Tantric literature

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Project Data
  • Direction and research:
  • Cooperation: China Tibetology Research Center (Beijing)
  • Funding: ÖAW

Two Sanskrit commentaries on the Pañcakrama

The Pañcakrama, a Buddhist Tantric text traditionally ascribed to Nāgārjuna, exercised great influence both in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism. Reflecting its importance, quite a few commentaries were written on the Pañcakrama in India as well as in Tibet. To date, two Indian commentaries, Parahitarakṣita's and Muniśrībhadra's Ṭippaṇīs, have been published in their Sanskrit originals.

As has been recently discovered, the CTRC collection of copies of Sanskrit manuscripts from the TAR includes two further commentaries on the Pañcakrama:

  1. the Pañcakramapañjikā by Samayavajra and
  2. the Pañcakramatātparyapañjikā Kramakaumudī by Abhayākaragupta.

These two commentaries were until now available only in Tibetan translations. They are of considerable importance for the following reasons:

  • Samayavajra's commentary belongs to a relatively early period of the exegetical tradition of the Pañcakrama. This commentary will therefore help us to reconstruct the early textual transmission of the Pañcakrama as well as its exegetical tradition.
  • As in his other works, Abhayākaragupta, a well-known Indian Tantric scholar of the later period, demonstrates his encyclopedic knowledge of Buddhist Tantra in his commentary on the Pañcakrama. The commentary also contains cross-references to his other works, such as the Āmnāyamañjarī, thus providing valuable clues for understanding the textual corpus that is credited to him.

This project aims at editing these two commentaries on the Pañcakrama, both diplomatically and critically, on the basis of the above-mentioned CTRC copies of the Sanskrit manuscripts. The editions will be published within the STTAR series.

Critical edition of the Tattvasiddhi

The Tattvasiddhi is a Tantric apologetic text attributed to a certain Śāntarakṣita (early 9c.). The text will be critically edited on the basis of five Nepalese manuscripts as well as a codex of the CTRC-collection.

Adhyardhaśatikā Prajñāpāramitā

The manuscript (codex unicus) of the Adhyardhaśatikā Prajñāpāramitā in the CTRC collection includes 5 folios and is incomplete. The plan is to make a diplomatic and critical edition. Also, a critical edition of the Tibetan translation will be undertaken.

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