Spells, Images, and Mandalas : Tracing the Evolution of Esoteric Buddhist Rituals / Koichi Shinohara.

Other records:
Shinohara, Koichi, author.
New York, NY : Columbia University Press, [2014]
The Sheng Yen Series in Chinese Buddhist Studies
1 online resource : 10
Religion -- Comparative Religion.
Tantric Buddhism -- History.
Tantric Buddhism -- Rituals -- History.
Tantric Buddhism -- Rituals.
In English.
System Details:
Mode of access: Internet via World Wide Web.
text file PDF
Koichi Shinohara traces the evolution of Esoteric Buddhist rituals from the simple recitation of spells in the fifth century to complex systems involving image worship, mandala initiation, and visualization practices in the ninth century. He presents an important new reading of a seventh-century Chinese text called the Collected Dharani Sutras, which shows how earlier rituals for specific deities were synthesized into a general Esoteric initiation ceremony and how, for the first time, the notion of an Esoteric Buddhist pantheon emerged.In the Collected Dharani Sutras, rituals for specific deities were typically performed around images of the deities, yet Esoteric Buddhist rituals in earlier sources involved the recitation of spells rather than the use of images. The first part of this study explores how such simpler rituals came to be associated with the images of specific deities and ultimately gave rise to the general Esoteric initiation ceremony described in the crucial example of the All-Gathering mandala ritual in the Collected Dharani Sutras. The visualization practices so important to later Esoteric Buddhist rituals were absent from this ceremony, and their introduction would fundamentally change Esoteric Buddhist practice. This study examines the translations of dharani sutras made by Bodhiruci in the early eighth century and later Esoteric texts, such as Yixing's commentary on the Mahavairocana sutra and Amoghavajra's ritual manuals, to show how incorporation of visualization greatly enriched Esoteric rituals and helped develop elaborate iconographies for the deities. Over time, the ritual function of images became less certain, and the emphasis shifted toward visualization. This study clarifies the complex relationship between images and ritual, changing how we perceive Esoteric Buddhist art as well as ritual.
List of Figures and Tables
PART I. The Three Ritual Scenarios
1. The Recitation of Spells in the Dhāraṇī Collections
2. The Image Ritual of the Eleven-Faced Avalokiteśvara
3. The Maṇḍala Initiation Ceremony
4. The Formation of the All-Gathering Ceremony
PART II. The Evolution of Dhāraṇī Sūtras and the Introduction of Visualization Practice
5. Dhāraṇī Sūtras and Their Evolution in Esoteric Sūtras Translated by Bodhiruci
6. The Tradition of the Amoghapāśa Sūtras
PART III. Toward a New Synthesis: "Mature" Rituals of Visualization
7. Yixing's Commentary on the Mahāvairocana Sūtra: Creating the Great Maṇḍala
8. Amoghavajra's Ritual Manuals
Appendix: The Day-by-Day Instructions for the All-Gathering Maṇḍala Ceremony in the Collected Dhāraṇī Sūtras
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page (publisher's Web site, viewed 08. Jul 2019)
De Gruyter.
Contained In:
De Gruyter University Press Library.
Publisher Number:
10.7312/shin16614 doi
Access Restriction:
Restricted for use by site license.
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