Popular Buddhist Texts from Nepal: Narratives and Rituals of Newar Buddhism

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SUNY Press, 14/09/2000 - 236 páginas
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This book demonstrates how popular ritual texts and story narratives have shaped the religious life and culture of the only surviving South Asian Mahayana Buddhist society, the Newars of Kathmandu. It begins with an account of the Newar Buddhist community's history and its place within the religious environment of Nepal and proceeds to build around five popular translations, several of which were known across Asia: the Srngabheri Avadana, the Simhalasarthabahu Avadana, the Tara, the Mahakala Vratas, and the Pancaraksa. Lewis documents how the respective texts have been domesticated in Nepal's art and architecture, healing traditions, and rituals. He shows how they provide paradigmatic case studies that transcend the Nepalese context, illustrating universal practices or issues in all Buddhist communities, such as gender relations and stupa veneration, the role of merchants, ethnicity, violence, devotions to celestial bodhisattvas by kings and women, and the role of mantra recitations and healing rituals in the lives of Buddhists.
 

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Índice

Introduction Buddhism as a Pragmatic Religious Tradition
1
Popular Narratives and their Domestication in Buddhist Communities
2
The Development of Buddhist Ritualism
7
The Ritual Innovations of Mahayana Buddhism
9
Nepal and Newar Buddhism
11
The Context and Paradoxes of Modernity
18
Stupas and Spouses The Shrngbheri Avadana
21
Background
22
Background
91
Translation
95
The Domestication of the Text
107
Invoking the Powers of the Buddhist Dark Lord The Caturdashl Vrata of Mahakala
109
Translation
110
The Domestication of the Text
113
Observations on the History of Practical Buddhism
115
The Refuge of Mantra Recitation The Pancaraksa
119

Translation
28
The Domestication of the Text
36
Observations on the History of Practical Buddhism
39
Merchants Demonesses and Missionary Faith The Simhalasarthabahu Avadana
49
Background
50
Translation
54
The Domestication of the Text
81
Observations on the History of Practical Buddhism
86
Devotions to a Celestial Bodhisattva The Tara Vrata
89
Background
121
Translation
130
The Domestication of the Pancaraksa Texts
153
Observations on the History of Practical Buddhism
161
Summary and Conclusions The Domestication of Indic Buddhism and Its Construction in Modern Scholarship
165
Notes
181
Bibliography
205
Index
231
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This book demonstrates how popular ritual texts and story narratives have shaped the religious life and culture of the only surviving South Asian Mahayana Buddhist society, the Newars of Kathmandu. It begins with an account of the Newar Buddhist community's history and its place within the religious environment of Nepal and proceeds to build around five popular translations, several of which were known across Asia: the Srngabheri Avadana, the Simhalasarthabahu Avadana, the Tara, the Mahakala Vratas, and the Pancaraksa. Lewis documents how the respective texts have been domesticated in Nepal's art and architecture, healing traditions, and rituals. He shows how they provide paradigmatic case studies that transcend the Nepalese context, illustrating universal practices or issues in all Buddhist communities, such as gender relations and stupa veneration, the role of merchants, ethnicity, violence, devotions to celestial bodhisattvas by kings and women, and the role of mantra recitations and healing rituals in the lives of Buddhists.

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