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Edited by Roger R. Jackson and Klaus-Dieter Mathes

Mahāmudrā in India and Tibet presents cutting-edge research by European and North American scholars on the Indian origins and Tibetan interpretations of one of the most popular and influential of all Tibetan meditation traditions, Mahāmudrā, or the great seal. The contributions shed fresh light on important areas of Mahāmudrā studies, exploring the Great Seal’s place in the Mahāyāna Samādhirājasūtra, the Indian tantric Seven Siddhi Texts, Dunhuang Yogatantra texts, Mar pa’s Rngog lineage, and the Dgongs gcig literature of the ’Bri gung, as well as in the works of Yu mo Mi bskyod rdo rje, the Fourth Zhwa dmar pa Chos grags ye shes, the Eighth Karma pa Mi-bskyod rdo rje, and various Dge lugs masters of the 17th–18th centuries.
Contributors are: Jacob Dalton, Martina Draszczyk, Cecile Ducher, David Higgins, Roger R. Jackson, Casey Kemp, Adam Krug, Klaus-Dieter Mathes, Jan-Ulrich Sobisch, and Paul Thomas.

Series:

Gombozhab T Tsybikov

Tsybikov was the first scholar with a European education to visit Tibet and describe its monasteries and temples as an eyewitness traveler and an objective researcher. Tsybikov had two distinct advantages: an ethnic Buryat he could travel as a Buddhist pilgrim and thus have a chance of reaching its mysterious capital Lhasa, the religious and political center of Tibet, which was barred to outsiders, especially Europeans; as a scholar educated at a European university he had the historical and linguistic background to understand and describe what he saw. Tsybikov understood the secretive nature of the lama state and was careful to hide his work as a researcher. It was his journal that became the basis of A Buddhist Pilgrim at the Shrines of Tibet, which has both the vividness of a traveller’s eyewitness account and the informed detachment of a scholar. As a record of both religious practices and the everyday life in Tibet before Chinese inroads during the twentieth century effaced that way of life, Tsybikov’s book is a unique and invaluable snapshot of a lost culture.

Power Objects in Tibetan Buddhism

The Life, Writings, and Legacy of Sokdokpa Lodrö Gyeltsen

Series:

James Duncan Gentry

In Power Objects in Tibetan Buddhism: The Life, Writings, and Legacy of Sokdokpa Lodrö Gyeltsen, James Duncan Gentry explores how objects of power figure in Tibetan religion, society, and polity through a study of the life of the Tibetan Buddhist ritual specialist Sokdokpa Lodrö Gyeltsen (1552–1624) within the broader context of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Tibet. In presenting Sokdokpa’s career and legacy, Gentry traces the theme of power objects across a wide spectrum of genres to show how Tibetan Buddhists themselves have theorized about objects of power and implemented them in practice. This study therefore provides a lens into how power objects serve as points of convergence for elite doctrinal discourses, socio-political dynamics, and popular religious practices in Tibetan Buddhist societies.