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Taming of the Demons: Violence and Liberation in Tibetan Buddhism
By: Jacob P. Dalton
Jacob P. Dalton
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About the author
Taking two early Tibetan texts as his starting point, Jacob P. Dalton explores the ways in which violence has been integral to the development of Tibetan Buddhism. Paying particular attention to the so-called age of fragmentation, Tibet's dark age from 842 to 986 C.E., he draws on previously unstudied manuscripts discovered in the famous "library cave" near Dunhuang, on the old Silk Road. These demonstrate how this supposedly inactive period in Tibetan history was in fact crucial to the Tibetan assimilation of Buddhism, and particularly to the spread of the violent themes of tantric Buddhism, at both the local and the popular levels. From the late tenth century onward, this period and its mythic and ritual themes of violence, demon taming, and blood sacrifice came to play important symbolic roles in Tibetan history and politics.
Despite its reputation as a tradition utterly opposed to violence, Tibetan Buddhism has long been haunted by violent rituals and imaginative associations. The resulting history challenges our own tendencies to romanticize or demonize the rich and ancient culture of Tibet.
Jacob P. Dalton is assistant professor of Tibetan Buddhist studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley. He gained exceptional access to the Dunhuang manuscripts at the British Library while conducting research for the International Dunhuang Project. He lives in Berkeley, CA.
The Taming of the Demons: Violence and Liberation in Tibetan Buddhism
Evil and Ignorance in Tantric Buddhism
Demons in the Dark
A Buddhist Manual for Human Sacrifice?
Sacrifice and the Law
Conclusions: Violence in the Mirror
Appendix A. The Subjugation of Rudra
Appendix B. Dunhuang Liberation Rite (Transcription of PT
Appendix C. Dunhuang Liberation Rite II (Translation and Transliteration of PT8
Glossary of Tibetan Titles and Terms
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