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abhiṣeka


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(Skt.; Tib., dbang-bskur). Literally ‘sprinkling’, this is an initiatory ritual of consecration in tantric Buddhism based on the classical Indian ceremony of coronation which involved lustration. Typically, a practitioner has the empowerment bestowed at the time of entry into a sacred circle (maṇḍala) and is cleansed of impurities and thus empowered or authorized to study and practise the tantras. Several kinds of empowerment are known according to the tantric level involved, with an increasing number as one moves higher. Empowerment at the level of the anuttara-yoga-tantras usually involves four stages: the jar empowerment, the secret empowerment, the insight empowerment, and the so-called ‘fourth empowerment’.

Subjects: Buddhism.


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