Ratnasambhava

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Ratnasambhava

Ratnasambhava (T. rin chen 'byung ldan/rin chen 'byung gnas; C. baosheng rulai 寶生如來) translates as "source of jewels," "unobstructed accomplishment," etc.[1] He is the buddha of the Ratna family and presides over the buddha field known as Śrīmat, (Tib. Paldangdenpa) translated as ‘Realm of Splendor’ (or Magnificence) located to the south.[1]

Ratnasambhava embodies the wisdom of equality, transforming selfish pride into the qualities of equality and equanimity. Ratnasambhava often is depicted with a cintāmaṇi (wish-fulfilling) jewel and his hand is in the mudrā of giving. He is described as glowing yellow in color and embodies richness, generosity, and abundance.[1]

The earliest textual mention of Ratnasambhava seems to be in the Golden Light Sutra and in the Guhyasamāja Tantra.[1]

Five tathagatas

In the Vajrayana, Buddha Ratnasambhava is identified as one of the five tathagatas.

In this context, Buddha Ratnasambhava represents the purification of pride and the arising of the wisdom of equanimity.

Thrangu Rinpoche states:

Buddha Ratnasambhava is realized when the disturbing emotion of pride or ego is purified. Ego is the belief in a self which we all develop from birth as soon as our mind thinks of itself as separate from others. The next three types of pride evolve in this process of self- centeredness: (1) We feel that we are better than others who are in a less fortunate situation, (2) we feel that we are superior to others because we fail to see the equality of ourself and others; and (3) we feel we are either spiritually or materially better than others.
What causes us to embark upon the journey of ego? When the self believes that it is separate from others, the negative emotion of pride arises in which one believes oneself in some way better than others. From this then arises the belief that there are “good” i.e. things which we believe in and do and “bad” i.e. things that others believe in and do. As long as we believe ourselves to be superior to others, it is impossible to learn from them. So we must give up ego clinging to develop enlightened qualities. A purified mind does not distinguish between pure and impure, good and bad, I and others; rather it experiences all things in equality.
When one is free from pride, realization of the wisdom of equality dawns and one experiences and becomes Buddha Ratnasambhava. Buddha Ratnasambhava’s activity is enriching and as a symbol of his activity of enrichment, he is gold or yellow in color. As a symbol of his ability to enrich all living beings, he holds the precious wish-fulfilling jewel in his hands.[2]

And also:

The Buddha Ratnasambhava is the purification of pride. Ratnasambhava is Sanskrit and the Tibetan name is sangay rinchenjungdan. The Tibetan word sangay means “buddha” and the word rinchen means “precious” referring to all precious, good, and immaculate things. The word jungdan means “the source.” So Ratnasambhava is the source of all good qualities with these precious qualities being the absence of pride. When ego and pride have been removed, one is open enough to actually receive all knowledge and qualities, that is the realization of Sangay Rinchen Jungdan.
Knowing the meaning of Rinchen Jungdan, one understands why his activity encompasses the enrichment of all precious qualities of realization. Ratnasambhava resides in the south and is yellow or gold in color. The color gold represents wealth and Ratnasambhava holds a wish-fulfilling jewel at his heart in his left hand. The wish-fulfilling jewel is a jewel which gives a person everything that he or she desires and so this also symbolizes enrichment. He is seated in the vajra posture of fulfillment on a horse’s throne representing the four bases or legs of miraculous powers that enables unobstructed passage everywhere. His right hand is in the mudra of giving supreme generosity, i.e., his activity is supreme generosity.[3]

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Ratnasambhava, Samye Institute
  2. Thrangu Rinpoche 1998, p. 2.
  3. Thrangu Rinpoche 1998, pp. 5-6.

Sources