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

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By Dr Robert Mayer

Approximately part the quantity is taken up by way of an difficult Tibetan textual content variation of 4 chapters from the Phur pa bcu gnyis (PCN), a well known yet up to now little-studied tantric textual content of the Nying-ma-pa institution of Tibetan Buddhism, followed by way of a long and hugely technical dialogue of the issues inquisitive about modifying texts of this kind ...The introductory fabric of Mayer's booklet offers a masterly and unique precis of the problems raised via those difficulties. The questions concerned, these of canonicity, authenticity, imaginative and prescient and revelation, are very important to the knowledge of Tibetan and different traditions of Buddhism within the west. Mayer's e-book is the 1st gigantic try and current an total photo of those matters ...Appealing to scholars of Tibetan Buddhism to expand their horizons, Mayer presents amazing proof of the benefits in doing so ...He units this paintings in a vast highbrow framework drawn from the sociology of faith.

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CHAPTER ONE: THE ISSUE OF AUTHENTICITY 39 between Buddhist activities aimed at achieving insight for oneself, and those aimed at creating spiritual opportunities for others: in achieving insight within oneself, one emulates the Buddha's initial realisation of insight, and in creating spiritual opportunities for others, one emulates the Buddha's subsequent decision to establish his sasana (Mayer 1985). In Theravada Buddhism (with its disparagement of speculative philosophy), as far as I am aware, this distinction is not expressed doctrinally; rather, it is more generally subsumed within an understanding of the Middle Way as a whole, and more specifically within the twin monastic vocations of "meditation duty" (vipassanadhura) and "book duty" (ganthadhura), or within categories such as the arafifiavasin (forest monks) and gamavasin (village/urban monks) (Mayer 1985).

34 A SCRIPTURE OF THE ANCIENT TANTRA COLLECTION pragmatic. It is unclear whether the full range, of Samuel's term "shamanic" can apply to these types, especially in the social rather than the religious senses of the term. On the other hand, they do retain the potential to engage powerfully in the pragmatic sphere; hence they could also be seen as not presenting any theoretical difficulties to Samuel's schema, which, in any case, is not based upon the unnecessary and implausible claim that all Tibetan practitioners will divide perfectly neatly into its categories.

Yet Samuel seesĀ· these two currents as primarily complementary and interdependent, as well as conflicting: both are inherent to Buddhism. He sees the history of Buddhism in Tibet in particular as a "series of syntheses between the two aspects". Samuel describes these two currents as being active within three sphereS of religious activity, as follows: 1. Pragmatic. The realm of this-worldly concerns, conceived of in terms of interactions with local gods and spirits, and carried out by a variety of ritual practitioners, foremost among them being the lamas, who employ the techniques of Tantric practice for this purpose; 2.

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