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In Sanskrit, “emanation body,” or “transfor mation body”; according to the M a h à y à n a descriptions, one of the three bodies (trikäya) of a buddha, together with the dharmakAya andthesambhogakäya. Inaccountswhereabud dha is said to have two bodies, the dharmakäya constitutes one body and the r ü p a k ä y a constitutes the other, with the rūpakāya subsuming both the sambhogakäya and the nirmānakāya. The term nirmānakāya may have been employed originally to describe the doubles of himself that the Buddha is sometimes said to display in order to teach multiple audiences simulta- neously. (Cf. m ahA prâtihärya.) In the Mahäyäna, however, the emanation body became the only body of a buddha to appear to ordinary beings, implying that the “historical Buddha” was in fact a display intended to inspire the world; in the debates about whether the Buddha feit hunger or suffered physical pain, the Mahäyäna schools as well as several of the mainstream Buddhist schools assertedthathedidnot,butratherappeared to do so in order to conform to worldly conventions. The nirmānakāya of a buddha is said to be able to appear in any form, including divinities, humans, animals, and inanimate objects; some texts even suggest that a buddha may appear as a bridge or a cooling breeze. The form of the nirmãnakāya that appeared in India as Śākyamuni is called a “supreme emanation body”(uttamanirmänakäya). Allsuchnirmānakāyasaresaidto perform twelve deeds, from waiting in t u s i t a heaven for their last rebirth to entering parinirväna. Another type of nirmānakāyaisthejanmanirmänakAya, the“birth”or“created” emanation body, which is the form of a buddha when he appears as a divinity, human, or animal to benefit sentient beings, or as a beneficial inanimate object, such as a bridge. A third type is the śilpanirm ãnakàya, an “artisan emanation body,” in which a buddha appears in the world as an artisan or as a work of art. The Sanskrit term nirmānakāya is translated into Tibetan as sp ru l sku, spelled in English as tulku.
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