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Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York (New York, NY 10027-7922)
Robert A. F. Thurman (Project Director: November 2010 to March 2015)
The Guhyasamaja Tantra: A Foundational Buddhist Tantra in the Context of the Pradipoddyotana

Completion of the first annotated English translation of the Guhyasamaja Tantra and its commentary, the Pradipoddyotana, and critical editions of the Sanskrit and Tibetan texts on which the translations are based. (36 months)

The Guhyasamaja Tantra is an archetypal early Indian text laying out the details of an esoteric religious orientation in a Buddhist context. Prior to this time, Buddhist theory and practice was framed in terms of the oppositional categories of desire and restraint, etc. With the advent of Buddhist tantra, the dominant Indian Buddhist narrative shifted from such binary categories to a hegemonic theology in which all dualistic categories became subsumed in an all-encompassing worldview aimed at integrating the entire range of human experience into the realm of religious signification. The purpose of this project is to produce the first annotated translation of the Guhyasamaja Tantra within the commentarial grasp of its most influential study, the late first millennium work, the Pradipoddyotana, while at the same time producing critically edited primary resources.

Project fields:
Nonwestern Religion

Scholarly Editions and Translations

Research Programs

$215,000 (approved)
$214,620 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2011 – 9/30/2014