Is the Śaiva Source of the Buddhist Herukābhidhāna's Treatment of Initiation pre-Tantric?

Lecture | January 24 | 5-7 p.m. | 180 Doe Library

 Alexis Sanderson, University of Oxford

 Center for Buddhist Studies

In his work, Alexis Sanderson has maintained that the treatment of the topic of initiation found in the Buddhist Tantra Herukābhidhāna, also known as the Laghvabhidhāna or Laghuśaṃvara, has been adopted with some light editing from a Śaiva source. In this lecture he puts forward the hypothesis that this source, though surviving within a Tantric Śaiva work, shows archaic features that suggest that it has been drawn in from the lost scriptural literature of the pre-Tantric Kāpālikas.

Alexis Sanderson is Spalding Professor Emeritus of Eastern Religions and Ethics, and Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College, University of Oxford. He is a scholar of Sanskrit, specializing in early medieval religion in India and Southeast Asia, with a focus on the history of Śaivism (including esoteric Śaiva tantra), its relations with the state, and its influence on Buddhism and Vaiṣṇavism.