By David M. DiValerio

ISBN-10: 0199391203

ISBN-13: 9780199391202

In the course of the earlier millennium, definite Tibetan Buddhist yogins have taken on profoundly norm-overturning modes of gown and behaviour, together with draping themselves in human continues to be, eating dust, scary others to violence, or even appearing sacrilege. They turned recognized all over as "madmen" (smyon pa, suggested nyönpa), reaching a level of saintliness within the strategy. This publication bargains the 1st accomplished research of Tibet's "holy madmen" drawing on their biographies and writings, in addition to tantric commentaries, later histories, oral traditions, and more.

Much of The Holy Madmen of Tibet is devoted to studying the lives and legacies of the 3 most famed "holy madmen" who have been the entire Kagyü sect: the Madman of Tsang (author of The lifetime of Milarepa), the Madman of Ü, and Drukpa Künlé, Madman of the Drukpa Kagyü. every one born within the 1450s, they rose to prominence in the course of a interval of civil battle and of significant shifts in Tibet's spiritual tradition.

By targeting literature written by way of and concerning the "holy madmen" and at the yogins' relationships with their public, this publication deals in-depth appears on the narrative and social tactics out of which sainthood arises, and on the function biographical literature can play within the formation of sectarian identities. through exhibiting how understandings of the "madmen" have replaced over the years, this examine makes it possible for new insights into present notions of "crazy wisdom." in spite of everything, the "holy madmen" are visible as self-aware and functional people who have been whatever yet insane.

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1 “Homage to the great paṇḍita, Ngawang Drakpa” The Lives and Lives of the Madmen of Ü and Tsang 23 composed based on records maintained by the Madman of Ü’s nephew and successor, Künzang Nyida Pembar. ” A consistent chapter structure runs throughout the two parts of the Life, which together form a single, continuous narrative. 6 The future Madman of Ü was born in a village called Ölkha, in the central Tibetan region of Ü, in 1458. He was the youngest of five sons born into a farming family of the Nyang clan.

As His Holiness the Seventeenth Karmapa explained, any of these three motivations might lie behind the eccentric behavior of a “mad” yogin at a particular moment, and it is difficult for us to be sure which applies. Is the yogin in question fully enlightened or still working toward that goal? Is his activity for his own training or for the purpose of instructing others? With figures like Drukpa Künlé and the Madman of Tsang, it is generally agreed that they have long since completed their spiritual training.

Throughout the 1520s the Madman of Ü taught regularly, holding instructional assemblies in winter, spring, and summer. At the end of these sessions, he would send his disciples (who in many cases had disciples of their own) to meditate and spread their brand of Buddhism in different regions, in southwestern Tibet, eastern Tibet, and even China. To prolong the life of his uncle, Künzang Nyida Pembar made offerings and sponsored the performance of rituals at Drikung Til monastery, Tsari, Mount Kailash, the Six Fortresses of Milarepa, Ramoché temple, the Jokhang temple, the Drak Yerpa caves, and before the skull of Drakchokpa.

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The Holy Madmen of Tibet by David M. DiValerio

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