Historical Aspects of Vajrayana in Theravāda

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Historical Aspects of Vajrayana in Theravāda

Post by Hanzze » Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:52 pm

Dear Friends,

In most south east Asian counties a kind of vajrayana was present, before Theravada was established. Like the rivers are flowing down the himalaya.
Theravada protects the simple source of the teachings.
From my own experiences it is useful to get also in touch with those teachings as they provide the root skills for what every raft one likes to build or to use.

Dear Ñāṇa was supplying those recourse in Dhammawheel, and I thought it would be good to share it, as there are many hidden cultural and religious facts in countries like Cambodia, Burma, Thailand and so on.
It would be great, if you can share also some "reconnecting" sources which will be useful to get the whole view of the emptiness of the Dharma/Dhamma.

Ñāṇa wrote:Hi all,

Here are some resources for anyone interested in the historical aspects of the bodhisattva path in Sri Lanka and other Theravāda locations:
And a few papers discussing the Pāḷi Yogāvacara texts:
All the best,

Here is a list of Pāḷi Yogāvacara texts from the Reference Table of Pāli Literature compiled by Ven. Nyanatusita:

Vidarśanā pota, Vidarśanā bhāvanā pota, Dhyāna pota, Samasatalis karmasthānadhyānabhāvanā, Bambaragalē Pota, Vipassanā Niddesa (Pāḷi–Sinh. C. Compiled by Rambukavällē Ratanajoti on advice of Siamese theras, 18th c. Different versions? Beg: Okāsa vandāmi bhante… Eng. trans.: Manual of a Mystic. The material of this and the below entries is similar.) N 6601(6; 7; 23; 43 i & ii, 50; 76), LCM 699–702, SH 236.

Parikammabhāvana (C? Pāḷi. Beg: Upāda uppajjantu…) N 6601(23iii).

Kasinabhāvanāpota, Cattālisakammaṭṭhāna (Pāḷi–Sinh. Beg: Ahaṃ yācāmi uggahanimmitaṃ…) N 6601(6 & 64).

Kasinabhāvanāpota, Cattālisakammaṭṭhāna (Pāḷi–Sinh. Beg. Okāsa accayo no bhante accagamā…) N 6601(51).

Ratanaamatākaravaṇṇanā, Amatākaravaṇṇanā, Yogijanakantavimuttimagga (Pāli verse. 18th c.? Beg: Niccaṃ kilesamalavajjitadehadhāriṃ. The title Vimuttimaggauddāna is arbitrary according to Somadasa in N.) N 6601(85i), SH 236, LCM 687, L.

Samathavipassanabhāvanavākkapprakaraṇaṃ, Dvidhāvuttakammaṭṭhāna (Pāḷi prose. Beg. Vanditvā sirasā buddhaṃ … Okāsa okāsa bho sabbaññu Gotama sitthakadīpa… The 13 ch. titles are same as in Amatākaravaṇṇanā with which it is found in the same MS bundle. Maybedvi dhā refers to the verse text followed by the prose text. Cf prec. and next entries. N 6601(85ii).

Duvidhakammaṭṭhāna, (C? In same entry as Kammaṭṭhānasaṅgaha in L. Beg: Vanditvā… Okāsa sabbaññu Gotama sitthakadīpa… 4 chapters.) N 6601(23ii), SW, L.

Kammaṭṭhānasaṅgaha (C, Sāriputta, 12th c. Maybe identical with the preceding entry.) SW, Ps, HP 144.

Kammaṭṭhānadīpanī (Sāriputta. Maybe identical with the preceding entry. ) Ps, SW.

Kammaṭṭhānavibhāga (C?) L.

Kammaṭṭhānagahananiddesasannaya, L.

Kammaṭṭhāna, Kammaṭṭhānabhāvanā, Karmaṣthāna, Kamaṭahan, Kamaṭahansannaya (C. Different works?) LCM 1067, N 6600 (145), L.

Vimuttisaṅgaha (Pāḷi.) (C?) L.

Vimuttisaṅgahasannaya (C) L.

Vimuktisaṃgrahaya ((Pāḷi verse + sanna + Sinh. prose.C, Laṅkāsenavirat pirivena adhipatti, late 14th c. Often together with the Skhandhādingē vibhāgaya and Navaarahādībuddhaguṇa vibhāgaya. Beg: Natvā buddhañca…) N 6601(55), CM xxxii, SL 53, L.

Vimuktimargaya (C?) L.

Mūlakammaṭṭhāna, Mahāmūlakammaṭṭhāna (Ic.) PCS 2.165, PSA 108, VP 4/120.

Yokappako Ācāriya (La?) PSA 121.


B: Burma/Myanmar
CM: Chiang Mai/Lān2 Nā
I: India
Ic: Indochina. (Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Siam, Vietnam, i.e., the wider sense given in the Oxford Dictionary.)
Kh: Khmer/Cambodia
La: Laos
S: Siam/Thailand
SI: South-India, Tamil Nadu
C: Ceylon/Sri Lanka

CM: Catalogue of Ceylonese Manuscripts; C.E. Godakumbara, the Royal Library, Copenhagen, 1980.
HP: Handbook of Pāli Literature. Somapala Jayawardhana; Colombo, 1994.
L: Lankāvē Puskoḷa Pot Nāmāvaliya I and II. K.D. Somadasa; Colombo, 1959 and 1964.
LCM: Catalogue of Palm Leaf Manuscripts in the Library of the Colombo Museum; W.A. de Silva; Colombo 1938.
N: Catalogue of the Hugh Nevill Collection of Sinhalese Manuscripts in the British Library, 7 vols.; K.D. Somadasa, London, 1987 - 95.
PCS: Pāli Literature Transmitted in Central Siam. Peter Skilling & Santi Pakdeekham; Bangkok 2002. (§)
Ps: Pitakat samuin (Burmese History of the Tipiṭaka); Mahasirijeyasū, 19th c.
PSA: Pāli Literature of South-east Asia; Ven. Dr. Hammalawa Saddhātissa, Singapore, 1992, repr. 2004.
SH: Singhalesische Handschriften Teil I; Heinz Bechert and Maria Bidoli, Wiesbaden, 1969. Singhalesische Handschriften Teil II; Heinz Bechert, Stuttgart, 1997.
SL: Sinhalese Literature; C.E. Godakumbara, Colombo, 1955.
SW: “Sāriputta and his works”; Primoz Pecenko, JPTS XXIII (1997), pp. 159–179.
VP:The Pāli Manuscript Collection kept in the Vat Phra Jetuphon Vimol Mangklaram (Vat Po), Jacqueline Filliozat, Bangkok, 2002–2003. In ED 108. (MS No.)

All the best,

Original posted in Bodhisattva Path: Historical Aspects In Theravāda

Please post recourses of ancient Vajrayana in South East Asian countries it you have. Thanks a lot for your open mind and your help.

with loving kindness and joy
Just that! :-)

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Re: Historical Aspects of Vajrayana in Theravāda

Post by Jnana » Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:31 pm

Hi Hanzze,

Ñāṇa here (Ñāṇa = Jñāna = Yeshe).

I don't think there's much, if any, connection between the Pāḷi Yogāvacara teachings and Indo-Tibetan Vajrayāna or Mahāyāna in general. The Dhamma Wheel thread probably should have better differentiated between the materials pertaining to historical aspects of the bodhisattva path in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, and those pertaining to the Pāḷi Yogāvacara teachings. Two quite different categories.

All the best,


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Re: Historical Aspects of Vajrayana in Theravāda

Post by Hanzze » Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:21 pm

Dear Ñāṇa,

it may sound arrogant, but my belly (heart) never had lied in my life. Normally I do never search for, if it is right or wrong, so I just walk on and 3 days ago I started to translate the book of Buddhadasa describing traditional Thai / Cambodian buddhist paintings.

Please see this:



Here the symbolism is also illustrate body and mind. Body is represented by the earth-ware vessels (carried by the man on the left) while mind is shown as the whimsical, swift and restless monkey. (The same symbolism of the monkey representing mind is found in the Lord Buddha‘s discourses (Sutta) as well as in the illustrated Wheel of Wandering-on as seen in Tibetan temples). The monkeys prove themselves adept at avoiding capture and the hunters have difficulty in spearing and shooting these agile creatures. The meaning is that the monkey (mind) is difficult to control. The body, however, is mere earth-ware, and cannot move by itself; it is easily broken and fragile. The combination of these two make up a human being.

Teching Dhamma with pictures - Buddhadasa, on Dhammawheel
(sorry I have not finished jet, but there will some more things like the focus on "death-meditation" and drawings very similar to Tibetan, like demon)

Monkey-Mind, Vipassana guided by Teacher, Wheel of Samsara, Demons, Garuda... these are not real Theravada things (or maybe they are... :-) )
Or things like Lokanat (Avalokitesvara) "worship" in Myanmar

There are so many on side, which is very similar like the use of mandala and you also need to know that Cambodians for example are mainly origin from tibet mixed with austronesse. Following the megkong it is natural that also the costums are following. One more thing is that the great empiere Jajavarman VII who build Angkor Thom and also the famous Bayon Temple (he is often told as the reincanation of Chenrezi/Avaloketeshvar) was Mahayana.

Its not about history, as Buddhadharma isn't as well, so the motivation is not to find any other real unreality.
I know that I have no "knowledge", so I am only able to point on something - may some are able to use it.
Just that! :-)

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