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kāya (T. sku སྐུ་) — the Sanskrit word kaya literally means ‘body’ but can also signify dimension, field or basis.

According to the Rangjung Yeshe Dictionary, kāya can have the following meanings:[1]

  • 1) body, form, image, bodily form, figure.
  • 2) kaya, dimension of existence.
  • 3) image, statue.
  • 4) particle used to form honorific, [precedes words referring to parts of the body or to clothing).
  • 5) dimension.
  • 6) person of high rank, Body. buddha body.

The Tibetan word ku (Wyl. sku) is the honorific term used to refer to an enlightened being's ‘body’, whereas (Wyl. lus) designates an 'ordinary' person's body.[2]


The term buddhakāya designates the different manifestations or dimensions of a buddha. In the Mahayana, the buddhakāya can be subdivided as follows:


  1. Internet-icon.svg sku, Christian-Steinert Dictionary
  2. RW icon height 18px.png kaya, Rigpa Shedra Wiki