Matthew Kapstein mkapstei at MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU
Thu Nov 6 03:54:37 UTC 2003

A very interesting question indeed.
I have no idea where the "earliest" occurrence
of the term is to be found. I suppose I'd want
to look for it in suutras like the Ga.n.davyuuha,
Das'abhuumika, etc. But for the moment all
that I know for sure is that it appears prominently
in the titles of a group of tantras that seem to
come into circulation in about the 8th c. The term
had been long since established, I imagine, when the
authors of these works appropriated it. Of course,
it is immediately suggestive of similar terms -- brahmajaala,
indrajaala -- whose antiquity is well-known, e.g., in the
Brahmajaalasuutra of the Diighanikaaya.

Matthew Kapstein

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