Mañjuśrīnāmasamgīti

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Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti (T. 'jam dpal mtshan brjod; C. sheng miaojixiang zhenshi ming jing 聖妙吉祥眞實名經) is a popular liturgical text from 7th or 8th century CE in India.[1] The title is translated as "Chanting the Names of Mañjuśrī," "Litany of the Names of Mañjuśrī," etc.

In this text, "the Buddha offers extensive praise to Mañjuśrī in the form of multiple epithets and identifications, equating him with all that is auspicious, although special attention is paid to his identity with the myriad categories of Buddhist wisdom."[1]

Ryan Conlon states:

Commonly known as simply the Nāmasaṅgīti, this is one of the most highly revered tantras throughout all lineages and practice systems of Vajrayāna Buddhism. In it, Buddha Śākyamuni teaches Vajrapāṇi and his retinue a list of names for the wisdom body of Mañjuśrī, the heart of all tathāgatas. Expressed in attractive and at time playful verses, these names evoke an extremely vast array of topics and images, from the mundane to the transcendent, and from the quiescent to the ferocious. The Nāmasaṅgīti has occupied a central role in the daily chanting of Buddhist practitioners for centuries and is often the first text to be recited on special occasions.[2]

Tibetan tradition

Mañjuśrīnāmasamgīti is an important tantric text within Tibetan Buddhism. In particular, it is connected with the Hevajra, Guhyagarbha, and Kalachakra tantras.[3]

This text is also referred to as The King of All Tantras and Net of Magical Manifestation of Manjushri.[3]

Tulku Sherdor states:

The very first entry in the Tantra (rgyud) section of the Kangyur... is the Mañjuśrī Nāmasaṃgītiḥ, or Jampal Tsenjod ('jam dpal mtshan yang dag par brjod pa) — The Perfect Profession of The Qualities of Manjusri...
The Indian Buddhist masters who originally brought their tradition to Tibet treated this text as fundamental to the view and practice of tantra. Over time, a vast body of literature emerged in Tibet, alternately interpreting this tantra as intrinsically related to the Kālacakra tantra itself, or to one or another among the hierarchical levels of tantra and philosophical schools in the Buddhist tradition.
[...]
The root text, notwithstanding its plethora of minor variations in extant Sanskrit and Tibetan editions (of which I have reviewed and compared a great many), is a masterpiece of world literature, of poetic verse; a gift and boon from Śākyamuni Buddha. His instructions, both spoken and sung to Vajrapani, are a key to all that we now regard as Vajrayāna Buddhism, and, for that matter, the view of Dzogchen.[4]

Khenpo Sonam Tobgyal states:

The text belonging to the Magical Network Tantra, known as the Perfect Profession of The Qualities of Manjusri, is the ultimate prototype for all classes of tantra in the secret mantra, vajrayana vehicle of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, without regard to school or sect. Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu and Nyingma lamas all observe the practice of reciting this text. Indeed, there exists a longstanding custom among Tibetan practitioners generally to recite the three, "Jam, Du and Zang" (Recitation of The Qualities of Manjusri, Doctrinal Summary Sutra, and Excellent Conduct Aspiration Prayer) as a daily practice.[5]

Translations

Online:

Texts:

  • Davidson, Ronald M. (ed. & transl.) 'The Litany of Names of Manjushri - Text and Translation of the Manjushri-nama-samgiti', in Strickmann (ed.) Tantric and Taoist Studies (R.A. Stein Festschrift), Brussels: Institut Belge des Hautes Etudes Chinoises (Melanges Chinois et Bouddhiques, vol. XX-XXI) 1981
  • Gyurme Dorje, 'The Litany of the Names of Manjushri', included with interlinear commentary in Choying Tobden Dorje's The Complete Nyingma Tradition, Volumes 15-17 (Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2018)
  • Tulku Sherdor, 'Professing the Qualities of Manjushri', in The Wisdom of Manjushri (Delancey: Blazing Wisdom Publications, 2012)
  • Tribe, Anthony, Tantric Buddhist Practice in India: Vilāsavajra’s Commentary on the Mañjuśrī-Nāmasaṃgīti, 1st edition (London, New York: Routledge, 2016).
  • Wayman, Alex, Chanting the Names of Manjusri: The Manjusri Nama-Samgiti, (Boston & London: Shambhala, 1985)

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti.
  2. LotsawaHouse-tag.png Translations by Ryan Conlon, Lotsawa House
  3. 3.0 3.1 Chanting the Names of Manjushri: A Reader's Guide, Shambhala Publications
  4. Tulku Sherdor 2012, Introduction.
  5. Tulku Sherdor 2012, Forward.

Sources

External links