Author Topic: Emanation vs incarnation  (Read 20967 times)

DSFriend

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Emanation vs incarnation
« on: June 23, 2011, 03:08:41 PM »
Are these two terms, emanation and incarnation the same or different.

Would anyone like to explain how you understand these terms to be in layman's language?

WoselTenzin

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Re: Emanation vs incarnation
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2011, 05:17:17 AM »
Are these two terms, emanation and incarnation the same or different.

Would anyone like to explain how you understand these terms to be in layman's language?


I am not 100% sure but if I understand correctly, they are two different terms.

An emanation is a duplicate of its original.  In Buddhism, for example we believe that the mind stream of the Dalai Lama is an emanation of Chenrezig, the Buddha of compassion meaning that the Dalai Lama's mind stream is the same with that of Chenrezig.

An incarnation on the other hand is the continuity of a mind stream from previous lives in current life.  For eg, the 14th Dalai Lama who is an emanation of Chenrezig is currently in his 14th incarnation in human form. It means that the emanation of Cherenzig took rebirth 14 times in human form.

Hope it makes sense but anyone please correct me if I am wrong.

triesa

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Re: Emanation vs incarnation
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2011, 10:02:32 AM »
Are these two terms, emanation and incarnation the same or different.

Would anyone like to explain how you understand these terms to be in layman's language?


I am not 100% sure but if I understand correctly, they are two different terms.

An emanation is a duplicate of its original.  In Buddhism, for example we believe that the mind stream of the Dalai Lama is an emanation of Chenrezig, the Buddha of compassion meaning that the Dalai Lama's mind stream is the same with that of Chenrezig.

An incarnation on the other hand is the continuity of a mind stream from previous lives in current life.  For eg, the 14th Dalai Lama who is an emanation of Chenrezig is currently in his 14th incarnation in human form. It means that the emanation of Cherenzig took rebirth 14 times in human form.

Hope it makes sense but anyone please correct me if I am wrong.

I agree with what WoselTenzin said on enmanation....it is a duplication of the mind stream and is it correct to say that enmanation is used solely for mind stream that have  reached enlightenment?

Then I heard that enlightenment minds (buddha) can enmanate in many forms, animate and inanimate .....at the same time.

So for instance, the mindstream of Chenrizig can enmanate as the incarnation of HH14th Dalai Lama, and at the same time, this mindstream of Chenrizig can enmanate as an incarnation of another lay person somewhere else or another object concurrently.

Is what I understand above correct?

Positive Change

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Re: Emanation vs incarnation
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2011, 12:13:34 PM »
Are these two terms, emanation and incarnation the same or different.

Would anyone like to explain how you understand these terms to be in layman's language?


I am not 100% sure but if I understand correctly, they are two different terms.

An emanation is a duplicate of its original.  In Buddhism, for example we believe that the mind stream of the Dalai Lama is an emanation of Chenrezig, the Buddha of compassion meaning that the Dalai Lama's mind stream is the same with that of Chenrezig.

An incarnation on the other hand is the continuity of a mind stream from previous lives in current life.  For eg, the 14th Dalai Lama who is an emanation of Chenrezig is currently in his 14th incarnation in human form. It means that the emanation of Cherenzig took rebirth 14 times in human form.

Hope it makes sense but anyone please correct me if I am wrong.

I agree with what WoselTenzin said on enmanation....it is a duplication of the mind stream and is it correct to say that enmanation is used solely for mind stream that have  reached enlightenment?

Then I heard that enlightenment minds (buddha) can enmanate in many forms, animate and inanimate .....at the same time.

So for instance, the mindstream of Chenrizig can enmanate as the incarnation of HH14th Dalai Lama, and at the same time, this mindstream of Chenrizig can enmanate as an incarnation of another lay person somewhere else or another object concurrently.

Is what I understand above correct?

I find the inanimate object part intriguing... do excuse my ignorant mind... but why? I have been told enlightenment minds have been known to emanate as a bridge even! I can see the significance of a bridge helping people etc. This is really beyond my understanding.

There is also the question of if this was the "duplication" of the same mindstream, does that mean all emanations are aware of each other and share the same "information" like in a server or memory bank?

Big Uncle

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Re: Emanation vs incarnation
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2011, 06:38:57 PM »
According to the King of Prayers , one of the powers of an enlightened mind is the ability to spontaneously emanate itself through the power of its altruistic intention. Hence, Manjushri could simultaneously emanate as Kalarupa, Yamantaka, Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and countless millions of emanations throughout the 3 realms. That is emanation.

So what is an incarnation? When an attained Lama enters clear light meditation, he would usually emanate into 5 main emanations, which corresponds to body, speech, mind, qualities and activities. The students of the Lama would search for the mind emanation, which is also known as the incarnation of the high Lama. That is an incarnation. Emanations would act independently of each other and may or may not  'manifest' knowledge of concurrent emanations.

Positive Change

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Re: Emanation vs incarnation
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2011, 05:30:07 AM »
According to the King of Prayers , one of the powers of an enlightened mind is the ability to spontaneously emanate itself through the power of its altruistic intention. Hence, Manjushri could simultaneously emanate as Kalarupa, Yamantaka, Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and countless millions of emanations throughout the 3 realms. That is emanation.

So what is an incarnation? When an attained Lama enters clear light meditation, he would usually emanate into 5 main emanations, which corresponds to body, speech, mind, qualities and activities. The students of the Lama would search for the mind emanation, which is also known as the incarnation of the high Lama. That is an incarnation. Emanations would act independently of each other and may or may not  'manifest' knowledge of concurrent emanations.

Thank you Big Uncle for the clear explanation. It's interesting that only the mind emanation is considered the incarnation which actually does make sense. I have a question though:

Does the mind emanation or the incarnation, especially of a high lama, remember it's previous life or lives instantaneously and only because of their great humility they choose not to reveal this? Or having the attainments to have control over one's rebirth does not necessarily mean one remembers one's previous lives?

I believe we have the ability to remember but we just need the trigger. It is interesting because it would explain dejavu or some people having remembered things vividly from a different time or era... I find this most interesting as it is proof beyond doubt that the "mind continuum" does exist and whether we lable it as reincarnation or something else... remarkable potential we have but here I am still struggling with this one life... hehehehe

WoselTenzin

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Re: Emanation vs incarnation
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2011, 10:09:44 AM »
According to the King of Prayers , one of the powers of an enlightened mind is the ability to spontaneously emanate itself through the power of its altruistic intention. Hence, Manjushri could simultaneously emanate as Kalarupa, Yamantaka, Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and countless millions of emanations throughout the 3 realms. That is emanation.

So what is an incarnation? When an attained Lama enters clear light meditation, he would usually emanate into 5 main emanations, which corresponds to body, speech, mind, qualities and activities. The students of the Lama would search for the mind emanation, which is also known as the incarnation of the high Lama. That is an incarnation. Emanations would act independently of each other and may or may not  'manifest' knowledge of concurrent emanations.

Thank you Big Uncle for giving such a clear explanation on emanation backed up by a reliable source such as the King of Prayers.  I now have a better understanding of what an emanation is.  It never fails to amaze me what an enlightened mind can accomplish and all this is thru the power of altruistic intention.  No wonder it is said altruistic intention or compassion is said to be the ingredient to become a Bodhisattva and eventually a fully enlightened Buddha.  Only with such a quality one can have the highest capacity to help other sentient beings thru having countless emanations.

An Incarnation being the mind emanation of a tantric practitioner that enters clear light is new information to me. Therefore, it means that an incarnation is specific to mind emanation. Thank you again for your clear explanation.

   

WoselTenzin

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Re: Emanation vs incarnation
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2011, 04:00:35 AM »
I have a  few questions relating to what Big Uncle said about emanations:- 

1. What is the difference among the body, speech, mind, qualities and activities emanations? 
2. Apart from the mind emanation, would the rest of the emanations take rebirth in human form to benefit living beings?
3. Is the mind emanation superior to the other emanations since it is this emanation that students of a Lama look for in an incarnation of the Lama?
4. If the various emanations came from the same mindstream, aren't the the various emanation supposed to have the same characteristics?

Anyone have any idea?

hope rainbow

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Re: Emanation vs incarnation
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2011, 04:54:44 AM »
I have a  few questions relating to what Big Uncle said about emanations:- 

Let me give it a try.
I can't be sure I am getting it right, but then we are in good company in this forum, and someone more informed can always correct me.
(I have added one question from Positive Change, and one of my own also.)

1. What is the difference among the body, speech, mind, qualities and activities emanations?

Would it be that the mind emanation presents the characteristics of an enlightened mind and thus also comes as a "whole-inclusive package" with body, speech, qualities and activities?

Would it be that the body emanation can be a very beautiful body that inspires people to be gentle for example, or even a crippled body that inspires compassion for that matter?
That the speech emanation could manifest as someone speaking words of wisdom, or as a mute giving opportunities for others to help him/her, engaging others to say words of wisdom?
That the qualities emanation shows qualities specific to an enlightened mind, inspiring others?

Is this how this is?

2. Apart from the mind emanation, would the rest of the emanations take rebirth in human form to benefit living beings?

I once heard a story as told by a famous western monk of someone who was working as the "killer" in a slaughter house, killing tens of cows every day.
This monk said that he heard the story from that man himself.
That man said that one day he saw that "next" cow coming towards him and something surprised him about that cow, he said she was not nervous like all the others were, she was not fearful, she behaved differently and she was... LOOKING AT HIM.
Then, he said, he noticed that she had tears in her eyes, and he felt like these were tears of compassion towards himself, not tears of sadness for soon losing her life.
He was somehow deeply touched by the compassion he saw and saddened at the thought of what he had been doing every day for too long.
So, he did not kill that cow, he stopped his job on the spot and he became a vegetarian from that day on.

My first thought when I heard that story: "was this cow a Buddha emanation?"

This does not answer your question at all, I notice that.
But I do not see why the emanation of a Buddha could not come back as a cow if it is beneficial?
Or would the "cow" not be one of the 5 emanations but another type of emanation?

3. Is the mind emanation superior to the other emanations since it is this emanation that students of a Lama look for in an incarnation of the Lama?

Isn't the mind emanation important because it is the mind that generates body, speech, qualities and activities?
 
4. If the various emanations came from the same mindstream, aren't the the various emanation supposed to have the same characteristics?

My teacher explained once that a Buddha can emanate in different forms (beings/objects) showing different characteristics as deemed helpful to others for their spiritual practice.
He explained that some emanations can be controlled like "puppets", that others get loose and can do "laughable things".
So the way I understand this is: the characteristic that is the same is that they all participate to the effort of a Buddha to help other sentient beings, but for that to take effect they may appear to be different and behave in different ways.

5. Does the mind emanation or the incarnation, especially of a high lama, remember it's previous life or lives instantaneously and only because of their great humility they choose not to reveal this? Or having the attainments to have control over one's rebirth does not necessarily mean one remembers one's previous lives?

I am planting this question here again, because I don't know the answer, and would like to know.

And I also have a new question:

6. Do emanations of a Buddha create karma?
In other words, here is an emanation not aware of being an emanation and acting in this way, that way. Is that emanation creating karma?
And a sub-question to that one: if they don't create karma, do they take rebirth? do they "disappear"? or do they return to the mind stream of the Buddha they emanated from?


Tammy

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Re: Emanation vs incarnation
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2011, 03:45:59 PM »
Am I right to conclude :

emanation - can have many emanation at the same time
incarnation - can only have one at a time

? A bit too simple minded?
Down with the BAN!!!

buddhalovely

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Re: Emanation vs incarnation
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2012, 03:57:29 AM »
Emanation is an animate or inanimate form manifested by Buddhas or high Bodhisattvas to benefit others. Nirmanakaya’ in Sanskrit. A gross Form Body of a Buddha that can be seen by ordinary beings. There are two types – the Supreme Emanation Body and the ordinary Emanation Body. The first type can be seen only by those who have pure karma, and the second can be seen by anyone. In general, Buddhas manifest in many different forms and, although the aspect of some of these emanations is mundane, in essence all Buddha’s emanations are fully enlightened beings.

 Probably the most important proof of reincarnation is the life of Siddhartha Buddha. The two greatest spiritual teachers to ever walk this earth were Buddha and Christ. There are some who would say that Buddha did not teach reincarnation but instead spoke of rebirth. This is more a difference in semantics. Buddha spoke of having many lives. This is what reincarnation is.

KhedrubGyatso

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Re: Emanation vs incarnation
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2012, 04:40:12 AM »
Hi Tammy,
I thought your inputs make sense.
An emanation is something which emits from an original source. If it is from an infinite source such as  all embracing mind of a Buddha which is space like and unobstructed, it can have countless emanations in infinite forms all at one instance.
Reincarnation requires a mode of birth eg womb born, egg born , moisture born, etc in order for the rebirth entity to possess the characteristics of the being specific to that mode of birth. Eg, to take on human form and characteristics, one need to take rebirth through the womb of a female  human. This solves one of the mysteries of how a bodhisattvas help all sentient beings by able to control their rebirths to be amongst the beings of that particular realm so that they can teach them.

yontenjamyang

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Re: Emanation vs incarnation
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2012, 10:35:39 AM »
I am waiting for BU to answer the questions by HR. Very interesting.

I also think that even incarnations can have emanations like in the case of the Tulku Dragpa Gyeltsen who was an incarnation of DULDZIN DRAGPA GYALTSÄN and PANCHEN SÖNAM DRAGPA and many others in the lineage. He then emanated as Dorje Shugden as the 5 families emanations ie  Ratna Shugden, Vairocana Shugden, Pema Shugden and Karma Shugden and the nine beautiful consorts, 8 guide monks and 10 young wrathful agents. These emanations are His body mandala.

At the same time his incarnations are believed to have continued and is believe to be living among us.

So even incarnations can have emanations. We should not underestimate the power of the Buddhas. There is no limit but the limitations of our tiny minds.

Q

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Re: Emanation vs incarnation
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2012, 07:43:21 PM »
Thank you for bringing up this question! I didn't realize how shallow my knowledge is regarding emanation and incarnation until I tried answering your question... which I had a hard time with! haha...

To my understanding, emanation is a manifestation of a particular Buddha and it can be a living or inanimate object. A Buddha's manifestation also have several levels, some cannot be seen and some can be seen by regular beings like myself.

Incarnation on the other hand applies more on existence in the human realm, such as the incarnation lineage of a particular Tulku, or the HHDL, etc.

Although both functions to bring benefit to sentient beings, I believe incarnations are more aligned to bringing the Dharma to sentient beings... while emanations do not only bring the Dharma in general, but have a deeper cause.

ratanasutra

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Re: Emanation vs incarnation
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2012, 02:18:19 PM »
According to the King of Prayers , one of the powers of an enlightened mind is the ability to spontaneously emanate itself through the power of its altruistic intention. Hence, Manjushri could simultaneously emanate as Kalarupa, Yamantaka, Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden and countless millions of emanations throughout the 3 realms. That is emanation.

So what is an incarnation? When an attained Lama enters clear light meditation, he would usually emanate into 5 main emanations, which corresponds to body, speech, mind, qualities and activities. The students of the Lama would search for the mind emanation, which is also known as the incarnation of the high Lama. That is an incarnation. Emanations would act independently of each other and may or may not  'manifest' knowledge of concurrent emanations.


Thanks BU for the clear definition about emanation and incarnation.

i just want to add in more about emanation with very clear explanation.

To guide living beings along the spiritual path, Dorje Shugden manifests many different aspects. Sometimes he appears in a peaceful aspect, sometimes in a wrathful aspect, sometimes as an ordained person, sometimes as a lay person, sometimes as a Bodhisattva, sometimes as a Hinayanist, sometimes as a non-Buddhist, and sometimes even as a non-human. Since there are so many different emanations of the Buddhas it is difficult to tell who is an emanation and who is not. The only person we can be certain about is ourself; we know whether we are a sentient being or a Buddha, but we do not know about others.
 
Each Buddha has the ability to manifest as many emanations as there are living beings. This ability is necessary because if Buddhas remained in only one form, without any emanations, they would not be able to help all living beings according to their different needs. Thus, if we refuse to believe that a Buddha can have many different emanations, we are indirectly holding the wrong view of denying that Buddhas can help all living beings. In the Meeting of Father and Son Sutra Buddha Shakyamuni says:
 
Buddhas manifest in many different aspects such as Brahma, Indra, and sometimes even as a mara or in the aspect of an evil person, but worldly people do not recognize these emanations.
 
Buddhas can emanate even as inanimate objects. At one time the great Indian Master, Phadampa Sangye, journeyed to Tibet. When Milarepa heard of this great Yogi's visit he decided to test his realizations. He went to the border and waited for Phadampa Sangye to arrive. When he saw him approaching he transformed himself into a flower to see whether Phadampa Sangye had the clairvoyance to see through his disguise. Phadampa Sangye, however, walked straight past Milarepa, seemingly unaware of his presence. Milarepa thought to himself, ..This so-called Yogi has no clairvoyance', whereupon Phadampa Sangye turned round and kicked the flower. ..Get up Milarepa!' he said, and Milarepa, delighted to discover that Phadampa Sangye was a genuinely realized being, sprang up in his usual form to greet him.
 
http://wisdombuddhadorjeshugden.org/dorjeshugden-about2.php