Akanishtha

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Akanishtha (Skt. Akaniṣṭha; Tib. འོག་མིན་, Omin; Wyl. 'og min) —The word "Akanishtha" means 'not below', or 'above all'. It refers to the pure abodes whose characteristic is, according to the Omniscient Longchenpa, that there is nothing above them, and there are no features from elsewhere that surpass them.[1] So, the name 'Akanishtha' is used throughout the teachings to refer to different abodes, which all share the common characteristic of being the highest, in relation to specific criteria. The great Indian master Buddhaguhya distinguishes six different ways of using the name Akanishtha. Longchenpa speaks of three types of Akanishtha in relation to the three kayas.

  1. The highest heaven of the form realm. According to Mahayana, buddhas first reach full enlightenment in Akanishtha, and then manifest enlightenment through a nirmanakaya body in the human realm.
  2. Akanishtha (Tib. འོག་མིན་སྟུག་པོ་བཀོད་པའི་ཞིང་ཁམས་, Wyl. 'og min stug po bkod pa'i zhing khams) or Omin Chenpo (Tib. འོག་མིན་ཆེན་པོ་, Wyl. 'og min chen po), in Vajrayana, also refers to the pure sambhogakaya field from which emanate all pure nirmanakaya fields. In the three kaya mandala offering of the Longchen Nyingtik Ngöndro, Akanishtha is also referred to as 'the highest heaven of great bliss, the realm of Ghanavyūha' (Tib. སྟུག་པོ་བཀོད་པ་, Wyl. stug po bkod pa).
  3. Akanishtha is also the name of Vairochana's buddha field.

Notes

  1. See The Guhyagarbha Tantra, Secret Essence Definitive Nature Just As it is, with Commentary by Longchen Rabjam, Light of Berotsana, Snow Lion, 2011, page 156.

Further Reading

  • The Guhyagarbha Tantra, Secret Essence Definitive Nature Just As it is, with Commentary by Longchen Rabjam, Translated by Lama Chönam and Sangye Khandro, Light of Berotsana, Snow Lion, 2011, pages 155-163.
  • Thinley Norbu, The Small Golden Key (Shambhala Publications, 1999), pages 70-72.

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