Bodhisattva Samantabhadra is quite different from Adibuddha Samantabhadra.
They are both two different entities.
FWIW the Sanskrit dictionary Amarakosha lists the term "Samantrabhadra" as an epithet of Buddha. So as much it can be used to refer any Buddha (in principle)
It is also helpful to consider the Shakyamuni Trinity. This includes:
Siddhartha (one who has completed the goal
) the representation of the Supremely Awakened Buddha who discovers the Dharma.
Manjushri (Gentle Glory), the Bodhisattva of transcendent wisdom
Samantabhadra (Universal Worthy), the Bodhisattva who practices the vows of bodhisattahood, and embodies the active
quality of the Pure Mind.
This trinity represents primordial buddhahood, derived from Adibuddha of course. This is why sometimes the NAME (a representation) Samantabhadra
is said to be the primordial Buddha Adibuddha (also represented as Vajradhara).
You could think of it as Adibuddha emanating the five great Buddhas, which are embodying the elements and skandhas, and the five great Bodhisattvas (Enlightenment Beings), which is how we find yet another emanated manifestation who has the name "Samantabhadra," among five such Bodhisattvas.
Hope that's helpful.
So that implies that Adibuddha is superior to the Buddhas? I remember Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, also has the same opiniong - that there are levels superior to the Buddhas.
No no. Well, sort of
. Adibuddha is
the manifestation of "all the Buddhas," so how could he be superior to them? Furthermore, since they are simply emanations of Adibuddha, how could they be compared to him, much less seen as inferior...? All of it, really, is Buddha Mind, or in other words Pure Mind or the true nature. It is the manifestation of the dharmakaya.
is seen as possessing all the qualities of the Buddha Mind, and aspiring them, he is seen as Samantabhadra Buddha
. When he is seen with all the empowerment of the Buddha Mind, he is seen as Vajradhara
. When he is seen with togetherness and unity and creation, he suddenly appears as Lord Avalokiteshvara
, embodiment of the four immeasurable brahmaviharas
(lovingkindness, compassion, altruism, equanimity). In some schools of tradition, Avalokiteshvara is depicted miraculously in the dreaming aspect:
From his eyes come forth the sun and moon; from his brow, a thunderbolt from which life is created; from his shoulders, the sublime gods; from his heart, the soul of the universe; from his mouth, the winds; from his feet, the earth; from his stomach, the ultimate truth and the cosmic cycles.
He is a lamp to the blind, a parasol for those devoured by the heat of the sun, and a stream to the thirsty. He takes away all fear from those who are afraid.
He is a doctor to the sick, and he is father and mother to the unhappy.
In light of this, we think back to the name Samantabhadra
. Both Avalokiteshvara and Manjushri deities appear as Wisdom Bodhisattvas... but the primary embodiment of those representations are compassion and wisdom. Avalokiteshvara means, "Lord Who Gazes Down," and an older name--Lokesvara--means, "Lord of the World," as indicated by the above myth. Manjushri means, "Gentle Glory." In this sense, Avalokiteshvara Buddha and Manjushri Buddha are the same manifestation--that is, the compassion and wisdom of Adibuddha is embodied in this deity, namely, Universal Worthy Lord Who Gazes Down
upon the world. Therefore, Adibuddha
is Lord Who Gazes Down Buddha and Gentle Glory Buddha.
For some, even Amitabha
(Infinite Light) represents Adibuddha, for obvious reason in light of this. Thus, Adibuddha is the superior Buddha Mind, but all Buddhas and Enlightenment Beings are the Pure Mind, and thus are Adibuddha themselves. Adibuddha is utmost and foremost a title for ultimate primordial Buddha (Buddha Mind), and all manifestations are equal to it, all emanations are united, and all is embodied. And so, Adibuddha is supreme in that way. He is also known as Amitabha, Samantabhadra, Vajradhara, Manjushri and Avalokiteshvara. He embodies all.
Referring to him as Primordial Universal-Worthy Infinite-Luminous Diamond-Holding Lord Gentle Glory Who Gazes Down
is much too overwhelming of a name, so it it best to say Abiduddha.
Deferring back now, the Shakyamuni Trinity in a way shows how Bodhisattvas Gentle Glory and Universal Worthy are in fact the true culmination of the Tathagata, Thus Gone, the One Who has Completed the Goal, Shakyamuni
the representation of the samyaksambuddha.
I hope this wasn't more confusing than helpful.