Shurangama Mantra

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The Shurangama or Śūraṅgama mantra is a dhāraṇī or long mantra of Buddhist practice in China, Japan and Korea. Although relatively unknown in modern Tibet, there are several Shurangama Mantra texts in the Tibetan Buddhist canon. It is associated with Tangmi and Shingon Buddhism.

The Mantra was, according to the opening chapter of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra,[1] historically transmitted by Gautama Buddha to Manjusri to protect Ananda before he had become an arhat. It was again spoken by the Buddha before an assembly of various enlightened beings and dharmapalas.[1]

Like the popular six-syllable mantra Om mani padme hum, and the Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāraṇī, the Shurangama mantra is synonymous with practices of Avalokiteśvara, an important bodhisattva in both East Asian Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism. The Shurangama Mantra also extensively references Buddhist deities such as the bodhisattvas Manjusri, Mahākāla, Sitatapatra Vajrapani and the Five Dhyani Buddhas, especially Bhaisajyaguru. It is often used for protection or purification for meditators and is considered to be part of Shingon Buddhism in Japan.[2]

Within the Śūraṅgama Sūtra , the Sanskrit incantation (variously referred to as dhāraṇī or mantra) contained therein, is known as the Sitātapatroṣṇīṣa dhāraṇī, The "Śūraṅgama mantra" (Chinese: 楞嚴咒) is well-known and popularly chanted in East Asian Buddhism, where it is also known as the "White Canopy/Parasol dharani" (Chinese: 大白傘蓋陀羅尼). In Tibetan Buddhism, it is the "White Umbrella" (Wylie: gdugs dkar).[citation needed]

The History of the Shurangama Mantra Transmission and Translations[edit]

In 168-179 A.D. Buddhist Monk Bhikshu Shramana Lokasema arrives in China and translates into Chinese the Surangama Sutra.

The currently popular version of the Shurangama Sutra and Mantra were translated and transliterated from Sanskrit to Chinese Hanzi during the Tang Dynasty by Bhikshiu Paramiti from Central India and reviewed by Meghashikara from Udyana, after Empress Wu Tsai Tian retired, in the first year of the Shen Lung Dynasty Reign period.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hua, Gold Mountain Shramana Tripitaka Master Hsuan; Bhikshuni Rev. Heng Chih; Bhikshuni Rev. Heng Hsien; David Rounds; Ron Epstein et al. (2003). The Shurangama Sutra - Sutra Text and Supplements with Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua - First Edition. Burlingame, California: Buddhist Text Translation Society. ISBN 0-88139-949-3. , Volume 1, pp. 135-136
  2. ^ Hsuan Hua, Volume 1, pp. 135-136

See also[edit]

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