Knowing all this, the bodhisattva still makes every effort; it does not matter even if he is crucified. Jesus is a bodhisattva, so is Socrates a bodhisattva, so is al-Hillaj Mansoor. Even if it means crucifixion, it does not matter if it can help somebody, somewhere, to get out of his sleep. A bodhisattva is ready to accept all condemnation from the whole world, but he cannot remain silent and unsharing. That is impossible for him.
As far as I am concerned, both are absolutely right. There is no contradiction. They are both representing two sides of the same phenomenon. Their expression of compassion is different, but it IS the expression of compassion. Both are expressing it in their own unique ways.
Buddhas have three bodies: a transformation body, a reward body and a real body. The transformation body is also called the incarnation body. The transformation body appears when mortals do good deeds, the reward body when they cultivate wisdom and the real body when they become aware of the sublime. But actually, there’s not even one buddha-body, much less three. This talk of three bodies is simply based on human understanding, which can be shallow, moderate or deep.
People of shallow understanding imagine they’re piling up blessings and mistake the transformation body as the buddha. People of moderate understanding imagine they’re putting an end to suffering and mistake the reward body as the buddha. And people of deep understanding imagine they’re experiencing buddhahood and mistake the real body as the buddha.
It needs some explanation. It is possible you may pass a Gautam Buddha without recognizing him because the recognition of a buddha, of an awakened being, needs some insight on your part. It depends on you, your understanding. If you don’t have any understanding of the awakened one, you may pass by his side and you may not even feel anything. You are closed. The sun is there but your doors and windows are all closed. The sun is there but you are standing with closed eyes.
The first recognition comes from people who are trying to do good according to their small understanding. Whatever they feel – helpful to humanity, helpful to the animals – they are trying to do something to beautify existence. They don’t want to be just a burden on the earth. They want to contribute something; they want to leave the world a little better than they found it when they came into existence.
These people will see Buddha’s first body, the transformation body. They will see Buddha surrounded with an aura of light. You have seen pictures of Jesus, of Krishna, of Buddha with a surrounding aura. That is an actual phenomenon and now it has a scientific basis to support it.