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Buddhadharma : Spring 2008
buddhadharma| 45 |spring 2008 All the sutras of the Mahayana and the tantras of the Vajrayana are in agreement on the nature of mind being buddha. The difference is that the path of the sutras is very long, because the fact that the nature of the physical body is also buddha is not actually pointed out, whereas the path of the tan- tras is short because this is pointed out. Further, in the tantras and in the highest and final level of the Mahayana sutras, the third dharmachakra, there is a more direct identification of the innate qualities that are spontaneously present within the mind’s nature. Below that—in the common sutras up to and including the second dharmachakra—the nature of things, and therefore the nature of the mind, is primarily described in terms of what it is not; that is, it is mostly pointed out as being emp- tiness. But here a distinction is being made more in terms of pointing out spontaneously present qualities within the mind (the text simply says, the direct recognition that your body is buddhahood) as opposed to simply pointing out the mind. Because of the lack of a precise identification of the inherent qualities within the ground in the common path of the sutras, it takes even those of the highest capacity three periods of innumerable aeons to complete this common path and attain buddhahood. For example, that is how long it took Buddha Shakyamuni. Many other buddhas take as long as thirty-seven periods of innumer- able aeons. The highest tantras have the methods for attaining buddhahood within one lifetime. They are profound because of the direct recognition of your own body as the deities. Therefore, the highest tantras teach in complete detail That your own body is the mandala of the deity, Such as Samvara, Guhyasamaja, the eight herukas, and so on. The reason why you can attain buddhahood in one lifetime according to the higher tantras, the anuttara yoga tantras, is that the method of those tantras is based on the identification of the nature of your body as buddha. Each of the higher tantras has its own way of explaining that the nature of your physical body is the mandala of deities. In specific terms, it will be described as the mandala of that specific tantra, such as Chakrasamvara and Guhyasamaja of the new tradition, or the eight (iTemno.432)ColleCTionofRubinmuseumofART(ACC.#P1998.2.4)