Thursday, October 25, 2007

rgyal ba rigs lnga - Five Buddha Families

Something that will play an important role in going through the ye shes lnga -- five wisdoms - is rgyal ba rigs lnga, the five Buddha families.

rgyal is king or royal, rgyal ba is the translation for Sanskrit jina, victorious one, or a Buddha. The victory refers to conquering the four maras.

rigs is an interesting word, means lineage, family or clan, especially concerning a spiritual lineage or spiritual family. lnga is number five.

These five Buddha families in the highest yoga practices correspond to the five Wisdoms. You could encounter these Buddha aspects in many places, such as in paintings, images of enlightened beings, practice texts, and so on. The highest yoga deities have all five incorporated, sometimes very obviously as five parts in the head ornament, sometimes in a more subtle way. And when you do do various practices, one of the Buddha families play an important role in the practice, and there's always a reason why.

Ultimately, they are inborn factors present in every sentient beings' mental continuum that makes it possible to become enlightened, the only difference being that in an enlightened mind, they are pure, and not mixed with ignorance as in the ordinary mind stream of a normal being.

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