Esoteric Buddhism at Dunhuang
Esoteric Buddhism in late first millennium Tibet and China is nowhere in evidence so clearly as in materials from Dunhuang. In the original contributions presented here, Robert Mayer and Cathy Cantwell examine the consecrations of the wrathful divinity Vajrakilaya, while Sam van Schaik considers approaches to the vows of tantric adepts. Philosophical interpretations of Mahayoga inform Kammie Takahashi’s study of the ‘Questions of Vajrasattva’. The background for later Tibetan tantric mortuary rites are examined in chapters by Yoshiro Imaeda and Matthew Kapstein. In the closing chapter, Katherine Tsiang investigates early printing in relation to esoteric dharanis, and their role as amulets accompanying the deceased. The collection is an important advance in our understanding of the historical development of Buddhist tantra.