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Religious Studies 295: Intro. to Tibetan Buddhism

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In this case it was Kings: Wanted hierarchy, morality, social stability, etc... the reality of shamanic power, and the need for it to be used on behalf of the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Religious Studies 295: Intro. to Tibetan Buddhism


1
Religious Studies 295Intro. to Tibetan Buddhism
Week 4
  • Instructor
  • Justin Whitaker

2
Early History of Tibet Terminology (conceptual
tools)
  • Two orientations in Buddhism
  • Bodhi enlightenment
  • Karma merit
  • Bodhi Shamanic (Samuel)
  • Karma Clerical (Samuel)

3
Early History of Tibet Terminology (conceptual
tools)
  • Shamanic
  • the regulation and transformation of human life
    and human society through the use (or purported
    use) of alternate states of consciousness by
    means of which specialist practitioners are held
    to communicate with a mode of reality alternative
    to, and more fundamental than, the world of
    everyday experience.
  • Samuel, p.8

4
Early History of Tibet Terminology (conceptual
tools)
  • Vs Clerical
  • Aims for merit through virtuous action and the
    avoidance of nonvirtuous action. Its primary mode
    of activity is scholarship, philosophical
    analysis, and monastic discipline. - Samuel,
    p.10
  • Typical figure scholar-monk
  • Typical activity philosophical study/debate

5
Early History of Tibet Buddhism and
Pre-Buddhism
  • Samuels Terminology Clerical vs Shamanic
  • Shamanic
  • Wild, apolitical, disorganized, direct,
    cosmological and collective
  • Clerical
  • Civilized/tame, politically active, mediated,
    hierarchical, rationalized, individualistic

6
Early History of Tibet Terminology (conceptual
tools)
  • Two orientations in Buddhism
  • Who won in Tibet? Which is dominant?
  • Which is the Dalai Lama?
  • Shamanic (both actually but importantly he is
    Shamanic a Tantric adept)
  • vs other Buddhist societies

7
Early History of Tibet Terminology (conceptual
tools)
  • Two orientations in Buddhism
  • Imagine yourself in Tibet in, say, 1900
  • 4/5 of you are agriculturalists/pastoralists
    1/10 are traders/merchants 1/10 are
    politicians/monks (1-2 nuns)
  • WHO WANTS BUDDHAHOOD?
  • Most of you want good crops and a good rebirth.
  • Ergo, you want powerful (Shamanic) friends

8
Early History of Tibet Buddhism and
Pre-Buddhism
  • Pre-Buddhist religion 2 strands
  • Clerical/Court
  • White Bon
  • Death rituals around Kings
  • Shamanic
  • Dark Bon
  • Animal sacrifices
  • shen

9
Early History of Tibet Buddhism and
Pre-Buddhism
  • Early Buddhism 2 strands
  • Clerical/Court
  • Monastic
  • Kamalashila - 8th Century
  • Shamanic
  • Tantric
  • Padmasambhava (aka Guru Rinpoche) - 8th Century

10
Early History of Tibet Buddhism and
Pre-Buddhism
  • Early Tib. Buddhism 2 strands
  • Clerical/Court
  • gradualist
  • Emphasis the approach to the goal
  • Shamanic
  • Sudden-ist (subitist)
  • Emphasis the view from the goal

11
Early History of Tibet Samye Debate
  • The story (as told by later Tibetans) 792 AD
  • Chinese Hashang MahayanaWild, deprave, no
    regard for morals (they DONT MATTER!)
  • vs.
  • Indian KamalashilaCalm, meditative, knows that
    enlightenment is a path

12
Early History of Tibet Samye Debate
  • The story (as told by later Tibetans)
  • Moral of the story?
  • Meditation is good, but
  • Morality and wisdom are key
  • Morality precepts social control
  • Wisdom universities (gompa) more social
    control
  • Meditation? asocial, direct connection with the
    ultimate nature of reality can be dangerous

13
Early History of Tibet Samye Debate
  • The story (as told by Western academics)
  • Maybe it didnt even happen!
  • If so, the China vs. India version is a gross
    simplification
  • They signify ways of approaching Buddhism and
  • Politics
  • gompas

14
Early History of Tibet Samye Debate
  • The story (as told by Western academics)
  • Moral of the story?
  • Be careful who you believe
  • Look at who tells the story
  • In this case it was Kings
  • Wanted hierarchy, morality, social stability, etc

15
Early History of Tibet Three Buddhist Kings
  • Songtsen Gampo (fl. 618-650)
  • Introduced writing, Buddhist texts
  • Marriages Nepali Chinese
  • Trisong Deutsen (fl. 755-797)
  • Presided over the famous Samye debate
  • Cuts off Chinese Buddhism
  • Ralpachen (fl. 815-838)
  • Sino-Tibetan Treaty of 821 CE
  • Systematizes translations

16
Early History of Tibet Three Buddhist Kings
  • gLang Darma
  • Destroyer of Buddhism in Tibet ?
  • Ruled 838 AD 841 or 842
  • Killed/liberated by a Buddhist Monk

17
Middle History of Tibet
  • 9th-14th Centuries (842-1276 AD)
  • Social de-Centralization
  • Local Hegemonic Period
  • Loss of support for monasteries
  • Continuation of shamanic strand
  • Nyingma and Bon schools

18
Middle History of Tibet Nyingma Bon
  • Method of religion pragmatic, communal,
    shamanic
  • See quote p.460
  • Terma and tertons (well cover this in greater
    depth later on in the course)
  • A way to keep the teachings alive and adapting
  • Dzogchen

19
Middle History of Tibet Dzogchen
  • rDzogs perfection
  • chen great
  • Great Perfection
  • The highest teachings for
  • Nyingma and Bon
  • Accused of being too close to
  • Hvashang Mahayana (Samye loser) by
  • Sakya Pandita (the pandit from grey-earth)
    founder of Sakya school
  • Important for later development rimed movement
    (19th-20th Cent.)

20
Middle History of Tibet Dzogchen3
Philosophical Doctrines
  • Yogacara
  • Meditative, subitist
  • Madhyamaka
  • Logical, gradualistic
  • Tathagatagharba
  • Jen-tong (empty of other)
  • primordial purity
  • Rang-tong (empty of own nature)
  • emptiness
  • Origins Unknown obvious overlap with Yogacara

21
Middle History of Tibet Atisha
  • King Yeshe Od
  • Quote page 466-7
  • Invites Atisha (980-1054 AD) in 1042
  • Pronounced a-tish-a
  • Dipamkara Shrijnana
  • Light-bringer Abode of Wisdom
  • Marks the beginning of the second transmission

22
Middle History of Tibet Atisha
  • Atisha, the synthesizer
  • Prajna Bodhicitta
  • Madhyamaka Yogacara
  • Insight Method
  • Sutra Tantra
  • Lojong (mind training) and
  • Tong-len (exchanging self and other) p.469

23
Middle History of Tibet Atisha
  • His student, Dromtonpa Est. Kadampa school
  • Teaching of 3 stages of the Path
  • Lowest
  • Hedonistic
  • Middle
  • Hinayanist (self-concern for nirvana)
  • Highest
  • Mahayanist (concern for awakening for all)
  • Taught as a progression
  • Change of meaning Hinayana Mahayana now refer
    more to an attitude that anyone can have than to
    any particular school or doctrines

24
Middle History of Tibet Shamanism
  • Responding to growth of Kadampas
  • Yet still largely free of any central control
  • Quote page 472
  • Shamanic community vs
  • the reality of shamanic power, and the need for
    it to be used on behalf of the community, were
    taken for granted p.472
  • A powerful, direct sense of interconnectedness
  • Monastic community
  • Monks are involved with the acquisition of good
    karma for themselves and others. p.473
  • Working with individuated beings toward (the
    realization of) interconnectedness

25
Middle History of Tibet Sakya Kagyu
  • Sakya
  • New translations, new Tantras (more authentic)
  • Gompas (monasteries) mostly celibate
  • Kagyu
  • Indian siddhas/yogis Tilopa (988-1089) and
    Naropa (1016-1100)
  • Tibetan Translator Marpa (1012-1097)
    studied also with Atisha
  • Tibetan Yogi Milarespa (1052-1135)
  • His student Gampopa (1079-1153)

26
Middle History of Tibet Gampopa
  • Practical innovation
  • Highest teachings Mahamudra
  • (literally Great Seal or Symbol)
  • Uses visualization no sex, no death
  • OK for monks!
  • Philosophical Innovation
  • 2nd paragraph, p.479
  • Enlightenment is something (positive), not a
    mere-emptiness or state of interconnectedness
    (negative), but this is beyond words or concepts

27
Middle History of Tibet Politics
  • Sakya Pandita and (to be continued)
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