What is an existential threat to Dharma?

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Malcolm
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Re: What is an existential threat to Dharma?

Post by Malcolm » Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:03 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:00 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:54 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:38 am


My unfinished degree in ethnomusicology just fell off the wall it currently isn't hanging on when I read that.

Are you quite sure?
Yes, I am quite sure. Hand bells, thighbone trumpets, and damarus, yes, these come from India.

The rest, the massive horns (dung chen), the large drums (rnga chen), the misnamed rgya ling (Indian horn) is actually a sorna, of Persian origin. The cymbal is definitely of Persian/Central Asian origin, called sil snyan in Tibetan. Then the is the Bonpo bell called a Shang (Zang in Persian) and so on.

The reason for this is simple. Tibetan adopted Nestorian monastic customs and hierarchies in Tibetan monasteries. Persia was the major cultural influence on Western Tibet, aka Zhang Zhung empire, where power in the Himalayas was concentrated until the 7th century with the rise of the Yarlung Dynasty.
Nestorian monastics using musical instruments? Were they allowed the usage of musical instruments? This is very interesting to me. Where is this substantiated?
Sorry, that is not what I meant to imply -- what I meant to imply was only that Central Asia is the source for much of Tibetan culture, and monastic musical idiom is no different. The music of Tibetan monasteries is war music, actually. It comes from Tibetan armies, they copied it from Central Asians like so much else in the deep fiber of Tibetan cultural influences. Basically, Tibetans adapted their "brass band" music to monastic uses.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

DGA
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Re: What is an existential threat to Dharma?

Post by DGA » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:46 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:54 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:38 am
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:09 pm
for example, Tibetan monastic music, which ultimately derives from Persian martial music
My unfinished degree in ethnomusicology just fell off the wall it currently isn't hanging on when I read that.

Are you quite sure?
Yes, I am quite sure. Hand bells, thighbone trumpets, and damarus, yes, these come from India.

The rest, the massive horns (dung chen), the large drums (rnga chen), the misnamed rgya ling (Indian horn) is actually a sorna, of Persian origin. The cymbal is definitely of Persian/Central Asian origin, called sil snyan in Tibetan. Then the is the Bonpo bell called a Shang (Zang in Persian) and so on.

The reason for this is simple. Tibetan adopted Nestorian monastic customs and hierarchies in Tibetan monasteries. Persia was the major cultural influence on Western Tibet, aka Zhang Zhung empire, where power in the Himalayas was concentrated until the 7th century with the rise of the Yarlung Dynasty.
This is interesting. I've heard it reported to me (I don't remember the source, but it may have been Shoshin Ichishima) that Shōmyō (声明) is also of Persian origin. I don't know because I wasn't there and I haven't studied it, but I can say that some Tibetan melodies and some Shōmyō melodies (and characteristic intervals and scales) suggest a common origin to my ears. :shrug:

tingdzin
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Re: What is an existential threat to Dharma?

Post by tingdzin » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:51 am

Malcolm is dead on. There are several specialist studies dealing with this point (though I don't have bibliographic info at hand).

MiphamFan
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Re: What is an existential threat to Dharma?

Post by MiphamFan » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:22 am

tingdzin wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:51 am
Malcolm is dead on. There are several specialist studies dealing with this point (though I don't have bibliographic info at hand).
Interesting, please cite them here if you manage to find them back!

tingdzin
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Re: What is an existential threat to Dharma?

Post by tingdzin » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:07 am

Well, a very old one that is now widely cited is Beckwith's "Introduction of Greek Medicine to Tibet" in which he shows that the Greek tradition was brought to Tibet not from India but from China by someone who had either a Persian or Sogdian name. Beckwith has written a lot about mutual infuences across Inner Eurasia. I think Kapstein's book on "The Tibetan Assimilation of Buddhism" has some scattered references. The musical stuff comes from, I think, a scholar named Mireille Hellfer, though I can't find any of the relevant articles online. Giuseppe Tucci, Per Kvaerne, and Dan Martin have also had more than a few things to say on the subject of Iranian influence in Tibet, and there's a good article by David Templeman on the connections, which can probably be found on a search engine (sorry, can't remember the title but it's a pretty obvious one).

By the way, I was agreeing with Malcolm on the Persian part of what he said, not the Nestorian part. That's not been well documented in the literature, AFAIK.

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