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Tibetan Buddhism In Mongol-Yuan China (1206–1368)

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Chapter Summary

During the Mongol-Yuan period (1271-1368) Tibetan tantric Buddhism was widespread among the Mongols, and also among the Chinese. The protective deity Mahākāla was adopted as the country’s tutelary deity by the Mongols, along with various healing and protective cults. In recent years, the discovery of a large number of Tibetan tantric Buddhist texts in Chinese translation among the Khara Khoto texts, which are preserved in St. Petersburg, Russia, and which only recently have become widely available, have prompted more systematic surveys of the history of the dissemination of Tibetan tantric Buddhism in the Mongol-Yuan dynasty. The teaching and practice of Tibetan esoteric Buddhism disseminated in Yuan China were certainly not limited to the Mahākāla cult and the secret teaching of supreme bliss. Both Khara Khoto Chinese and Tangut texts of Tibetan Buddhism and other texts of the same type from the Mongol Yuan period are mostly tantric in nature.

Keywords: Mongol-Yuan China; Tibetan Buddhism



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