The 7th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Vairochana (Abhisambodhi Tantra)
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"...Bhagavan Great Vairochana, seated above a white lotus and moon, hair piled on the top of the head, with a crown, upper and lower garments, golden in colour. The two hands perform the gesture of meditation, adorned with all the complete marks on the body." (rgyud sde kun btus, volume 3, page 6).
Jeff Watt 8-2013
An inscription on the reverse identifies this painting as the mandala of Abhisambodhi Vairocana ("Mandala of the Awakening of Vairocana"), related to a Sanskrit text entitled, Mahavairocana-bhisambodhi Tantra (rnam-par snang-mdzad mngon-par byang-chub-pa' i rgyud, "Tantra of the Awakening of Great Vairocana").
The teachings associated with this form of Vairocana were transmitted by a lineage of Buddhist masters represented in the top and bottom registers and enclosed by scrolling vines just outside the mandala proper. Each figure is identified by inscription on the reverse.
The lineage begins with the celestial bodhisattva Vajrapani and includes prominent Indian and Tibetan masters, including Buddhaguhya (sangs-rgyas gsang-ba), who wrote a commentary on the Mahavairocanabhisambodhi Tantra, translated during t he early introduction of Buddhism to Tibet (7th to mid-9th centuries).
Among the last historical figures identified in the lineage is Lama Sangyebum (bla-ma sangs-rgyas-'bum), who, in 1214, became abbot of Tshal Gungthan (mtshal gung-thang) monastery in south-central Tibet.4