Some golsses upon the Guhyasamaja

Melanges Chnois et Bouddhiques

P.339 Doct.Benoytosh Bhattacharrya has recently edited the Sanscrit text of the Guhyasamaaja and, in the introduction to the same, has, with his usual learning,dealt with the significance of this Tantra (1). On account of my sudies in Lamaism and of the work, in which I am now engaged, of deciphering the wall-paintings of the Western-Tibetan Temples (2), many of which were inspired by the Guhyasa-maaja, I took up again, with the help of the extensive Tibetan literature connected with it, the inves- tigation of Tantra and I collected some materials which I hope shortly to publish. Meanwhile,leaving aside the Tibetan developments of the schools derived from the Guhya and their literature, with which I have dealt in the IVth Vol.of Indo-tibetica , I shall write in the following pages a few notes upon certain passages of the printed text, which must,I think, be corrected or deserve considera- tion. I. First of all: it seems to me that the text of the Guhyasamaaja connsisted originally of 17 chapters only: the XVIIIth, which comes at the end, is a later addition and a kind of a summary of and a commentary upon the previous chaptersíF it explains the difficult and mystic terms and it is written in a style which,to a closer examination, ówówówówówówówówówówówów 1 Guhyasamaaja Tantra or Tathaagataguhyaka in GAEK- WAD's ORIENTAL SERIES,vol.LIII. 2 I Templi del Tibet Occidentale, INDO-TIBETICA vol.III d and IV th. P.340 appears to be quite different from that of the sa^ngiiti which precedes; there, we also find mention of theories which seem to be peculiar to other schools: e.g.that of^ngayoga which is strictly connected with the Sekodde'sa and the Kaalacakra(1).Against this view the fact may be objected that the Chinese version (2 ) of the same text includes the XVIIIth chapter; but it must be noted that this translation is very late, since it was the work of she hu (Daanapaala?) who went to China in the year 980 A.D. We possess, on the other hand, a fairly old commentary upon this Tantra written by Candrakiirti, according to the teachings of Naagaarjuna, edited in its tibetan translation, and golssed upon by Tso^n k'a pa. (3 ) This work comments upon XVII chapters only (cp. fll. 15-39). This proves beyond any doubt that at the time of Candrakiirti the text of the Guhya consisted or was acknowledged to consist of 17 chapters only. It is even quite possible that a mystic significance was given to ówówówówówówówówówówówów 1 The Sekodde'sa-.tiikaa by Naaropaa in which the .sa.da^ngayoga is explained in detail is being edited by my pupil Doctor Carelli. 2 This translation is to be found in Vol.XVIII of the Taishoo edition of the Chinese Canon p.469, and it cannot be considered as a perfect rendering of the original; in many a place it alters completely the meaning of the text, as it has been preserved in Sanscrit or in its Tibetan redaction; some renderings point out to a wrong reading or to a misunderstanding of the Sanscrit.'suula.m mahaajvaala.m of pag. 18 1. 6 has been read: mahaaj~naana.m; at p. 27, 1. 14 praapta dharmaak.sara.m (cfr. also pag. 31, 1. 5) (printed text wrongly dharmaasanam) ak.sara íÎ imperishable, has been understood as: letter(wen tzu etc.) . Misreadings of this kind can be found almost in every page. Moreover all passages concerned with the esoteric rituals, in which the muudra, viz. a girl of 16 years is employed, have been either omitted or completely changed. 3 The title of Tso^n k'a pa's work is: Rgyud t'ams cad kyi rgyal po gSa^n ba 'dus pai rgya c'er b í╝ ad pa sgron ma gsal bai ts'ig don ji b í╝ in íą byed pai me'an yi yan íą grel pa. The Sanscrit title of the work commented upon by Tso^n k'a pa was,as known, Pradiipoddyotana; its author is not Naagaarjuna but Candrakiirti, who commented upon the text following the instructions (upade'sas) of Naagaarjuna as he himself states not only in the Ma^ of the work, but also at the end of his treatise: sgron ma gsal bar byed í╝ cs bya ba slob dpon c'en po Naagaardsunai man ^nag rten te slob dopn Zla ba grags pas mdsad pa rdsogs. ((Here ends the Pradipoddyotana composed by the AAcaarya Candrakiirti according to the instructions of the great AAcaarys Naagaarjuna)) (foll. 472). P.341 this number since the gods forming the parivaara of the supreme Buddha, as introduced at the very beginning of the Tantra(1), are seventeen; so that we may surmise that the compilers of the Tantra wanted its 17 chapters to correspond to the 17 gods of the mystic ma.n.dala. But if the XVIIIth chapter was not included in the Tantra itself, this does not imply that it was unknown at the times of Candrakiirti. It was only considered to be appendix, a kind of supplement to the other 17 chapters; while these formed the muulatantra, rtsa rgyud, the last was given the name of Samaajottara; under this title, it is quoted by Candrakiirti himself (fol. 139(b), `dus pai rgyud p`yi ma) by Indrabhuuti in his J~naanasiddhi (p. 75) and by Naaropaa in the Sekodde'sa.tiikaa. It was even commented upon by Naagaarjuna (CORDIER, CAT. I, p.131). II. One of the points which, according to me, deserves attention is the fact that the Guhyasamaaja admits of six and not of five supreme Buddhas; this means that there is some connection between this Tantra and the Kaalacakra which, as known, postulates the existence of a first Buddha, the AAdi Buddha of which the fivefold series is the emanation. That, even according to the Guhyasamaaja, there is a supremem Tathaagata besides the fivefold well known series: Ak.sobhya, Vairocana, Ratnaketu, Amitaabha, Amoghasiddhi, appears clear from the very first chapter, where the ma.n.dala is described which symbolically represents the emanation of the universe from the primeval source of everything through five fundamental lines of evolution ów the ((families)) (kula, rigs) ów each called after a corresponding Buddha. The name of this supreme Buddha is simply Bhagavaan at pag. 2, 1. 4. where the subject of the sentence is Bhagavaan (vijahaara) of pag. 1, 1. 1, and where he is spoken of as enjoying the company of Ak.sobhys, Vairocana, Ratnaketu, Amitaabha, Amoghavajra. ówówówówówówówówówówówów 1 pp.1-2 from Samayavajra to Dharmadhaatuvajra. P.342 Candrakiirti commenting upon this passage(fill.50- 51) says that Vajradhara or Mahaavajradhara, as he regularly calls this supreme Buddha, is the body and the five Buddhas his five constituents or skandhas; the symbol of this body is the ma.n.dala in its entirety; the same view he wxpounds commenting upon the IIId. pa.tala, when the aakaa'sa-dhaatu-ma.n.dala, in which the five Buddhas appear,is again identified with Vajradhara. At p. 2, 1. 13 he is called Bhagavaan Mahaa Vairocana, the name which he is regularly given in the Chinese translation of she hu; but even in this case, Candrakiirti points in out that by this name Vajradhara is meant. Anyhow, that Mahaavairocana is quite distinct from Vairocana of the five Tathaagata-series, is clear from the context itself, since it is always the same God who, falling into samaadhi, absorbs in his threefold vajra of body, word and spirit, ((the crowd (vyuuha) of all Tathaagatas)). Even in the Tattvasa^ngraha(1) and in the Paramaaditantra we meet very often Mahaavaicorana as being distinct from Vairocana. At p. 3, 1. 10 foll. he is called: Bhagavaan Sarv- atathaagatakaayavaak-cittavajraadhipati which name is to be found very often throughout the book, and 1. 13: Bodhicittavajra, where it is said that all Tathaa-gatas reside in his heart. From pages 5 to 7 it appears that the various gods of the ma.n.dala are nothing else but different manifestations of himself: sa eva bhagavaan, who emanates out of himself this or that form by the mystic force of a mantra. The sixfold series is also manifest in the 9 th. pa.tala where at the head of the list we again find Vajradhara (p.35). But how is this emanation represented in the ma.n.dala? The importance of the ma.n.dalas consists in the fact that their diagram contains the very core of a tantric system. Each Tantra viz. each system of mystic realization has its own ma.n.dala, that is the graphic express- ion of its secret lore: a mistake in a ma.n.dala makes it useless,in so far as it would not represent ówówówówówówówówówówówów 1 Upon this Tantra v. INDO-TIBETICA, I, pp. 93-135 and ID.III, p.75. P.343 any more the truth which it is supposed to express in its symbols. For this reason it is not without importance to correct the ma.n.dala of the Guhyasamaaja as it has been reproduced by the editor in fig.1 of the printed text, since it does not correspond to the system of mystie emanations as described by the Guhya. 1) Ak.sobhya must be in the center of the ma.n.dala, since the ma.n.dala itself is the body of Sarvatathaagatakaayavaak-cittavajra (p. 5, 1. 9) and Ak.sobhya ów the vajra ów is the first emanation of Vajradhara and his direct sambhogakaaya, as expressly stated, in many a place, by Candrakiirti and Tso^n k'a pa. 2) Vairocana must sit to the east, purato; but in the language of the Tantras purato or puurvam means always: in front of the image. 3-5) Then,according to the usual rule of the prad-, the other Buddhas follow: Ratnaketu to the right (south), Loke'svara (Amitaabha) in the back (to the north), Amoghavajra to the left (to the west). Then the emanation of the 'saktis, viz. of the female counterpart of the Buddhas, takes place. According to the printed text of the Guhya these 'saktis appear to be five, viz, dve.sarati, moharati, ir.syaarati, raagarati, vajrarati, but, as we are told by the editor himself, this fivefold arrangement is not to be found in the manuscripts; it is due to emendations incorporated by the editor in the text. Can we accept these emendations? In no tantrie text known to me there is mention of IIr.syaarati; on the other hand it is evident that these goddesses are nothing else but different aspects of those 'saktis usually known in the tantric literature as Locanaa (earth, Vairocana) Maamakii (water, Ratnasambhava) Paa.n.daraa (fire, Amitaabha) Taaraa (wind, Amoghasiddhi). A fifth 'sakti viz. Dharmadhaatve'svarii, as the 'sakti of the central god and as the last of the series: ruupavajrii, gandhavajri, rasvajri, spar'savajri, is very rarely represented in the ma.n.dalas except when they reproduce the gods in yab-yum attitude; such is for intance the case with the ma.n.dala of Samantabhadra.(1) ówówówówówówówówówówówów 1 Even in the ma.n.dala referred to at page 70 the 'saktis are four. P.344 Moreover all the sentence concerned with IIr.syaarati, which has een restored by the editor with the help of the parallel passages, is not to be found either in the Chinese or in the Tibetan translations. On account of all these reasons, the 'saktis must be reduced to four only and their place in the ma.n.dala is as follows: Dve.sarati in front of Ak.sobhya ( as in the ms.), Moharati to the right ( as in the mss.), Raagarati in the back, Vajrarati to the north. The four Mahaakrodhas preside over the four gates of the ma.n.dala as in fig. 1. The diagramm of the ma.n.dala of the Guhyasamaaja must, therefore, be ocorrected as follows. Each of these deities is evoked, as I said,by a corresponding mantra, the bija(Tib. sa bon) or seed, which is also used in meditation in order to vizualize the god supposed to spring forth out of it. These mantras which are called h.rdaya, vidyaa, or mudraa consist of a name with a suffix viz.: 1.vajradh.rk, 2.jinajik, 3.ratnadh.rk, 4.aarolik, 5.praj`naadh.rk, 6.yamaantak.rt, 7.praj`naanak.rt, 8.padmaantak.rt, 9.vighnaantak.rt, 10.dve.sarati, 11.moharati, 12.raagarati, 13.vajrarati. P.345 III. It is elear that all these mantras can convey a meaning except aarolik, the biija of Amitaabha.I do not in fact know any sanscrit root to which we may have recourse in order to explain this strange word; nor did Candrakiirti who commenting upon this chapter gives the following interpretation of the mantra; aa means complete, ro means life; like means going beyond( aa ni ma lus pa`o, ro ni `k' or ba, lik ni las `das pas na aarolik ste-fol. 72 a). I am therefore inclined to see in aarolik a sansc- rit transcription of some foreign word connected with the cult of the deity which became in India associated with Amitaabha or Amiitaayus or, if it is true ów as I believe ów that his prototype came from outside, which gave origin to the type of the Indian Amitaabha Amitaayus. The very beginning of this mantra : aar-o reminds us of another name viz. Arapacana whose non-Indian origin has been slown by Sylvain L'evi; that name is connected with an alphabet or a mystic arrangement of letters which is not the usual one in India. This series is characterized not only by its pecu- liar arrangement, but also by the presence of some letters which are meant to express sounds ot to be found in any Indian language; such is a letter which has been transcribed by Sylvain L'evi(1) as ysa. It is regulary included not only in the Arapacana series, which according to S. L'evi seems to be proper of some Praj~naapaaramitaa-texts or of the Avata.msaka, but also in the alphabet used by the Kaalacakra system of thought, which contains many allusions to foreign ideas nad admits, as the Guhya, the existence of an AAdibuddha. Though the alphabet there given follows, as a rule, the order of the Indian grammarians, the series of the sibilants always includes five letters via.: sa, ysa,.sa,'sa, ska.(2) Let us see if there are other facts which may lead us to consider with a closer examination the question of the analogies of some of ówówówówówówówówówówówów 1 Ysa, G. Kolff & Co Weltevreden. 2 Cfr. Vimala Prabhaa, pa.tala, 5th., 6th., 7 th. P.346 the doctrines expounded in the Guhyasamaaja with other religious systems which developped outside India. I say: analogies,on purpose. The question of influence must ów according to me ów be left to a second time, when the literature concerned has been sufficiently explored and the religious experiences which the Tantras describe will be better known with their allegories and their symbols. For the present, we must be satisfied with tracing these points of similarity from which further conclusions may later on be drawn. The number of the 13 deities out of which the ma.n.dala of the Guhya results could remind us of the 13 members of the first creation according to the Maniehaean cosmology. But in fact our system presupposes a series of 14 elements since, besides the five Tathaagatas, which are effectively represented in the ma.n.dala, their primeval source viz. the Vajradhara or AAdibuddha, though identified with the ma.n.dala, is an entity by himself. Moreover while the Manichaean series is composed of I (light-father) í¤ 5 (light elements ) í¤ 5 (gifts) í¤ 2 (Chroschtag and Padvachtag), our ma.n.dala results of 5 í¤ 4 í¤ 4. So there is no reason which for pressing any fur- ther the analogies of number, since the realities which they are supposed to express do not correspond. We have seen that according to the Guhya we must distinguish a supreme Tathaagata from his five emanations. This fact implies that the five-Tathaagatas system ów which plays such an important part in Mahaayaana and in the mystic liturgy of many Tantras ów has given the place, in the school of our text, as well as in that of the kaalacakra, to a monotheistic and emanationist view. Of course, in Buddhism itself we can trace the doctrinal elements which may have given origin or contributed to such a theory. Not to speak of the notion of II'svara which is deeply rooted in Indian soil, the Buddha-kaayas doctrine could have provided such a monistic view with its metaphysical background in so far as, besides the, the sambhoga- and the dharma-kaaya, another body was postulated viz. the svaabhaavika-kaaya (^no bo ~nid, in Tib.) which repre- P.347 sents the very pit of every existence and whose formulation can be traced back to the times of Maitreya (Abhisamayaala^nkaara); while, on the other hand, there can be little doubt that this svaabhaavika-kaaya in herited the metaphysical legacy of the Tathaagatagarbha of the La^nkaavataara and the Samaadhiraajasuutra(1). But the peculiarity of our system consists in the fact that this unique reality which is ontologically the source of everything is spoken of as a supreme God; all universes are his emanations and his glories. In the first stage of his evolution he projects out of himself the five Tathaagatas by whose activity he opperates in the world and by whose means he can again be realized by the creatures. Moreover the five Tathaagatas presuppose a complete assimilation of the macrocosmos with the microcosmos ów dehe vi'svasya maanana.m(2) : the emanation of the Universe from the primeval God and the creation of the body is the same; in the higher stage of meditation the ma.n.dala is this very body of ours which contains in itself the universe in its entirety. So the five Tathaagatas are said to be the five skandhas of the Vajradhara and, on the other hand, in the human beings, these five skandhas are said to be the five Tathaagatas themselves. Pa~ncaskandhaa.h samaasena pa~nca buddhaa.h praki- rtitaa.h (GUHYA, p.137) Pa~ncabuddhasvabhaavatvaat pa~ncaskandhaa jinaa.h sm.rtaa.h (JNANA-SIDDIII,p.41) But from many a passage of our text it appears that the skandhas with which the Tathaagatas have been assimilated are not the skandhas of the old Abhidharma but are rather considered as luminous elements. The ma.n.dala described in the III d. pa.tala is pa~ncara'smi- ówówówówówówówówówówówów 1 A propos of the sixfold series (5 Tathaagatasí¤1 AAdibuddha) of our test and of the Kaalacakra we must remember that there is, beside a five-skandha-series, a list of six skandhas which admits of a j~naanaskandha above the six traditional ones:((exam pa~nca dhaatukulaani j~naanadhaatunaa kulaani bhavanti, tathaa pa~ncaskandhakulaani j~naanaskandhena kulaani bhavanti. VIMALAPRABHAA, 6 th. pa.tala. We cannot state as yet if this theory influenced that of the six Buddhas or if it was rather its microcosmic outcome. 2 VIMALAPRABHAA, 5 th. pa.tala. P.348; the Mahaaratna viz. the bodhicitta which must be meditated upon (p.150 is; Ak.sobhys-vajra, about whom we are told at p.35, is pa~ncara'smiprapuurita because he contains the other Buddhas, being assimilated in this case with Vajradhara. The commentary of Candrakiirti with the glosses of Tso^n k'a pa which represent the traditional views of the schools is particularly interesting. From it appears that those exxences called either Tathaagatas or skandhas were considered to be mere luminous elements; their being is represented by an inherent light assuming a particular colour (fll. 97 a) de bzin gzegs t'ams cad ni 'od zer l^na pa'o, ((all Tathaagatas are five lights)). A gloss of Tso^n k'a pa explains: 'byu^n ba bzü rlu^n la 'od zer bzir rgyu ba ste...l^na pa ni k'ab byed nam mk'a, rlu^n ste, ((In the wind of the four elements there is the motion of four lights; the fifth is the wind of ether which is all-pervading)). On the other hand, the dharmadhaatu viz. the transcendent form of Vajradhara is light itself (p.99 b) c'os kyi dbyi^ns ni 'od gsal ba ste. ti^n ^ne 'dsin ni de la dmigs pa'o, ((The dharmadhaatu is shining light and the concentration is its perception) ). A little above, while commenting upon the verse: ((he must meditate upon the ma.n.dala of the Buddhas as being in the middle of AAkaa'sa)), after having stated that AAkaa'sa is Vajradhara himself, Candrakiirti remarks: de lta bui rnam pai sa^ns rgyas kyi dkyil `k' or 'od gsal bar `jug par sgom par bya, ((Then he must meditate upon such a ma.n.dala of the Buddhas as being placed upon the shining light.)) According to Tso^n k'a pa the absolute truth, viz. the immediate intuition (nirvikalpa) is the mystic knowledge of this light ('od gsal) and by it one purifies the infections of sa.msaara (p. 99). In another place (fol. 169a) the following equivalence is established: praj~naapaa-ramitaa, paramaartha, 'od gsal gyi ye ses, light-wisdom. The same theory is to be found in the commentary upon the Paramaaditantra by AAnandagarbha (Bstan 'gyur, yi, 232) where the essence of all things is said to be luminous prak.rtiprabhaasvara, c'os t'ams cad ni ra^n bzin gyis 'od gsal ba`o (as in the Guhya p. 13 prak.rtiprabhaasvaraa dharmaah suvi'suddhaa nabha.hsamaah) and it is stated that as soon as P.349 this has been realized one obtains: ((the wisdom of the essential light)) ra^n bzin gyis 'od gsal bai ye ses. So we have the following correspondence; Dharmadhaatu = vajra-dhara ='od gsal. ów 5 emanations = 5 Tathaagatas = 5 skandhas = 5 shinning lights corresponding to the 5 elements. The Guhya belongs to that class of Tantras which admit of a girl called mudraa as an essential element of the rites of mystic initiation. The saadhaka must imagine himself to be the deity of his own esoteric ((family)) and, by the union with the girl supposed to symbolize the corresponding 'sakti, he is bound to experience the paramaananda, viz. the supreme bliss, through stages of meditation and self-control which are described in the exegetical literature specially preserved in Tibetan. So commenting upon the mystic union of the Buddhas with the corresponding 'sakti, alluded to at p.29, 1. 2, Candrakiirti and Tso^n k'a pa state that the bodhicitta is the drop, bindu, which on account of the samaapatti of the two organs flows from the top of the head (bya^n c'ub kyi sems [kyi t'ig le spyi bo nas](1) dbab par bya'o, fol. 162a) and it fills the same two organs with a flash of fivefold light (s~noms par `jug pai dus su dkar po la sogs pai 'od zer l^na rnams rdo rje (masculine organ) da^n pad mai (feminine organ) na^n du yo^ns su ga^n bar bsgom par bya 'o. ((During the time of the union [with the 'sakti] one must meditate upon the vajra and the padma as being filled in the interior with the fivefold light, white etc.)). All these points which have shortly been dealt with, lead to the conclusion that the Mahaayaana dogmatics as expounded in the Guhya-samaaja had a marked tendency to emphasize the importance of the luminous elements in the process of cosmic emanations as well as in that of mystic salvation. It can hardly be denied that this doctrine has strange analogies with the Manichaean system in which the five luminous elements play a prominent part in cosmology as well as in soteriology, though, of course, the analogy is limited to this parti- ówówówówówówówówówówówów 1 The passage in square brackets is by Tso^n k'a pa. P.350 cular point does not involve, at least in this Tantra, other essential characteristies of Manichaeism such as the dualism between light and darkness, the three days, and the two nights, the triple creation, the envoys etc.(1) But as to the five light-elements, they appear there in the very first creation and represent the divine in the world, all the drama of salvation being in them. In the Chinese treatise they are called the ((five lights)), the ((five light-bodies))or ((the five Gods of great light)) this expression corresponds to the ponznon rosnoon of the Iranian documents and is used by the translator of the Guhya to render the: pa~ncara'smi of the sanscrit text. Even the identification of light with the mystic knowledge reminds us of the luminous í╝ of the Manichaeans(2); Tso^n k'a pa usually calls it: 'od gsal kyi ye ses, viz. light-wisdom. The fact itself that the divine in us is the bodhicitta and that this has been identified as we saw with the semen, points to strange analogies with similar beliefs of the Manichaeans: ((divinas enim virtutes, quantum possunt, imitari se putant, ut purgent Dei sui partem: quam profecto sicut in omnibus corporibus coelestibus et terrestribus, atque in omnium rerum seminibus, ita et in hominis semine teneri existimant inquinatam(3). Even the other practice referred to by Augustin is not without parallel, because eating of 'sukra is often alluded to in the text of the Guhya and 'sukra is regularly included even now in the so called na^n mc'od of the exoteric Tibetan rituals(4). The question of Manichaean influences upon Mahaayaana and Lamaism has, no doubt, already been dealt with in some quarters(5) ówówówówówówówówówówówów 1 Moreover, as known, the Manichaean series of the elements contains light instead of earth: but in the Guhya earth is = Vairocana. 2 E.WALDSCHMIDT and W.LENTZ, Manichäische Dogmatik aus chinesischen und iranischen Texten, Berlin 1933, pp. 40 and 89. 3 De haeres. c. 46. 4. Upon the preparation of the na^n mo'od for the saadhana of Cakrasa.mvara Rnal 'byor gyi dba^n p'yug Luui pai lugs kyi bcom ldan adas `k' or lo sdom pai sgrub pai t'abs bde c'en gsal ba by Tso^n k'a pa, fol. 32 where the semen is also called: bya^n sems. 5. By GRÜNWEDEL,quite recently in his Die Legende des Naaropaa upon which see my forthcoming review in the Journal of Royal Asiatic Society. P.351 though, I think, rather unsuccessfully. But I am convined that some light upon this very interesting problem can only be derived from the investigation of the theories and liturgies expounded by the Guhyasamaaja, the Tattvasa^ngraha, the 'Sa.mvara and the Kaalacakra-Tantras, viz. by system of mystic realizations which were elaborated upon or developed with special preference in North-West India or U.d.diiyaana, that is in those countries that on account of their geographical position entertained regular exchagnes with foreign cultures. Nor can we ignore the Tibetan sources which, as I hope to show shortly, point out to Iranian influences since the Bonpo times. Moreover, even supposing that no certain influence of one system upon another can be demonstrated, and that the analogies which are likely to be discovered are purely accidental ów which, I think, is not very often the case ów the results of this investigation will prove useful to our knowledge of the Tantras; it will in fact be realized that the Tantras and their experiences cannot be dissociated from the mystery religions. Even if there is no connection between the Tantras and foreign systems of thought, it can hardly be denied that they are the outcome of a religious psychology and of a mystic urge which in Western or Central Asia and then in the Mediterranean, inspired analogous expressions. IV. The Guhyasamaaja is not a philosophical text, being chiefly concerned with mystic realizations and the description of the esoteric liturgies which were supposed to lead to the supreme bliss of samaadhi. Only one of its chapters deals with metaphysical questions, in so far as it tries to determine the character and the essence of the Bodhi. It contains some gaathaas in which the AAdibuddha (called Sarvathaagatakaayavaakeittavajra) first, and the five Tathaagatas, after, are supposed to expound the tents representing the dogmatical and and metaphysical background of the mystic saadhana of the Guhya. P.352 The teaching is based upon the Maadhyamika standpoint in so far as all dharmas are said to be beyond perception and devoid of any essence. The importance of these kaarikaas has been recognized by the editor who in the introduction to the text has published an English translation of them all. I shall therefore reconsider the gaathaa uttered by the AAdibuddha since, I think, its reading, as printed at p.11 is defective. Mr. Bhattacharyya reads: abhaave bhaavanaabhaavo bhaavanaa naiva bhaavanaa iti bhaavo na bhaava.h syaad bhaavanaa nopalabhyate, and understands: ((Neither the perception nor the absence of existence in non-existence can be called perception, nor the perception of non-existence in existence can be discovered.)) The verse is very important since it is meditated upon in the process of the mystic experiences connected with the ma.n.dala of the Guhya and the complex and long rituals which it requires. The Tibetan translation of the Guhya is accessible to me in two manuscripts, fairly old, which I found in some monasteries of Western Tibet. Both of them read the verse as follows: d^nos po med pas sgom pa med/ sgom par bya ba sgom pa min/ de ltar d^nos po d^nos med pas/ sgom pa dmigs su med pa'o/ This is also the reading quoted in the dPal gsa^n ba `dus pai m^non rtogs ^nag `do^n gyi c'o ga and that which can be reconstructed from the commentary of Candrakiirti. The Sanscrit text must therefore be corrected as follows: abhaavena bhaavanaabhaavo bhaavanaa naiva bhaavanaa/ iti bhaavo na bhaava.h syaad bhaavanaa nopalabhyate/ where the first paada is hypermeter, like the preceding gaathaa or the first one at pag. 13 etc.: ((Since everything (viz. matter bhaajana-loka and beings sattvaloka: snod bcud) has no proper essence there can be no contemplation (because there would be no object of contemplation). Contemplation itself cannot be contemplated upon (as being P.353 existent). In this way, since nothing is possessed of an essences, it is impossible to conceive any contemplation (in its three moments, viz. object to be conemplated upon, subject contemplating and act of contemplation). As to the Chinese translation it hardly conveys any satisfactory meaning.