<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 collection, 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 a quite old exemplar of the corpus. It was written in 1384 during the reign of king Jayasthitimalla (1382-1395). The opening stanza in the <i>Śārdūlavikrīḍita</i> metre is not found in all manuscripts (see for instance <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href='http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/MS-ADD-01688/1'>Add. 1688</a> in this collection; cf also Hidas 2012: 100). Both covers are decorated with representations of the five Buddhas of directions and the five goddesses of protection. </p>
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