Dreaming the Great Brahmin: Tibetan Traditions of the by Kurtis R. Schaeffer

By Kurtis R. Schaeffer

Dreaming the good Brahmin explores the construction and game of Buddhist saints via narratives, poetry, artwork, ritual, or even dream visions. the 1st complete cultural and literary heritage of the well known Indian Buddhist poet saint Saraha, often called the nice Brahmin, this publication argues that we must always view Saraha no longer because the founding father of a convention, yet quite as its product. Kurtis Schaeffer exhibits how pictures, stories, and teachings of Saraha have been transmitted, remodeled, and created via individuals of various Buddhist traditions in Tibet, India, Nepal, and Mongolia. the result's that there's now not one nice Brahmin, yet many. extra greatly, Schaeffer argues that the large significance of saints for Buddhism is better understood by means of taking a look at the artistic variations of such figures that perpetuated their reputation, for it's there that those saints come to life.

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Extra info for Dreaming the Great Brahmin: Tibetan Traditions of the Buddhist Poet-Saint Saraha

Example text

The first clue occurs in the op ening verses of Asu's work, in which he p ays homage to the Great B rahmin. 23 The Great B rahmin, obj ect of the Vi(':tor' s offering, A worthy recipient, was blessed by the <;lakinI, Practiced tantra; and the symbolic meaning entered your mind. You understood reality, and befriended the fletcheress . Th e next clues are found in the commentary o n verse I o f th e King Doha: Buffeted by wind, unmoving Water turns to waves . 2• Just To this B alpo Asu adds : " For example, the king saw S araha in [different] situ­ ations; as a brahmin , as a scholar, as a yogin, and as a low-caste person, they nevertheles s did n ot depart from a s i ngl e [person] .

Groundless actions like a madman . Body in s elfle s s space. D esires wear themselves out like a child­ Body in desireless space. Yesterday I was no brahmin , I , brahmin pure . Today I am a brahmin, The real brahmin is great purity. Yesterday I was no monk, 1, ascetic monk. Today I am a monk, The real monk is great asceticism. So did he sing. H e j o urneyed to a market and beheld a fletcheres s making ar­ rows , and all appearances dawned as symbols. The fletcheress in­ structed him in the S eals , and they practiced tantra.

Master Buddhagupta] said that, having worked for the benefit of many beings, [Saraha] is in this body dwelling in another Buddha Realm. This is consistent with Tibetan [tales] . Later, in a fragmentary Indic manuscript of notes to the Buddha's Skull [Tantra] there is nothing regarding [Saraha's] having been ordained in the middle period [of his life] , and it appears to claim that the brahmin Rahula and the elder Rahula are different. 53 Taranatha was a critical historian in his own right and was ever ready to charge his opponents with ignorance of the facts as he saw them.

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