New PDF release: Early Tibetan documents on Phur pa from Dunhuang

By Cathy Cantwell

ISBN-10: 370016100X

ISBN-13: 9783700161004

The precise conditions of the emergence of what are actually referred to as the rNying ma traditions of Tibetan Buddhism stay one of the least basically outlined parts of Tibetan heritage for contemporary scholarship. What has made the early historical past of rNying ma tantrism so opaque is the shortage of trustworthy historic assets. based on such uncertainty, Cantwell and Mayer have grew to become to the Dunhuang cache looking for extra facts. Their particular concentration has been the Dunhuang texts on Phur pa, lots of that have by no means been learn sooner than. This concentration was once selected simply because from relatively early occasions, the Phur pa culture built greatly inside of Tibet itself, and constantly remained a very rNying ma perform. Phur pa's early and enduring reputation may well for this reason to a point coincide with or replicate the emergence of rNying ma as a special culture. This quantity addresses a huge query that has no longer thus far been approached: how precisely do the Dunhuang tantric texts evaluate with these of the acquired rNying ma culture? The authors assessment, transliterate, translate, and examine all Dunhuang texts on Phur pa thus far pointed out, learning an all at once shut courting to the acquired culture. there's additionally an essay exploring purposes for Phur pa's reputation in post-Imperial Tibet

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Additional info for Early Tibetan documents on Phur pa from Dunhuang

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The two fragments constitute extracts from the same text, the dharani text for the female Buddha, gDugs dkar (White Parasol). They have the same repeated wording for the striking phur bu and the announcement of the severing of the mantras concerned. They differ in the specific objects listed although in both cases, we find both human ascetics or religious specialists of various kinds, Hindu deities and miscellaneous spirits. Conceptually related to such rites, we find in the Dunhuang divination text IOL Tib J 7397 that it is considered a good omen if one perceives the hearts of one's enemies to be struck with a phur.

In each performance of sgrol ba, he reenacts that first ancient taming of Rudra. 18 It is fair to say that the myth of Rudra is so 17 See Karmay 1998: 288-9, for analysis of how the term smrang was used for this kind of origin and archetype myth as used in ritual. The word rabs is described in the citation from Karmay above. 18 Thus, in the account given in the Phur pa root tantra, the Myang 'das, the females originally of Rudra's entourage are integrated into the mandala's periphery and become the recipients of the left-over offerings {Myang 'das Chapter 4, NGB, D vol.

3S Such a separation of the benign 'go yi lha before effectuating the phur pa strike remains a regular feature within many modem Phur pa texts too. Since a standard Indian tantric method of exorcism envisaged the 'taming' of hostile or indigenous deities and their conversion into helpful servant deities, Phur pa could also afford the more radical strategy of directly integrating indigenous deities into its mandala at the periphery, without being in any way compromised by this. Such strategies were very widely practised in Indian tantrism, allowing the socially expansive integration of originally outsider deities into Saiva or Buddhist systems; hence their application to indigenous Tibetan deities could have been neither unexpected nor controversial.

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Early Tibetan documents on Phur pa from Dunhuang by Cathy Cantwell


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