Vimalaprabha

From Encyclopedia of Buddhism
Jump to: navigation, search

Vimalaprabha is a Sanskrit word that means "Stainless Light Commentary", or 'Dri-med ‘od' in Tibetan.[1] This 11th-century Tibetan Buddhist text is a commentary to the Kalachakra Tantra. The Vimalaprabha is attributed to Shambhala King Pundarika (Tibetan: Pad ma dkar po).[2] It is composed in Sanskrit and consists of 12,000 lines of text.[3] The original text has survived in the libraries of Tibetan monasteries.[4]

The verse 4.119 of the Vamalaprabha offers one of the earliest definition of the term "Hatha yoga" and a floruit. The Vimalaprabha mentions, translates Mallinson, that Hatha yoga brings about "unchanging moment through the practice of nada by forcefully making the breath enter the central channel and through restraining the bindu of the bodhicitta in the vajra of the lotus of wisdom".[5] The text criticizes Shaiva tantric tradition as ineffective, states Wallace, stating that the Shaiva method leads to a "few limited Siddhis" and that the consciousness of its followers "does not make them Shiva like".[6] The Vimalaprabha states that the knowledge of Buddha dharma is essential before the successful teaching of tantra, and one who does not know the path of the Buddha "teaches the evil path".[6]

According to Johan Elverskog, the Vimalaprabha provides evidence that the Buddhists who composed this text, along with the Kalachakra Tantra, were aware of the Islamic theology and the core differences between the precepts and premises of Muslims and Buddhists by the 11th-century. The differences were deemed so significant that the text refers to Muslims as barbarians.[7] In other sections it calls Muslims as enemies or mlecchas, assertions that have led scholars to date the text after the 10th-century Islamic invasions of regions inhabited by Buddhist monks.[8]

According to John Newman, the Vimalaprabha mentions an event in the year "403" in Tibetan number symbols stating it to be the "year of the lord of the barbarians".[4] This combined by the text's statement that "Muhammad is the incarnation of al-Rahman" and the teacher of the barbarian dharma (religion), states Newman, suggests that the 403 year must be in the era of Hijra, or equal 1012-1013 CE. This supports the dating of this text to about 1027 CE by Tibetan and Western scholars.[4]

The Vimalaprabha commentary, together with the Laghutantra form the basis of the Kalachakra practice as it is currently known and practiced in Tibetan Buddhism, as part of the Vajrayana practices. It is one of the three major commentaries on Kalachakra system, along with Hevajrapindarthatika and Laksabhidhana duddhrta laghutantra pindartha vivarana nama.[9]

References

  1. John Powers; David Templeman (2012). Historical Dictionary of Tibet. Scarecrow. pp. 228–229. ISBN 978-0-8108-7984-3. 
  2. Vesna Wallace (2001). The Inner Kalacakratantra: A Buddhist Tantric View of the Individual. Oxford University Press. pp. v, 1–8. ISBN 978-0-19-802848-2. 
  3. Edward A. Arnold (2009). As Long as Space Endures: Essays on the Kalacakra Tantra in Honor of H.H. the Dalai Lama. Shambhala. pp. 205–206. ISBN 978-1-55939-910-4. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 John Newman (1985). Geshe Lhundub Sopa; et al., eds. The Wheel of Time: The Kalachakra in Context. Shambhala. pp. 56–79, 85–87 with notes. ISBN 978-15593-97-797. 
  5. James Mallinson (2015). Bjarne Wernicke Olesen, ed. Goddess Traditions in Tantric Hinduism: History, Practice and Doctrine. Routledge. pp. 125 note 10. ISBN 978-1-317-58522-0. ;
    James Mallinson (2012), Saktism and Hathayoga, Yoga Vidya, pages 2-3 with footnotes 7-8
  6. 6.0 6.1 Vesna Wallace (2001). The Inner Kalacakratantra: A Buddhist Tantric View of the Individual. Oxford University Press. pp. 7–8. ISBN 978-0-19-802848-2. 
  7. Johan Elverskog (2011). Buddhism and Islam on the Silk Road. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 102–103, context: 98–107. ISBN 0-8122-0531-6. , Quote: "The Muslim believe that the Buddhist doctrine that a living being experiences previously created karmas in this life, and the karma created in this life in another life is false. (...) The barbarian Muslims believe that a dead man experiences happiness and suffering in heaven or hell with that human body in accordance with ar-Rahman's law. Thus, the rejection of other lives is [their] precept."
  8. Edward A. Arnold (2009). As Long as Space Endures: Essays on the Kalacakra Tantra in Honor of H.H. the Dalai Lama. Shambhala. pp. 201–208. ISBN 978-1-55939-910-4. 
  9. John Newman (1985). Geshe Lhundub Sopa; et al., eds. The Wheel of Time: The Kalachakra in Context. Shambhala. pp. 73, context: 56–79, 85–87 with notes. ISBN 978-15593-97-797. 


Further reading

  • Kilty, G. Ornament of Stainless Light, Wisdom 2004, ISBN 0-86171-452-0
  • Berzin, A. Taking the Kalachakra Initiation, Snowlion 1997, ISBN 1-55939-084-0 (available in German, French, Italian, Russian)
  • Wallace, V.A. The Inner Kalacakratantra: A Buddhist Tantric View of the Individual Oxford University Press, 2001
This article includes content from Vimalaprabha on Wikipedia (view authors). License under CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikipedia logo