The Nine Yanas
by the 12th Chamgon Tai Situ Rinpoche
I will go through the nine yanas, the nine levels of Buddhism. I have to make it very clear at the beginning that when we say 'nine yanas' it sounds nice and neat, nine levels, but dharma as such cannot have any kind of limitations, ultimately, so you cannot say nine yanas, three yanas, twenty yanas, or fifty yanas. You cannot say that ultimately, but you can relatively. How did this happen? It is because Lord Buddha Shakyamuni after his enlightenment taught for about forty-five years, in a relative sense, in an ultimate sense he is teaching all the time. Even right now Buddha can manifest. Buddha is not limited to the physical body of Prince Siddhartha who born over 2500 years ago (we are about to celebrate the 2550th anniversary of his birth in 20060). Buddha lived 81 years, but his activity is not limited to that time. That was only one of Buddha Shakyamuni's countless nirmanakayas, which died in Kushinagar. His nirmanakaya and sambhogakaya are a manifestation of his dharmakaya, which is timeless and ever-present.
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