is a Sanskrit
word that means literally three bodies
. It is a central concept in Mahayana
and Vajrayana Buddhism
as well as Zen
The term refers to the three manifestations of a buddha (awakened one) or bodhisattva (enlightenment being or ideal practitioner; the bodhisattva is one who follows the buddha way but postpones final enlightenment for the sake of helping others to realize themselves).
The three manifestations are:
The most recent nirmanakaya manifestation was Shakyamuni (Sanskrit for sage of the Shakya clan), the historical Buddha, born Siddhartha Gautama.
It is interesting to consider that the human mind tends to need to wrap itself around the tripartite
idea of a something
(let's call it a God
, for simplicity) that is realized
in human form
, even you or me) and sustained
through an ineffable process
that we might call Faith
or Good Vibes
for that matter.
Living in a state of Right Mindfulness is a lifetime's work, and the beauty of that work is the realization of how similar all men are in the face of Creation's Mystery.