The 7th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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vajrācārya. (T. rdo rje slob dpon; C. jingang asheli/jingangshi; J. kongōajari/kongōshi; K. kŭmgang asari/kŭmgangsa 金剛阿闍梨/金剛師). In Sanskrit, “VAJRA master”; referring to a tantric GURU (BLA MA) who has mastered the tantric arts, received the appropriate initiations, and is qualified to confer initiations and dispense tantric teachings. He is traditionally listed as having ten qualities.
The title vajrācārya is also awarded to a person who has received a specific set of initiations (ABHIṢEKA) in the ANUTTARAYOGATANTRA sy stems. Although numerous variations occur, the main sequence of initiations in KRIYĀTANTRA, CARYĀTANTRA, and YOGATANTRA are
(1) the water initiation (udakābhiṣeka),
(2) the crown initiation (mukuṭābhiṣeka),
(3) the VAJRA initiation (vajrābhiṣeka),
(4) the bell initiation (ghaṇṭābhiṣeka), and
(5) the name initiation (nāmābhiṣeka).
One who has received these initiations is regarded as a vajrācārya. In the yogatantras, an additional initiation, called the vajrācārya initiation (vajrācāry ābhiṣeka), is bestowed. In the anuttarayoga systems, this set of five or six is often condensed into one, becoming the first of four initiations, called the vajrācārya initiation or the vase initiation (KALAŚĀBHIṢEKA). In the Newar Buddhism of Nepal, the name vajrācārya is also used by an endogamous caste of lay priests who perform a wide variety of rituals for the Buddhist community, including life-cycle rites, fire rituals, temple rituals, protective rites. They also perform tantric initiation for high-caste members of the Newar community. According to the anuttarayoga systems, one becomes a vajrācārya as a result of a series of initiations; in the Newar community , however, it is a hereditary category .
see also: Vajra Master;
The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism by Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.