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D E [\1 Iv1 ,i\ r-i f\. F~ I N L /A 1\1 IJ. l\l 0 R WAY AND S W E IJ E [\1


sification of robably the as the cradle around the working on in the t one of the

The Five Mysteries of Vajrasattva: A Buddhist Tantric View of the Passions and Enlightenment

, contains a though this only is the in either a


are on


.sue to two rh the kind >11. Professor the study of 'ore Ahlback direr.

The present paper is an offshoot of research on the Sino-Japanese version of the Prajl1JparclIlIita in 150 Sloka - commonly called the Rishllkyo in Japanese. This is a little-known text which occupies an important position in the doctrines and practices of one of the main Japanese branches of Buddhist Tantrism, Shingon-shii.! The Risllllkyo is extant in ten versions: one Sanskrit/Khorcnese fragment with a corresponding Tibetan text (Peking 121), two Extended Versions in Tibetan (Peking 119/120), and six Chinese. The last of these (T.VIlI/244, Chinese Extended Version, before 1000 C.E.) corresponds partly to the Tibetan Extended Versions; the first (Hsiian-tsang's, T.VU"t220(lO), before 664) is quite lengthy and still mainly pre-Tantric in character, whilst the remaining four (T. VlII/240, 241, 242, 243) are approximately 150 floka in length and show varying degrees of Tantric influence. It is T.243, Amoghavajra's version, which is generally referred to as the Rishllkyo, being the only consistently formulated Tantric text among the Shorter Versions. It has also been an integral part of the Japanese Shingon tradition since its inception in the early ninth century.

In the Shingon Sect the final section of the main body of the Siitra has come to be called: • 'The Dharma-Gate of the Profound Mystery", and it is the strand of thought and ritual practice contained in this section and corresponding passages in related texts which is of interest to us here.


Lauri Hanko

The primary purpose of this offering is to draw attention to a phenomenon within the esoteric Buddhist tradition in Japan which does not seem to have been kept alive elsewhere, but which nevertheless raises interesting

; " .: '.-


questions concerning our understanding of the Tanrric tradition outside Japan. The present study attempts to give some background information and hines as ro possible directions for further work. It also presents one of the key texts which incorporates material on the Five Mysteries of Vajrasarrva,

In determining the ritual structure of the primary material, I have relied heavily on Hurta Yukio's Sbingon-f iten, taking the patterns evidenced by his index listings.! The significance of these patterns of man tra and dharan I is that since they generally have a specific reference - co a Buddha, Bodhisattva, lesser divinity and/or points of doctrine - by mapping the context and order in which they occur, one can build up a more or less accurate and co-ordinated picture of ritual patterns and their theoretical background. Having done this, one can start to piece together a picture of a tradition which constitutes a significant part of later developments in Buddhism in China and Japan, but which has so far received very little attention in the West.

In the section below describing the ritual in the CfJiJimilsllki (T.112 5), I have first given the individual mantra an ordinal number, starring from the first transcribed mantra in the text (page 536a4). These are of course the same numbers as in Hatra's index listings, and appear below in rounded brackets ( ). The SJT number given after each mantra refers to its number in the body of the dictionary, where the reader will generally find some explanation of the meanings and references of these cryptic utterances.

Concerning Sanskrit equivalents: whilst some can be stated with certainty to be accurate indications of the original, this is by no means always the case. I have marked with an asterisk those terms which are either doubtful, or simply tentative guesses for the benefit of those with a Sanskrit or Tibetan background. Some will doubtless feel that I should have been more liberal in my use of this device.'


IS a

exprc yoga" that possil attain Path intim insigl capac throu


The! follov

Vajrn Surat:

Kelik Kama Kime:


The Thun. Desir firsr-n remai explar


When a child first comes into the world, the first major step in its development is simply seeing a given object. A desire for the object gradually arises and with time the newly born child becomes capable of reaching out and touching it. Through continued touching the child develops a concrete relationship, a bond, to the object and with time - usually a matter of months - comes to an understanding of the object's characteristics and possible uses. Eventually he or she is able to use the object for the various purposes for which it was intended.

With a little imagination, we can see that this pattern - leading from simple perception through contact, involvement and finally mastery and freedom in applying whatever is being dealt with - can be perceived in a

[The enligh Bodhi Love a a tho therns corres [the [origin

The enligh formu



have relied enced by dharanf a Buddha,

wide variety of situations and processes. What we are concerned with here is a Tanrric reformulation of basic elements of Buddhist doctrine, expressed in a ritual form that in turn is an expression of the Tantric view of yoga and enlightenment. Briefly stated, the teaching of the Five Mysteries is that the yogin on his way to enlightenment must first perceive the possibility of the goal and develop the desire, the resolve necessary for its attainment. He should then, as it were, come into direct contact with the Path by performing the necessary practices, whereupon he develops an intimate involvement with the Path revealed by the Buddha. Having gained insight into the Truth (dharma) of the Buddha's teaching, he becomes capable of using this enlightenment for the benefit of sentient beings throughout the three realms."


The precise configuration of the pentad under examination here IS as follows:

Vajrasattva (Kongosatra) Surura/Isra-vcjrini (Yoku-kongonyo) Kclikila-vajrini (Soku-kongonyo) Kama/Raga-vajriQi (Ai-kongonyo)" Kamesvara/Mana-vajrini (Man-kongonyo)

The names of these deities may be translated respectively as: The Thunderbolt (or Adamantine) Being," and The Adamantine Consorts of Desire, Touching," Love and Pride respectively. It will be noticed that the first-named (and central) deity, Vajrasattva, is masculine, and that the remaining four are feminine. It might help here to look at some explanations typical of modern Japanese Shingon scholarship.

The Mikkyo-jitenH gives the following basic information about our topic:

step in its the object capable of

the child irh time - the object's ! to use the

[The Five Mysteries are] Vajrasattva - who has the pure mind of enlightenment as his essence - and his immediate entourage, the four Bodhisattva (Adamantine Desire, Adamantine Touching, Adamantine Love and Adamantine Pride) representing the four passions, and express in a thoroughly esoteric fashion the profound mystery of the passions themselves being enligbtenment.? The four Adamantine Bodhisattva correspond to sentient beings and are the various taints of the passions, and [the Five Mysteries] indicate directly the fact that essentially they are originally endowed with the mind of enlightenment [MJT:222a]

eading from mastery and .rceived in a

The idea is, then, the commonly found Mahayana notion that enlightenment is to be found innate in all sentient beings, with the Tantric formulation of the idea that the yogin arrests the samsaric influence of the



passions by transmuting the raw energy inherent in them for the purpose of enlightenment.

A further permutation of this idea is that there is no duality between the beginning stage in the enlightenment process and final attainment. The former is commonly called the cause of enlightenment, the raising of the bodbicitta, which Vajrasatrva primarily stands for. The latter is the effect produced by the yogic exercises which constitute the Path. Since the pentad consists on the one hand of that which is pure and enlightened and on the other of the most basic passions, another principle found in our Japanese sources is that of sentient beings and the Buddha being of one essence. These two aspects come out in the various b;ja assigned to the Five Mysteries as a-whole. It will be sufficient to take two of these as illustrative: stl'aT,! and hhl/".1, or double hl/".1.

Sfl''''~1 is analysed!" as sf + uam , the former being regarded as an abbreviation of sattua, "being", by implication also the Adamantine Being at the centre of the Five Mysteries - i.e. Vajrasattva, The latter is the blja of Mahavairocana in the Vajradhiiru Mandala, II and is thus the aspect of enlightenment. Joining these two together results in an expression of the principles indicated in the previous paragraph, which are formulated as: inka-/II'ni/shoblltsll-ittai, "The motivation and the fruit are not dual/beings and the Buddha are of one essence'U? The double hl/,,!, generally transcribed as hh,i,,!, expresses precisely the same ideas. 13 When written in the siddbam script, the blja appears as two graphs of the letter h, one above the other. MDJT assigns the top element to Mahavairocana, thar beneath to Vajrasattva, and gives the meaning as the same as the previous bija. 14

A further important aspect of the Five Mysteries strand of thought is the mane/ala representations we have of the deities concerned. There are two main types, which differ according to the relative positions of the deities. 15 The most striking aspect of these mandala, however, is the common characteristic, namely the fact that all five deities reside not in their own separate parts of the mandala, but are all grouped together on the same lotus dais and within the same lunar disc. In line with common Mahayana Buddhist symbolism, the lotus dais indicates compassion and the lunar disc wisdom, but the specific significance of this configuration is not only that both aspects have been achieved, but that they have been integrated into one unit, which in turn represents the Tantric ideal of man perfected. 16

To give a reasonable account of where and how this idea of the Five Mysteries arose is a large undertaking, not least because a detailed examination of material in the Tibetan Kanjur would be required. To my knowledge, however."? it is only in Japan that there remains any living aquaintance with the concept of the Five Mysteries and the attendant ritual cycles, so limiting our enquiry to the Sino-Japanese tradition will not be wholly irrelevant. An indication of the textual basis for the present study is now in order.



e purpose of


between the

We may summarize the most important primary materials which apply to a study of the Five Mysteries from the Sino-Japanese sources as follows:

I) The following items in the R.iJ/Jllkyr} literature are particularly relevant:

T.243, chs. 1 and 17 (784bl-29 and 786a5-b4); T.244 (the so-called Extended Version), part I (787a20-b22), part X:IV (799b3-cl7), part XXI 812a20-bt'l). I x

2) Amoghavajra's commentary (T.I003) on his own translation of the Rishllkyii (T.243) is also of some value in furnishing us with clues to the Surra's historical and theoretical background.

3) The so-called Six Vajrasarrva Rituals (Rokllshll-KongiiJatta-Giki) found in T.XX: T.ll19, 1120A + B, T.l121 (translator unknown), T.1122, T.1123, T.1124, T.1125Y'

common their own the same Mahayana lunar disc only that

Some remarks on the last heading are in order, since it is under this that the text of our present concern belongs. The Japanese scholar Fukuda Ryosei has divided these Vajrasattva rituals into three groups: those with a direct relationship to a ritual tradition known as the SrljJaralllJdya (i.e. the latter halfofT.244: T.ll19, T.1120, T.IIZ3), those where the main theme of the Rishllkyii is evidenced in the structure (T.1124, T.llZ5), and those which may be placed somewhere between these two (T. 1121, T.IIZZ). To Fukuda's opinions I would add my own suspicion - based primarily on a comparison of the mantra and mlldra sequences in the respective texts - that T.IIZI is very close to his first group, and that T.IIZ2 is rather much the odd man out in this sextet. T.l124 and T.l1Z5 have the same basic background as the Rishllkyo, but it should be remarked - along with Fukuda - that the material apart from the central motifs differs rarher.i''


~ a detailed .ired. To my IS any living endanc ritual 1 will not be .sent study is


The text of the ritual begins with reference to the 100,000 verses and eighteen assemblies of the Kongochokyo,21 and proceeds to passages in praise of the virtues of the teaching. "If one does not enter the Five Families/Five Mysteries Mal!t/ala (go'b,t-gohimitSll-mandara), one will not



receive the threefold esoteric em powcrrncnr (kaji, (/(/lJij:~b"na)" (53 5b I Uf), There is then material concerning the nature of the three realms and the way which leads out of them; discussion of the various Paths within Buddhism itself and the significance of the Bodhisattva's task; the long path to cnlighrcnrncnt: the superiority of gaining entry to the J{III",tlbi of all-pervading good ness tSamantubbudra), entry into the body of Vajrasarrva, receipt of supernatural powers through his empowerment, and the aspects of esoteric practice and realization which are revealed co the .Yllgin in this state. prom 535cHff there are references inter. a]. to the mind of joy (kungi-shill) and abiding in the ,i/"ya-l'ijitana; the various bij,' of the Vajradhiiru: receipt of abhi~ek'i and the Thunderbolt name (kill/go-go); attainment of the extensive, profound, wonderful teaching (kiidaik'IIlJhill-jilJ-/Jigi-/Jfi) which transcends the two vehicles and the ten stages, and is "This Great Dharma-Gate of the Yoga of the Five Mysteries of Vaj rasarrva (da i-K(}".~iiJ,'II,,-gohi III i IJII-Yllp.a-/;(illlon) ''.

I n summary, the t()llowing themes, common to much of the esoteric tradition in China and Japan, are repeated in this opening section of Tl125: the task of the Bodhisattva in the esoteric vehicle as being co transcend the mundane and the suprumundane spheres and urrain co the inexpressible dharma which lies beyond; the superiority of such a Bodhisarrva to those of the Two Vehicles (ni-ju). ~~ Having attained his own enlightenment, the Bodhisattva works unceasingly throughout the cosmos, bringing benefits - material, supernatural and spiritual - to sentient beings.~) Then the necessity of the constant expression of one's insight in one's everyday life; the identity of nirt'(jn_a and s,w/s,ir,l, and the absence of taints or attachments in one who has realised this state. 24


This section begins with observations on the type of place one should select for the performance of the ritual. The yogin then worships the Tarhagaras of the four directions and the text gives information on the effects of this worship on the body: it rids the body of the impurities in its three: functions and one comes to receive the ceremonial precepts of unhindered ness in the three worlds.P

The practitioner next contemplates the myriad assembly of all the Buddhas and Bodhisacrvas in emptiness, and with the right knee touching the earth forms the Seal of Arousing the Thunderbolt and intones that man Ira . 26 One should also perform the appropriate meditation with the mind. After a reminder of the primacy of the Original Vow, the yogin repents before the Holy Assembly and gives forth the Fivefold Great Vow tgosbu-daigan), He then adopts the posture of Vajrasarrva (right leg folded on top of the left) and forms the ",,,dra of concentration (jii, ·dhytll/a) and



recites the mantra of unsurpassed, right, complete enlightenment (lJI/(jiishotii-boda i-sbin 'sbingon , • aI/II t tara-samyale-sambodbii, which runs:

hs within he long path Jallh,dhi of body of

section of

Through this mantra - which may be translated as: "O/~l! I awaken the mind which is in union with everything" - all the Tarhagaras enable the yogi» to overcome all demons and co rank equal with [he Buddhas and the Bodhisarrvas. He also realizes Vajrasattva's great heart of courage and the fact [hat all sentient beings are endowed with the essence of the repository of all the Tathiigatas (llyo/'ai-zii-Jbii, 536a9). "Because Sarnanrabhadra-Bodhisattva pervades all sentient beings, I cause all till: masses of beings to awaken and attain the state of Vajrasattva" (536a90.

Beginning with the phrase, "Theyogil/ performs this meditation ... ," the next portion of the text (536a8-2,1) has five distinct parts: the first refers to Vajrasattva, the second to Akasagarbha, the third to Avalokircsvara, the fourth to Visvakarrnan and the fifth to the fact that sentient beings are all endowed with the bodies of these four great Bodhisattvas, The specific natures or essences (JiJ,), • bhJ I'a) with which they are each associated are as follows:

ten stages, ysrerics of


all sentient beings endowed with the T athiigata-repository-nature

all sentient beings' Thunderbolt/ Adamantine repository-nature

all sentient beings'

wonde rfu I-d harma-rcpository -nature

all sentient beings' karma-repository-nature all sentient beings being th us endowed with the four kinds of repository-nature

's insight in absence of




Body of the Four Great Bodhisartvas:

.hould select r arhagaras of lfects of this .ee functions edness in the

The practitioner then vows that all sentient beings shall quickly attain the pure body of Mahavairocana, and intones the mantra:

(2) o".z sarua-tat ha gata-sams i taR sarua-sattuii na".z sarua-s iddhayaq sam padyantam tathagatJf-cadhit/~{hanam (S]T: 1672)

v of all the lee touching intones that .on with the w, the yogin I Great Vow at leg folded dlJya TId) and

This is a vow to complete all the mundane and supra-mundane siddbi, and is used in conjunction with vajraizjali-llZlldra (536a29). The mantra which follows confirms this.

We now come to a series (536a29-b22) which is common to all the SIX Vajrasattva rituals. 27

(3)O".lllajraizjali (S]T:1430)



This mantra and the 1ll1/(/r,i which accompanies it are commonly found as an introductory action prior to a given ritual (or section of a ritual) proper. Being an ancient traditional gesture throughout the Buddhist world, it covers a wide variety of deities and functions. The designation I'ajriilij,t/i as opposed co simply alija/i is most commonly fou nd in texts in the KOIIgiic/;likyo lineage, which see one of the meanings of I'ajriiiija/i as being the starting point in the process of ascending through the various Bodhisattva stages. The lll/ldra simply has the fingers of the two hands stretched bur inrerlocking.?" which symbolizes the perfect intertwining of rhe principles of wisdom and skilful mcans.?"

(4)o/~/l'ajra-band/;a (SJT:1146)

In the first instance this mantra and its accompanying llI11dra indicate the lunar disc of the mindrhearr.?" which shows the inner locus whence the particular Buddhas and Bodhisarrvas emanate. In the various ritual procedures of the Klmgoe/Jlikyii texts, (his ""l11lr<l/III1{(/r,/ commonly follows directly on the preceding one . .I1 The significance of ba"dha in this context is twofold: first it relates to the bond between the Buddhas and Bodhisarrvas on the one hand and sentient beings on the orherr'? second it refers co the Tanrric idea of the transformation of the passions into enlightenment: the energy inherent in the passions has to be arrested and bound fast, lest it simply continue the round of s"'~IS<'ra. Hence the correct practice of this mantra lm adn unit leads to the fulfilment of the ten perfections, and the (WO aspects of the "/Ildra - outer and inner - refer respectively to the Buddha and to sentient beings. JJ The explanatory comment in the text should thus be seen in this light: "Through forming this mlldra one in fact brings about the Thunderbolt Wisdom which liberates" (5 36b8). 34

The next mantra in the series brings in a further element:

(5)011.1 uajra-bandba trat (SJT:1147)

Harra (SJT: /0(. cit.) identifies this mantra as belonging to the function of wrath ([lin 'nil ). This doubtless crops up here to ensure the safe passage of the practitioner through the various pitfalls and hindrances which shall confront him in the task ahead. The term fnn'n«, here translated as "wrath", is used in Sino-Japanese esotericisrn to indicate the overcoming of hindrances to the practice of the Way, generally depicted in the form of demons and ocher evil or unpleasant manifestations. Amoghavajra's text gives the effect of this seal as the conquering of the ten passions.:" which in turn ca1Js forth all the other seals. These seals come to reside in the yogin's body and mind and he then perfects the various attainments which are parr



y found as an 1) proper. isr world, it r"jr,-Ilij"li as texts in the

and parcel of his Path. There are four seals referred to under the term ISS,I/-III :

1) The Great Wisdom Seal (d"i-chi'ill)

2) The Pledge Wisdom Seal tsanmaya-cbi'in)

3) The Dharma Wisdom Seal (ho-ciJi'in)

4) The Karma Wisdom Seal (kats"lII,,-ciJi'in) (536b13f)

tcrrwining of

It will be seen that these seals correspond to the four types of flIdfl4al" which the Japanese founder of Shingon, Kukai, enumerated, and are thus one of the many points of continuity between the Chinese and Japanese branches of the tradition.t"

The theme of the next mantralmndra combination is that of entering:

indicate the whence the . us ritual y follows

(6) Oil! vajral"e~a ab (SJT:1466)37

r - refer explanatory forming which

Like the bell, whose sound penetrates everywhere, the wisdom of the Tathdgata'" is brought into the yogin's own body and illuminates his store-consciousness - the deepest level of his consciousness, which therefore affects his whole being. The b7}a all indicates Trailokyavijaya (Gozanze). According to the text, this mantra causes the four seals to manifest: further, it has tremendous power and can bring about perfection quickly (536b17f).

The final combination in this sub-section is begun by the Seal of the Pledge of the Thunderbolt Fist (kongo-ken-sanmaya-in, uarja-musti-samayamlldra), followed by she corresponding mantra:

(7) om uajra-mnst] bal1_t (SJT: 1186)39

The four seals of the previous stage are now bound fast in the yogin's body and mind and cannot be lost (536b22).

Up to now this section has dealt with a group of mantra common to most of these Vajrasattva rituals. Though the following combinations are not to be found in the other texts, they do form an integral part ofT.ll25.

e function of fe passage of i which shall translated as vercorning of

the form of iavajra's text lS,.l5 which in in the yogin's !hich are parr

(8) samayastuam (SJT:1601)

This mantra is intoned together with the samaya mlldra (both hands in the uajra-bandba position, middle fingers intertwined, hands then held in front of the chest: 536b22f), and the practitioner is instructed to visualize Vajrasatrva in a lunar disc of light (536b24-26). The repeated performance of this seal and mantra has the effect of perfecting all the Seals in all the Families (or Divisions, bll, kula). Hatta describes this mantra as one which incorporates the realm of Vajrasattva, The meaning of samaya in this



context is that of equality (hyoe/o, samatd ), namely that the pracnnoner becomes one with the reality of the Thunderbolt."? The presence of the term /l'a'~l ("thou [art]") indicates that this ideal has at this stage in the ritual assumed a human expression.

The following passage brings in the experience of bliss:

(9) samaya hoI{ suratas tlJ(I1~ (S]T: 1605)

Surata is an ambiguous term, in that it not only refers to the mundane, deluded bliss of the ignorant,"! bur also - in its Tanrric usage - intends the absolute bliss of enllghrenrnent.:" \YJe find in fact the themes we are dealing with here in Arnoghavajra's commentary on the Ris/J/lkyo, where he explains the term SIIYata as it appears in the first chapter of the Surra:

Vajrasartva, moreover, is surata, Because the boundless, great compassionate Pledge to the inexhaustible realms of sentient beings - which are everywhere conditioned - attains the benefits of peaceful bliss, and the assembly of the heart takes no rest and is without duality in the equality of self and other, it is simply called, 'surata '. (T.XIX/ 1003:608b29-c2)

The blja hoq refers to kangi, "delight or joy", reminiscent as it is of the laugh which comes forth upon the experience of Great Bliss tdairahu, mahasllkha). The result of this combination is that the essence of the Thunderbolt (1Jajrasattva) comes to permeate the yogin's body and mind and that one's desires and hopes are all attained (536c5f).

The practitioner now forms a Thunderbolt Fist (kongo-ken, oajramusti; with each hand and adopts the characteristic posture of Vajrasartva: left fist on the thigh, right fist grasping the Thunderbolt, which is held before the chesr.f ' He then declares himself to be Vajrasattva:

(l0) uajrasatoo 'bam (S]T: 13 53)

Having intoned this, he should contemplate his own body as having become Vajrasattva, abiding in a large lunar disc and seated upon a lotus blossom, with the gemmed diadem of the Five Buddhas upon his head. He has a smiling countenance and a body the colour of the moon. Light permeates inside and out, giving rise to great compassion, liberating innumerable worlds of sentient beings and causing the attainment of the body of Vajrasattva, Each of the yogin's three mysteries= is now as space (kokii, akafa; 536cl1-14).

The text now goes on to explain that if one has perfected this Seal one will be able to perform one's worship of the Buddhas and Bodhisatrvas and see the Tarhagaeas and Vajrasartva, even if one transgresses the reaching'" or commits other grave offences (5 36cl5-18). The yogin now visualises the



c practitioner cnce of the stage in the

four Seals surrounding Vajrasartva (that is, in their manifest forms as female deities), holding their respective emblems and wearing the diadem of the Five Budd has (5 36cl9ff). Totally absorbed in the vision, he should now recite the mantra:

(11) uajrasat ra all (SJT: 1320)

the mundane, - intends the

by means of which Vajrasarrva should penetrate' cvcrywhcrc.!"

(12) uajrasat ua driya (SJT:1329)

ndless, great . t beings - of peaceful out duality 'surata',

occurs as a unit with the foregoing mantra in various Vajradhiiru rituals. Whilst the former is a contemplation of one's own body as that of Vajrasartva, the manifested wisdom body (gen-cbi-sbin i, the latter is a resolution to open the eye of the heart tsbin-gen) and embrace the true essence (shin-zlli) of Vajrasartva."? Its effect is to cause a vision of Vajrasattva whilst one is in sallIddlJi (537 a4). Then, with instructions to intone the mantra clearly and distinctly, the yogin is given the four most pervasive and typical b;ja in the Five Mysteries cycle:

(13) ja~-hiil~l-l!al~l-bo~ (SJT:234)

These arc of course the bJja of the sah grab« deiricsr'" their function is a preliminary - even peripheral - one in the Vajradharu rituals proper, but in the Five Mysteries cycles they assume a special significance on account of the particular emphasis which the latter give to the idea of arresting the pcrpetuative trend of the passions and transforming it into a trend cowards enlightenment. The text describes the basic characteristics of the individual syllables as summoning-entering-binding-joy:49 more precisely it is the wisdom-body of Vajrasatrva which causes these four functions, which in turn bring about the fusion between the deity and the yogin (537 a 7 f). The yogin then forms the Seal of Exquisite Bliss (slIrata-llludra, so rata-ill ) and recites another fundamental llllldra in the Five Mysteries cycles:

(14) suratast uam (S]T: 1776)50

this Seal one . sattvas and the teaching45 visualises the

The function of this mantra is to call forth the four pa ram ita , to cause them to reside in their original posirions." I These deities both protect and uphold the teaching (537aI2f).

We have now come to a point where the general parallels to the other texts in the sextet finish for a while. The correspondences do in fact begin again later, thus presenting us with two distinct phases in the ritual procedure in these texts - one might term them the general (which establishes the traditional affiliation, i.e. with the Kongiichiikyii-lineage) and

~ Tl~lIll'III'\









i 1




the particular (which gives the specific Five Mysteries teachings). It is around these two sub-cycles that rhe various versions differ most, and it is here that T.I12 5 has most of its independent material. This material ends with the repetition of the mantra, snrarastra m (S_JT: 177(,), before the second of the two major groups which form the basis of these six texts. Before we proceed with T.1125, we might do well co summarize the occurrences of the first of these groups in the various versions:

T.III9, 1120A/B, 1123:


Group 1430-1146-1466-1186+ 1776

Has only part of the first group, but there is no intervening material before the second sub-ritual

Displays rather different patterns

Group 1430-1146-1466-1186 + unique intervening group + 1776

Group 1430-1146-1466-1186 + unique intervening group + 1776




There now follows ritual adornment with the Seal of the Diadem of the Five Buddhas (j!,oblltJII-hokan-in; 537a14-22)/2 through which one arrains the stage of consecration of the Thunderbolt Essence (/'"jra.\"a/l/"(/) of all the Tathiigatas (issai-nyorai-kongosatta-kanjo-i, "sarua-tatbagatatiajrasatttiibb iselea-pada, 537a21). This theme of ritual consecration of oneself is continued in the next action, which is the consecration of the Wig:l'ajra-malCibhisillca man.1 (SJT: 1179). This short section is then rounded off with the Seal of Joy (kangi-in, 537 a26), before the first mantra specific to the Five Mysteries in their entirety OCCUfS.


(18) 01~1 mahestrleba-uajrasatra jall-hii11J-t'a11.1-bo1 suratastuam (SJT: 785 )53

There then follow four laudatory verses pertaining to the four esoteric karma-mlldr;; tsbi-bimitsu-eatsnma-in ; 53 7b3-9), after which there begin the mantra and mlldr;; specific to the four deities surrounding Vajrasattva (537bl0-23):

I) Yokllkongo-in [Isra-vujrini-mudrii], to be visualized with bow in the left and arrow in the right hand. Mlle/ni: both hands in uajramnst]; mantra: (20)54

2) Keirieeira-in [Kelikila-rnudra], the hands are as in the previous stage, but crossed together and placed in front of the chest. Melfltra: (21) satram rajrasat ra-parama-snrata (SJT: 1582).55



hings), It is most, and it is material ends ), before the

.3) Aikollgo-ill [Riiga-vajrinj-mudrii], same basic clasp, but the left supports the right elbow, such that the right arm points upwards cowards the shoulder in imitation of the banner or staff which this Bodhisattva typically holds, Al.llllr,/: s« rI',1 lilt! II/(Ih,i slIkb'l-dl:'l~iya ja . 56

4) KOlIgiilllall-ill r Miina-vajrini-rnudrii J, the two l'ajralllll,(~i now rest on their rcspccrive thi.~hs, and one inclines one's head to the Ieft,S7

': mantra:

N ext (').) 7 b2·j - ') .Hi;l 5) follow the Pledge Seals (S'IIII1IdY,I-ill, s,lIIldya-lIJlldrJ) of the Five Mysteries. The first is that of Vajrasartva, accompanied by the urantra , (24) snrat ast rum , by means of which one's supernatural powers, length of life, majestic power and bodily marks!" come to be the same as those of Vajrasattva (5.3 7b28f). Then follow the mantra lmudri: combinations of the four consorts in order. The first dbJra'!1 in this group of four (nos. (2')H2~» is said to be capable of removing passions which persist on account of subtle ignorance (lIJisai-IIIIIIIIYO, 5.37(5), and relates to Adamantine Desire. The dhara,!1 relating to Kelikila is capable of liberating and preserving all realms of suffering sentient beings and fully attaining the Jdllhidbi of great peaceful bliss (557c9t). The dh,ira,!1 and Seal of Ragavajrin1 relate co liberation by Great Compassion (daihi-gedafslI), in which one regards all sentient beings as one child, and arouses the heart/mind of peaceful bliss which liberates them ibassai-a nrai:« 110 sbiu , 5.3 7 c15). The final element, that of Pride (Kongo-rnan, Miinu-vajrini), enables the practitioner to attain the paralllila of great vigour (dai-shojill-haramilslI, """,ha-l'lrya-paramita) and is further related to worship (5 .38a40,

The main purpose 'of the ritual now having been accomplished, the practitioner chants a supplicatory dhara'!1 of 100 characters (S]T: 1.358), This ends with the blj" all, which has meanings and associations that integrate the various aspects of the process we are examining here."? The text at this point has what is obviously a misprint (5 38a6), the characters 211 (chant, intone) and ill (Seal) being inverted. The line should thus translate:

"Next, residing in Vajrasattva's Pledge Seal (Kollgosatt,,-sanlllaya-ill), one chants the Hundred-Character Dhara,!; of Mahayana Enlightenment (d"ijo-gI!IlJho-hyakllji-siJillgO!l) .. ." The diJarar!i brings about entry into the samadbi of Vajrasatrva.

"Thus having entered the Jamjdhi of Vajrasattva, one then forms the Seal of Great Wisdom (daichi-ill) and intones the dbarat!, of the Adamantine Essence (kongosarta/vajrasattva) of Mahayana enlightenment (d"ljo-gl!lIJbo), saying: 'rajra-sutra'" (538a17-19). Residing in the Seal of Great Wisdom, one is now enjoined to continue recitation and contemplation without limit tmu gen-nen]«, 538a20). The practice of this combined sall/ddbi and recitation ensures the attainment of innumerable J"/Illadhi in this present life, as well as attainment of the body of the main object of worship tbonzon 110 shill). One is also rewarded with the

+ unique

+ unl(1ue

e (rajrasatt o«) rru-t at b" ga lasccrarion of ration of the is then the first mantra



manifestation of all the Tathagatas, the five abhljlia (supernatural powers) and the ability to course at will through all realms in the ten directions, bringing innumerable benefits to sentient beings. The final lines which pertain co the ritual proper run:

The YOKin - walking, standing, sitting or lying - is always with the four consorts, who moreover surround him, residing on a great lotus blossom within a common lunar disc. He who is the Adamantine Essence is the Bodhisattva of All-pervading Goodness (Samanrabbadra-Bodhisarrva), that is the first son of all the Tarhagaras, all the Tarhagatas' mind of enlightenment tbodbiritta), the prime master (sosiJi)hO of all the Tathiigatas, It is for this reason that Vajrasatrva is revered and loved by all the Tarhagatas. As the Surra explains:

Vajra-sattva-samadhi: the name brings about the Ritual of the Buddhas.

This ritual is able to bring about the Buddha's Path: if one is apart from this, then there neither is nor is not the Buddha. (528a24-b 1)

We are now at the end of the material pertaining to the ritual proper.

The remainder of the text (5 38b2- 5 39a 19) gives information on the deities found in the Five Mysteries. The text may be divided as follows:

Fonr Paramita [?J (538b2-10)

Yoku: prajiiaparamita

Soku: akafagarbha-samadhi (Irnaha-jdhyiina-pp ')

Ai: Tiira-Bodhisartva, great compassion (jmahii-lkarune-ppi') Man: mahal'irya-prajiiaparamita

Yogacara Analysis (5 38b 1 0-19)

Yoku: alaya-l'ijiJana (with his bow and arrow he aims at all the defiled seeds in the alaya-llljiiana); dai-eneyo-cbi (adarfajiJima.)

Soku: manas (the pure seventh consciousness falsely grasping the eight consciousness, the origin of deluded views concerning the self; byodoshii-chi (samata-jiiana. )

Vajrasarrva: residing in the Great Wisdom Seal, which encompasses the major deities of the Vajradharu; the perfection of their wisdoms leads to the perfection of the Self and Other Enjoyment Bodies (jijllyii-/tajllyii-katokll-shin; cf N:553b, 895d, 525a; probably the formulation of the buddha body formula found in the JOYliishiki-ron by Hsuan-tsang (see N: 10(, cit.).

Ai: mano-uijhena; myokarlZat-chi (pralyallek~ana-jiz{Jna).

Man: the first five consciousnesses (i.e. the senses); jOJhosa-chi (kr:tyanl/~{ha na-jriana).



The Bodhisarrvas here appear in their mode of transforming (purifying) the various defiled strata of consciousness.

The VariollS Eyes (538b19-29)

s with the four lotus blossom Essence is the hisartva), that , mind of

Tathagatas. by all the

Yoku: Eye of Wisdom (e-got), discriminating things according to their nature, but seeing them nevertheless as neither existing nor not existing.

Soku: through the wisdom which is without taints, knows that things are neither identical nor different.

Vajrasattva: the Dharlllakaya itself, neither arising nor passing, and as boundless as space.

Ai: the Celestial Eye of Great Compassion (daibi-tengell)

Man: the Pure Fleshly Eye, Devoid of Hindrances (shojo-muge-nikllgerz)


This body as a whole (i.e. all these virtues combined) is Vajrasattva (538b29).

Four Paramita (538b29-c2)


Yoku: Kongo-hararnitsu (vajra) Soku: Ho-hararnitsu (ratna)

Ai: Ho-haramitsu (dharma)

Man: Karsuma-hararnirsu (karma)

Tbe Four Tatbagatas (538c2-16)

all the defiled

Vajrasattva himself takes on the aspect of each of the four Tarhagatas in turn, and as he goes through each of these manifestations, the consorts take on corresponding forms of the Bodhisartvas in the Vajradhatu:"!

asping the eight self; byodosbo-chi

encompasses the visdorns leads to pyrnenr Bodies , probably the royuishiki-ron by

Y oku: Kongo-sarra (sattlla) Soku: Kongo-o (king)

Ai: Kongo-ai (love)

Man: Kongo-zensho (-sadhll, good victory)


rses); joshosa-chi

Y oku: Kongo-ho (gem) Soku: Kongo-nichi (sun) Ai: Kongo-do (banner)

Man: Kongo-sho (smile/laugh)



Yoku: Kongo-ho t-dbarma) Soku: Kongo-ri (sword)

Ai: Kongo-in (cause).

Man: Kongo-go (language)


Yoku: Kongo-go (action) Soku: Kongo-go (protection) Ai: Kongo-yakusha (-yak.({t) Man: Kongo-ken (clasp/fist)

The Gathering isah graba) Deities (53Rc16-23)

538d6-I7: Note to the effect that the Inner Worshipping Deities arc in fact the following group (kenzokll) of four, as are the Outer Worshipping Deities (i.e. the group performs both functions). In this mode, the Bodhisarrvas have the following correspondences:

Yoku: Hook, setting sentient beings on the Path of the Buddha.

Soku: Rope (by implication, since the text mentions only the Seal of the Embrace - as a rope is tied around someone).

Ai: Chain.

Man: Bell, which awakens sentient beings to enlightenment.

The Families (53Hc23-27l

There follow brief remarks on mandala pertaining to the various families (kllia Ibll): "The Samanrabhadra Mandala is not separate from the Five Bodies. ~2 The Trailokyavijaya Manndla is in fact the same as the Vairadhatu.v ' The Lotus Family Mandala of All-Pervading Subjugation accords with the sequence here. The Gem Family and the Accomplishment of all Purposes'" moreover are the same as this explanation. The Five Mysteries of Vajrasarrva are themselves the Tarhagara Family, and this in fact embraces the Vajra Family, the Lotus Family and the Gem Family.

Miscellaneolls Teachings (538c27-539a19).

The five Bodhisarrvas together on the same lotus dais has the meaning of Liberation through Great Compassion (daihi-geda/JII), whilst the lunar disc indicates Great Wisdom (daicbi). Because of the latter, the Bodhisattva remains untainted whilst in birth and death, because of the former he refrains from entry into nirnan«,

Three kinds of sattua are distinguished in the Surras: deluded beings



(}!,1I-S(ltta), wisdom beings (chi-satta) and Adamantine (or Thunderbolt) beings (l'ajrdJattl'a). The difference lies in practice.

539alt-19 consists of material found rerbatim in the Hundred Character Verse of the RisiJllkyo, along with short explanations of selected lines.


The complexity of the textual sources for the Five Mysteries is balanced by the relative simplicity of the concept itself. This very simplicity is in turn the reason for its inclusion in the context of Tantric teachings, in that it implies the direct attitude to the struggle with man's passionate nature which is the hallmark of the Tanrric's religious endeavour.

In the foregoing, I hope that I have given the reader some idea of the way in which the topic is dealt with in sources that are still the subject of concern in the modern Shingon Sect in Japan. I should also be very happy if the reader has seen the manner in which the ancient authors of these ritual documents attempted to formulate their religious and philosophical perceptions of the world, for it is all too easy to dismiss these cryptic Scriptures as just so much mumbo-jumbo. There also remains a great deal of work of a purely text-critical nature, which may contribute significantly to our knowledge of the esoteric Buddhist tradition in East - and possibly also in Central and South - Asia. The above account will hopefully go some way to providing the stimulus for such research.

Deities are in Worshipping this mode, the

various families from the Five

I The ocher major upholders of this parr of the Buddhist tradition in Japan - whence the major pare of the present material is drawn - arc the Tendai-sbu and the folk movement Shugendo. The Shingon-shu (siJli means sect or school) is, however, the only one which sees itself as being exclusively esoteric.

2 Hatra Yukio: Sbingon-fiten, Tokyo:

Hirakawa Shuppansha, 1985, hereafter abbreviated as: SJT, followed by the number which Harra has given the mantra and diJdral!1 in his sources. I have reviewed this dictionary in Ternenos 23 (1987), Pl'. 131- 134. I hope to publish a comparative

and this in Gem Family.

the meaning of the lunar disc the Bod hisattva the former he

deluded beings


study of all the major texts which display Five Mysteries influence, but this will have co await another day.

J Any reader requiring a key 10 the Sino-Japanese characters quoted below is invited co write co me, I nsrirur for Religionshistorie, Aarhus Universitct, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.

4 Sangai, triloka, which together

constitute all that in the Buddhist view is unenlightened.

s Root smr, ? smura ; recollecting; sexual

love (cf Monier Williams' Sanskrit

Dictionary (MW), p. 1272a).

6 Sattr« may also be translated as



essence", Due 10 the centrality of the Ilgure and rhe concepr of Vujrusurrva, I shall g<:nerally retain rhe original Skr, form in my text. (The spelling "Vuirasurva" is also commonly found.)

7 Sometimes rrunslared as "Conrucr".

The poim is (() dif"i"en:miarc' bcrwecn r1;l' simple faculry of (Ouch and the art uul a(f of couching: ir is rhe larrer which is relevant here, This is borne out nor only by the inu-rn.d evidence of the Five M ysreric-s texts, bur also by the Tibetan version of rhc flrsr chapter of the PI' in 1')0 Sioka, where the difference can be seen in the two terms rrg and rr,~'r''', which are used there ttl refer to the two aspt.'crs of rouch n:fi:rn:d (0 above.

x SAWA Ryuken: AfikkY'i-jilt'1l, Kyoto:

Ho zo kan, 1')75, (Hereafter: MJT:page no.) This small dicrionary (complete in one volume) is a useful supplcrncur (() the srundurd work in Japanese Tunrric stud ics, the six-volume encyclopedic dicrionary of Esoteric Buddhism: SAW A Ryiiken et al, leds,): ,\likk.wi-DdijilaJ, rev, and e nl. ed. (, vnls., Kyoto: Hi,z()kan, 1970; compact cd. ( I vol.), 19!13, (Hereafter MOJT/voLno,:pagc no.)

I' B01/1/fj~.l'fIkl'*"(J(I,,;. "'tht: passions

themselves are enlightenment", This principl« is of paramount importance in Tanrric Buddhism, namely the conscious rransforrnarion of one's basic, passionate nature inro the stuff of cnliuhrcnmcur. Tunrric apologists have long fdr it necessary to emphasise this aspect of Tanrric thought and practice as a unique and radical dcveloprncnr in the Buddhist tradition, but it is in faer largely a mere reformulanon of basic Buddhist concepts and more radical in its overt expression than in irs handling of the tradition, See my article on mdhaJllkhd - a key Tanrric concept, that of "Great Bliss" - in the forthcoming tascicule of the l-/ijbiixiriTl (fasc, VII, 19H9), s.v, "Duiraku/Tairuku".

'" MOJT/II:62Hc.

II The best all-round iurroducrion to these two cenrrul farets of Shingon dourine is still Tajirna Ryiijun's Les Deux Grands Md,!t/alds (I [a Doctrine d. l'Esoterisme Sbill}',tlll, Tokyo: Maison Franco-japonuisc, 1<)5').

12 A more literal rendering might be: "cause and effect are nor two/beings and

Buddha are "ne essence". The first of these two didactic principles understands the satt ra referred (0 by the element .1'1 as Vajrusarrva, rhe second uru ler-srund s it as [scnrienr] bcinus.

I.l This is also the ,,7jd of the I'id)',mij" Aizcn (;\i:'('II-!!l}'fJrj. g,I.J!"lr.ijl/). w ho is rhc guardi,ln deiry of the gi,J,,,h'li and particularly related to the final, climactic chapter of that Surra, One may lu-re consult MOJT/I:'lfY. 1I,i1"i,~iri", fasl'. 1,1'1'. 1 ')11-17a: 1', I (M re.uls: "One considcr s him ;IS ;I 'rranstormarion', sometimes of Vairocana, sometimes of the Bodhisattva of Adarnanrine Love, ,I iko/lx,i , and fin.illv sometimes of t hc assembly o( the four Adamantine Bodhi satrva who surround the Buddhu Aksobhva in the Eastern cirde in the Diamond Realm: ! Adurnanrinc] Being [i.c. Vajrasatrv.r], King, Love, Joy," U r hv curry <In Ilikoll,~lj in 11';";"~iri,, I: lrb; err.

14 MOJT/Il :62HL

'5 T.I 119, one of the rnaior Five Mysteries texts, has a srundurd K(/II,~ljd'tjk.1';'· configuration, i.c. wirh deities to the East, South, West and North respectively. The manda]« described by the text we shall be looking at in more detail below has the uncommon conflgurarion of two Bodhisattva on either side of rhe central figure, (. Here, in line with the common practice in Japanese Shingon circles, I shall use the term KUfI)!.,idlfik.wi co dl'notL' rhosc aspects of Sino-Japanese esoteric Buddhist thought and practice which are based on the ideas and structures in rhe Sdrl'd-ldlhagdld-ldl/l'd-Jd;lgralur.)

" Cf MDJT/I I: (,2')a. There is;l de pinion

oi one of the forms of rhe mil,!t/ld at ()2')c,

17 Unfortunately, I have nor been able to elicit any signs of recognition from people who work primarily with Tibetan materials,

•• Since the corresponding chapters in T.220( 10), T.21fO, T.21J I and T,2'12 do not offer anything more intcresriru; for our present purposes than diffl'rem vocabulary for largely rhe same c onn-nt, we shall ignore them here,

'" Cf MOJT/VI: 100 (Mikk.rti-kyillel1

KdIlYdkll-llenp_Yll) Apart from T.1121, these texts were rrunslared by Arnoghavaira. T.III <) and T, I 120AB are basically the same text, the latter being a verse summary,

'0 Fukuda has in fact done most of the



. The first of these understands the he L'1l'111l'IH .II as undorsr.mds it a~

work in this field, and has just published the product of over two In,ldes of research on r hc /?iJ/;/lkyii: Ri"f.,,,l?}'I} /If} Kf.'lIky/, - Sana .\"("i,.iI1ll III "{"!Ii,,,i, foreword by Nasu Seiry,'" Tokyo: Kokusho Kangyo-kui, 1')H7. Of his earlier articles on the topic of the Sr7/",r.I/II:1J)·", the following might be mcnt ioncd: • ·S,.] /'",jr('-III,II!,{u/d I~'/~I J.4i r,I-llll 11/0./lII"hil""I"".r:1j" no k(lZ(" ", 7iiyti!!."kll Kmkyti, Vol. 2 (1<)67),1'1'. '\<)-56; '·SI)liJf.,o-YII}!,,,k)'lJ [0 Sr7/,,;r"lIId,li.I"III""", Cbizau C"kllb,i, Vol. 20 (cum. no. Y>; Mar. 1')72), 1'1'. 17 - ·i2; ··Kollgl-)Satta-.,-:ikirui 110 ko s.n su", MiHy"'r,.,kll KmkYli, No. o (Mar. 1<)76),1'1'. 1-14; "RiJbllk,ikyii zokan-hikojo no ikkudui", ,\fikky,;r,,,kll, N". I.)/l.\ 119771, PI'. 77-')0; "gi.,!"d·_1',i to RishllkYI',.hl"", Cluzan C;"~""l(i. No. 2H (nun. no. ,\2; Mar. 1<)7<), 1'1'. 1-12.

~, There is an otr-rcpcarcd reference in this lircr.uurc to the full version of the KII",~,id),;k)',i, rhouuh then: is .I great deal of doubt as to whether it ever existed as an entire unit. The basic primary text dealing with the phenomenon is Arnouh.rvaira's clcscriprion of the eighteen assemblies, KtlfI}!")cb,iYII}!,,,kYli-jli/.>,,cbi-t"Jbiki (T.X VI I II H6<); cf also Mutsunagaiikei, Mikkyti. Kvotc» Sciritst): IJki· ro " , Kyoto: Hozokun. II)H.\. PI'. IX7-11J1, 2')0-2'),\; Tajimu, D<'IIx G,."",/J ,1[.II!4"/"J, p. 21 f.

-- I.e. JI':1I'"k,,· anJ p,."I.!'t!k".hllJdIN. This is a dear indication that the esoteric tradition sees itself as an integral part of the Mahayana - even though it regards itself as the most exalted part of r he latter.

~_I That is, the (\\'0 as peers of the Bodhisattva's practice, sclf-benefir/benclining others ijiri-rit«. :11111"-/,uru·bil,,; cf. N:55<)J, MDjTjlll,123Ha), To accomplish this task the Bodhisattva manifests himself in a myriad of forms; "He divides his boJy into billions and sports in the destinies [Skr, }!,a/a I, perfecting sentient beings (bll"-Jbi"·iJy,,kll'okll, YII'JiJl/·J/JII·dJli, jOjll-IIjO)" (535c 15f>,

~. ).))( H: ""b""'Jb,iji·jil2£'11.jilj"kll.

~5 'j., ')( 1 l). The three worlds (J""U) are those of past, present and future, and might thus be more uccurarelv translated as the three times.

~h Lc, KIJIlr,li·ki.i" and K"",dJi"}!,lill, The mantra runs: "O,,! rajra-t istha bum" (SjT: 1(22), and refers to the Thunderbolt

;'j" of the riJ)"I'.iJ" [/I'd/,I), who is the ll: Ui.,/;"i.:yri alld 'the: Iln"l, clim.u.r« :}(,: may here consult .aSL I, pp. 15b·17a; .insi.lcr« him as ~l nics of Vairu(ana.

Bodhis.urva of

h)//'~'I, and tlnally mbly Ilf the lour , \,,·ilo surround clu:

Ie Eastern circle in "'J am ant I nL'1 lking Love, jo),," Cf the ',~i,.i" I: lrb: L'tL

the major Five mdard Ko"g(idJ,ikyiJ' deitie:s to the bst. 1 rcspccuvvly. The te text we shall be tail below has the 101' two Bodhisartva ural figure:, (' llcrc. practice in j .ipancsv all use the term

rho sc aspects of uddhist thought and d on the ideas and !/bd.~d(J-I.JIII',J-Jd n g-

There is a depiction ie 1I/,,,!4/,, at (,2()L ave not been able to lnition from people 1 Tibetan materials. ,onJing chapters in I anJ T.2·i2 Jo nor interesting for our differenc vocabulary tent, we shall ignore

)() (Mikkyo.kyo/fII from T,1121, these

by Amoghavaira, re basically the same erse summary.

:t done most of the

which arises from contemplation of the Buddhas while in the stare of J,,/IId";'i (MD)Tjll,('70d.

" This series is SJT:I·\W·II,j(,·II,j7· l,i6('·IIH(,. The muutra ,illr"/"J/I'''III - norc.l elsewhere - also generally occurs in more or less close connection with this sequence. T.l 121 is the one major exception, sinc« it does not contain this sequence at <III. T.lI22, which has the series in a corrupt form and also contains a great deal of material quite unconnected with the other texts in the grOl1pt is .1I10(hl'r exception.

zx lllustr.uiou in SjT: lii30.

2_ Cf MDjTjll:669c. MjT:<J2a lists twelve types of aliju/i. On the idea of the beginnin,L; of tht' fin,tl section oi" the Bodhis.irrva path as being till? first fusion of wisdom and skilful means, see my article. "Dairaku",o/" cit .. section ,1.1; Per Kva rne:

"On the Concept of Sahaja in Indian Buddhist Tanrric Literature", TI'IIIOIIIJ, Vol. 11 (1<)75),1'1'.88·135; joseph Needham:

Science ",,,1 Cirilisatiou ill Cbina, V.5, Cnmbridgc, 1')H5, pp. 257-HH-

, .. , SI.)ilJ·,~,I(;'irill. Hurta's explanation of the mantra: "V"jr".baIJJhu indicates the lunar disc of the pure mind of enlightenment (j'lbod"i'J/;ill) and shows the source whence the Buddhas emanate" (SjT: 11,\(', k"iJI'I.III),

.II MD)T/lI:7IXa describes them as heing extremely important amongst what it (ails "seal-nlot hers (ill-bl/ i", i.e. basic clements of a ritual process, elements whence the various phases of the ritual proper spring.

32 l.e. one sense of samaya .

J.\ MDJT/II:71Ha has derailed information on these aspects.

.I. One should remember here that in the corresponding section in T,ll19 one opens the heart with the appropriate mlldr:1, emulating the spiritual opening by physically striking oneself on the chest (5()<)b('; SjT: II ,j 7), The opening of the heart creates an experience of the adamantine nature of one's body, speech and minJ, and stresses the attainment ofjiz"i, literally: "naturallyj spontaneously existing", abiding without any kind of hindrance, any barrier between oneself and the enjoyment of reality. (Hence jizui also has connotations of sovereignry.) The heart having been opened, one Jraws the Holy Assembly of the Buddhas,



Bodhisattvas and other Divinities into oneself.

H jissbll-hol/llfi (536bll). The number is probably nor significant.

,. Hakedu described the four types as extension, intention, cornmunicarion -und action respectively (Kiikai: Maj.-}r \'('lIrkJ, New York: Columbia, 1,)7'1, p, 900.

" "reia, joining oneself, having one's faculties absorbed in an object, erc.; from" root rii, enter or approach (cf MW: 155c).

,. Nvorai TlO IIIl1r"ciak"jfi-d,j (S)T: I/i66, as is the rest of this account).

'" The character ban can also be read ram , which is in fact more common in the Shingon tradition, being associated inter. al. wirh Mah.ivairocana in his Vdjrddh,illl aspect. However, Hatra's reading is correct, since the mention of Vajrarnusri entails the reading bam, this being one of the hlja assllt'iatt·d with rhar Bodhisarrva (cf MJT!App:17, s.v. bam ; also MOJT! IV:1826a).

.0 The Thunderbolt is pertinent here because this mal/Ira is only found 10 KIITlr,ri(hrikyfi texts.

41 Nara and Tlarl in Skr. The word is one of several used for "person, human being", in the sense of unenlightened person. The rwo terms together - meaning man and woman - arc taken f') indicate the error of intercourse in a state of ignorance. Cf. N: 1029a, where the etymology na root ram (" not-pleasure, fn-etsu)" is suggested.

• 1 Cf. my article on "Dairaku", liP. cit .. section 5.lff.

43 This 1!IIIdra is called: Vajrasartva's Great Wisdom Seal (KIITll!,lisalla-dai-cbi-il/, B6c61. I rrunslate km!","~(i by IIsr here, norwithsranding the correctness of Snellgrove's observation that must] means: " ... the hand, palm and lingers, as manipulated in the making of hand-gestures (111",/r,,)" (from his introduction to: Chandra, L. and D. L. Snellgrove: Sarra- T atbagata-tatt ua-sangraba, Sara-Piraka Series, no. 269, New Delhi:

Sharada Rani, 1981, p. 30). In this case, the hands arc clearly clenched in the manner of what we would call a fist.

44 Essential functions of body, speech and mind.

4~ Opp», or oppri-zai, is one of the cardinal sins for a Shingon practitioner: transgressing one's Vow tsamaya) to attain enlightenment

and work for the benefit of sentient beings (d. MDJT!I: I S5c).

46 The rranslurion of this line (537all IS rather problematical: krillI!,O-J,,"a Iri abisb« r,m-r,m. l\I;ish" means "penetrate" in the sense seen above in connection with ma nt ru (6), that is, "entering everywhere (hm'II,l'1i /allil/1/l!k" baim; cf MDJT/I:.'>2c, s.v. abisba-bo), G en-gen is one of the various terms used to indicate the manitcsrarion of a particular deity. The meaning would appear to be thar Vajrusuttva now manifests himself throughout rhe yogin's body, there being nil difference between the two after the realisation of this stage. There is perhaps a connection between this and the blj" ab , which means the attainment of enlightenment (a) and entering nirran a (h). Cf MJT/App.: 17; N: 167(, s.v. kai/;al/ji.

41 See the explanations of these mantra in SJT. Hatra rranslares drsv« as (f,i-km ( "wisdom-seeing").

4. The saugrab« deities arc those of the Hook (ka), Rope (sak,,), Chain (.fd) and Bell (rei). Their respective functions may be regarded as arresting (movement, habit), pulling in (towards the Path of the Buddha), bringing to rest (and binding firmly to the practice of the Path), and IInally the production of joy i:l the teaching one has been brought roo

49 See previous note.

50 Harta translates snrata here as dairalzu , "Great Bliss" .

" 111111'i, rhar is, presumably, the rclurive

positions they occupy 10 the larger Vajradhiiru mandala,

" Cf MDJT/II:621c

q The Taisho text actually reads: "jah-hdrn-vum-hoh, varn-hoh, sururasrvam", but Hatra - logically in the context - gives the 17-syllable dh"ralll normally assigned to the Five Mysteries, in consonance with the alternative in footnote 2" to the Taisho edition (p. 537).

<4 There is some doubt about the reading of the mantra here, but it would appear to have something to do wirh sarra-durgasueba-P, "all blisses difficult co attain". Hurta offers no solution, unfortunately.

~~ Harta refers this to touching (sok,,) and to mutual embrace (kfibri).

56 The precise form of this mantra may be in doubt, but the meaning is clear enough:

of sentient beings



r ln- pral..'titiolll'f Sl'L'S cvcr yrhiru; as (or in r hc li.c:ht ofl Circat Bliss. As lor the stalt. It should he noted that the' rcit:rl'nll' is to that of the 1II.'1.. ... .rra , a hideous marine 11101lSCL'f which not even the waters of the four oceans satisfy. In this vein. a llodhis.ltfva's love lor se-ntient [wings is s.lid to he ins .• uablc, Another explanation is that a B",lhisattva should have just as link rl'g,ml for his own predilection» ,tS OIlL' who woul ... 1 courcmplarc such a leviathan. Cf. I "JlJI;~il'ill I: 1·11>; MW:77Ib. when: 1II"k"I''' inter. "I. is given ,IS an emblem of Kama-eleva.

" This means that III the varrous rcprcscnt.uions 01 the Five Mysteries Deities. this Bodhisarrva is dl·picwd looking away from the Assembly. The precise form of the "1.11111''' is doubtful. hut the presence of the term .• i,"'''" /.>i"cI"v,1 (~I indie;.tes the theme of sovcrcignt y through pcrlcction. and the accomplishrncnr of "that which is to be done" - always an integral parr of the Bo,lhisattva's task, especially in this, the Iourth and final position of the immediate entourage (kmzok,,). (It will be remembered that ir is the Tarhiigara Amoghasiddhi who governs this position in the Five Turhagata 1II"'!4"I,,s.1

'" .. Marks" as in the 32 major and ilO minor marks of a Buddha (ct. N:il66b, s.v. s(i~(i).

'" The characte r "k" is ambiguous as ir stands in the text ('j .lila I (i), i.e. ir could be either "/~ or :ill. Hatta (S)T: I33il), however, reads it as the latter, which accords well with

, of the various

ing would appear rnanitesrs himself y, there being no two after the There is perhaps a and the b;j" ,,/>, of en(/;).

are those of the Chain (j,,) and Bell functions may be

(movement, habit), of the Buddha), the the has

y, the relative the larger

actually reads: hoh, surarastvarp", the context - gives . nor~ally assigned to consonance with the 24 to the T aisho

it woulJ appear to with surra-durgaIr to attain". Harru

is clear enough:

r hc b'lsie interpretation given in MJT/AI'I': 17a. where it is desl'rilll'd ,IS t'IK0l11passing t lu- fiv(.· discs/rransf,)rm;ui'H\S of rhe letter 1\ ("ji-J!,orilllm: arousing the b"clbi(illd I practicel cnlightenrncnr/cntvrinx lIi,.r:"!,llthe furthest extent, skilful means I. l-urtlu-r, it is one of the IIIja of v« and of Mahiivairocana, borh in rhe !ann's Vajradh.iru and Gurbhakosa mnnitcstarions.

hi. Sl1.Ibi is generally used ro designate! he historical founding master of a I'.lrtilul..r sect. There is olrcn, however, no dear dividing line between what we would call history and myth, and most sects easily go from a historical lineagt: [() tracing their origin back ro the form of Buddha p.irricul .• r to their own teachings. The Eight Parrian hs in the Shingon-shu's transmission is perh.lps the most pcrt incnr example here: rf .. ,'.).: .. Alit·i .. ancl Daigan M.lrsunaga: i"1I"lcldllll1/ III J"/llIlIeJe B,,"eI"iJ11I, Vol. I, Tokyo and Los

Angeles: Buddhist Books l nrernarional, 1'.I7·i, PI', I 77-ilO; MD)T/VI: Mikkrri-borrli-krtjil gives a complete set of tables.

hi For the Skt names of these

Bodhisattvas, cf Snellgrove's introduction to the S"rl'a-T"lbd!!."la-IIIIII'a-Jlllij!,rllb", sp. PI'· 17fT (Snellgrove's groups do not correspond exactly with the ones here).

62 l.e, the five deities as a whole, the Vajra Family.

h.1 l.e. the same as this mal!4"la .15 it ,11'pears in the main Vajrudlniru system.

'4 /ssai-!!.i-jljju (sarl'drIIJil-sielelbi) refers [0 the Karma Family.