This article examines woodblock prints of the Sūtra of the Dhāraṇī of the Precious Casket Seal of the Concealed Complete-Body Relics of the Essence of All Tathāgatas, a short text that came to serve as a backbone for the textual relic cult and, starting in the early Koryŏ, became an important part of consecratory deposits of Buddhist icons. This article focuses on how material embodiments of dhāraṇīs were enshrined in the Korean context and how such enshrinement defined their function and meaning. Through an analysis of the Dhāraṇī of the Precious Casket Seal in diverse forms, visual designs, and ritual contexts from the eleventh to the fourteenth century, the article demonstrates that the materiality of this important dhāraṇī was key to its performativity as a sacred object that could consecrate otherwise manmade architectural or iconic entities. By so doing, this study reveals key aspects of the Buddhist visual culture that have long remained obscure, while contributing to the growing scholarship on textual materiality in premodern Korea.

You do not currently have access to this content.