Can anyone explain to me what an archetypal Buddha is? I've heard this phrase kicked about a lot within the Tibetan schools. It is explained that Buddha's like Amitabha, Ratnasambhava and others are archetypal figures of the historical Buddha. Does this mean they are not real to some Buddhists? Why would the Buddha expound sutra's of other Buddha's if they only avatars of himself?
As far as Buddhism concerns and well especially in Dzogchen and Tantric Buddhism as well Sutra Buddhism we know the respective related Buddha Bodies:
- Dharma Kaya
- Sambhoga Kaya
- Nirmana Kaya
We all have these 3 indivisible Bodies as inherent qualities of our Mind and not realizing this or to be aware of these Bodies means that we are or have a certain ignorance in us which ends in eternalism or nihilism / illusion (Dualisms).
Well one can say these Bodies can be called the Arche typical bodies of our UNBORN own/inherent Mind.
So we can reach Realisation of this unborn Mind by the revealing of these Bodies.
- Some do Dzogchen and realize the Dharmakaya aspect (of their Mind) - Kuntu Zangpo / Samantabhadra
- Some do Tantra and realize the Sambhogakaya aspect (of their Mind) - 5 Dyani Buddhas
- Some do Sutra and realize the Nirmanakaya aspect (of their Mind) - Buddha Shakyamuni , Buddha Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche etc.
All 3 doors lead to the same enlightenment namely to be a Buddha, and there is no difference between Buddha and Buddha like between water and wet / water.
The only difference is the "time" it takes to reach enlightenment, regarding these 3 vehicles / Yanas / Thegpa.
So the vision and realated level of understanding, all based on previous karma, shows the way / Yana of the adept.