The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
|Articles by alphabetic order|
Five Buddha Families
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The essential nature of a Bodhisattva or a Buddha is that he or she embodies the Enlightened qualities of the five Buddha families, which pervade every living being without exception, including ourselves.
Anger is an emotion which arises and develops against someone or something we dislike. If examined carefully it can be seen that in the short term Anger creates pain and in the long term it brings about serious harm.
Anger not only causes Suffering and pain in this lifetime, but also the Karma accumulated by wishing harm to others causes us to take birth in the lower realms, where even more intense Suffering ensues as a result.
To be free of the experience of Suffering and pain in this lifetime and to be free of the experience of taking birth in a lower realm, it is necessary to employ methods to overcome and eliminate Anger and hatred.
When Anger is purified, we come to develop and to gradually realize mirror-like Wisdom. 'With mirror-like Wisdom, there is no distinction or separation between self and other Phenomena, so everything is experienced in unity and Harmony.
Understanding and realizing mirror-like Wisdom takes place in the absence of the negative emotion of Anger. Realization of mirror-like Wisdom is the realization of Buddha Akshobhya, who is blue in colour.
The second dhyani Buddha is The Buddha Ratnasambhava who is realized when the disturbing emotion of pride or ego is purified. Ego is the belief in a self which all Sentient beings have and is further developed from birth as soon as our Mind thinks of itself as separate from others.
The next three types of pride evolve in this process of self-centeredness: We feel that we are better than others who are in a less fortunate situation, we feel that we are superior to others because we fail to see the equality of ourself and others and we feel we are either spiritually or materially better than others.
What causes us to embark upon the journey of ego? When the self believes that it is separate from others, the negative emotion of pride arises in which we believe ourself in some way better than others.
As long as we believe ourselves to be superior to others, it is impossible to learn from them.
When we are free from pride, realization of the Wisdom of equality dawns and we experience and become Buddha Ratnasambhava. Buddha Ratnasambhava's activity is enriching and as a Symbol of this activity of enrichment, he is gold or yellow in colour. As a Symbol of his ability to enrich all living beings, he holds the precious wish-fulfilling jewel in his hands.
The third dhyani Buddha represents the Purification and transformation of the disturbing emotion of Attachment or desire. Desire causes much Suffering by being quite distracting and keeping the Mind restless and busy.
When we are attached to things, we are never satisfied and always crave for more and better things. We are continuously engaged in achieving and acquiring the Mind's desires which inevitably leads to experiences of dissatisfaction and loss in our lives.
By understanding this negative emotion and by purifying it, discriminating Wisdom shines forth. By realizing discriminating Wisdom, the Enlightened Mind is experienced and we become one with The Buddha Amitabha.
Attachment and desire lead to the Suffering of dissatisfaction, a state in which we always want and strive for more and better things. Desire determines our behavior, and not attaining what we desire leads to frustration and dissatisfaction.
Jealousy prevents and impedes an individual from accomplishing their own well being and as a result they experience more Suffering and continue developing fbrther jealousy towards those who have more.
For example, we only act aggressively towards others because we are ignorant of the fact that Anger will bring pain and sorrow to ourselves and others. Likewise, it is only due to Ignorance that one has pride, desire and jealousy.
Thrangu Rinpoche, Khenchen : Five Buddha Families and the Eight Consciousnesses (Zhyisil Chokyi Ghatsal Trust : 2001)