17 January 2011

Visible Mantra Book

I've just physically cut the proof copy of the Visible Mantra Book in half so that I can begin to work on corrections while my proof reader continues to work on the 2nd half. I'll be working mainly on the text, though some of the images will also need work. Once this phase is done the mantras in various scripts will all need careful checking. Then the formatting of the book can be tweaked, and finally an index created once the pages have settled down. Still a lot of work to do, but making progress.

I am starting to get an insight into why a book like this is a risky venture for a commercial publisher - if everyone was being paid for their time it would be very very expensive.

I still hope to get the book done by the time of the Triratna Order Convention in Aug.

I really appreciate all the donations that people have given over the last year, and all of the emails and comments. The 50p idea did not raise very much money in the end, but it may well cover the cost of hosting the website - I haven't counted up yet.

Thanks for all your support, and please continue to exercise that great Buddhist virtue of patience.

08 January 2011

Sanskrit characters 梵字

Sanskrit characters 梵字
Originally uploaded by urapyon
Very cool Siddhaṃ lettering...

07 January 2011


Recently Tracie wrote in:

I have a piece of calligraphy that I purchased 20 years ago at the monastery on Mt. Koya in Japan when I was an exchange student. At the time I just thought it was interesting but didn't look into its meaning.
Recently I was going through my things at my parents home and came across this piece of artwork again, I would like to know more about this character. The Japanese accompanying it says the pronunciation is Giku.
I can identify the character as gīḥ which fits with the Japanese pronunciation Giku, but I cannot find any more information about this syllable. I asked for help and my friend Maitiu replied:

In the East Asian tantric tradition at least the syllable gīḥ seems to be the bījā in mantras to the inner offering goddess Vajragītā [song of the thunderbolt]. I found Siddhaṃ mantras in two texts in the Taisho, T.867 and T.875.

The Sūtra on all the Yogas and Yogins of the Vajra Peak Pavilion
Attributed to Vajrabodhi but it seems to be a compilation of ritual material rather than a translation of an Indian text.

Chapter 10 – The Vajra Rite of the Internal Homa of All the Tathāgatas
oṃ va jra gī te a gni
唵(引)  嚩 日囉 (二合)  儗  帝 阿 儗 儞(二合)
huṃ gīḥ
吽 儗(入聲)

The Recitation Rite of the Heart of the Lotus Section
[0324b09] 內口供養。
The [four] Inner Offering [Goddesses]:
[0324b10] oṃ va jra lā sa haḥ  oṃ va jra ma la traṭ
[0324b11] oṃ va jra gī te gīḥ  oṃ va jra dṛ tye kṛ ṭ [this should be varjanṛtye kṛṭ]
[0324b09] 內口供養。

In the 16th section of the Sarvatathāgata-tattvasaṃgraha gīḥ occurs in a slightly different context but still connected with the word gītā.

STTS - ṣoḍaśamaḥ
athāsāṁ mudrā bhavanti|
oṁ padmaratipūje hoḥ||
oṁ padmābhiṣekapūje raṭ||
oṁ padmagītapūje gīḥ||
oṁ padmanṛtyapūje kṛṭ||
oṁ dhūpapadmini huṁ||
oṁ padmapuṣpi hūṁ||
oṁ padmakulasundari dharmāloke pūjaya hūṁ||
oṁ padmagandhe hūṁ||