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Ratnasambhava

Page history last edited by daisukesugita 9 years, 10 months ago

 

            RATNASAMBHAVA    Hōshō Nyorai     宝生如来      

 

 

                    Ratnasambhava             Akshobhya                  Vairocana                        Amitabha                     Amoghasiddhi

 

 

Who is Ratnasambhava?

Buddha Ratnasambhava is the third of the Five Dhyani Buddhas which has been worshiped since 500 BC to today. The four other Buddhas are Vairocana, Akshobya, Amitaba, and Amogasiddhi. Ratna means jewel and Ratnasambhava can be literally translated to wish fulfilling jewel or origin of jewels. The Three Jewels are Buddha (teacher), Dharma (teaching), and Sangha (community). Ratnasambhava always faces south, and the color of his body is yellow which represent the color of the sun.

 

He changes the poison of pride such as spiritual and intellectual to the "Wisdom of Equality" or Sameness(Samatajnana). He gives good fortune and virtue and teaches that every being is equal and whatever things that make us different such as gender and social status do not matter. Also, he teaches that the world is generous and so are the human beings; therefore, he emphasizes on harmony and sharing. The reason why he teaches sharing rather than giving is because if there is giving, there are “self” and “others” both existing individually; however, if there is sharing, there is “us” meaning that we share things together and exist together in one harmony.

 

Here is a quote from Song of Meditations of the Tibetan Dhyani Buddhas

 

The musicality of being is the harmonious wind of a warm evening

It is the jewel of contentment, the shining light of happiness.

Like children playing on a seashore, in the fresh summer air,

So do I shine with the joy of sharing, and the wealth of peace

 

If you would like to read more, go to http://www.buddhachannel.tv/portail/spip.php/spip.php?article10429

 

Generally, he sits on lotus in a posture just like the Buddha. His right arm is hanging down on his side and his palm is facing the front. This mudra is called Varada and shows supreme generosity or“the accomplishment of the wish to devote oneself to human salvation” (Exotic India Art). His left hand is placed on his laps with the palm facing upward. This is the mudra of meditation.

 

 

Most of the statues of Ratnasambhava in Japan were made as the one of the Dhyani Buddhas; therefore, it is rare to see the statue of Ratnasambhava only by itself.

 

The Dhyani Buddhas which was made in 15th century during Edo Period in Hyogo.

 

 

Ritual Modes of Veneration and Significance

 

     Ratnasambhava is one of the five Dhyani Buddhas (Amoghasiddhi, Akshobya, Ratnasambhava, Vairocana, Amitabha) which means that he is one of five Buddhas that represent aspects of the enlightened consciousness to aid in spiritual transformation. He represents richness and is sometimes considered the Buddha of giving. By representing this characteristic of the Buddha Ratnasambhava is able to help fulfill the bodhisattva vow by showing practitioners the way of charity. It is said that by meditating on a visualization of Ratnasambhava it is possible for a practitioner to transition pride/greed into wisdom of sameness. This knowledge of sameness allows practitioners to see the common features of human existence more clearly and thus understand the common humanity underlying all people.

     It is said that from this knowledge of sameness the practitioner is given clarity of mind to perceive properly, the eight worldly experiences: gain and loss, fame and disgrace, praise and blame, and pleasure and pain.  These experiences are organized to illustrate their interrelatedness.  By perceiving them properly, via the knowledge of sameness that Ratnasambhava bestows, a practitioner is able to realize that by seeking one experience we are left open to another often more harmful experience.

 

Mantra

 

     Below you can see the mantra associated with Ratnasambhava translated between Siddham, Tibetan, and a transliterated using the English alphabet. This mantra would be recited by practitioners as a method of paying homage to Ratnasambhava and is another way for practitioners to transmute their personal pride into knowledge of sameness. 

(Siddham and Tibetan forms courtesy of http://www.visiblemantra.org/ratnasambhava.html)

 

Siddhaṃ

 

 

Ratnasambhava mantra in the Siddham script

 

Tibetan - Uchen

 

Ratnasambhava mantra in the Tibetan Uchen script

 

Transliteration

oṃ ra tna saṃ bha va traṃ

oṃ ratnasambhava traṃ

 

Seed Syllable

Ratnasambhava also has an associated seed syllable, tram. This syllable is considered a condensation of the mantra and operates as a representative sound for Ratnasambhava. This seed syllable is often carved into objects as a method of veneration.

Ratnasambhava's seed syllable is traṃ.

 

traṃ in Siddhaṃ script

 

 

the seed syllable tram                                                                                                    

 

 

 

 

traṃ in Tibetan - Uchen script

 

 tram seed syllable

 

 

 

                                                     Figure 1:2                                                      

Image Analysis

 

Bodhisattva imagery facilitates Buddhism’s profound messages, helping generate responses to various teachings and vows.  Viewers interpretations of the Bodhisattva's depend on the artists representations of elements like clothing, colors, gestures, and locations. Ratnasambhava's depicted differently within Asian cultures, yet consistent features provide insight into our reaction to the visual forms.

 

Ratnasambhava maintains the highest level of bodhicitta, while offering the gift of compassionate generosity. Ratnasambhava’s empty, out, and downward facing, right hand suggests an equal offering of all, so much that “his hand cannot hold anything.” his resting left hand, which usually gently holds an object, symbolizes him preserving the gem of bodhichitta. In figure 1:2 we clearly see the varada mudra, providing insight into our understanding of the prajna of generosity, as well as the red object (bodhichitta) resting upon Ratnasambhava’s left hand.

 

Ratnasambhava also receives the title as the “jewel born” and as seen in image 1:3 Ratnasambhava holds a wish fulfilling jewel in his right hand. Contrary to the idea that his right hand remains empty, some representations depict the jewel. This symbolizes the connection to his wish fulfilling nature; the jewel contains boundless treasures waiting to be cultivated. His left hand supports a begging bowl, symbolizing opportunity for merit. Both symbols help promote the idea that Ratnasambhava gives generously, and by venerating the jewel, clear insight to dana (generosity), can be achieved.

 

In the majority of representations, Ratnasambhava appears a yellow tint. The yellow coloring signifies an important connection to the midday sun, or a midsummer day. Ratnasambhava may also be portrayed yellow because of the colors energy, intensity, and abundance of life. The midday sun emits a yellowish vibration, a compassionate glowing ray that provides the earth with equal light. Various interpretations may also lead one to believe that the yellow serves as an attraction or invitation, a color that draws us near in order to teach us about generosity and produce inner warmth. Ratnasambhava upholds equality; the color yellow helps visually support notion of unconditional generousity.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Figure 1:3

Ratnasambhava usually appears resting upon a lotus leaf, a plant that metaphorically parallels the trials all sentient beings must push through to cultivate wisdom. As discussed in “The Beauty of Giving,” the lotus plant originates in the mud, yet as it grows it emerges from the mud and begins to float to the surface of the water. Once upon the surface the lotus opens to the sun (Ratnasambhava’s glowing yellow warmth), and cultivates into a beautiful, fully realized form.

 

Clothing also contributes to our understanding of Ratnasambhava. In figure 1:4 his attire reveals beautiful silk robes, gold jewelry, and an elaborate crown upon his head. Ratnasambhava’s dress implies the richness and wealth within his teachings and essence. The lavishness does not suggest an attachment to worldly possessions of excess, but rather the ability to manifest these metaphorical riches through a perfection of mind, especially a generous one.

 

Ratnasambhava maintains specific characteristics, helping offer insight into the particular Bodhisattvas message. Shrines,    temples, and other sacred veneration sights were the location for many early representations, yet as popularity and acceptance of imagery grew sculptures and paintings became increasingly apparent in residences of laity. The Bodhisattva’s presence helps cultivate a deeper wisdom, and encourages merit making. Progression of time and networks open the Images of Ratnasambhava to a wider audience, promoting the message of generosity and blanketing a beautiful yellow glow all over the land. 

 

Figure 1:4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

What principle does this bodhisattva represent?

How is this conveyed through his/her mythology?

    Ratnasambhava, the Buddha of goodness and beauty is the third of the Dhyani Buddhas or Buddhas of meditation. Ratnasambhava is the central figure of the Ratna family, who represents wealth and dignity and the cosmic element of sensation. However, in Nepal,  it has been said that his negative aspect is the exploitation of wealth and the embodiment of slander. 

    Ratnasambhava is also represented embracing Mamaki. She symbolizes the water required as fertilizer by the earth.  In Hindu mythology, Ratnasambhava is believed as a figure that changes the poison of pride (spiritual, intellectual and human pride) into the Wisdom of Equality. Tibetan Buddhists teach that with the Wisdom of Equality one sees all things with divine neutrality and recognizes the divine equality of all beings. One sees all beings and the Buddha as having the same nature; a condition  to spur our spiritual ascension and to acquire the trust to realize in ourselves the status of a Buddha.

    Ratnasambhava is the Dhyani Buddha of the south. His color is yellow. It is the color of the sun in its zenith. Ratnasambhava rules over the element of earth and represents the skandha of feeling or sensation.

   He is sometimes shown holding his symbol, the ratna (jewel) or chintamani (wish-fulfilling jewel that grants all desires). The chintamani is a symbol of the liberated mind. The ratna is often depicted in a threefold form as the triratna signifying the union of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. In the mandala, the triratna is positioned between Ratnasambhava and Vairochana.

  The animal that upholds Ratnasambhava's throne is the horse, denoting impetus and liberation. Ratnasambhava's mudra, formed by his right hand, is the gesture of giving (varada mudra), signifying his gift of the Buddhist teachings. The gesture of giving, or charity, which portrays him offering compassion and protection to his disciples. He resides in the pure abode of Ratnavati heaven.

  If we take a deep look at the jewel that Ratnasambhava holds. Although it can be associated with appreciating beauty and pouring the wealth, there is a further level to its symbolism. The Jewel  that Ratnasambhava holds is a wish-fulfilling jewel. In Indian mythology, there is a wish-fulfilling tree, and a wish-granting cow, but the most important one in Buddhist iconography is the chintamani. Chintamani is the jewel which gives you all you could wish for. In Buddhism, it became a symbol for the Bodhichitta.

 

 

 

Sources

 

http://www.visiblemantra.org/ratnasambhava.html                                                                                                           

 

http://www.kheper.net/topics/Buddhism/dhyanibuddhas.html

 

http://www.himalayanart.org/image.cfm/66728.html

 

http://www.budismo-valencia.com/fotos/Ratnasambhava-2.gif

 

http://www.visiblemantra.org/figures/ratnasambhava.gif

 

http://www.wildmind.org/images/ratnasambhava-2.jpg

 

http://www.doncroner.com/Blog/ratnasambhava.jpg

 

http://www.exoticindiaart.com/product/ZN71/

 

http://www.buddhanet.net/mudras.htm

 

http://buddhism.about.com/od/thetriyaka/ig/Five-Dhyani-Buddhas/Ratnasambhava-Buddha.htm

 

http://ratnaghosa.fwbo.net/danafour.html

 

http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/mudra-japan.shtml

 

http://www.koyasan-u.ac.jp/labo/gazo/udayagiri/udayagiri03.jpg

 

http://mydzi.blogspot.com/2008/06/dhyani-buddha-ratnasambhava.html

 

 http://books.google.com/books?id=-ogy&source=bl&ots=ylG0NJp69O&sig=ysup8rilJNwD0S0fbVrQl7bFaeQ&hl=en&ei=G6q-S_msG4jfnAe5_YCXCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CBgQ6AEwCDgK#v=onepage&q=Ratnasambhava%20mythology&f=false

 

 

Comments (5)

ashley.householter@... said

at 12:35 pm on Apr 12, 2010

I will start by saying I really like the cropped image you uploaded as the gate into your page. The focus on the particular mudra is what drew me in and really made me curious to read your page. Overall I think there is a lot of good content, but a lot of repetition of content between the sections you added. Obviously everyone adding individually is going to make that inevitable, but, despite they recurrence of facts, I would say you all did a thorough job! My only other noted issue is that the very first image is too large and one of the 5 Buddhas is hiding when the page is opened. You devote a good amount of text talking about the concept of the 5 Buddhas, so it would have been a benefit to see the full image right from the get-go.

jessica.townsend@... said

at 2:58 pm on Apr 12, 2010

I enjoyed the inclusion of the symbols. It is very unique among the pages as far as I have seen so far. Great page!

chelsea.wilkerson@... said

at 5:52 pm on Apr 12, 2010

Overall you did a great job. Even though there seems to be a lot of repeated information, it is put in different words and still flows smoothly. The inclusion of the actual symbols for the mantras was nice to see and all of your images are some of the best Ive seen. They are all big and clear so that you can see the mudras very clearly. Great description on the mudras, these are fun to learn about.

adrienne.brunjes@... said

at 8:56 pm on Apr 12, 2010

The explanation of the mantra, with the accompanying pictures, was really helpful. I also liked the quote from the Song of Meditations because it added a different element to the page. The picture just before the last section, the varada mudra depiction, should be moved to the top when you first mention the mudra. Also, much of the information in the last section was already stated, so it became redundant. 4/5

Henry said

at 11:30 am on Apr 18, 2010

The work done on iconography is good and informs the reader about much of the symbolism of this Buddha. The page could use better organization of images. Also there are a significant number of grammatical errors in the initial section. I also would echo the comment above, the information becomes redundant. Further, myth and ritual are not clearly addressed. A nice start that with a bit of polishing will make an informative and engaging piece.
Grade: 4.0

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