Johannes Schneider, ed., 2010
Vagisvarakirtis Mrtyuvancanopadesa, eine buddhistische Lehrschrift zur Abwehr des Todes. (BKGA 66.) Wien: VÖAW, 2010 (order online). (299 S.)

Vāgīśvarakīrti was an Indian scholar of the 10th/11th century and one of the great Tantric masters of his time. He reckoned among the so-called “six doorkeepers”, eminent teachers of the Buddhist monastery of Vikramaśīla. The Mŗtyuvañcanopadeśa “Treatise on Cheating Death” is his major work. The text describes various omens and oracles to predict the end of one’s life, followed by a compendium of religious practices to escape death. To reach longevity especially White Tara is evoked. According to Tibetan tradition this deity is a personal revelation of Vāgīśvarakīrti. In transmitting her practice to Tibet the Indian scholar Atiśa used Vāgīśvarakīrti’s treatise and translated it together with Rin chen bzaṅ po into the Tibetan language. This publication presents the first complete translation of the Mŗtyuvañcanopadeśa. The Sanskrit and Tibetan texts based on Nepalese manuscripts and Tibetan xylographs are critically edited and annotated. Interlinear notes, charts and minor related texts from the Tengyur are included. Philological, cultural and religious aspects are discussed in the introductory study. Complete word indices of both the Sanskrit and the Tibetan versions are enclosed in the appendix.