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Taishō Volumes 18–21

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Chapter Summary

Among the many editions of the Chinese Buddhist canon, the most readily accessible and most widely used by scholars today is the Taishō shinshū daizōkyō (Taishō edition). The Taishō edition was compiled with the aim of providing a reliable and comprehensive edition of the Chinese Buddhist canon, but while the "Section of Esoteric Teachings," consisting of 573 works, is numerically speaking the largest of the thirty-one categories into which the Taishō edition is divided, its coverage is not exhaustive and there are a number of tantric texts found in earlier editions of the Chinese Buddhist canon that have been omitted. The 573 texts contained in vols. 18-21 have been organized into fourteen categories. Vols. 18-21 of the Taishō edition constitute the most comprehensive collection of tantric scriptures preserved in Chinese and provide the basis for any study of tantric or esoteric Buddhism in East Asia.

Keywords: Chinese Buddhist canon; East Asia; Taishō volumes 18-21

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