Here's an old thread in which I talk about a quote which seems to imply that Guru Rinpoche and Buddha Shakyamuni were both emanations of the Nirmanakaya Buddha.http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhis ... 0Kayas.htm
That webpage said the following: "NIRMANAKAYA: All Buddhas are emanations of one Buddha...The Supreme emanation takes birth in the world as a unique person. Buddha Shakyamuni and Guru Padmasambhava are examples of this kind. They have special forms of body, speech and mind."viewtopic.php?f=40&t=310&p=2209
Although it sounds strange to me that they say "the
Nirmanakya Buddha" as if it's some universal, god-like essence, which is not a Buddhist idea, instead of using the term to refer to the distinct physical bodies of Shakyamuni and Guru Rinpoche.
Luke, this is a transcript of a talk the Khenpo Rinpoches gave years ago and I think Rinpoches were just presenting things in a provisional, easily digestible way for a particular audience at a particular time. Years ago, as I had been mistakenly reifying the dharmakaya in my mind as some "thing" that all buddhas could share, I sat with the Khenpo Rinpoches and asked them if all buddhas "had the same Dharmakaya." They said very clearly that this is not the case, that each buddha had its own dharmakaya. I now know that this was also a provisional explanation, only really meant for me for that particular time as a skillful means on their part because it steered me away from my reification and kinda left me not knowing what to think about dharmakaya, because I had so thought I'd figured out what a bunch of sutras and shastras were saying and then all the sudden it became obvious that I didn't understand, so then I didn't quite know what to think or what to ask next because I knew very well that there could be no actual line of demarcation between one buddha's dharmakaya and another's. I was thrown for a loop. It's kind of hard to explain what I mean by all this, and to illustrate the brilliance with which the Khenpo Rinpoches have guided me over the years, but basically the way things unfolded, they left my mind like a bird without a perch (a solid, definite concept) to land on, in a position of realizing I just had to suspend my conclusion about this topic and leave room for right view to gradually develop as I continued to study, receive teachings, and meditate. Now I understand that the ideas of one or many are wholly inapplicable to the dharmakaya.
Also, its easy for us to understand "nirmanakaya" from our unenlightened POV as the appearance of an enlightened being, or even as an object emanated by an enlightened being, here in samsara among us to benefit us. And we distinguish that enlightened emanation from the rest of the world around it. But at a certain level in the teachings, one begins to see that from the POV of enlightenment itself, ALL gross form is the nirmanakaya aspect of buddhahood...