Early Tantric Buddhist Magic: Origins, Intertextuality, and Transmission of the Vajrabhairavatantra


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies


Oriental Studies


My project deals with the emergence of early tantric Buddhism in India and its transmission to Tibet through the lenses of the widespread and little investigated phenomenon of tantric magic across Buddhist and Saiva sectarian boundaries. My study will focus on the Vajrabhairavatantra, a seminal Buddhist Tantra who has survived to us through Sanskrit manuscripts, which have not yet been investigated. Apart from the establishment of a critically edited version of the text and the production of an English translation, my project will study the contents in the light of relevant sources outside the corpus, such as early Tantras like the Nisvasa, the Mañjusriyamulakalpa, etc., but also of sources within the corpus, such as the five canonical commentaries on the difficult points of the root-text.