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Chinese Esoteric Buddhism (Tang Tantrism) Wang, Xing


Tantra/Esoteric Buddhism that has spread in Tang China and was transmitted to Japan during the same period. Three Indian Tantric masters Śubhakarasiṃha (善無畏), Vajrabodhi (金剛智) and Amoghavajra (不空), brought the Esoteric Buddhist (later known in Japan as Zhenyan 真言, "true word", "mantra") tradition from 716 to 720 during the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang. This tradition highly depended on mandalas, mantras, mudras, abhiṣekas, and deity yoga, containing magical rituals, spells, and other elements also seen in other early Indian religions. Gradually this tradition died out in China after the destruction of Buddhism during the Wuzong period (846).

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