22 April 2009


Originally uploaded by jayarava
Someone asked me what the wheel of Sanskrit letters sometimes found in Buddhist visualisations practices would look like. So here's something I knocked up with Word using Devanāgarī.

The inner circle is the vowels, middle is the consonants (including kṣa) and the outer circle is the famous phrase: ye dharmā hetuprabhava hetuṃ teṣaṃ tathāgataḥ hyavadat, teṣaṃ ca yo nirodha - evaṃ vādī mahāśramaṇaḥ. The latter is often included in the visualisation practices. All start at 12 o'clock.

I think however that the vowels and consonants should be going in different directions - so this is just to give you an idea and is not definitive. I plan to do a definitive version in Siddhaṃ at some point.

16 April 2009


I've updated the calligraphy for Vajrasattva and the Heart Sūtra. Also updated the notes on the Heart Sūtra and linked to my synopsis of Jan Nattier's article on where the sūtra was composed (China rather than India almost certainly). I added the Uchen script the Śuddha mantra (aka the Śunyata Mantra) - using an image of the font Tibetan Machine Uni which I have resorted to instead of calligraphy.

13 April 2009

Tashi Mannox

I note that Tashi Mannox now has a blog which goes into some of the background to his very excellent Tibetan calligraphy. The address is inkessential.blogspot.com. Some very interesting material there already!

10 April 2009

White Tārā

I've recently updated the notes on the White Tārā mantra in accordance with a new understanding of Sanskrit. Not all ambiguities are able to be resolved, but at least it is now clear what is ambiguous and in what way. I've changed the way I present the variations on the mantra. My previous efforts were too dependent on books, and have again benefited from my Sanskrit studies.

Much remains to be done in this vein, although it is important to recall that mantras are not entirely translatable and that this kind of approach is limited. The White Tārā mantra is somewhat unusual in containing grammatical sensible phrases.