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Document Details :

Title: Herméneutique des tantra: étude de quelques usages du «sens caché»
Subtitle: Du sens caché (garbhyārtha; sbas don), de sa fonction acroamatique pour l'enseignement des tantra, de son usage comme sens accommodatice dans certains textes canoniques transitionnels ou hybrides
Author(s): ARÈNES, Pierre
Journal: Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies
Volume: 21    Issue: 2   Date: 1998   
Pages: 173-226
DOI: 10.2143/JIABS.21.2.3285917

Abstract :
The article deals with the hermeneutics of the tantras and concerns the 'Four modes of Explanation' (caturvidhākhyāyikā; bśad tshul bźi), the fourth of the 'Seven ornaments' (saptālaṃkāra; rgyan bdun) - the device most commonly used in the hermeneutic tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The object of our study is the fourth, viz. the 'Hidden Meaning' (garbhyārtha; sbas (pa'i) don), this being the most unusual of the 'Four modes of Explanation', and one that is remarkable for its relative autonomy. This study is more specifically focused on the use of the 'Hidden Meaning' as sens 'accommodatice' for certain transitional or hybrid canonical texts (Namastāre ekaviṃśati-stotra, Prajñāpāramitāhṛdayasūtra) whose vague classification as sūtra or as tantra has been object of controversy. The works of Tāranātha (1575-1635), Guṅ thaṅ 'Jam pa'i dbyaṅs (1762-1823) and dBal maṅ dKon mchog rGyal mtshan (1764-1853) have been utilized. It would appear that in cases studied, the 'Hidden Meaning' was employed with a didactical-soteriological purpose, either to encourage a smooth transition from the sūtras to the tantras, or in order to transform a kriyātantra text (or one utilized for the practice of kriyātantra) into a support for an annttarayogatantra practice, thus establishing a continuity between the lower and higher tantras.

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