Using a commentary on the influential text, the
Manjusri-namasamgiti, `The Chanting of the Names of Manjusri', this
book deals with Buddhist tantric meditation practice and its
doctrinal context in early-medieval India. The commentary was
written by the 8th-9th century Indian tantric scholar Vilasavajra,
and the book contains a translation of the first five chapters. The
translation is extensively annotated, and accompanied by
introductions as well as a critical edition of the Sanskrit text
based on eight Sanskrit manuscripts and two blockprint editions of
the commentary's Tibetan translation. The commentary interprets its
root text within an elaborate framework of tantric visualisation
and meditation that is based on an expanded form of the Buddhist
Yoga Tantra mandala, the Vajradhatu-mandala. At its heart is the
figure of Manjusri, no longer the familiar bodhisattva of wisdom,
but now the embodiment of the awakened non-dual gnosis that
underlies all Buddhas as well their activity in the cosmos. The
book contributes to our understanding of the history of Indian
tantric Buddhism in a period of significant change and innovation.
With its extensively annotated translation and lengthy
introductions the book is designed to appeal not only to
professional scholars and research students but also to
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