31 May 2023
Photo: Orna Almogi
16:00 May 31, 2023. ESA-Ost, Raum 120 & via Zoom.
This paper discusses the history of the maṇi pill, a Tibetan medico-ritual pill tradition incorporating bodily relics of the Buddhist special dead and Tibetan medicinal substances, and consecrated in rituals featuring Avalokiteśvara and his mantra. It specifically examines the influence of the Pacifying (Zhi byed) tradition of Padampa Sangyé (Pha dam pa sangs rgyas, d. 1117) on the revelatory literature of Guru Chöwang (Gu ru Chos dbang, 1212–1270) in which the maṇi pill first originated. Surveying the early narrative, ritual, and contemplative literature of the Pacifying tradition, the paper discerns emergent themes of transcorporeality, such as the transformation of the living body of a bodhisattva into powerful relics through training conducted over the course of seven consecutive lifetimes, the profound effects promised from consuming the seventh-born bodhisattva’s body after their death, and other themes typical of Guru Chöwang’s maṇi pill. It chronicles the historical development of these themes in the different layers of this Pacifying literature to determine when they were first advanced and how they changed in the century leading up to Guru Chöwang’s time. In doing so, it asks how the Pacifying tradition’s conceptions of mind-body-world porosity drew upon Indian Buddhist models to craft a uniquely Tibetan approach to embodiment that formed the basis of a pill tradition whose popularity has endured to the present.
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The lecture will be held at ESA-Ost, Raum 120, Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1, 20146 Hamburg, and via Zoom. For those who wish to participate via Zoom and are not students/members of Universität Hamburg, please write a short email to Prof. Dr. Wangchuk one day before the event: email@example.com(dorji.wangchuk"AT"uni-hamburg.de?subject=Khyentse Center Lecture Zoom Access)
Prof. Dr. Dorji Wangchuk (Director)
Khyentse Center for Tibetan Buddhist Textual Scholarship (KC-TBTS)
Abteilung für Kultur und Geschichte Indiens und Tibets, AAI, Universität Hamburg
Alsterterrasse 1, D-20354 Hamburg