On the symbolism of the mirror in indo-tibetan consecration rituals

Journal of Indian Philosophy 23 (1):57-71 (1995)
Abstract
The Mahāyāna ideal isaprati $$\underset{\raise0.3em\hbox{$\smash{\scriptscriptstyle\cdot}$}}{s} \underset{\raise0.3em\hbox{$\smash{\scriptscriptstyle\cdot}$}}{t} $$ hā-nirvā $$\underset{\raise0.3em\hbox{$\smash{\scriptscriptstyle\cdot}$}}{n} $$ a — liberation with a basis in neithersa $$\underset{\raise0.3em\hbox{$\smash{\scriptscriptstyle\cdot}$}}{m} $$ sāra nornirvā $$\underset{\raise0.3em\hbox{$\smash{\scriptscriptstyle\cdot}$}}{n} $$ a, that is to say, neither in the conventional world nor in the true nature of all things (Nagao 1981). Through the consecration proceedings ayidam, Buddha, or Bodhisattva is established insa $$\underset{\raise0.3em\hbox{$\smash{\scriptscriptstyle\cdot}$}}{m} $$ sāra. Through the employment of the mirror in the consecration ritual, thatyidam, Buddha, or Bodhisattva participates in the actual nature of all things as they are — unestablished, devoid of own nature, like reflected images in a mirror. If the mirror does not resolve the paradox of consecrating the unconsecratable, it holds up a mirror to the impossible mystery of transcendent immanence
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