Tag Archives: Tathagata-kaya

The Tathagata-kaya

The illustrious Tathagata-kaya, with its divine essence, transcends all dualistic associations. It exists beyond the confines of time, surpassing the boundaries of past, present, and future. Neither marked nor unmarked, it eludes comprehension by the skhandas or any elements of consciousness. Thus, the Tathagata remains inconceivable and imperceptible. read more

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Bodhisattvahood, Part 1

These 40 days of spiritually sojourning with Vimalakirti have left an indelible imprint on my psyche. I have literally awoken daily with Vimalakirti, walked with Vimalakirti , meditated with Vimalakirti, absorbed Vimalakirti’s teaching and have received the auspicious gift of being afforded the grace to catch a tiny glimpse of just what constitutes Bodhisattvahood. The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti has been classified as the “Crowning-Jewel” of the Mahayana; as indicated earlier, the Mahayana was originally referred to as the Bodhisattva-yana—and this auspicious Sutra certainly highlights why that was so. The Vimalakirti Sutra is a wonderful blend of the Prajñāpāramitā, Mādhyamikas and Avatamsaka traditions. One can indeed see the influences of these in their respective chapters—like when embracing the six paramitas (Prajñāpāramitā), the total re-evaluation of all values wherein the Bodhisattva is both sinner and saint and neither (Mādhyamikas) and the absolute mind-blowing stanzas that relay Vimalakirti’s miraculous powers (in sundry universes and planes of realities) and manomayakāyaic-transformations (Avatamsaka). While my heart shall always be devoted to the Lanka first and foremost, the Vimalakirti Sutra as well shall forever hold a place of undivided reverence. read more

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Out on a Limb: Part 1

12.Vision of the Universe Abhirati and the Tathagata Aksobhya

Thereupon, the Buddha said to the Licchavi Vimalakirti, “Noble son, when you would see the Tathagata, how do you view him?” Thus addressed, the Licchavi Vimalakirti said to the Buddha, “Lord, when I would see the Tathagata, I view him by not seeing any Tathagata. Why? I see him as not born from the past, not passing on to the future, and not abiding in the present time. Why? He is the essence which is the reality of matter, but he is not matter. He is the essence which is the reality of sensation, but he is not sensation. He is the essence which is the reality of intellect, but he is not intellect. He is the essence which is the reality of motivation, yet he is not motivation. He is the essence which is the reality of consciousness, yet he is not consciousness. Like the element of space, he does not abide in any of the four elements. Transcending the scope of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind, he is not produced in the six sense-media. He is not involved in the three worlds, is free of the three defilements, is associated with the triple liberation, is endowed with the three knowledges, and has truly attained the unattainable.
“The Tathagata has reached the extreme of detachment in regard to all things, yet he is not a reality-limit. He abides in ultimate reality, yet there is no relationship between it and him. He is not produced from causes, nor does he depend on conditions. He is not without any characteristic, nor has he any characteristic. He has no single nature nor any diversity of natures. He is not a conception, not a mental construction, nor is he a nonconception. He is neither the other shore, nor this shore, nor that between. He is neither here, nor there, nor anywhere else. He is neither this nor that. He cannot be discovered by consciousness, nor is he inherent in consciousness. He is neither darkness nor light. He is neither name nor sign. He is neither weak nor strong. He lives in no country or direction. He is neither good nor evil. He is neither compounded nor uncompounded. He cannot be explained as having any meaning whatsoever. “The Tathagata is neither generosity nor avarice, neither morality nor immorality, neither tolerance nor malice, neither effort nor sloth, neither concentration nor distraction, neither wisdom nor foolishness. He is inexpressible. He is neither truth nor falsehood; neither escape from the world nor failure to escape from the world; neither cause of involvement in the world nor not a cause of involvement in the world; he is the cessation of all theory and all practice. He is neither a field of merit nor not a field of merit; he is neither worthy of offerings nor unworthy of offerings. He is not an object, and cannot be contacted. He is not a whole, nor a conglomeration. He surpasses all calculations. He is utterly unequaled, yet equal to the ultimate reality of things. He is matchless, especially in effort. He surpasses all measure. He does not go, does not stay, does not pass beyond. He is neither seen, heard, distinguished, nor known. He is without any complexity, having attained the equanimity of omniscient gnosis. Equal toward all things, he does not discriminate between them. He is without reproach, without excess, without corruption, without conception, and without intellectualization. He is without activity, without birth, without occurrence, without origin, without production, and without nonproduction. He is without fear and without subconsciousness; without sorrow, without joy, and without strain. No verbal teaching can express him. “Such is the body of the Tathagata and thus should he be seen. Who sees thus, truly sees. Who sees otherwise, sees falsely.”
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