(Sanskrit काय, "body") Mahayana Buddhism describes perfect Buddhahood in terms of kayas or bodies. There are varying ways of understanding the kayas.

1. Dharmakaya: Law-body, Reality-body, Truth-body, or Formless body, related to the Absolute and visible only to inhabitants of its realm.

2. Rupakaya (body of form) which is divided into two more:

a. Sambogokaya (Body of Perfect Enjoyment), the "spontaneous clarity" aspect of the buddha, which is perceptible only to highly-realized beings.

b. Nirmanakaya (Body of Manifestation), the compassionate aspect of the buddha, which appears in the world.

Mahayana sutras also described the Svabhavihakaya, alterately interpreted as the underlying indivisibility of the first three kayas, or (in Tantric scriptures) as the distinction between active and passive aspects of Dharmakaya. Additional kayas are described in Tantric scriptures, such as adikaya, "body of light."


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