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Spells, images, and maṇḍalas : tracing the evolution of esoteric Buddhist rituals

Author: Koichi Shinohara
Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, [2014]
Series: Sheng Yen series in Chinese Buddhist studies.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
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  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
History
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Shinohara, Koichi, 1941-
Spells, images, and maṇḍalas.
(DLC) 2013030997
(OCoLC)863127584
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Koichi Shinohara
ISBN: 9780231537391 0231537395
OCLC Number: 900559469
Awards: Winner of Prix Stanislas Julien 2017
Description: 1 online resource (xxi, 324 pages) : illustrations.
Contents: Frontmatter --
Contents --
List of Figures and Tables --
Acknowledgments --
Introduction --
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 --
Conclusion --
Appendix: The Day-by-Day Instructions for the All-Gathering Maṇḍala Ceremony in the Collected Dhāraṇī Sūtras --
Notes --
References --
Index
Series Title: Sheng Yen series in Chinese Buddhist studies.
Responsibility: Koichi Shinohara.
More information:

Abstract:

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.

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This book will transform the scholarly discourse concerning the relationship between dharani scriptures and esoteric Buddhism in the late Mahayana. In an area rife with confusing and competing Read more...

 
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