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Written traces of the Buddhist past: Mantras and Dhāraṇīs in Indonesian inscriptions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 May 2014

Arlo Griffiths*
École française d'Extrême-Orient, Jakarta Centre


This article examines a group of ten Indonesian inscriptions citing a range of gāthās, mantras and dhāraṇīs. The texts, contextualized and in some cases read and identified for the first time, underline the pan-Asian character of Buddhism and the integral place the Indonesian archipelago once held in the ancient Buddhist world. The identification of the sources of several of these texts in known Sanskrit scriptures raises the question whether some of these texts, none of which survives as such in the archipelago, were once transmitted there in manuscript form.

Copyright © SOAS, University of London 2014 

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Being based in Indonesia, without access to a good library, let alone a library for Buddhist Studies, I have perforce depended heavily for this paper on the help of many kind colleagues. It is a pleasure to express my gratitude, for support by no means limited to bibliographical information, to Véronique Degroot, Rolf Giebel, Don Longuevan, Horst Liebner, Pauline Lunsingh Scheurleer, Pierre-Yves Manguin, Cristina Scherrer-Schaub, Jonathan Silk, Iain Sinclair, Ryugen Tanemura, Vincent Tournier, Geoff Wade and Michael Willis.


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