How to Develop the Bodhicitta of Samadhi
(Bodhicitta Series Part VI)
Under the guidance of the Buddhist Yogi C. M. Chen
Written by Yutang Lin
In the whole system of Five Bodhicittas, as systematized by Yogi Chen, the first two, namely, that of Will and Conduct, have well-defined practices. The third one, the Bodhicitta of Victorious Significance, contains the highest and most essential philosophy of the whole system and is very difficult to comprehend and be realized. One who only practices the Bodhicitta of Will or Victorious Significance might easily neglect the material aspect of Bodhicitta; while one who only practices the Bodhicitta of Conduct might easily neglect the mental aspect of Bodhicitta. In the fourth Bodhicitta, that of the Bodhicitta of Samadhi, we find a harmonization of materiality and mentality which leads us closer to the final Truth of the identification of mind and matter.
Furthermore, compared with the Bodhicitta of Victorious Significance, this Bodhicitta of Samadhi is more tangible and practical. Many Buddhists talk about developing the Bodhicitta without knowledge of this tangible way of doing it. Consequently, they cannot accumulate the proper merits and power that develop out of the realization of this practice and are so necessary to the full development of Bodhicitta.
This Bodhicitta of Samadhi practice might be wrongly considered by some as superfluous because its visualizations of moon and vajra resemble Evolutional Yoga. This mistaken view is due to the lack of knowledge of the function and position of this practice in the whole system of Five Bodhicittas. In the whole system of Bodhicittas, this fourth Bodhicitta is the crucial step that one must take in order to develop the concrete manifestation of Bodhicitta that will become essential and indispensable in the realization of the Great Pleasure Wisdom Body of a Buddha which is the fruit of the fifth and final Bodhicitta of Kunda.
Below in part II, The Practice and part III, The Philosophy we shall present again two works by Yogi Chen. The first one was originally Chapter V of "How to Develop the Bodhicitta." The second one is Part I of "How to Transform a Human Body into a Buddha Body" (Chenian Booklet No. 75). These two works deal with the practice and philosophy of our topic, respectively. Although we are merely reproducing them here for our reader's convenience, we would like to point out the following facts for our readers to gain a deeper understanding of these teachings and a better appreciation of Yogi Chen's contributions to this particular subject.
The Sutra called "Mahayana Visualization of the Original Mind Sutra" (Da Cheng Ben Sheng Xin Di Guan Jing) contains a brief teaching on this method of developing the Bodhicitta. The original tantric teaching on this method, as taught by Venerable Feng Great Acharya, is also brief and is accompanied only by a succinct commentary. When Yogi Chen's teachings on this subject are compared with these sources, one readily notices the following:
A. Regarding the Practice:
- The mudras that are complicated and not so essential to this practice are omitted.
- The visualization of the moon disk is no longer limited to a fixed size, but goes through enlargements and contractions in prescribed stages.
- The visualization of the Vajra is not only gradually enlarged to fill the whole Dharmadhatu, but is in well defined stages and then followed by contractions in the reverse order.
- The visualization of the Vajra is not only contracted to the size of a human body, but transforms into Buddha body. Thereby the secret of Speech is manifested by the Bell.
- The visualization of Buddha body is not without choices, rather it should be decided with regard to the special functions involved. Besides, the Buddha body also goes through enlargements and contractions in prescribed stages.
B. Regarding the Philosophy:
- Not only the significance of each one of the five stages of this practice has been expounded, but also the interconnected relations between the stages have been exposed. Thus the method can be understood as a well-connected whole, instead of being just a sequence of separated parts.
- The enlargements and contractions of visualizations are explained in terms of the variety and unity of the whole Dharmadhatu, thus focusing the connection between the practice and the Basic Samadhi of Buddha. Yogi Chen has thereby brought forth the underlying reasons for the name "Bodhicitta of Samadhi." Also, in light of this connection, the reader is advised to pay attention to Yogi Chen's teachings on the Great Samadhi of Dharmadhatu. A collection of these teachings written in Chinese has recently been published under the title: Chen Shang Shi Fa Jie Da Ding Jiao Shou Hui Zong (Collection of Guru Chen's teachings on the Great Meditation of Dharmadhatu)
- The unification and harmonization of mentality and materiality is the underlying philosophy and the goal of this practice. Nevertheless, the elements of materiality in this practice, e.g., the moon, the vajra, and the Buddha body, are visualizations, and hence are more mental than material. Thus we need to further develop the Bodhicitta of Kunda which involves the material elements like nerves, Buddha winds, and wisdom drops, in order to complete the harmonization of mentality and materiality.
II. The Practice
The three kinds of Bodhicitta of Will, of Conduct, and of Victorious Significance, were emphasized by ancient Buddhists of India and China. They are exoteric in nature, while the last two Bodhicittas are esoteric. They have not been connected into a complete system until now. As I (Yogi Chen) am the man who was born here for this great event during this very age to arrange all the important doctrines into a reasonable, complete system for the whole world, I have to introduce them to my readers without any imperfection.
The previous three kinds of Bodhicitta lay most stress on mentality. They have not been connected with the physical body, so the wisdom nerves have not been opened and utilized for developing the Bodhicitta. This Bodhicitta of Samadhi provides the technique and the function to complete the practice. The above three kinds of Bodhicitta will succeed only after three great Kalpas of practice, but their required period may be shortened into only one lifetime or at the most, sixteen lifetimes. So the earnest and quick-tempered Bodhisattva has to learn the esoteric doctrines: Samadhi Bodhicitta first, and Kunda Bodhicitta last.
For Samadhi Bodhicitta I have written Booklet No. 75 in which the theory of philosophy and the system and all their connections are dealt with in detail. Here I have to introduce the practical method in order to solve the problem of how to do it.
These methods were imparted by the great sage Nagarjuna who was an incarnation of an ancient Buddha before Gautama Buddha. He received the method from Vajrasattva in the Iron Pagoda in South India which belongs to the Third Yoga called "Yogic Tantra" in the Vajrayana.
He wrote a very well-known essay entitled "Developing the Bodhicitta" in which he emphasized that anyone who practices this Bodhicitta will succeed with his flesh body in, at most, sixteen lives. This doctrine has been practiced very earnestly in Japan where it has even been declared that one may get full enlightenment in this very lifetime with this doctrine. They have also purposely misinterpreted the sixteen lifetimes to mean the sixteen Bodhisattvas in the mandala. This is an error. In Tibet, this kind of Bodhicitta has not been given reasonable attention. It has surely been neglected; I have written an essay giving some frank criticism to both Japanese and Tibetan Buddhists.
The esoteric doctrine is based upon the philosophy of causation of six elements in which the first five belong to materiality, the last one to mentality, i.e., in the former group are earth, water, fire, wind, and space, and in the latter category is right view. These six elements are not separately independent but perpetually harmonized with any kind of yoga and its function.
The Bodhi is not only in psychical enlightenment but also in physical light. It is known as the "will" in psychology and as the "heart" in physiology. Its conduct is a function of physiology, but its victorious significance is a function of both psychology and philosophy. The Samadhi Bodhicitta is more psychical than Physical while the Kunda Bodhicitta is more physical than psychical. Eventually, the wise practitioner must skillfully employ the identification of mentality and materiality when he is practicing Yidam even in the position of cause in Vajrayana.
This kind of Bodhicitta of Samadhi is called "The Five Forms to Develop the Buddha-body" while the essay written by the above mentioned Guru Nagarjuna is called "The Essay of Developing the Bodhicitta." His essay deals with the same thing as the Five Forms. From these different names one should recognize that the body and the Bodhicitta, or the enlightened heart or mind, are the same thing. This recognition determines the philosophy of the identification of mentality and materiality. The following five steps are translated from the Yogic Tantra ritual of Japan. The same tradition is available in the Tibetan Tripitaka but the Tibetans do not practice the tradition as earnestly as the Japanese.
To realize the original mind, one should:
1. First realize that the original mind is neither only in the mind nor only in the body. It penetrates inside and outside the body, is available in every body and practically in every person. The practitioner in his meditation must think that this mind is one with him, without differentiation. His recognition of this is the final truth. He should repeat the following incantation one time:
OM (Dharmakaya) CITTA (mind and heart) BOR RO DHI PHY DAR (realize) KAR RO ME (as I do).
He should visualize himself and all phenomenon as unified in oneness of the truth, which may be called "the original mind," but eventually is neither only mind nor only body, neither present, nor future, neither haveness nor voidness. There is nothing new to be gained, nor is anything lacking. The practitioner should continue this kind of meditation as long as he can.
2. Develop the Bodhicitta. As the truth is so profound, not everyone can recognize it. For this reason the practitioner must have great compassion for all sentient beings who are in the endless circle of transmigration and should develop the Bodhicitta to help them.
The practitioner should visualize this Bodhicitta as symbolized by a full moon, perfect and round and bright, eight inches in diameter, situated in his heart, and consisting of great compassion and deep wisdom.
He should repeat the following incantation one time:
OM (Dharmakaya) BODHICITTA (enlightened mind or heart) BHU DAN BAR RA (develop) WA ME (as I do now).
Although the original size of the symbolic moon is eight inches in diameter, after this visualization is clear and confirmed the practitioner has to enlarge its size until it fills his hermitage, then until it fills the sky, and then until it fills the Dharmadhatu--the universe in Buddhist cosmology. After the enlargement is finished and confirmed, one should draw it back to its original size by reversing the order given above. One should think that the blessings of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are gathered into the full moon.
3. Realize the Vajra-citta: The Bodhicitta symbol of the moon contains only the great compassion in mentality, but not the great function in materiality. Therefore, a symbol which contains the five wisdoms in its upper part and the five elements in its lower part joins these two important factors and produces many functions for saving others effectively and fruitfully. One should visualize a vajra standing on the full moon. This vajra is called "Vajra-citta." It is able to serve the purpose of representing good vows as well as the yeomen's service or help in need. The enlargement of this vajra should be visualized in the same manner as that of the full moon, and its diminution should follow the reverse order as explained previously.
One should repeat the following incantation one time with the visualization:
OM (Dharmakaya) DHI SYIA THA (abide on) VAJRA (the Dharma instrument).
4. Achieve the Vajra body: Although one has visualized a vajra at the third stage, it has not become personalized. Without personalization the visualization of the vajra cannot stand in good stead. So in this stage one has to visualize oneself as a Buddha-body. When the vajra has been diminished, then one's Buddha-body increases and reduces in the sizes mentioned above.
One should repeat the following incantation once and must keep the idea or meaning with the visualization:
OM (Dharmakaya) VAJRA DHAMA GO HOM (Dharma instrument is just harmonized with myself).
5. Integrate all parts inside and outside with the body of Buddha Vairocana or the body of the great Bodhisattva Samantabhadra. Both Buddha and the great Bodhisattva who previously was a Buddha but, in order to help the Buddha, descended into the position of a Bodhisattva, can save sentient beings effectively and fruitfully with either their inner powers or with their outer countenances. Hence, in this stage one has to visualize the Buddha or the Bodhisattva in all their thirty-two best forms and their eighty best bodily signs until every part of the holy body is integrated.
One should repeat the following incantation one time:
OM (Dharmakaya) SAMADHA (all) PADHALEN (goodness) HOM (I am).
One should visualize one's self as being the same as Vairocana when one is given initiation; and visualize oneself as being the same as Samantabhadra when one is carrying on one's Bodhicitta of Conduct. Both are seated on the Lotus throne and wear the crown with five Buddhas as the highest blessing or ornament. All the Bodhicitta of Will will completely succeed through such a Buddha or Bodhisattva. Hence, all conduct will be performed by such a holy being.
From the above five steps, one might recognize that the Tantric philosophical background continually penetrates all samadhis of identification of mentality and materiality. In the first step the original mind is not only mind in the psychic sense but also holy matter in the philosophical truth sense. In the second step the Bodhicitta symbolized by the moon is somewhat material though its light is mental. When visualized in the heart it appears to be material, but it included the great compassion of the heart which is mental. In the third step, the Vajra has two parts: the upper is a symbol of wisdom which is mental, while the lower is a symbol of elements which are material. In the fourth step the body is material, but the samadhi with the body is mental. In the last step the signs or forms are material but their source and denotations are all mental. These are the special functions from the true philosophy of Tantra which are not possible in the exoteric school. Nevertheless, though materiality has been visualized and accompanied by mentality, the actual function has not been practiced with the breath, nerves, and drops in the Tantric system of the wisdom body. Hence, the fifth Bodhicitta of Kunda is needed.
III. The Philosophy
The terms "human body" and "Buddha body" occur rather frequently in Buddhist texts dealing with various stages of mental development and different qualities of materialistic sublimation. The Theravada teaches its disciples to purify the human body in which there are thirty-six items of impurity. The Mahayanists and the Vajrayanists lay more stress on the sublimation of voidness and the function of wisdom-energy. All have their merits and are correlated in a certain order with definite aspects of Truth.
Without the purification of the human body, the transformation into the Buddha body would not be possible. Most disciples who rebuked the doctrine of the Theravada found it difficult to attain satisfactory results in their Mahayanist or Vajrayanist practices.
The philosophy behind the sublimation of voidness in the Tathata and the function of wisdom-energy in the consequential position of Buddhahood is described in voluminous and lengthy writing which cannot be elaborated on in detail here due to lack of space. The Tung Dynasty Tantra and Japanese Tantra include a system called "The Five Forms of the Accomplishment of the Buddha Body." Many disciples often neglect the philosophy governing this system which will be touched upon briefly in this essay.
Mantras, mudras and some simple visualizations are well described in this ritual, but if one lacks the proper philosophical and practical foundation and meditates only on those fragments infrequently, it is like grabbing a handful of antique Chinese coins without properly stringing them: the transformation from human body to Buddha body will not be accomplished. I intend to present here, according to my own experience, the philosophy governing this system of the Five Forms and the connection between any two successive forms. These connections will link the five forms into one.
First of all one should thoroughly recognize "The Original Mind" as the first form is named. To disciples this means that besides Truth, there is neither mind which the Idealistic School emphasizes nor matter which the Indian materialism and the modern materialism asserts. The truth is that the Dharmakaya is formless, colorless, and timeless. Before this yoga is practiced, this truth which is in changeless Tathata Samadhi or in the meditation of the seed mantra AH must be mastered in both its philosophical aspect and its concrete realization. A penetrating recognition absorbed into the four dimensions of the dimensionlessness of the truth is not a common visualization which can be seen through the worldly eyes of flesh of a disciple who has a self-centered desire of attainment deriving from the sixth consciousness, along with the egoism of the seventh consciousness of the Avidya system. It is to be seen only through the Dharma-eyes of the Vidya system beyond the sixth consciousness and the seventh consciousness. The disciple gets, at least, a vivid vision of the outline of the Dharmakaya in an edgeless sphere full of pure, holy, quiet, serene and victorious significance with luminous light in which there is neither the idea of self nor the idea of the existence of one's own body of flesh. Yet it is embracing everybody good or bad, in heaven or in hell, during the Buddha-Dharma period, the Symbol-Dharma period, or during the Non-Dharma period. Thus at any time, on any occasion, everybody shares it, although not everybody is aware of it. This is the head of the connection between the first and second forms.
Though the ritual emphasizes that there is a Buddha who sees the Disciple absorbed in the stable Samadhi of the original mind and being unaware of the great service of salvation of the Buddha who loudly calls him to awake, a disciple who is not thoroughly absorbed in Samadhi will not be able to detect this merciful calling. Nevertheless, as it is a method leading one towards consequential attainment, one should practice it with diligence. On the other hand, one who has developed the Bodhicitta in this lifetime, or who had practiced the Bodhicitta in many past lives, may recollect the original mind in his Samadhi. One will also visualize the Bodhicitta mind which is the second form, in the symbol of a full moon with a diameter of about eight inches. This is the end of the connection between the first and the second forms.
Our Bodhicitta mind consists of two great elements. One is the wisdom which is derived from the Truth of the Dharmakaya with which the first form is concerned. The other is the great compassion which one should develop here during the time when the second form is taking place in meditation. When the insight of realization of the first form appears, one eventually knows that it is homogeneous in everybody. But "Why have I seen it in such a quiet, happy meditation whereas many others who are suffering from different severe pains in the endless cycles of transmigration could not obtain it?", says one to oneself. As soon as such a question arises, the disciple may meditate in the following manner: The disciple directs the holy light which is radiating from the moon of wisdom upon the heavens. With tears in his eyes, the disciple springs out from his Bodhicitta, and meditates on the following five signs of decay of the heavenly beings: i.e., uncontrolled discharges, flowers on the head withered, unpleasant odor, sweating armpits, and uneasiness. He also projects this holy light upon the Asuras, on their sorrows of anger and pride with which they fight with the heavens. Again he projects this holy light upon human beings, every single one bothered by the five sorrows, eight pains, eighty-eight delusions and four hundred and four diseases; he then projects the holy light upon the animals, on their calamities by nets, traps, poisons, guns, arrows, and knives; again he throws the holy light to the hungry ghosts, on their small throats, big bellies and food of blood and pus; again he throws the holy light into the hells and hell-beings, on their hills of knives, forests of swords and calamities of ox-headed and horse-faced demon-messengers; thus the disciple bathes himself in tears and earnestly prays for his unfortunate fellow beings with a ray of hope to save them.
After the Six Worldly Dharmadhatus have had holy light thrown upon them, been meditated on, and prayed for, the moon light should be visualized as an offering to the Four Enlightened Dharmadhatus (Arhats, Pratyeka Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas) and prayers for saving sentient beings should be observed in very profound devotion. When the light is drawn back, the disciple should believe that all four kinds of enlightened sages have blessed him with their wisdom, compassion and supernatural power. Thus development of the Bodhicitta may be completely formed. Only devas, asuras, and ghosts or spirits of the higher rank who may read others' minds could know some of the good wills springing from the Bodhicitta of the disciple. Other sentient beings who are hidden by five obstacles, surrounded by five Kasayas or impurities, who indulge in the five Chandas, are perplexed by the five poisons and threatened by four demons, have no ability to accept the holy moon light which is so subtle and imponderable, so secret and inexplicable, and so holy and intangible. In fact, a disciple practicing such a form is not capable of saving them. This is the head of the connection between the second and the third forms.
To subdue all demons, to increase a disciple's power to control all holy elements, to concentrate all wisdom and to purify all desires, there is an instrument in Tantra consisting of the five Buddhas' wisdom in its upper part, five holy elements in its lower part and the essence of the five Bodhicittas in its middle part. All of them form a Vajra which is material yet spiritual, and philosophic yet pragmatic. It is comparable to the diamond in such characteristics as hardness, essential indestructibility, power, in frangibility, and rigidity. The disciple should realize such a Vajra Mind, as the third form has been named. Here the mind should be expounded as the essence of truth and not as the sixth consciousness which the Idealist School asserts.
Traditionally, this is never imparted by the ancients. However, when one corner of an object is shown, the other three corners of the same object would be inferred. In the Samadhi of the second form, a disciple might be spoken too loudly by the Buddha, "Without the attainment of Vajra-mind, you are incapable of saving sentient beings." This is the end of the connection between the second and the third forms.
After the Samapatti of this Vajra-form has been visualized firmly in its original size which is as one's own fist with the thumb erect, one should practice its several enlargements. One's body, hermitage, the visible sky, and the invisible Dharmadhatu should be visualized in their respective order. This sequence has been established dialectically and philosophically by the writer through experience for the following reasons:
1. The Chinese term "Hsin" has many meanings. It refers to the "heart" when it is used in the physical sense. It refers to the "mind", "will", or "wish" when it is used in the psychological sense. It means "center" when it is used geometrically. It means "soul" or "consciousness" when it is used in the spiritual sense. It means "essence" or "truth" when it is used in the philosophical sense. As it may mean something rather opposite, its relevant meaning depends on context and should be carefully discriminated and comprehended. For the purpose of inducing one's thought into the whole truth, one should take the word as a whole with all its implications. But for other occasions, it should pertain to its appropriate meaning in each specific instance. The meaning of the word "Hsin" as used in connection with the size of the Vajra implies "harmonization," thus it embraces all its meanings. The reasons for the protoplasmic size of the Vajra to be meditated upon in the same place as where the physical heart lies are as follows: to give an origin to all its enlarged sizes; to impart its wisdom to the life-energy of the heart; to transform the soul or the eighth consciousness into the gnostic life of Buddhahood; to present a concrete embodiment of good will or wish and to strengthen the Bodhicitta of the second form. All the above reasons are relevant to the different meanings of the word "Hsin."
2. Of the five forms in this Yoga, the first three forms have in their names the word "Hsin" which has been translated as "mind" while the subsequent two forms have the word "body" in their names. Naturally, besides the mind, the body is second in importance. The main subject of this Yoga is primarily connected with the body. Hence, the enlargement of the Vajra should be identical with the size of one's own body. The five holy elements in the organs and five kinds of wisdom in the brain symbolized by the Vajra would gnosticise the organs and the brain of the human body and sublimate the body.
3. It is said that all sentient beings of the six realms from the hells up to the heavens are under the sky. Though it is not attempted at this point to measure the actual distance between the heavens and earth. The visualization of the Vajra should fill up all the space between the heavens and the earth. Hence all sentient beings of the six realms are blessed with this Vajra.
4. When the size of the Vajra is visualized as equal to the Dharmakaya, the four enlightened realms mentioned previously would be inter-related. Arhats and Pratyeka Buddhas would feel that their Samadhis are now capable of attaining the SamyakSambodhi, while the Bodhisattvas and Buddhas would bless the disciple as their true inheritor.
Furthermore, all the four different sizes of Vajras are in a permutable connection with one another as Cricoid rings linked outwardly and harmonized inwardly. When the heart Vajra is extended to the body Vajra, mentality and materiality are identified. When it is extended to the hermitage or mandala, its subjectivity and objectivity are identified. When it is extended to the Dharmadhatu Vajra, Garbhadhatu and Vajradhatu are identified. When any one of the four Vajras is taken as the Chief, all Vajras of other sizes would encircle it as its retinue and a great interwoven function will take place.
When the Heart Vajra is chief, with its Bodhicitta mainly functioning, the unconditional compassion and the great mercy of the entities which exist in the Dharmakaya, the unlimited merits of all Gods in the skies, the Gurus, Yidams, Dakinis, and Protectors in the hermitage or Mandala and the 32 forms of the incarnation of a Buddha-body, all function with the Heart Vajra with their good wishes and great vows.
When one takes the Body Vajra as the master, the other three sizes of Vajras are its subordinates and may be identified with one another. The more one emphasizes the negation of one's own human body, the better is the body in Buddhahood and the permeation and harmonization with the other three kinds of Vajra bodies. Thus the Buddha body in the Dharmadhatu, the bodies of Gods in the skies, the bodies of Gurus, of Yidams, of Dakinis, of Protectors in the Mandala of hermitage, the bodies of sentient beings who are pitied by the Vajra heart, are all identified permutably. There is neither any Buddhahood to be newly achieved nor any sentient being to be saved hereafter.
When one visualizes the Hermitage and its Mandala as the main Vajra taken as the head, the other three sizes of Vajra may be taken as the limbs. The Gurus, Yidams, Dakinis, Protectors and their Dharmakayas which refer to the fourth size, that of the Dharmadhatu, their great mercy which sheds tears coming from the first size of the heart, and their merits of Sambhogakaya which developed from the second size of a human body, are also co-existing and simultaneously functioning.
At last if the utmost size of Dharmadhatu Vajra is visualized as the main source and the other three sizes as its subordinates, it will play at the great Indra net of Vajras and form a vast macrocosm of the Buddha world. And the function therefrom might be one as many, many as one. United yet separate, separate yet united; with the other three sizes of Vajra yet beyond all of them, beyond all of them yet in all of them; extensive as well as intensive; all behind it, yet all manifested in it; abstract as well as concrete; present, yet past and future act within it. Today is the tomorrow of yesterday, and it is also the yesterday of tomorrow. In short, one minute includes all three periods of past, present and future. Thus the powers of the Buddhas in the three periods are working at the task of salvation at once without procrastination. Space and time are both under its control. The highest theory of exoteric philosophy and the highest practice of Yogic Tantra called Six-Element-Yoga here get the final chance of achievement; and all four sizes of Vajra Mind as the third form is named, have their function synthesized, identified, inter-reflected, interpenetrated, interpermeated and, at last, harmonized.
No matter how powerful the Vajra may be and how ingenious a disciple may be in his practice with the Vajra, it cannot produce sound for preaching. That is why the Vajra is always accompanied with the Vajra-Bell. "Who will hold this powerful couple of Vajra and Bell?", the disciple will ask himself. Hence the practice of personification of the Buddha body should be carried out next. The Buddha would then call the attention of his disciple again. This is the head of the connection between the third and the fourth forms.
On the one hand, the "Vajra-Body" realization, as the fourth form is named, should accumulate all merits of the three kayas of Buddhahood. On the other hand, the three secrets of body, speech and mind are only available when the body is formed but not in the symbol of the Vajra. Hence, the practice of personification is a must and the end of the connection between the third and fourth forms.
After the extension of the Vajra has been drawn back to the size of the disciple's human body, a Vajra body of personification will be embodied. When the Vajra transforms itself into one's body, the upper part of the Vajra becomes his hair-tuft and the lower part of the Vajra becomes the medium nerve which is the main source of every part of the Buddha body. From the medium nerve, instead of the spinal column, the brain system arises and the blood circulatory system works, and all the inner and outer organs form. All these systems and organs outwardly appear to resemble those of a human body, but inwardly it is full of the wisdom and compassion of Buddhahood. Hence it is quite different from a human body which is formed by evil karmas only.
Some of the rituals emphasize the personification of Vairocana, others emphasize that of Samantabhadra. In the opinion of the writer, for practicing the basic Samadhi the former is better; for practicing the karma-function to benefit others, the latter is better because the position of a Bodhisattva is much closer to sentient beings than that of a Buddha. This Yoga lays more stress on the transformation into Buddha which should be like Vairocana. When the Buddha body is achieved and if the disciple wants to be a savior, Samantabhadra will do.
The term "body" has many purports: it means the entity that is the Dharmakaya; or it means the very Yidam himself, that is, the Sambhogakaya; or it means the body of the practitioner that is the Nirmanakaya in whose heart is the Bodhicitta. The body of entity pursues the truth of voidness. The body of the Yidam presents his characteristics such as his great pleasure and supernatural power. All Gurus, Yidams, Dakinis and Protectors are under his control. Thus the practice of the fourth form has accumulated all the merits of the previous three forms. The disciple should not mistake the body as the flesh one only; thus the synthesis of the whole Yoga would be wrongly recognized.
As the personification of the Vajra Body is from the wisdom Vajra, the 36 impurities are not in it. As the Vajra lives in the Mandala, there are no objects of attachment to lure it; as it manifests the Dharmakaya, there is no Satkayadrsi (a view that thinks of the flesh body as real) or ego-infatuation in it; and as it teaches gods and men, there is no demon who could harm it.
Furthermore, when such a personification is achieved by anyone who is in an entity of Tathata, he is always in the Dharmakaya. He possesses the same characteristics of a Guru, a Yidam, a Dakini, and a Protector, and is in a perfect and joyful Sambhogakaya. He is worshipped by every god and divinity, surrounded by sentient beings, and appears in the merciful Nirmanakaya.
According to one's complete development of the five forms, we may say that from the first form of Original Mind, which is the basis of Enlightenment, one has obtained the result of the position of Buddhahood; from the second form of Bodhicitta, which comes out of great compassion, one has obtained the foundation of salvation; from the third form of Vajra Mind, a Buddha's karma might be carried out through its powerful functioning; from the fourth form of Vajra Body which is the embodiment of a Buddha body, one has obtained the perfect evolution of Buddha body; from the fifth form of the Perfection of Buddha Body which possesses all the merits of a Buddha, one will vividly achieve the transformation into Buddha body with all his values.
As the Vajra has induced everything in its body when it personified objectivity and subjectivity, both being identified in the meantime, the macrocosm is in the body as microcosm. The spinal column is the Mount Sumeru; the four limbs are the four continents; two eyes are the sun and the moon; the urinary bladder is the ocean of milk and so on. In the upper part of the body are sentient beings of the three higher realms; in the lower part of the body are those of the three lower realms. Outside the body are deities of every religion standing as protectors. Inwardly 24 mandalas of Mahadeva Heruka arises from the 24 nerves which are derived from the right and the left great nerve; Secretly there are the five Buddha departments in the five wheels (chakras); most secretly there is the permanent and quiet holy-light realm of the Dharmakaya which is implied by the medium nerve. Hence every powerful God and Buddha have been included in the body.
Mancius said, "Where there is the meritorial quality within, it manifests itself without." The embodiment of the real Buddha in a person should consist of all the inward qualities of a Buddha as well as all the identical signs of a Buddha. Hence every merit of one's salvational virtue would manifest itself as plain as the nose on one's face. The consequential position of Buddhahood, as it is so called in the Tantra, is achieved when one has attained the thorough realization of Buddha personification both within and without. One then is undoubtedly a real Buddha with all the inward qualities and outward signs.
The preceding four forms have achieved the great conditions of those of a Buddha body. Only the details of its adornment is needed now. This is the upper connection, where all adornments are perfectly visualized through the last form. It's name being the "Buddha Body Perfection," then there is nothing left--this is the end of the connection between the fourth and fifth forms.
A Buddha in the capacity of a savior is called the king of the revolving wheel of Dharma. All great merits and virtues which had been accumulated would appear as the 32 remarkable physical characteristics. These are the adornments of a Buddha body (Dvatrimsat-varalasana). They are:
- Level soles, indicating his attitude of equality towards anyone, anywhere.
- Thousand-spoke-wheel sign on soles, indicating the countless means of performance of good karmas.
- Long, slender fingers, indicating his good character of non-killing and non-stealing.
- Pliant hands and feet, indicating his service of washing and massaging his parents and patients.
- Finely webbed toes and fingers, indicating his excellent guidance to Buddhahood for all sentient beings.
- Full-sized heels, indicating his concentration on the Right Dharma.
- Arched insteps, indicating his kindness towards servants and maids.
- Thighs like those of a royal stag, indicating his thorough knowledge of all subjects.
- Hands reaching below the knees, indicating his far reaching almsgivings.
- Well retracted male organ, indicating his chastity.
- Height equal to arms outstretched, indicating his faithful duty to others not less than that to himself.
- Dark colored roots of hair, indicating his power of Dhyana without signs of old age and decay.
- Graceful and curly bodily hair, indicating his honesty.
- Golden hued body, indicating his noble virtue in entity.
- A ten foot halo around him, indicating his holy light of Samadhi.
- Soft smooth skin, indicating his great compassion.
- Seven places (two soles, two palms, two shoulders and crown) well rounded, indicating his good karmas without prejudice.
- Well filled armpits, indicating his amiable bonhomie.
- Lion-shaped body, indicating his fearlessness in saving others and in subduing the demons.
- Body erect, indicating his straightforwardness.
- Full shoulders, indicating his dutifulness.
- Forty teeth, indicating his faithful speech without lies.
- White, even and close teeth, indicating his truthful, credible, immutable and unexcessive teachings.
- Pure white canine teeth, indicating his practice of the four infinite powers of interpretation.
- Lion jaws, indicating his ability to subdue outsiders.
- Saliva capable of improving the taste of all foods, indicating his accomplishment of Dhyana.
- Long and broad tongue, indicating his excellence of praising all Buddhas.
- Deep and resonant voice, indicating his realization of the truth of voidness.
- Deep blue eyes, indicating his right view in Tathata.
- Eyelashes like those of a royal bull, indicating his forbearance and perseverance in keeping his right view.
- A white urna or curl, fifteen feet long, between the eyebrows emitting holy light, indicating the source of his pure and bright Dharma; and
- A usnisa or fleshy protruberance on the crown of his head, of which no God could see the maximum, indicating his highest consequential position of Buddhahood.
Along with these 32 good forms of a Buddha-body, there are eighty handsome symbols on the Buddha-body to indicate his good characteristics in detail. Besides all the 80 handsome symbols and the 32 excellent forms of the Nirmanakaya, there are some important marks of the Sambhogakaya, i.e., the crown with the images of the five Buddhas to symbolize his five kinds of wisdom, and the holy-light of silence surrounding him infinitely; there are also realization signs of his Dharmakaya, i.e., the Vajra and the Vajra-bell held in his hands, the sign of Vajradhara or VajraVidyadhara who is the Guru of the five Buddhas. Thus the complete Buddha's virtues are manifested on the Buddha-body and the holy work, the highest yoga of transformation from a human body to a Buddha-body, results in a successful process. Whenever the disciple is in his Samadhi of this yoga, he is just like Buddha, as it were; whenever he is in his Samadhi, if any human nature appears, he would reflect upon it himself and change it immediately until his fundamental static Samadhi and his dynamic daily Yoga are identified.
To sum up the five forms of this yoga with similes, the first form of the Original Mind is like the seeds under the soil. The second form of Bodhicitta signifies the root; the third form of the Vajra Mind is likened to the trunk of the Bodhi tree; the fourth form of the Vajra Body is likened to the leaves and flowers; and the fifth form of the Perfect Buddha Body is likened to the fruit of Full Enlightenment.
Nevertheless, this yoga is in the Yogic Tantra. There is the Anuttara Tantra with many lofty methods of transformation of the Buddha-body. As the Yogic Tantra involves only the practice of mentality together with the theory of Six-Element-Yoga, it is not a practice of wisdom-energy. The elaborate practice of visualization such as that of the Evolutional Yoga (utpatti krama) has not been included in the Yogic Tantra, not to mention the Nispanna krama which is never known to Japanese Tantrists. Those readers who are interested are advised to learn them from Tibetan Buddhism. For a complete and systematic study of the transformation of a Buddha-body, I have written a brief essay as Part II, based upon the doctrine of Anuttara Yoga of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism.
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