dharmakāya

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Glossarydharmakāya

Sanskrit Noun

dharmakāya

true being
धर्मकाय
ཆོས་སྐུ་
法身

Basic Meaning

"Truth body" or "true being" — One of the three bodies of a buddha. In Mahāyāna Buddhism, it often refers to a kind of fundamental principle or the true nature of reality itself.

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Term Variations
Key Term dharmakāya
Topic Variation dharmakāya
Tibetan ཆོས་སྐུ་  ( chö ku)
Wylie Tibetan Transliteration chos sku  ( chö ku)
Devanagari Sanskrit धर्मकाय
Romanized Sanskrit dharmakāya
Chinese 法身
Chinese Pinyin fǎ shēn
Japanese Transliteration hosshin
Buddha-nature Site Standard English true being
Karl Brunnhölzl's English Term Dharma Body
Richard Barron's English Term dharmakaya
Jeffrey Hopkin's English Term Truth Body
Dan Martin's English Term Dharmabody
Gyurme Dorje's English Term buddha body of reality
Ives Waldo's English Term body of enlightened qualities
Alternate Spellings chos kyi sku
Term Information
Source Language Sanskrit
Basic Meaning "Truth body" or "true being" — One of the three bodies of a buddha. In Mahāyāna Buddhism, it often refers to a kind of fundamental principle or the true nature of reality itself.
Term Type Noun
Definitions
Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism See page 246: In Sanskrit, often translated as “truth body,” one of the two (along with the rūpakāya) or three (along with the saṃbhogakāya and nirmāṇakāya) bodies of a buddha. In early discussions of the true nature of the Buddha, especially regarding the person of the Buddha to whom one goes for refuge (saraņa), the term dharmakāya seems to have been coined to refer to the corpus or collection (kāya) of the auspicious qualities (dharma) of the Buddha, including his wisdom, his compassion, his various powers, etc.; it also referred to the entire corpus (kāya) of the Buddha’s teachings (dharma). In the Mahāyāna, the term evolved into a kind of cosmic principle that was regarded as the true nature of the Buddha and the source from which his various other forms derived....