Thursday, October 18, 2007

sprul pa'i sku - nirmanakaya

Next, in scriptures sometimes the parts of a buddha are defined having three parts, or sku gsum as the term is called. In this case chos sku is still counted as the mental and ultimate part, but the form part has two sections.

Here is the first, sprul pa'i sku, nirmanakaya in Sanskrit, or Emanation body.

sprul is to emanate, manifest. sprul pa is emanation. Note again how the pa construct is to build words from verbs.

The 'i is a genitive particle, binding from right to left. And sku is again body.

This term could also be shortened to sprul sku. The pronunciation is trulku, so that should sound familiar, as it is a honorific title sometimes given to various teachers, hinting at the possibilities.

Now, I usually think of this term in plural, emanation bodies, rather than emanation body. A Buddha is capable of emanating countless forms, not just one at a time. It is said that a Buddha spontaneously emanates any form suitable for particular sentient beings at particular times. It could be a person, an animal, but also forms such as wind, bridges, clouds, sounds from the sky. If we want to be more contemporary, it could be TV series, web sites, MP3 music, chat sessions, podcasts, blogs and so on. There's no limit concerning the ways emanation forms could manifest.

Depending on the student, the emanation forms could take more obvious forms such as a special teacher and so forth. Anyway, worth thinking about this capability and what the possibilities are.

Next, the other form part.

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