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After Amoghavajra: Esoteric Buddhism In The Late Tang

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Chapter Summary

The genealogical claims of the Yoga grounded in the STTS and taught by Vajrabodhi and Amoghavajra are distinct from typical Buddhist claims of a teaching propounded by Śākyamuni transcribed in texts and transmitted through generations of disciples. Japanese scholars have long argued that the teachings of the “three great ācāryas” were distinctive. Monks from South Asia continued to come to China, though the monk Prajna would be the last imperially sponsored translator of note before the resumption of the large-scale translation projects of the Northern Song. This chapter examines some key figures in Amoghavajra's lineage as a way of giving the reader a sense of these monks. It focuses on the record of foreign monks propagating esoteric teachings and practices in the ninth century. The chapter turns to the textual record for what it tells of the wider impact of esoteric Buddhism in the late Tang.

Keywords: Amoghavajra; Esoteric Buddhism; Japanese scholars; late Tang



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