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[[File:Dharma Flower Temple Trikaya.jpg|thumb|220px|right|Three buddha statues symbolizing the Three Bodies. Dharma Flower Temple, [[Huzhou]], [[Zhejiang]] province, China]]
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'''Trikāya''' (T. sku gsum; C. sanshen; J. sanshin; K. samsin 三身) is an important concept within the Sanskrit Mahayana tradition that refers to three forms or aspects of buddhahood. This is also understood as three different manifestations or dimensions of a buddha.
{{buddhism}}
 
The '''Trikāya doctrine''' ([[Sanskrit]], literally "Three bodies"; 三身 [[Chinese language|Chinese]]: ''Sānshēn'' [[Vietnamese language|Vietnamese]]: ''Tam thân'', [[Japanese language|Japanese]]: ''Sanjin'' or ''Sanshin'', {{bo|t=སྐུ་གསུམ|w=sku gsum}}) is a [[Mahayana]] Buddhist teaching on both the nature of reality and the nature of the [[Buddha]].
 
  
==Definition==
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These three dimensions are:
The doctrine says that a Buddha has three ''kāyas'' or ''bodies'':
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# The ''[[Dharmakāya]]'' or ''Truth body'' which embodies the very principle of enlightenment and knows no limits or boundaries;
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# The ''[[Dharmakāya]]'' or ''body of dharma'' which embodies the very principle of enlightenment and knows no limits or boundaries;
 
# The ''[[Sambhogakāya]]'' or ''body of mutual enjoyment'' which is a body of bliss or clear light manifestation;
 
# The ''[[Sambhogakāya]]'' or ''body of mutual enjoyment'' which is a body of bliss or clear light manifestation;
# The ''Nirmāṇakāya'' or ''created body'' which manifests in time and space.<ref name="Welwood, John 2007">Welwood, John (2000). [http://www.purifymind.com/PlayMind.htm ''The Play of the Mind: Form, Emptiness, and Beyond''], accessed January 13, 2007</ref>
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# The ''Nirmāṇakāya'' or ''created body'' which manifests in time and space.
 
 
==Origins==
 
 
 
===Pāli Canon===
 
Even before the Buddha's Parinirvāṇa the term [[Dhammakāya]] was current. Dhammakāya literally means ''Truth body''.
 
 
 
In the [[Pāli Canon]] the Buddha tells Vasettha that the [[Tathāgata]] (the Buddha) was [[Dhammakāya]], the 'Truth-body' or the 'Embodiment of Truth', as well as Dhammabhuta, 'Truth-become', 'One who has become Truth' <ref>[[Dīgha Nikāya 27.9]]</ref><ref>See Walsh, Maurice. 1995. The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Dīgha Nikāya. Boston: Wisdom Publications, “Aggañña Sutta: On Knowledge of Beginnings,” p. 409.</ref>
 
 
 
The Buddha is equated with the Dhamma:
 
{{quote|... and the Buddha comforts him, "Enough, Vakkali. Why do you want to see this filthy body? Whoever sees the Dhamma sees me; whoever sees me sees the Dhamma."<ref>[http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.16.5-6.than.html [[Samyutta Nikaya]] (SN 22.87) See footnote #3]</ref>}}
 
 
 
In the Aggañña Sutta the Buddha advises Vasettha that whoever has strong, deep rooted, and established belief in the Tathagatha, he can declare that he is the child of [[Bhagavan]], born from the mouth of Dhamma, created from Dhamma, and the heir of Dhamma. Because the titles of the Tathagatha are: The Body of Dhamma, The Body of Brahma, the Manifestation of Dhamma, and the Manifestation of Brahma.
 
 
 
===Mahāyāna===
 
The Dharmakāya-doctrine was possibly first expounded in the ''Aṣṭasāhasrikā prajñā-pāramitā'' ([[Perfection of Wisdom|The Perfection of Insight In Eight Thousand Verses]]), composed in the 1st century BCE.
 
 
 
[[Mahayana|Mahayan Buddhism]] introduced the [[Sambhogakāya]], which conceptually fits between the [[Nirmāṇakāya]] (the manifestations of enlightenment in the physical world).{{refn|group=note|Formerly called [[Rūpa|Rupakaya]]}} and the Dharmakaya. The Sambhogakaya is that aspect of the Buddha, or the Dharma, that one meets in visions and in deep meditation. It could be considered an interface with the Dharmakaya.
 
 
 
The Trikaya-doctrine and the [[Tathagatagarbha]] bring the transcendental within reach, by placing the transcendental within the [[plane of immanence]].
 
 
 
Around 300 CE, the Yogacara school systematized the prevalent ideas on the nature of the Buddha in the Trikaya or ''three-body doctrine''.{{sfn|Snelling|1987|p=126}}
 
  
==Interpretation in Buddhist traditions==
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==Etymology==
Schools have different ideas about what the three bodies are.<ref>[http://www.huayen.org.tw/thesis/10/1010.pdf 佛三身觀之研究-以漢譯經論為主要研究對象]</ref><ref>[http://enlight.lib.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-MAG/mag89471.html 佛陀的三身觀]</ref>
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* ''tri'' means "three"
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* ''[[kāya]]'' - the Sanskrit word kaya literally means ‘body’ but can also signify dimension, field or basis. This term designates the different manifestations or dimensions of a buddha.
  
===Chinese Mahayana===
 
 
====Pure Land====
 
The Three Bodies of the [[Gautama Buddha|Buddha]] from the point of view of Pure Land Buddhist thought can be broken down like so:<ref>{{cite book | last = Hattori | first = Sho-on | title = A Raft from the Other Shore : Honen and the Way of Pure Land Buddhism | publisher = Jodo Shu Press | year = 2001 | isbn = 4-88363-329-2 | pages=25–27}}</ref>
 
 
* The Nirmaṇakāya is a physical/manifest body of a Buddha. An example would be [[Gautama Buddha]]'s body.
 
* The [[Sambhogakāya]] is the reward/enjoyment body, whereby a [[bodhisattva]] completes his vows and becomes a Buddha. [[Amitābha]], Vajrasattva and Manjushri are examples of Buddhas with the Sambhogakaya body.
 
* The [[Dharmakāya]] is the embodiment of the truth itself, and it is commonly seen as transcending the forms of physical and spiritual bodies.  [[Vairocana]] Buddha is often depicted as the Dharmakāya, particularly in esoteric Buddhist schools such as [[Shingon]], [[Tendai]] and [[Kegon]] in Japan.
 
 
As with earlier Buddhist thought, all three forms of the Buddha teach the same [[Dharma]], but take on different forms to expound the truth.
 
 
====Chán====
 
According to Schloeg, in the ''Lin-ji yu-lu'' ("Zen teachings of Rinzai") the Three Bodies of the Buddha are not taken as absolute. They would be "mental configurations" that "are merely names or props" and would only perform a role of light and shadow of the mind.{{sfn|Schloegl|1976|p=19}}{{refn|group=note|Lin-ji yu-lu: "The scholars of the Sutras and Treatises take the Three Bodies as absolute. As I see it, this is not so. These Three Bodies are merely names, or props. An old master said: "The (Buddha's) Bodies are set up with reference to meaning; the (Buddha) Fields are distinguished with reference to substance." However, understood clearly, the Dharma Nature Bodies and the Dharma Nature Fields are only mental configurations."{{sfn|Schloegl|1976|p=21}}}}
 
 
The Lin-ji yu-lu advises:
 
{{quote|Do you wish to be not different from the Buddhas and patriarchs? Then just do not look for anything outside. The pure light of your own heart [i.e., 心, mind] at this instant is the Dharmakaya Buddha in your own house. The non-differentiating light of your heart at this instant is the Sambhogakaya Buddha in your own house. The non-discriminating light of your own heart at this instant is the Nirmanakaya Buddha in your own house.  This trinity of the Buddha's body is none other than he here before your eyes, listening to my expounding the Dharma.{{sfn|Schloegl|1976|p=18}}}}
 
 
===Tibetan Buddhism===
 
 
====Four kayas====
 
{{Main|Four kayas}}
 
Tibetan Buddhism identifies a fourth kaya, ''Svabhavikakaya'', which is described as the unity or non-separateness of the three kayas.<ref>[http://www.khandro.net/doctrine_trikaya.htm khandro.net citing H.E. Tai Situpa]</ref>
 
 
====Fifth kaya====
 
[[Vajrayana]] sometimes refers to a fifth body, called the Mahasukhakaya ([[Wylie transliteration|Wylie]]: bde ba chen po'i sku, [[THDL Simplified Phonetic Transcription|THDL]]: de wa chen po'i ku), meaning "great bliss body."<ref>''The Life of Marpa the Translator'', Shambhala Publications, p. 229</ref>
 
 
====Dzogchen====
 
In [[dzogchen]] teachings, "dharmakaya" means the buddha-nature's absence of self-nature, that is, its emptiness of a conceptualizable essence, its cognizance or clarity is the sambhogakaya, and the fact that its capacity is 'suffused with self-existing awareness' is the nirmanakaya.<ref>Reginald Ray, ''Secret of the Vajra World''. Shambhala 2001, page 315.</ref>
 
 
====Mahamudra====
 
The interpretation in [[Mahamudra]] is similar: When the mahamudra practices come to fruition, one sees that the mind and all phenomena are fundamentally empty of any identity; this emptiness is called ''dharmakāya''. One perceives that the essence of mind is empty, but that it also has a potentiality that takes the form of luminosity.{{clarify|date=November 2013}} In Mahamudra thought, Sambhogakāya is understood to be this luminosity. Nirmanakāya is understood to be the powerful force with which the potentiality affects living beings.<ref>Reginald Ray, ''Secret of the Vajra World''. Shambhala 2001, pages 284-285.</ref>
 
 
====Anuyoga====
 
In the view of [[Anuyoga]], the '[[Mindstream]]' (Sanskrit: ''citta santana'') is the 'continuity' (Sanskrit: ''santana''; Wylie: ''rgyud'') that links the Trikaya.<ref name="Welwood, John 2007"/> The Trikāya, as a triune, is symbolised by the [[Gankyil]].
 
 
====Dakinis====
 
A '''dakini''' ({{lang-sa|डाकिनी|links=no}} ''ḍākinī''; {{lang-bo|མཁའ་འགྲོ་མ་|links=no}} ''khandroma'', [[Wylie transliteration|Wylie]]: ''mkha' 'gro ma'', [[Tibetan Pinyin|TP]]: ''kanzhoima''; Chinese: 空行母) is a [[Tantra|tantric]] [[deity]] described as a female embodiment of enlightened energy. In the Tibetan language, dakini is rendered ''khandroma'' which means 'she who traverses the sky' or 'she who moves in space'. Sometimes the term is translated poetically as 'sky dancer' or 'sky walker'.
 
 
Dakinis can also be classified according to the Trikaya, or three bodies of a [[Buddhahood|Buddha]]. The [[dharmakāya]] dakini, which is [[Samantabhadrī (tutelary)|Samantabhadrī]], represents the [[dharmadhatu]] where all phenomena appear. The [[sambhogakāya]] dakinis are the [[yidam]]s used as meditational deities for [[vajrayana|tantric]] practice. The [[nirmanakaya]] dakinis are human women born with special potentialities, these are realized [[yogini]], the consorts of the [[guru]]s, or even all women in general as they may be classified into the [[Five Dhyani Buddhas|five Buddha-families]].<ref>Cf. Capriles, Elías (2003/2007). ''Buddhism and Dzogchen'[http://webdelprofesor.ula.ve/humanidades/elicap/en/uploads/Biblioteca/bdz-e.version.pdf]', and Capriles, Elías (2006/2007). ''Beyond Being, Beyond Mind, Beyond History,'' vol. I, ''Beyond Being''[http://webdelprofesor.ula.ve/humanidades/elicap/en/Main/Bb-bm-bh]</ref>
 
 
===Western Buddhism===
 
 
====Theosophy====
 
In the 19th century Theosophy took an interest in Buddhism. It regarded Buddhism to contain esoteric teachings. In those supposed esoteric teachings of Buddhism, "exoteric Buddhism" believes that Nirmanakaya simple means the physical body of Buddha. According to the esoteric interpretation, when the Buddha dies he assumes the Nirmanakaya, instead of going into [[Nirvana]]. He remains in that glorious body he has woven for himself, invisible to uninitiated mankind, to watch over and protect it.<ref>Helena Blavatsky, ''The Voice of the Silence'' Theosophical Publishing Co., pages 75-77.</ref>
 
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
{{div col|cols=2}}
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*tbd
*[[Buddharupa]]
 
*[[Dakini]]
 
*[[Rainbow body]]
 
*[[Rūpa]]
 
*[[Satcitananda]]
 
*[[Svabhava]]
 
*[[Three Vajras]]
 
*[[Trimurti]]
 
{{div col end}}
 
 
 
 
==Notes==
 
==Notes==
 
{{reflist|group=note|2}}
 
{{reflist|group=note|2}}
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== External links ==
 
== External links ==
*[http://www.trikaya.es/  Trikaya del Saya Kunsal Kassapa ]
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*[https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/trikaya trikāya - A Encylopedia.com]
*[http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O108-trikya.html trikāya - A Dictionary of Buddhism]
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*{{RW citation|Three kayas}}
*[http://www.khandro.net/doctrine_trikaya.htm Khandro: The Three Kayas]
 
*[http://www.kagyu.org/buddhism/cul/cul02.html Kagyu: The Three Kayas]
 
*[http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/32marks2.htm 32 marks of the Buddha ("THIRTY TWO MARKS OF A GREAT MAN")]
 
*[http://www.manuyogas.org/trikaya-ndash-the-tree-bodies-of-a-buddha-or-learning-to-love.html Trikaya - The Three Bodies of a Buddha or Learning to Love]
 
 
 
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[[Category:Buddhist philosophical concepts]]
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[[Category:Vajrayana]]
 
[[Category:Vajrayana]]
 
[[Category:Tibetan Buddhism]]
 
[[Category:Tibetan Buddhism]]
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Revision as of 23:03, 27 July 2020

Trikāya (T. sku gsum; C. sanshen; J. sanshin; K. samsin 三身) is an important concept within the Sanskrit Mahayana tradition that refers to three forms or aspects of buddhahood. This is also understood as three different manifestations or dimensions of a buddha.

These three dimensions are:

  1. The Dharmakāya or body of dharma which embodies the very principle of enlightenment and knows no limits or boundaries;
  2. The Sambhogakāya or body of mutual enjoyment which is a body of bliss or clear light manifestation;
  3. The Nirmāṇakāya or created body which manifests in time and space.

Etymology

  • tri means "three"
  • kāya - the Sanskrit word kaya literally means ‘body’ but can also signify dimension, field or basis. This term designates the different manifestations or dimensions of a buddha.


See also

  • tbd

Notes


References


Sources

  • John J. Makransky: (August 1997) Buddhahood Embodied: Sources of Controversy in India and Tibet, Publisher: State University of New York Press, ISBN 0-7914-3432-X (10), ISBN 978-0-7914-3432-1 (13), [1]
  • Schloegl, Irmgard (1976), The Zen Teaching of Rinzai (PDF), Shambhala Publications, Inc., ISBN 0-87773-087-3 
  • Snellgrove, David (1987). Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, Vol. 1. Boston, Massachusetts: Shambhala Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-87773-311-2. 
  • Snellgrove, David (1987). Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, Vol. 2. Boston, Massachusetts: Shambhala Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-87773-379-1. 
  • Snelling, John (1987), The Buddhist handbook. A Complete Guide to Buddhist Teaching and Practice, London: Century Paperbacks 
  • Walsh, Maurice (1995). The Long Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Dīgha Nikāya. Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-103-3. 

External links

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