Kotyk on Goble, 'Chinese Esoteric Buddhism: Amoghavajra, the Ruling Elite, and the Emergence of a Tradition'

Geoffrey C. Goble
Jeffrey Kotyk

Geoffrey C. Goble. Chinese Esoteric Buddhism: Amoghavajra, the Ruling Elite, and the Emergence of a Tradition. The Sheng Yen Series in Chinese Buddhist Studies. New York: Columbia University Press, 2019. 336 pp. $69.99 (e-book), ISBN 978-0-231-55064-2; $70.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-231-19408-2.

Reviewed by Jeffrey Kotyk (McMaster University) Published on H-Buddhism (August, 2020) Commissioned by Jessica Zu (Princeton University, USC Dornsife)

Printable Version: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php?id=55284

In recent years we have seen increasing publications on the topic of Japanese Mikkyō in the English language, but attention to its predecessor in Tang China is especially welcome.[1] The title of Geoffrey C. Goble’s book, Chinese Esoteric Buddhism: Amoghavajra, the Ruling Elite, and the Emergence of a Tradition, immediately sparks interest, given the absence of a dedicated monograph on the influential court cleric Amoghavajra from the mid-Tang. Upon reading Chinese Esoteric Buddhism, however, I concluded that it contains a number of indefensible claims and theories that render the main arguments in the book difficult to accept, although at the same time I have to commend the author for his extensive excavation of primary sources in classical Chinese, ranging from Buddhist texts to state chronicles. Many of the problems I will point out below could have been avoided had the author consulted more secondary sources, particularly in Japanese, but the book’s bibliography only lists a handful of studies in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese.

One of the key concerns of the book is defining “Esoteric Buddhism.” In the synopsis, Goble writes, “The first step in this project is to provide evidence of local recognition of Esoteric Buddhism as a new teaching and to delineate as clearly as possible what that teaching was. This is the subject of the first chapter. We have no evidence that Śubhākarasiṃha was seen as presenting a new teaching and no reliable way of knowing how he presented himself and his Buddhism” (p. 9). This is one of the key arguments of Chinese Esoteric Buddhism, but one can summon counter evidence against it (see below). Chapter 1 defines “Esoteric Buddhism” as separate from an “esoteric Buddhism” (uppercase versus lowercase e), the latter being dhāraṇīs (incantations) and spells, while the former is understood as something new to China and in particular established by Amoghavajra.

Does Goble’s key apparatus for defining Esoteric Buddhism hold up? I do not believe it does. Contrary to what Goble claims, we actually do have evidence that a Mantric tradition was, in fact, regarded as a new and innovative teaching even before Śubhākarasiṃha. Several of the following points were already explained in Yoritomi Motohiro’s work, which does not appear in Goble’s bibliography.[2]

The Tuoluoni ji jing 陀羅尼集經, translated by Atikūṭa 阿地瞿多 in 654, describes the consecration of a ritual space and the initiation of disciples in the “Secret Dharma Depository of the Buddhas” (zhufo mimi fazang 諸佛祕密法藏). This would refer to a maṇḍala (sacred ritual space) and the accompanying abhieka (consecration). The ritual process uses a vajra (T 901, 18: 813c19-814c23). Moreover, Zhisheng 智昇 (669–740) in 730 reported that Atikūṭa “established a Universal Altar for Dhāraṇīs 建陀羅尼普集會壇” (T 2154, 55: 562c15). This was, I believe, unprecedented in Chinese history and would have been recognized as a new model of Buddhist practice.

Moving ahead a few decades, Chinese monks in India were exposed to the new Mantric practices. Although on page 19, Goble notes that the Chinese monk Wuxing 無行 (b. 630) had been responsible for the transmission of several key texts back to China, another essential item of interest related to Wuxing is the letter he sent to the Chinese court, which Goble does not mention. The letter was brought to Japan by Ennin 圓仁 (794–864) (南荊州沙門無行在天竺國致於唐國書一卷; T 2167, 55: 1086c22). Only a few lines of this letter are extant. One important line is preserved in the Shingon shūkyō jigi 眞言宗教時義 by Annen 安然 (841–915?). The extant line from Wuxing’s letter reads, “Recently the new Mantra teachings have become revered in the country [India] 近者新有眞言教法擧國崇仰” (T 2396, 75: 421a11). Yijing 義淨 (635–713), who visited Southeast Asia and India between 671 and 695, also reported that the Vidyādharapiṭaka (zhou zang 呪藏), in other words, the canon of dhāraīs or mantras, had not yet spread eastward to China (呪藏東夏未流). Yijing himself had repeatedly entered the tanchang 壇場 (here referring to the ritual space or maṇḍala) at Nālanda intent on acquiring this practice, but his merit was insufficient (淨於那爛陀亦屢入壇場希心此要而為功不並就; T 2066, 51: 7a9-12). These accounts prove that the Chinese were already aware of an innovative new approach to Buddhist practice centered on mantras, which clearly required some sort of authorization or initiation.

An important part of Chinese Esoteric Buddhism is its treatment of Amoghavajra’s predecessors. Goble addresses the careers and roles of Śubhākarasiṃha, Yixing, and Vajrabodhi in the introduction. Goble argues, with regard to Śubhākarasiṃha, that we have “no reliable way of knowing how he presented himself and his Buddhism. We only have access to others’ representations. In sources produced prior to 755, Śubhākarasiṃha is identified as transmitting the dhāraī teaching rather than something new in his scriptural translations” (p. 9). This is an erroneous assertion for the simple fact that we have the commentary to the Vairocanābhisabodhi, which was compiled and expanded on by Yixing based on the oral testimony of Śubhākarasiṃha. Goble, however, rejects this authorship: “All told, evidence suggests that the Commentary postdates the lives of Śubhākarasiṃha and Yixing and is possibly a Japanese product” (pp. 19–20).

Some remarks about the authorship of the commentary were voiced by Osabe Kazuo 長部和雄 (b. 1907) as early as 1944. He also wrote an article in 1954 expressing doubts about Yixing’s involvement in the text in question (this does not mean it was a Japanese composition however). Osabe should have been cited (especially his monograph on Yixing) but was not, although later scholars in Japan have generally not accepted Osabe’s proposal. Excellent recent studies on the commentary in its various recensions include those by Kameyama Takahiko, Shimizu Akisumi, and Mano Shinya.[3] These scholars discuss the complex factors underlying the production and transmission of multiple recensions of the commentary (the two main versions in use by scholars are T 1796 and X 438).

Goble’s argument against the traditionally attributed authorship of the commentary is easily refuted with reference to the commentary itself and other Chinese and Japanese sources. I present five points that contest Goble’s argument. First, the sub-commentary in the Yiqie jing yinyi 一切經音義 by Amoghavajra’s disciple Huilin 慧琳 (737–820), produced in 807, cites the commentary with the abbreviated title Yiji 義記, noting it was produced by Yixing. This abbreviated title likely stems from Dapiluzhena jing yiji 大毘盧遮那經義記, which is an attested title in Annen’s catalog, the Sho ajari shingon mikkyō burui sōroku 諸阿闍梨眞言密教部類總録 (T 2756, 55: 1114c24-26) from the year 902. Annen also noted this work was “expounded by Śubhākarasiṃha and recorded by Yixing 無畏釋一行記” (T 2176, 55: 1114c24). This only demonstrates the traditional position that this commentary was orally explained by Śubhākarasiṃha at first and then Yixing added further material on the basis of this. Huilin’s definition of the term mānava 摩納婆 was clearly derived from the commentary (compare T 2128, 54: 353b23-c1 and T 1796, 39: 594a27-b5). Huilin clearly had the commentary in his possession in the year 807 in China.

Second, Yixing’s own theory of fixed and averaged New Moons is actually incorporated into the commentary in the section on astrology and calendrical conventions. I have discussed this section of the commentary and Yixing’s theory in a past study.[4] If the commentary were a Japanese composition, as Goble suggests it could be, the author(s) would have had to be familiar with the astronomical theory of Yixing. This seems unlikely because his calendar, the Dayan li 大衍暦, would not have been accessible to monastics in China and Japan. Furthermore, the commentary translates twelve zodiacs as shi’er fang 十二房 (twelve chambers) (T 1796, 39: 618a8). If the commentary were produced during or after Amoghavajra’s time, especially by a Japanese hand, we would expect to see the more conventionally established terms shi’er gong 十二宮 (twelve palaces) or sh’er wei 十二位 (twelve places).

Third, the Taizō engi 胎藏緣起, which is attributed to Saichō 最澄 (767–822), mentions the production of the commentary: Yixing “frequently consulted with Tripiṭaka Master Śubhākarasiṃha. [They] translated the Sanskrit of the Vairocana-sūtra into a Chinese text, altogether seven fascicles, which was then transmitted into the world, while also producing a commentary on the meanings [of the text] 每於無畏三藏所諮, 毗盧遮那經, 自譯梵文以爲漢典凡七卷, 見傳於世,兼為疏義.” The Ryaku fuhō den 略付法傳 by Kūkai 空海 (774–835), however, only mentions the translation but not the commentary.[5]

Fourth, the Liangbu dafa xiangcheng shizi fufa ji 兩部大法相承師資付法記 by Haiyun 海雲 in 834 records that Yixing produced a commentary to the Vairocanābhisabodhi in seven fascicles, which later were arranged as fourteen (T 2081, 51: 786c17-18). Fifth, Annen (T 2176, 55: 1114c24) recorded that a commentary to the Vairocanābhisabodhi (大毘盧遮那經義記十卷) was brought to Japan by Genbō 玄昉 (d. 746). Genbō stayed in China between 716 and 735. Unless Annen’s records were fraudulent, it is clear that Genbō returned with one version of the commentary. Genbō’s dates in China overlap with the careers of Śubhākarasiṃha and Yixing in the capital. Genbō was actually in China when the Vairocanābhisabodhi and its commentary were produced.

As the research of various Japanese scholars shows, there were some emendations and edits to the commentary in China after Yixing’s time, but the bulk of the work dates back to Yixing and Śubhākarasiṃha.[6] Moreover, looking at the two main recensions of this commentary that are commonly used today (T 1796 and X 438), we see lines that commence with “the ācārya states ...” (阿闍梨云; T 1796, 39: 579c10), which is likely Śubhākarasiṃha’s own voice, albeit translated into Chinese. In fact, although Yixing is normally credited with the authorship of the commentary, and indeed it is a fact he clearly edited and added material, it seems that Yixing built up from Śubhākarasiṃha’s oral commentary. An item listed in the Gishaku mokuroku 義釋目錄 by the Japanese monk Enchin 圓珍 (814–91) includes a certain Fanben Piluzhena chengfo jing chaoji 梵本毗盧遮那成佛經抄記 (X 438, 23: 299b21), which is not extant, but this appears to have been notes for the Sanskrit Vairocanābhisabodhi. Yixing and Śubhākarasiṃha had together translated said text in 724, so undoubtedly these notes were likely recorded from Śubhākarasiṃha. Yixing, we can imagine, incorporated these into the commentary, as seems to have been the case. Furthermore, the commentary on the Vairocanābhisabodhi deals with many more topics than only the dhāraī teachings—in fact, it explains abhieka and the creation of a maṇḍala, which leads me to wonder why Goble claims that “in sources produced prior to 755, Śubhākarasiṃha is identified as transmitting the dhāraī teaching rather than something new in his scriptural translations” (p. 9).

The above points can only lead one to conclude that Goble’s challenge to the traditionally attributed authorship of the commentary to the Vairocanābhisabodhi is indefensible and moreover constitutes a fatal flaw in his analysis of Śubhākarasiṃha and Yixing. To suggest that the commentary “is possibly a Japanese product” is misleading and wrong. I shared Goble’s idea with Shingon and Tendai monks, who agreed that such a proposal was unreasonable. One remarked that Kūkai brought back a copy of the commentary in 806, which in Kūkai’s catalog is also attributed to Yixing (T 2161, 55: 1064a8). My colleague further noted that Kūkai repeatedly quoted from the commentary throughout his writings.

Moving on, Goble argues, “In China, Śubhākarasiṃha’s texts were not conceived as a distinct or new teaching during his own lifetime” (p. 20). The Vairocanābhisabodhi, however, explains that attainment of full awakening is possible within a single life, which is entirely unlike earlier Mahāyāna texts, in which the path to full buddhahood takes immeasurable lifetimes along the ten bhūmis of a bodhisattva’s career. The relevant line in the Vairocanābhisabodhi reads, “Moreover, he manifested the appearances of vajradharas, and the bodhisattvas Samantabhadra and Padmapāṇi, and proclaimed throughout the ten directions the pure-worded Dharma of the Mantra path: that the stages from the first generation of [bodhi-]citta up to tenth [can be] progressively fulfilled in this lifetime 又現執金剛普賢蓮華手菩薩等像貌, 普於十方, 宣說真言道清淨句法, 所謂初發心乃至十地, 次第此生滿足” (T 848, 18: 1b2-4).

This idea is further elaborated in the commentary as follows: “The gate into the entry of Mantra generally includes three items. The first is the gate related to the mysteries of body. The second is the gate related to mysteries of speech. The third is the gate related to mysteries of mind. These matters will be broadly discussed below. The practitioner purifies their three karmas through these three means. It is by being empowered [*adhiṣṭhāna] with the three mysteries of the Tathāgata that it is possible to fulfill the bhūmis and pāramitās in this lifetime, and not further pass through numbers of kalpas 入真言門略有三事, 一者身密門, 二者語密門, 三者心密門. 是事下當廣說. 行者以此三方便, 自淨三業, 即為如來三密之所加持, 乃至能於此生滿足地波羅密, 不復經歷劫數” (T 1796, 39: 579b27-c2).[7] This would have been a revolutionary new concept to Chinese Buddhists, especially when it was linked to the mysteries of body, speech, and mind. Śubhākarasiṃha’s translation was arguably novel in China, since it explained this concept of buddhahood within one lifetime.

I am compelled to challenge Goble’s claim that Śubhākarasiṃha and Vajrabodhi “seem to have had little if any effect on the conception of Buddhism in China, likely due to the relative paucity of their scriptural contributions to the Chinese Buddhist canon” (p. 29). The foundations of Buddhist Mantrayāna in East Asia were, in reality, established by these two monks and then further developed by Amoghavajra. Śubhākarasiṃha and Vajrabodhi introduced lineages of abhieka (initiations) and also new iconographical forms via maṇḍalas. These two practices alone altered the face of Chinese Buddhism. The pantheon of deities and other figures who accompanied the maṇḍalas were greatly influential within Chinese Buddhist art history. The iconography these two monks introduced ought to also have been addressed by Goble. These icons were preserved in Japan in various documents, such as the Taizō zuzō 胎藏圖象 (Taishō zuzō vol. 2: 191–328) and Taizō kuzuyō 胎藏舊圖樣 (Taishō zuzō vol. 2: 477–566), for example. From the perspective of art history, it is unreasonable to argue that Śubhākarasiṃha or Vajrabodhi had “little if any effect on the conception of Buddhism in China,” since from the extant literature and iconography, it is patently clear that this is untrue.

Moving further into the study, Goble suggests that “it is difficult not to see Emperor Xuanzong’s interest in Vajrabodhi—like Emperor Taizong’s interest in Xuanzang—as predicated on the intelligence concerning foreign kingdoms that the monk could provide” (p. 29). Taizong’s interest in Xuanzang was complex and not limited to an interest in Xuanzang’s knowledge of foreign countries. The utility of gaining popular Buddhist support through sponsoring translations during a critical time in his reign was more likely Taizong’s actual interest. A lot of the assumptions about Taizong’s relationship to Xuanzang are based on questionable hagiographical evidence.[8] Similarly, in my opinion, it is more reasonable to argue that Vajrabodhi and his monastic contemporaries were regarded by Xuanzong’s court as valuable members of the sangha. There would have been far superior methods to acquire intelligence on foreign powers than relying on foreign monks, and a survey of the dynastic histories and various state compendia show that; in fact, state authors seldom seriously consulted Buddhist sources. For instance, the encyclopedic Tong dian 通典 (fasc. 193) compiled in 801 by Du You 杜佑 (735–812) has a line in the sub-commentary on the section on India that states, “Authors record the affairs of India, with many records of monks. One suspects that the popular records of Faming and Dao’an are all fantastical and unreliable, so they are not recompiled [here] 諸家紀天竺國事, 多錄諸僧, 法明道安之流傳記, 疑皆恢誕不經, 不復悉纂也.” For these reasons, I think the statement that Amoghavajra acted as an unofficial intelligence agent “according to an established role for Buddhist monks in the Tang period” is also problematic (p. 37).

On page 45, Goble argues, “Although the Account of Conduct passage suggests that Vajrabodhi possessed and transmitted the Great Vairocana Scripture to Amoghavajra, there is no other evidence that Vajrabodhi emphasized or was aware of this text.” This is another puzzling statement, since Japanese Buddhism traditionally teaches otherwise. Haiyun explained that Vajrabodhi knew that Śubhākarasiṃha understood the teachings of Mahāvairocana and subsequently sought teachings from him (T 2081, 51: 784a5-10). There is clearly evidence to support the idea that Vajrabodhi was aware of the Vairocanābhisabodhi and was initiated into it. If Goble disputes this, then he ought to have provided reasoning why.

Chinese Esoteric Buddhism is primarily concerned with Amoghavajra. The background biographical information is sufficient but could have included a critical discussion of the Buddhist sources that we possess to reconstruct the life of Amoghavajra, as well as their potential shortcomings as hagiographies but such philological excavations of primary sources are not a feature in the book.

Buddhist hagiographies and state records can be at odds with each other in Chinese history, so reconstructing the life of a monk is no simple task. One can also carefully use Japanese materials as additional references, such as the aforementioned Ryaku fuhō den in the case of Amoghavajra. Fascicle 52 of the Cefu yuangui 冊府元龜—completed in 1013 by Wang Qinruo 王欽若 (962-1025) and Yang Yi 楊億 (974-1020)—is another important source. In this voluminous work, which is now digitized and searchable on CTEXT and Wikisource, we see some references to Amoghavajra. This fascicle in particular includes a memorial penned by Amoghavajra in which he reviews his own long career. A eulogy of Amoghavajra is also included in this fascicle. These documents would have been worth bringing into the wider study.

Chapter 2 discusses Amoghavajra’s rise to influence in relation to the rites of the Tang “imperial religion.” This is not an emic category (that is, Chinese did not have an equivalent term such as this, nor did they think of their country as an “empire”). As part of this discussion, Goble introduces the specific ritual for the winter solstice, citing the Jiu Tang shu 舊唐書 (JTS 21.820). He states that “the twelve zodiacal constellations” were enshrined on the altar, which sparked my interest, since I did not think that the zodiacal deities were incorporated into the state rituals at this point in Chinese history (the zodiac signs—Aries, Taurus, etc.—originated in Mesopotamia and were initially transmitted into China via Buddhism) (p. 62). However, upon reading the original source, I did not see any reference to zodiacal signs or constellations but only to the twenty-eight lunar stations (ershiba xiu 二十八宿). Goble also mentions Tianyi 天一 and Taiyi 太一, but I do not see these in the original Chinese text. This sort of imaginative or otherwise defective interpretation of the primary source is misleading.

Chapter 3 discusses Esoteric Buddhism and warfare, topics with which Amoghavajra was evidently familiar. Here we find extensive documentation of ritual forms used in the Tang military, including Buddhist and Daoist sources that are connected to Amoghavajra. Extensive details are provided for this topic. Goble argues that “Amoghavajra’s meteoric ascent was largely the result of two essential and related factors” (p. 95). He cites the An Lushan rebellion and Amoghavajra’s subjugation rituals with which he was believed to subdue and kill enemies. Although many details are given to argue for these two points, I would argue that it was not strictly Amoghavajra’s abilities in spellcraft that facilitated his rise in elite society. Amoghavajra’s career during this period included other activities, most notable was his compilation and formulation of Indian astrology for implementation within a Chinese environment. The relevant text in question is listed in the bibliography of Chinese Esoteric Buddhism as Wenshushili pusa jizhu xiansuo shuo jixiong shiri shan’e suyao jing 文殊師利菩薩及諸仙所說吉凶時日善惡宿曜經 (T 1299), but 宿 (lunar lodge or constellation) is xiu and not su (in other words, Xiuyao jing, not Suyao jing). Goble does not seem to discuss this text in his book, despite its professional and political significance in Amoghavajra’s life. This text was first drafted in 759, with a subsequent revision in 764. These were the years that Amoghavajra’s career as a court cleric flourished. We should note that the edition of the Xiuyao jing in the Taishō canon is not the original version produced by Amoghavajra. The main body of the text also defers to Indian or Sino-Indian astronomers resident in the capital, namely, the Kāśyapa and Gautama families, and the monk Kumāra[9]. In light of these facts, to suggest Amoghavajra rose to prominence on a wave of violent magic unduly modifies his image toward that angle. Amoghavajra was also involved in astrology and astronomy to some extent.

Goble argues that “in Esoteric Buddhism, standard ethical proscriptions and prescriptions for both monastic Buddhists and lay practitioners were effectively subordinated to an ethic of power” (p. 128). This ethical flexibility described here was not necessarily an innovation of Amoghavajra. We can point to the work of the Huayan patriarch Fazang 法藏 (643–712), namely, his commentary on the bodhisattva precepts: Fanwangjing pusa jieben shu 梵網經菩薩戒本疏 (T 1813). Fazang often cited the Yogācārabhūmi 瑜伽論 (T 1579), which gives the bodhisattva a great deal of ethical flexibility to carry out acts of theft and even homicide if circumstances permit. Such acts performed out of compassion generate merit according to said text (T 1579, 30: 517b6-17). Fazang’s commentary allows for the production of weapons and subduing of unruly sentient beings (T 1813, 40: 639b5-9). In light of this, the argument that Amoghavajra’s system of Buddhism was subordinated to an ethic of power appears overstated and not entirely justified.

This sets the stage for chapter 4, which deals with Amoghavajra’s relationships with various elite figures, including the emperors and other prominent men. Goble goes into great detail about the changes the Tang government saw during the years of Amoghavajra’s career. He also outlines biographical details of the people with whom Amoghavajra interacted, with reference to the dynastic histories and other sources. Chapter 5 addresses the institutional establishment of Esoteric Buddhism. Goble asserts an argument made throughout earlier chapters, that “Amoghavajra represented his teaching as a new teaching, one that was not known in China until he transmitted what he had received in southern India” (p. 174). Chapter 6 of Chinese Esoteric Buddhism explores the legacy of Amoghavajra. This chapter also extends into discussions of how Zanning 贊寧 (920–1001) in particular shaped contemporary and also modern understandings of Amoghavajra and his Esoteric Buddhism.

Goble gives different titles of texts in translation. For instance, Great Vairocana (p. 2), Mahāvairocana (p. 3), and Great Vairocana Scripture (p. 18) for Dari jing 大日經 (on page 45 this is literally translated as Great Sun Scripture), but a more sensible approach would be to consistently use an attested Sanskrit title of the work in question, such as that given in the fragments explored by Matsunaga Yūkei in 1966, and also recently used by Kanō Kazuo: namely, Vairocanābhisabodhi.[10] We also see typographical errors throughout the book, which are too numerous to list here. Goble mentions in passing “the deity Vinayaka (pinayajia tian 毘那夜迦天) or Vinayaka Gānapati (pinayajia enabodi 毘那夜迦誐那缽底), the esoteric Gaṇeśa” (p. 186). It should be Vināyaka and Gaṇapati respectively. More care with Sanskrit names would have been desirable (especially now that Monier-Williams is digitized).

To sum up, I believe that Chinese Esoteric Buddhism offers extensive biographical details regarding Amoghavajra’s life and career, as well as those religiously or professionally connected to him, and all this is indeed valuable, but this monograph suffers from a number of problems. In light of what I have outlined above, I cannot recommend Chinese Esoteric Buddhism. The definitive study on Amoghavajra remains to be written.


[1]. I must thank Joseph P. Elacqua and Jayarava Attwood for their comments regarding this review. I must also thank my colleagues from Shingon and Tendai who shared their views.

[2]. Yoritomi Motohiro 頼富本宏, “Mikkyō no kakuritsu” 密教の確立, in Indo mikkyō インド密教, ed. Tachikawa Musashi 立川武蔵 and Yoritomi Motohiro (Tokyo: Shunjūsha, 1999), 32–56.

[3]. Osabe Kazuo 長部和雄, “Ichigyō Zenji no kenkyū” 一行禪師の研究, Mikkyō kenkyū 密教研究 87 (1944): 21–39; Osabe Kazuo, “Dainichikyō sho no sensha to Gishaku no zaijisha ni kansuru gimon” 大日經疏の撰者と義釋の再治者に關する疑問, Mikkyō bunka 密教文化 27 (1954): 40–47; Osabe Kazuo, Ichigyō Zenji no kenkyū 一行禪師の研究 (Kobe: Kōbe Shōka Daigaku Keizai Kenkyūsho, 1963); Kameyama Takahiko 龜山隆彦, “Dainichikyō sho ni okeru senryakushaku shinpishaku ni tsuite”『大日經疏』における淺略釋・深秘釋について, Indogaku Bukkyōgaku Kenkyū 印度學佛教學研究 56, no. 1 (2007): 169–72; Shimizu Akisumi 清水明澄, “Tōdo ni okeru Dainichikyō chūshakusho no seiritsu katei: Onkojo wo chūshin toshite” 唐土における『大日經』注釋書の成立過程:『温古序』を中心として, Mikkyō bunka 密教文化 221 (2008): 49–72; and Mano Shinya 真野新也, “Kanyaku Dainichi-kyō chūshakusho no seiritsu ni kansuru kōsatsu: Kyōten kanyaku tono kankei kara” 漢訳『大日経』註釈書の成立に関する考察 : 経典漢訳との関係から, Ronsō Ajia no bunka to shisō  論叢アジアの文化と思想 25 (2016): 34–121.

[4]. Jeffrey Kotyk, “Early Tantric Hemerology in Chinese Buddhism: Timing of Rituals according to Śubhakarasiṃha and Yixing,” Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies 13 (2018): 12–13.

[5]. Dengyōdaishi zenshū 傳教大師全集 (Hieizan Senshūin Fuzoku Ezan Gakuin 比叡山専修院附属叡山學院, 1926), vol. 4, 5 [391]; and Kōbōdaishi zenshū 弘法大師全集 (Yoshikawa Kōbunkan 吉川弘文館, 1911), 1:613–14.

[6]. See discussion of extant texts in Shimizu, “Tōdo ni okeru Dainichikyō chūshakusho no seiritsu katei,” 55.

[7]. Quoted from Kotyk, “Early Tantric Hemerology in Chinese Buddhism,” 2n1.

[8]. I critically discuss Xuanzang’s relationship with Taizong in my recent study: Jeffrey Kotyk, “Chinese State and Buddhist Historical Sources on Xuanzang: Historicity and the Daci’en si sanzang fashi zhuan 大慈恩寺三藏法師傳,” T’oung Pao 通報 105 (2019): 531–35.

[9]. Yano Michio, Mikkyō senseijutsu 密教占星術 (Tokyo: Tōyō Shoin, 2013), 132–42, 226–50; and Sukuyō-kyō shukusatsu 宿曜經縮刷 (Nagoya: Wakita Bunshō, 1897), 1:29.

[10]. Matsunaga Yūkei 松長有慶, “Dainichi-kyō no bonbun danpen ni tsuite” 大日經の梵文斷編について, Indogaku Bukkyōgaku kenkyū 印度學佛教學研究 14, no. 2 (1966): 855; and Kanō Kazuo, “Vairocanābhisaṃbodhi,” in Brill’s Encyclopedia of Buddhism, vol. 1, ed. Jonathan A. Silk (Leiden: Brill, 2015), 382–89.

Citation: Jeffrey Kotyk. Review of Goble, Geoffrey C., Chinese Esoteric Buddhism: Amoghavajra, the Ruling Elite, and the Emergence of a Tradition. H-Buddhism, H-Net Reviews. August, 2020. URL: http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=55284

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