Who is Cundi?

Who is Cundi?

Postby Luke » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:42 pm

Could someone please tell me who Cundi Bodhisattva is? There seems to be very little information about her, at least in English, online.

All I could find was this little bit of info from wikipedia:
"Cundi (Sanskrit: चुन्दी, literally "Extreme Purity") is a buddha or bodhisattva venerated in the Mahāyāna Buddhist schools, with emphasis of her practice in the Esoteric Buddhist schools. She is known as a bhagavati, or "mother of buddhas", and is often equated with the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara. She may be related to the Hindu goddess Chandi.[1]"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cundi_%28Buddhism%29
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Re: Who is Cundi?

Postby Ayu » Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:06 pm

http://cundimantra.weebly.com/index.html

Sounds like Cundi is somehow similar to Mother Tara, who is assumed to be the Mother of all Buddhas in tibetean Buddhism?
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Re: Who is Cundi?

Postby Huifeng » Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:15 am

In China, Cundi (Zhunti) is usually considered a manifestation of Guanyin.
Her mantra is part of the dedication after meals.

May want to check out Master Nan Huai Chin's teachings, as Cundi practice is a core part of that.

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Re: Who is Cundi?

Postby Konchog1 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:38 am

Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Who is Cundi?

Postby Luke » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:00 pm

Thank you very much everyone! :anjali:
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Re: Who is Cundi?

Postby plwk » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:23 pm

By the way, this 25th April / 16th Day, 3rd Lunar Month is Maha Cundi Day in the Chinese Mahayana liturgical calendar
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Re: Who is Cundi?

Postby jikai » Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:23 pm

Huifeng wrote:In China, Cundi (Zhunti) is usually considered a manifestation of Guanyin.
Her mantra is part of the dedication after meals.

May want to check out Master Nan Huai Chin's teachings, as Cundi practice is a core part of that.

~~ Huifeng

It is much the same in Japan where she is in fact referred to precisely as such: Juntei Kannon Bosatsu.
"There are no seperate dharma's in the Three Realms. There is only the operation of the one mind."
"Whoever wishes to benefit beings ought to establish teachings that fit their capacities, expound the dharma in accordance with their capacities, and match the doctrines to them"
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Re: Who is Cundi?

Postby eijo » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:40 am

Huifeng wrote:In China, Cundi (Zhunti) is usually considered a manifestation of Guanyin.
Her mantra is part of the dedication after meals.

May want to check out Master Nan Huai Chin's teachings, as Cundi practice is a core part of that.

~~ Huifeng


Interestingly, Cundī in Tang esoteric manuals is nowhere called a manifestation of Avalokiteśvara. Cundī is an esoteric female deity of the buddha family, not the lotus family in Tang esoteric Buddhism. In ninth century Japan, Cundī (Jpn. Jundei, or Juntei) was first called a form of Avalokiteśvara by the Shingon monk Shōbō (832–909, 聖寶, aka Rigen Daishi 理源大師, only mentioned in passing here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daigo-ji). Shingon practice follows two primary lineages, with the lineage of Shōbō specifically claiming Cundī as a member of the lotus family, while the other placing her in the buddha family. Tibetan practice places her in the buddha family as well. Thus, in Japan, the teaching of six manifestations of Avalokiteśvara (for the six gati) arising from esoteric Buddhism follows two forms: one with Cundī and one using Amoghapāśa instead.

I'm wondering if you can explain where the interpretation of Cundī as a manifestation of Guanyin comes from in China, and how far back it goes?

BTW, Master Nan Huai Chin's practice seems to be possibly Tibetan in origin, or at least not in the Tang esoteric tradition, FWIW.

Added:
See here for a little bit regarding Shōbō: http://www.daigoji.or.jp/history/history_engi_e.html
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Re: Who is Cundi?

Postby Aemilius » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:59 am

There are many forms of Cundi or Cunda in Benoytosh Bhattacharyya's Indian Buddhist Iconography. She is described in many sanskrit sadhanas, and is most certainly of indian origin.
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Re: Who is Cundi?

Postby eijo » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:38 pm

Aemilius wrote:There are many forms of Cundi or Cunda in Benoytosh Bhattacharyya's Indian Buddhist Iconography. She is described in many sanskrit sadhanas, and is most certainly of indian origin.


Right, definitely of Indian origin, a deity appearing relatively early in esoteric texts, the form with eighteen arms is the most common. She is not described in any Sanskrit texts or Chinese translations to my knowledge as a manifestation of Avalokitesvara, which is an East Asian idea as noted above.
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Re: Who is Cundi?

Postby Aemilius » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:49 am

She should appear in the Karanda Vyuha Sutra, I have only read its partial translation with the title Buddha Speaks Mahayana Sublime Treasure King Sutra. As I remember it, she doesn't appear in this version of the Sutra.
She has also her own sutra, Mahacundi Dharani Sutra, which You probably know.
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Re: Who is Cundi?

Postby gingercatni » Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:43 pm

Cundi is not mentioned in her sutra, where is she mentioned as a bodhisattva? i have read she is a form of guan yin others argue against this. but as her sutra does not mention her (at least the original sutra) when did she become a bodhisattva? :coffee:
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Re: Who is Cundi?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:55 pm

Isn't it also an epithet for the Buddha Prajnaparamita?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Who is Cundi?

Postby Aemilius » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:59 am

gingercatni wrote:Cundi is not mentioned in her sutra, where is she mentioned as a bodhisattva? i have read she is a form of guan yin others argue against this. but as her sutra does not mention her (at least the original sutra) when did she become a bodhisattva? :coffee:


What is "the original sutra" You speak of ??
I have read the version at http://www.fodian.net/world/cundi.html
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Re: Who is Cundi?

Postby longjie » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:48 pm

The earliest text I know of related to Cundi is the Karandavyuha Sutra. In that sutra, a bodhisattva seeks samadhi using the mantra "om manipadme hum." At the end of the sutra, the bodhisattva achieves this samadhi and then seven kotis of buddhas reply in one voice with the Cundi mantra, something like, "namah saptanam samyaksambuddha kotinam tadyatha om cale cule cunde svaha." Probably later, there was the Saptakotibuddhamatr Cundi Dharani Sutra, "Sutra of the Cundi Dharani, the Mother of Seven Kotis of Buddhas." This text is dedicated to the dharani itself and says nothing about any figure named Cundi. The Cundi Dharani is only treated as a dharani by that text (although lauded in the highest terms as is common in dharani sutras).

I think Chinese texts describing Indian iconography in detail do mention Cundi's appearance, with light skin, eighteen arms, and each implement, exactly as in Chinese depictions (the textual descriptions go into far more detail). I say that I think the common Cundi depiction is male because the chest is largely flat, without breasts, and partially exposed. For that matter, most Chinese depictions of Guanyin at temples are also male. Female depictions tend to be "dressed up" (e.g. White Robed Guanyin) because Chinese culture is far more conservative about bare-chested women than Indian.

Strangely, mirrors for the Cundi Dharani are very commonly sold by Chinese online retailers. The use of a mirror is taken from the Cundi Dharani Sutra, which describes kind of a magical practice of reciting the Cundi Dharani in front of a mirror. The Cundi mirrors sold by online retailers tend to be small and decorative, with the mirror surface and the Cundi Dharani in Ranjana script on the front, and a depiction of Cundi and the Cundi Dharani in Chinese on the back.

As for Master Nan's teachings on the Cundi Dharani, I don't think they are close to either Tibetan Buddhism or Shingon, they are just esoteric Mahayana practices as are common in Chinese Buddhism. There is no particular school or institution that they are part of, as esoteric teachings are often not distinguished much from the exoteric. Or if they are, they are just given the generic label, "Esoteric School" (Mizong). You can find some teachings about the Cundi Dharani from Master Nan, and also from one of his western students, William Bodri.

A few links from our own website:

http://lapislazulitexts.com/tripitaka/T1077_LL_cundi_dharani (Cundi Dharani Sutra)
http://lapislazulitexts.com/articles/cundi_dharani (Intro to the Cundi Dharani)
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Re: Who is Cundi?

Postby Aemilius » Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:37 am

In the other translation it goes: "Dharani which is the heart of Cundi the mother of seventy million Buddhas, etc..."
It seems to be a question of interpretation, if you want to see it as a dharani floating in empty space, or as a dharani which is the heart of Cundi the mother of seventy million Buddhas.
Both views and interpretations are derived from the same text.
Most likely both of these sutras were part of an oral tradition, i.e. they were always accompanied by oral explanations concerning Cundi and the details of the practice described in these texts.
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Re: Who is Cundi?

Postby longjie » Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:24 pm

Aemilius wrote:In the other translation it goes: "Dharani which is the heart of Cundi the mother of seventy million Buddhas, etc..."
It seems to be a question of interpretation, if you want to see it as a dharani floating in empty space, or as a dharani which is the heart of Cundi the mother of seventy million Buddhas.
Both views and interpretations are derived from the same text.
Most likely both of these sutras were part of an oral tradition, i.e. they were always accompanied by oral explanations concerning Cundi and the details of the practice described in these texts.

It appears to be a translation of "saptakotibuddhamatr," which would normally just be translated as "the mother of seven kotis of buddhas," referring to the seven kotis of buddhas as described in the Karandavyuha Sutra. "Buddhamatr" seems to be translated by Divakara as "佛母心" which translates "matr" into two characters, "mother", and "heart/mind." In this case, "母心" is like "matr" in esoteric traditions as the essence and origin of something. For example, Sanskrit letters are matrka, the mothers of all syllables and speech.
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