Also see: Color, Sound, Lights and Rays
Dzogchen vs Advaita, Conventional and Ultimate Truth
Clarifications on Dharmakaya and Basis by Loppön Namdrol/Malcolm
Clarifications on the Term "Rigpa"
Exhaustion of All Phenomena

In my Facebook group "Dharma Connection" there happens to be many Dzogchen practitioners around so I posted this as it may interest them as I think it may also interest you as a reader. I've also posted some comments by Thusness below. (note: Thusness is not a Dzogchen practitioner so whatever he said need not be indicative of Dzogchen, just the practice and experience between us)
Rainbow Body Might Not Be What You Think It Is!

Since there's lots of Dzogchen practitioners, thought it might be interesting to share this piece of info.

Malcolm: "KDL went though all four visions to the end. He told me this personally. Not only me, but others. He did realize rainbow body. Rainbow body, in Dzogchen, does not mean that your body disappears. This is a huge is stupidly simple -- once you reach the end of the fourth vision, everything is a display of the five lights, as it is put in the classical text earth, rocks, mountains and cliffs vanish and instead one sees only the five pure lights.....In other words, rainbow body in essence is actually a realization...."


"No, but I have heard (from ChNN among others) that the disappearance of the body is not necessarily a sign of the body of light.

Hindus also gain control over the four elements, also Arhats can gain control over the four elements. Gaining control over the four elements is mundane siddhi, it is not excellent siddhi, nor is it reserved for Vajrayana and Dzogchen people. However, if someone has not studied in detail, they might think that many mundane  siddhis are profound. So yes, what I am telling you is that I do not consider the so called rainbow body to much more than a display of mundane siddhi to create faith.

I am glad you have faith in the teachings, but as I said, I do not derive my faith in the teachings through illusions and phantasmagoria.



p.s. with regards to KDL, who is also Malcolm's teacher (he passed away in 2006) and Malcolm has said before that KDL is a fully awakened Buddha,

"Later when Rinpoche was relaxing in a lawn chair, he said to a few students gathered around him: "You don't realize this, but I am actually Guru Rinpoche and you are his twenty-five disciples. I have reached the stage of exhaustion of phenomena (cho nyi zepa). In truth there is for me no form, no sensation, no perception, no karmic formation, no consciousness, no form, no smell, no sense consciousness or object of sense consciousness and so forth; there is no self or other and no distinction of 'Buddhas' and 'sentient beings'; everything remains in the naturally perfect state of pure equality. From the depths of my heart I wish there were some way you could all be made to understand the truth in this, but you do not see it."

Then Rinpoche went silent and tears fell from his eyes."

Also, maybe not many of you here knows this - Malcolm (Loppon Namdrol) was asked to teach Dzogchen by KDL but he refused.

(Update: The part on malcolm refusing to teach dzogchen is outdated information, as I have learnt that he has recently started teaching and has a small sangha now)

Also, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu writes in his book "Dzogchen Teachings"

It is through this Tsal Energy that our manifestation of pure and impure vision, and our particular karmic vision, arises. We are now human beings, and we have human vision. We perceive our environment dualistically,  splitting  it  into  an  apparent  reality  of  a  perceiving  subject separated from a world of external objects. But in fact everything we perceive is like the rainbow lights, which have their source in the rock crystal when it is struck by the sun’s rays. If we see a five-colored rainbow, this means that we perceive the pure dimension, pure vision. When the essence of the elements combines together with our karma,then  the  elements  manifest  on  the  material  level,  creating  impure  vision. Thus, the source of karmic vision is this aspect of Energy known as Tsal; but this same Tsal Energy, through certain practices particular to the Dzogchen teaching, such as Thödgal and Yangti, gives us the possibility of reintegrating our material existence, and of finally realizing the Rainbow Body.

Thusness said to me:

"As I suspected (thumbs up) I mean the rainbow body. That can only be done after realization of twofold emptiness and intensity of luminosity into the three states (waking, dreaming, deep sleep)... you are doing pretty well. The integration has been progressing well of the non-dual bliss into your deep sleep state, in view of the short period after your realization of anatta. The inner core must completely disappear and the intensity of luminosity must heighten... Sensations will become transparent and crystal sharp clear.

At present the core center is gone... You write too much and have too little rest. Your mind must have enough time to rest in non-conceptuality of the 6 entries and exits. Otherwise it will not be easy for you to penetrate further. After realizing the twofold emptying there is no more boundaries between mind, appearances and apparent objects and experience becomes seamless... All is mind or this integrated activity. Then we should actualize and integrate this realization.

In touching, both subject and object are both emptied and deconstructed into a single activity of touch and the intensity of luminous clarity must be strong... is it strong now? Or just like passing thoughts with no intensity.
Now penetration of the 3 states is only supported by the strength of your view and realization, not by the intensity of your non-conceptual experience.

"In essence rainbow body is a realization..." Maybe actualization of realization (would be better), in essence it is an actualized state."

my comment: Dzogchen practitioners use the term 'Realization' differently than I and Thusness, 'Realization' could mean something like full actualization or Buddhahood for them and not just an initial insight/recognition/experience.

Also what Thusness said here may be unrelated to Dzogchen rainbow body and is just a personal advise.

Someone wrote:

"I believe Malcolm Smith, Many texts state the "physical body reverts to the essence of the elements as rainbow light and disapears." Also there is a great deal of writing by many such as Longchenpa that describe the difference between the "vanishment of the physical body" between trekchod, rainbow body as "jalus" and "phowa chenpo" the Great Transfer. This is the goofiest of Malcolm's posts that I have ever read... Am I missing something?"

Malcolm replied:

Rainbow body where the body shrinks and disappears is a sign of incompletely finishing the fourth vision in this life."
Kyle Dixon, 2022:

Bodies shrinking isn’t necessarily rainbow body. The actual rainbow body is something that is imperceptible to others. It means the practitioner has completely reverted their five elements into the five lights of jñāna. This cannot be seen by beings like us with afflicted karmic vision. The person who has attained rainbow body, will appear to us, as just a normal person with a normal body.



Thrangu Rinpoche Attained Buddhahood / Rainbow Body

 Interesting that Thrangu Rinpoche attained rainbow body/Buddhahood. I enjoy reading his teachings very much.

From an email I received:



Thrangu Rinpoche's Passing


Namo Buddha Publications

The Miracle of Thrangu Rinpoche's Passing

Thrangu Rinpoche was in the hospital in June, 2023 and being quite ill, he asked to return to his Namo Buddha Monastery. There he went into meditation posture and passed away on June 4th doing the Rainbow Body (jalung) which is done only by advanced practitioners. His heart and breathing stopped and he remained in this position for four days. His skin was fresh and there were no signs of deterioration. There are two kinds of Rainbow Body: one in which the lama vanishes into thin air leaving behind only hair and fingernails, and the other is for the body to shrink. Thrangu Rinpoche's body began to shrink in perfect proportion, which included his bones, to less than his half size. These are pictures that I took at Thrangu Rinpoche's cremation on November 4, 2023.

1VRL  Entrance to Namo Buddha complex Photo 1&2. Namo Buddha is about 20 miles from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Thrangu Rinpoche had his attendant, Lekshe buy the land from a Nepali farmer. Namo Buddha is the third most sacred Buddhist spot in all of Nepal where a previous Buddha gave his flesh to a starving tigress.


2VR. Namo Buddha  Thrangu Rinpoche's monastery is very large with a large shrine room quarters of over 100 monks. This dining hall is to the left. There were 2,000 persons from all over the world attending the cremation

3VR. Front of Shrine Room Photo 3: This is the large shrine room at Namo Buddha where practitioners went up and made offerings and bowed their head on the edge of the shrine. The kundun with yellow curtains is where Rinpoche’s body is the square box on the shrine which is about two feet square and three feet high.

4VR. Closeup of Kundun Photo 4: This is a close up of the kundun and the yellow brocade was lifted a little on the last day when I took this picture.


5VR. Cremation ground Outside Photo 5 This is the outside of the area where the cremation took place. The white coverings were to protect the audience and the four Rinpoche’s from the four lineages who sat in each of the four directions of the crematorium. This stadium had over a 1,000 chairs. This area specially prepared held 2,000 people and was just a short walk from the monastery. You can see trees covering the whole mountain that Vajra Vidya is on.


6VR.  Cremation Ground inside Photo 6 I did my knowledgeable estimation of the number who attended and came up with 2,000 people. A staff member who said that is what they also estimated.


7VR. Crematorum Photo 7and 8. This is the crematorium which had four opening in each direction. There was a procession of high lamas and monks carrying the kundun in and then placing Rinpoche’s body in the crematorium.


8VR. Placing Body in creamatorum Here we can see one of the lamas helping place the body in the crematorium.

9VR. Burning of body Photo 9. At 10:30 the fire was lit and sacred grass, oils, and precious substances were added to the burning body. It burned for about an hour. 3 days later the ashes will be recovered to see if there are any relics among them.


10. Body in Crematorium Photo 10: Through one of the four holes in the crematorium, you can see Thrangu Rinpoche’s body. My camera is not that good, but it looks to me like he is facing (north) toward us and has an elaborate headdress on.


11VR. Mahkala Rock decorated hoto 11: I almost forgot. There was a large black rock that Thrangu Rinpoche identified as being Mahakala or representing Mahakala (I am not sure) but they dug it up and turned it over and displayed it very prominently at the cremation.


It is important that we Buddhist share what we know. If you are really interested, you can email me and I will send you 43 pictures that are 20 inches long and 13 inches wide and of high quality for printing (300DPI) along with 4 short videos (total of 1.6 gigs).


Clark Johnson


Compose your email here.

Click to view this email in a browser

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please reply to this message with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line or simply click on the following link: Unsubscribe

Namo Buddha Publications

1390 Kalmia Avenue

Boulder, Colorado 80304-1813


Read the VerticalResponse marketing policy.

 Try Email Marketing with VerticalResponse!


John Tan/Thusness talked positively about Thrangu Rinpoche's teachings since the very first year I talked with him, back in 2004. He also recommended me to read his books.


(10:39 PM) Thusness: there are so many good articles and clarity in writings and explanations by some tibetan guru.

(10:39 PM) AEN: icic like who

(10:39 PM) Thusness: thrangu rinpoche

(10:40 PM) Thusness: there are quite a few but i forgotten who..

(10:40 PM) Thusness: read them b4 on the web.

    Soh Wei Yu
    All Thrangu Rinpoche 58 Books at $35 (only 60 cents per book!)
    Tan Jui Horng shared a link.
    · tg6678a8063oshlu ·
    Can't remember if this deal was already around when the website was mentioned sometime back. But you can get all of Thrangu Rinpoche's books for $35 now in pdf. Incredible
    ALL 58 OF THRANGU RINPOCHE'S BOOKS (ON SPECIAL DOWNLOAD) [PDF02] - $35.00 : Namo Buddha Publications
    Namo Buddha Publications ALL 58 OF THRANGU RINPOCHE'S BOOKS (ON SPECIAL DOWNLOAD) [PDF02] - Thrangu Rinpoche is author of 60 books on Buddhism. You need only to peruse this book section to see all the different topics Thrangu Rinpoche has taught on. We have made PDFs of each of these books and made...
    Soh Wei Yu
    Thrangu Rinpoche materials are all highly recommended.
    See also Kyle Dixon’s recommendation:
    User avatar
    level 1
    · 2 mo. ago
    Thrangu Rinpoche’s Pointing out the dharmakāya is good.
    Also Dakpo Tashi Namgyal’s Clarifying the natural state and the associated commentary Crystal clear.
    (Soh's comments: I highly recommend reading the three books recommended by Krodha at least - "
    Thrangu Rinpoche’s Pointing out the dharmakāya is good.
    Also Dakpo Tashi Namgyal’s Clarifying the natural state and the associated commentary Crystal clear.")
    · 7h
    Kyoshu Okan Özaydin
    Soh Wei Yu pointing out the Dharmakaya is really great.
    · 48m
    Labels: Books and Websites Recommendations, Mahamudra, Thrangu Rinpoche |
    Namo Buddha Publications , Namo Buddha Publications Source of Thrangu Rinpoche's teachings
    Namo Buddha Publications , Namo Buddha Publications Source of Thrangu Rinpoche's teachings
    Namo Buddha Publications , Namo Buddha Publications Source of Thrangu Rinpoche's teachings

    • Reply
    • Remove Preview

    Love Koh
    Soh Wei Yu Hi Mr Soh 🙏 , Thankyou very much for sharing 👍💎👑✨💟🙏

  • Ugi Müller
    Wow, great to hear! Thanks for sharing. Just checked my mails and found it as well 🙂

    • Reply
    • Edited

  • Norge Leone
    Interesting that there was no real rainbow body witnessed in this century?

    Soh Wei Yu
    Norge Leone Thrangu Rinpoche attained real rainbow body, and several others this century and the last.

  • Love Koh
    Norge Leone There is , in the early 90's , during Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's parinirvana , he manifested the sign of the rainbow body in which his body shrink in size , due to his Compassionate Bodhicitta to save & benefit sentient being , he has return to his world as the young Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche 🙏

    • Reply
    • Edited

  • Norge Leone
    Soh Wei Yu no, you obviously don't know what is rainbow body, read the text again. This one is a 'small' rainbow body like all others in this century.

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Norge Leone Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith said before, "Rainbow body where the body shrinks and disappears is a sign of incompletely finishing the fourth vision in this life." " A body disappearing does not equal rainbow body. Often, when people realize rainbow body, their bodies just shrink."
    But as far as I know, all are still rainbow body, regardless of the type. They are all Buddhahood.

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Acarya Malcolm Smith:
    “ Most people who achieve realization from Dzogchen do so in the bardo of dharmatā. Only the best of best obtain rainbow body in this life or have small rainbow body.”
    “The body of light aka rainbow body is simply the body reverting back to the five lights of wisdom. The sign of this is that at death the body shrinks to a very small size."
    " Rainbow body is buddhahood. So any standard description of a Buddha's experience of the inexhaustible ornamental wheel of the body, speech, mind, qualities, and activities of the Buddha would apply. "
    " "Rainbow body" is a name for what happens when the elements of body reverts back to their original nature as pristine consciousness as a result of the process of Dzogchen practice or completion stage practice. A key point of Vajrayāna is that there is no buddhahood that is not grounded in the body. Hence, the attainment of rainbow body, or the body of light, is regarded as proof that a practitioner has attained buddhahood. This is never mentioned in sūtra because sūtra has no methods of practice that involve the body as a vehicle for awakening."
    As for the type of Buddhahood that is the rainbow body where body shrinks vs disappear entirely:
    Someone asked, "I have read of two kinds of rainbow bodies: the one where the body shrinks and the second where the body disappears entirely."
    Acarya Malcolm said, "The first is partial rainbow body."
    Tomamundsen: "Is partial rainbow body the 16th bhumi, buddhahood without remainder?"
    Acarya Malcolm said, "No. It is Buddhahood with signs."

  • William Lim
    Are there photos... as mentioned in the text?

    Soh Wei Yu
    William Lim pass me your email and i will forward you

Labels: , , , |
5 Responses
  1. That's all non-sense, I don't see anything that makes sense to me through my experience of meditation and increasing realization of my Rainbow nature of the physical.

    The Rainbow Body can be achieved through natural meditation and it is only the Physical Body becoming what it should be without all the negative shit and blocking around the Chakras.

    Once All Chakras are secured and quite open, then your Rainbow Nature will increase in its natural obviousness. Then you will get a body made of rainbow Light which is extremely powerful and blissful.

    I don't believe a bit about this guy being Guru Rinpoche and if he is, then I don't understand him and I would lose respect for him but I feel Guru Rinpoche much smarter than these words.

    The Soul is Consciousness, it is the Individual, how can you say "no consciousness"?

    The Soul is with us forever, it is us as our individual then the Body can be with us forever too as its purest form which is the Rainbow Body. So the Soul will have its greatest desire: to enjoy a body forever, to have Life with forever and Death... bye bye.

    My 2 cents, good luck folks.

  2. Hi Salomon,

    First of all, rainbow body in Dzogchen may not be what you have in mind.

    Secondly it seems that you are speaking from the I AM insight, but not yet the empty nature of Presence. "No consciousness" is a central Buddhist teaching taught in Heart Sutra. It does not mean there is no consciousness in the sense of being inert or insentient, but that consciousness is empty of self.


  3. Anonymous Says:


  4. somebody Says:

    I entered Rainbow Body once. What is it? I am still alive.

  5. Soh Says:

    That's not rainbow body. Rainbow body is a permanent realization.