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(4,550 words)

Author(s): Kazuo Kano
The Vairocanābhisaṃbodhi (Vairocana’s Awakening), composed before 674 ce, is one of the earliest scriptures with the specific features of tantric Buddhism (specifically with regard to doctrine, meditative practice, ritual, and iconography), and bridges the gap between earlier and less developed tantric literatures (e.g. Dhyānottarapaṭala, Subāhuparipṛcchā, Susiddhikara, and Vajrapāṇyabhiṣeka) and full-fledged tantras (e.g. Sarvatathāgatatattvasaṃgraha). In the late 8th century ce, Buddhaguhya classified the Vairocanābhisaṃbodhi as caryātantra (or ubhayatantra)…


(4,289 words)

Author(s): Kazuo Kano
The Mahāyāna sūtra entitled Sarvatathāgatatattvasaṃgraha (Compendium of the Reality of All Tathāgatas) is said to have taken its primary shape in the second half of the 7th century, slightly after the Vairocanābhisaṃbodhi, in South India (Yoritomi, 2005, 44). Sarvatathāgatatattva (the reality of all tathāgatas) refers to tantric methods to attain a buddha’s awakening (see Horiuchi, 1983, 23). Although the scripture refers to itself as a Mahāyāna sūtra, its contents are typically tantric and teach tantric practices, rituals, and maṇḍalas. Its tantric features are highly sy…