BuddhistRoad Paper 7.1 “The Phurpa Root Tantra of Nyang-rel Nyima Özer’s (1124–1192, Tib. Myang ral Nyi ma ’od zer) Eightfold Buddha Word, Embodying the Sugatas (Tib. bKa’ brgyad bDe gshegs ’dus pa) Corpus: A Thematic Overview and Philological Analysis”


Dylan Esler


This article is an in-depth study of the bDe bar gshegs pa thams cad kyi phrin las (var. ’phrin las) ’dus pa phur pa rtsa ba’i rgyud [The Phurpa Root Tantra that Comprises the Activities of all the Sugatas; hereafter Phurpa Root Tantra], a seminal text on the tantric deity Vajrakīlaya from the bKa’ brgyad bDe gshegs ’dus pa [Eightfold Buddha Word, Embodying the Sugatas; henceforth KD] corpus revealed by Nyang-rel Nyima Özer (1124–1192, Tib. Myang ral nyi ma ’od zer) in 12th century Tibet. The study consists of two main parts: a detailed thematic overview of the contents of the tantra’s thirteen chapters, and a philological analysis of selected variants found among the different editions of the text, an analysis which elucidates the relationships between the various textual witnesses and allows us to construct a stemma. Given the increasing awareness among specialists of the formative role played by the KD corpus in the codification of the Nyingma (Tib.rnying ma) school of Tibetan Buddhism, this article lays the groundwork for future investigations of this vast repertoire of tantric material. Our enquiry shows that despite being revealed by a named and famous visionary, the Phurpa Root Tantra shares significant features with the (usually anonymously produced) scriptures of the rNying ma rgyud ’bum [Ancient Tantra Collection; henceforth NGB]. The paper thus contributes to the ongoing scholarly discussion concerning processes of scriptural production in the context of Tibetan tantric religion.

Chinese Translation

本文深入研究了由娘热 尼玛沃瑟 (1124–1192, 藏文: Myang ral nyi ma ’od zer) 在西藏于12世纪发掘的《 (修部) 八教善逝集 (bKa’ brgyad bDe gshegs ’dus pa, 下文简称KD) 》中关于密教普巴金刚的一个重要文本《一切善逝事业总集普巴根本续 (bDe bar gshegs pa thams cad kyi phrin las (或 ’phrin las) ’dus pa phur pa rtsa ba’i rgyud, 下文简称<普巴根本续>) 》. 该研究包括两个主要部分: 一是对十三章内容主题的详细介绍, 一是对该文本不同版本间差异的语文学分析, 该研究阐明了各种文本之间的关系以构建一个谱系图. 鉴于学者们越来越意识到KD文集在藏传佛教宁玛派的编纂中所发挥的形成性作用, 本文为今后对这一庞博的密宗材料库的研究奠定了基础. 本研究指出, 尽管《普巴根本续》是由一位著名的伏藏师所揭示, 但它与《宁玛十万续》 (下文简称NGB) (通常被视为匿名汇编) 的文本有很多相似特点. 因此, 本文亦对正在进行中的关于西藏密宗宗教背景下的经文制作过程的学术讨论也有所助益.



October 23, 2020

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