Mandalas in the Making: The Visual Culture of Esoteric Buddhism
Altogether, the discussion of deities throughout this project serves primarily as a means to dissect the myths and rituals of Esoteric Buddhism
and explore their relation to medieval Japanese religious systems.
3) The importance of Sri Lanka at this time for the international Buddhist community can be gauged from the fact that Amoghavajra, the patriarch of Chinese Esoteric Buddhism
, returned to the island from China in 742 CE on the death of his master Vajrabodhi and collected 500 texts to be translated for the Chinese emperor.
That year saw the publication not only of Ronald Davidson's Indian Esoteric Buddhism
: A Social History of the Tantric Movement, a work that set the field on much firmer foundations than it had been before, but also Robert Sharf's Coming to Terms with Chinese Buddhism and its polemical appendix, "On Esoteric Buddhism
in China," which set off a small but intense (and fruitful) argument in the field about the status of this "tradition" in premodern China, carried out in articles and conference panels.
Many secular Japanese are more than a little suspicious of anyone who is overly interested in religion, and they think it is particularly curious to study esoteric Buddhism
, a twelve-hundred-year-old tradition of secret, or hidden, tannic teachings requiring initiation.
Individual topics include the "kowtow" controversy, the "dark tide of time" in Coleridge's and William Hodges's India, Coleridge's sequel to Thalalba and Southey's prequel to Christabel, Coleridge and Empson in Japan, immanence and transcendence, Hinduism, Coleridge's and Shopenhauer's esoteric Buddhism
compared, the integral significance of the 1816 preface to "Kubla Khan," psychological infinity and geometric structures, and the geopolitics of the Chinese garden.
Osaka Kokubunji still exhibits traces of the ways in which Shingon Mikky [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] esoteric Buddhism
successively grafted new associations onto preexisting models for shining light and prolonging life, even to the point of extending one's life into a Pure Land after death.
The works of Joseph Needham on Silk Road transmissions of science, civilization and religion are the starting point for this theory of a common, ancient entheogenic legacy that survived into Medieval Japan in the form of Tantric esoteric Buddhism
The next Khmer images of a deity dancing on a corpse and flourishing a vajra and ghanta in the air--as in the figure on the pink sandstone caitya Woodward identifies as Vajrapani in the Bangkok Museum--appear at Phimai a century later, where the most likely identification is again Vajrapani (contra Woodward's suggest that this is an early form of Bodhisattva Vajrasattva of the kind adopted in the 16 vajra beings of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism
It is well known that the MVS has played a prominent role in the formation of the doctrinal and practical teachings of Shingon esoteric Buddhism
To aid assimilation, the native Shinto deities of Japan (kami) were found a place in the extensive pantheon of esoteric Buddhism
The Difference Between Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism
(Benkenmitsu-nikyo ron) expounds on the crucial differences between the various doctrinal expressions presented by the different schools of Exoteric Buddhism in Kukai's day on the one hand, and his own transmitted teaching.