AAR Year 1 (2010)

Jake Dalton, ” How to Read Tantric Myth: The Literary in Early Tibet”
The origins of the tantras are explained by two well-known stories, that of King Dza/Indrabhūti receiving the tantras atop his palace, and that of Rudra/Maheśvara’s violent subjugation. Both are examples of “the literary” in the tantras. Using Nubchen Sangye Yeshe’s discussion of these stories as our starting point, we will explore how early Tibetans might have understood tantric literature and the role of the reader vis-à-vis these two mythic narratives.

Text under discussion:

Gnubs Sangs rgyas ye shes (c. 9th century). Sangs rgyas thams cad kyi dgongs pa ‘dus pa’i mdo’i dka’ ‘grel mun pa’i go cha lde’u mig gsal byed rnal ‘byor nyi ma. Stod cha. In Bka’ ma shin tu rgyas pa (kaH thog). Chengdu: KaH thog Mkhan po ‘Jam dbyangs, 1999 (external link: http://www.tbrc.org/#library_work_Object-W25983). Volume 93, pp. 7 – 680. pp. 287-288.

Jake’s materials available HERE.

Carl Yamamoto, “Lama Zhang: Autobiography and Its Near Relations”
Lama Zhang, founder of the Tshalpa Kagyupa, is considered to be among the earliest of Tibetan religious autobiographers. I would like to focus on one of Zhang’s autobiographical works with a view to raising questions about the origins of new literary genres and genre taxonomies, the connections between new and old genres, and, at a more general level, the relationships between literary genres and the communities of reading and practice through which texts circulate.

Texts under discussion:

Bla ma Zhang Brtson ‘grus grags pa (1123-1193). Nyid kyi rnam thar shes rab grub pa ma, I.316-366; Nyid la nyid kyi bstod pa dgos ‘dod re skong ma, I.108-111; in Dpal ldan tshal pa bka’ brgyud kyi bstan pa’i mnga’ bdag zhang g.yu brag pa brtson ‘grus grags pa’i gsung ‘bum rin po che: The Collected Works of Zhaṅ brtson ‘grus grags pa 1123-1193. 9 volumes. Edited by Khenpo Shedup Tenzin and Lama Thinley Namgyal. Kathmandu: Shree Gautam Buddha Vihar, 2004 (external link: http://www.tbrc.org/#library_work_Object-W26673).

Carl’s materials available HERE.