Empowerment in Buddhist Tantra. The Kalaśābhiṣeka According to Vajrapānī's *Guruparamparākramopadeśa Together with Selected Passages from Maitrīpa's *Saṃkṣiptasekaprakriyā


Sascha Houben

  • Betreuung: Klaus-Dieter Mathes

From the first appearance of the Buddhist teachings in India around 400 B.C. established by the historical Gautama Buddha, up to its expulsion from the Indian subcontinent around 1200 A.D., Buddhism passed through tremendous developments. New teachings and practices evolved under the term tantra and permeated all the important Indian religions at that time, not only Buddhism, but Śaivism, Vaiṣṇavism and Jainism as well.

Together with those new developments, it became a necessary requirement for the Buddhist disciple to receive an empoverment or consecration rite in order to be permitted to engage in tantric practices and furthermore to become able to serve as a tantric master as well. This tantric path was seen, due to their various and special methods, as the most profound since it could lead in a much faster way to the goal of Buddhahood, as would be possible through non-tantric traditions.

In my thesis, I will analyze the system of empowerment in Vajrapānī's *Guruparamparākramopadeśa and in Maitrīpa's *Saṃkṣiptasekaprakriyā focusing on the vase empowerment (kalaśābhiṣeka). The relevant text will be provided in translation. A critical edition of the Tibetan text will be given on the basis on the Derge, Narthang and Peking prints.