The Rainbow Body is a term describing a state of being wherein an individual has transcended all suffering and attained a state of complete union with the universe and the consciousness of creation.
This state of being is very similar to what is contemporaneously been described as ascension. In times of old, it was defined as enlightenment. It is the state of completely destroying the separate selfish self, the negative ego, which emerges thereafter as a servant of universal will. But there are many other ways to describe this state of being, such as Universal Consciousness, Ascended, Sovereign, Self Mastered, Self-Actualized, and so on.
The Rainbow Body Technique
While there is much to say insofar as understanding the core teachings of this technique, it can be summarized as making every thought a loving thought.
The mind and consciousness energize the body in terms of how we define our experiences. If we label experiences as bad and reject the fullness of what life offers, this creates blockages within the mind as voids of comprehension. We can’t understand and reconcile what we’ve chosen to ignore or deny about existence. Therefore, in order to restore wholeness so as to become holy, one must progressively change all their mental programs or beliefs that support separation consciousness.
For example, if we dislike some household chore, refusing to embrace it in fullness, this creates a schism within the mind that generates negative emotions. If we accept this state of being as our truth, dissociation with reality occurs, preventing the energies of creation from fully realizing the Rainbow Body state. Clearly, we have not made every thought a loving thought if we hate washing dishes or detest some other part of our lives.
The principle of polarity defines separation vs. universal consciousness, which is a spectrum or a difference of extremes. At one end of the pole is separation consciousness and the selfishness that comes with it. On the other end of the pole is universal consciousness and the freedom and empowerment that come with it. But it is not enough to stop feeding separation consciousness, we must actually be proactive in becoming universally conscious.
Consider that if we want to walk towards a desired location, we must take steps in that direction. If we find ourselves off course it isn’t enough to stop moving in the wrong direction, we have to actually step forward in the right direction. Therefore, in order to gain universal consciousness we must stop feeding separation consciousness while at the same time nurturing universal consciousness via acts of unselfish love or kindness.
In essence, anytime we feel negative emotions, it is an indication that we’ve endorsed beliefs of separation and victimhood in relation to the thing that caused us to feel this way. Even if the thing is justified in society (like being stolen from, violently attacked, oppressed, and so on), if we feed into the idea that it is OK to hate, we block our consciousness from evolving. In this sense, the primary method for achieving enlightenment is to change the metaphysical part of oneself, our mind. This mental alchemy is expressed in breathtaking detail within iconic imagery, featured within Henry’s work.
But accepting the truth about our experience doesn’t also mean being complacent to tyranny and oppression. Defending oneself against harm is a choice to accept the truth in fullness while also proactively making an effort to stop harm when it is observed.
In the below-linked article, I offered a detailed analysis of the mental nature of personal evolution, and that all techniques or methods of growth are founded on this principle of mental alchemy or transformation. And that the symbology of certain iconic works provides key teachings for consciousness evolution as a function of making contact with universal law and will.
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The Spiritual Nature of All Things
The method of achieving Rainbow Body is the art of embracing all of what life has to offer, including experiences that society labels as unquestionably bad or undesirable. To be sure, we need not seek out suffering, harm, or oppression, yet at the same time, we must develop a comprehension of the spiritual nature of all things.
Once one really perceives that all events and things in life are spiritual at their foundation, gratitude for being able to experience them can be developed. In this way, any experience, no matter how seemingly horrific and tragic, can be viewed or defined in a way that produces the experience of gratitude. The more one finds success in this path and the more one feels empowered by the challenges of life, the more one can embrace change and evolve in harmony with the ever-emerging newness or novelty of existence.
The state of consciousness developed as a result of walking this path has been called universal consciousness, in contrast to separation consciousness. But there are many names for this state of being.
As was stated, there are countless works, methods, techniques, esoteric teachings, mystery schools, and so on, which describe this process, how to do it, and what effect it has on practitioners. In my research, one of the most complete and replete presentations is in the book Children of the Law of One and the Lost Teachings of Atlantis, as well as, The Emerald Tablets of Thoth the Atlantean.
The Altruism of the Rainbow Body
As one point of consideration, the Rainbow Body, as described below, is not a selfish or self-serving practice. While one does achieve increasing states of personal healing, transcendence, and empowerment, it is harmonized with an ever-increasing desire to service others and become an instrument of universal will.
As one gains universal consciousness, their desires transform so as to integrate the universe as a whole into one’s outlook. In other words, we no longer want to do just our will, but the will of the universe at large, which by its very nature, takes into account all things.
After gaining universal consciousness, we do what we do—at all times—not just for ourselves, but for the whole of creation. This doesn’t mean avoiding our desires, reactions or experiences, for that rejects a part of what IS. Instead, we harmonize our personal desires against the backdrop of the universe as a whole. When we’ve achieved this state, we do what we do for the All, which, of course, includes the self.
Testing Our Progress
One method for testing how far along this path we’ve come is to list the reasons we use to support our choices, desires, and actions. Our reasons tell us if we are focused only on ourselves or the universe as a whole.
For example, why do you eat the food you do? How do you spend your free time and what are the reasons for doing so?
The answers to these questions reveal where your focus is, and if they are centered on the self only, it is an indication we’re operating from separation consciousness. When our reasons become universal in scope, we make a step on the path to attaining an ascended state of being. And often we have to invoke that consciousness first so as to replace a rationale based on separation. That is to say, if we only eat food because it tastes good, this is a self-serving rationale—no one else is considered in the justification process. But contemplate a different rationale, such as wanting to fuel our bodies so we can become better vehicles for universal will and service others—then this reason would be universal in scope.
The context or scope of our reasons determines if they are universal or self-serving in nature. But if we never question our reasons, if we never seek to gain knowledge of why we do the things we do, then the selfish separate self will become dominant, and the suffering that comes from identification with separation consciousness is sure to taint everything we do.
The same principle of choice we are discussing here is similar to the parable of the wolf.
A grandfather is talking with his grandson and he says there are two wolves inside of us which are always at war with each other.
One of them is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred and fear.
The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?”
The grandfather quietly replies, the one you feed.
As was stated earlier, the difference between universal and separation consciousness is a matter of degrees. This means that if we are progressing along a spiritual path our reasons become more and more universal as time goes on. The progress we feel now can be compared to points in the past to reveal how far we’ve come but there will always be a step forward that can be made. And we need not dwell on the past to motivate us towards changing in the future.
The important thing to focus on is that we’re making a choice in the direction of universal consciousness. How far we leap in that step isn’t as important as making one in the right direction. In our efforts to motivate ourselves in all the moments of our lives, focusing on the process is more important than comparing our progress to others or the past.
So while we may be tempted to look for validation of our efforts, don’t lose heart if you discover that there is more work to be done. Regaining universal consciousness, enlightenment or the Rainbow Body state is a grand task, one that requires complete devotion to accomplish.
The Price of Separation Consciousness
The satisfaction that comes from a self-serving rationale is fleeting and limited at best. Hence, all of human history is marred by the trappings of separation consciousness of the ego gone mad and in this state of self-imposed insanity, it seeks to consume all that exists in a foolish attempt to fill the hole left in one’s heart.
In short, we must be proactive in our desire to achieve enlightenment by constantly going within and asking ourselves why we are doing what we do. Don’t let relative degrees of success hold you back from making steps towards the ultimate goal.
A Change is upon Us
In these times of great change and extremes of polarity, the ability to raise one’s own vibration and consciousness, so as to become a beacon of light for others, is an essential part of the great work of our age. But the quality of our service depends directly on our own state of attainment and evolution. We can’t offer upliftment and healing to others if we refuse to give this to ourselves.
Our spiritual life purpose in this sense is a merger of personal evolution and altruistic service. And the best way to experience compassion, harmlessness, and service of others is to live out these ideals within our lives. In doing so we not only stop feeding separation consciousness we actually feed the emerging universal soul.
Knowing the path is a constant pursuit that is forever balanced against walking the path.
Yet in these times of transition, all the traditions and blindly accepted doctrines of the past are being questioned.
The individual has more opportunity to become an agent of change due to their access to critical information, like what is presented herein, than all the previous ages of history combined.
We are living in the times of the great unveiling, the apocalypse. The question is, will be take up the spiritual nature within each of us, or will we continue to feed into separation consciousness?
The preceding article is a Stillness in the Storm original creation. Please share freely.
A) The most common level is the normal Rainbow body that occurs only after body death. Every 10 years or so a Buddhist from Tibet enters into this state. There are no physical signs indicating the start of the process before death and once physical death occurs it takes on average 7 days for the body to shrink and dissolve into light and most of the time a small child size body remains behind and in more advanced yogi’s only hair and nails.
Chokgyur Lingpa rainbow body and his hand prints (Only a small body of around 5 cm remained)
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B) The more advanced level is also called the Rainbow body, but for due purposes lets call it the Rainbow body of light as in this level all the signs are showing up while the yogi is still alive. The process of dissolving into light might go really fast but in most cases it takes month to years to complete, all while remaining fully functional. It is also possible that the yogi who is in the middle of this process slows it down or is unable to continue the process and dies before the completion of the Rainbow body. This has been the case with most of the famous siddhars. If the process is continued the body will start to shrink and shine real light over time until it reaches the size of a baby and then as a flash of bright rainbow light will disappear into emptiness forever.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (did not complete the process but was well on its way)
C) The most advanced and extremely rare level is the attainment of the Rainbow body of great transference. In this level the yogi not only dissolves the body completely into light but remains functional and visible as light.
Padmasambava’s Rainbow Body (Guru Rinpoche)
For clarification, these 3 states have nothing to do with Spontaneous Human Combustion SHC and some have made the mistake of believing some saints to have attained the Rainbow body state while in fact it was a SHC case, such as Sambandar, Appar and Sundarar.
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So lets go a little deeper into the history and background of the phenomena called the Rainbow body.
Dr. Duncan “Om” MacDougall (c. 1866 – October 15, 1920) was an early 20th-century physician in Haverhill, Massachusetts who sought to measure the mass lost by a human when the soul departed the body at death. MacDougall attempted to measure the mass change of six patients at the moment of death. His first subject, the results from which MacDougall felt were most accurate, lost “three-fourths of an ounce”, which has since been popularized as “21 grams”. The rainbow body goes way beyond this value.
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The ultimate Great accomplishment in meditation is the attainment of the Rainbow body. This is widely recognized as a sign of extreme sanctity in Tibetan Buddhism and among the Bönpo. Reports of this level of transmutation are rare, but still they occur and have been chronicled far into antiquity. The rainbow body however is not limited to Buddhism only as you will see in the pictures below but to understand the process we will turn to the well documented and delineated practice of Dzogchen in Tibet and reflect this practice to the stories of Vallalar from south India who went through the same process.
In the Himalayan regions, the early indigenous religion was that of the Bön. Bön pre-existed the creation of both the sovereign territories, later to become the country of Tibet as well as of Buddhism. When the great Indian tantric sage Padmasambhava (look at drawing above) brought Buddhism from India to Tibet in the 8th Century AD he found the richly tilled ground of the Bönpo. This land and its peoples took easily to the Buddha’s teachings and the Buddhist beliefs melded well with the rituals of the Bön.
When Padmasambhava left at the end of his time in physical form he dissolved his body completely back to their natural elements leaving nothing behind. At that moment a new lineage of Buddhist teachings was created. This was the start of what has become the Nyingma tradition and is the foundation of Tibetan Buddhism as we have come to know it. At the heart of the Nyingma tradition is the practice of Dzogchen otherwise called Ati Yoga or the Great Perfection.
According to Tibetan Buddhism and Bön, Dzogchen is the natural, primordial state or natural condition of a human being and the practice of Dzogchen is a body of teachings and meditations aimed at realizing that condition. According to Dzogchen literature, Dzogchen is the highest and most definitive path to enlightenment.
From the perspective of Dzogchen, the ultimate nature of all sentient beings is said to be pure, all-encompassing, primordial clarity or naturally occurring timeless clarity. This intrinsic clarity has no form of its own and yet is capable of perceiving, experiencing, reflecting, or expressing all form. It does so without being affected by those forms in any ultimate, permanent way. The analogy given by Dzogchen masters is that one’s nature is like a mirror which reflects with complete openness but is not affected by the reflections, or like a crystal ball that takes on the color of the material on which it is placed without itself being changed. The knowledge that ensues from recognizing this mirror-like clarity (which cannot be found by searching nor identified) is what Dzogchenpas refer to as rigpa. The most direct way to realizing this state are the practices of Trekchö – an advanced practice in Dzogchen.
Trekchö practice is a releasing or a cutting through of all one’s tensions and rigidities, all obscurations must be purified. This accomplished through mastering the art of contemplation and visualization. It is mastering meditation in the state of Union. It is a prerequisite for practicing the Tögal practice. For a novice understanding it is a practice of witnessing ones karma and forgiving and dissolving it to the point it holds no power of cause. The physical body can be calmed to a death like state of samadhi. One then is able to consciously contemplate while in a deep state of union.
|As Drubwang Tsoknyi Rinpoche once explained:
“Trekchö is the thorough cut of cutting through, cutting the obscurations completely to pieces, like slashing through them with a knife. So the past thought has ceased, the future thought hasn’t yet arisen, and the knife is cutting through this stream of present thought. But one doesn’t keep hold of this knife either; one lets the knife go, so there is a gap. When you cut through again and again in this way, the string of thought falls to pieces. If you cut a rosary in a few places, at some point it doesn’t work any longer.”
(Picture of Tsoknyi Rinpoche the 3rd)
When the state of full Self-realization has been accomplished, the yogi or yogini is ready for the next and last Dzogchen practice, the practice of Tögal. This final practice enables the master yogi or yogini to dissolve his or her physical body into the essence of the elements at the time of death. The master disappears into a body of light becoming the wisdom body, the term is called ‘Ja’-lus or Rainbow body in Tibetan. This level of attainment is also the central aim of Indian Buddhist tantricism known as Vajrayana that the Taoists call the golden body. Another term frequently used is Soruba Samadhi or Gnana Deham as Vallalar used to called it. It is a golden body, a state of God-realization in which Divinity descends and transforms the spiritual, intellectual, mental, vital and physical bodies. It is considered physical immortality or the highest perfection.
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The practice Tögal occurs in a deep state of contemplation union and is a practice of becoming the essence of all that is. In essence this practice shifts identity to the Cosmic-Awareness. In duality there is always an observer versus the rest. Even in deep meditation there always seems to be an observer left who can realize or recognise things. However if the Trekchö practice has done its job in cleaning and clearing all the blockages, karma and thoughts, the meditation might enter into a state called nirvikalpa samadhi – but in that state all is emptiness and the body is non functional. In Tögal there is a way around this by going into the non-breathing state but remaining fully functional and by doing this you automatically dive into the source of the observer and root it out completely. What remains is the essence of all that is without an observer. Vallalar called this practice Gathi and that was the starting point of the formation of the Rainbow body.
Basically to reach the highest state possible in meditation, the so called jalus powa chenpo or rainbow body of great transference, all 3 granthi’s otherwise known as the 3 dantien or used as the 3 bandhas in yoga have to be cleared of stress completely. How do you know when this is done completely:
1. Brahma Granthi completely stress free – No more sexual orgasms possible.
2. Vishnu Granthi completely stress free – no more breathing needed and as an immediate effect also no food consumption needed anymore.
3. Rudra Granthi completely stress free – no more thoughts or dreams. Absolute ego death.
Often masters that attain the Rainbow body will return one last time out of compassion for their beloved disciples and give what are known as posthumous teachings, delivered in the form of a last testament. Often the master is in the transfigured state on occasion suspended in the sky.
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According to the description done by Vallalar, in those who have reached the state of Pranava and Suddha Deham, the beginning stages of the rainbow body while still alive, body changes start occurring starting off with a the inner and outer skin becoming extraordinarily smooth; nerves and muscles relax gradually; bones, membranes and cartilages become automatically flexible; blood and semen changes from a liquid to a thickened state; the brain and all its parts became spongy expanded like a flower; through the entire body leaks the Amrit – “Nectar of the Goddess” – the drink flowing from the crown chakra down into the body and tastes sweet like burned sugar when it passes through the throat chakra and grants immortality when it flows nonstop. The face become brilliant, delicate and harmonious, making evident the internal state of supreme happiness.
When this state deepens the senses can perceive all without being limited by any barrier or obstacle; the eyes can have a view of whole Universe, by that reason they aren’t interested in observing the things of the world; they are able to see the content of all the worlds and beings (as much external as internally), without this vision may be hindered by dense barriers like walls or high like mountains; their tongue taste all the flavours, their skin experiences all tactile sensations, their nose sniffs all the smells, their ears are filled of melodies being able to listen any sound produced in any place. With their arms and hands they can take one thing independently of the distance, or give it to other there where he may be; they can reach any destiny without need that their legs do some physical movement, moving without step the ground; with their voice can communicate with anybody in any place of the universe and still beyond. They will be free from the need to consume food, from satisfy the sexual impulse and from feel fear; the body exempt from defects and impurities is refreshed, does not excrete, does not perspire and does not project shadow on the ground; their external appearance corresponds approximately to twelve years old; their hair doesn’t become grey, their skin doesn’t become wrinkle, they do not age and do not be under the control of death. Their breast and heart swell up palpitating of Love; the four aspects of the mind are illuminated and in total harmony; all the visible parts of the body radiate ecstacy; the ego has disappeared. God, in the form of Supreme Love, fills those Pure bodies with Divine Life.
Not being subjected to any limitation, those who have achieved the Pranava and Suddha Deham states are able to create and destroy according to their own will, to resurrect a dead person and return an elder to the youth. Their knowledge is God’s Knowledge, their action is God’s Action, their experiences come from God himself, being manifested the Divine Grace through them. Even the most insignificant inanimate thing will be called to enter into a conscious life only by the Grace of their Look and by their mere Presence; the Greatness and the Glory of their Divine State necessarily will cover what is said by the six traditional spiritual disciplines (Vedanta, Siddhanta, Kalanta, Bodhanta, Nadanta -Tantra- and Yoganta), but will transcend and surpass all of them, being this Divine State what will carry them to achieve the Total and Perfect Bliss.
In one of his poems Vallalar assures having experienced Pranava Deham transformation and evolved even more. By doing it, the Supreme Grace was manifested as total Bliss. Ramalinga explains how he realized the experience of the highest and ultimate transformation: the transmutation in the Divinity, which he described as the fusion with the Supreme God’s Body. This Body of Bliss, or Gnana Deham, is omnipresent but imperceptible for the senses.
On internet this picture is claimed to be the rainbow body of Rangjung Dorje, however I have come to belief that this is rather a long exposure blur (similar to stroboscopic photography) than the beginning stages of a rainbow body such as that Vallalar described.
Below you find an image of Lama Achuk that I belief is real and is a sign of the beginning stages of the rainbow body, exactly as Vallalar described.
Just like the 4 examples above, the 18 siddhars of Tamil nadu and the 84 tantric mahasiddhars of the himalaya underwent a similar process towards the rainbow body but most of them have not completed the process.
All the pictures below are from individuals who have dissolved their bodies into the ‘Light Body’ and disappears completely into space.
(Siddhar Boganathar mentioned in one of his poems that Murugan went through the same process of shrinking and dissolving as described above to attain the rainbow body of light. – this quaote originates from Vallalar but needs verification.)
The life story of Sukhasiddhi is very wonderful. When she was about sixty years old, or maybe sixty-five, she experienced a great deal of suffering. Due to that, she engaged in the practice of vajrayana and attained a state where she appeared like a sixteen-year-old girl. Her story is that she and her family were very poor and they got to the point where they only had one container of rice left. So, her husband and son went out to look for food. They went all over, searching, begging for food. Though they went through a great deal of difficulties, they were unable to find any food. Thinking that they had one container of rice left, they went back home to eat it. However, while they were gone, Sukhasiddhi, out of great compassion, had given the food to a beggar. When her husband and son came back, they were very hungry and expecting to eat the last container of rice, but they found that there was no rice left, that she had given it away to a beggar. They were very upset and very angry with her, saying that though they were all experiencing a great deal of suffering, a great deal of problems, she had given their last food away. They were so upset with her that they threw her out of the house. Then she became very upset and cried about her husband and son throwing her out of her home. Leaving her town, she gave rise to a very strong renunciation for samsara, and based upon this very strong renunciation and good fortune, she was able to meet with a siddha from whom she received oral instructions. She meditated upon them and realized mahamudra, the supreme siddhi. Her mind was liberated within this state of luminosity, and her body became an empty form like a rainbow. She looked like a sixteen- year-old girl. She unified luminosity and the illusory body. It is said that even at this time she resides in India and can be found in various places there.
-From Mahamudra Shamatha and Vipashyana, Rocky Mountain Shambhala Center, 1991, p.195. Translated by Elizabeth Callahan.
Our true nature – the highest state attainable in meditation. They are completely naked, free from any concepts or ideas and surrounded by an colorful aura signifying the state of rainbow body of great transference. His name, Kuntuzangpo in Tibetan, Samantabhadra in Sanskrit, means ‘always good’ or ‘always well’.
This is who we truly are…
Stillness in the Storm Editor’s note: Did you find a spelling error or grammar mistake? Do you think this article needs a correction or update? Or do you just have some feedback? Send us an email at [email protected]. Thank you for reading.