Man.d.ala and Landscape







Man.d.ala and Landscape in Japan

Ulrich Mammitzsch

1 to 39


Mt. Fen-du, Taoist Infernal Abyss

Sandrine Chenivesse

41 to 74


Pilgrimage of A-myes rMa-chen

Katia Buffetrille

75 to 132


Creation of Bon Mountain of Kon-po

Charles Ramble

133 to 232


Guide to the La-phyi Man.d.ala

Toni Huber

233 to 286


Beyul Khenbalun, Valley of Artemisia

Hildegard Diemberger

287 to 334


'Hidden Land' in Tibetan-Nepalese

Franz-Karl Ehrhard

335 to 364


Ritual of Tibetan Sand Man.d.ala

Richard Kohn

365 to 405


Fairies & Women of Kalas` Mountaineers of the Hindu-Kus`

Jean-Yves Loude &

Viviane Lie`vre

407 to 433


Himalayan Comparative Mythology

N. J. Allen

435 to 451

Capp. 1-2.


Man.d.ala and Landscape in Japan

Ulrich Mammitzsch

1 to 39

pp. 20-1 Table 1.2 Honjisuijaku of the 7 Upper Sanno Shrines




old name

Kami (suijaku) “__ no Mikoto”

Bauddha honji




Ni no Miya

Oyamagui Nigi-mitama





Tamayori-hime Nigi-mitama





Oyamagui Ara-mitama

1000-armed Avalokita-is`vara



San no Miya


Tamayori-hime Ara-mitama








Usa no Miya








11-headed Avalokita-is`vara

p. 31 S^inko version of the man.d.ala of the 3 peaks of Hakusan (in 3 rows, described downward)

central figure

figure on the left

figure on the right

2nd row : the gongen of the 3 peaks

Hakusan myori, with

full-moon in left hand,

fan in right hand

Onamuc^i as

black-clad civilian

holding flute

Daigyoji as

white-clad military holding bow

3rd row : oji

youth holding wish-granting jewel

T>an-style female

black-clad male kami

4th row : 3 male kami

monk kami in black robe

civilian kami holding flute

military kami holding lance

pp. 31-2 local legends at Tateyama

pp. 31-2

Sakae Ariyori who shot a bear and, after pursuing the wounded animal into the mountains, encountered the figure of Amitabha [p. 32] with an arrow in his body.”

{This would imply that Amita-abha is a bear-deity.}

p. 32

a local bridge (the Nuno no bashi) and … that women … would find at this bridge access to the Pure Land of Amitabha.”


Mt. Fen-du, Taoist Infernal Abyss

Sandrine Chenivesse

41 to 74

p. 70, n. 2:3 mountains of mythologic origination

The Huai[-]nan[-]zi quotes the mountain of the Bell (chapter 2), or even the Wu Shan …, the witches' mountain, places of origin of the ten thousand beings which “on high touch the borders of heaven and below reach to the abyssal waters” ([Robinet 1971], p. 273).”

Robinet 1971 = Isabel Robinet : Me'ditation Taoi:ste. Dervy-livres, Paris.

p. 45 earthly pilgrimage while living in order to achieve benefit in the Great Beyond after death

[quoted from Strickmann, p. 216 :] “He who studies to acheve immortality must make great journeys in holy mountains, and kneel down there and beg the 'beyond' for the teaching of supernatural powers. Perhaps he will then acquire precious secrets and manage, by stages, to officiate among divine Immortals”.

Strickmann = Michel Strickmann : Le Taoi:sme de Maoshan : chronique d'une re've'lation. ME'MOIRES DE L'IHEC, vol. XVII.

pp. 46-7 the 2 mainland-sites for Fen-du

p. 46

the Fengdu Mountain, also known as the Pingdu Shan, … was, until the sixth century, situated in

the northern peninsula of Liaodong … in the extreme north of China.

{This paeninsula is actually in Manchuria, not China.}

It was there, in the heart of the North Sea {North China Sea}, that the Island of the Dead, called Fengdu could be found in the Taoist Geographies [Tao Hon-jin : Z^en-gao (“Declarations of the Perfected”) = Dao-zan vol. 1016, fascc. 637-640, juan 15, pp. 1a-2; and juan 11, pp. 5b-6a] of the era of the Six Dynasties.

It was only from the ninth century onwards, through the works of Taoist master Du Guangting Dongtian fudi yuedu mingshan ji … [= Dao-zan vol. 599, fasc. 331, p. 9a-b] Annals of Cavernous Heavens, Lands of Happiness, Sacred Peaks and Channels, and famous Mountains, who proposed a classification of the seventy-two lands of happiness, that Mount

p. 47

Fengdu, privilege of the two Immortals, Wang Fangping … and Yin Changsheng …, was from then on to be found in Sichuan.

p. 48 the nature of an immortal

The Chinese character for Immortal, xian, … “the man of the mountain, expresses … a man who has learnt to fly toward the heights.”” (Kaltenmark 1987, p. 10)

He embodies the primordial breath, … drinking the dew of the stars [Schipper 1982, p. 225, n. 27], he thus gathers the vital essential fragrances of the universe, and becoming invisible, he takes the form of everything, moving in a flash of time from one end of the world to the other.”

Thus, “the adept will come to know the disposition of the secret forces which rule the universe, and he will know how to enfeoff the mountains and to summon the spirits of the seas.”” (Robinet 1971, p. 44, n. 20)

Kaltenmark 1987 = Max Kaltenmark : Yixianzhuan, biographies le'gendaires des Immortels taoi:stes de l'antiquite'. Colle`ge de France, IHEC.

Schipper 1982 = Kristofer M. Schipper : Le corps taoi:ste. Fayard.

p. 49 emergence of deity from adept's body

In the Han era, … by the continuous contemplation of a mirror through which the adept made {out the adept's own body as portal for passageway of heaven's} divine inhabitants, and sometimes even Laozi himself, surge forth from his body, Laozi “with a dozen blue dragons on his left and thirty-six white tigers on his right”.” (Delahaye 1981, p. 50)

Delahaye 1981 = H. Delahaye : Aspects religieux du paysage en Chine. EFEO vol. CXXIX. Paris.

p. 49 into what cosmic features Lao-zi transformed his own bodily membres (Maspero 1971, p. 374)

Lao-zi's __

became __

left eye

the sun

right eye

the moon


mt. Kun-lun










the sea


the Five Peaks”


trees & grass


(the constellation of) the Flowery Canopy”

2 kidneys

the Mother and Father of Reality”

Maspero 1971 = Henri Maspero : Le Taoi:sme et les religions chinoises. Gallimard.

pp. 50, 52 maps of sacred mountains and of divine mountains

p. 50

Minister Dong Fang[-]suo was the author of one of the versions of the Diagram of the Five Peaks, “the Chart of the True Form of the Ancient Writing of the Five Peaks” [Wu-ye Gu-ben Z^en-xin Tu] … .”

p. 52

The Chart of the True Form of the Fengdu Shan is fairly similar to Chart of the True Form of the Five Peaks . ... they are described in the [Lin-bao Wu-yue Gu-ben Z^en-xin Tu -- Dao-zan vol .441, fasc. 197, dernier juan, p. 1a-b] : “The Chart of the Time and Primordial Form of the Five Peaks” …”.

the initiate can rejoin the spirits living in the mountains. As for the magic map, the densest part … marks the mountain masses at the heart of which is … a 'hollow landscape' … . These grottoes communicate upwards to the light of the sky, dong[-]tian, … 'celestial grottoes' or 'cavernous-heavens', and downwards to the subterranean waters quan[-]qu he[-]yuan … .”

pp. 55-8 at Fen-du : specific divine palaces & deities

p. 55


pp. 56-8 Notes


Bian-s^en Fu (“Palace of the Transmutation of Lives”)



Don-lin Jin-guan (“Golden Pass of Mysterious Hills”


[quoted from Strickmann, n. 349 :] “ “The Golden Pass is the Portal which leads to the Palace of Shangqing and comes just above Taiji,” the Supreme Pinnacle”


Zao Di Gon (“Palace of the Emperor of the Hearth”)

According to the Bao[-]pu[-]zi, Zao Shang[-]di …, the God of the Hearth is resposnsible for the three worms, san chong[,] … controlling the acts of Men and reporting on them to Heaven. Other reporting spirits include the Five Sacred Peaks.”


S^an-yuan Liu-don (“Six Grottoes of the Higher Original”)

in the Dong[-]zhen jing … the supreme divinity, the Higher Original, Shang Yuan, … is found in “the Field of the Higher Cinnabar (situated in the head), with the surname Wei[-]cheng, … “Majestic Culmination”.” (Maspero, p. 381)


Z^an-ren Gon (“Palace of the Venerable Old Man”)



Yu-z^ai (“Prison Residence”)



Min-len Da-s^en (“Great Spirit of the Infernal Cold”)



Z^on-yuan Cao-ju (“Offices of the Median Original”)


Zhong Yuan …, the Supreme Median Original Divinity, is nicknamed Master of the Yellow, Huang zi … and, in the human body occupies the “Field of Cinnabar”, found in the heart.” (Maspero, p. 381)


Quan-qu Fu (“Palace of Infernal Springs”)



Xia-yuan Liu-gon (“Six Palaces of the Lower Original”)

Xia yuan …, the Supreme Lower Original Divinity is nicknamed Ming[-]guang[-]zi …, Master of the Radiance of Destiny, and in the body of the adept occupies the “Field of Lower Cinnabar”, found below the navel.” (Maspero, p. 381).


Liu-tian S^i-z^e (“Ambassador of the Six Heavens')

Liu tian …, in reference to the past era of the Six Fiendish Heavens and in contrast to the orthodox system of the Three Heavens extolled by … (2nd century AD) … the Celestial Masters.”


You-que (“Watch-tower of Darkness”)


the kidneys (according to Huang[-]ting wai[-]jingExoteric Book of the Yellow Court). “A ritual of recitation belonging to the Ling[-]bao movement … enables visualisation of the Supreme God illuminating the Kidneys which are ... the Nine Obscurities … . … According to Lao[-]zi Zhong[-]jingThe Inner Book of Laozi, they are “The Dark Portal of the North Pole”, “The side Gate of the Sombre Warrior”.” (Robinet, pp. 121-2)


Wu-dao Fu (“Palace of the Five Ways”)

The Five Ways … relate to the five paths”.


Si-min Fu (“Palace of the Director of Destiny”)

The Book of the Great Grotto (Scripts of the Maoshan sect) places Si[-]ming … in the heart of man, the “Field of the middle Cinnabar”.” (Robinet, p. 156)


Bei-dou (“Northern Capital”)



Tian-di Gon” (“Palace of the Celestial Emperor”)



Ton Tian-men (“Door which communicates with Heaven”)

Tian Men …. “The Celestial Door”, in the breathing exercises of Taoists, is linked with the mouth.” (Maspero, p. 522)

{The 6 * 3 = 18 [Taoist] Palaces of the Originals herein may be the literary source of the 18 heavens of certain [Maha-yana] Vaipulya-sutra-s (such as the Bhais.ajya-guru Vaipulya-sutra).}

p. 59 praecepts accompanying the Chart of the True Form of Fen-du S^an

the characters of the Jade Tablet of the Six Heavens were engraved by means of a stone on the plinth that was the foundation of the Court of Darkness … . The well-read Zhu[-]ling carried the tablet hanging from his belt, then … an intense light … penetrated the Source of the dark plains, provoking a harmonious evolution thanks to the communication of opposites. These characters were calligraphed on the Northern Imperial Pass of Great Purity, so that the knots of the Six Heavens would come undone … . Only then … by tracing the True Form (of the Fengdu Shan) in vermilion, and tracing the instructions and name of the deceased in black; then … immediately the Emperor of the North will free them {the dead} from their bonds and the Three Dignitaries ([of] Heaven, Earth and Water) will dissolve the knots (of mortal breaths). Thus will they {the dead} be raised towards the Tribunal of the North.”

pp. 59-60 information & instructions in the Du-wan S^ao-hui Z^ou (“Magic Imprecation that is turned to ashes to redeem the salvation of souls”)

p. 59

On the orders of the Talisman of the Original Beginning : … for the souls of the Dead … to let them pass … to the Southern Palace … and thus they can be transformed and reborn into a new life and … melt into an immortal body and finally reach the Great Room of Felicity”.

Stick the tongue against the palate;

concentrating on the original Beginning;

read the secret words once;

concentrate one's thoughts on the golden

p. 60

light which fills the mouth; and

hold the Tablets of Jade Purity in one's hands; then

blow so that the invocation flies in the North-East direction and settles there.

Then the dead souls will immediately be able to rise to the Scarlet Palace, where … they will be purified and reborn among the Blessed.”

pp. 61-2 circulation of the so-called “breath” {actually psychic energy, known in Samskr.ta as /Kun.d.alini/} in order to gestate the embryo of immortality

p. 61

The Chart reveals … the labyrinth of … the hidden path of immortality … sanctioned by the law of the circulation of the breath {psychic energy, not “breath”}. This practice, common in Taoist circles, enabled initiates to expel mortal breath {psychic energy} from their bodies in order to replace it gradually with pure breath {psychic energy}, thus furthering access to an embryo of immortality the gestation of which ensured the preservation, cun …, of their vital principle, of their True One. … It is through vision, internal and inverted sight {psychic sight}, nei[-]guan … that the breath {psychic energy} is guided. … The circulation of breath {psychic energy} is described in esoteric terms at the very beginning of Huang[-]ting jing …, The Book of the Yellow Court, which is … the first work (second and third century AD), amongst those which have

p. 62

survived, to describe in detail the various practices in the search for immortality. … At that time the practice involved making the external breath {physical energy, not “external breath”} … enter into the “Three Fields of Cinnabar” {but because none of these 3 is the lungs, the actual material “breath” cannot have been intended nor included} … . … In any case, the doctrine of the Breathing {psychic energizing} has a similar aim : to suppress {to transcend, not “to suppress”} the cause of decrepitude and death of the physical body , and to create a discerning immortal body : lian[-]du … “melt into an immortal body” … . To do this, it is essential to be able to return to the “Plain of Origin”, where the Primordial Breaths {prime psychic energies} are gathered : “to take refuge in the Origin”, at the 'Root' of things …, taken into a process fused with the Primodial Unity of Chaos, Unity above all distinction[s], where the True being called 'the One' is found”.

pp. 62-3 basic triads

p. 62

“ “The True Principle of the Three Truths and the Three Arcana” … San[-]dong san[-]zhen zhi[-]yao, corresponds to the three large sections of the scriptures of the Taoist Canon which themselves correspond to the … San Yuan, … the Three Originals, supreme divinities from which stemmed

p. 63

the Holy Scriptures and the Cosmos. [Robinet, p. 151] Furthermore, … correspondence … can be established … of … the Three Fields of Cinnabar, each one in liaison with the Three vital centres of the body (the head, the heart and the kidneys) and, in the universe, with the sky, earth and water respectively.”

pp. 63-4 the 3 Worms : the 3 Corpses

p. 63

[Li-s^i Z^en-xian Ti-dao Ton-jian, juan 20, pp. 12b-14a – DZ vol 296, fasc. 141, quoted in Maspero, p. 367, n. 2 :] “ “Those who seek for eternal life must first hunt the Three Worms” …; declares the Immortal Liu Gen {Jen} in the Han era.”

To get rid of the Three Corpses, san[-]shi … is just “Guarding the One”, shou yi …, “keeping within oneself” all the energies of life … . Like the mountain, the body has periods which … are hazardous : every sixty days, the Emperor of the Septentrion, Bei[-]di …, opens the doors of the Higher Palace of the Great Mystery, in the Northern Capital, Bei[-]dou …, where … the spirits' requests are gathered.

On that day, the Three Corpses, (who each live in one of the Fields of Cinnabar) … rise up to Heaven, make reports …, and the Director of Destiny, who sits in the Median Field of Cinnabar … holds the registers of life and death … .” [Maspero, p. 366]

We realize … the Three Corpses … never rested from trying to bring closer the limit of … life so as to free themselves from the prison of the body.

On reading …, we pick out … on the one hand “untying the knots”, jie[-]fu … and on the other hand, “inscribing one's name on a register”, which will be conveyed by fire to the Emperor of the North. … Tao Hong[-]jing, the compiler (at the very end of the fifth century [Chr.E.]) of the visionary writings of previous eras, considered the feasibility of practicing “the liberation of the corpse” {= totality of the 3 Corpses?}, thanks to the ancestors' merits.”

p. 64 souls of the dead can acquire transferrable merit in the netherworld

[Z^en-gao, juan 16, p. 12a – DZ vol 1016, fascc. 637-640, quoted by Robinet :] “The Gui …, the souls of the dead who are in the hells {Taoist netherworld-paradises, not Bauddha “hells”}, can practice immortality xian … like {living} men; they can do Taoist exercises, and … their merits come down on their descendants and guide them to the state of shen … (divine), and of Immortal”.

{Likewise, Iesous Khristos by descending into Hades (S^>o^l) acquired merit which can be (by “imputed grace”) transferred to Khristians.}

p. 64 the mortal “breath” within the material embryo is overwhelmed by the Ocean of “Breaths” (psychic energies) opening into a “gaping void” (= Ginnunga-gap) for the immaterial (praeternatural) embryo

[Jiu-tian S^en-s^en Z^an-jin – DZ vol 398, fasc. 188, 1st juan, pp. 31b-32a, quoted in Robinet, p. 216, n. 5 :] “the root of death … in the body of the {material} embryo ... is also a mortal breath {mortality-causing energy}; … this root forms into tight knots”.

in the Third Field of Cinnabar (… below the navel) with the esoteric name of You[-]que … “The Pass of Darkness” …, kingdom of the dark original [is] where the {immaterial} Embryo { garbha} develops. … Cun[-]shen wei yuan shi yi … “saving or preserving one's existence through concentrating on the Original Beginning”, and …

Si jin guan man … “meditating on the golden brilliance which fills the mouth” confirms the process of involution.

{This “golden brilliance” would be that of the petals of the waterlily world-blossom of Man.ipura.}

The Field of Cinnabar is situated in the region of clear water,

{This “clear water” would be that of the makara at Man.ipura.}

in the village of the Great Hill : it is also called the Palace-which-guards-the Essence … .” The Lower Field of Cinnabar … connects with “the vast Ocean of Breaths … where a (divine) Turtle swims” [Lao-zi Z^on Jin “Inner Book of Laozi”, 17, quoted in Schipper, p. 146], … “which inhales and exhales the original Breath, creates the rain and the wind” [Robinet, p. 121]. There, “at the bottom of the ocean opens a gaping void, which syphons the waters and the vital energies of the Field of Cinnabar. Door of Destiny, Dark Portal, Original Pass”” (Schipper, p. 146).

p. 65 convoluted return to the Origin via a labyrinth

We discover in … the Chart of the True Shape, several repetitions of … qu … following sinuous and complex twists and turns”.

{This would be similar to the Vank Nal 'Twisted Tunnel' of Radhasoami trance-progress through the Otherworld.}

I. Robinet … quotes R. Stein … “evoking … the hunchbacks, the old women …, the deformed dwarves, twisted and hunched up,

{These would be similar to the hunchbacks and midgets accompanying Quetzalcoatl through mountain-passes into exile.}

and the ecstatic dancers”” (Stein, p. 88).

[p. 67 : [quoted from the Fen-du Luo S^an-z^en Xin Tu of the southern Sun] “ “the dance of the Great Master on the subtle path which leads to immortality”, … miao[-]xing da[-]shi wan zhi yan.”]

Stein = R. A. Stein : Jardins en miniature d' Extre^me-Orient.

p. 68 origin of writing in divination to give power over daimones

Seers and astrologers were thus the first to decipher the world using feathers, and the skins of animals, … for their divinatory endeavours. At this stage … emerged Zang Jie, the inventor of human writing, directly inspired by the traces {footprints, alike to cuneiform} of birds on the sand.

Then [quoted from Robinet, p. 30] “the demons cried in the night : the deciphered writing of the world, fruit of the convergence of Heaven and Earth, from high to low, proclaimed the power of men over them.””

pp. 68-9 clouds & mountains are generated out of forms of heavenly writing, and in turn generate earthly writing

p. 68

[quoted from the Don-xuan Lin-bao Wu-yue Gu-ben Z^en-xin Tu – DZ vol. 441, fasc. 197, dernier juan, p. 1a-b] “Embedded in the mountains, between sky and earth, clouds and mountains merged, akin to signs of writing. That is why the Holy Lord of

p. 69

the True Dao came down … . Imitating the propensity of the mountains and rivers …, and taking into account the appearance and consonance of the characters, he named the mountains”.

The Five Sacred Peaks, once put in place to ensure the stability of the world, then rise up as the origin of writing :

opening their grottoes, they let the Sacred Books escape.

{an allusion to antient texts found treasuredly hidden within the sacred caverns – also a frequent Bon theme}

The writings of fu …, originated from “The Writing in the void”. We read in the Yun[-]ji[-]qi[-]qian that these are the heavenly Scriptures that the Supreme Verities reverently wrote.

In … the Zhen Gao, a genuine anthology of revealed texts sprinkled with fragments of divine speech … : at the moment of Creation, luminous letters appeared in the Heaven, and

these are the Scriptures in the shape of clouds, yun[-]zhuan … .

{cf. Stewart Guthrie : Faces in the Clouds : a new theory of religion. Oxford U Pr, 1993.}

It even specifies that at the dawn of time, the world was created and … [there] appeared … two forms of writing, one inherent in Creation (contained in the energy of Nature) and the other, simultaneous with it and composed of archetypal forms surging into Heaven like the foreshadowing of the varied essence of matters.

After the time of differentiation, the moment which celebrates the 'de'nouement' of Primordial Unity, … Cosmic signs are transformed into the writing of the dragon and the phoenix, terrestrial miracles which inaugurate the progressive materialisation of heavenly messages.”

pp. 69-70 “The ultimate reality perceived by the Taoists is found in the sources of the world, in the previous heaven, qian[-]tian …, as opposed to [p. 70] the visible world, hou[-]tian … .”

EMERGING PERCEPTIONS IN BUDDHIST STUDIES, No. 6 = A. W. Macdonald (ed.) : Man.d.ala and Landscape. D. K. Printworld, New Delhi, 1997.