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Buddhadharma : Winter 2015
44 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly winter 2 0 1 5 is a buddha field emanated into the form realm of samsara that can be perceived by noble beings on the first through tenth spiritual levels. The sambhogakaya also possesses the perfect form of the teacher, which is the sambhogakaya buddha adorned with all the marks and signs. The perfect form of the teacher is a sambhogakaya buddha such as Buddha Vajradhara. Since the perfect entourage is made up of the male and female bodhisattvas and the dakas and dakinis on the ten spiritual levels, the perfect entou- rage is made up of beings who have reached the third and fourth of the five paths, the path of seeing and path of meditation. It does not refer to ordinary beings, since the beings still on the first two of the five paths, the paths of accumulation and union, don’t have a sufficient accumulation of merit and wisdom to enable them to perceive and meet the sambhogakaya buddhas. The sambhogakaya buddha field is also endowed with the perfect teaching, which is the teaching emphasizing the ultimate meaning and not sim- ply the relative, provisional meaning. Finally, the ultimate, perfect time is without interruption or cessation, the ongoing continuum of eternity that continues until samsara is exhausted. The Nirmanakaya Buddha From the compassion of the sambhogakaya bud- dhas, the nirmanakaya emanations appear for the sake of those beings on the beginning stages of the dharma path. From the vast expanse of dharmakaya Samantabhadra, out of the blessings and compassion of his wisdom mind, the limitless sambhogakaya buddha fields manifest, arrayed like lights throughout infinite space. Within these bud- dha fields are the buddhas of the five families and their entourages of bodhisattvas, dakas, and daki- nis. All of these infinite buddhas and buddha fields are complete with the five certainties, and they arise naturally due to the blessings and compassion of the dharmakaya buddha. Then, from the sambhogakaya buddha fields, the nirmanakaya emanations arise for those who are on the first two of the five paths or stages to complete enlightenment. This means that the beings who are still on the first and second of the five paths, the path of accumulation and the path of joining, do not have the fortune to perceive these sambhogakaya realms, as they have not yet reached the first of the ten spiritual levels. Until one has the necessary accumulation of merit, it is not possible to perceive and meet the sambhogakaya buddhas. There are limitless places where the nirmanakaya emanates, as there are an inconceivable number of nirmanakaya buddha fields. Our world is not the only one; there are innumerable world systems and universes within the nirmanakaya realms. All nirmanakaya pure realms are the emanations of the sambhogakaya, arising from the compassion and light rays emanating from the sambhogakaya bud- dhas. When we say nirmanakaya realms have been created or manifested, the creators of these are the dharmakaya and sambhogakaya buddhas. The nir- manakaya realms arise from the compassion of the buddhas based on the positive karma and merit of the sentient beings to be born in these nirmanakaya fields. The nirmanakaya buddhas naturally manifest from the sambhogakaya when the two primary con- ditions of the positive merit of sentient beings and the blessings of the dharmakaya and sambhogakaya meet. From those rainbow light appearances of the sambhogakaya, there emanate light rays causing incalculable enlightened nirmanakaya incarnations to appear throughout the three realms of samsara, just as Shakyamuni Buddha appears in our world. Likewise, countless nirmanakaya pure realms arise due to causes and conditions. It is just like when the conditions of sun, moisture, and so forth come together and a rainbow naturally appears. The rainbow manifestation will remain as long as the appropriate interdependent conditions are in place, and when the conditions are exhausted, it will disappear. The multifarious nirmanakaya mani- festations are not definite in their forms nor fixed in the places, times, and duration of their appearance. Just as a rainbow will remain only as long as the conditions are in place, so when the interdependent conditions are exhausted, the nirmanakaya will dis- appear. Like rainbows, which appear but are intan- gible displays of light in space, the nirmanakaya are magical displays appearing for the sake of sen- tient beings. Hence the physical manifestation of nirmanakaya emanations is known as an “illusory body.” (Opposite) Vajradhara by Sherab Palden Beru (oPPosITe)wITHPerMIssIon,shambhalainternational