Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Trikaya in Buddhism - Three Bodies of Lord Buddha

Trikaya, also known as the Three bodies of Lord Buddha is believed to be the three manifestations of Lord Buddha. Trikaya Doctrine that existed in Mahayana Buddhism even mentioned the three different ways of Lord Buddha's manifestation. It is believed that the True nature of Lord Buddha can be understood through understanding the Trikaya doctrine in Mahayana Buddhism. The Trikaya Doctrine also teaches us about the nature of Buddhahood as well as true reality.
According to Trikaya Doctrine, Trikaya mentioned that Lord Buddha has three kayas or bodies. They are:
  1. The Dharmakaya
  2. The Sambhogakaya
  3. The Nirmanakaya

In Mahayana Buddhism, these three kayas are heard quite number of time. The Trikaya doctrine also teaches us about the meaning of the existence i.e. Absolute existence & relative existence.

The Three Bodies of Lord Buddha

As mentioned above, the three Kayas that are mentioned in Trikaya are Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, and Nirmanakaya. Let's see a detailed information on these three kayas.

The Dharmakaya

The Dharmakaya is translated as the "Truth Body". It symbolizes unity of all sentient beings as well as things that existed in the human realms. It is also the unity of all unmanifested phenomena thus Dharmakaya is regarded as the absolute existence. The Dharmakaya is regarded as the special place for all those who attained buddhahood, but it is regarded as the fundamental of all sentient beings and doesn't compare between Buddhas and normal sentient beings.


Sambhogakaya is also translated as the "Bliss body" and also known as the "reward body". It is believed that Sambhogakaya also known as Bliss body is the kaya that shows the feelings of the bliss that represents the Enlightenment. It symbolizes the Buddha as a bliss object of devotions. It is also said that many Buddhist tradition introduce various Buddha statues that are depicted as Sambhogakaya in order to represent these Buddha images as object of devotion to Nirvana. It is also said that various Buddhas of same realms as well as different realms who reign over the Pure Lands such Amida Buddha are considered as Sambhogakaya Buddhas.


Nirmanakaya is mostly translated as the body of emanation. Nirmanakaya can be considered as the mortal body that is born in the earth, walks the earth and dies in the earth as well. Shakyamuni Buddha is the most relevant example of Nirmanakaya, who took birth in land of Shakya, walks the earth teachings theBuddha's principle, and dies in the land of earth. But Shakyamuni Buddha also represents the Sambhogakaya as well as Dharmakaya. It is believed that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas took the form of Nirmanakaya in order to help all the sentient beings to be free from the cycle of life. 

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