View Full Version : The 3 Kayas

24 June 2011, 06:42 PM
Anyone know of Nirmanakaya, Dharmakaya and Samboghakaya?

24 June 2011, 07:35 PM
hariḥ oṁ


kāya has a few meanings. One is relating or devoted to ka or prajāpati. Yet this also means assemblage , collection ; principal; the trunk of the tree; the body of a lute - so this can be taken as what one is made of.

Yet because you call out 3, I think you are alluding to trikāya

nirmāna kāya
nirmāna = free from pride . If we spell it nirmāṇa then it means measuring , measure , reach , extent ; forming , making , creating , creation or 'made of'

saṃbhoga kāya
saṃbhoga = saṃ+ bhoga = completeness + enjoyment

dharma kāya
dharma = right, just, holding to the law, proper conduct
These 3 qualities are often assigned to buddha - He that is free from pride, completeness of joy, and the right.


27 June 2011, 01:37 PM

The Trikaya doctrine is found within Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. The teaching is that all buddhas possess three bodies. The Nirmanakaya is physical form. For example, Siddhartha Gautama was the Nirmanakaya for Shakyamuni Buddha.

Sambhogakaya is the celestial or bliss body of a buddha. This is the manifestation of a buddha or bodhisattva in the pure lands. Amitabha, Bhasajyaguru, Avalokiteshvara, Ratnasambhava, Akshobya, etc are most often thought of in Sambhogakaya form.

Dharmakaya is the body that is without form. This is the kaya of Adi Buddha. It is the true essence of all buddhas. In fact it is Dharmakaya that allows for buddhas to exist. It is also what makes liberation possible. Dharmakaya is the substance that makes up each individual tathagatagarbha. It is most often represented as Mahavairocana or Vajradhara. It is sunya for the madhyamaka and consciousness for yogacara philosophies. The Dharmakaya is the subject of writings such as the Mahaparinirvana Sutra (not to be confused with the Mahaparinibbana Sutta in Pali) and the Tathagatagarbha Sutra.