Dharmakaya, aka: Dharma-kaya, Dharmakāya; 6 Definition(s)


Dharmakaya means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

The four aspects of the Dharmakāya are part of the Sixteen Aspects (ṣoḍaśākārā) of Gnosis (jñāna) in terms of ultimate reality.

  1. the Dharma-body (dharma-kāya)
  2. the Dharma-mind (dharma-citta)
  3. the Dharma-speech (dharma-vāc)
  4. the Dharma-gnosis (dharma-jñāna)
Source: Google Books: The Inner Kalacakratantra: A Buddhist Tantric View of the Individual
Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

Dharmakaya in Buddhism glossary... « previous · [D] · next »

The Dharmakaya may be considered the most sublime or truest reality in the Universe. Buddhas are manifestations of the Dharmakaya, and are called Nirmanakayas. Unlike ordinary unenlightened persons, Buddhas (and Arhats) do not die (though their physical bodies undergo the cessation of biological functions and subsequent disintegration). In the Lotus Sutra (sixth fascicle) Buddha explains that he has always and will always exist to lead beings to their salvation. This eternal aspect of Buddha is the Dharmakaya.

Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism

Dharmakāya Skt. See Trikāya.

Source: Shambala Publications: General

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Dharmakaya in Pali glossary... « previous · [D] · next »

dhammakāya : (adj.) the Normal body.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Dharmakaya in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [D] · next »

Dharmakāya (धर्मकाय).—

1) an epithet of Buddha.

2) a Jaina saint.

Derivable forms: dharmakāyaḥ (धर्मकायः).

Dharmakāya is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms dharma and kāya (काय).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Dharmakāya (धर्मकाय).—m. (in Pali recorded only as Bhvr. adj. in quite different sense, having a body that is, or is characterized by, the Doctrine, DN iii.84.24, said of the Buddha; see below for similar use in BHS); (1) the mass of conditions of existence, see s.v. kāya (2); (2) perhaps to be rendered spiritual body (?), contrasted with rūpa- kāya, q.v.: (dṛṣṭo mayopādhyāyānubhāvena) sa bhagavān dharmakāyena (in his spiritual form, or the like; he had not seen him physically) no tu rūpakāyena (but not in his physical form) Divy 19.11; similarly 360.19 (…na dṛṣṭo rūpakāyo me 20—21); na rūpakāyatas tathāgataḥ prajñā- tavyaḥ…dharmakāyaprabhāvitāś ca buddhā bhagavanto na rūpakāya-prabhāvitāḥ Samādh 22.7 (Régamey, Absolute Body, Material Body; R. does not understand prabhāvita quite rightly; it means recognized, see BR s.v. bhū with pra, caus., 3); similarly 22.9 and esp. 34, with the explana- tion, dharmeṇa kāyu nirjito, (His) body is born (? see nirjita) by dharma; see Régamey p. 23; elsewhere, with the same contrast, the word dharma-k° is used as a Bhvr. adj. (compare the Pali usage above, with which this usage may be directly connected), na hi tathāgato rūpakāyato draṣṭavyaḥ, dharmakāyās tathāgatāḥ AsP 513.15; instead of rūpakāya, simply kāya may be used in contrast, dharma- kāyā buddhā bhagavantaḥ, mā khalu punar imaṃ bhik- ṣavaḥ satkāyaṃ kāyaṃ manyadhvaṃ, dharmakāya- pariniṣpattito māṃ bhikṣavo drakṣyanty AsP 94.11—13; (3) perhaps to be rendered in the same way as (2), but considered the highest of three bodies of a Buddha, the [Page277-b+ 71] others being saṃbhoga- and nirmāṇa-k°; this is a late formula (Régamey, l.c. above) and I have noted the triad only in Mvy 116—118 among texts included in this work (see under the others); (4) without specific contrast with other kāyas but most likely belonging to (2) rather than (3): sa dharmakāya-prabhāvito (see Samādh 22.7 above) darśanenāpi sattvānām arthaṃ karoti Śikṣ. 159.7; manomaya-dharmakāyasya tathāgatasya Laṅk 192.1 (AbhidhK. knows a manomaya-kāya, app. not identified with dharma-k°, see LaV-P. Index; acc. to ii.209 it pertains to the rūpa-dhātu); probably, na rājan kṛpaṇo loke dharma- kāyena saṃspṛśet Divy 560.2 (verse). [In LV 401.21 all mss. and Calc. read Dharmakāya as n. of one of the four devatās of the bodhi-tree; Lefm. Dharmakāma, with Tibetan chos ḥdod; the em. seems plausible.]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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