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I was doing a bit of studying, particularly adding some Pali vocabulary into my flashcards and I ran across the term Akshobhya. It is my understanding that this is one of the Five Dhyani Buddhas, of Tibetan Buddhism. I do not understand what these are, and I have read around on several pages and still can not grasp an understanding. I have looked at Wikipedia as well. Can somebody please explain what they are?
Kunga Leshe wrote:Does anyone know of a good resource which focuses on the Dhyani Buddhas or discusses them in greater detail?
An accessible place to begin might be Francesca Fremantle's book _Luminous Emptiness._ Or the most recent translation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Jikan wrote:Just to be clear, we're talking about the Dhyana Buddhas, the five families, right?
Thanks for your reply! Yes, I am referring to the 5 Buddha Families. I was just reading this: www.tibetanart.com/.../THE%20FIVE%20BUD ... MILIES.doc , which starts off with:
Central to the principles of Vajrayana Buddhism is the conceptual assembly of the Five Buddhas or ‘Five Enlightened Families’ (Skt. panchakula; Tib. rigs-lnga), which are commonly but somewhat erroneously known as Dhyani Buddhas or ‘Buddhas of Meditation’.
I wonder what is meant here by "somewhat erroneously". Are they not yidams? I've tried looking for information on their sadhanas with no luck. Beside the typical listing of attributes, mantras are the only thing I can find.
Kunga Leshe wrote:I wonder what is meant here by "somewhat erroneously". Are they not yidams? I've tried looking for information on their sadhanas with no luck. Beside the typical listing of attributes, mantras are the only thing I can find.
In Tibetan Buddhism there can be sadhanas for the individual Dhyani Buddhas. They also usually show up in many sadhanas. So they have an active role in TB sadhanas.
"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
Kunga Leshe wrote:Central to the principles of Vajrayana Buddhism is the conceptual assembly of the Five Buddhas or ‘Five Enlightened Families’ (Skt. panchakula; Tib. rigs-lnga), which are commonly but somewhat erroneously known as Dhyani Buddhas or ‘Buddhas of Meditation’.
I wonder what is meant here by "somewhat erroneously".
The 'erroneously' refers to the term 'Dhyani Buddha'. The term originates from the nineteenth-century scholar Hodgson and his Newari informant, Pandita Amritananda, but is not found in original Sanskrit texts where they are rather called five Jinas.
More basically, these five Buddhas appear in many (most? All?) Highest Yoga Tantra sadhanas, during self-empowerment, and at other times. They represent the five families--
Each of these "families" in turn relates to the purification of a "poison," or represents the purification of a skandha, or represents one of the five wisdoms. So, for example, Akshobya can represent Dharmadhatu Wisdom, the Dharmakaya, the purification of "anger" and/or the skandha of consciousness, all at the same time. But there are differences between the correspondences, depending on what yidam sadhana you're engaged in....
The PDF from Thrangu Rinpoche goes into some detail about the specifics. It's important to understand this if you're practicing Highest Yoga Tantra in the Sarma traditions, and I think in the Nyingma as well.
"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
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