To explain it from the point of the Sutras and Treatises, the Dharmakaya is the fundamental. The Sambhogakaya and the Nirmanakaya are the functions.
It is said that the Buddha consists of the Dharmakaya Buddha, the Sambhogakaya Buddha and the Nirmanakaya Buddha. However, they are neither separate nor different from each other but just one, the Trinity.
For better understanding, let us compare the Buddha to the Earth. The Dharmakaya Buddha can be compared to the Earth, and the Sambhogakaya Buddha can be compared to actions, movement and the Nirmanakaya Buddha can be compared to forms such mountains, rivers, oceans, rain, air, trees, people, animals and so on, which keep appearing and disappearing endlessly in the middle of ceaseless changes and movements. In other words, the changes and movements of these things are the function of the Earth. That is why the Sambhogakaya and the Nirmanakaya are the functions of Dharmakaya.
The Buddha in Buddhism means a perfect being, an entity that contains everything, including the universe, without exception. Then, everything we see and hear is all the Buddha, and we can see and hear nothing else but the Buddha. Even we ourselves are the Buddha and what we say is the Buddha’s talk, how we look is the Buddha’s form and how we act is the Buddha’s function. However, we have not realised this truth because we are deluded by illusions.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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