Dharma Wheel

A Buddhist discussion forum on Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism
It is currently Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:51 pm

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Forum rules


Please click here to view the forum rules



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Rainbow body (of light)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:02 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:30 am
Posts: 234
Location: Here
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?

_________________
Cantankerous Buddha


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:50 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:02 am
Posts: 683
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:59 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:30 am
Posts: 234
Location: Here
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?

Quote:
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.


Quote:
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.

_________________
Cantankerous Buddha


Last edited by Epistemes on Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:19 am
Posts: 1030
Location: Southern Oregon
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:06 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:30 am
Posts: 234
Location: Here
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.


:thumbsup:

_________________
Cantankerous Buddha


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:19 am
Posts: 1030
Location: Southern Oregon
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group