The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Introduction to the Ratna Family
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The body part associated with the Ratna family is the abdomen and intestines. It is involved in the processing of external elements (earth, fire, wind, and space) into internal elements (through digestion). The term "gut-feelings", and intuition and the psychic senses are all aspects of Ratna energy that show its connection to the intestines.
The Collection involved in the Ratna family is Feelings. Feelings are used to determine positive, negative, and neutral. We use Feelings to determine if the portions of the outside world affirm or negate our perceptions or support or hinder our intentions. Feelings measure the degree of alignment of an object or situation with our perceptions. This is how much we like or hate a particular object. How good or bad or neutral is it? We use feelings to determine the texture of a particular object or situation. In our current world, feelings, along with forms, have become a very important aspect of our world. Feelings often take precedence over everything else, including our intentions, or our quest for a new self-definition.
The Ratna passive energy of Balance is also monitored by feelings. We decide if things are in Balance, out of Balance on the positive side, or out of Balance on the negative side. There is an awareness of Justice and Fairness.
Ratna Wisdom refers to Equality. The notion of the sameness of all things. Ratna wisdom notices how everything is kept in Balance. Ratna energy connects to Universal Justice. Ratna Wisdom recognizes the support that reality provides to us. The result of this recognition is devotion, gratitude, and surrender.
When we are carried away by these energies or grasp at them, then there is the tendency to behave accordingly. If we perceive a sense of abundance and grasp at that, we then tend to attribute this abundance to ourselves and therefore we become proud and begin to show off to others. If we are carried away by the notion of abundance on the opposite side and so experience a feeling of lack, then we tend to be hungry, needy and attached. This is the classic addictive personality.
If we attempt to resist or avoid this energy, then our sense of abundance would tempt us to share with others, but our resistance to this notion or feeling would lead us to become miserly. Similarly, if we had a sense of lack, we would tend to hold on more tightly to the possessions that we already had, not wanting to give them up or share them.
In terms of Ratna Wisdom, if we feel a sense of abundance, then we can express this through the practice of Generosity. Sharing this abundance with others instead of focussing on how this abundance is a reflection of ourselves will prevent us from becoming proud and ostentatious. In terms of the sense of lack, we can focus on how others are our teachers or benefactors and reflect on the kindness of others rather than focus on our hunger or clinging to our possessions. The result of this reflection is a feeling of gratitude towards others. When we recognize that this energy is always there and that there is always a Balance and exchange of Support and Nourishment going on, then we will tend not to fear and resist or be overwhelmed by this energy.
The harvest colour of Yellow is the colour associated with the Ratna family. The season associated with Ratna is the Autumn. The temperature is cool. There is a sense of reaping the rewards of the previous components (Awareness, Intentions, and Perceptions). There is a sense of seeing the results of the maturation of our creations.
The Buddha associated with the Ratna family is Ratnasambhava who represents the Feeling collection and wealth. The Female Buddha that is his consort represents the Earth element. Her name is Mamaki. The energies of wealth, strength, support, and texture are all part of Ratna energy.