This is the first English translation of one of the most revered and often-used tantric texts in Tibetan Buddhism--the Manjusri-namasamgiti. While consisting of only 160 verses and some mantra sentences, the work condenses an enormous tantric lore, so much that it garnered exalted mention in the Vimalaprabha--the great commentary on the Kalacakra-and is cited a number of times in the celebrated tantrist Naropa's Hevajratantra commentary. It is the complete original Sanskrit, with its Tibetan translation. The format of presenting the three translations side-by-side, along with pertinent extracts from the Tanjur commentaries on the work, creates an ideal situation for study.
Chapter I, on background, attempt to trace Manjusri's emergence from obscurity in early centuries A.D. to an identification with Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Insight or of Wisdom), eventually to become the Primordial Buddha (adibuddha). Chapter 2 on the citations in Naropaís commentary on the Hevajratantra, has all fifty-three of his quotations of the Manjusri in the order of the Hevajratantra chapters. Chapter 3 on the seven mandalas of the Manjusrinama-samgiti, associates chapters of this text with cults of Manjusri by way of 'conographical forms, of which a full list is furnished from Jaya Pandita. Chapter 4, sets forth the make-up of the Sanskrit text and its brilliant Tibetan translation by Rinchen-bzan-po. Chapter 5 on ìthe six cycles of praise' presents a translation of the prose insertion of some Manjusri-nama-samgiti editions. These six paragraphs extol the recitation of the Manjusri and contemplation of the deity Manjusri, and so help the reader into a frame of mind agreeable with the text and translation of the Manjusri-nam-samgiti that immediately follow.