After the collapse of the Tibetan Empire in the mid-ninth century, transgressive tantric elements started to be absorbed into Tibetan Buddhism and rapidly spread in Tibetan-speaking areas. As a result, the Dunhuang corpus features a unique set of tenth-century gaṇacakra-related rituals texts that reveals the importance of the Sarvabuddhasamāyoga and the existence of Tibetan adaptation. This talk explains the early forms of the Tibetan gaṇacakra in these ritual texts and the ritual logic of the gaṇacakra as a communal liturgy. These Dunhuang texts also shed light on the gaṇacakra-related Nyingma texts preserved in the Peking Tengyur.
Yi (Allan) Ding is Assistant Professor at the Department of Religious Studies at DePaul University, Chicago. He has published several articles that deal with Buddhist materials from Dunhuang or Buddhism between Tibet and China, including “‘Translating’ Wutai Shan into Ri bo rtse lnga (‘Five-Peak Mountain’): The Inception of a Sino-Tibetan Site in the Mongol-Yuan Era (1206–1368),” Journal of Tibetology 18 (2018), “The Transformation of Poṣadha/Zhai in Early Medieval China (2nd–6th Centuries CE),” Buddhist Studies Review 36.1 (2019), and “By the Power of the Perfection of Wisdom: The ‘Sūtra-Rotation’ Liturgy of the Mahāprajñāpāramitā in Dunhuang,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 139.3 (2019). He currently works on a book manuscript that focuses on the zhai feast and relevant liturgical scripts from the sixth to the tenth centuries.