The Dharmakaya of the Buddhadharma

15. Q: It states in The Vaipulya Sutra that there are five kinds of Dharmakaya: The Dharmakaya of the Absolute; the Dharmakaya of merit; the Dharmakaya of the Dharma-nature; the Dharmakaya of Infinite Transformations; and the Dharmakaya of voidness. Which of these is in reference to our own bodies?
A: To arrive at the awareness that Mind can neither be created nor destroyed is the hallmark of the Dharmakaya of the Absolute. To awaken to the realization that Mind encompasses all things is known as the Dharmakaya of merit. Discerning that Mind is not mind and its discriminations is to Self-realize the Dharmakaya of True Dharma-nature. Teaching the Buddhadharma to sentient beings according to their potential (through expedient means) is the Dharmakaya of Infinite Transformations. The comprehension that Mind is neither being nor non-being, formless and imperceptible is the Dharmakaya of the void. Once again, to fully absorb this teaching, remember that it is not something to be achieved. Thus, knowing that there is nothing attainable or achievable is the Self-Realization of the Dharmakaya of the Buddhadharma. Therefore, anyone who assumes that they can grasp and somehow self-accomplish this without Noble Buddha-gnosis are those who uphold such perverted heterodox belief-systems and are thusly anathema to the Way of the Unborn. The Vimalakirti Nirdesha Sutra states that when Shariputra inquired of a devakanya, “What is it that you have attained that has afforded you supernatural powers?”…the devakanya responded, “even though I have not gained or achieved anything in such matters, I am who I truly am in the Unborn.”

Huihai’s teaching of the different qualities of the Dharmakaya really hinges on one essential realization, and that is, as The Lion’s Roar of Queen Śrīmālā teaches, the nature of the “One Vehicle”:

‘Nirvana-realm’ is an expression for the Dharmakaya of the Tathagata. The ultimate realization of the Dharmakaya is the One Vehicle. Lord, the Tathagata is not one thing, and the Dharmakaya something else, but the Tathagata is himself the Dharmakaya. The ultimate realization of the Dharmakaya is the ultimate of the One Vehicle.

Hence, even though the Dharmakaya is exhibited as having numerous qualities, within Itself nothing is undivided but IT does reflect different functions of the One Vehicle. Or as The Awakening of Faith teaches that “Suchness or the Dharmakaya is not empty, but is endowed with numberless excellent qualities.”

16. Q: The sutra also delineates between Universal Enlightenment and Marvelous Enlightenment; please expound on the nature of these terms.
A: Samyak-Sambodhi, which is universal or full (inseparable Bodhi) enlightenment, is the absence of all dualities. Marvelous Enlightenment means the Prime-Realization that there is neither enlightenment nor non-enlightenment.
Q: So, then, do these two ideations of enlightenment really differ or not?
A: They are both expediently used but in essence they are One and the Same Substance. Also all phenomena is originally derivative of this mutual substantiality.

17. Q: What is the meaning behind the Diamond Sutra’s statement that “There is really no-Dharma to expound, yet this itself is the Dharma.”
A: Prajna (Wisdom) is Absolute Purity which contains no-thing that is actually graspable. This is the meaning behind “there really is no Dharma to expound.” Also the substance behind prajna is Absolute Perfect Stillness, yet it’s “functions” are as numerous as all the sands of the Ganges. Hence, it’s aware of everything and thus expediently preaches the Dharma. Yet, as the Diamond Sutra teaches, “Having no-Dharma to expound (that is really nothing in words) is known as preaching the Dharma.”

Huangbo states, “The fundamental dharma of the dharma is that there are no dharmas, yet that this dharma of no-dharma is in itself a dharma; and now that no-dharma has been transmitted, how can the dharma of the dharma be a dharma?” Our series on the Diamond Sutra expounds thus:

Zen folk have it right that the Buddhadharma is a wordless-transmission. Yet, it is also no-transmission; the No Dharma is the Dharma transmission in that it transmits no-thing. Huang Po says that one needs to just have a tacit understanding of this and no-thing more. The Tathagata thus teaches no-Dharma AS the Wordless Buddhadharma. The same holds true for the dichotomy of beings and no-beings. True beings are beingless; thus the quality of absolute beinglessness contains no-beings. As earlier stated there is no teaching; there are also no-beings who believe in this no-teaching, teaching. The wordless teaching is thus a no-teaching for no beings. Those who grasp this no-teaching, teaching, are the Mahabodhisattvas who, through their union with the Absolute Tathatic Spirit, fully penetrate the No Dharma, Dharma of the Tathagatas.

Q: What does it mean in this same sutra that if a diligent one in mind and spirit firmly upholds and recites this sutra, while at the same time is despised by others, will have their former negative karma eradicated, precisely because of others contempt, even though they were doomed to suffer from an evil destiny? Will he also, then, come to attain Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi?
A: The situation is like someone who has not yet met and benefited from a most astute and learned master of the Buddhadharma. Because of this lost auspicious opportunity, one will inevitably suffer from their negative karma and the effects of the three poisons (greed, anger and ignorance)—even though (being affected by these adventitious defilements) one’s Original Unborn Mind is bright and pure. Yet in being so-despised, one becomes determined to seek out the Pure and undefiled Mind of the Buddha. When one does so, their former negative karma and ignorance is overcome so that the three poisons cease to be engendered. In so doing, one Recollects their Original Unborn Mind and Spirit and never becomes distraught ever again. Thus, liberation is gained and the door is opened for eventual Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi.
Q: What is meant by the statement, the Tathagata’s Vision is five-fold?
A: The Tathagata’s earthly eye can see the original unblemished perfection behind form. The Tathagata’s divine eye sees that the Original Unborn Substance behind all dharmata is Pure Reality. The Tathagata’s gnostic-eye discerns the different qualities of dharma but does not become stained in the process. The Tathagata’s Dharma-eye sees that there is no-thing to see. The Tathagata’s Buddha-eye neither sees yet there is nothing unseen.

For a more comprehensive overview of this please read the blog, The All-Seeing Tathatic-Eye, from the Diamond Sutra series.

Q: What is the difference between the Mahayana and Supreme Vehicle?
A: The Mahayana refers to the Bodhisattva’s vehicle, while the latter is the Supreme, or Buddha’s-vehicle—Buddhayana.
Q: By what practice can one attain these vehicles?
A: To practice the way of the Bodhisattvas is scaling the heights of the Mahayana. After transcending the tenth bhumi, or Dharmamegha, this is known as penetrating into the Supreme, or Buddhayana.

What Huihai is stressing here is that whatever other vehicles the Buddha may have ever mentioned, they are not superior to his one Buddha vehicle (ekabuddhayāna). This One-Vehicle within Ch’an schools is known as the fully awakened Body…i.e., non-other than the One Mind, or one’s innate Buddha-nature.

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