The Tathāgata’s Dharma-body

tatbudbody

“As I have expounded, Śāriputra, the meaning of the dharma-body is inseparable from, indivisible from, not cut-off from, not different from the inconceivable qualities definitive of a buddha, greater in number than the sands of the Ganges, [namely,] the merits and insight of a tathāgata. 

“It is like a lamp, Śāriputra, whose brightness, color and tactile sensation are inseparable and indivisible [from the lamp itself]. Again, it is like a maṇi gem whose characteristics of brightness, color and form are inseparable and indivisible [from the gem itself]. The meaning of the dharma-body expounded by the Tathāgata, Śāriputra, is also once again like this: It is inseparable from, indivisible from, not cut-off from, not different from the inconceivable qualities definitive of a buddha greater in number than the sands of the Ganges, the merits and insight of a tathāgata.

Most profound assertion that there is no disruption in the equivalence between the Absolute Buddha Body of the Dharmakaya and ITs function in the Tathagatakaya: the perfect embodied mindfulness of the Tathagata.

“This dharma-body, Śāriputra, is one which has the quality of being unborn and unperishing. b) It is unlimited in the past and unlimited in the future, because it is free from the two extremes. It is unlimited in the past, Śāriputra, because it is free from a time of birth, and it is unlimited in the future because it is free from a time of perishing. 

The Unborn Buddha Mind and Translucent Constitution is unlimited in scope (A Timeless Dharma-BEing) and unparalleled in transcending the three-times.

“The Tathāgata’s dharma-body, Śāriputra, is permanent because of its quality of immutability, because of its quality of inexhaustibility. The Tathāgata’s dharma-body, Śāriputra, is constant because it can permanently be taken as a refuge, because it is equal with the future limit (of saṁsāra). The Tathāgata’s dharma-body, Śāriputra, is tranquil because of its non-dual nature, because of its nature as free from discrimination. The Tathāgata’s  dharma-body, Śāriputra, is unchangable because of its imperishable nature, because of its non-created nature.

The Tathagatakaya is immutable and thus permanent in Stature. IT is the eternal refuge from the samsaric stranglehold. Untouched by discriminating faculties ITs Dharmatic imperative is crystal clear and imperishable.

“When this very same dharma-body, Śāriputra, ensnared by limitless defilements greater in number than the sands of the Ganges, drifting on the waves of the world from beginningless ages, comes and goes through birth and death, then it is termed ‘Beings.’ 

(Silk) The RGV in Sanskrit has: “This very dharma-body, Śāriputra, hidden by tens of millions of sheaths of limitless defilements,  borne along by the current of transmigration, wandering through deaths and births in the destinies of beginningless and endless transmigration, is termed ‘The quintessence/realm of beings.’”

Silk also delineates the import of this passage quite succinctly:

The connection between the realm of beings and the state of being a tathāgata is expressed in the Tathāgatagarbha-sūtra as follows: “In this connection the true nature (dharmatā) of a tathāgata, being in the womb (garbha) inside the sheaths of such defilements as desire, anger, misguidedness, longing and ignorance, is designated ‘sattva.’ When it has become cool, it is (devoid from all phenomenal outflows—inclusion mine). And because it is then completely purified from the sheaths of defilements of ignorance, it becomes a great accumulation of knowledge in the realm of sentient beings (sattvadhātu).The world with its gods, having perceived that supreme, great accumulation of knowledge in the realm of sentient beings speaking like a tathāgata, recognizes him as a tathāgata.” (Silk, pg. 104)

“When this very same dharma-body, Śāriputra, repels the anguish and suffering of birth and death in the world, banishes all desires, practices the ten perfections, collects the eighty-four thousand teachings, and cultivates the practices leading to bodhi, then it is termed ‘bodhisattva.’ 

It is then designated as a Bodhi-Being.

“Once again, Śāriputra, when this very same dharma-body is free from the covering of all the world’s defilements, beyond all suffering,  and free from the stains of all defilements, it attains purity, it attains perfect purity, and dwells among the pure dharmas of the other shore. It reaches the stage of what is desired by all beings, it thoroughly penetrates all spheres (of knowledge), and there is none surpassing it. It is free of all hindrances, free of all obstacles, and it attains sovereign power over all things. [This then] is termed ‘Tathāgata, Arhat, Perfectly Awakened One.’ 

IT is now most thoroughly ITSELF, revealing ITs storehouse (Sugata-garbha) of Absolute Ascendancy over defiled phenomena. ITs function now is as the Lord of the Dharma-teaching, i.e., the Tathāgata, Arhat, Perfectly Awakened One.

“Therefore, Śāriputra, there is no quintessence of beings separate from  the dharma-body, there is no dharma-body separate from the quintessence of beings. The quintessence of beings is precisely the dharma-body, the dharma-body is precisely the quintessence of beings. These two things, Śāriputra, have one meaning; [only] the names differ. 

The Tathagata-garbha in ITs Absolute Nature is precisely the quintessence of Beingness—the Dharmakaya. There is a difference only in function, when AS the Dharma-womb IT is the source of salvation from the dark realms of Mara.

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