Dharmakaya is enlightened mind

Jun 20, 2022



Dear Venerable,


We spoke about there being one dharmakaya from which Buddhas will manifest from.


I feel like praying to the dharmakaya would make more sense than praying to a specific individual? Tara etc.


For example if an individual were to pray for protection, since the dharmakaya would be the place from which that protection would come. Since it may come in the form of a storm, a hill or a tree. It would make more sense to pray to the Dharmakaya? 


This question comes from still a very shallow understanding and probably a misunderstanding of the dharmakaya. 


But I’d just like to understand things further.






Dear V,


“Dharmakaya” just refers to the actual knowledge in the mind of a buddha. The bodies of the buddhas and the gurus are those minds manifesting so that we can connect with that knowledge.



“Dharmakaya just refers to the actual knowledge in the mind of a buddha” — Are you able to unpack that a little bit please?


It almost sounds that the mind of enlightenment and the dharmakaya are the same thing. But I know that somehow there is a difference. 



V, speaking simply, mind of enlightenment and dharmakaya are the same.


When the mind is fully developed — all delusions gone, all virtues perfected — that’s the dharmakaya, enlightened mind. So the contents of it are only virtue and wisdom. 


The dharmakaya pervades the universe, knows that which exists, which includes the minds of all sentient beings, has infinite compassion for every one of them, and has the effortless ability to benefit those sentient beings perfectly, in particular by manifesting in countless bodies throughout countless universes for countless aeons.



“The dharmakaya pervades the universe” — Given what we’ve just said, wouldn’t it be more accurate to say there are dharmakayas pervading the universe?



There is one dharmakaya and then there are countless manifestations: the rupakaya, or form body. And there are two of those, the nirmanakaya, or emanation body, such as Shakyamuni Buddha, and then all the countless buddhas such as Tara and so on who are the enjoyment bodies, or sambogakaya.



So this mind once enlightened would become one with your mind once enlightened? If dharmakaya is one.



That’s right. But there are debates about this, it seems; some say that as many beings that get enlightened is as many dharmakayas as there are. But I’m quoting Lama Zopa Rinpoche.


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