The Vidyādhara Collection (Chi ming zhou cang 持明咒藏; Vidyādharapiṭaka), a text that was compiled during the mid-seventh century. The Vidyādhara Collection is, on the surface, much like the many “proto-Tantric” texts that were translated into Chinese from the fourth century onward.4 These typically consist of esoteric mantra [page 3] or dhāraṇī as well as descriptions of the rituals in which they can be employed. However, this text also contains many of the features that would characterize esoteric Buddhist discourse, and seems to be one of the earliest texts produced as a self-consciously esoteric Buddhist scripture.
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