Literary Genres › Dhāraṇī
Courtesy of Himalayan Art Resources
A selection of texts related to dhāraṇī (gzungs), mantric formulae or incantations:
This terma (gter ma), which Tulku Zangpo Drakpa revealed and passed on to Rigdzin Gödem (1337–1408), presents a sūtra-like scenario in which Buddha Śākyamuni reveals a dhāraṇī for subduing enemies and demonic forces.
This short text, which appears twice in the Derge Kangyur (Toh 521 & 981), includes the formula of dependent origination, the so-called ye dharma, said to have been told to Śāriputra as an encapsulation of Buddha Śākyamuni's teachings.
A simple practice of Parṇaśavarī consisting of homage (from a longer praise by Chögyal Pakpa Lodrö Gyaltsen), mantra and dedication, which is particularly recommended as a means to heal and dispel contagious disease.
- The Noble Dhāraṇī of The Supreme Accomplishment of Sitātapatrā Born from the Tathāgata’s Uṣṇīṣa, the Great Invincible Dispeller from the Words of the Buddha
This popular canonical work, which is included in the Kangyur (Tōh. 591), teaches the incantation (dhāraṇī) and rituals associated with the goddess Sitātapatrā, who is renowned for her power to avert or repel all types of spirits, demons, obstacles, misfortune and disease and is thus invoked by many Tibetan Buddhists on a daily basis.
This popular canonical work (Tōh. 564) reveals the incantation (dhāraṇī) associated with Mārīcī, goddess of the dawn, and explains how it confers the deity's qualities and guards against adversity, danger and disease.
- The Noble Incantation entitled ‘The Rituals for the Blue-Clad Vajrapāṇi’ from the Words of the Buddha
A popular text (Tōh. 748) teaching the incantation (dhāraṇī) and rituals associated with the Blue-Clad (nīlāmbaradhara) form of the deity Vajrapāṇi. According to Karmavajra’s commentary (Tōh. 2676), the dhāraṇī is at once a powerful protection against, and remedy for, spirits, demons and disease.
Vajravidāraṇa (rdo rje rnam ‘joms) is a semi-wrathful form of Vajrapāṇi and the deity’s dhāraṇī (gzungs), counted as a kriyā-tantra, is known for its healing and purifying effect. The dhāraṇī has inspired a large number of ritual liturgies and commentaries, both Indic and Tibetan, and is commonly recited by Tibetan and Newar Buddhists. In Tibetan it is preserved mainly in two forms, one in the Kangyur and the Nyingma version presented here, which is said to be a reconstruction based on commentarial literature.
- The Dhāraṇīs That Encapsulate the Essence of the Kangyur, the Collected Words of the Buddha revealed by Guru Chökyi Wangchuk
A collection of brief ḍhāraṇīs that are said to encapsulate the essence of the entire Kangyur (bka' 'gyur), or Collected Words of the Buddha, and serve as a powerful means of purification when recited.
This popular canonical work (Tōh. 662) teaches the incantation (dhāraṇī) and rituals associated with the goddess Vasudhārā. According to the text, the dhāraṇī grants prosperity and wealth and averts spirits, demons and disease.
Vajraṇakhī (rdo rje sder mo), 'Vajra Claw', is a wrathful ḍākinī whose mantra has a long history and can be found in various forms in, e.g., the Guhyasamāja, Vajravārāhī, and Vajrakīla traditions. In this text, her independent dhāraṇī, Vajraṇakhī is invoked as to protect the practitioner's domestic space, family, friends, and allies, and to avert any obstacles that might threaten them. Although her dhāraṇī is here attributed to Buddha Śākyamuni, it is not found in any of the extant Kangyur collections but is preserved in various dhāraṇī compendia (gzungs ‘dus).
A brief version of the Vajraṇakhī dhāraṇī (rdo rje sder mo’i gzungs) arranged for daily recitation, invoking Vajraṇakhī to protect the practitioner's domestic space, family, friends and allies and to avert any obstacles that might threaten them.