Rainbow Body - Why?

Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators

Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby Astus » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:20 am

I hear in arguments for the superiority of Dzogchen that it includes the possibility of attaining the rainbow body. Frankly, besides that it sounds cool, I don't see the point of it at all. It might be a great miracle to see someone's body vaporise with colourful lights, but beyond that what? Realisation of the 3/4 bodies are inherent in awareness so it is not the case that buddhahood is at stake. Then why the fuss?
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4214
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby kalden yungdrung » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:11 am

Astus wrote:I hear in arguments for the superiority of Dzogchen that it includes the possibility of attaining the rainbow body. Frankly, besides that it sounds cool, I don't see the point of it at all. It might be a great miracle to see someone's body vaporise with colourful lights, but beyond that what? Realisation of the 3/4 bodies are inherent in awareness so it is not the case that buddhahood is at stake. Then why the fuss?



Hello Astus, :)

Good topic.

Dzogchen is a way based on karma or/and our level of understanding.
Dzogchen can be quick, depends of the effort, allertness, time, money to do the retreats, health etc.

Just like in other methods do only the best succeed.
It would be very nice that if i do a practice i would or get enlightened by that or when i mention a name i would be that. Ain't no easy like that......... Reality is more complicated.

Nobody at least i do not mean that other methods would not be good but i underline that yellow is not red.

Sure every karma has her related method(s) and that is a personal meant- and understandable method of course.

We have also the three motivations related to our level of understanding namely:

- Low - could be a bicycle
- avarage - could be a car
- High - could be a plane

Some take karmic seen the plane and are quick, good motivated and very intelligent with a great Wisdom.
Others are not so and that is normal.

That results in the related path namely
- Sutra
- Tantra
- Mahamudra
- Dzogchen

With the related Buddha Body

But even when Buddha Shakyamuni did reached over his path Enlightenment he has full realisation of the Dharmakaya.

Like i explained before the path is there in the mood of slow, avarage or quick, the fruit is the same.
Even when emptiness is different experienced it is the saame emptiness everywhere in the paths.

Maybe good for You to practice Trekchod and Thogal?
or give it a chance?

And then you give your suggestions one more time?

Well Astus Dzogchen is nothing for academics, just this is awareness of practice and one can difficult discuss this or defend this or not when one is not practizing it.

Realizing the Natural State depends upon awareness and this would be for us in Dzogchen all different, this understanding of the Natural State

Best wishes for our individual realisations
Kalden Yungdrung
THOUGH A MAN BE LEARNED
IF HE DOES NOT APPLY HIS KNOWLEDGE
HE RESEMBLES THE BLIND MAN
WHO WITH A LAMP IN THE HAND CANNOT SEE THE ROAD
User avatar
kalden yungdrung
 
Posts: 1103
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:40 pm

Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby heart » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:13 am

Kalden,

I think you misunderstood the question. When the Buddha died he left a body behind so why would full enlightenment include a rainbow body?

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
User avatar
heart
 
Posts: 3081
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby narraboth » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:29 am

We talk about this for the superiority because in 'powa chenpo' rainbow body's case, after transforming this body to rainbow body, you can use this body to benefit beings endlessly. Of course you can also benefit beings without rainbow body, just that it would be in different forms.

But that kind of rainbow body is very rare.
Usually when we talk about rainbow body, it's a general one (eg. no corp left), it's a sign of attaining enlightment.

Sarma schools also claim that their paths can achieve rainbow body, but I am not sure if they are the same kind of rainbow body.
narraboth
 
Posts: 338
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:18 pm

Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby Astus » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:43 am

Kalden,

As Heart said, it's something else I've raised here as a question.

Narraboth,

You say with a rainbow body it's easier to help many beings. But if one dies the flesh and bones are left behind and there is not limit for emanation bodies whether one has a human body here or not. That's why I ask what extra rainbow body has.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4214
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby kirtu » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:33 pm

narraboth wrote:Sarma schools also claim that their paths can achieve rainbow body, but I am not sure if they are the same kind of rainbow body.


In fact when I pointed this out on a similar discussion on esangha Namdrol asserted that the Sarma school tantra practices resulting in rainbow body are not the same as the Dzogchen rainbow body.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4371
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby kalden yungdrung » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:23 pm

heart wrote:Kalden,

I think you misunderstood the question. When the Buddha died he left a body behind so why would full enlightenment include a rainbow body?

/magnus



Hello Magnus,

Thanks for the reply.

Sorry my English seems to be not so good.
Indeed the question was not so clear to me.

Now the lamp is shining :D

Best wishes for our individual pratice.

Kalden Yungdrung
THOUGH A MAN BE LEARNED
IF HE DOES NOT APPLY HIS KNOWLEDGE
HE RESEMBLES THE BLIND MAN
WHO WITH A LAMP IN THE HAND CANNOT SEE THE ROAD
User avatar
kalden yungdrung
 
Posts: 1103
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:40 pm

Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby narraboth » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:50 pm

Astus wrote:Kalden,

As Heart said, it's something else I've raised here as a question.

Narraboth,

You say with a rainbow body it's easier to help many beings. But if one dies the flesh and bones are left behind and there is not limit for emanation bodies whether one has a human body here or not. That's why I ask what extra rainbow body has.


hi, for great beings who attained buddhahood, there is no limit for their emanations.
Just give two examples of 'Powa chenpo' rainbow body:
Padmasambhava and Vimalamitra; they all still have endless emanations to help beings. But for this world, at this time, they don't need to go through common body old and death process.

Like Padmasambhava, he stayed in India for hundreds of years, and again stayed in Tibet for a hundred or so, in the end he didn't die, he went to raksha island. Vimalamitra is still in Mt. Wu-Tai in China now, quite some Tibetan masters went there and met him in person (in forms of begger etc).

Although fully enlightened beings can generate limitless emanations anyway, when in form of klesha body, their actions are usually limited by natural rule: old and death. Even when there are some ways to prelong one's life, usually a flesh body can't be used for too long and in the end one can't be as active as young people. Therefore, great beings change body, that's one of reasons why we have tulku system. great being himself won't be influenced by that process, and for some people it's not a bad thing to remind them that nothing is preminant; however low-wisdom people like me would sometimes think how nice if dligo khyentse rinpoche or dudjom rinpoche didn't need to change their body!

It's just my opinion, actually not too many people really attained powa chenpo body in history anyway. So if you prefer mahamudra, there is no problem to follow it.
This kind of discussion is interesting, but is also like two ants debating about which skyline building is higher. Don't spend too much time on it unless you are already near the top of one of them.
narraboth
 
Posts: 338
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:18 pm

Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby narraboth » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:53 pm

kirtu wrote:
narraboth wrote:Sarma schools also claim that their paths can achieve rainbow body, but I am not sure if they are the same kind of rainbow body.


In fact when I pointed this out on a similar discussion on esangha Namdrol asserted that the Sarma school tantra practices resulting in rainbow body are not the same as the Dzogchen rainbow body.

Kirt


I remember that, that was long time ago.
Base on texts, I think Namdrol had his reason to say that.
But I don't really mind, as I said, I am just too far from any kind of them.
narraboth
 
Posts: 338
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:18 pm

Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby conebeckham » Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:39 pm

Namdrol may be right, I don't know.....he probably is. But it's important to note that quite a few "Sarma" Lamas practiced Dzokchen secretly, as well. Some of those Rainbow Bodies may have been Dzokchen-produced. Those Lamas just didn't talk about it.
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2661
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby kirtu » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:23 pm

conebeckham wrote:Namdrol may be right, I don't know.....he probably is. But it's important to note that quite a few "Sarma" Lamas practiced Dzokchen secretly, as well. Some of those Rainbow Bodies may have been Dzokchen-produced. Those Lamas just didn't talk about it.


Rainbow body is also explicitly mentioned as a result of Vajrayogini practice in the Sakya tradition and not as a result of Dzogchen in this case. This was in fact the point of my statement to Namdrol on the similar esangha thread.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4371
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby Astus » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:47 pm

Maybe I've missed something here in Narraboth's answer but I still don't see the use of dissolving the physical body into rainbow lights besides its obvious miraculous nature that can inspire faith. Also, if we go into the land of wonders, bodhisattvas are capable of all kinds of magic transforming themselves into virtually anything, including buddhas. And that ability is available to a large number of gods, demons and yogis too. So, again, what is so special about the rainbow body that it can be an argument for the superiority of dzogchen?
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4214
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby kirtu » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:56 pm

Astus wrote:Maybe I've missed something here in Narraboth's answer but I still don't see the use of dissolving the physical body into rainbow lights ....


It's a natural result after the winds and channels have been totally purified. Even the elements of one's body have been transformed into wisdom (the five elements transformed into the five wisdoms as well as the five ignorances having been transformed into the five wisdoms). As a result complete wisdom is manifested. This then begs the question why didn't Shakyamuni demonstrate it? Because his whole purpose was to demonstrate the common, long path. There are apparently levels of the rainbow body as well. It's one of the many ways of practitioners entering enlightenment.

From the Bon tradition, the Ligmincha Institute says in their glossary:

rainbow body - (tib: 'ja lus) The sign of full realization in dzogchen is the attainment of the rainbow body. The realized dzogchen practitioner, no longer deluded by apparent substantiality or dualisms such as mind and matter, releases the energy of the elements that compose the physical body at the time of death. The body itself is dissolved, leaving only hair and nails, and the practitioner consciously enters death.


This seems to be what my Nyingma teachers have said as well. I'm not sure my Sakya teachers went into detail about the rainbow body aside from mentioning it as the demonstration of Buddhahood (but one can attain Buddhahood without demonstrating rainbow body) as well).

For example, a high Sakya lama apparently confirmed a partial rainbow body manifestation of a practitioner in 2007 or 2008 whose body shrank after death to the size of a child. This practitioner's body did not however disappear into light.

Also, the Wikipedia entry, apparently written by a knowledgeable person, indicates that rainbow body is the manifestation of a kind of Dharmakaya phowa (so phowa into the five wisdom lights). This of course needs to be checked.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4371
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby heart » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:42 pm

narraboth wrote:This kind of discussion is interesting, but is also like two ants debating about which skyline building is higher. Don't spend too much time on it unless you are already near the top of one of them.


:applause: yes, indeed.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
User avatar
heart
 
Posts: 3081
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby kalden yungdrung » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:34 pm

Astus wrote:I hear in arguments for the superiority of Dzogchen that it includes the possibility of attaining the rainbow body. Frankly, besides that it sounds cool, I don't see the point of it at all. It might be a great miracle to see someone's body vaporise with colourful lights, but beyond that what? Realisation of the 3/4 bodies are inherent in awareness so it is not the case that buddhahood is at stake. Then why the fuss?



Hello Astus, :)

Thanks for the post.

Hope to understand your difficult statement / question now more.

In my opinion has everybody so his/her affection with a certain tradition.
It is easy to explain like some like patatoes and some like rice.

Or better said some have that realisation and others another realisation, like the enlightenment of the Buddha Shakyamuni and the Rainbow Body of Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen.
This is based on a certain feeling or trust in a tradition with its methods which depends on the time and place where one is born with the related karma etc.

From the other side did i not see an enlightened person i guess and also i did never see a rainbow body with my eyes. But this exist.

But it does exist nevertheless i never did see it.
Why?
Because i believe it and have a big trust in my lineage holders.
I guess everybody does so.......


So we have to believe it and/or must wait untill we experience that kind of enlightenment.
In the meanwhile we do our practice with great diligence,trust and effort in the light of our lineage.

Best wishes with our praxis
Kalden Yungdrung
THOUGH A MAN BE LEARNED
IF HE DOES NOT APPLY HIS KNOWLEDGE
HE RESEMBLES THE BLIND MAN
WHO WITH A LAMP IN THE HAND CANNOT SEE THE ROAD
User avatar
kalden yungdrung
 
Posts: 1103
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:40 pm

Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby conebeckham » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:54 pm

Although I agree that discussion about the details of this kind of result have no practical application in my own personal continuum.....I thank Astus for asking the question. It's a good question. "Oh, that's pretty" but so what?

Those who've answered about emanations and the ability to benefit beings, it would be cool to know about more precisely how this would work.

Kirtu, I'm not saying that all Sarma Rainbow Body Lamas (? How many are there, anyway?) achieved the result, necessarily, via a secret Dzokchen practice I don't know, for example, what the alleged cause of Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche's teacher's achievement was....just that it's possible for Sarma practitioners to achieve it, and secret Dzokchen practice MAY be a possible cause.....I dunno.

Also, I recall that Kalachakra's "Illusory Body" differs from the Illusory Body explained in other Sarma Tantras, principally the Guhyasamaja and Chakrasamvara Tantras, if I recall....the Kalachakra's Illusory Body is said to be a substantial body....or something like that.

Which points to another factor-sometimes the seemingly-same term means different things in different contexts, eh?
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2661
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby Sherab » Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:35 am

To me, a rainbow body attests to the highest realization possible. Since everything arose from rigpa, the attainment of the rainbow meant that you attained the ability to reverse the whole process, including your physical body.

Also, I understand that the practitioner may choose not to manifest the rainbow body at the time of his/her passing away if that is of no benefit to anyone.
User avatar
Sherab
 
Posts: 736
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:28 am

Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby Sonrisa » Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:44 am

Hi!

Sorry to bombard this topic and Im not sure if I should have started a new thread for it. But, what is a rainbow body? Somene tried to explain it to me and said that the person shrinks a bit :shrug:
Namo Amitabha
Namo Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva
Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva

May I continue to practice loving-kindness and compassion for sentient beings. May my friends and loved ones be free from suffering. May those who have hurt me also be free from suffering.

Hatred is like throwing cow dung at someone else. You get dirty first before throwing it to someone else.
User avatar
Sonrisa
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:55 am

Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby Heruka » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:00 am

Sonrisa wrote:Hi!

Sorry to bombard this topic and Im not sure if I should have started a new thread for it. But, what is a rainbow body? Somene tried to explain it to me and said that the person shrinks a bit :shrug:


Its a good question, perhaps the body of light is better way to understand. The body is made of elements, fire, water, wind, earth etc, and in there course form, we have a body of karma, karmic in nature etc, we also have a vajra body which is the elements in their pure form. Practices to purify the karmic body, allows the coarse elements to purify into their pure nature, the karmic body decays and dies, the vajra body does not. Most will settle into dharmakaya peace, the elements will dispearse etc, the dharmakaya is nothing, there is no activity. The shrinkage you mention is partial rainbow body, the water has returned to water, the fire settles into fire elements etc, and outwards the flesh (gross karmic body) shrinks. this is not the same as the great transfer, where death is not even reached. Here the individual has purified into a dimension that still is active, and can interact with others of like vision, activity is on going and brings benefits to all. The images of people in rainbow colours are not accurate but just a visual representation of a principle at work. sorry i have not the time to explain more, but just in a simple way.

dzogchen is concerned principly with the nirmanakaya
apologise for the awful typos/
Heruka
 
Posts: 1069
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:34 am

Re: Rainbow Body - Why?

Postby Sherab » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:22 am

Here's what I think:
Due to Ignorance, based on the five lights, the five elements and mind appear. Based on the five elements and karma, the various worlds and sentient beings appear. The rainbow body is the reversal of the physical body (and the emergent mind) to the original state. (Note: I am assuming here that the five elements are even more basic than quarks.)
User avatar
Sherab
 
Posts: 736
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:28 am

Next

Return to Dzogchen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: vitralakh and 11 guests

>