Sanskrit Manuscripts : Pañcarakṣā

Sanskrit Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'> The <i>Pañcarakṣā</i> corpus ("Five Protections") consists of the <i>Mahāpratisarā</i>, <i>Mahāmāyūrī</i>, <i>Mahāsāhasrapramardanī</i>, <i>Mahāmantrānusāriṇī</i>, and <i>Mahāśītavatī</i>. The earliest evidence for texts grouped together as the "Five Great Dhāraṇīs" comes from Tibetan catalogues around 800 CE, but this compendium is somewhat different from the surviving Sanskrit colleIction, which is preserved in manuscripts dating back to the eleventh century. These scriptures include spells, enumerations of benefits and ritual instructions for use. With the course of time all of them became deified and five related goddesses emerged. It is, however, important to note that the texts themselves do not have any references to these goddesses. This manuscript is an old palm-leaf exemplar of the corpus, probably to be dated to the 13th-14th century. The order of the single texts is different from the one in the other manuscripts in the Cambridge collections. The manuscript is illustrated with depictions of the five Śaktis, one at the beginning of each chapter. Both covers are decorated, each with three Buddhas and six smaller, attending figures. </p>




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