Many Lives of a Yakṣiṇī: An Intertextual Analysis of the Hārītī/Durgā/Brayut Myths

This project focuses on the Chinese Buddhist text T21n1262 佛說鬼子母經 or Gui-zi-mu Jing. This text presents an intriguing story of a Buddhist yakṣiṇī named Hārītī or Gui-zi-mu in this case. Very few scholars have paid attention to this short but important text and there is no existing English translation either. I began working on this text to trace to origin and development of this myth/cult with the help of other lesser-known texts such as the Old Javanese text Calon-Arang, a story about the fierce manifestation of the goddess on Bali whose narrative highly resembles that of the Gui-zi-mu Jing. I expect to both provide an English translation T21n1262 佛說鬼子母經 or Gui-zi-mu Jing, with a significant amount of commentary and analysis, focusing on its origin and influence over the Balinese Hindu Goddess Durga. This is a topic that no one has ever touched upon and I believe the product would be critical in understanding the transmission of religious dynamics in the pre-modern Asia.