Sacred Writings

A Scripture of the Ancient Tantra Collection: The Phur-pa by Dr Robert Mayer

By Dr Robert Mayer

Approximately part the quantity is taken up via an problematic Tibetan textual content variation of 4 chapters from the Phur pa bcu gnyis (PCN), a widely known yet thus far little-studied tantric textual content of the Nying-ma-pa university of Tibetan Buddhism, observed via a long and hugely technical dialogue of the issues serious about modifying texts of this sort ...The introductory fabric of Mayer's e-book provides a masterly and unique precis of the problems raised through those difficulties. The questions concerned, these of canonicity, authenticity, imaginative and prescient and revelation, are important to the certainty of Tibetan and different traditions of Buddhism within the west. Mayer's e-book is the 1st sizeable try to current an total photograph of those concerns ...Appealing to scholars of Tibetan Buddhism to increase their horizons, Mayer offers extraordinary proof of the benefits in doing so ...He units this paintings in a wide highbrow framework drawn from the sociology of faith.

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However, in his underlying assumptions, Samuel moves away from Weber and much closer to postmodernist and, as he himself obliquely acknowledges, Buddhist points of view (Samuel 1993:565). Weber assumed a radical dichotomisation of the world of ideas and the world as it is: hence religion and economics, for example, constituted entirely separate processes that nevertheless interacted with each other. 24 For Samuel, religion and economics (for example) should be seen as parts of a single process that takes place simultaneously in the minds of individuals and in the development of new economic and political institutions (Samuel 1993:565).

In similar vein, S. CHAPTER ONE: THE ISSUE OF AUTHENTICITY 23 Hookham has contrasted different sets of attitudes that typify Tibetan followers of the gZhan-stong and Rang-stong interpretations of tathagatagarbha doctrine (Hookham 1991a). Most recently, Geoffrey Samuel has produced the most comprehensive and theoretically sophisticated analysis of Tibetan Buddhism as a whole made so far, based on his categories of sharrianic and clerical currents or "modal states" within Buddhism (Samuel 1993). Several common strands run .

Bronkhorst's conclusion is that "les partis qui s'opposent ne sont pas Ie renon~ant et l'hornrne-dans-Ie-monde, mais plutat "l'hornrne vedique" et "l'homme non-vedique". Both the Vedic and non-Vedic types alike have their own versions of renouncers and men in the world, and the real matrix of development is in the interaction of the two cultures (Bronkhorst 1993). I am not clear how much influence Bronkhorst's work is having on the Dumontian and broader anthropological debates. ~mportantly ~n ~eber'swritin,gs ~n In~ia, i,~ w~ich the "routinizatlOn.

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