Dreaming the Great Brahmin: Tibetan Traditions of the Buddhist Poet-Saint Saraha

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Oxford University Press, Jun 2, 2005 - Religion - 240 pages
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Dreaming the Great Brahmin explores the creation and recreation of Buddhist saints through narratives, poetry, art, ritual, and even dream visions. The first comprehensive cultural and literary history of the well-known Indian Buddhist poet saint Saraha, known as the Great Brahmin, this book argues that we should view Saraha not as the founder of a tradition, but rather as its product. Kurtis Schaeffer shows how images, tales, and teachings of Saraha were transmitted, transformed, and created by members of diverse Buddhist traditions in Tibet, India, Nepal, and Mongolia. The result is that there is not one Great Brahmin, but many. More broadly, Schaeffer argues that the immense importance of saints for Buddhism is best understood by looking at the creative adaptations of such figures that perpetuated their fame, for it is there that these saints come to life.
 

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Contents

Stories and Songs of the Great Brahmin Saraha
3
PART I Traditions of Saraha in Tibet
11
PART II Traditions of Sarahas Songs in Tibet
57
PART III The Treasury of Doh257 Verses and Ornamental Flower for the Doh257s
121
In Praise of the Great Brahmin
175
Appendix 1 Compositional Features in the Anthologies of Phadampa Sangye
179
Appendix 2 Adepts in the Anthologies of Phadampa Sangye
183
Appendix 3 Outline of Ling Repas Commentary on the Treasury of Doh257 Verses
187
Notes
191
Bibliography
209
Index
225
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About the author (2005)

Kurtis R. Schaeffer is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama. He is the author of Himalayan Hermitess: The Life of a Tibetan Buddhist Nun (OUP, 2003).

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