Dudjom Rinpoche's Vajrakīlaya Works - A Study in Authoring, Compiling, and Editing Texts in the Tibetan Revelatory Tradition - Cathy Cantwell

Dudjom Rinpoche's Vajrakīlaya Works - A Study in Authoring, Compiling, and Editing Texts in the Tibetan Revelatory Tradition - Cathy Cantwell

Index

Dudjom Rinpoche's Vajrakīlaya Works - A Study in Authoring, Compiling, and Editing Texts in the Tibetan Revelatory Tradition - Cathy Cantwell

Cathy Cantwell [+-]
University of Oxford
Dr Cathy Cantwell is an academic researcher specialising in Tibetan and Himalayan tantric rituals of all periods from the 10th century CE, and especially the ritual texts and practices deriving from the “Early Transmissions” (snga 'gyur rnying ma). This work has included text critical and historical analysis, as well as ethnographic study of contemporary rituals. She was a Research Officer at the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford, from 2002-2015, and is now an Associate Faculty Member. She is President of the UK Association for Buddhist Studies and also an Honorary Fellow at the School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent. Cathy received Buddhist teachings from Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche during his visit to London in 1979, having earlier had her first introduction to the tantric deity, Vajrakīlaya, from the Sakya Gongma Ngawang Kunga, in London 1978. Beginning academic Tibetan Studies in 1979, she did her Ph.D fieldwork at a Dudjom tradition monastery in Himachal Pradesh, India, 1981-83, and has maintained a life-long interest in this religious tradition.

Description

(with a chapter by Robert Mayer) It is often assumed that a revelation must be new and innovative, and indeed, that the point of a new sacred text must be to revitalize the heritage. Yet in the Tibetan Nyingma Treasure Revelatory tradition, the ongoing vitality of textual production often has more to do with the fresh blessings, rather than altogether novel content. This book for the first time analyses precise continuities and changes in comparing the new and the old, considering examples of the creation and development of tantric revelations, including further re-workings in subsequent generations. In doing so, the focus enlarges to encompass materials from the broader religious heritage, as well as from specific lineages of related visionary lamas. By identifying such exact linkages and departures, it is possible to answer questions both of how and why developments may occur, not limiting the purview merely to the individual stories of the virtuoso lamas producing the books, but looking also to the tantric communities they are part of. The case studies in the book stem from the prolific writings of the famous 20th century scholar-lama, Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje Rinpoche, who contributed to numerous revelatory traditions of the past, as well as producing his own revelations. They concern a single tantric deity, Vajrakīlaya, the most popular Nyingma deity, whose tantras and ritual practices stem from the earliest formulations of Tibetan tantric Buddhism, and who is closely connected with the culture heros and founding fathers of the Nyingmapa. This particular focus gives us the opportunity to discover patterns in the creation of new tantric texts which have significance beyond the specific examples.

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Citation

Cantwell, Cathy. Index. Dudjom Rinpoche's Vajrakīlaya Works - A Study in Authoring, Compiling, and Editing Texts in the Tibetan Revelatory Tradition. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 387-396 Mar 2020. ISBN 9781781797624. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=40671. Date accessed: 30 Jul 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.40671. Mar 2020

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