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Tattvasaṃgraha Tantra

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For the work of the same title by Shantarakshita, see Tattvasamgraha

Tattvasaṃgraha Tantra (Sanskrit), is an important seventh century Indian Buddhist tantric text that was very important for the development of the Vajrayana Yoga Tantra traditions in India, Tibet, China, Japan and Sumatra, amongst others. The Tattvasaṃgraha is extant in Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese.

Weinberger (2003: p.4) holds:

The Compendium of Principles marks the emergence of mature Indian Buddhist tantra at the end of the seventh century, and it immediately spawned a body of literary progeny that has played a central and enduring role in the development of tantric Buddhism in India, Tibet, China, and Japan. Consolidated over time into traditions known in some Indian circles as Yoga Tantra, they spread as widely as Śrı Lanka, Southeast Asia, Khotan, Mongolia, and Sumatra.[1]

Meaning of the title

Tattvasaṃgraha may be parsed into 'tattva'+'saṃgraha'. Tattva may be parsed into 'Tat'+'tva' and may also be orthographically rendered in English as Tattwa and means: 'thatness', 'principle', 'reality' or 'truth'. 'Saṃgraha' may be parsed into 'saṃ'+'graha'. 'Saṃ' may be spelled as either 'san' or 'sam' as the pronunciation of the Indic language emphatic consonant resides between the two standard pronunciations of these English phonemes of "n" and "m" which is also largely determined by the following contextual phoneme. Graha (Devanagari: ग्रह) holds the semtantic field: 'seizing', 'laying hold of', 'holding'.

History and dissemination

A Sanskrit version of this work was "discovered" in 1873 by Dr. G. Bühler in the Jain Dharma temple of Parshvanatha at Jaisalmer. This version contains also the commentary by Śāntarakṣita's pupil Kamalaśīla.

Sanskrit scholarship

Chinese scholarship

Tibetan scholarship

Japanese scholarship

There is a venerable and protracted corpus of scholarship on the Tattvasaṃgraha in Japanese.

Western scholarship

Tucci inaugurated scholarship in a western language on the Tattvasaṃgraha with his exploration on the Maheśvara subjugation myth it holds.[2][3] Snellgrove continued to stake a foundation of western scholarship in both his publication of the facsimile reproduction of one of the extant Sanskrit manuscripts, a publication opened by a scholarly introduction and also his presentation of tantra in volume one of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism.[4] Todaro has provided a translation of the first section of the tantra, accompanied by a study of the role of the Tattvasaṃgraha and associated texts in the tradition of Kūkai, founder of Japanese Shingon. Weinberger has provided a sound dedicated treatise with his doctoral dissertaion on the Tattvasaṃgraha which has established the springboard for further scholarship.

Notes

  1. Weinberger, Steven Neal (2003). The Significance of Yoga Tantra and the Compendium of Principles (Tattvasaṃgraha Tantra) within Tantric Buddhism in India and Tibet. Dissertation. University of Virginia, USA: Department of Religious Studies. Source: [1] (accessed: September 18, 2008)
  2. Tucci, Guiseppe (1932). Indo-Tibetica. Reale Accademia d’Italia Studi e Documenti I. Rome: Reale Accademia d’Italia. vol. 1, pp. 135-145.
  3. Tucci, Guiseppe (1949). "Compendium of Principles" in Tucci, Guiseppe (1949) Tibetan Painted Scrolls. Roma: Libreria dello Stato. p. 225.
  4. Snellgrove, David (1987). Indo-Tibetan Buddhism: Indian Buddhists and Their Tibetan Successors. Volume One: pp.117-330 Boston, USA: Shambhala Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-87773-311-2 (v.1).


References

  • Weinberger, Steven Neal (2003). The Significance of Yoga Tantra and the Compendium of Principles (Tattvasaṃgraha Tantra) within Tantric Buddhism in India and Tibet. Dissertation. University of Virginia, USA: Department of Religious Studies. Source: [2] (accessed: September 18, 2008)

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