Deity yoga is a practice of Vajrayana Buddhism involving identification with a chosen deity through visualisations and rituals, the realisation of emptiness. According to the Tibetan scholar Tsongkhapa, deity yoga is what separates Buddhist Tantra practice from the practice of other Buddhist schools. Deity yoga involves the generation stage and the completion stage. In the generation stage, one dissolves the mundane world and visualizes one's chosen deity, its mandala and companion deities, resulting in identification with this divine reality. In the completion stage, one dissolves the visualization of and identification with the yidam in the realization of sunyata or emptiness. Completion stage practices can include subtle body energy practices; the purpose of Deity yoga is to bring the meditator to the realization that the yidam or meditation deity and the practitioner are in essence the same, that they are non-dual. According to John Powers. "Deity yoga is a technique for becoming progressively more familiar with the thoughts and deeds of a buddha, until the state of buddhahood is actualized through repeated practice."According to Gyatrul Rinpoche, the point of this practice is to "understand your buddha nature, the essence of your being" and is "intrinsically present" in all beings.
The fact that the deity is a reflection of qualities inherent in the practitioner is what makes this practice different than mere deluded or wishful thinking. The yidam appears in a mandala and the practitioner visualizes himself or herself and their environment as the yidam and mandala of their Deity Yoga practice; this visualization method undermines a habitual belief that views of reality and self are solid and fixed, enabling the practitioner to purify spiritual obscurations and to practice compassion and wisdom simultaneously: Deity Yoga employs refined techniques of creative imagination and photism in order to self-identify with the divine form and qualities of a particular deity as the union of method or skilful means and wisdom. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama says, "In brief, the body of a Buddha is attained through meditating on it". Representations of the deity, such as a statues, paintings, or mandalas, are employed as an aid to visualization in both the Generation Stage and the Completion Stage of Anuttarayoga Tantra.
The mandalas are symbolic representations of sacred enclosures, sacred architecture that house and contain the uncontainable essence of a yidam. In the book, The World of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama describes a mandala: “This is the celestial mansion, the pure residence of the deity.” In the Vajrayāna Buddhism of Tibet and East Asia, which follow the Nālandā Tradition of India-Tibet-China, there are fifteen major tantric sādhanās, each connected with a specific yidam: All of these are available in Tibetan form, many are available in Chinese, some are still extant in ancient Sanskrit manuscripts. Mandalas are used as an aid in realizing the inner ground: xternal ritual and internal sadhana form an indistinguishable whole, this unity finds its most pregnant expression in the form of the mandala, the sacred enclosure consisting of concentric squares and circles drawn on the ground and representing that adamantine plane of being on which the aspirant to Buddhahood wishes to establish himself.
The unfolding of the tantric ritual depends on the mandala. In Tantric Buddhism, the generation stage is the first phase of Deity yoga, it is associated with the'Father Tantra' class of anuttara-yoga-tantras of the Sarmapa or associated with what is known as Mahayoga Tantras by the Nyingmapa. An example of a'Father Tantra' is the Guhyasamāja Tantra; the generation stage engages creative imagination or visualization as an upaya or skillful means of personal transformation through which the practitioner either visualizes a meditational deity or refuge tree before themselves in front generation, or as themselves in self generation, to engender an alteration to their perception and/or experience of the appearance aspect of reality. One practices oneself in the identification with the meditational Buddha or deity by visualisations, until one can meditate single-pointedly on being the deity. According to Tsongkhapa, throughout the various stages of visualization one is to maintain the cognition of emptiness and "one trains in everything to appear as like illusions".
Reginald Ray writes that during the process of yidam visualization, the deity is to be imaged as not solid or tangible, as "empty yet apparent", with the character of a mirage or a rainbow. In the generation stage of Deity Yoga, the practitioner visualizes the "Four Purities" which define the principal Tantric methodology of Deity Yoga that distinguishes it from the rest of Buddhism: Seeing one's body as the body of the deity Seeing one's environment as the pure land or mandala of the deity Perceiving one's enjoyments as bliss of the deity, free from attachment Performing one's actions only for the benefit of others Front generation is a form of meditative visualization employed in Tantric Buddhism in which the yidam is visualized as being present in the sky facing the practitioner as opposed to the self-identification that occurs in self generation. According to the Vajrayana tradition, this approach is considered less advanced, hence safer for the sadhaka, is engaged more for the ri
Buddhism in Mongolia
Buddhism in Mongolia derives much of its recent characteristics from Tibetan Buddhism of the Gelug and Kagyu lineages, but is distinct and presents its own unique characteristics. Buddhism in Mongolia began with the Yuan dynasty emperors' conversion to Tibetan Buddhism; the Mongols returned to shamanic traditions after the collapse of the Mongol Empire, but Buddhism reemerged in the 16th and 17th centuries. Buddhism in Mongolia derives many of its recent characteristics from Tibetan Buddhism of the Gelug and Kagyu lineages, but is distinct and presents its own unique characteristics. Traditionally, the Mongolian ethnic religions involved worship of Heaven and ancestors and the ancient North Asian practices of shamanism, in which human intermediaries went into trance and spoke to and for some of the numberless infinities of spirits responsible for human luck or misfortune; the earliest introduction of Buddhism into the Mongolian steppes took place during the periods of the nomadic empires. Buddhism penetrated Mongolia from Nepal via Central Asia.
Many Buddhist terms of Sanskrit origin were adopted via the Sogdian language. The rulers of the nomadic empires such as the Xiongnu, Rouran Khaganate and the Göktürks received missionaries and built temples for them. Buddhism prevailed among aristocrats and was patronised by the monarchs of the Northern Wei established by the Xianbei and of the Liao dynasty established by the Khitan people; the Khitan aristocracy regarded Buddhism as the culture of the Uyghur Khaganate that dominated the Mongolian steppes before the rise of the Khitans. The monarchs of the Jin established by the Jurchen people regarded Buddhism as part of their Khitan; the oldest known Mongolian language translations of Buddhist literature were translated from the Uyghur language and contain Turkic language words like sümbür tay, ayaγ-wa, quvaray and many proper names and titles like buyuruγ and külüg of 12th-century Turkic origin. Genghis Khan and his immediate successors conquered nearly all of Asia and European Russia and sent armies as far as central Europe and Southeast Asia.
The emperors of the Yuan dynasty in the 13th and 14th century converted to Tibetan Buddhism. Kublai Khan invited lama Drogön Chögyal Phagpa of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism to spread Buddhism throughout his realm. Buddhism became the de facto state religion of the Mongol Yuan state. In 1269, Kublai Khan commissioned Phagpa lama to design a new writing system to unify the writing systems of the multilingual empire. The'Phags-pa script known as the "Square script", was based on the Tibetan script and written vertically from top was designed to write in Mongolian, Chinese and Sanskrit languages and served as the official script of the empire. Tibetan Buddhist monasticism made an important impact on the early development of Mongolian Buddhism. Buddhist monkhood played significant political roles in Central and Southeast Asia, the sangha in Mongolia was no exception. Mongols assisted Tibetans in unifying the country; the activities of the Mongols were conducive to the prominency of the Sakya school and the Gelug, to the further development of Tibeto-Mongolian civilisation.
The Mongols returned to shamanic traditions after the collapse of the Mongol Empire. Hutuhtai Secen Hongtaiji of Ordos and his two brothers invaded Tibet in 1566, he sent an ultimatum to some of the ruling clergy of Tibet demanding their submission. The Tibetan supreme monks decided to surrender and Hutuhtai Secen Hongtaiji returned to Ordos with three high ranking monks. Tumen Jasaghtu Khan invited a monk of the Kagyu school in 1576. In 1578 Altan Khan, a Mongol military leader with ambitions to unite the Mongols and to emulate the career of Genghis Khan, invited the 3rd Dalai Lama, the head of the rising Gelug lineage to a summit, they formed an alliance that gave Altan Khan legitimacy and religious sanction for his imperial pretensions and that provided the Buddhist school with protection and patronage. Altan Khan recognized Sonam Gyatso lama as a reincarnation of Phagpa lama, gave the Tibetan leader the title of Dalai Lama, which his successors still hold. Sonam Gyatso, in turn, recognized Altan as a reincarnation of Kublai Khan.
Thus, Altan added legitimacy to the title "khan" that he had assumed, while Sonam Gyatso received support for the supremacy he sought over the Tibetan sangha. Since this meeting, the heads of the Gelugpa school became known as Dalai Lamas. Altan Khan bestowed the title Ochirdara to Sonam Gyatso. Altan Khan died soon after, but in the next century the Gelug spread throughout Mongolia, aided in part by the efforts of contending Mongol aristocrats to win religious sanction and mass support for their unsuccessful efforts to unite all Mongols in a single state. Viharas were built across Mongolia sited at the juncture of trade and migration routes or at summer pastures where large numbers of herders would congregate for shamanistic rituals and sacrifices. Buddhist monks carried out a protracted struggle with the indigenous shamans and succeeded, to some extent, in taking over their functions and fees as healers and diviners, in pushing the shamans to the fringes of Mongolian culture and religion.
Church and state supported each other, the doctrine of reincarnation made it possible for the reincarnations of living Buddhas to be discovered conveniently in the families o
In Buddhism, a Bodhisattva is any person, on the path towards Buddhahood but has not yet attained it. In the Early Buddhist schools as well as modern Theravada Buddhism, a bodhisattva refers to anyone who has made a resolution to become a Buddha and has received a confirmation or prediction from a living Buddha that this will be so. In Mahayana Buddhism, a bodhisattva refers to anyone who has generated bodhicitta, a spontaneous wish and compassionate mind to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. In early Buddhism, the term bodhisatta is used in the early texts to refer to Gautama Buddha in his previous lives and as a young man in his current life in the period during which he was working towards his own liberation. During his discourses, to recount his experiences as a young aspirant he uses the phrase "When I was an unenlightened bodhisatta..." The term therefore connotes a being, "bound for enlightenment", in other words, a person whose aim is to become enlightened. In the Pāli canon, the bodhisatta is described as someone, still subject to birth, death, sorrow and delusion.
Some of the previous lives of the Buddha as a bodhisattva are featured in the Jataka tales. According to the Theravāda monk Bhikkhu Bodhi, the bodhisattva path is not taught in the earliest strata of Buddhist texts such as the Pali Nikayas which instead focus on the ideal of the Arahant; the oldest known story about how Gautama Buddha becomes a bodhisattva is the story of his encounter with the previous Buddha, Dīpankara. During this encounter, a previous incarnation of Gautama, variously named Sumedha, Megha, or Sumati offers five blue lotuses and spreads out his hair or entire body for Dīpankara to walk on, resolving to one day become a Buddha. Dīpankara confirms that they will attain Buddhahood. Early Buddhist authors saw this story as indicating that the making of a resolution in the presence of a living Buddha and his prediction/confirmation of one's future Buddhahood was necessary to become a bodhisattva. According to Drewes, "all known models of the path to Buddhahood developed from this basic understanding."The path is explained differently by the various Nikaya schools.
In the Theravāda Buddhavaṃsa, after receiving the prediction, Gautama took four asaṃkheyyas and a hundred thousand, shorter kalpas to reach Buddhahood. The Sarvāstivāda school had similar models about, they held it took him three asaṃkhyeyas and ninety one kalpas to become a Buddha after his resolution in front of a past Buddha. During the first asaṃkhyeya he is said to have encountered and served 75,000 Buddhas, 76,000 in the second, after which he received his first prediction of future Buddhahood from Dīpankara, meaning that he could no longer fall back from the path to Buddhahood. Thus, the presence of a living Buddha is necessary for Sarvāstivāda; the Mahāvibhāṣā explains that its discussion of the bodhisattva path is meant to “stop those who are in fact not bodhisattvas from giving rise to the self-conceit that they are.”The Mahāvastu of the Mahāsāṃghika-Lokottaravādins presents four stages of the bodhisattva path without giving specific time frames: Natural, one first plants the roots of merit in front of a Buddha to attain Buddhahood.
Resolution, one makes their first resolution to attain Buddhahood in the presence of a Buddha. Continuing, one continues to practice. Irreversible, at this stage, one cannot fall back; the Sri Lankan commentator Dhammapala in his commentary on the Cariyāpiṭaka, a text which focuses on the bodhisatta path, notes that to become a bodhisatta one must make a valid resolution in front of a living Buddha, which confirms that one is “irreversible” from the attainment of Buddhahood. The Nidānakathā, as well as the Buddhavaṃsa and Cariyāpiṭaka commentaries makes this explicit by stating that one cannot use a substitute for the presence of a living Buddha, since only a Buddha has the knowledge for making a reliable prediction; this is the accepted view maintained in orthodox Theravada today. The idea is that any resolution to attain Buddhahood may be forgotten or abandoned during the aeons ahead; the Burmese monk Ledi Sayadaw explains that though it is easy to make vows for future Buddhahood by oneself, it is difficult to maintain the necessary conduct and views during periods when the Dharma has disappeared from the world.
One will fall back during such periods and this is why one is not a full bodhisatta until one receives recognition from a living Buddha. Because of this, it was and remains a common practice in Theravada to attempt to establish the necessary conditions to meet the future Buddha Maitreya and thus receive a prediction from him. Medieval Theravada literature and inscriptions report the aspirations of monks and ministers to meet Maitreya for this purpose. Modern figures such as Anagarika Dharmapala, U Nu both sought to receive a prediction from a Buddha in the future and believed meritorious actions done for the good of Buddhism would help in their endeavor to become bodhisattas in the future. Over time the term came to be applied to other figures besides Gautama Buddha in Theravada lands due to the influence of Mahayana; the Theravada Abhayagiri tradition of Sri Lanka practiced Mahayana Buddhism and was influential until the 12th century. Kings of Sri Lanka
Chinese Esoteric Buddhism
Chinese Esoteric Buddhism refers to traditions of Tantra and Esoteric Buddhism that have flourished among the Chinese people. The Tantric masters Śubhakarasiṃha, Vajrabodhi and Amoghavajra, established the Esoteric Buddhist Zhenyan tradition from 716 to 720 during the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang, it employed mandalas, mudras, abhiṣekas, deity yoga. The Zhenyan tradition was transported to Japan as Shingon Buddhism by Kūkai as well as influencing Korean Buddhism; the Song dynasty saw a second diffusion of Esoteric texts. Esoteric Buddhist practices continued to have an influence into the late imperial period and Tibetan Buddhism was influential during the Yuan dynasty period and beyond. In Chinese these traditions are termed Mìjiao, Mìzōng or Tángmì. In China and countries with large Chinese populations such as Taiwan and Singapore, Chinese Esoteric Buddhism is referred to as Tángmì, or Hànchuán Mìzōng, sometimes abbreviated as Hànmì. It's manifestation through subsequent Japanese transmission is sometimes referred as Dōngmì "Eastern Esotericism", meaning the succession of Tang Esoterica in Japan transmitted by the Japanese monk Kūkai.
During the Tang dynasty the actual term used to refer to these teachings by Tantric masters was “mantra teaching” and "path of mantras". Chinese tantric masters like Vajrabodhi and Amoghavajra used the term Vajrayana. In a more general sense, the Chinese term Mìzōng "Esoteric Tradition" and Mìjiào are popular Chinese terms used when referring to any form of Esoteric Buddhism. According to scholars such as Henrik Sørensen, Esoteric Buddhism emerged in India out of Mahayana Buddhist ritual and magical practices. Esoteric teachings followed the Silk Road and the Southeast Asian Maritime trade routes into China, linking Chinese Buddhism with Indian, South Asian and Indonesian Esoteric Buddhism; the use of mantras and dhāraṇīs dates at least to the 2nd century. Tantric materials with mantras and dharanis begin to appear in China during the fifth century. Early Chinese Buddhists include the like of Zhu Lüyan, who translated the first text containing dhāraṇīs, the Modengqie jing. Others such as Fotudeng served Chinese emperors with rituals.
The use of mandalas in China as goes back to the sixth century. While these elements were present, it is with the rise of esoteric Buddhism during the Tang dynasty that a full ritual system arose; the Tang dynasty saw the growth to prominence of Chinese Tantric Buddhism. Early Tang translators such as Atikūta, Bodhiruci and Manicintana worked on esoteric texts promoting mantras and dharanis such as the Tuoluoni ji jing 陀羅尼集經 or Collection of Coded Instructions. During the eighth century, three great masters came from India to China: Śubhakarasiṃha, Vajrabodhi and Amoghavajra; these three masters brought the esoteric teachings to their height of popularity in China. Major tantric texts introduced by these masters included the Mahavairocana Tantra and the Vajrasekhara Sutra, as well as numerous commentaries and ritual manuals. Charles D. Orzech outlines the growth of this tradition as follows: We first see the translation of a variety of texts representative of the growing interest in mantra and dhāraṇī.
Many of these texts promote a particular dhāraṇī, deity. Second, we see the advent of texts representing distinct and comprehensive systems that are meant to codify the swelling tide of mantric texts and techniques. Full entry into these systems was accessed only through abhiseka, effecting the ritual transformation of a disciple into a cosmic overlord. Third, these overarching systems were given what amounts to imperial imprimatur during the twenty year period from the 760s into the 780s. During this period during the period of Daizong’s 代宗 support of Amoghavajra, significant religious and institutional infrastructure was put in place, including imperially sanctioned altars for abhiseka ̣ in certain monasteries and imperial palaces for the performance of rituals to benefit the state. According to Geoffrey C. Goble, Amoghavajra was the most influential of these and is to be considered as the true founder of the Zhenyan or Mantra Tradition, he translated the largest number of texts, performed rituals for the royal family, taught disciples from Japan and Korea and was the first to be bestowed Tang imperial titles.
Goble argues that the reason that Tantric Buddhism became popular in this period lies in the similarity between their Buddhist rituals and pre-existing Tang state rites which were supposed to support the emperor by granting political stability and imperial longevity. There is less information about the Tantric Buddhists that came after Amoghavajra, like his descendants Huilang and Huiguo. Prajña was one of the last great translators of the Tang, known for his translation of the Gaṇdavyūha sūtra. Despite lacking the strong patronage it enjoyed under Emperor Daizong, there is evidence that Zhenyan practices and rituals continued to be a key part of Chinese Buddhism throughout the ninth century. After the Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution initiated by Emperor
Shingon Buddhism is one of the major schools of Buddhism in Japan and one of the few surviving Vajrayana lineages in East Asia spread from India to China through traveling monks such as Vajrabodhi and Amoghavajra. Known in Chinese as the Tangmi, these esoteric teachings would flourish in Japan under the auspices of a Buddhist monk named Kūkai, who traveled to Tang China to acquire and request transmission of the esoteric teachings. For that reason, it is called Japanese Esoteric Buddhism, or Orthodox Esoteric Buddhism; the word shingon is the Japanese reading of the Chinese word 真言, the Chinese transcription of the Sanskrit word "mantra". Shingon Buddhist doctrine and teachings arose during the Heian period after a Buddhist monk named Kūkai traveled to China in 804 to study Esoteric Buddhist practices in the city of Xi'an called Chang-an, at Azure Dragon Temple under Huiguo, a favorite student of the legendary Amoghavajra. Kūkai returned to Japan as Huiguo's lineage- and Dharma-successor. Shingon followers refer to Kūkai as Kōbō-Daishi or Odaishi-sama, the posthumous name given to him years after his death by Emperor Daigo.
Before he went to China, Kūkai had been an independent monk in Japan for over a decade. He was well versed in Chinese literature and Buddhist texts. Esoteric Buddhism was not school yet at that time. Huiguo was the first person to gather the still scattered elements of Indian and Chinese Esoteric Buddhism into a cohesive system. A Japanese monk named Gonsō had brought back to Japan from China an esoteric mantra of the bodhisattva Ākāśagarbha, the Kokūzō-gumonjihō, translated from Sanskrit into Chinese by Śubhakarasiṃha; when Kūkai was 22, he learned this mantra from Gonsō and would go into the forests of Shikoku to practice it for long periods of time. He mastered it. According to tradition, this practice brought him siddhis of superhuman memory retention and learning ability. Kūkai would praise the power and efficacy of Kokuzō-Gumonjiho practice, crediting it with enabling him to remember all of Huiguo's teachings in only three months. Kūkai's respect for Ākāśagarbha was so great that he regarded him as his honzon for the rest of his life.
It was during this period of intense mantra practice that Kūkai dreamt of a man telling him to seek out the Mahavairocana Tantra for the doctrine that he sought. The Mahavairocana Tantra had only been made available in Japan, he was able to obtain a copy in Chinese but large portions were in Sanskrit in the Siddhaṃ script, which he did not know, the Chinese portions were too arcane for him to understand. He believed that this teaching was a door to the truth he sought, but he was unable to comprehend it and no one in Japan could help him. Thus, Kūkai resolved to travel to China to spend the time necessary to understand the Mahavairocana Tantra; when Kūkai reached China and first met Huiguo on the fifth month of 805, Huiguo was age sixty and on the verge of death from a long spate of illness. Huiguo exclaimed to Kūkai in Chinese, "At last, you have come! I have been waiting for you! Prepare yourself for initiation into the mandalas!" Huiguo had foreseen that Esoteric Buddhism would not survive in India and China in the near future and that it was Kukai's destiny to see it continue in Japan.
In the short space of three months, Huiguo initiated and taught Kūkai everything he knew on the doctrines and practices of the Mandala of the Two Realms as well as mastery of Sanskrit and Chinese. Huiguo declared Kūkai to be his final disciple and proclaimed him a Dharma successor, giving the lineage name Henjō-Kongō "All-Illuminating Vajra". In the twelfth month of the same year, Huiguo was buried next to his master, Amoghavajra. More than one thousand of his disciples gathered for his funeral; the honor of writing his funerary inscription on their behalf was given to Kūkai. Kukai returned to Japan after Huiguo's death. If he had not, Esoteric Buddhism might not have survived. An avid Daoist, Wuzong despised Buddhism and considered the sangha useless tax-evaders. In 845, he ordered the destruction of 40,000 temples. Around 250,000 Buddhist monks and nuns had to give up their monastic lives. Wuzong stated that Buddhism was an alien religion and promoted Daoism zealously as the ethnic religion of the Han Chinese.
Although Wuzong was soon assassinated by his own inner circle, the damage had been done. Chinese Buddhism Esoteric practices, never recovered from the persecution, esoteric elements were infused into other Buddhist sects and traditions. After returning to Japan, Kūkai collated and systematized all that he had learned from Huiguo into a cohesive doctrine of pure esoteric Buddhism that would become the basis for his school. Kūkai did not establish his teachings as a separate school. Kūkai took on disciples and offered transmission until his death in 835 at the age of 61. Kūkai's first established monastery was in Mount Kōya
The kīla or phurba is a three-sided peg, knife, or nail-like ritual implement traditionally associated with Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, Bön, Indian Vedic traditions. The kīla is associated with Vajrakīlaya. Most of what is known of the Indian kīla lore has come by way of Tibetan culture. Scholars such as F. A. Bischoff, Charles Hartman and Martin Boord have shown that the Tibetan literature asserts that the Sanskrit for their term phurba is kīlaya. However, as Boord describes it, "all dictionaries and Sanskrit works agree the word to be kīla. I suppose this to result from an indiscriminate use by Tibetans of the dative singular kīlaya; this form would have been familiar to them in the simple salutation namo vajrakīlaya from which it could be assumed by those unfamiliar with the technicalities of Sanskrit that the name of the deity is Vajrakīlaya instead of Vajrakīla. It should be noted that the term kīlaya is found in Sanskrit texts legitimately used as the denominative verb'to spike,"transfix,"nail down,' etc."
Mayer contests Boord's assertion, pointing out that eminent Sanskritists such as Sakya Pandita employed Vajrakīlaya. Further, he argues: it is possible, on the other hand, that the name Vajrakīlaya as favoured by the Tibetans could in fact have been the form, used in the original Indic sources, that there is no need to hypothesize a correct form "Vajrakīla". "Vajrakīlaya" could have come from the second person singular active, causative imperative, of the verb Kīl. Indigenous grammar gives to Kīl the meaning of bandha, i.e. "to bind", while Monier-Williams gives the meanings "to bind, stake, pin". Hence the form kīlaya could mean "you cause to bind/transfix!", or "bind/transfix!". This, taken from mantras urging "bind/transfix", or "may you cause to bind/transfix", might have come to be treated as a noun; this suggestion is supported by Alexis Sanderson, a specialist in Sanskrit tantric manuscripts whom I consulted on this problem. Both the above suggestions are ungrammatical and incorrect from the point of view of Sanskrit grammar.
Regarding the suggestion of Boord et al. the Sanskrit dative of kīla is kīlāya, not kīlaya. Mayer's suggestion would require compounding a noun and a nominal verb, not a licit formation in Sanskrit. "Vajraṃ kīlaya" is a possible expression, but, not the form under discussion. It seems possible to me that the Tibetan kīlaya is borrowed not from Sanskrit but from a Prakrit word kīlaya; the fabrication of kīla is quite diverse. Having pommel and blade, kīla are segmented into suites of triunes on both the horizontal and vertical axes, though there are notable exceptions; this compositional arrangement highlights the numerological importance and spiritual energy of the integers three and nine. Kīla may be constituted and constructed of different materials and material components, such as wood, clay, gems, horn or crystal. Like the majority of traditional Tibetan metal instruments, the kīla is made from brass and iron (terrestrial and/or meteoric iron.'Thokcha' means "sky-iron" in Tibetan and denote tektites and meteorites which are high in iron content.
Meteoric iron was prized throughout the Himalaya where it was included in sophisticated polymetallic alloys such as Panchaloha for ritual implements. The pommel of the kīla bears three faces of Vajrakīla, one joyful, one peaceful, one wrathful, but may bear the umbrella of the ashtamangala or mushroom cap, snow lion, or stupa, among other possibilities; the handle is of a vajra, weaving or knotwork design. The handle has a triune form as is common to the pommel and blade; the blade is composed of three triangular facets or faces, meeting at the tip. These represent the blade's power to transform the negative energies known as the "three poisons" or "root poisons" of attachment/craving/desire, delusion/ignorance/misconception, aversion/fear/hate. Cantwell and Mayer have studied a number of texts recovered from the cache of the Dunhuang manuscripts that discuss the phurba and its ritual usage; the kīla is one of many iconographic representations of divine "symbolic attributes" of Vajrayana and Hindu deities.
When consecrated and bound for usage, the kīla are a nirmanakaya manifestation of Vajrakīlaya. Chandra, et al. in their Dictionary entry'korkor' "coiled" relates that the text titled the'Vaidūry Ngonpo' has the passage: ཐག་བ་ཕུར་བ་ལ་ཀོར་ཀོར་བྱམ "a string was wound round the dagger."One of the principal methods of working with the kīla and to actualize its essence-quality is to pierce the earth with it. The terms employed for the deity and the tool are
Religion in Inner Mongolia
Religion in Inner Mongolia is characterised by the diverse traditions of Mongolian-Tibetan Buddhism, Chinese Buddhism, the Chinese traditional religion including the traditional Chinese ancestral religion, Taoism and folk religious sects, the Mongolian native religion. The region is inhabited by a majority of Han Chinese and a substantial minority of Southern Mongols, so that some religions follow ethnic lines. According to a survey held in 2004 by the Minzu University of China, about 80% of the population of the region practice the worship of Heaven and of aobao. Official statistics report. According to the Chinese Spiritual Life Survey of 2007 and the Chinese General Social Survey of 2009, Christianity is the religious identity of 2% of the population of the region and the Chinese ancestral religion is the professed belonging of 2.36%, while a demographic analysis of the year 2010 reported that Muslims comprise the 0.91%. Mongolian Buddhism, of the same schools of Tibetan Buddhism, was the dominant religion in Inner Mongolia until the 19th century.
Its monastic institution was eradicated during the Cultural Revolution, tough against the political power of the lamas. Since the 1980s there has been a modest revival, with the reconstruction of some important monasteries and new smaller temples. At the same time, there has been an unprecedented development of Mongolian shamanism centered on the cult of Genghis Khan and the Heaven, the former being traditionally considered an embodiment of Heaven itself, in special temples, the cult of aobao as ancestral shrines; the cult of Genghis is shared by the Han Chinese, claiming his spirit as the founding principle of the Yuan dynasty. In facts, there has been a significant integration of the Han Chinese of Inner Mongolia into the traditional Mongolian spiritual heritage of the region. Reconstructed Buddhist monasteries and folk temples are massively attended by local Han. Moreover, as elsewhere in China, there has been a growing conscious adoption of the Gelug sect, other Tibetan-originated Buddhist schools, by the Han Chinese.
Buddhism was spread to the Mongols during the Yuan dynasty, under the reign of Kublai Khan, when Tibetan lamas of the Sakya sect were active at the court. However, in this period Buddhism didn't penetrate among the general population, its influence diminished with the fall of the Yuan dynasty. In the 17th century the Gelug sect became dominant in Mongolian Buddhism, it was during the Manchu Qing dynasty. With the state's support, it was in this period that most of the Mongolian Buddhist monasteries and institutes were constructed. Inner Mongolia was the centre of Mongolian Buddhism. By 1900, of the 243 incarnate lamas living in the territories of the Mongols, 157 resided in Inner Mongolia alone; the Qing politics draw the most important of these lamas to the capital at Beijing. However, with the demise of the Qing and the strong influences of modernisation in Inner Mongolia, including the "Enlightenment Movement" and secular education, in the late 19th century and early 20th century Mongolian Buddhism underwent a decline.
The situation became worse during the Cultural Revolution of China, in which religious expression was prohibited. More than ninety percent of the Buddhist monasteries in Inner Mongolia were destroyed in the early years of the revolution. Many lamas and lay Buddhists continued to practice in secret, until the 1980s when the principle of freedom of religion was instituted in China. A slow revival began, with the reconstruction of some of the old monasteries and the establishment of new smaller temples; the revival of Buddhism has been less powerful among Southern Mongols than that among Outer Mongols which started in the 1990s because the latter was linked to a self-conscious national-spiritual reawakening. Identification with Gelug and other Tibetan-originated sects is curbed among Southern Mongols because of the growing adoption of those schools by the Han Chinese. A phenomenon present in other parts of China, this influence of Tibetan schools among the Hans has been fueled by the proselytic activity of Chinese-speaking Tibetan lamas.
Mongolian shamanism or Tengerism refers to the animistic and shamanic native religion of the Mongols. It is centered on the highest Tenger or Qormusta Tengri. In the Mongolian native religion, Genghis Khan is considered one of the embodiments, if not the main embodoment, of the Tenger. In worship, communities of lay believers are led by shamans. A cult of Genghis Khan had existed until the 1930s, centered on a shrine which preserved mystical relics of Genghis, located in the Ordos Loop of Inner Mongolia; the Japanese, during the occupation of China, tried to take possession of the relics in order to catalyse a pro-Japanese Mongol nationalism, but they failed. Within the Mongolian People's Republic the Mongolian native religion was suppressed, Genghis' shrines destroyed. In Inner Mongolia, the worship of the cultural hero persisted.