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Buddhism Observed: Travellers, Exiles and Tibetan Dharma in by Peter Moran

By Peter Moran

How do modern Westerners and Tibetans comprehend not just what it potential to be 'Buddhist', yet what it ability to be hailed as one from 'the West' or from 'Tibet'? This anthropological examine examines the stumble upon among Western guests and Tibetan exiles in Bodhanath, at the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal and analyses the significance of Buddhism in discussions of political, cultural and non secular identification. in keeping with vast box examine in Nepal, Buddhism saw questions conventional assumptions approximately Buddhism and examines the infrequently thought of phenomenon of Western conversions to a non-Western faith. students of Anthropology, faith and Cultural reviews will locate the following a clean perception into the way to process 'other' societies, religions and cultures.

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Sample text

But they are a taken-for-granted part of the world, even if some people harbor their doubts about particular emanations, and others actively hope that their next child might be so favored. Almost without exception, my Tibetan interlocutors in Bodhanath – and many of the long-term Western Buddhists as well – were concerned only with specific tulkus they deemed particularly important, controversial or otherwise worth remarking on. By contrast, Western discourse about Tibet or Tibetan Buddhism is not initially concerned with specificities, but with the very figure of the tulku as a sign of Tibetan culture’s radical alterity, spirituality and irrationality.

This ‘true Panchen,’ Gyaincain Norbu (Rgyal-mtshen Nor-bu),16 was enthroned in his traditional seat at the monastery of Tashilhunpo in the second largest city of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, yet he has never taken up residence there. Thus far Gyaincain Norbu remains in Beijing, while the Chinese government attempts to legitimize his status by decree and ceremonial investiture, by circulating stories and photographs of him, and by attempting to erase any memory of the other candidate (a particularly impossible task) among Tibetans.

10 This contemporary controversy seemed to cast two of the highest ranking tulkus of the Karma Kagyu sect11 (chos-lugs; literally, ‘system of Dharma’), the Sixteenth Karmapa’s regents, Tai Situ Rinpoche and Shamar Rinpoche, into opposed positions, and each man eventually recognized a different boy as their teacher’s rebirth. The matter of the true incarnation should presumably have been settled within the Karma Kagyu sect itself, yet this case seemed to demand mediation. 2 billion by Time, 4 April 1994), but there was also the course of the sect’s future to worry about.

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