Thursday, October 29, 2020

The 5 wisdoms and the Union of Two Truths - 015


The 5 wisdoms and the Union of Two Truths

Analysis of : The Five Wisdoms and the five Buddha families,
by Thrangu Rinpoche (Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia)

The essential task of a Bodhisattva is to develop the Enlightened qualities of THE FIVE BUDDHA FAMILIES, also called the five dhyani (Meditative) Buddhas. These qualities pervade and are part of every sentient being without exception, but they are masked. To achieve the realization of these Five Buddha Families, we must eliminate THE FIVE DISTURBING EMOTIONS (Skt. Kleshas): Anger, Attachment, Ignorance, pride and envy. When these disturbing emotions are pacified, THE FIVE WISDOM of the Five Dhyani Buddhas can shine forth.

(Garchen Rinpoche: The actual nature of the afflictive emotions is primordial wisdom, thus the 5 POISONS are the 5 WISDOMS. Through the power of awareness (of the true nature of reality as it is here & now, of the three spheres -- subject, relation / action, object) -- the afflictive emotions (5 poisons) collapse, and this collapsing reveals their true nature, primordial wisdom (5 wisdoms).)

To begin to understand how to cultivate The Five Wisdoms, we have first to understand the five disturbing emotions (in short, discrimination based on ignorance -- accepting / affirming / seeking / doing this, rejecting / negating / abandoning / not-doing that in absolute terms; thinking beings (subjects), things (objects) and relations / actions are inherently existing and inherently good or bad; dwelling in dualities; opposing the self / ego and others / world).


1. [ACCEPTATION ==> EQUANIMITY / DISCERNING BETWEEN THE TWO TRUTHS] [Transmuting attachment into discerning wisdom / equanimity; no more attachment because discerning between how things appear (relative) and how things really are (absolute); discerning between the Two Truths:]

When the disturbing emotions of ATTACHMENT (desire / passion / acceptation; being fooled by dualistic illusions, by our conditioning / karma; discriminating between good & bad and then clinging (acceptation) to what seems to be attractive and avoiding (rejection) those things that seem bad or ugly, as if things were inherently existing with inherently existing properties & qualities like good & bad) or Desire are purified, it leads to the realization of discerning Wisdom (or discerning between the way things appear and the way thing really are). This Wisdom is associated with the third Dhyana Buddha, The Buddha Amitabha (a state of immaculate, pure peace; He fully understands things as they are (absolute) and as they appear without subjective notions (relative). This state is one of peace and ease). The obscuring emotion of Desire causes much Suffering because Desire distracts us and keeps our Mind restless and busy. When we are attached to things, we are never satisfied and always crave for more and better things. Desire causes us to continually engage in work and activities to achieve and acquire our Mind’s Desires. Since we continually want more and often lose what we Desire, this Desire leads only to dissatisfaction in Life. By understanding this disturbing emotion and eliminating it, the third discerning Wisdom shines forth. By realizing this discerning Wisdom, the Enlightened Mind experiences and becomes one with The Buddha Amitabha. It is with this Wisdom that we understand and have empathy for each and every living being and appreciate the qualities of others. The Buddha Amitabha’s nature is the absence of Attachment of Desire and his activity is magnetizing. As already described, Attachment or Desire lead to the Suffering of dissatisfaction, a state in which one always wants and strives for more and better things. Desire determines our behavior and not attaining what we Desire leads us to frustration and dissatisfaction. With the discerning Wisdom resulting from the realization of Buddha Amitabha, there is no Attachment and Desire and thus no dissatisfaction or Craving for more and better things. This realization is so powerful that all things are naturally magnetized as our own, because we are fully identified with all.

(Wikipedia: Pratyavekṣaṇa-jñāna, the wisdom of "Investigative Awareness", that perceives the specificity, the uniqueness of dharmas. This type of wisdom is a transformation of the sixth consciousness, and is also known as the wisdom of specific knowledge or sublime investigation.)

(Sogyal Rinpoche: Its ability to distinguish clearly, without confusing in any way the various different phenomena that arise, is the wisdom of discernment.)

(Lionsroar: In the west of the mandala is Amitabha, buddha of THE PADMA FAMILY, who is red and represents discriminating-awareness wisdom and its opposite, passion or grasping. The intense DESIRE OF PASSION is transmuted into an attention to the fine qualities of each and every detail. Padma is associated with the element fire, with spring, with façade and color.)


2. [REJECTION ==> EQUANIMITY / EQUALITY IN EMPTINESS] [Transmuting anger into the wisdom of inseparability / interdependence / unity / equality / non-duality / non-discrimination / mirror like wisdom / refecting things without tainting them -- not accepting this and rejecting that; everything is equal in emptiness (2nd truth):]

The first disturbing emotion, which is ANGER (aversion / hatred / rejection; being fooled by dualistic illusions, by our conditioning / karma; discriminating between good & bad and then clinging (acceptation) to what seems to be attractive and avoiding (rejection) those things that seem bad or ugly, as if things were inherently existing with inherently existing properties & qualities like good & bad) or aggression, often appears to us to be the strongest of these five emotions. We develop Anger against a person or a situation that we dislike or that frustrates us. If we look at our Anger carefully, we will see that Anger is not good for us in the short term and it is also harmful to us in the long term. Anger is so powerful that it harms not only us, but others as well. In the short term, Anger leads to great conflict in this lifetime. In the long term, excessive Anger can lead to a Rebirth in a lower realm, because this emotion leads to the development of negative Karma. Because intense Anger can cause a negative Rebirth, Anger, not only causes Suffering and pain in this lifetime, but it also causes Suffering in the next lifetime, where even more intense Suffering ensues as a result. To be free of the experience of Suffering and pain in this lifetime and taking birth in a lower realm, it is necessary to employ methods to overcome and eliminate Anger and hatred.

When Anger is purified, we gradually begin to realize mirror-like Wisdom (unity / harmony / non-duality; ex. not discriminating between self and other phenomena; Union of opposites; Union of the three spheres / Union subject <==> object). With mirror-like Wisdom there is no distinction between self and other Phenomena. So everything is experienced in unity and Harmony. It is called mirror-like Wisdom because the Phenomena appear to the Mind in the same way that things appear in a clean mirror, completely accurate and with no distortion. Understanding and realizing mirror-like Wisdom can only take place in the absence of the negative emotion of Anger. This mirror-like Wisdom is classically characterized as the Wisdom of The Buddha Akshobhya (imperturbable, changeless, stable, permanent), a Sambhogakaya Buddha who is blue in color. He holds a Vajra in his left hand and his activity is pacifying the emotions, in particular, Suffering, illness, frustration and sorrow.

(Wikipedia: Ādarśa-jñāna, the wisdom of "Mirror-like Awareness", "devoid of all dualistic thought and ever united with its 'content' as a mirror is with its reflections"; This type of wisdom is a transformation of the eighth consciousness, the Alayavijnana.)

(Sogyal Rinpoche: Its capacity to reflect in precise detail whatever comes before it is the mirror-like wisdom.)

(Lionsroar: In the east of the mandala is Akshobya, lord of THE VAJRA FAMILY, who is blue and represents mirror-like wisdom and its opposite, aggression. The overwhelming directness of AGGRESSION is transmuted into the quality of a mirror, clearly reflecting all phenomena. Vajra is associated with the element water, with winter, and with sharpness and textures.)


3. [EGO ==> EQUALITY / ONENESS OF ALL IN EMPTINESS] [Transmuting pride into the wisdom of inseparability / interdependence / unity / equality / non-duality / non-discrimination / wisdom of equality -- not opposing self and others; everything is equal in emptiness (2nd truth):]

When the obscuring emotion of PRIDE (arrogance / conceit; discriminating between self & others) is purified, the Wisdom of equality (oneness / sameness / equality of self & others) emerges. This Wisdom is associated with the second dhyani Buddha, The Buddha Ratnasambhava (). As soon as we are born, we develop a belief of self or ego which is Thinking, “I am separate from others.” This Feeling of separation from others leads to the disturbing emotion of pride, because we begin to think that we are better or superior to others who are in a less fortunate position. From this, we begin to believe that there are desirable or “good” things, which others also use to believe that are good, and “bad” or undesirable things, which others also use to believe that are bad. This then leads to pride and thinking that we are better than others are. As long as we hold onto this belief, we will never be able to learn from others.

To purify our pride we must give up our ego, clinging, to develop the Wisdom of equality. When we are free from pride, the Wisdom of equality, which is associated with Buddha Ratnasambhava, begins to arise. This Dhyana Buddha is gold in color, with the color of gold representing his enriching qualities, and he holds a wish-fulfilling jewel in his hands.

(Wikipedia: Samatā-jñāna, the wisdom of the "Awareness of Sameness", which perceives the sameness, the commonality of dharmas or phenomena. This kind of wisdom is a transformation of the seventh consciousness, the Klistamanas. Through this wisdom, a Buddha sees beyond all superficial differentiations and perceives the fundamental of all things as Śūnyatā or emptiness. Such undifferentiation gives rise to equality for all beings. Hence, it is also understood as the wisdom of equality or impartiality.)

(Sogyal Rinpoche: Its fundamental lack of any bias toward any impression is the equalizing wisdom [or wisdom of equality])

(Lionsroar: In the south of the mandala is Ratnasambhava, buddha of THE RATNA FAMILY, who is yellow and represents the wisdom of equanimity and its opposite, pride. The fulsomeness of PRIDE is transmuted into the quality of including all phenomena as elements in the rich display. Ratna is associated with the element earth, with autumn, with fertility and depth.)


4. [IMPURE ACTIONS ==> PURE EFFICIENT ACTIONS / MORE RELATIVITY] [Transmuting jealousy into conventional or relative multiplicity /  all accomplishing wisdom; everything is dependently co-arisen relatively functional impermanent appearances (1st truth); so every action has to be adapted to its specific situation to be efficient in helping self & others, no absolute solution:]

The fourth Dhyana Buddha is The Buddha Amoghasiddhi (his activity is a meaningful accomplishment). He is realized in the absence of the negative emotion of JEALOUSY (envy; ), which includes being jealous of others’ success and good Fortune. With this jealousy, negativity is accumulated. By overcoming jealousy, The Buddha Amoghasiddhiand the fourth all accomplishing Wisdom (efficiency) are realized.

Jealousy prevents and impedes an individual from accomplishing his or her own well being, and as a result he or she experiences more Suffering and continues developing further jealousy towards those who have more. This is the reason why all accomplishing Wisdom is experienced in the absence of jealousy, i.e., when jealousy is removed, all wishes are naturally and effortlessly accomplished.

As long as jealousy determines our attitude, we are bound to experience more obstacles in achieving personal success and in accomplishing positive goals. This is why Buddha Amoghasiddhi’s activity is wrathful. It is with decisively cutting that he removes all obstacles and hindrances preventing Spiritual maturation and success. He is green in color, the same color as growing plants, symbolizing the numerous activities he employs to remove hindrances.

(Wikipedia: Kṛty-anuṣṭhāna-jñāna, the wisdom of "Accomplishing Activities", the awareness that "spontaneously carries out all that has to be done for the welfare of beings, manifesting itself in all directions". This type of wisdom is created through the transformation of the five sensory consciousness.)

(Sogyal Rinpoche: And its potential of having everything already accomplished, perfected, and spontaneously present is the all-accomplishing wisdom.")

(Lionsroar: In the north of the mandala is Amogasiddhi, buddha of THE KARMA FAMILY, who is green and represents all-accomplishing wisdom and its opposite, jealousy or paranoia. The arrow-like pointedness of JEALOUSY is transmuted into efficient action. Karma is associated with the element wind, with summer, with growing and completing.)


5. [IGNORANCE ==> WISDOM / AWARENESS OF THE UNION OF THE TWO TRUTHS] [Transmuting ignorance into the wisdom of Suchness or Dharmata (no more ignorance because of awareness of the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths, the Middle Way free from all extremes & middle):]

The fifth Dhyana Buddha is Buddha Vairoçana (clear Knowledge of all things as they are (absolute) and as they manifest (relative) -- Union of the Two Truths), who is realized when the obscuring emotion of IGNORANCE (Confusion / bewilderment / delusion; fooled by dualistic appearances; ignoring the inconceivable non-conceptual non-dualistic true nature of Reality as it is here & now as pointed by the concept of the Union of the Two Truths) is overcome. Ignorance is failing to recognize what is wholesome and unwholesome, failing to know the ultimate and conventional (i.e. the Two Truths), Truth and failing to realize the highest state of the Dharmata (i.e. the Union of the Two Truths), the one that has realized Dharmakaya. Ignorance is the root of the disturbing emotions so that, for example, it is only out of Ignorance that one becomes angry. We only act aggressively towards others because we are ignorant that Anger will only bring on pain and sorrow to ourselves and others. Likewise, it is only due Ignorance that we have pride, Desire, and jealousy.

Elimination of the darkness of Ignorance is the realization of Buddha Vairoçana. The Wisdom that shines forth when Ignorance is overcome is the Wisdom of the Dharmata (Suchness / Union of the Two Truths; openness & vastness), i.e., realization of the highest state. We have failed to realize the ways things really are up until now, because we possess Ignorance which causes our Mental confusion and leads to negative actions. Purification of Ignorance engenders realization of the Wisdom which sees the true nature of Phenomena.

The natural Body of the purity of the Wisdom of the Dharmata is Buddha Vairoçana. Since the darkness of Ignorance is eliminated in him, he is depicted as being white in color.

(Wikipedia: Tathatā-jñāna, the wisdom of Suchness or Dharmadhatu, "the bare non-conceptualizing awareness" of Śūnyatā, the universal substrate of the other four jñāna.)

(Sogyal Rinpoche: Its openness and vastness is the wisdom of all-encompassing space [or dharmadhatu], the womb of compassion.)

(Lionsroar: Traditionally, at the center of the mandala is Vairochana, lord of THE BUDDHA FAMILY, who is white and represents the wisdom of all-encompassing space and its opposite, the fundamental ignorance that is the source of cyclic existence (samsara). The dullness of IGNORANCE is transmuted to a vast space that accommodates anything and everything.)

(Sogyal Rinpoche: These five wisdoms may be condensed into two:

  • ‘the wisdom that knows the nature of all phenomena’
    which comprises the wisdom of the dharmadhatu (5), mirror-like wisdom (2) and the wisdom of equality (3); and

  • ‘the wisdom that knows the multiplicity of phenomena’
    which comprises discriminating (1) and all-accomplishing (4) wisdom.

i.e. it knows the "one" and the "many", the absolute & relative.)


The Five Buddhas

From The Five Dhyani Buddhas are Vairochana, Akshobhya, Ratnasambhava, Amitabha and Amoghasiddhi. Tibetan Buddhists believe that the Adi-Buddha, the primordial and highest being, created the Dhyani Buddhas by his meditative powers.

The Five Dhyani Buddhas are celestial Buddhas visualized during meditation. The word Dhyani is derived from the Sanskrit dhyana, meaning “meditation.” The Dhyani Buddhas are also called Jinas (“Victors,” or “Conquerors”) and are considered to be great healers of the mind and soul. They are not historical figures like Gautama Buddha, but transcendent beings who symbolize universal divine principles or forces. They represent various aspects of the enlightened consciousness and are guides to spiritual transformation. Meditative powers are also secret-ray powers, and the Dhyani Buddhas hold the keys to the mastery of the five secret rays.


Each Dhyani Buddha is associated with certain attributes and symbols. Each one embodies one of the five wisdoms, which antidote the five deadly poisons that are of ultimate danger to man’s spiritual progress and keep him tied to worldly existence. Buddhists teach that the Dhyani Buddhas are able to transmute the five poisons into their transcendent wisdoms. The Tibetan Book of the Dead recommends that the devotee meditate on the Dhyani Buddhas so that their wisdoms will replace the negative forces he has allowed to take hold within.

Each Buddha rules over one of the directions of space and one of the cosmic realms of ether, water, earth, fire and air. The Dhyani Buddhas also personify the five skandhas, components that make up cosmic existence as well as human personality. These components are consciousness, form, feeling, perception and volition.

In addition, each Dhyani Buddha is associated with a specific color, mudra (hand gesture), symbolic animal that supports his throne, sacred symbol and bija (seed syllable). The bija represents the essence of the Dhyani Buddha. It can be used along with the sacred syllable Om and the Buddha’s name to create a mantra, a series of mystic syllables that have an esoteric meaning. In Hinduism and Buddhism disciples recite mantras to evoke the power and presence of a divine being. In some traditions, devotees use mantras in meditation to help them become one with the deity they are invoking.

“By repeating the mantra and assuming the mudra of any Buddha,” writes Buddhist monk and teacher Sangharakshita, “one can not only place oneself in correspondence or alignment with the particular order of reality which he personifies but also be infused with its transcendental power.”


The mandala of the Five Dhyani Buddhas

From Buddhists often depict the Dhyani Buddhas in a mandala. Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning “circle,” translated in Tibetan texts as “center” or “what surrounds.” Some say the word derives from manda, meaning “essence.” The mandala as a circle denotes wholeness, completeness and the perfection of Buddhahood. The mandala is also a “circle of friends”—a gathering of Buddhas. Traditionally mandalas are painted on thangkas (scroll paintings framed in silk), drawn with colored sand, represented by heaps of rice, or constructed three-dimensionally, often in cast metal. A Dhyani Buddha is positioned in the center as well as on each of the cardinal points of the mandala.

A mandala is a sacred, consecrated space where no obstacles, impurities or distracting influences exist. Buddhists use mandalas to aid them in meditation and visualization. “All mandalas,” writes Tibetologist Detlef Lauf, “originate from the seed-syllables, or bija-mantras, of the deities. During meditation upon these mantras, an elemental radiance of light develops, from which comes the image of the Buddhas.... The whole external mandala is a model of that spiritual pattern which the meditating individual sees within himself and which he must endeavour to experience in his own consciousness.”


1. The Buddha Amitabha

The third Dhyana Buddha is Amitabha who represents the Purification of Desire or Attachment. When we are under the influence of Attachment, we discriminate between Good and bad, beautiful and ugly, and then we cling to what seems to be attractive and avoid those things that seem bad or ugly.

Attachment and aversion are disturbing emotions that arise from not understanding the nature of things as they are and as they appear. It is due to Ignorance that Mind accepts and rejects objects of Attachment and aversion.

With the Wisdom of discrimination, we know things as they appear, just as they are, without any confused and prejudiced opinions. This comes about by purifying Attachment and realizing Buddha Amitabha. Buddha Amitabha is the Sanskrit name and the Tibetan name is Sangye Odpamed, with sangye meaning “Buddha” and odpamed meaning “boundless Light.”

When we have developed the awareness of knowing everything as it manifests, we have developed the clarity of boundless Light, which is completely free from confusion. We can compare this state of boundless Light with an example of a lamp. A fault lamp cannot illuminate a room clearly, whereas a perfect lamp can allow us to see things distinctly and clearly. The Light of Buddha Amitabha is therefore boundless and is realized through the Purification of Attachment and Desire.

Buddha Amitabha is of the Lotus family because a Lotus grows in muddy water, while its blossoms remain stainless. Likewise, Amitabha represents freedom from Attachment, and it is Attachment which causes us to experience pain, loss and dissatisfaction that never finds fulfillment. Purification of the negative emotion of Attachment is a state of immaculate, pure peace. Therefore, The Buddha Amitabha is seated in the full Vajra posture with both hands resting in the Meditative posture of Mental clarity. He fully understands things as they are and as they appear without subjective notions. This state is one of peace and ease. He resides in the Mandala of The Buddha’s realm of “Dewachen”.

From The name Amitabha means “Infinite Light.” Amitabha’s Discriminating Wisdom conquers the poison of the passions—all cravings, covetousness, greed and lust. With this wisdom, the disciple discerns all beings separately yet knows every being as an individual expression of the One.

In the mandala of the Dhyani Buddhas, Amitabha is positioned to the West. His color is rose (red), the color of the setting sun. He rules over the element of fire and personifies the skandha of perception. Thus, the eye and the faculty of seeing are associated with Amitabha. The peacock with “eyes” on its plumes is his throne-bearer. The peacock symbolizes grace.

Amitabha’s symbol is the padma, or lotus. In Buddhism, the lotus can symbolize many things, including spiritual unfoldment, purity, the true nature of beings realized through enlightenment, and compassion, the purified form of passion.

Devotees aspire to be reborn in Amitabha’s Western Paradise, known as Sukhavati, where conditions are ideal for attaining enlightenment. His mudra is the dhyana (meditation) mudra. His bija is Hrih and his mantra is Om Amitabha Hrih.

Some consider Amitabha to be synonymous with Amitayus, the Buddha of Infinite Life. Others honor Amitayus as a form of Amitabha or as a separate Buddha. Amitayus is usually depicted holding a vessel of the elixir of immortal life. A tiny ashoka-tree often sprouts from the cover of his vessel, representing the union of the spiritual and the material.


2. The Buddha Akshobya

The disturbing emotion of Anger is transformed into The Buddha Akshobhya’s Wisdom at Enlightenment. We may wonder how aggression or Anger relates to Buddha Akshobhya, who exhibits very peaceful activity. Or we may wonder how the absence of Anger results in the specific Buddha Akshobhya. To understand this, it is important to know that “Akshobhya” is a Sanskrit name, and when this was translated into Tibetan he was called Sangye Mikyodpa or the “immovable, stable and changeless Buddha.” He is called “immovable and changeless” because when it’s not realized and the disturbing emotion of Anger is present, everything changes: our Body shows disorders and the friend we are angry with becomes our enemy. When this Anger is purified, everything is peaceful and stable, which is the realization of the changeless, stable, permanent Buddha Akshobhya.

The dhyani Buddhas are colored in the five main colors of blue, red, yellow, green and white. The Buddha Akshobhya’s blue color has a symbolic meaning. Blue symbolizes permanence that is changeless, just as the sky has always been blue, whether this year or a thousand years ago. Buddha Akshobhya is blue to represent this changelessness. Furthermore, The Buddha Akshobhya holds a Vajra in his lap which is also a Symbol of his indestructible and changeless nature. He sits in the full Vajra (or full Lotus) posture to symbolize the indestructible nature and his right hand touches the Earth which is also a gesture of the changeless. In a Mandala, Akshobhya resides in the East and is on an elephant throne.

From The name Akshobhya means “Immovable” or “Unshakable.” Akshobhya’s Mirrorlike Wisdom reflects all things calmly and uncritically and reveals their true nature. One text says, “Just as one sees one’s own reflection in a mirror, so the Dharmakaya is seen in the Mirror of Wisdom.”[4] The Mirrorlike Wisdom antidotes the poison of hatred and anger.

In the mandala of the Five Dhyani Buddhas, Akshobhya is usually positioned in the East (at the bottom) but he is sometimes placed in the center. His color is blue. He rules over the element of water and personifies the skandha of form. In some systems, he is associated with the skandha of consciousness. Akshobhya’s lotus throne is supported by the elephant, symbol of steadfastness and strength.

His symbol is the vajra, also called thunderbolt or diamond scepter. The vajra denotes enlightenment, the indestructible, adamantine nature of pure consciousness, or the essence of Reality. In some traditions, the vajra signifies the union of man and the Buddha; one end of the vajra symbolizes the macrocosmic realm of the Buddha and the other end the microcosmic realm of man.

Akshobhya’s mudra is formed by his right hand and is the bhumisparsha mudra, the earth-touching gesture. It denotes unshakability. This is the mudra Gautama Buddha used to summon the earth to witness to his right to attain enlightenment when he was challenged by Mara, the Evil One.

Akshobhya’s paradise is Abhirati, the Land of Exceeding Great Delight. Buddhists believe that whoever is reborn there cannot fall back to a lower level of consciousness. Akshobhya’s bija is Hum, and his mantra is Om Akshobhya Hum.

Akshobhya says:

  • The way seems intricate, but the intricacy is the intricacy of karma woven and rewoven. The intricate undoing of the threads of karma is what seems to make the Path so complicated. But when all is said and done and all of those components of the threads of karma are consumed in one great violet-flame bonfire, you will come to know, and you will remember one day that I have said the entering in is simplicity itself, humility itself, purity itself.


3. The Buddha Ratnasambhava

The Buddha Ratnasambhava has the quality of the Purification of pride. Ratnasambhava is the Sanskrit name, but in Tibetan he is called Sangye Rinchenjungdan.

The tibetan word sangye means “Buddha” and the word rinchen means “precious”, referring to all precious, good and immaculate things. The word jungdan means “the source.” So, Ratnasambhava is the source of all good qualities, with these precious qualities being the absence of pride. When ego and pride have been removed, we are open to receive all the positive Knowledge and qualities. This is the realization of Sangye Rinchenjungdan.

Knowing the meaning of Rinchenjungdan, we can understand why his activity encompasses the enrichment of all precious qualities of realization. Ratnasambhava resides in the south and is yellow or gold in color. The color gold represents Wealth and Ratnasambhava holds a wish-fulfilling jewel that gives a person everything that he or she Desires, so this also symbolizes enrichment. He is seated in the Vajra posture of fulfillment on a Horse’s throne, representing the four bases of legs of miraculous powers that enable unobstructed passage everywhere. His right hand is in the Mudra of giving supreme Generosity, showing that he has pure Generosity.

From The name Ratnasambhava means “the Jewel-born One” or “Origin of Jewels.” The Three Jewels are the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. The Buddha is the Enlightened One, the Guru, the hub of the wheel of the Law. The Dharma is the Teaching, or the Law. The Sangha is the Community.

Ratnasambhava transmutes the poison of pride (spiritual, intellectual and human pride) into the Wisdom of Equality. Tibetan Buddhists teach that with the Wisdom of Equality one sees all things with divine impartiality and recognizes the divine equality of all beings. One sees all beings and the Buddha as having the same nature.

Ratnasambhava is the Dhyani Buddha of the South. His color is yellow, the color of the sun in its zenith. Ratnasambhava rules over the element of earth and embodies the skandha of feeling or sensation.

He is sometimes shown holding his symbol, the ratna (jewel) or chintamani (wish-fulfilling jewel that grants all right desires). The chintamani is a symbol of the liberated mind.

Ratnasambhava’s throne is upheld by a horse, denoting impetus and liberation. His mudra is the varada mudra. It is the gesture of giving, or charity, which portrays him offering compassion and protection to his disciples. His bija is Tram and his mantra is Om Ratnasambhava Tram.

Ratnasambhava says:

  • O blessed ones, God has so valued each one that to each one he has given the very image of himself, the I AM Presence, the Holy Christ Self, in whose image you are made. Find the jewel, find the jewel. Find the Sangha, find the Buddha, find the Dharma, all locked within the inner divine spark.


4. The Buddha Amoghasiddhi

The Buddha Amoghasiddhi is the realization of all accomplishing Wisdom. The Tibetan word for Buddha Amoghasiddhi is Sangye Donyodtrubpa. The word danyod means “meaningful” and the word trubpa means “accomplished.” He is also the complete Purification of jealousy, which is a hindrance for both material and Spiritual success. His activity is perfect accomplishment and fulfillment of meaningful aims. Furthermore, his activity removes ordinary daily hindrances such as illnesses and obstacles. This is why Amoghasiddhi’s activity is a meaningful accomplishment.

The Buddha Amoghasiddhi holds a double Vajra in the Form of a cross in his left hand, which symbolizes that his activity pervades and touches all directions. He sits in the full Lotus posture. The left hand of all Five Dhyani Buddhas rest in Meditative posture of the changeless realization of the Dharmata. Amoghasiddhi’s right hand is in the Mudra of fearless protection. He protects all living beings from any mishap, obstacles and negative Influences. Thus, his posture is known as the Mudra of fearless protection. Amoghasiddhi is green, resides in the North and holds a sword representing the cutting of existence.

From The name Amoghasiddhi means “Almighty Conqueror,” or “He Who Unerringly Achieves His Goal.” Amoghasiddhi’s All-Accomplishing Wisdom, or Wisdom of Perfected Action, antidotes the poison of envy and jealousy. This wisdom confers perseverance, infallible judgment and unerring action.

Amoghasiddhi represents the practical realization of the wisdoms of the other Dhyani Buddhas. He is described as the Dhyani Buddha of the realization of the bodhisattva path. A bodhisattva is one who has forgone the bliss of nirvana with a vow to first liberate all beings.

Amoghasiddhi is the Dhyani Buddha of the North. His color is green, signifying the sun at midnight. He rules over the element of air and embodies the skandha of volition, also called the skandha of mental phenomena or tendencies of mind. His symbol is the vishvavajra, or double vajra. It is made of two crossed vajras and symbolizes the highest comprehension of truth and the spiritual power of a Buddha.

The throne of Amoghasiddhi is supported by garudas—mythical figures, half man and half bird. In relation to Amoghasiddhi, Lama Govinda says the garuda symbolizes “man in transition towards a new dimension of consciousness,... the transition from the human to the superhuman state, which takes place in the mysterious darkness of the night, invisible to the eye.”[7]

Amoghasiddhi’s mudra is the abhaya mudra. It is the gesture of fearlessness and protection. The right hand is raised to shoulder height with palm forward. The left hand is cupped in the lap or placed at the heart, fingers pointing inward. Amoghasiddhi’s bija is Ah and his mantra is Om Amoghasiddhi Ah.


5. The Buddha Vairocana

The fifth Dhyana Buddha is Vairoçana, who in Tibetan is known as Sangay Namparnanzad, that in English means “perfect Knowledge of all things as they manifest.” Buddha Vairoçana is realized when the disturbing emotion of Ignorance is removed. When we cannot see things as they really are (absolute), we have the disturbing or obscuring emotion of Ignorance. As a result, we judge things from a mistaken point of view (relative).

The example to explain this is a rope lying on the floor in a dark room. Because of Ignorance we mistake the rope for a snake and become alarmed and feel tremendous fear. The solution to end this fear is to simply see the rope as really being a rope and not a snake.

This example shows how the Mind functions in a state of Ignorance. The distress and fear is simply the result of misperceiving the situation and simply knowing the rope isn’t a snake eliminates all the fear and distress created.

The Buddha Vairoçana holds the Wheel of Dharma in his hands, which symbolizes both the absence of Ignorance and complete and clear Knowledge of all things as they are and as they manifest. He is realized when Ignorance is removed, which is the quality of The Buddha Vairoçana. This Wheel of Dharma brings us from Ignorance to Wisdom. In The Buddha’s time, it was the wheels of a chariot that led to that destination. In a similar way, the Wheel of Dharma carries us from darkness of Ignorance to the Wisdom of the true nature of Phenomena.

Both hands of Vairoçana Buddha are placed in the Mudra called “Enlightenment” or, sometimes, “the Mudra of turning the Wheel of Dharma.” Since the only means to remove Ignorance and Defilements is by learning the Dharma, Buddha Vairoçana discloses the Dharma to all living beings. He is white in color, representing “without fault” and he rests in the center of the Mandala on a lion’s throne.

From The name Vairochana means “He Who Is Like the Sun” or “The Radiating One.” Vairochana represents either the integration of, or the origin of, the Dhyani Buddhas. His wisdom is the Wisdom of the Dharmadhatu. The Dharmadhatu is the Realm of Truth, in which all things exist as they really are. Vairochana’s wisdom is also referred to as the All-Pervading Wisdom of the Dharmakaya, the body of the Law, or the absolute Buddha nature. It also represents the causal body around the I AM Presence in the Chart of Your Divine Self.

Vairochana’s transcendent wisdom reveals the realm of highest reality and overcomes the poison of ignorance, or delusion. His wisdom is considered to be the origin of, or the total of, all the wisdoms of the Dhyani Buddhas.

Vairochana is usually located in the center of mandalas of the Dhyani Buddhas. According to some texts, he is positioned in the East. His color is white (or blue), symbolizing a pure consciousness. He rules over the element of ether and embodies the skandha of consciousness. In some systems, he is associated with the skandha of form.

His symbol is the dharmachakra, the wheel of the teaching, or the wheel of the Law. It denotes the teaching of the Buddha. Its eight spokes represent the Noble Eightfold Path, which Gautama revealed in his first sermon after his enlightenment. Vairochana’s lotus throne is supported by the lion, symbol of courage, boldness and an eager, advancing spirit.

His mudra is the dharmachakra mudra, the gesture of turning the wheel of the teaching. Because he embodies the wisdom of all Buddhas, Vairochana’s bija is the universal sound Om. His mantra is Om Vairochana Om.

Vairochana has recently become the eighth member of the Karmic Board, a group of spiritual overseers who adjudicate the karma for the evolutions of this system of worlds. He explained his specific role on the Karmic Board, granted by dispensation of all Buddhas:

  • My role shall be to assist those who have light who are sincere but who have strayed from the track of Reality, considering that their karma was too hard to bear.... I would teach all who apply to me what they need to know to make it all the way Home.

  • I would teach a certain level of souls who, with my support and the support of all of us, will have the opportunity to make it, whereas without that support, they might not make it....

  • I will help you. I will prepare you. I will show you how in profound humility and with inner strength you will master all flaws of character that are open doors to negative spirals and negative traits, and you will get on with your reason for being—why you embodied in this life in the circumstances you find yourselves—and you will know that you embodied to balance your karma so that you can fulfill your mission.[3]