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 The illusory body in Tibetan Buddhism
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John C

USA
76 Posts

Posted - Mar 25 2011 :  10:23:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Moderator note: This thread was split from
here.


Hey Christi,
Thanks for your explanations of Buddhism. On the subject of Tibetan Buddhism, what is the Illusory Body they speak of in books? I am fully aware of the energy body in my practices, but I am under the impression that the Tibetans are referring to something other than that with this term. thanks
J

Edited by - AYPforum on Mar 28 2011 4:00:27 PM

Christi

United Kingdom
3627 Posts

Posted - Mar 26 2011 :  05:22:46 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi John,

An illusory body is an emanation body. It is separate from the physical body and can operate independently from it. It is what Jesus used to talk to his disciples after he was crucified. Yogani describes it in several places in his book "Secrets of Wilder". It is a radiant body which is self luminous. It develops at an advanced stage of practice.

Christi
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deepbluehum

USA
8 Posts

Posted - Mar 26 2011 :  5:10:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Christi

Hi John,

An illusory body is an emanation body. It is separate from the physical body and can operate independently from it. It is what Jesus used to talk to his disciples after he was crucified. Yogani describes it in several places in his book "Secrets of Wilder". It is a radiant body which is self luminous. It develops at an advanced stage of practice.

Christi



With all due respect, this explanation is incorrect. In Tibetan Buddhism, the illusory body refers to the physical body. It is illusory, because it is impermanent. The energetic body is known as the "vajra body," "vajra" because it becomes permanent with practice of prana, nadi and bindu, also known as the "body of light," or "rainbow body." A confusion of terminology can be made with "illusory body yoga," in the Six Yogas of Naropa, because it works with the "vajra body." Here, illusory body yoga is the practice of bringing the realization that all is maya into dream time.
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Christi

United Kingdom
3627 Posts

Posted - Mar 27 2011 :  5:29:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Deepbluehum,

Yes, the physical body is sometimes referred to as an illusory body, because it is ultimately unreal, and impermanent, but the term "illusory body" also refers to a body of divine light which is created towards the end stages of the completion practices.

Here are a couple of examples of how the term is used:

http://www.kheper.net/topics/Buddhi...ajrayana.htm

quote:
The entire visualisation or meditation stage itself is called the stage of Generation, as its purpose of is to construct or generate an actual enlightenment or buddha-body, the stage of Completion. The result of all this is that one rises in an "illusory body", so called because it is a spirit body rather than a physical body, and at death, rather than be caught up by the bardo and reincarnation, one remains in full consciousness in the illusory body, so attaining Buddhahood.





http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/e..._states.html

quote:
Illusory Body

Through intensive, deep meditation practice, it is possible to achieve an illusory body (sgyu-lus). This is the result of extremely advanced complete stage (rdzogs-rim, completion stage) practice in the highest class of tantra, anuttarayoga. It is with this body that one gains the nonconceptual realization of voidness with a clear light subtlest mind. In this form, it is possible to travel extensively outside the limitations of one’s physical body, working for the benefit of others.


And from Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_%28illusion%29

quote:
Buddhist Tantra, a further development of the Mahayana, also makes use of the magician's illusion example in yet another way. In the completion stage of Buddhist Tantra, the practitioner takes on the form of a deity in an illusory body (mayadeha), which is like the magician's illusion. It is made of wind, or prana, and is called illusory because it appears only to other yogis who have also attained the illusory body. The illusory body has the markings and signs of a buddha. There is an impure and a pure illusory body, depending on the stage of the yogi's practice.[10]


Christi
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deepbluehum

USA
8 Posts

Posted - Mar 28 2011 :  2:07:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I thought you were making a connection with the Christian tradition and yoga tradition like the one on this site. Internet sources are not a good way to understand buddhism. It is easy to conflate different ideas.

In my previous post, I mentioned "illusory body yoga" in the Six Yogas of Naropa which is the most well-known completion stage practice. This does not have a cognate in non-buddhist traditions. It is part of a graded system specific to buddhist tantra leading to the realization of clear light yoga. Illusory body yoga is part of a completion stage that has substages. In most tantric buddhist systems it is part two of three or four.

There are three different stages of practice in three different systems of buddhist tantra represented in the three quotes you provide. For example, the Chakrasamvara system is very different from the Kalachakra and Guhyasamaja systems. In addition, each system has separate gurus who discovered separate versions of each of the tantras with very different methodologies. There might be two to four versions of each tantra coming from as many gurus. The illusory body is used in different ways in each of them. It would take a long time to get into it.

Your first quote refers to a stage of transference of consciousness; second refers to a stage of illusory body yoga, and third refers to a generation stage level. Generally, there are impure and pure illusory body. Impure refers to the physical body and the visualization of the generation stage. Pure refers to illusory body of the completion stage. This all comes about by visualization and mantra repetition, not divine light.

In your second quote, the purpose of illusory body yoga is mentioned, to realize the subtlest mind of clear light. This clear light mind is not considered illusory. The illusory body is always called illusory (impermanent) because it is to be distinguished from vajra (permanent) body. The clear light is the vajra body. When the pure illusory body recognizes the primordially pure vajra body, there is the possibility one can realize a permanent form body, called "samboghakaya buddha," "body of light," etc. All of this is very buddhism specific. It is called clear light, but it is not light. It is a metaphor for pure consciousness. The permanent form body fits the description of a body of divine light, but it is incorrect to say that it is created or generated. It is one's own primordial reality, seen correctly when the confused projections are finally ungrasped.

The vajra body is what is shared by all beings and is not a mere expedient means. It is what you are referring to as Brahman. The presence of the prana, nadi and bindu are also called the vajra body in terms of the relative, what John C is calling "energy body."

There is a distinction to be made between Brahman and Tathagatagharba. Depending on the tradition, Brahman is said to be "nirguna," without qualities and attributeless. A smaller group of traditions speak of Brahman as being endowed with all auspicious qualities. In Buddhism, the Tathagatagharba is said to be endowed with limitless qualities including the 32 major and minor marks of a fully enlightened Buddha. I find this to be intriguing, because people usually associate Buddhism with a doctrine of a nihilistic void. And the Vedic tradition is usually associated with a more uplifting tone, especially in the bhakti centered traditions. A case could be made for the reverse being true.
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John C

USA
76 Posts

Posted - Mar 29 2011 :  9:58:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Any comments on that Christi?
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Christi

United Kingdom
3627 Posts

Posted - Mar 30 2011 :  05:59:37 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi John,

It seems like you can take your pick as to what the illusory body is... It could be the physical body as Deepbluehum seems to think, or it could be an emanation body of divine light.

Either way, what I can tell you is that it is very beautiful, both to see and to travel in. But ultimately it is not the vajra body.

People will give you conflicting advice over these things, not only on the internet but in real life too. The best way is simply to continue with your practices and discover these things as they manifest naturally.

Christi

Edited by - Christi on Mar 31 2011 5:10:11 PM
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John C

USA
76 Posts

Posted - Mar 30 2011 :  06:36:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Christi, But how do you define your usage of the term
vajra body?
And secondly, do we need transmissions/empowerments?



Edited by - John C on Mar 30 2011 06:57:39 AM
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GogetaSwami

India
27 Posts

Posted - Mar 30 2011 :  3:49:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi John C,

Are you talking about #3 here:

SCROLL DOWN

http://www.surajamrita.com/bon/buddhahood.html

Edited by - GogetaSwami on Mar 30 2011 7:21:26 PM
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Christi

United Kingdom
3627 Posts

Posted - Mar 30 2011 :  4:49:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi John,

quote:

Christi, But how do you define your usage of the term
vajra body?


The vajra body is the energy body which is called pranamayakosha in sanskrit. It contains the winds (pranas) and the drops (rising and descending kundalini currents). The illusory body (gyulu) is formed when the pranas (winds) have been dissolved into the central channel of the vajra body, and the kundalini, having completed it's upward ascent, has melted back down into the heart centre.

But as I said above, the best way to understand all of this is to practice, and reap the fruits of that practice. Then the clear light of bliss will dawn from the silence of the mind, and merge with the ecstasy of the illuminated and purified vajra body. The end result? ... liberation.

quote:
And secondly, do we need transmissions/empowerments?


If you can be a light unto yourself then you don't, otherwise you do.

Christi
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nodoubt

India
90 Posts

Posted - Mar 30 2011 :  5:53:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Also ja'lus. It is the primordial dharmakaya buddha complete with all faculties. It arises from a leakless samadhi only. In the very secret upadeshas there is no training in pranayama.
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nodoubt

India
90 Posts

Posted - Mar 30 2011 :  6:09:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by John C

Christi, But how do you define your usage of the term
vajra body?
And secondly, do we need transmissions/empowerments?






I've once heard it said that thinking "I don't need that" creates a need. Not to need or need not is not needing. Needlessness is the Self.
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John C

USA
76 Posts

Posted - Mar 30 2011 :  7:24:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
The reason I asked if one needs transmissions and empowerments is that all the books say you do, rather emphatically in fact. On the one hand, we who have seen an evolutionary process unfolding, are encouraged by that affirmation that what they're doing practice-wise is working fine without empowerments and transmissions, atleast not received in this life time. But on the other hand, one doesn't want to stunt their own growth if there's a better way to go, in this rather short life, but frankly I don't give a damn how many lifetimes it takes. With the resolve already made, to keep returning for the sake of all sentient beings anyway whats the rush? Rhetorically speaking that is.
Secondly, as far as flying off in an emanation body, be careful you don't just fly the coop by accident. Your wife would be upset for one thing. Also, Then who can I have here to answer all my stupid questions anyway? Rhetorically speaking that is.
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Etherfish

USA
3615 Posts

Posted - Mar 30 2011 :  7:56:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit Etherfish's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Ha ha John C!,
Well not ALL the books say that. There are quite a few on the right of this page that don't. Also Yogananda books don't say that, and many others. But you are right about the evolutionary process. Spiritual energy is increasing, and the guru is in you.
It was very common long ago to believe transmission was necessary, and a personal guru was necessary. It's not now. I'm not so sure it was necessary back then. But before information was able to be transmitted easily, imagine living in an area where there was only one guy talking about enlightenment, and no books about it, before the internet, radio, TV. If you do what he says and become enlightened, and other people don't, and don't become enlightened, it would be tempting to write a book saying he has the only way.
I think this situation happened many times.
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nodoubt

India
90 Posts

Posted - Mar 30 2011 :  8:44:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Etherfish

Ha ha John C!,
Well not ALL the books say that. There are quite a few on the right of this page that don't. Also Yogananda books don't say that, and many others. But you are right about the evolutionary process. Spiritual energy is increasing, and the guru is in you.
It was very common long ago to believe transmission was necessary, and a personal guru was necessary. It's not now. I'm not so sure it was necessary back then. But before information was able to be transmitted easily, imagine living in an area where there was only one guy talking about enlightenment, and no books about it, before the internet, radio, TV. If you do what he says and become enlightened, and other people don't, and don't become enlightened, it would be tempting to write a book saying he has the only way.
I think this situation happened many times.



One may not need a teacher if you naturally know yoga from past lives. Usually people receive transmissions from deities, from teachers or from some text. I cannot think of any other way. You may have the guru in you, but that guru needs a guru to know how to do yoga. So we come to AYP and read lessons that Yogani wrote. Of course you try and see if it helps. Inner wisdom is the inner guru. Outer guru has to take some form. There are teachings on many levels. Some are not verbal. Nonverbal teachings cannot be written down. Then what to do? You might have to see the guru.
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Etherfish

USA
3615 Posts

Posted - Mar 30 2011 :  9:14:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit Etherfish's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
If you truly believe that you need help from the outside, then you will.
But the "guru within you" is not really a small part of you. It is an inner connection to all that is. "The guru is in you" is just a way of expressing this connection. Meditation is all that is required to make this connection.
This is because our logical mind thinks it understands everything, and miracles can't be true.
So we meditate to quiet that mind, and something much more powerful begins to emerge. It's not something you need to understand; it is something you do, and watch.

Everyone has that connection. Quite often I don't know what to do and feel like i need help from the outside. All i have to do is become quiet and ask inside for help, then let it go.
Help will always come in some form, later, maybe hours maybe days. It feels like it comes from outside me, but somehow it answered the questions asked inside me.
All i had to do to cultivate this is quiet my mind with meditation.
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CarsonZi

Canada
3189 Posts

Posted - Mar 31 2011 :  1:03:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit CarsonZi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
When Inner Silence is known, all of Life is the guru.

Love!
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nodoubt

India
90 Posts

Posted - Mar 31 2011 :  1:15:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
How did you come to know it?
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nodoubt

India
90 Posts

Posted - Mar 31 2011 :  1:18:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Outer, inner inseparable.
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CarsonZi

Canada
3189 Posts

Posted - Mar 31 2011 :  1:25:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit CarsonZi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Inner Silence is known through meditation practices that cultivate the gap between thoughts.

Love!
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nodoubt

India
90 Posts

Posted - Mar 31 2011 :  1:32:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by CarsonZi

Inner Silence is known through meditation practices that cultivate the gap between thoughts.

Love!




How did you come to know it?
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CarsonZi

Canada
3189 Posts

Posted - Mar 31 2011 :  1:44:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit CarsonZi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by nodoubt

quote:
Originally posted by CarsonZi

Inner Silence is known through meditation practices that cultivate the gap between thoughts.

Love!




How did you come to know it?



Just told you.....practicing Deep Meditation twice a day everyday for several years. That is, unless the "it" you are talking about is something other then Inner Silence.

Love!
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nodoubt

India
90 Posts

Posted - Mar 31 2011 :  1:46:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by CarsonZi

quote:
Originally posted by nodoubt

quote:
Originally posted by CarsonZi

Inner Silence is known through meditation practices that cultivate the gap between thoughts.

Love!




How did you come to know it?




Just told you.....practicing Deep Meditation twice a day everyday for several years. That is, unless the "it" you are talking about is something other then Inner Silence.

Love!




Who taught you to practice?
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CarsonZi

Canada
3189 Posts

Posted - Mar 31 2011 :  1:51:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit CarsonZi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Who taught you to practice?


Yogani('s lessons) did.

Let's not derail this thread any longer though. If you want to continue to discuss this lets start a new thread.

Love!
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nodoubt

India
90 Posts

Posted - Mar 31 2011 :  1:52:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply


Edited by - nodoubt on Mar 31 2011 1:54:06 PM
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nodoubt

India
90 Posts

Posted - Mar 31 2011 :  1:56:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Etherfish

But the "guru within you" is not really a small part of you. It is an inner connection to all that is.



Then we are each gurus for one another.
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