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By Henrik H. Sørensen, Richard K. Payne, Charles D. Orzech

Almost certainly, it used to be the shape of Buddhism categorized Esoteric Buddhism that had the best geographical unfold of any kind of Buddhism. It left its imprint not just on its local India, yet a ways past, on Southeast Asia, critical Asia, together with Tibet and Mongolia, in addition to the East Asian international locations China, Korea and Japan. not just has Esoteric Buddhism contributed considerably to the advance of Buddhism in lots of cultures, however it additionally facilitated the transmission of spiritual paintings and fabric tradition, technology and expertise. This quantity, the results of a world collaboration of 40 students, offers a entire source on Esoteric Buddhism and the Tantras of their chinese language, Korean, and eastern contexts from the 1st few centuries of the typical period correct as much as the current. individuals contain: Barbara Ambrose, Anna Andreeva, Sarah Aptilon, Ian Astley, Clemente Beghi, Heather Blair, William Bodiford, Chen Jinhua, Paul Copp, Ronald M. Davidson, Lucia Dolce, Athanasios Drakakis, Donald Drummond, Ruth Dunnell, Jay Ford, David Gardiner, Rolf Giebel, Robert M. Gimello, David grey, Elizabeth ten Grotenhuis, Nobumi Iyanaga, George Keyworth, Martin Lehnert, Hun Y. Lye, Shinya Mano, Richard M. McBride, Laura Meeks, Regan Murphy, Charles D. Orzech, Richard ok. Payne, Klaus Pinte, Fabio Rambelli, Thierry Robouam, James Robson, Brian Ruppert, Neil Schmid, Gaynor Sekimori, Shen Weirong, Henrik H. S rensen, Mark Unno, Pamela Winfield

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15 Cf. T. 263. 9:130ac. sixteen For using spells in early Daoism, see Strickmann 2002, 89–122. 17 T. 262. 9:58b–59b. 162 henrik h. sørensen the spells are rendered in chinese language phonetic Sanskrit, that may point out the starting to be familiarity of chinese language Buddhists with Indian-style spell literature. within the early 3rd century dhāraṇ īs and spells in Mahāyāna literature start to swap. This shift—at first imperceptible—is marked via a brand new kind of sūtra, the so-called dhāraṇ ī sūtra. Now dhāraṇ īs and spells now not play a secondary function within the scripture yet have displaced, if now not changed, the normal doctrinal discourse with one evolving round the dhāraṇ ī itself. during this new type of Mahāyāna sūtras, the relevant purport of a given scripture isn't any longer, or at the very least now not essentially, a doctrinal one, yet as an alternative makes a speciality of magic effected via ritual. for instance, Zhiqian translated a chain of sūtras through the interval ca. 222–250 C. E. , together with the Aṣtạ buddhaka sūtra, one of many earliest sūtras in chinese language with the time period “shenzhou 神咒,” i. e. , “divine spell,” in its name (T. 427). The spells featured in Zhiqian’s scripture aren't magic phrases however the names of 8 buddhas. The scripture itself now functioned as a device for empowerment18 and hence stands as a bridge among the belief of textual content as dhāraṇ ī/spell and using unique phrases of energy. one other early spell textual content translated by way of Zhiqian is the Agrapradīpadhāvidyārāja sūtra (T. 1351), which incorporates 3 brief spells opposed to malevolent spirits, males, wild animals, toxic bugs, and ailment in transcribed Sanskrit. not one of the spells during this scripture is termed yet they're often called “spell-sentences for containing (chi juzhou 持 句咒). ”19 eventually we have now the fast Puṣpakūṭa-dhāraṇ ī sūtra, additionally from Zhiqian’s hand (T. 1356), which positive factors one lengthy spell in chinese language transcription. It refers to stūpa worship in reference to using the spell, in addition to worship of a buddha photo together with an inventory of the choices for use. this is often most likely the earliest Buddhist scripture in chinese language with the mixed time period tuoluoni shenzhou 陀羅尼神咒 in its name. Later examples of the dhāraṇ ī type of Mahāyāna scriptures comprise the real yet little studied Qifo bapusa suoshuo da tuoluoni shenzhou jing 七佛八菩薩所說大陀羅尼神咒經 (Dhāraṇī Spirit-Spell Sūtra preached by way of the Seven Buddhas and 8 Bodhisattvas; T. 1332), the Anantamukha-sādhaka-dhāraṇ ī (T. 1012), the Fo shuo hu zhu tongzi 18 19 Cf.. e. g. , T. 427. 14:72c. T. 1351. 21:865a. . on esoteric buddhism in china 163 tuoluoni jing 佛說護諸童子陀羅尼經 (Buddha Speaks the Scripture at the Dhāraṇ ī that Protects all youngsters; T. 1028A), the early recensions of the Mahāmāyūrīvidyārājñī (T. 986–87), and the Mātaṇ gī sūtra (T. 1300–1301). while having a look extra heavily on the dhāraṇ ī sūtras translated or produced in China among ca. 300–500 C. E. , we can also detect precise adjustments inside this corpus of spell literature. during this interval, the context during which the dhāraṇ īs and spells functionality may be visible to have gone through new advancements.

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