Rainbow body (of light)

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Rainbow body (of light)

Postby Epistemes » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:02 pm

So, I'm reading some cases of rainbow bodies. And in a few if them, the person's clothes and finger/toenails are left behind. If the principle behind the body of light is the synonymity between individual and universe, why wouldn't the clothes and toenails disappear too? The toenails especially concern me. If toenails, why not teeth?
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Re: Rainbow body (of light)

Postby dakini_boi » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:50 pm

I think nails and hair are generally left behind because they don't have channels (i.e. blood vessels or nerves) going through them.

As for why clothes are left behind - if the practitioner takes the clothing, then why not also take the cushion she/he is sitting on? And if taking the cushion, why not take nearby objects in the room, the floor, the house, the surrounding country and the whole phenomenal universe? I guess the rainbow body siddha has to draw the line somewhere.


Epistemes wrote: If the principle behind the body of light is the synonymity between individual and universe, why wouldn't the clothes and toenails disappear too?


Well actually, from the point of view of the one who accomplishes rainbow body, everything accompanies him/her in the dissolution process, including clothing, fingernails, and all objects of the senses (including the entire universe). It is only according to the karmic perceptions of unrealized (but highly fortunate!) observers that fingernails, hair, clothing, etc, are left behind.
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Re: Rainbow body (of light)

Postby Epistemes » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:59 pm

dakini_boi wrote:I think nails and hair are generally left behind because they don't have channels (i.e. blood vessels or nerves) going through them.


Help me to understand. Why should that matter?

As for why clothes are left behind - if the practitioner takes the clothing, then why not also take the cushion she/he is sitting on? And if taking the cushion, why not take nearby objects in the room, the floor, the house, the surrounding country and the whole phenomenal universe? I guess the rainbow body siddha has to draw the line somewhere.


Seems kind of arbitrary. Of course, it could also just have to do with no channels, as you mentioned.


Well actually, from the point of view of the one who accomplishes rainbow body, everything accompanies him/her in the dissolution process, including clothing, fingernails, and all objects of the senses (including the entire universe). It is only according to the karmic perceptions of unrealized (but highly fortunate!) observers that fingernails, hair, clothing, etc, are left behind.


Sounds like these things are left behind for the benefit of those unrealized persons, which sounds like relics.
Last edited by Epistemes on Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rainbow body (of light)

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:01 pm

Epistemes wrote:So, I'm reading some cases of rainbow bodies. And in a few if them, the person's and finger/toenails are left behind. If the principle behind the body of light is the synonymity between individual and universe, why wouldn't the and toenails disappear too? The toenails especially concern me. If toenails, why not teeth?


Not sure if I would say that the principal behind the body of light is "the synonymity between the individual and the universe," but for the sake of more directly answering your question, let's go with it. The reason the hair and the fingernails and toenails don't dissolve is because they aren't living tissue pervaded by channels. The teeth, generally speaking, are living tissue pervaded by channels. The clothes are obviously not part of the individual.

To understand the import of the statements about tissue pervaded by channels dissolving but anything else not dissolving, you'll have to wait until you receive teachings of the pinnacle Dzogchen method of Togal which will include explanation of the physiological process that goes on as one advances through the stages of that method.

*edit: it appears dakini_boi beat me to the punch while I was typing my response heh.
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Re: Rainbow body (of light)

Postby Epistemes » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:06 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Epistemes wrote:So, I'm reading some cases of rainbow bodies. And in a few if them, the person's and finger/toenails are left behind. If the principle behind the body of light is the synonymity between individual and universe, why wouldn't the and toenails disappear too? The toenails especially concern me. If toenails, why not teeth?


Not sure if I would say that the principal behind the body of light is "the synonymity between the individual and the universe," but for the sake of more directly answering your question, let's go with it. The reason the hair and the fingernails and toenails don't dissolve is because they aren't living tissue pervaded by channels. The teeth, generally speaking, are living tissue pervaded by channels. The clothes are obviously not part of the individual.

To understand the import of the statements about tissue pervaded by channels dissolving but anything else not dissolving, you'll have to wait until you receive teachings of the pinnacle Dzogchen method of Togal which will include explanation of the physiological process that goes on as one advances through the stages of that method.

*edit: it appears dakini_boi beat me to the punch while I was typing my response heh.


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Re: Rainbow body (of light)

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:07 pm

Epistemes wrote:Sounds like these things are left behind for the benefit of those unrealized persons, which sounds like relics.


Not intentionally left behind, but left behind as a matter of course. But from the POV of those who have faith in the master who's left these remains behind, I'm sure they have the same value as relics.
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