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Mahapratisara-Mahavidyarajni: The Great Amulet, Great Queen of Spells
By: Gergely Hidas

Mahapratisara-Mahavidyarajni: The Great Amulet, Great Queen of Spells<br>By: Gergely Hidas

Our Price: $90.00
Members Price: $81.00
Author: Gergely Hidas
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9788177421149
Publication Date: 2012

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Product Code: 17788

The present book contains the first Indian edition of 17 (out of 34) legends from the Garland of Birth-Stories (Jatakamala) by the Kashmirian poet Haribhatta who lived not later than 400 CE. His composition, written in the prosimetric campu style, is a worthy successor to Aryasuras Jatakamala. An exemplary representative of the chaste style (vaidarbhi ritih), it enchants the reader by its perfectly lucid Sanskrit, the great variety of metres (29) and superb prose sections, which can be regarded as forerunners of Dandins and Banas prose novels. The legends, which are meant to illustrate the six moral perfections (paramita), viz. giving, morality, forbearance, striving, meditation and wisdom, are chosen not only from the rich store-house of Buddhist narrative literature, hut occasionally also from other sources, e.g., the Mahabharata or even folk tales. In contrast to his predecessor Aryasura, Haribhatta follows the way of playwrights and boldly alters the original plot in order to achieve more dramatic effects. His stories vary considerably in length: between 6 pages (containing 28 stanzas) such as the legend of the ascetic Jajvalin (No. 26) and 60 pages (containing 242 stanzas) such as the legend of prince Sudhana and his wife, the kinnari Manohara (No. 25; still unpublished), the latter story being in fact a veritable love romance.

Until 1973, Haribhattas work was known only from its medieval Tibetan translation. Between 1973 and 1976, Michael Hahn discovered ten of its legends in anonymous manuscripts from Nepal. They were published (in Latin script) in Japan in 2007. In 2004, Michael Hahn got access to another fragmentary Sanskrit manuscript that permitted him to include seven more legends in the present Indian edition. An English translation is currently being prepared. A CD containing colour photographs of the oldest manuscript of Haribhattas Jatakamala from Nepal is attached to book.

From the Jacket
This volume provides the first critical edition and complete Western translation of an influential apotropaic scripture of Mahayana - Vajrayana Buddhism. The Great Amulet, Great Queen of Spells (Mahapratisara-Mahavidjarajni ). This piece of the dharani-literature from around the middle of the first millennium became a member of the popular Pancaraksa collection and has remained in use in Nepal up to the present time. After an introduction, editions of the five Gilgit fragments (ca. 7th c.) and fifteen selected Eastern Indian and Nepalese manuscripts (11th-19th c.) are given, followed by an annotated translation. The present study offers a detailed treatment of a scripture rather neglected by scholarship and attempts to throw light on the characteristics and use of this talismanic text of the Kriya-tantra in South Asian Buddhism and beyond.

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