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Āryatārākurukullākalpa - The Practice Manual of Noble Tārā Kurukullā

Āryatārākurukullākalpa - The Practice Manual of Noble Tārā Kurukullā

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Published by emptybell
The Practice Manual of Noble Tārā Kurukullā is the most comprehensive single work on the female Buddhist deity Kurukullā. It is also the only canonical scripture to focus on this deity. The text’s importance is therefore commensurate with the importance of the goddess herself, who is the chief Buddhist deity of magnetizing, in particular the magnetizing which takes the form of enthrallment.

The text is a treasury of ritual practices connected with enthrallment and similar magical acts—practices which range from formal sādhana to traditional homa ritual, and to magical methods involving herbs, minerals, etc. The text’s varied contents are presented as a multi-layered blend of the apotropaic and the soteriological, as well as the practical and the philosophical, where these complementary opposites combine together into a genuinely spiritual Buddhist work.
The Practice Manual of Noble Tārā Kurukullā is the most comprehensive single work on the female Buddhist deity Kurukullā. It is also the only canonical scripture to focus on this deity. The text’s importance is therefore commensurate with the importance of the goddess herself, who is the chief Buddhist deity of magnetizing, in particular the magnetizing which takes the form of enthrallment.

The text is a treasury of ritual practices connected with enthrallment and similar magical acts—practices which range from formal sādhana to traditional homa ritual, and to magical methods involving herbs, minerals, etc. The text’s varied contents are presented as a multi-layered blend of the apotropaic and the soteriological, as well as the practical and the philosophical, where these complementary opposites combine together into a genuinely spiritual Buddhist work.

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Published by: emptybell on Apr 25, 2012
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07/01/2014

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འཕགས་མ་ོལ་མ་ཀ་ར་ཀེའི་ོག་པ།
The Practice Manual of Noble TārāKurukullā
 Āryatārākurukullākalpa
 phags ma sgrol ma ku ru kulle’i rtog pa
Toh. 437, Degé Kangyur Vol. 81 (rgyud ’bum Ca), folios 29.b.1– 42.b.3
Translated by the Dharmachakra Translation Committee
Published by 84000 (2011)www.84000.co
This work is provided under the protection of a Creative CommonsCC BY-NC-ND (Attribution - Non-commercial - No-derivatives) 3.0copyright. It may be copied or printed for fair use, but only with fullattribution, and not for commercial advantage or personalcompensation. For full details, see theCreative Commons license.
 Ārya Tārā Kurukullā
1
 
Contents
SummaryAcknowledgmentsIntroduction
The Translation
The Practice Manual of Noble Tārā Kurukullā
Chapter OneChapter TwoChapter ThreeChapter Four Chapter Five NotesBibliographyAppendix: Sanskrit text
Summary
The Practice Manual of NobleTārā  Kurukullā
is the mostcomprehensive single work on the female Buddhist deityKurukullā.It is also the only canonical scripture to focus on this deity. The text’simportance is therefore commensurate with the importance of thegoddess herself, who is the chief Buddhist deity of magnetizing, in particular the magnetizing which takes the form of enthrallment.The text is a treasury of ritual practices connected withenthrallment and similar magical acts—practices which range fromformal sādhana to traditional homa ritual, and to magical methodsinvolving herbs, minerals, etc. The text’s varied contents are presentedas a multi-layered blend of the apotropaic and the soteriological, aswell as the practical and the philosophical, where thesecomplementary opposites combine together into a genuinely spiritualBuddhist work.
Acknowledgments
Translation by the Dharmachakra Translation Committee.Translated by Thomas Doctor from the Tibetan of the DegéKangyur, with continuous reference to an English translation andcritical edition of the extant Sanskrit manuscripts by Wieslaw Mical.English text edited by Gillian Parrish.2
 
Introduction
The very foundation of all Buddhist paths is the recognition of theunsatisfactory nature of 
 sasāra
, the cycle of conditioned existence,and the quest for liberation from it. Building upon that basis, theGreat Vehicle holds that
 sasāra
and
nirvāa
are indeed inseparableand that the goal of all practice must be the liberation from suffering,not only of oneself, but of all other beings. It is a debated point as towhether tantra has its own unique view. Where there is unanimity,however, is that the path of the tantras adds a panoply of methods thatenable the practitioner to achieve the goal of the Great Vehicle swiftlyand effectively.The tantras are concerned principally with the stages of “deityyoga.” With the guidance of a skilled teacher and after suitable preliminary training and empowerment, the practitioner is introducedto, and subsequently trains in recognizing, the divine nature of theworld and its inhabitants. This is symbolically centered on thegeneration of the deity as the embodiment of enlightenment in one of its many aspects—a depiction in terms of form, sound, andimagination of the very goal to which the practitioner aspires.Through various modes of such practice, which differ according to thedifferent levels of tantra, the practitioner is able to recognize, access,and actualize his or her own innately enlightened nature.The female deityKurukullā, whose practice is the subject-matter of this text, has a particular place and orientation amid the pantheon of meditational deities. Like all deities, she is a personification of  buddhahood in its entirety. As a female deity, she is understood toembody the wisdom aspect of enlightenment (i.e., emptiness), and asa form of the savioressTārā, herself a manifestationof Avalokiteśvara, she personifies all-embracing compassion. But her  particular quality is related to the “activity” of enlightenment. ManyGreat Vehicle scriptures describe the spontaneous and effortlessactivity of buddhas for the benefit of beings. In Vajrayāna thatenlightened activity is spoken of in terms of four modes, or types, of activity: pacifying, enriching, magnetizing, and destroying. It is thethird of these, magnetizing, that is the special field of Kurukullā, andit is to deploy that particular quality of enlightenment that a practitioner would undertake her practice.While there are as many as thirty-sevenKurukullāsādhana liturgiesincluded in the Tengyur, and many more in the indigenous Tibetanliterature, the text translated here is the only work in the Kangyur thatfocuses onKurukullā. Rather than being a systematic presentation of one form of practice, it takes the form of a compendium of variedelements—ranging from formal sādhanas to traditional fire offeringritual, and to magical recipes and methods involving herbs, minerals,and other ingredients—from which a practitioner might draw in order to constitute a range of Kurukullā-centered practices. The text’s variedcontents are presented as a multi-layered blend of the apotropaic andthe soteriological, as well as the practical and the philosophical.The text’s pattern of contents is in keeping with theterm
kalpa
figuring in the title. An ancient meaning, already found inthe
 gveda
 Ṛ
, of the word
kalpa
, is “sacred rule” or “precept,”applying, in particular, to ritual procedures. As such, the scripturesthat carry this term in their title are mostly ritual compendia or manuals of ritual practice. With the emergence of Vajrayāna a number of these works appeared, such as the
 Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa
,the
 Kurukullākalpa
, and the
Vajravārāhīkalpa
. As these titles mightthen suggest, they are ritual compendia for their specific deities.The word
kalpa
derives from the root
kp
, which means “to prepare” or “to arrange.” This meaning is also reflected in thecontents of the works that belong to this genre—they are primarilyconcerned with the technicalities of the ritual rather than with philosophical debate about the principles involved. This is, however,not to say that the latter is altogether absent. Genre-wise,
kalpas
areclosely related to tantras, inasmuch as they are divinely revealed bythe Buddha or one of the great bodhisattvas, such3

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