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A Manjusrinamasangiti Manuscript
A Manjusrinamasangiti Manuscript

TIBET, 18TH CENTURY

Details
A Manjusrinamasangiti Manuscript
Tibet, 18th Century
On native composite paper stained black and varnished on the writing surface, inscribed in yellow ink with two miniatures of Tibetan Gelugpa monks; complete
3½ x 10 3/8 in. (9 x 26.5 cm.)

Lot Essay

The devotional text for communal recitation centers on the praises of the Bodhisattva Manjushri, the Buddhist patron saint of wisdom and learning. As such, Manjushri is one of a triad of popular Bodhisattva known as the 'Lords of the Three Families,' the others consisting of Avalokiteshvara, 'Lord of Compassion,' and Vajrapani, 'Lord of Valour.' The present manuscript is a Tibetan translation of a Sanskrit text from India. Though a fairly early (circa 7th century) tantric text of unknown origin, it has attracted the attentions of great scholars and yogins throughout the ages and has been commented upon from the standpoint of both Yogatantra and the Kalachakratantra. Its literary beauty and philosophical profundity have ensured its continued popularity and veneration by members of all schools of Buddhism in Tibet and Nepal. Said to have been taught by the Buddha Shakyamuni at the request of Vajrapani, after the Preamble (Chapters I-II) and a brief survey of the 'Six Families' (Chapter III), the text imparts the mandala of the 'Net of Illusion' (Chapter IV) and the 'Great Mandala of the Vajra-sphere' (Chapter V) as well as the mandala of the Five Wisdoms (Chapters VI-X). A chapter on the praises of the Five Buddhas (chapter XI) is followed by a display of mantra (Chapter XII) and the summation.
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