Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
3Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
8.Drawn From the Tibetan Treasury the gTer Ma Literature

8.Drawn From the Tibetan Treasury the gTer Ma Literature

Ratings: (0)|Views: 63|Likes:
Published by newianu

More info:

Published by: newianu on Apr 24, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

03/14/2013

pdf

text

original

 
146 Tibetan
Li
terature
1988
fI
A New Chronological
Table
of the
Bon
Religion. The
bstan-rcis
of Hor-bcun bsTan-'jin-blo-gros
(1888-:-1975)." 1n
Tibetan
Stud-
i e s .
e e d i n g s
of
the
4th Seminar
of
the
International
Associati011
c j T i ~ ~ t
a : ! : . S t
u .
d i e s
, -
Ed:.by
Helga Uebach and Jampa
1.
Panglung.Studia Tibetica Quellen zur tibetischen Lexicographie
B-ánd
2.
Munich: Kommission für zentralasiatischen Studien
der
Bayerischen Akademie
d e r '
i s s e n s c h a f t e n .
1990
"A
Bon
po
b s
n
' t s i s
from
1804."
1n
Indo-Tibetan
Studies
,
pp.
151-169. Ed.
by
T.
Skorupsk
í.
Buddhica Britannica
,
Series Continua
2 . τ
' r i
n g : 
The
1nstitute of Buddhist Studies.Nyi ma bstan 'dzin
KTDG
bKa'
'gyur b
'
ten
'gyur
gyi
sde
tshan
sgrîgs
tshul
b s t
a 7 ~ 
pa'i
m e
spar
ba'i
rlung
g.yab
bon
gyí
pad
1110
l'
gyas
byed
nyi
' o d .
a t a - P i t a k a
Series
37
,
Part 1
1.
New
Delhi:
1nternational Academy of 1ndianCulture
,
1965.
Orofino
,
Giacomella
1990
S a c
l '
e d
b e t a n
Teachings on
Deathand
Li
beration.
Bridgeport: PrismPress. Translation and revision of
Insegna111enti
tibetanisu
l1
wrte
e
liberazione.
Rome:
Edizioni Mediterranee
,
1985.
Rock
,
J.
F.
1952 The
Na-khi
Nãga
Cult
and
Related
Ce
l'
emonies
,
Part
1.
Serie Orientale
Roma
4/
1.
Rome:
1stituto ltaliano per
il
Medio ed EstremoOriente.Roerich
,
George
1931
Traíls
to
Inmost
Asia.
Five
Years
of
E x p l o r a t i o n
t h e
Roe
l'
ich
Central
Asian
Expedition.
New Haven:
Yale
University Press.Schuh
,
Dieter
1976
Tibetische
H a n d s c h r
e n
und
Bl
ockdrucke.
Teil
6.
( G
1 1 1 1 1 e l t e
V
r k e
des
K 0 1 i -
l '
u l
Bl
o-g
1O
S
m t h
' - y a s ) .
Verzeichnis der orientalischen\Handschriften in Oeutschland Band
X1
,
6.
Wiesbaden: FranzSteiner
Ve
r1
ag.
Snellgrove
,
D.
1.
1967
The
Nine
Ways
of
Bon.
London Oriental Series
18.
London:
Ox
ford University Press.Smith
,
E.
Gene
1970
1ntroduction
to
Kongt
l'
ul's
Encyclopa.edia
of
Indo-Tibetan
Culture
,
pp.
1-87.
Ed
by Lokesh Chandra. Sata-Pitaka Series
50.
NewDelhi: 1nternational Academy of 1ndian Culture.
Chapter
8
Drawn
from the Tibetan Treasury:The
gTer
ma
Literature
Janet
B.
Gyatso
The
rubric
gter ma
,
or
If
Treasure
,"
cannot
prope
r1
y
becharacter-ized
as
representing
a
genre ofTibetan
literature.
Texts classifiedas
Treasure
are
ofmany
different genres;
in
fact
,
he range of
Trea
sure genres
ahnost
repeats
that
of Tibetan literature
as a
whole.Rather
,
the
term
Treasure
refers figuratively
to the
place fr01n
which
such
a
text
was
drawn.
Or
lnore precisely
,
Treasure
means
that
which
was
drawn
fr01n
such
a place.
The place
is a
treasure cache
(s01net
iI
nes
distinguished
in
Tibetan
as
gter kha
,
which
we may
translate
as
If
treasury"); the
Treasure is
the
product
extracted.
This
product
is
lnostnotably text
,
but
there are
also a
variety of lnate-rial
objects
(g
ter rdzas)
which
are
purported
to
have
beenextractedfrom
such
treasuries
as
well.
1
The following
,
however
,
will
focus
upon
those
Treasures
which
are
textua
l.
Place
in
Tibetan
Literature
and
Legitimating Strategies
The
fact
that
the range of
Treasure
genres
C01npetes
in breadthwith that
of Tibetan literature
as
a
whole
alerts
us
to
a critical fea
ture of
the
tradition
thatneeds
to
be noted
fr01n
the
outse
t.
Thevarious
Treasure
If
cycles"
(skor)
that have been
discovered
by
the
Tibetan
If
Treasure
discoverers"
(g
terston)
often
constitute cOlnplete
ritual
and
doctrinal systelns
which
in
an hnportant
sense
stand
on
 
148
T i b
β
t a n 
Li
teratu
l'
e
their
Qwn.
Such cy
c1
es of related texts function in their religiouslnilieu as authoritative sets of teachings which alnount to challenging alternatives to existing textual systelnS.Treasure discovery is still practiced in the twentieth century
by
contelnporary Tibetans in exile
,
such as
Dillngo
lnKhyen brtseRin
po
che
( 1 9 1 0
1 9 9 1 )
and even in occupied Tibet
,
as seen in the
u t s t a n d i n g
Treasure career of lnKhan po 'Jigs
med
phun
tshogs
(b.
1933).
The tradition seelns to have begun in Tibet in the tenthcentury C.E.
2.
The practitioners of this lnode of introducing textshave been prhnarily rNying
lU
ß,
pas and Bon pos; these two groups
had
lnuch ove
r1
ap in their Treasure activity.3 The newer (and
,
itwill be noted
,
lnore
po
1i
tically powerful) gSar lna
pa
schools tendto doubt the Treasures' authenticity (Kapstein
,
1989)
,
althoughthere have been discoverers there too (Slnith:
10).
We
need hardlynote that Western scholars have
a1so
been dubious concerning Treasure cla
Íl
ns
(Aris
,
1989).
The two
pr
iI
nary
lnodes of Treasure discovery are the unearthing of
what
is usually a fraglnentary text buried in the ground
,
statue
,
or lnonastery wall
(sa
gter);
and
the finding of such a textburied in one' s lnind
(dgo
n.
gs
gter).
In both cases
,
the discoverer
da
Íl
ns
that the iteln found
had
previously been
hiddenin
thatvery place at
SOlne
point in the pas
t.
This
c!
a
Íl
n concerning the
past
is another crit
iC.
al feature of the Treasure tradition
,
whichstrictly speaking distinguishes it
frOln
the other visionary lnodesof revealing text in Tibet such as "purevision"
(dag
s
n.
a
n.
g)
and
secret oral transmission
(snyan
brgyud)
(though not infrequentlythese labels are used
lOQsely
to characterize Treasure as
we11).
Once discovered
,
lnany of the buried Treasure cy
c1
es came tobe çOlnpiled into canons
Qf
their own. The ea
r1
y Bon po Treasureswere incorporated into the Bon po bKa'
'gyur and
brTen
' g y u
which together
fi11
approx
Íl
nately
300
volulnes; in fact
,
Treasureslnake
up
nea
r1
y
a11
of the fonner
and
lnuch of the latter parts ofthis
co11ection.
4
Per Kvaerne
(1974: 39)
est
Íl
nated
that the Bon
po
canon was asselubled
.
1450
,
approximately
150
years after thecOlnpilation of the Tibetan Buddhist canon of the new schools
,
thebKa'
'gyurand
bsTan 'gyur.
5
The Buddhist Treasures were
not
cOlnp
i1
ed into a
co11ection
of their
own unt
i1
the nineteenth century
,
when
Kong sprul bLo gros lntha' yas edited the
Rin
chen
g t e l
mdzod
(RT)
,
a
co11ection
of cycles
wh
The
gTe
l'
nta
Li
teratu
l'
e
149
able nUlnber of Buddhist Treasures
not
included in the
RT
,
such asthe two well-known "historical" cycles
,
the
Mafli
bka'
'bum
and
the
bKa'
thang
sde
lnga
,
as
we11
as
S01ne
of the esoteric sNying thig('Heart-Sphere") Treasures
,
SOlne
of which calne to be classifiedas Atiyoga
tantras
of the "key instruction class"
(ma
n.
ngag
sde)
and
included in the
rNyi
n.
g
ma'i
1
y u d
'bum.
6
Also not included werecycles that were not available to Kong sprul
,
as well as some thatwere not deelned worthy of inclusion.The subject lnatter of
t h e
e a s u r e
texts
,
as was already indicated concerning genre
,
is as broad as that of the rest of Tibetanliterature. For the sake of SUlnlnary
,
the principal Treasure subjects lnay be distinguished into two lnain types: those that
pur-
port to recount history
and/or
hagiography; and those that presentreligious teachings
and
practices. In the case of history
,
the Treasure mode of textual generation performs the
Íl
nportant functionof offering
an
arena to recount cOlnpeting versions of past events
,
i.
e.
,
versions that differ
frOln
orthodox or
genera11y
accepted
v e r
sions. As
would
be expected
,
such Treasure histories are vulnerable to a charge of forgery;
on
the other
hand
,
if the conceit ofdiscovery is granted
,
then the purported age of the text
and
thestatus of its original author function to lend authenticity
and
l e
gitimacy to its narratives.In the case of religious teachings
,
legit
Íl
nacy
is
cla
Íl
ned
by
characterizing the "core" of the cycle as a revelation. The Bon
pO
Treasures are often identified as teachings
o f
e f o u n d e r o f B o n
g S h e n
rab mi bo (see Kvaerne
,
in this volume). In the Buddhist case
,
Treasure revelations are placed explicitly
on
a
par
with the
sütras
and
tantras
of the more conventional Buddhist canon
,
and are said tobe
,
in one sense or another
,
the
"word
of the Buddha."
We
sha11
see below that the very mode in which the Buddhist Treasures aretransmitted is characterized as being in consonance with the modein which the more we11-known
and
accepted teachings of the Buddha were translnitted. The Buddhist Treasures gain legitimacy inparticula!
by
explicitly linking themselves with the texts
and
practices of the "Old Tantras" said to have been translated from 8anskrit
,
and
compiled into
what
is
ca11ed
the
rNying
ma'i rgyud
'bum
,
itself
å
cha11enging alternative canon to the more conventionalcano
p.,
the Buddhist bKa'
'gyur
with its
"New
T a n t r a s .
I n m o s t
cases
,
the Buddhist Treasu
 
150 Tibetan
Li
terature
than
cOlnpeting
with
the Old Tantras they cOlnplelnent
them
,
andthus stand
together
with
the Old canon as a joint challenge to the
New
canon.
However
,
the Buddhist Treasures
stilllnaintain
an
advantage over the canonical
Old
Tantras
by
virtue
pf
the position
of
their discoverer: since the Treasures are received
in
a
11
closetranslnission"
(nye
brgyud)
,
their discoverer has greater prox
Íl
nity
to (and
by
hnplication
,
nastery of) the source
ofhis
teachings
than
does a lnaster of the
Old
Tantras
,
who
has received the texts
he
isteaching from a "10ng transmission"
(ring
brgyud)
,
i.
e.
,
a succession of lnasters
that
stretches back into the distant
pas
t.
We
have
a
1r
eady
suggested
at
least three ways
inwhich
the religious Treasure lays clahn to authenticity: the exalted status
of
itsoriginal
expounder
,
such as the Buddha; the nature of its doctrines
,
practices
andlnode
of translnission
,
which
are shnilar to
the
more
w e l l
k n o w n
and
accepted doctrines
,
practices
and mode
of
t r a n s
lnission
ofcanonicallnaterials;
and
the
special
powers
of
the
Treasure' s discoverer. That the powers of the discoverer are of critical concern
in
the Treasure tradition
lnay
be seen particularly
in
the
b i o g r
h i c a l
and
s
Ol
net
Íl
nes
a u t o b i o g r
h i c a l
accounts of the
individual
discoverers' visionary quests for Treasure.
In
a seriesof arti
c1
es focusing
on such
accounts from the Buddhist Treasuretradition
(1986
,
1993
,
and
n.d.)
,
I
have shown that
the personalstruggle to develop the
power
to find a Treasure
,
the difficulty
in
deciphering the cryptic codes
and
" ~ ã k í
l a n g u a g e "
in which the
Treasure is originally revealed
,
and
the
d i s c o v e r
' - t o - b e '
s
many
self-doubts are all necessitated
by
the
nature of
the Buddhist
myth
of the Treasu
l'
es' previous concealment (see
,
e.g.
,
Tulku
Thondup
Rinpoche). Interestingly
,
this
myth
lnakes
two
legimating lnovesat once: it
harkens
back to the authoritative
past
,
and
simultaneously
sheds
positive light
on
the discoverer
in
the
presen
t.
The
Buddhist
Treasure
lnyth has
come to center
upon
the activities
ofPadmasambhava
,
the eighth-century lndic lnaster credited
with
introducing tantric
Buddhism
into Tibet
,
even
though
there were a nUlnber of earlier traditions regarding the concealingsofTreasures
in
Tibet
,
nost notably those associated
with
the rDzogschen teachings of Vhnal
aI
nitra
,
another
Indian
teacher
in
Tibet
during
the
same
period.
8
But
by
the time of discoverer
Nyang
ral
Nyi lna
'od
ze
The
gTer
ma
Li
terature
151
his ünage as a princely
but
lay tantric lnaster reflected well thestyle of the
~ e r y T i b ~ t a n s - t h ~ l n S ~ l v e s 
o f t ~ n 
lay teacl:ers
~ ~
t ~ l e 
aristocratic
c l a s s
w h o
were developing
what
we
lnight call the
full-blown Treasure
tradition.
9
Nonetheless
,
in
this
lnyth
,
Padlnasambhava is still
but
a
lniddlelnan
in
the disselnination ofTreasure
,
if
a
very
central middlelnan. The Treasure is lnost basicallv transmitted
by
a
prhnordial
buddha
in
a primordial
pure land
(rgyal
ba'í
dgongs
brgyud).
S e c
o n d a
r i
i
t h
e
t
a n t
廿
r i c
"knowledge
holders"
(
r í
: g
' d
z í
n b
r
d
 
a '
' i
b
r .
' g y u d
) t
h e
In
d i
a n
p a
t r i a
r c h
s o
f
t
h e r N y i
n g
lna
pa
s c h o o
1 .
Only
t
e r
此 叫 ' t 吼
t i
 
a r i l y
is
it
taught
in
verbal
fO
r1
n
by
PadlnaSalnbhava
,
in
the eighth-centuryTibetan court
,
"into the ears of persons"
(gang
zag
snyan
khung
du
brgyud)
(Gyatso
,
1986
,
1993).
Padlnasalnbhava
then
proceeds toprepare the Treasure teaching for
buria
1.
He
t ~ a n s
l n i
t s
the teaching
i
n a n e l n p o w
e
 
r
 ' m
which he specially
c O I U l n i
s s
i o n s
certain disciples to rediscover
it
in a future incarnation
at
a specified
t h n e
a
cOlnlnissioning
that
isassured of fulfillment
by
virtue of a prophecy
Padlnasambhava
utters to
that
effect
(bka'
babs
lung
bstan).
Then
he
appoints
p o w e r
ful protectors to conceal the Treasure from everyone else
until
theright
d i s c o v e r
c o m e s
along
at
the right t
iI
ne
(mkha' 'gro gtad
rgya).
The
point
is
that
the
wrong person lnust not
discover the
T r e a
sure;
if
he or
she does
,
death
will be imlninen
t.
10
Thus the crucial element
in
Buddhist Treasure discovery is
that
the discoverer
lnust
prove
both
to hhnself
and
to the
world that
he is
indeed
the previously comlnissioned individ
ua
l.
This is accomplished
in
a variety of
ways
,
one of
which
is
through
signswhich delnonstrate the blessings of the exalted previous
e x p o u n d
ers of the Treasure
,
and
another of
which
is
by
the discoverer's
own
spiritual accomplishments
,
which
demonstrate
that he or
shealready
masteredthe
Treasure teachings
whilestudying
with
Padmasambhavain
a
past
lifetime.
TheDiscovery ofthe
Buried:
History
and
Implications
The roots of this complex
and
arcane process of textual translnission lnay
be
recognized
in
the earlier
and
quite praglnatic Tibetancustom of
burying
politicallY sensitive itelns
underground
as alneans of preventing their destruction. Tibetan histories state
,
for
eX
aI
nple
,
that
because of repressive lneasures taken
by
anti-Buddhist lninisters after the
death
of the king Mes
ag
tshoms (ca.
750

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->