remain ten
million years. There will be thirty-two hundred times ten
million stupas, all adorned with jeweled lotuses. (177)
May all seek, find & follow the Path of Buddhas.
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Re: Do Buddhas have any true multiplicity, or are they all emanations of the dharmakāya?

Post by TrimePema »

Lokottara wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:12 pm
TrimePema wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:55 pm
Lokottara wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:52 am


Am I correct to assume that the wisdom continuum is the purified citta-santāna? What's the Sanskrit term for the wisdom continuum?

I don't understand what the "point" of separate Samyaksaṃbuddhas is if, via the Śūraṅgama Samādhi, even one Buddha can manifest an infinite amount of emanations (among other things).
Buddhas can only manifest to beings fortunate enough to be connected with them. This is why the final stage of the path is making aspirations to generate those connections. The number of beings they can actively guide is not infinite. It is (I think) 100 trillion trichiliocosms worth of beings. The diversity of the emanations deployed to those beings, however, is infinite. This is skillful means.
:twothumbsup:

Why would a Buddha ever even have a set limit for beings that they're able to guide? What sūtras/tantras state this? To me, this sounds like skillful means to invoke urgency to pursue the bodhisattva path. The notion of a Buddha having any kind of limit is odd to me, as Mahāyāna supports the idea that Buddhas have no limits, only perceived limits (for example, the Saṃdhinirmocana Sūtra passage explaining that beings aren't able to see the gifts of the Buddhas because of their own minds' limitations).
Because Buddhas are not all powerful. They are all knowing.
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Re: Do Buddhas have any true multiplicity, or are they all emanations of the dharmakāya?

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

The notion of a Buddha having any kind of limit is odd to me, as Mahāyāna supports the idea that Buddhas have no limits, only perceived limits (for example, the Saṃdhinirmocana Sūtra passage explaining that beings aren't able to see the gifts of the Buddhas because of their own minds' limitations).
Because Buddhas are not all powerful. They are all knowing.
Buddhas can have limitless manifestation or expression. That is different than all-powerful. And the karma of beings can, and usually does, render that Buddha Activity moot.

That’s my current understanding of the last chapter of “The Uttaratantra”.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
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Lokottara
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Re: Do Buddhas have any true multiplicity, or are they all emanations of the dharmakāya?

Post by Lokottara »

Sādhaka wrote: Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:52 pm See:

The Precious Treasury of Philosophical Systems by Longchen Rabjam.


Also, a helpful post from a couple years ago:

viewtopic.php?t=24717&start=80#p375303
:thumbsup:
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Lokottara
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Re: Do Buddhas have any true multiplicity, or are they all emanations of the dharmakāya?

Post by Lokottara »

smcj wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:42 am
The notion of a Buddha having any kind of limit is odd to me, as Mahāyāna supports the idea that Buddhas have no limits, only perceived limits (for example, the Saṃdhinirmocana Sūtra passage explaining that beings aren't able to see the gifts of the Buddhas because of their own minds' limitations).
Because Buddhas are not all powerful. They are all knowing.
Buddhas can have limitless manifestation or expression. That is different than all-powerful. And the karma of beings can, and usually does, render that Buddha Activity moot.

That’s my current understanding of the last chapter of “The Uttaratantra”.
:thumbsup:

This is my understanding as well.
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Re: Do Buddhas have any true multiplicity, or are they all emanations of the dharmakāya?

Post by SonamTashi »

Lokottara wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:12 pm
TrimePema wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:55 pm
Lokottara wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:52 am


Am I correct to assume that the wisdom continuum is the purified citta-santāna? What's the Sanskrit term for the wisdom continuum?

I don't understand what the "point" of separate Samyaksaṃbuddhas is if, via the Śūraṅgama Samādhi, even one Buddha can manifest an infinite amount of emanations (among other things).
Buddhas can only manifest to beings fortunate enough to be connected with them. This is why the final stage of the path is making aspirations to generate those connections. The number of beings they can actively guide is not infinite. It is (I think) 100 trillion trichiliocosms worth of beings. The diversity of the emanations deployed to those beings, however, is infinite. This is skillful means.
:twothumbsup:

Why would a Buddha ever even have a set limit for beings that they're able to guide? What sūtras/tantras state this? To me, this sounds like skillful means to invoke urgency to pursue the bodhisattva path. The notion of a Buddha having any kind of limit is odd to me, as Mahāyāna supports the idea that Buddhas have no limits, only perceived limits (for example, the Saṃdhinirmocana Sūtra passage explaining that beings aren't able to see the gifts of the Buddhas because of their own minds' limitations).
Actually, I think it is the other way around. The bodhisattva vows, including the vow to liberate all beings, are implicitly understood to be impossible, yet the attitude/motivation represented by them are necessary for full awakening.
:bow: :buddha1: :bow: :anjali: :meditate:
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Lokottara
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Re: Do Buddhas have any true multiplicity, or are they all emanations of the dharmakāya?

Post by Lokottara »

SonamTashi wrote: Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:22 am
Lokottara wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:12 pm
TrimePema wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:55 pm

Buddhas can only manifest to beings fortunate enough to be connected with them. This is why the final stage of the path is making aspirations to generate those connections. The number of beings they can actively guide is not infinite. It is (I think) 100 trillion trichiliocosms worth of beings. The diversity of the emanations deployed to those beings, however, is infinite. This is skillful means.
:twothumbsup:

Why would a Buddha ever even have a set limit for beings that they're able to guide? What sūtras/tantras state this? To me, this sounds like skillful means to invoke urgency to pursue the bodhisattva path. The notion of a Buddha having any kind of limit is odd to me, as Mahāyāna supports the idea that Buddhas have no limits, only perceived limits (for example, the Saṃdhinirmocana Sūtra passage explaining that beings aren't able to see the gifts of the Buddhas because of their own minds' limitations).
Actually, I think it is the other way around. The bodhisattva vows, including the vow to liberate all beings, are implicitly understood to be impossible, yet the attitude/motivation represented by them are necessary for full awakening.
Infinity minus infinity is still infinity.
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Re: Do Buddhas have any true multiplicity, or are they all emanations of the dharmakāya?

Post by jhanapeacock »

TrimePema wrote: Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:54 pm
Lokottara wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:12 pm
TrimePema wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:55 pm

Buddhas can only manifest to beings fortunate enough to be connected with them. This is why the final stage of the path is making aspirations to generate those connections. The number of beings they can actively guide is not infinite. It is (I think) 100 trillion trichiliocosms worth of beings. The diversity of the emanations deployed to those beings, however, is infinite. This is skillful means.
:twothumbsup:

Why would a Buddha ever even have a set limit for beings that they're able to guide? What sūtras/tantras state this? To me, this sounds like skillful means to invoke urgency to pursue the bodhisattva path. The notion of a Buddha having any kind of limit is odd to me, as Mahāyāna supports the idea that Buddhas have no limits, only perceived limits (for example, the Saṃdhinirmocana Sūtra passage explaining that beings aren't able to see the gifts of the Buddhas because of their own minds' limitations).
Because Buddhas are not all powerful. They are all knowing.
My favourite sutra describes the Buddha as omnipotent :

"Only the Bhagavan Buddha alone has the eye to see, the knowledge of truth and is the omnipotent Lord who is the root of all Dharma’s and the true refuge. Only the Buddha alone can fully comprehend this subject."
Queen Srimala Sutra
jhanapeacock
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Re: Do Buddhas have any true multiplicity, or are they all emanations of the dharmakāya?

Post by jhanapeacock »

Yes, it is indeed understood that buddhas share the same Dharmakaya, and the rupakayas are just "manifestations". Vajrayana buddhism could have a different interpretation, i don´t know.
Schrödinger’s Yidam
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Re: Do Buddhas have any true multiplicity, or are they all emanations of the dharmakāya?

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

Yes, it is indeed understood that buddhas share the same Dharmakaya,
What does not share the same Dharmakaya?
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
jhanapeacock
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Re: Do Buddhas have any true multiplicity, or are they all emanations of the dharmakāya?

Post by jhanapeacock »

smcj wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:39 am
Yes, it is indeed understood that buddhas share the same Dharmakaya,
What does not share the same Dharmakaya?
You for example..
Remember that Dharmakaya is the Tathagatagarbha in it´s awakened state.
Schrödinger’s Yidam
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Re: Do Buddhas have any true multiplicity, or are they all emanations of the dharmakāya?

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

jhanapeacock wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:48 am
smcj wrote: Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:39 am
Yes, it is indeed understood that buddhas share the same Dharmakaya,
What does not share the same Dharmakaya?
You for example..
Remember that Dharmakaya is the Tathagatagarbha in it´s awakened state.
You’re talking about Dharmakaya on the fruition level. The awakened and unawakened both partake of the Dharmakaya on the essential level. The awakened manifest it without distortion. The unawakened manifest it as samsara.

As I understand the question at hand, we are talking about the sameness on the essential level. No?
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
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