Beyond the Rainbow Body


At the outset it needs to be stressed that this is not a series debunking the phenomenon of what has come to be known as the Rainbow-Body. On the contrary, this phenomenon is highly researched and publicized and warranted as a true bodily-transformation into “Pure-Light”. This brings to mind the excellent research done by Father Francis V. Tiso, as chronicled in his recent publication, “Rainbow Body and Resurrection”, which is an exhaustive study on the life and death of Khenpo A-chos, a Gelugpa monk from Kham, Tibet, who died in 1998. At the time of his death it was reported by eye-witnesses that his body soon resembled a pinkish-hue and then began to shrink—a common manifestation of those Tibetans who have undergone a similar transfiguration. Soon afterwards, “rainbows” began appearing in the sky accompanied by music and the sweet scent of perfume—quite akin to the fragrance reported by Western-accounts of sundry saints throughout the millennia. This is just one account of countless others that have occurred, some recent, and others like the mythic-anecdotes of Padmasambhava, whom at the time of his death, dissolved his body completely “back to their natural elements leaving nothing behind.” For complete historical analyses of such accounts I refer the reader to the following excellent links:

For our present purpose the focus is not so much on these particular phenomenons, but the very fact that they are just that—phenomenolizations. Take, for example, the very phenomenon of rainbows in themselves. At the atomic level they are tiny pixels of elements across the “known” spectrum—that’s why the above particular image was chosen for this blog. Yet, beyond this there are many “unknown” spectrums not observable by the naked-eye—much akin to what “spirit” is like in ITself. Yea, Spirit is beyond all that is measurable and quantifiable. There are those who have been graced by the Rainbow-Body phenomenon and who purportedly can return time and time again in their Light-Bodies; at the same time they are now denizens of various Light-Heavens that are still phenomenal in structure (although at other instances it can reflect Absolute Selfhood; then again, this Pure-Self-Light need not always manifest Itself). They are structurized and as such can still be susceptible to samsaric-forms. Through the prism of the Mind’s Eye, however–the other sideless-side defies description. It is Unborn and Undetectable. It is the very Dharmakayic-Kingdom of the naked-Self. What need of rainbows and Rainbow-bodies of light—light that can be detected and even fool the unwary spirit/soul at the moment of the Bardo of Dharmatā, which was covered extensively in our Lankavatarian Book of the Dead series. If one does not recognize all that appears before them, even brilliant spectrums of light, as their own “projections”, then those self-same projections will lead them into further rebirth during the later stages of the Bardo. As the series stated:

Hopefully, at this stage of the game (i.e., the Bardo of the Dharmatā) Pure Luminous Mind has been Self-Realized and a now fully enlightened Tathatic-Spirit has Risen and Recognizes through the Complete Self-realization of Noble Wisdom that this is truly Dharmakaya Arising—a return to the Primordial Unborn Father (Samantabhadra). Now the Great Mind-Void’s Emptiness is overflowing with the fullness of Uncreated Light that Enlightens the Way Home to Undivided Oneness in Self-Rapturement of the Dharmakayic Epiphany as illuminated through the Great Shining Dharmata Buddha. As Tozen wrote in “Spiritual Maxims: Choosing between the Body of Wisdom and Ignorance”, the concluding chapter in his Dharmakaya Sutra, “…if your spirit is pure (divine), then this awakened and imageless power of the supreme [the undivided light of the root-buddha] will allow your mind to reveal a body of a deathless and permanent reality that is the shining dominion of absolute truth—the Dharmakaya; indeed, the very nirvanic land of the Buddhas.”

While the notion of “Beings of Light” sounds cool, this is not an absolute-assurance of somehow achieving the ultimate in transcendental ascendancy. Within Unborn Mind Zen, for instance, any reference to “Bodies of Light”, or “Light-Body” is really about speaking figuratively concerning THAT which is truly ineffable and so inexplicable from ordinary consciousness and usual frames of reference that expedient means are necessary in attempting to encapsulate in sentient fashion the nature of Transcendent Reality. It’s more about shedding Unborn Light on the difference between relative truth and the Reality of the Dharmadhātu, or enLIGHTening the True Awareness Power of the Unborn Spirit. Of course, the Buddha’s Truth Body—his Dharmakaya—will always transcend any mere appearance or manifestation, being the Absolute and Imageless Essence of Transcendence itself. Huang Po expounded that the “Unborn Buddha Mind is like the Sun, forever in the void, shining spontaneously, shining without intending to shine. This is not something you can accomplish without effort, but when you reach the point of clinging to nothing whatsoever, you will be acting as the Buddhas act. This will indeed be in accordance with the saying, ‘Develop a mind that rests on [no thing] whatever.’ For this is your pure Dharmakaya, which is called supreme perfect Enlightenment.”

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