Nicola Bajetta takes us through Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo's commentary on the Nāmasaṅgīti, a hymn of praise dedicated to Mañjuśrī
Among the circa thirty-two extant works by the seminal rNying-ma scholar Rong-zom Chos-kyi-bzang-po (11th–12th cent.), his Explanation in Three Points (rNam gsum bshad pa) is one of the earliest autochthonous Tibetan commentaries on the (Mañjuśrī)nāmasaṅgīti. Included within the author’s Collected Writings, the commentary is also transmitted, anonymously, in all editions of the bsTan ’gyur, with the title Lamp that Clarifies the Three Methods (Tshul gsum gsal bar byed pa’i sgron ma). Rong-zom-pa’s commentary, as the title suggests, is an exegesis of the tantra in three main points (rnam gsum): 1) a discussion of the nature of Mañjuśrī (i.e., non-dual gnosis), 2) of His different Names (i.e., the names of all defiled and undefiled phenomena), 3) and of the way His Names should be chanted (i.e., by viewing His Names as having the meaning of good qualities, by viewing His Names as having the meaning of mantras, and by viewing His Names as having the meaning of non-duality). Following a general introduction to the Nāmasaṅgīti, the commentaries thereupon, and the life and works of Rong-zom Chos-kyi-bzang-po, my talk will lay emphasis on the Indian sources that underlie the composition of the rNam gsum bshad pa. Particularly significant is Rong-zom-pa’s reliance on Vilāsavajra’s (late 8th cent.) Nāmamantrārthāvalokinī (NMAA) (one of three Indian commentaries on the Nāmasaṅgīti that are still extant in Sanskrit) and Smṛtijñānakīrti’s (11th cent.) *Guhyāpannopāyikāvṛtti, a commentary on Vilāsavajra’s maternal uncle Agrabodhi’s (8th cent.) *Guhyāpannopāyikā, translated by the same Smṛtijñāna, who also translated the NMAA. After analysing different modalities and degrees of textual borrowing / textual re-use from these two sources to the rNam gsum bshad pa, I will conclude by drawing a few comparisons between the canonical versions of the Tibetan translation of the NMAA and an extra-canonical version extant in a single dBu-can manuscript from the ’Bras-spungs-gnas-bcu-lha-khang in lHa-sa.