On the Making of the Tibetan Translation of Laksmī's Sahajasiddhipaddhati: 'Bro Lotsā ba Shes rab Grags and his Translation Endeavors. (Materials for the Study of the Female Tantric Master Laksmī of Uddiyāna, part I)

in Indo-Iranian Journal
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Abstract

The medieval Tantric literature entails many uncertainties about authorship and dating. The line between authentic and pseudepigraphical in this genre has traditionally been very fluid, and every Tantric text needs to be treated with due caution. In the case of the Sahajasiddhipaddhati, the Tibetan tradition maintains its author to be the 9th–10th century female master Laksmī from Uddiyāna. Given this work's significance, its possible female authorship and its inclusion of hitherto unresearched hagiographies of twelve Uddiyāna Tantric teachers including four women, it is most crucial to examine its provenance. If its authenticity can be established, the text would become one of the earliest hagiographical collections of the Indian Tantric tradition, predating by two to three centuries Abhayadattaśrī's standard anthology, Caturaśītisiddhapravrtti, which differs considerably from Laksmī's work. The Sahajasiddhipaddhati is only extant in a Tibetan translation by the Kashmirian scholar Somanātha and the Tibetan translator 'Bro Lotsā ba Shes rab Grags. Since the translated work is undated, the investigation of its provenance must begin with ascertaining the date of its Tibetan witness. Through a wide-ranging reading of medieval Tibetan historical sources and colophons of 11th-century Tantric works, it will be concluded that the translation was produced in Nepal somewhere between the years 1070 and 1090. The discovery sets a terminus ante quem for the Sanskrit original, placing its composition at least a century earlier than Abhayadattaśr¯ı's compilation.

On the Making of the Tibetan Translation of Laksmī's Sahajasiddhipaddhati: 'Bro Lotsā ba Shes rab Grags and his Translation Endeavors. (Materials for the Study of the Female Tantric Master Laksmī of Uddiyāna, part I)

in Indo-Iranian Journal

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