Vairochana

Vairochana

Postby zamotcr » Wed May 29, 2013 12:55 am

Hello,

I was reading that Vairochana teaches all the Buddhas, and his Pure Land contains the whole the cosmos, all the worlds. It is said he created his Pure Land because of the fulfilment of his vows in the past.
I thought Vairochana was some kind of metaphor of the Dharmakaya, but it is described as a real Buddha who lived in the past, like Dharmakara or something like that.

How do you take Vairochana? As a metaphor, as a real being were all Buddhas emanate, etC?
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Re: Vairochana

Postby Astus » Wed May 29, 2013 4:13 pm

In Mahayana generally buddhas are considered real beings, and they are also embodiments of different qualities and teachings most of the time.
"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)
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Re: Vairochana

Postby zamotcr » Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:29 pm

Hi Astus,

But isn't it supposed that Vairochana is the Dharmakaya of the Buddha? If he is, then, how can we talk about an individualized being if Dharmakaya is unconditioned, unmanifested, unity, etc?


Thanks!
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Re: Vairochana

Postby zamotcr » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:55 pm

I always thought that the dharmakaya was undifferentiated, one unity, without differences. I believed that saying: The dharmakaya of Shakyamuni is Vairocana, the dharmakaya of Amitabha is another one, was some kind of expedient mean to understand it, but in reality is only one, just mind. Is in that way?

So in reality a Vairocana Buddha exists, also other dharmakayas, like some kind of differentiated Buddhas dharmakayas?
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Re: Vairochana

Postby jikai » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:32 am

"Dainichi Nyorai (Vairocana), who is neither a historical figure nor a supramundane being but the Buddha as Dharma Body, that is, the truth without beginning or end that is inherent in all things. All other Buddhas are seen as manifestations of this cosmic Buddha; so indeed is the universe itself." (Jacqueline Stone)"

Gassho,
Jikai.
"There are no seperate dharma's in the Three Realms. There is only the operation of the one mind."
"Whoever wishes to benefit beings ought to establish teachings that fit their capacities, expound the dharma in accordance with their capacities, and match the doctrines to them"
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Re: Vairochana

Postby Astus » Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:14 pm

The "dharmakaya" is a very abstract concept, and it is without form. Vairocana had its own cult and other devotional and meditational elements that other popular buddhas. It is his symbolic aspect that is identified with the ultimate truth. The Wikipedia explains briefly: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vairocana

Vairocana attained enlightenment, has his own buddha-land (Padma-garbha-loka-dhatu), etc. (Guang Xing: The Concept of the Buddha, p 169-171). There's also this essay that has some info on him: The Meaning of Vairocana in Hua-yen Buddhism.
"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)
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Re: Vairochana

Postby zamotcr » Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:18 pm

Astus wrote:The "dharmakaya" is a very abstract concept, and it is without form. Vairocana had its own cult and other devotional and meditational elements that other popular buddhas. It is his symbolic aspect that is identified with the ultimate truth. The Wikipedia explains briefly: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vairocana

Vairocana attained enlightenment, has his own buddha-land (Padma-garbha-loka-dhatu), etc. (Guang Xing: The Concept of the Buddha, p 169-171). There's also this essay that has some info on him: The Meaning of Vairocana in Hua-yen Buddhism.



Thanks Astus. The Hua-yen essay described Vairocana as I thought. However, how can this view of Vairocana with his enlightenment, his own Pure Land and being the Dharmakaya, without form be reconciled? I mean, for me, this two views are completely different. Unless, of course, we see this thing of Vairocana enlightenment and his pure land as a skillful mean to describe something that is indescribable, so people can grasp their meaning, like metaphors.
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Re: Vairochana

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:28 pm

zamotcr wrote:
Astus wrote:The "dharmakaya" is a very abstract concept, and it is without form. Vairocana had its own cult and other devotional and meditational elements that other popular buddhas. It is his symbolic aspect that is identified with the ultimate truth. The Wikipedia explains briefly: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vairocana

Vairocana attained enlightenment, has his own buddha-land (Padma-garbha-loka-dhatu), etc. (Guang Xing: The Concept of the Buddha, p 169-171). There's also this essay that has some info on him: The Meaning of Vairocana in Hua-yen Buddhism.



Thanks Astus. The Hua-yen essay described Vairocana as I thought. However, how can this view of Vairocana with his enlightenment, his own Pure Land and being the Dharmakaya, without form be reconciled? I mean, for me, this two views are completely different. Unless, of course, we see this thing of Vairocana enlightenment and his pure land as a skillful mean to describe something that is indescribable, so people can grasp their meaning, like metaphors.



Things like that are covered by the Three Bodies is my understanding, all these Buddhas and Bodhisattvas etc. have also the Sambogakaya form and sometimes Nirmanakaya aspects also, in that sense Dharmakaya is not exclusively something without form, but all the Sambogakyaya and Nirmanakaya forms are ultimately aspects of Dharmakaya.

Someone please correct me if i'm on the wrong track, but the three bodies concept is more..integrative I guess than saying something is either metaphor for emptiness, or is substantially real, neither definitive statement is quite right.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Vairochana

Postby zamotcr » Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:33 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Things like that are covered by the Three Bodies is my understanding, all these Buddhas and Bodhisattvas etc. have also the Sambogakaya form and sometimes Nirmanakaya aspects also, in that sense Dharmakaya is not exclusively something without form, but all the Sambogakyaya and Nirmanakaya forms are ultimately aspects of Dharmakaya.

Someone please correct me if i'm on the wrong track, but the three bodies concept is more..integrative I guess than saying something is either metaphor for emptiness, or is substantially real, neither definitive statement is quite right.


As far as I know, Dharmakaya pervades everything, the whole universe. In Dharmakaya sense, there are no differentiation nor form, etc. It is said that Dharmakaya is something like pantheism but without god... pan-buddhism :rolling:

Each Buddha has the same essence, the same Dharmakaya, there is no differences at all, it's the same nature as us, the emptiness...
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Re: Vairochana

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:40 pm

zamotcr wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:Things like that are covered by the Three Bodies is my understanding, all these Buddhas and Bodhisattvas etc. have also the Sambogakaya form and sometimes Nirmanakaya aspects also, in that sense Dharmakaya is not exclusively something without form, but all the Sambogakyaya and Nirmanakaya forms are ultimately aspects of Dharmakaya.

Someone please correct me if i'm on the wrong track, but the three bodies concept is more..integrative I guess than saying something is either metaphor for emptiness, or is substantially real, neither definitive statement is quite right.


As far as I know, Dharmakaya pervades everything, the whole universe. In Dharmakaya sense, there are no differentiation nor form, etc. It is said that Dharmakaya is something like pantheism but without god... pan-buddhism :rolling:

Each Buddha has the same essence, the same Dharmakaya, there is no differences at all, it's the same nature as us, the emptiness...


Right, so by definition when talking about pure lands and forms of Buddhas, it refers to either the bliss-body, or the manifestation body, rather than Dharmakaya, reality-body. Even if it is said that he represents that Dharmakaya etc., you can infer from doctrinal concepts that in fact when speaking of the form, pure land, or whatever its the other two bodies. By my understanding that is the part that makes it non-contradictory, because emptiness is not somehow the opposite of form, they are undifferentiated. If Dharmakaya pervades everything, then asking what it is not, or painting a picture where Buddha-forms are seperate from it, seems to be creating a conflict where none exists..at least if you buy the three bodies concept. Obviously you can try to pick holes in this by going in logical circles with it, but then that is the point of the Two Truths lol, so that you don't have to do that.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Vairochana

Postby Astus » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:25 pm

The role of different characters can change depending on the text and tradition. A good example is Vajrapani who in early texts is a spirit (yaksha), then a protector deity (dharmapala), then a bodhisattva, then in certain tantras a buddha and finally in later tantras reverted into a less important position. Vairochana, just like other buddhas (e.g. Akshobhya), once had his own devotional system, then he was rendered into a metaphysical symbol, again to be put into a lesser position in later tantras (one of the five dhyani buddhas) and superseded by Samantabhadra (in Nyingma) and Vajradhara (e.g. in Kagyu).

While it is often forgotten, Buddhism lived and spread not only via concepts, meditation and famous teachers, but the cults of buddhas and bodhisattvas was (and still is) an important element. Richard D. McBride in Domesticating the Dharma: Buddhist Cults and the Hwaŏm Synthesis in Silla Korea explores exactly this. Therefore, just as certain doctrines and practices changed, so did the rituals and the importance and meaning of deities.
"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)
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Re: Vairochana

Postby zamotcr » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:34 am

So, cults to different Buddhas help to keep buddhism alive. But that doesn't mean that each specific Buddha has a real existence, much of the times are embodiment of teachings and truths.
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Re: Vairochana

Postby LynyrdSkynyrd » Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:09 pm

Don't convolute vairocana with mahavairocana (as someone did above giving mahavairocana's Japanese name) though related, they are perhaps two different deities. Different traditions view them differently. In Shingon, Mahavairocana is not only the the complete dharmakaya, but also the complete totality of phenomenal existence as well, made of the same stuff (6 elements) as a toilet seat.

You will not necessarily find consistency between different traditions, so don't be surprised when they are different.
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