Buddha in the Crown: Avalokitesvara in the Buddhist Traditions of Sri Lanka

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Oxford University Press, Jan 31, 1991 - Religion - 304 pages
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Historical, anthropological, and philosophical in approach, Buddha in the Crown is a case study in religious and cultural change. It examines the various ways in which Avalokitesvara, the most well known and proliferated bodhisattva of Mahayana Buddhism throughout south, southeast, and east Asia, was assimilated into the transforming religious culture of Sri Lanka, one of the most pluralistic in Asia. Exploring the expressions of the bodhisattva's cult in Sanskrit and Sinhala literature, in iconography, epigraphy, ritual, symbol, and myth, the author develops a provocative thesis regarding the dynamics of religious change. Interdisciplinary in scope, addressing a wide variety of issues relating to Buddhist thought and practice, and providing new and original information on the rich cultural history of Sri Lanka, this book will interest students of Buddhism and South Asia.
 

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Contents

The Setting and the Problem
3
2 The Relevant Historical and Doctrinal Background
27
The Iconography of Avalokite347vara and N257tha
72
Avalokite347vara Becomes N257tha Deviyo
91
N257tha and Pitiye in Kandyan Folklore
125
Oral Traditions at Rural Kandyan N257tha Dev257layas
151
Center and Periphery in the Kandyan Kingdom
176
8 N257tha and the Rock Chief
202
MaitreyaintheMaking
214
Notes
226
Bibliography
245
Index
254
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