Vajra Conqueror

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Vajra Conqueror[1] (Skt. Vajravidāraṇa; Tib. རྡོ་རྗེ་རྣམ་པར་འཇོམས་པ།, Dorje Namjom, Wyl. rdo rje rnam par ’joms pa) is a short dharani text in which Vajrapani, through the power and blessings of Shakyamuni Buddha and all bodhisattvas, proclaims a series of powerful dharani-mantras. The text concludes with verses on the benefits of the dharani and a simple ablution ritual.

The elaborations on this narrative found in the Indic commentarial tradition inform us that the dharani was revealed in order to cure the ailments afflicting King Ajatashatru of Magadha after he had usurped the throne of his father, King Bimbisara, and terrorized the Gangetic basin with his martial adventurism.[2]

Vajravidarana is a semi-wrathful form of Vajrapani and the deity’s dharani, categorised as a Kriya Tantra, is known for its healing and purifying effect. The dharani has inspired a large number of ritual liturgies and commentaries, both Indic and Tibetan, and is commonly recited by Tibetan and Newar Buddhists.

Text

The Sanskrit text is still extant today.

The Sanskrit dharani is popular among Newar Buddhists in Nepal, where it is included in a set of daily dharani practices referred to collectively as the Saptavara (Seven Days), of which the National Archives in Kathmandu today holds more than two hundred Sanskrit witnesses.

Tibetan Translation

The fourteenth-century Tibetan Chronicles of Padma mentions that this dharani was first translated into Tibetan during the imperial period and was included in the Ten Royal Sutras, the recitation of which was prescribed by Padmasambhava to the Tibetan king Trisong Detsen to prolong his life. It is also traditionally placed in a subset, the Five Royal Sutras.[3]

The Tibetan translation of this text can be found in the Compendium of Dharanis Section of the Tibetan Dergé Kangyur, Toh 949. It is also catalogued as Toh 750 in the Action Tantra section of the Tantra Collection. According to the colophon of the Tibetan translation, it was translated by the Indian preceptors Jinamitra and Danashila, along with the Tibetan translator Yeshé Dé.

English Translations

Commentaries

Indian

There are ten commentaries on the Vajravidarana preserved in the Tengyur (Toh 2678–87), by such masters as Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra, Buddhaguhya and Smirtijñanakirti.

Tibetan

Major scholars of all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism have composed commentarial and practice literature on this dharani.

References

  1. Alternative translations: Vajra Subduer
  2. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.
  3. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.

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