Re-making, Re-marking, or Re-using? Hermeneutical Strategies and Challenges in the Guhyasamaja Commentarial Literature

Authors

  • Paul G. Hackett Columbia University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/bsrv.31645

Keywords:

Tantra, hermeneutics, Guhyasamāja, śāstric commentary

Abstract

This paper presents a case study in the exegesis of Buddhist tantric literature by examining a segment of the corpus of Guhyasamaja literature and, in doing so, addresses both emic and etic approaches to the hermeneutics of tantric texts. On the most basic level, we discuss the mechanisms for interpreting statements within the root tantra internal to the exegetical tantric literature itself, as exemplified by Candrakirti’s ‘Brightening Lamp’ (Pradipoddyotana) commentary and the extensive sub-commentary by Bhavyakirti. On another level, however, these same exegetical moves can be viewed in terms of the ideas ‘re-use’ and reformulation of the root text, and how they shape the understanding of the role and function of tantric commentary.

References

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Published

2017-01-20

How to Cite

Hackett, P. G. (2017). Re-making, Re-marking, or Re-using? Hermeneutical Strategies and Challenges in the Guhyasamaja Commentarial Literature. Buddhist Studies Review, 33(1-2), 163–179. https://doi.org/10.1558/bsrv.31645

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Section

Reuse in Buddhist Canonical Texts