Vairocana Trinity

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Vairocana Trinity - Vairochana Trinity

Dainichi Nyorai - Maha Vairocana 大日如来
The Great Sun, Center of the Universe

. Twin Mandalas of Vairocana in Japanese Iconography .  
- Introduction -


- quote
Vairochana becomes a trinity
with Fudo and Aizen,

by means of the symbol of the Chintamani jewel, whose mystic form is that of a circle striving to make itself a triangle--for life, it is said, never completes itself, but is for ever breaking through perfection, in its struggle upwards to the higher rounds of realisation.
In Japan the new philosophical standpoint was an advance upon the Hosso and Kegon schools which had taught the union of mind and matter, and the realisation of the Supreme Spirit, in concrete forms, for these thinkers went further than their predecessors, in the effort to demonstrate the idea in practice, claiming their own descent from direct communion with Vairochana, the Supreme Godhead, of which the Sakya-Buddha was only one manifestation. They aimed at finding truth in all religions and all teachings, each of them being its own method of attaining to the highest.
Art and Nature were now regarded in a new light, for in every object alike was contained Vairochana, the Impersonal-Universal, a supreme realisation of which was to be the quest of the believer.
It was under this influence that Buddhism acquired its great masses of gods and goddesses, alien to the faith itself, but made possible by the new teaching as manifestations of the supreme original Divinity. We find now a systematised pantheon, grouped around the idea of Vairochana, in four main subdivisions --
first Fudo, second Hosho, third Amida, and fourth Sakya,
as representations
(1) of Power, which is knowledge;
(2) of Wealth, which is creative force;
(3) of Mercy, which is Divine intelligence descending upon man; and
(4) of Work, or Karma, the realisation of the first three in actual life on earth, that is, Sakya-Muni.

- source : www.sacred-texts.com


Trinity of Vairocana, Manjushri and Samantabhadra

This set of three paintings depicts the trinity of Vairocana Buddha (centre), flanked by Manjushri to his left, and Samantabhadra to his right. Vairocana Buddha is known as Dainichi Nyorai in Japan, and as Palushena in China, where as Mahavairocana he is identified as the dharmakaya Buddha who represents the ultimate principal of emptiness or sunyata. As the Primordial or Adi-Buddha Vairocana occupies the central position of the Five Buddha mandala, and the two principal 'womb-realm' (garbadhatu) and 'vajra-realm' (vajradhatu) mandalas of the Shingon tradition.

Vairocana Buddha is white in colour and sits in vajra-posture upon a sun and moon disc, an open pink lotus, and an eight-sided jeweled throne that is supported by lions. He is adorned with all manner of gold and jewel ornaments, divine silk garments, and a golden crown that bears the small images of the Five Buddhas. His ornate halo is ornamented with spheres and curving rays of rainbow light, and both his halo and radiant aura are encircled by a ring of fire. With his two hands he makes the bodhyangi-mudra, or 'gesture of enlightenment', with the fingers of his right hand enclosing the raised forefinger of his left hand. This gesture symbolizes both the union of the vajra (left forefinger) in the lotus (right fingers), and Vairocana encircled by the other four of the Five Buddhas (Akshobhya, Ratnasambhava, Amitabha and Ratnasambhava).

Manjushri is youthful and white in colour, and he displays his unique characteristic of the four crowning topknots of hair that represent the peak of his central abode at Mt Wutai Shan in China. In the posture of royal-ease Manjushri sits upon a sun and moon disc and an open pink lotus, with his left foot resting upon a small lotus pedestal. His lotus seat is supported by another lotus that rests upon the back of his ferocious tawny lion vehicle, which is adorned with jewel ornaments and a silk saddlecloth. Manjushri wears gold and jeweled ornaments, and divine silk garments. With his right hand he holds the vajra-hand of his iron wisdom sword, while with his left hand he holds a scroll text of the Prajnaparamita-sutra.

Samantabhadra is white in colour and sits in sattva-paryanka posture at the centre of a pink lotus that rest upon another lotus supported on the back of his elephant vehicle. This crouching six-tusked white elephant holds a lotus stem in his trunk, and is adorned with jewel ornaments and a silk saddlecloth with a small cloud-borne lotus pedestal in front of it. Samantabhadra wears jeweled ornaments and divine silk garments, and he gazes peacefully downward with his hands palms-folded in front of his heart in the anjali-mudra of adoration.
-  text by Robert Beer
- source : www.tibetanart.com


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