To Death and Back, Presented by Dr. Nigel Spivey

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Re: To Death and Back, Presented by Dr. Nigel Spivey

Postby admin » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:14 am

Part 4 of 4
1 From a photograph by Mr. Hoffmann.
2 The myth of the snaky-haired Gorgon, and the death-masks found in ancient
tombs of Mycenae, Kertch, Carthage, Mexico, etc.

3 Figured by Gruenwedel, Buddh. Kunst in Indi.

4 sTag-dmar-ch'am.
5 J.R.A.S., New Ser., xii., p. 440.

6 Idem, p. 441.

7 Yule's Cathay, 151, and Marco Polo, i., 303.
8 a-pe-s'a a-me-s'a.
9 Drug-bchu-lchags mk'ar-gyi gtor-rgyags.
10 sTag-(mgrm)-dmar.
11 See page 396, and compare also their relatives, the Cat-devils, which latter take  the only form of the cult in Japan.
12 Lo-s'i sku-rim. The term sKu-rim is applied to certain indigenous sacrificial ceremonies, usually with bloody offerings, in contradistinction to the more truly Buddhist ceremonial offerings, which are named "mch'od" and "ch'oga."

13 Notably H. H. Godwin-Austen (J.A.S.B., 1861, 71 seq.) ; H. A. Jaeschke, ibid., p. 77; Schlagt., p. 233; Knight, loc. cit., where several fine photographs of the play are given; A. B. Melville, Proc. B.A.S., 1864, p. 478; and Ramsay's West. Tibet., p. 43.  

14 Kan-lin.
15 Tib., mGon-pa.  

16 I. Peter, v. 8.
17 Knight, loc. cit., p. 201.  

18 After Godwin-Austen in J.A.S.B., loc. cit.  

19 The chief of these fiends are Devi, Hayagriva, Khyetapala, Jinamitra, Dakkiraja,  bdud-gontrag-sag, lha-ch'en brgya-po, gzah-ch'en-brgyad-po, kLu-ch'en, brgyad-po,  etc.  

20 Knight, p. 203.
21 Godwin-Austen, loc. cit., p. 73.

22 Compare with the confetti pellets and odoured powders thrown about at western carnivals.
23 Knight, op. cit., p. 207.  

24 Cf. page 345. The same motive appears in the Burmese religious dramas at  Arakan. — Hardy, East. Monachism, p. 236.  
25 Knight, p. 204. These seven masks were, says Mr. Knight, variously explained  as being the Dalai Lama and his previous incarnations, while another "explained  that these were intended for the incarnations of Buddha, and not the Dalai Lama."
26 Named lin-ka or.  

27 Preserved and stored for this purpose at the Ragyab cemetery— in such cases, the  Ge-lug-pa Lamas are said not to touch this defiling flesh.

28 The ceremony is called drag-las.  

29 Tur-t'od-bdag-po.
30 Cf. Hardy's E. Mon., p. 236.
31 After Mr. Knight.
32 Knight, op. cit., p. 208.

33 Mr. Knight (op. cit., p. 209) notes that "Three horses and three dogs were smeared over with red paint, and thenceforth dedicated for life to the temple, explained as scape-goats for the sins of the people," the red paint being held to represent the sins.

34 These are gyal-ch'en sku lna, yum-lna, Sprul-pu-na and blon-pa.

35 gnas-ch'un, and rdorje grags-ldan— the attendants are male and female with dishevelled hair.
36 Dam-ch'an ch'os-rgyal. By some regarded as Vajrabhairava and by others as Vama or Heruka. On Bull-headed Demons in S. India, cf. Ind. Ant, p. 19.

37 These are made of painted calico or silk.
38 According to the reformed Lamas, these animals have to be considered as representing the Lama who assassinated Lan-darma, and the Demon-king represents the  god Mahakala, who delivered Lan-darma into the Lama's hands; and the graveyard  ghouls are the scavengers who carried off the king's corpse.  

39 gTor-zlog and is extracted from the pu volume of bLa-ma-norbu-rgya-mts'o.
40 Compare this threat with the killing of the gods— in Frazer's Golden Bough.
41 Named Hom-bsreks; Skt., Homa. Cf. Vasil., 194; Schlag., 251.  

42 gtor-gyak.  

43 At the monastery of Tin-ge, to the west of Tashi-lhunpo, and where this play is  conducted, as at other Ge-lug-pa monasteries, at government expense, this procession,  I am informed, consists of six pairs of thigh-bone trumpet blowers, five censer-swingers, two pairs of long horn players, several skull libationers, 100 maskers with  small drums, 100 maskers with cymbals, and 100 with large drums, behind whom  walk the ordinary monks, shouting and clapping their hands, followed by the laity  armed with guns and other weapons, and forming a procession over a mile in  length.
44 This is chiefly attended by old women and children.

45 bSrun-ma.

46 p'an-rgyal-mts'an p'ye-p'ur, s'am-bu, ba-ran.

47 kyab-mgon rin-po-ch'e.

48 zim-ch'un.

49 "The glorious great cymbals."
50 rgal-po.

51 bde-mo rin-po-che.

52 Markh, p. 106.

53 On the 17th February, 1882, by Sarat, in Narrative.

54 u'bag.

55 gser-san.

56 In Sikhim they are made from the giant climber called "zar."
57  Excluding those of the Buddhas, which are not essential to the play, and seldom appear.

58 According to some the Garuda (bya-m'kyun) or Roc should occupy the highest place. It is yellow, with a bird's beak, yak's horns, and erect hair, forming a spiked crest. It is said to be even superior to the sixteen great saints, the Sthavira.

59 He is also identified with forms known as Na-nin-nag-po, Legs-ldan nag-po, Ber-nag-po.  

60 Ch'os-skyon brtse-dmar-ra.

61 rgyal-mts'an.

62 dma-c'an c'os-rgyal.

63 This seems intended for the Indian Sambhar.
64 rgyal-ch'en-po bsrungs bstan-po, and seems related to, or identical with the "Flve  Kings" and Heroes (dpa-o).  

65 Ha-p'ug.  

66 These capes generally show the trigrams and other symbols of luck and long  life including the Bat.
67 rnon-pa blue masks adorned with cowries, and have kilts of Yak's-hair ropes which fly round at right angles as the men pirouette like dancing dervishes.

68 Ch'os-rgyal-nor-bzan.

69 rgya-za pal-za.

70 rgyal-po don-grub.

71 'rgo-ba-bzan-mo, the consort of kalesvara.
72 Of the ten Great (former) Births (Mahajataka) this is considered the greatest, and it was the last earthly birth but one of the Bodhisat. It purports to have been narrated by Buddha himself at the monastery of the Fig-tree (Nigrodha, Ficus Indica) in Buddha's native country of Kapilavastu, a propos of the over-weening pride of his own kindred. The Milinda dialogues (loc. cit.), written about 150 A.D., contain many references to it.

73 Sung Yun's history, translated by S. Beal, Records, p. 201.

74 See Hardy's Man., pp. 116-124. The late Captain Forbes, in his work on British Burma and its People, says: "One of the best I think, and certainly the most interesting performances I have seen in Burma, was that of a small children's company in a village of about two hundred houses. The eldest performer was about fourteen, the daughter of the head man, a slight pretty girl; the others boys and girls, younger. The parents and villagers generally were very proud of their talents, and they were regularly trained by an old man as stage-manager, prompter, etc. Their principal piece was the Way-than-da-ra, the story of one of the previous existences of Gan-da-ma, in which he exemplified the great virtue of alms-giving, and in itself one of the most affecting and beautifully written compositions in Burma. . . . The little company used to perform this piece capitally, but the acting of the little maid of fourteen in the part of the princess could not be surpassed. She seemed really to have lost herself in her part; and her natural and graceful attitudes heightened the effect. The first time I witnessed the performance in going round and saying a word to the tiny actors, when I came to the little fellow of ten or eleven who had acted the part of the surly and greedy Brahmin, I pretended to be disgusted with his cruelty to the two poor infants. This the little man took in earnest, so much to heart that as I learnt, on my next visit, nothing would induce him to act the part again, and it was not till his father almost forcibly brought him to me and I had soothed him by what was deemed most condescending kindness and excited his vanity, that I could obtain a repetition of the play." Captain Forbes also states that he has seen men moved to tears by the acting of this play.
75 Tibetan Tales, p. lvii.

76 Kah-gyur, iv., ff. 192-200, translated by Schiefner and Englished by Ralston, in "Tibetan Tales," p. 257, who also traces its comparative aspect, p. lvii. In the following account those portions which are identical with the canonical version are put in quotation marks when given in Ralston's words.

77 Wessantara Jataka, Hardy's Manual, 116-124, and East. Monach., 83-428. Milinda loc. cit.; Upham, Hist, and Doct. of Buddhism, p. 25 ; S. de Oldenburg, J.R.A.S., 1893, p. 301.

78 "The Story of We-than-da-ya," Englished from the Burmese version of the Pali text by L. A. Goss, Rangoon, American Bap. Mission, 1886.

79 Translated from the MS. of a company of Tibetan actors from Shigatse. It generally agrees with the version in the Manikah-bum.

80 Dri-med-kun-ldan (pronounced Ti-med Kun-den).

81 Namo aryalokesvara.

82 In the Mani-kah-bum it is called "The Sounding" (sGra-chan). In the Kah-gyur "Visvanagara" It is believed by Tibetans to be the ancient Videha which they identify with the modern "Bettiah" in northern Bengal, but it was evidently in northern India.

83 According to the Kah-gyur, Visvamitra; the Mani-kah-'bum gives "the Voice of the Drum-Sound" (sgra-dbyang-rnga-sgra), and the Pali "Sanda" and Burmese "Thain See." — Goss, loc cit., p. 7.
84 Lha-ch'ung dri-ma med-pa.

85 Tib. Nor-bu dgos-'dod-dbung-'jom.; Skt., Ointamani. Its properties are analogous to La Mascotte. The Lamas say it was given to Buddha Amitabha by a white Naga of the ocean. In the Burmese version (loc cit., p. 12), it is made to be the white elephant; but the word Naga means both elephant and the serpent-dragons, or mermen, the guardians of treasure.

86 Shin-thi-bstan.

87 mt'a-'k'ob bye-ma-s'in drun. Kalinga (on the west of the Bay of Bengal). The Ceylon version (Hardy's Manual, p. 116) makes the rain-producing elephant be brought from Jayatura, the capital of Sibi, by Brahmans sent by the king of Kalinga.
88 Skt., Chandal.

89 Ni-zla-sgron-ma, daughter of king Grags-pa (=Skt., Kirti). Another account says he also married "The Lamp of the Sky" (Namk'ai sgron-ma), daughter of king Dri- ma-Med-pa, of the "Lotus" country. And these two are said to have been first met by him carrying udumwara flowers on one of his charitable rounds of visiting the temple of Buddha Yes'e-hod-mdsad-tok, or "the Buddha of the Light Diadem of fore- knowledge." The Burmese version states (Goss' trans., p. 11) that he visited "The Six Temples" six times every month, mounted on his white elephant Pis-sa-ya.

90 Another version gives three children.

91 The place of banishment, according to the Pali, was Vankagiri.

92 Named 'Od-zer-tok, and Utpalmani. The southern version gives the name of the son as Jalin and of the daughter as Krishnajina.
93 In Hardy's Southern Recension, the boy is called Jaliya and the girl Krishnayina  (Manual, p. 116). - Schiefner.
94 The chief trees were "Ka-det" (Cratoeca Roxburghii).

95 "Zoo-za-ga" of Don-nee-wee-ta in Kalinga, according to the Burmese (Trans., loc. cit., p. 35).
96 Properly, "lotus arrow." According to Maximowicz the young lotus leaves are  reed-like or arrow-like in appearance.— Schiefner.
97 Ralston, op. cit.

98 Cf., The "Sibi Jataka."

99 This is rattier absurd, but it is supposed to have happened before Sakya's birth.
100 Beal's Records, etc., 157, chap, xxxviii.; also Raj Mitra, Nepalese Skt. Lit., p. 62.

101 By Upham, under name Sudana or Sutana; cf. Spence Hardy's Manual, p. 116.

102 Nor-bzan.
103 Csoma. Analy., p. 542.
104 Op. cit., xlviii.

105 I obtained the MS. from a strolling company of actors who visited Darjiling under the auspices of the Tibetan commissioner. I have curtailed it in places, on account of the inordinate length of the original narrative.

106 The Tibetan words are romanized according to Csoma de Koros' method of transliteration.

107 The arrow was the primitive national weapon of the Tibetans; and their military chief or general is still called mDaj-dpon, or "Commander of the Arrows"; and a golden or gilt arrow is a symbol of military command in Tibet.
108 Nan-sa is held to be an incarnation of the Buddhist goddess Tara.
109 Known as gNas-snin-bZun-'p'hrug.
110 dgra ch'en.
111 A wandering Lama of the Kar-gyu-pa sect and contemporary of the great Mila-ras-pa in the eleventh century A.D.
112 'das-log.  
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Re: To Death and Back, Presented by Dr. Nigel Spivey

Postby admin » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:16 am

The Buddhism of Tibet, or Lamaism: with its mystic cults, symbolism and mythology, and in its relation to Indian Buddhism -- Excerpt
by Laurence Austine Waddell, 1854-1938




The chief monasteries of central Tibet are: —

Sam-yas, which as the first monastery founded in Tibet, deserves first mention.

Its full title is "bSam-yas Mi-'gyur Lhun-gyis grub-pal Tsug-lug- K'an" or "The academy for obtaining the heap of unchanging Meditation."

The explorer Nain Singh resided in this monastery in 1874 and has given a good account of it. It is situated (N. lat. 29° 20', E. long. 91° 26, altitude about 11,430ft.) about thirty miles to the S.E. of Lhasa, near the north bank of the Tsang-po river amidst hillocks of deep sand, clothed with scanty herbage. It was built about 74 by Thi-Sron Detsan with the aid of the Indian monks, Padma-sambhava and Santa-rakshita, after the model of the Udandapur,24 temple-monastery of Bihar. But the building is believed to have been altogether miraculous, and an abstract of the legend is given underneath.25

Part of the original building yet remains. The monastery, which contains a large temple, four large colleges, and several other buildings, is enclosed by a lofty circular wall about a mile and a half in circumference, with gates facing the cardinal points, and along the top of the wall are many votive brick chaityas, of which the explorer, Nain Singh, counted 1,030, and they seemed to be covered with inscriptions in ancient Indian characters. In the centre of the enclosure stands the assembly hall, with radiating cloisters leading to four chapels, facing at equal distances the four sides of the larger temple. This explorer notes that "the idols and images contained in these temples are of pure gold, richly ornamented with valuable cloths and jewels. The candle-sticks and vessels are nearly all made of gold and silver." And on the temple walls are many large inscriptions in Chinese and ancient Indian characters. In the vestibule of the chief temple, to the left of the door, is a colossal copy of the pictorial Wheel of Life.

The large image of "Buddha," over ten feet high, seems to be called "the Sam-yas Jing " (Samyas Gyal-po).

The library contains many Indian manuscripts, but a great number of these were destroyed at the great fire about 1810 A.D.

In a temple close by among the sand is a celebrated chamber of horrors, built of large boulders, and containing gigantic figures of the twenty-five Gon-po demons. The images are made of incense, and are about twenty feet high, of the fiercest expression, and represented as dancing upon mangled human corpses, which they are also devouring. And great stains of blood are pointed out by the attendants as the fresh stains of bodies which the demons have dragged to the place during the previous night.

We have already referred to the miraculous account of the building of this monastery, which is said to rest upon Raksha fiends. On account of the peculiar safety imparted to the locality by the spells of the wizard priest, Padma-sambhava, the Tibetan government use the place as a bank for their reserved bullion and treasure, of which fabulous sums are said to be stored there.

Although it is now presided over by a Sa-kya Lama, the majority of its members are Nin-ma.  



In the larger fanes the more demoniacal images, especially the fiendish "lords" and protectors of Lamaism, are relegated to a separate building, where they are worshipped with bloody sacrifices and oblations of wine and other demoniacal rites inadmissible in the more orthodox Buddhist building. Some of such idol-rooms are chambers of horrors, and represent some of the tortures supposed to be employed in hell.....

11. Pair of human thigh-bone trumpets.35 These are sometimes encased in brass with a wide copper flanged extremity, on which are figured the three eyes and nose of a demon, the oval open extremity being the demon's mouth. In the preparation of these thigh-bone trumpets the bones of criminals or those who have died by violence are preferred, and an elaborate incantation is done, part of which consists in the Lama eating a portion of the skin of the bone, otherwise its blast would not be sufficiently powerful to summon the demons.
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Re: To Death and Back, Presented by Dr. Nigel Spivey

Postby admin » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:25 pm

Farewell to Lhasa from the Top of Genpala, Excerpt, from Three Years in Tibet
by Shramana Ekai Kawaguchi


While speaking of Genpala I recollect an amusing story which I will here relate. There is in the house of a rich man in Nepāl a Tibetan servant of the name of Penba-pun-tso, who accompanied his master on one occasion on a pilgrimage to Lhasa. There were several other Tibetans in the company. Now, whereas in Nepāl food is cheap and plentiful and every one gets enough, that is not the case in Lhasa. There, the Lama gets a good meal with meats of various kinds, vermicelli, and eggs; but the ordinary layman has to be contented with parched barley flour—not unmixed with sand and grit—put in a bowl with tea and eaten. And often there is not enough even of that. The pilgrims cannot always get all they require, and many lose strength, while all lose flesh.

At last the pilgrimage was over, all the noteworthy Lamas had been visited, and the party of Nepālese, on their way home, reached the summit of Mount Genpala. With one accord they all turned round to take a last farewell of the Holy City. “We are indeed fortunate,” they murmured, “to have been allowed to accomplish this pilgrimage, and we pray (here they shed tears of pious fervor) that we may deserve to be re-born in the Holy Land of Buddha.”

But Penba-pun-tso refused to join them in their prayers. He deliberately turned his back on the Holy City, and took no pains to conceal his disgust at the behavior of his companions.

“How joyful it is, brethren,” he replied to their remonstrances, “to have left behind Lhasa, the hateful abode of hungry demons and evil spirits. My prayer is that I may never have occasion to see the place again.”

“You are very hard on Lhasa,” they said.

“Not a bit of it,” was the reply. “I am only honest; that’s all. In my master’s house in Nepāl I get plenty of food—good rice, with no sand in it. Why should I call Lhasa the Holy City—a place where the greedy Lamas are the only men who get enough to eat?”

Penba’s pious companions were much shocked at his outspoken heresies. But Penba did not mind their threats.

“I may be punished for what I have said,” he calmly remarked; “but all the same I am glad not to have been born in Lhasa. The devils of the Holy City may punish me if they like.”

There is a great deal of truth in what the man said. Lhasa swarms with beggars and paupers, and may truly be called the City of hungry devils.

There are even to be found in Lhasa professional mendicants who are also usurious money-lenders. These men as a rule starve themselves in order to save a little money, which they conceal in some secret place underground and then lend out at exorbitant rates of interest. When they die, their secret hoard is lost, until some one some day digs it up by chance, when it is presented as treasure-trove to the priests of Sera or to those of the Ganden or Rebon Temples. Can these men, who starve themselves in order to make a little additional gain, be called anything but hungry devils? Truly, I can witness that Lhasa is the abode of these hungry spirits, and that the Lamas are flesh-eating ogres.

Penba-pun-tso, whose story thus amused me as I climbed over the steeps of Genpala, is still living at Nyallam on the borders of Nepāl and Tibet. I cannot say that I fully share his feelings against Lhasa, which I know as well probably as he does; but it is indeed a city in which wheat and tares grow together, a very few noble Bodhisattvas dwelling in the midst of many extortionate demons. It is my earnest desire to return some day to the Holy City and there work for the important object of bringing together into living unity the Buddhism of Japan and Tibet.
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