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Article

Running the Numbers for the Path of Mantra: Distinguishing the Thirteenth Bhūmi in Fifteenth-Century Tibet

Department of Religious Studies and Classics and East Asian Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Academic Editor: Glen A. Hayes
Religions 2021, 12(3), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030175
Received: 31 January 2021 / Revised: 1 March 2021 / Accepted: 3 March 2021 / Published: 9 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Society for Tantric Studies Proceedings (2019))
This article explores a Buddhist text in which numbers set the very stakes for liberation. In 1404, Ngor chen Kun dga’ bzang po (1382–1456), who was to become one of the most esteemed tantric commentators of the Tibetan Sakya tradition, composed his first polemical text, Dispelling Evil Misunderstandings of the Explanation of the Ground of Zung ‘jug Vajradhara. In this early work, Ngor chen grapples with the relationship between the path of perfections and of secret mantra as conduits to liberation. I illuminate the ways in which ritual, exegesis, and pedagogy converge in Ngor chen’s text to reveal larger implications for distinguishing the eleventh and thirteenth grounds (bhūmi) of Buddhahood in fifteenth-century Tibet. In concluding, I highlight the art of differentiation as a fundamental Tibetan scholastic enterprise and briefly engage Ngor chen’s acts of distinguishing sūtra and tantra in conversation with those of key Tibetan predecessors and contemporaries. View Full-Text
Keywords: Tibetan Buddhism; tantra; Sakya; Ngor chen; bhūmis; Red mda’ ba; Vajradhara; zung ‘jug; Guhyasamāja; Buddhist polemics Tibetan Buddhism; tantra; Sakya; Ngor chen; bhūmis; Red mda’ ba; Vajradhara; zung ‘jug; Guhyasamāja; Buddhist polemics
MDPI and ACS Style

Dachille, R. Running the Numbers for the Path of Mantra: Distinguishing the Thirteenth Bhūmi in Fifteenth-Century Tibet. Religions 2021, 12, 175. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030175

AMA Style

Dachille R. Running the Numbers for the Path of Mantra: Distinguishing the Thirteenth Bhūmi in Fifteenth-Century Tibet. Religions. 2021; 12(3):175. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030175

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dachille, Rae. 2021. "Running the Numbers for the Path of Mantra: Distinguishing the Thirteenth Bhūmi in Fifteenth-Century Tibet" Religions 12, no. 3: 175. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030175

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