The dissertation is available from Leiden University:Bya rog prog zhu, The raven crest : the life and teachings of bDe chen 'od gsal rdo rje treasure revealer of contemporary Tibet
Author: Antonio Terrone
Abstract:This research starts from the historical assertion that notwithstanding their claim of increased religious tolerance, the dramatic post-Mao political campaigns have continued to weaken the pervasive force of religious faith, traditional monastery-centered religious power, religious leadership, and education, motivated by the perceived threat of potential subversive anti-government activities. This research maintains that within such a socio-political landscape and the revivalist wave in the cultural and religious sphere, a number of Tibetan rNying ma leaders are advancing charisma-based authority to promote the growth of alternative rNying ma centers of ritual and meditative instruction. In revitalizing this and other forms of traditional religious practices, they are galvanizing some of the most significant forces of today’s Buddhist practice in selected areas of Khams and mGo log of eastern Tibet. In this dissertation I examine the Treasure revelation movement as it is active in present-day cultural and ethnic regions of Tibet in the PRC. More specifically, I will explore the role of Treasure revealers in the religious world of today’s Tibet. One way this research will accomplish this is by introducing a case study, the life and activities of bDe chen ’od gsal rdo rje (b. 1921) a well-known Buddhist master, visionary, and Treasure revealer who currently lives in Shar mda’ in Nang chen county in the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (TAP). A corpus of Tantric scriptures (probably composed under visionary inspiration by Tibetan Buddhist masters) including texts on rDzogs chen or Great Perfection, meditation manuals, prayers, and various rituals began to appear in tenth-century Tibet. The first Treasure revealer, however, whose works we have access to is the famed twelfth-century mNga’ bdag nyang ral nyi ma ’od zer (1136-1204). Since he and other Treasure revealers appeared in Tibet, the larger phenomenon of Treasure revelations has apparently continued to flourish. In modern Tibet Treasure revealers still possess indisputable reputation and social status in the religious sphere.
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