zamotcr wrote: Are Sambhogakayas eternal or they have a beginning and an ending? I think Shan Tao answer this issue of Amitabha's Paranirvana, but I don't know.
Sambhogakayas do have a beginning but do not have an ending. it's the beginning of the very first time a person attained Buddhahood(a.k.a Source). One attained the Bliss body, there after, the bliss is forever, we do not say when one attained Buddhahood, they will become deluded again. Dharmakaya, Truth body is the the one without beginning non ending. nirmanakaya always have a beginning and ending, on going cycle.
In the text, it describes Amitabha as nirmanakaya, sambhogakaya or dharmakaya. These 3 are simply different aspects of forms. Each kaya has 3 different facets. For example, the dharmakaya of dharmakaya is Buddha Samantabhadra; the sambhogakaya of dharmakaya is Vajradhara; the nirmanakayas of dharmakaya are the 5 lords of the buddha-families. So, Amitabha, as head of the Lotus family, is classified here as nirmanakaya. The dharmakaya of sambhogakaya is Vajradhara; the sambhogakaya of sambhogakaya is Vairochana Gangchentso; the nirmanakaya of sambhogakaya is Sakyamuni Buddha. The dharmakaya of nirmanakaya is Amitabha; the sambhogakaya of nirmanakaya is Chenrezig; the nirmanakaya of nirmanakaya is Guru Rinpoche. So, here, Amitabha is the dharmakaya.
this is interesting, that i've roughly translated from one chinese site. it say the difference between east PL and west PL.
2 kinds of Title of Buddha:
Common titles of Buddha: Are divided into Ten.
http://web.singnet.com.sg/~alankhoo/Dha ... htm#Buddha
Special titles of Buddha: Are divided into Two.
1. East : Are divided into Three. 1) Vairocana 2) Rocana 3) Shakyamuni¡
2) West : Amitabha--Dharmakaya are the same, different are the Nirmanakaya/Manifestation bodies , each carry infinity virtue.
2 kinds of EmBody of Buddha:
East : basically are Three.
Two kinds of Dharmakaya: 1) Dharma noumenon kaya 2) Dharma phenomena kaya.
Two kinds of Sambhogakaya : 1) Self usage 2)Others usage
Two kinds of Nirmanakaya : 1) Perfect bodies(ie 32 marks, historical Shakyamuni Buddha) 2) imperfect bodies (eg Grand Master Shan Dao).
West : Amitabha---Dharmakaya is the same as the east, but the Nirmanakaya is different. the Nirmanakaya is also equally to Dharmakaya. as even the imperfect bodies are able to redirect beings of infinity world into Buddha remembrance and lead them into western PL.
2 kinds of Abode:
East : 4 abodes are seperated, upper are able to see the lower, lower are not able to see the upper.
West : 4 abodes are inter-fused, upper and lower can see each other.
2 kinds of deliverance area:
East : Dharmakaya and Sambhogakaya can deliver All ten directions.
while Nirmanakaya 1) perfect Nirmanakaya can deliver a Buddha-land 2) imperfect Nirmanakaya deliverance are limited.
West : All triple kayas can equally deliver All ten directions, for beings who are mindful of Buddha, like a big magnet , they are able to deliver them when the time is reaped.
2 kinds of cultivating cause
East : 4 teachings to cultivating cause, have many hinderance.
Collective---Like a lotus newborn, properly upgrade the 2 vehicles and unite the dully rooted bodhisattva.
Common---properly upgrade the junior bodhisattvas, and unite the 2 vehicles.
Special---properly upgrade the dully rooted bodhisattva of other doors, that have strong doubts.
Complete---Complete faiths, Complete realisation, Complete cultivation, Complete verification, properly upgrade the well-established bodhisattvas, doubts are light, Self-power cultivating, which is difficult.
West : teachings are inter-blending, Other-power cultivation, easy of the easy, lowest inferior grade when rebirth, in a single life attain Buddhahood, let along the medium or upper grades.
6 kinds of attaining Buddhahood:
-Principle based Buddha : All beings have Buddha-nature, as long as one have a mind, one's surely to be a Buddha.
-Title based Buddha : Acknowledge the self mind is Buddha, immediately enter the position.
-Contemplation based Buddha : Practice according to teachings, sever one's karma.
-One after another based Buddha : Sever delusions, Sever afflictions, Sever ignorance.
-Gradually verifing based Buddha : Gradually Sever 1 to 41 levels of ignorance
-Final based Buddha : Completely attain the Bodhi Nirvana.
2 kinds of great vow:
Ten Great Vows; 48 great vows.
Two kinds of Proper retribution of Buddha
East : Triple kayas rebirth into the 4 abodes are seperated.
West : Triple kayas are without hindrances. All 4 abodes are brilliantly adored.