This study lays no claim to originality. It offers no thesis nor interpretations, but allows the Shingon texts to speak for themselves. It is solely concerned to present the theories and practices connected with the two mandalas as understood by the shingon sadhakas. It is a compendium of translations and paraphrases of materials from three primary and three secondary sources: the Mahavairocana-sutra (Dainichikyo) the vajra-sekhara sutra (Kongochokyo) Subhakarasimha’s (Zemmui’s) Dainichikyosho (“Commentary on the Mahavairocana sutra”), the Mikkyo Daijiten (“A Dictionary of Esoteric Buddhism”) the Bukkyo Daijiten (“A Dictionary of Buddhism”) and Toganoo Shoun’s Mandara no Kenkyu (“Studies in the Mandala”)
The Study has four parts:
Part: The first locates the two Mandalas in the theoretical and practical setting of Esoteric Buddhism. It discusses some of the principal features of Shingon doctrine and Ritual; it describes two important rituals as examples of esoteric Buddhist practice; it examines the Homa rituals, the performance of which is the main practice of the sect and recurrently referred to in the literature dealing with the two Mandalas; and it gives a brief description of Buddhist cosmology, necessary for an understanding of the cosmological references in the Mndalas.
Part 2: the Second part of the study looks at several general considerations concerning the two Mandalas: their transmission, the meaning of the term mandala and the relation of the two mandalas to each other.
Part 3: The third part looks at the meanings of the Matrix Mandala and its several Mansions.
Part 4: This analyses the Diamond World Mandala and its Nine Assemblies.
I thank Prof. Lokesh Chandra for his kind offer to publish this work in the Sataptaka Series. The Manuscripts is as I presented it to him, complete with faults. The responsibility for scholarly and typographical errors and for solecisms and errors of translation and understanding is entirely my own.
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