Sunday, November 26, 2017

[Dissertation] Buddhist Astrology and Astral Magic in the Tang Dynasty

Jeffrey Kotyk

Leiden University



This study demonstrates that various systems of foreign astrology, originating in India, Iran and the Hellenistic world, played a significant, albeit hitherto largely unrecognized role, in the development of Buddhism during the Tang dynasty, which subsequently deeply influenced religious traditions across East Asia for several centuries. Although Indian astrology was made available in China from the fourth to seventh centuries, it was never widely implemented in China in these centuries, for it was only in the eighth century with the introduction of Mantrayāna that Chinese Buddhists came to have a pressing need to observe astrology. This subsequently sparked popular interest in foreign astrology among Buddhist and non-Buddhist communities in China, a development that
fostered the simultaneous development of astral magic comprised of elements from multiple sources, including some traced back to Greco-Egyptian and Near Eastern traditions. Around the turn of the ninth century, translation of astrological materials shifted from Indian to Iranian sources as a result of Persian astronomers operating at the court. The popularity of astrology additionally facilitated the proliferation of uniquely Chinese astral deities in Chinese Buddhism, most notably Tejaprabhā Buddha and the seven stars of the Big Dipper. This understudied interaction that resulted from deep interest in astrology marks a significant transmission of cultural and religious knowledge
through multiple civilizations.

Table of Contents:

Table of Contents
List of Tables and Figures
Abbreviations and Conventions


Chapter 1: Introduction
1.1. Preliminary Considerations
1.2. State of the Field
1.3. Aims of this Study
1.4. Primary Sources
1.5. Methodology
1.6. Chapter Outlines

Chapter 2: Astrology and Eurasian Civilizations
2.1. Definitions: What is Astrology?
2.2. The Ecliptic in Three Civilizations
2.3. Occidental Astrology
2.4. Chinese Astrology
2.5. Astrology in Early Buddhism and Brahmanism
2.6. Astrology in Sūtra and Vinaya Literature
2.7. Astrology in Mahāyāna and Tantra
2.8. Astrology in the Chinese Buddhist Context
2.9. Conclusion

Chapter 3: Early Buddhist Buddhist Astrology in China: the Fourth to Seventh Centuries
3.1. Translations of the Śārdūlakarṇāvadāna
3.2. Astrological Elements in the Mahāsaṃnipāta
3.3. Early Buddhist Hemerology in China
3.4. Brahmanical Astrological Literature in Chinese Translation
3.5. Conclusion

Chapter 4: Buddhist Astrology in the Mid-Tang: the Eighth Century
4.1. The Historical Yixing 一行: Buddhist Monk and Astronomer
4.2. Tantric Hemerology
4.3. Early Astral Iconography
4.4. Amoghavajra and Astrology
4.5. Xiuyao jing 宿曜經 (T 1299)
4.6. Indian and Persian Astronomers at the Tang Court
4.7. The Duli yusi jing 都利聿斯經: Dorotheus in China
4.8. Cao Shiwei’s Futian li 符天曆
4.9. Conclusion

Chapter 5: The Sinicization of Occidental Astrology: the Ninth Century
5.1. Popular Astrology in the Late-Tang
5.2. The Tejaprabhā and Sudṛṣṭi Cults
5.3. Qiyao rangzai jue 七曜攘災決 (T 1308): Mature Buddhist Astrology
5.4. Buddhist and Daoist Astral Magic in the Late-Tang
5.5. The Legendary Yixing
5.6. Xiuyao yigui 宿曜儀軌 (T 1304)
5.7. Qiyao xingchen bie xingfa 七曜星辰別行法 (T 1309)
5.8. Beidou qixing humo fa 北斗七星護摩法 (T 1310)
5.9. Fantian huoluo jiuyao 梵天火羅九曜 (T 1311)
5.10. Worship of the Big Dipper
5.11. Conclusion

Chapter 6: Astrology in Post-Tang East Asia
6.1. Dunhuang and Bezeklik
6.2. Astrology and Astral Deities: Song to Ming Dynasties
6.3. Astrology in Korea, the Liao and Tangut Xixia
6.4. Astrology and Astral Magic in Japan
6.5. Sukuyōdō Horoscopy
6.6. Conclusion


Appendix 1: Timeline of Buddhist Astrology and Astral Magic in China
Appendix 2: Tejaprabhā Maṇḍala
Appendix 3: Tejaprabhā and the planets. Khara-Khoto
Appendix 4: Planetary deities from Kuyō hiryaku 九曜秘曆

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