Abhayakaragupta

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Abhayākaragupta

Abhayākaragupta (Wylie: 'jigs-med 'byung-gnas sbas-pa) was born in the city of Gaur, West Bengal, in Eastern India, and is thought to have flourished in the late 11th-early 12th century CE, and died in 1125.[1][2]

As a youth he went to the country of Magadha in Central India, "where he learned the five sciences and became well known as a pandit."[3]

During the reign of King Rāmapāla (c. 1075-1120),[4] there was a great revival of Buddhism under Abhayākaragupta. He taught at the great Vikramaśīla University as well as at Vajraśana (Bodh Gaya) and Odantapuri. He is credited with many miracles including feeding the starving in the city of Sukhavati from his mendicant bowl which was replenished from heaven, and brought a dead child to life in the great cemetery of Himavana.[5]

About a century after the Kalachakra is thought to have been written, Abhayākaragupta put the Mantrayana-Madhyamaka doctrine in its final form.[6]

He composed the Ocean of Means of Achievement (sgrub thabs rgya mtsho) "directed by Manjusri", and many other books including the Ornament to the Subduer's Thought (thub pa'i dgongs rgyan, munimatālaṃkāra), which is a commentary on Maitreya's Ornament for Clear Realization (mngon par rtogs pa'i rgyan, abhisamayālaṃkāra).[7]

In his book Niṣpannayogāvalī, he explained how to draw 26 kinds of mandalas, "describing the titles and figures of Buddhas and divine beings and their seeds, etc."[1]

Yogambara (Tibetan: nam khai nal jor), is a tutelary deity in Tibetan Buddhism belonging to the Wisdom-mother class of the Anuttarayoga tantra. He was made famous in the Vajravali text of the Indian Pandita Abhayakaragupta and through the tradition of Marpa and Ngog lotsawa ('translator of the scriptures').

Abhayākaragupta's school of Buddhism flourished in India until the invasions of the Turks in the 13th century killed or scattered them; but his teachings were continued and revered in Tibet.

In the lineage of the Tibetan Panchen Lamas there were considered to be four Indian and three Tibetan incarnations of Amitābha Buddha before Khedrup Gelek Pelzang, who is recognised as the 1st Panchen Lama. The lineage starts with Subhuti, one of the original disciples of Gautama Buddha. Abhayākaragupta is considered to be the fourth Indian incarnation of Amitabha Buddha in this line.[8][9]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nakamura, Hajime. (1980) Indian Buddhism: A Survey with Biographical Notes. 1st Indian Edition (1987), Motilal Barnasidass, Delhi, p. 335.
  2. ^ Warder, A. K. (1970) Indian Buddhism. 2nd revised edition: Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi. (1970), p. 485.
  3. ^ Das, Sarat Chandra. Contributions on the Religion and History of Tibet (1970), p. 91. Manjushri Publishing House, New Delhi. First published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. LI (1882).
  4. ^ Warder, A. K. (1970) Indian Buddhism. 2nd revised edition: Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi. (1970), p. 485.
  5. ^ Das, Sarat Chandra. Contributions on the Religion and History of Tibet (1970), p. 92. Manjushri Publishing House, New Delhi. First published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. LI (1882).
  6. ^ Warder, A. K. (1970) Indian Buddhism. 2nd revised edition: Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi. (1970), p. 505.
  7. ^ Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. (1999) Kālachakra Tantra Rite of Initiation: For the Stage of Generation. Translated by Jeffry Hopkins. Enlarged edition, p. 141. Wisdom Publications, Boston. ISBN 0-86171-151-3.
  8. ^ Stein, R. A. Tibetan Civilization, (1972) p. 84. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. ISBN 0-8047-0806-1 (cloth); ISBN 0-8047-0901-7 (pb).
  9. ^ Das, Sarat Chandra. Contributions on the Religion and History of Tibet (1970), pp. 81-103. Manjushri Publishing House, New Delhi. First published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. LI (1882).

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