A study on the Lanka would be remiss without focusing on one of its more prominent terms: manomayakaya. Red Pine describes it as, “a projection body—because it travels quickly and without obstruction, like a thought…endowed with higher powers and spiritual masteries obtained in the Samadhi of the Illusory, the different projection bodies of bodhisattvas appear simultaneously, like unobstructed projections, in whatever realms they recall having vowed to bring those beings to perfection who delight in the personal realization of Buddha knowledge.” Once again, his over-reliance on the word “projection” essentially “projects” a misleading understanding as to the nature of the term…like it’s some kind of an “astral-projection” appearing at will wherever it desires. Suzuki translates it as, “Mind-made body”, or “Will” body; I believe that he’s closer to the mark because the manomayakaya is a manifested Mind-Body of undivided awareness power that is revealed only through a perfected state of Samadhi. Manomayakaya is essentially a Mind-revelation initiating creative vibratory nodes within an otherwise constricted body-consciousness. It is not a ghost or an apparition or a corporal entity nor a spirit, and certainly NOT the stuff that dreams are made of—but rather an awakened resonance that emanates from the dark and luminous body of the Tathagatas.
When contemplating this remarkable term, one discovers that it is the very vehicle through which the Lankavatara Sutra itself expounds upon the Tathatagas’ Mind-revelation that enlightens and empowers one to dissolve-away their own feeble mind-projections. The Lanka teaches Ultimate Reality—free from all mind obstructions. Along the way, as Red Pine paraphrases the Lanka, it teaches “my disciples devices that make them happy”, but ultimately, “I instruct them to realize the realm of reality for themselves.” This is the beauty of the Lankavatarian path, because it does not make the adept dependant on devices, like organized religions do; there is no pulpit-pounding fiery preaching that is always confined to surface, phenomenal reality, but rather a gradual, inner- path, wherein one will, “by gradually ascending the stages, become established in Buddhahood.” (Lanka) Yes, organized religion perpetually keeps people enslaved to their own habit-energies—catechized into believing the true to be false and the false to be true. Blessed are those who can turn-about and abandon all false paths, thereby becoming free of all discriminatory projections, thus seeing the Greater Dream within and beyond the dream; then, countless Buddhas will come from every buddhaland, and, with hands beyond conception, will gently touch their heads as one—leading them into suchness. (Paraphrased from Red Pine’s Lanka, pg 129)