[Buddha-l] diacritics for verse

Michael Attwood mahaabaala at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 25 14:26:45 MDT 2006

Mitchell Ginsberg wrote:

>Ah, what a lovely verse, the one that got Moggallaana
>and Sariputta! Leaving aside whether it's a mantra or

Ah yes, of course! <slaps forehead> It might be being used as a mantra in 
this case, although what is a mantra? The verse is included, I think, 
because it has some sort of magical significance in the context of the 
practice, so might as well call it a mantra.

>I think it can be found at DhA.i.92 and perhaps at
>Vin.i.40. I can't check those sources right now.

I should be able to track it down.

>Where did you run across Skt. version?

It occurs in a Sadhana for White Tara written by a chap called Phabonkhapa 
(sorry the Tibetan spelling is probably a mess). The sadhana includes a 
visualisation of a Dharmacakra with a seed syallable at the hub, the tara 
mantra around that, and on the rim the vowels (anticlockwise), the 
consonants surrounding them (clockwise) and then outside that the verse 
above, and finally the whole thing surrounded by blue vajras. It's a 
reasonably common motif I think - similar to an image in the Mahavairocana 
Sutra anyway. Since I've been teaching myself the Siddham script and this 
visualisation is pretty difficult for folks who wouldn't recognise Sanskrit 
in a native script if it jumped up and bit them, I thought I'd do a 
calligraphy project on it. Technically it was probably not written in 
Siddham, but I like it on aesthetic grounds, and for the link to Kukai who I 
find inspiring.

Unfortunately I've seen three versions of the verse and since I'm not sure 
what the correct Sanskrit is I've having to go with the version handed down 
to me, which is what traditionalists would have me do anyway. I know a 
little Pali, but almost no Sanskrit beyond common Buddhist technical terms - 
a fault which causes me chagrin on a regular basis - why don't they teach 
you stuff like this in school?

>Hope this helps.

Yes, thanks, it does :)


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