Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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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. 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Akanishtha is also the name of Vairochana's buddha field.
Also, Summit of Being Heaven. The highest of the eighteen heavens of the world of form. The living beings in this heaven are said to possess a pure body, free from all desires, suffering, and illness. The world of form is the middle division of the threefold world.
- 1) Non-higher. The highest Buddhafield. There are six places that have this name, from the eighth paradise of the gods of the fourth concentration up to the absolute Akanishta, which is inconceivable.
- 2) the highest of the heavens of the form realm.
- 3) The 'highest;' the realm of Vajradhara, the enlightened sphere of dharmakaya buddha. Can also refer to the highest abode of gods in the form realms.
- 4) For a discussion of the various types of Akanishtha, see Gyurme Dorje's translation of Longchen Rabjam's phyogs bcu mun sel.
- 5) Often used as a synonym for 'dharmadhatu.'
- 6) ultimate (don gyi 'og min) [RY]
- Akanishta, Skt. — 'og min, literally "which is not below," the Unexcelled Buddhafield. In general, the highest of all buddhafields; according to Vajrayana, the place where bodhisattvas attain final buddhahood. There are, in fact, six levels of Akanishta, ranging from the highest heaven of the form realm up to the ultimate pure land of the dharmakaya)]. [AJP] from The Great Image ISBN 1-59030-069-6
- Akanishta realm of Padmajala ('og min pad ma drva ba'i zhing) - The pure realm of Guru Rinpoche. [RY]