This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
69-80 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1061872 . Accessed: 28/06/2013 13:43
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact email@example.com.
The University of Chicago Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to History of Religions.
This content downloaded from 184.108.40.206 on Fri, 28 Jun 2013 13:43:11 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
). see Giuseppe Tucci. which was translated by A. On Taranatha.164 on Fri. 128 ff. thus ro-langs literally means "a risen corpse. and to Devapala. Petersburg. a zombie is a corpse which has been brought into a state of animation through supernatural power by a necromancer.212. 3 This passage refers to Gopiala. Schiefner as Taranatha's Geschichte des Buddhismus in Indien (St. Tibet has its own zombie. is a corpse activated through a necromantic ritual for personal reasons. the "walking dead" of Sanskrit literature. founder of the Pala Dynasty in Bengal. 69 In the voodoo cult of the West Indies. which I shall call the tantric type.. 163-64.Turrell Wylie R O . The first. 1949).1 Ro is the general word for "corpse" and langs is the perfect tense for the verb "to rise up". 2 Kun-dga'-snying-po (1575-?). Hinduism and Buddhism [London. and 197 ff. better known as Taranatha. nor is it pronounced in colloquial Tibetan." Two types of ro-langs are found in Tibetan cultural tradition. Tibetan Painted Scrolls (Rome. Zombies are not. Ro-langs is the equivalent of vetdla. 1608) an account of the rise of Buddhism in India titled: Dam-pa'i chos rin-po-che 'phags-pa'i yul-du ji-ltar dar-ba'i tshul-gsal-bar ston-pa dgos-'dod 'byung. known as ro-langs. 28 Jun 2013 13:43:11 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .2 At the time of either the king Gau-pa-la or De-wa-pa-la. The Pala Dynasty lasted some 450 years and was predominantly Buddhistic in religious orientation (cf. 109 if. composed (ca. however. his second successor.L A N G S: THE TIBETAN Z OM B I E 1 The final s in ro-langs is not a sign of plurality. 1869).232. unique to Caribbean cultures. Charles Eliot. I. An illustration of this type is found in the religious history written by Kun-dga'snying-po.3 the temple This content downloaded from 169. 1954]. II.
212. op. 112). If on the second time. then what is 4 O-tanta-pu-ri. devoid of deceit and knowledgeable in all the arts. [The assistant] must be truthful. In order to achieve the conjuration of ro-langs. 397-400. For details on this arrangement. it will be small. eight of which the siddha seeks to attain. The Buddhism of Tibet (Cambridge. it is indeed permissible for you [to do so!]. If you fail to catch it by the third time [the ro-langs]will devour us both. or one who has only to observe eight vows as opposed to the Dge-slong (Sanskrit: bhiksu). surrounded by the four major continents and the eight minor ones. is said to have been built by King Gopala. so he put his mouth to that of the corpse and waited. Tucci." [The heretic] said. When they were ready to do the conjuration. devoid of illness. so [the votary] served as the conjuration assistant. II. and possessing the nine characteristics of a hero. 5 In Tibetan: ro-langs-kyi dngos-grub. he seized it with his teeth and the tongue turned into a sword. who must observe 253 vows. 611). "Act as my assistant in the conjuration!" [The votary] replied. The heretic said. 28 Jun 2013 13:43:11 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .. "I performed conjuration in order to obtain that sword. 8 This refers to the symmetry of the mandala of the Buddhist universe with Sumeru in the center.8 Then [he returned and] handed the sword over to the heretic. (This is its history. who said. 70 This content downloaded from 169." The teacher gave permission. The power to activate zombies is one of these.) There was in a region of Magadha. p. pp.. The body [of the corpse] changed into gold. "The tongue of the ro-langs will waggle and stick out. Waddell. and then he saw a Buddhist votary [dgebsnyen]6to whom he said.5 he required an assistant of physical strength. which appears to be the same as Uddandapura (cf. a non-Buddhist yogin named Na-ra-da who possessed a straightforward nature and who had attained mantric power. he circled the four continents and the minor ones. circa 765 A. If on the third time.Ro-Langs: The Tibetan Zombie of O-tanta-pu-ri4 was built. You must seize it! If you catch it on the first time. Dngos-grub (Sanskrit: siddhi) is an occult power. [the heretic] said. and then the countryside will be brought to desolation.232. the power [siddhi] will be great. which has turned to gold! Cut off the [golden] flesh down to the bones! Do not spend [the gold] on improperthings like barley beer and prostitutes! If you use it for your own livelihood and for deeds of virtue. it will be middling. "You take this corpse. "I am going to see the sights!" and away he went to the top of Sumeru mountain. Give it to me!" [The votary] replied. 1958). cit. cit. It was destroyed in 1193 by Ikhtiyar-ud Din Muhammed (see Eliot. In an instant. 7 This is a parody on the Buddhist creed and means that the votary need not profess belief in heretical doctrines in order to assist in the necromantic ritual of the heretic.D. Holding the sword. keen of mind and courageous. "I cannot assist in the conjurations of a heretic. or fully ordained monk. the votary moved around and then soared up into the sky." The votary failed to catch [the tongue] the first and second time [that it extruded]. On the third time. op.164 on Fri. There was no one else [around]. I shall go and ask my teacher. 6 In Sanskrit: updsaka. "It is not necessary that you take refuge in heresy!7 Since there will arise an everlasting enjoyment and the [Buddhist] religion will be spread. see L." "Well.
The Religions of Tibet (London. i. he said. A similar account of the conjuration of a ro-langs is quoted by Hoffmann. O-tanta-pu-ri was laid out in the symmetry of the mandala of the universe. either king or minister. 1951]. References to this type of ro-langs in Tibetan tradition are rare and antiquated and there is some question whether it is ever encountered outside of esoteric literature. 61-62. At the time of his death.. SanskritEnglish Dictionary [Oxford. we can no longer reconstruct it. using the gold of the ro-langs. p.164 on Fri. he maintained the religious endowment of [O-tanta-pu-ri].e. but made its way into the Land of Snows with the Tantric magicians of India. who added that "'The rite of the rising corpse' [ro-langs] does not belong to the original stock of the Bonshamanists. perhaps. A condensed version of this same ro-langs story occurs in Padma-dkar-po'i chos-'byung (fol.232." So it was buried in concealment.. 13 Hoffmann. built the great monastic temple of O-tanta-pu-ri.ll1 That monastic temple [was built] without help from anyone. "having an elevated staff" (cf. but it will be of benefit to future creatures." East and West. the tantric type of ro-langs closely resembles the zombie of voodooism in that the corpse is animated by a necromancer for occult reasons. Funds for those who built the temple. it was to obtain the tongue of the corpse. which turned into a sword of occult power. "the risen votary. Monier Monier-Williams. 279-81)."13 This statement may well be true for what I call the tantric ro-langs. 187). pp. i. "O-tanta" means "to make elevated.12 As seen from the above story. there are two types of ro-langs-a dichotomy not mentioned by Hoffmann. The Tibetan text of this story in is transcription appended to this paper. the artisans. VI. however. 10 According to tradition. 80a).212. fol.10 The votary became known as U-dya u-pa-si-ka. a rendering in Tibetan of Sanskrit: udyd updsika.cut off [that corpse of gold] in the daytime will be replenished at night and it shall last forever!" [The heretic] then took up the sword and went away to the realm of the gods." 12 The ro-langs story translated here is found in the religious history of Taranatha (cf. all were provided by that same votary from selling gold from [the body of] the ro-langs."9 He built it in accordance with the arrangement of Sumeru mountain and the four continents. n. as I said at the beginning of this paper. 11 This is. but.e. and as long as that votary himself lived. 1956]. "This gold will benefit no one else now. 3* 71 This content downloaded from 169. a religious history by a Bhutanese monk. 28 Jun 2013 13:43:11 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . No. 4 [Rome. Since it was destroyed by the Moslems in the twelfth century. 1961). and the materials. The votary. 2 of this paper). The gold was used to support five hundred monks and five hundred votaries. In this instance. The 9 The O-tanta of the Tibetan text appears to be a rendering of the Sanskrit: uddanda. the existing monastery of Bsam-yas in central Tibet is said to have been modeled on the plan of O-tantapu-ri (see Tucci. 98a-98b. Padma-dkar-po (1526-92). those who made the images. "The Symbolism of the Temples of Bsam-yas.
which have broken their vows.Ro-Langs: The Tibetan Zombie second type of ro-langs is so dissimilar from the first that I suggest a different provenance for it. By way of contrast. Padmasambhava. dngos-grub. is a demonic ro-langs? 15 According to Buddhist doctrine. Sanskrit. 72 14 Cf. I call this type of zombie the demonic rolangs. for oral traditions concerning demonic ro-langs. rnam-shes. Those which spontaneously activate the demonic ro-langs are either gdon. the second type of ro-langs is activated by an evil demon without benefit of human conjuration. and they are said to have been subdued by the Indian Tantrist. but. Tibetan Painted Scrolls. As already illustrated. vijinna) combines and coordinates the functions of the other four. 28 Jun 2013 13:43:11 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . The aggregate of "consciousness" (Tibetan. seventh in the lineage of ancient kings. all ro-langs are animated by spirits of the gdon class.D. Gdon spirits are mentioned in stories dealing with the preBuddhist era of Tibetan history. Rnam-shes is translated as "soul" in some Tibetan-English dictionaries. The conjuration is undertaken by the necromancer with premeditation to achieve a state of occult power (Tibetan. is said to have been possessed by a gdon spirit which drove him mad and caused him to fight with his minister. Bdag-mo Lags. this type of zombie seeks to turn other people into ro-langs and drastic measures are taken to prevent the spread of its contamination. Those gdon spirits which are coerced to animate the tantric type of ro-langs are considered to be bound by vow to defend the Buddhist religion. which were not subjugated by Padmasambhava.232. but the demonic type of ro-langs seems to be part of the autochthonous Bon-shamanistic traditionHoffmann's statement to the contrary. or they are bgegs spirits.164 on Fri. Thus the tantric type of ro-langs is associated with the Indian Tantric tradition. For example. the tantric type of ro-langs is animated through an occult ritual to obtain a fetish of supernatural power. After death. rnam-shes leaves the body through the brahmanic Sa-skya Bdag-chen Rin-po-che and his wife.212.14 Gdon spirits are in keeping with the animism of pre-Buddhist Tibet. a sentient creature is composed of five aggregates. Traditionally. Long-ngam. Dri-gum-btsan-po. 733. Greatly feared. siddhi ). II. particularly the This content downloaded from 169. Sanskrit. Tucci. What. 15 I am indebted to the Tibetans now residing at Seattle. who introduced Buddhism to Tibet in the eighth century A. then. the term "soul" is too imbued with the concept of Christian immortality to have validity in Buddhist terminology.
aperture at the crown of the skull.16 Despite its demonic character. As indicated by the names.. who develops the syndrome of ro-langs sickness (i. 2." is the esoteric teaching transmitted to Tibet by Pha-dam-pa (died 1117). sits up at night to watch the corpse.e. incoherency. so it uses its hands and tongue for signaling purposes. for it is then that a gdon. 277-334. Should someone else be present when approaching a victim. the low doorway is a common form of architectural protection against rolangs. 5. the ro-langs signals the onlooker to remain silent by wagging its tongue and waving its right hand back and forth with the palm forward. They are: lpags-langs or skin-zombie khrag-langs or blood-zombie or flesh-zombie sha-langs or bone-zombie rus-langs rme-langs or mole-zombie. it is called "pillow-guarding" (snye-srung). If the corpse shows signs of reanimation. usually a lama. 1953) II. This content downloaded from 169. The victim is then said to be gdon zhugs-pa.212. or bgegs. Evans-Wentz. Also. Activated by an evil spirit.232. the classification of a ro-langs depends upon which part of the corpse is vulnerable. it usually occurs three days after death. a ro-langs is restricted in physical ability. Although this may vary in time. Neither can a ro-langs stoop or bend. 28 Jun 2013 13:43:11 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . For example. In many parts of Tibet. spirit may enter the corpse and reanimate it. 3. The onlooker does not give warning lest the ro-langs attack him instead of the intended victim. Y. Since week-long funeral services are not uncommon. particularly in Lho-kha. see W. 73 1.164 on Fri. it has turned into a ro-langs. For a Tibetan summation of this doctrine in translation. a blood-zombie must be made to bleed in order to make it "fall 16 Gcod-pa. or "one in whom a gdon-demon has entered. literally "to cut off. George Roerich. 1958). The Blue Annals (Calcutta. deathlike pallor. 4. Tibetan oral tradition evidences five classes of ro-langs. and impairment of muscular control)." Although usually fatal. the critical period begins. so it cannot enter a room with a low doorway. Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines (London. It cannot speak. 981 ff. it then sets out to turn others into ro-langs by placing its palm on the head of the intended victim. Once "consciousness" leaves the body. the corpse is watched continuously to guard against its activation by a gdon spirit. When someone. cf. pp. ro-langs sickness can sometimes be cured by a lama well versed in the parapsychological doctrines of Gcod-pa.
Ro-Langs: The Tibetan Zombie over. Since religious objects possess special efficacy as weapons against ro-langs. noises within the shack aroused the suspicion of the dead man's son. Some two weeks later. the family was reluctant to dispose of the corpse after the funeral ceremonies were finished. called Rgyis-bzang. Taking a knife.212. It had become a rolangs! Bolting the door in terror. again rose to its feet. the evil monster was destroyed and they rode off into the night. fired their guns. one causes it "to fall over" (brgyal-ba). The skin-zombie is easiest to destroy for the skin has only to be cut to make it fall over. Let us now examine some ro-langs stories in detail. The most difficult to cope with is the mole-zombie. headless and armless. The bloodzombie must bleed. No more had they gone than the ro-langs. so he ran to his mother and asked if his father had had a mole on his body. The nomads assured the son that. It must be a mole-zombie. walking toward them with a rigid gait." Since it is already a corpse. long time ago.232. the son fled to a nearby encampment of nomads and told them what had happened. The head of that family was a wellloved man. they drew their short swords and hacked at the monster. the son thought. There is a deserted place near Skye-rgu-mdo in Khams. 28 Jun 2013 13:43:11 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and the bone-zombie must be fractured to render them inanimate. But. the door of the shack splintered away and out burst the ro-langs. and yet it moved. When these failed to stop it. whose only vulnerable spot is a mole. which was originally the name of a wealthy family that lived there a long. Some. and she told her son it was located on the father's back. Indeed he had. Relying on certain characteristics found in the stories collected. He peeked in and saw the corpse slowly moving itself. (2) the epidemic rolangs. so much so. and (3) the comatose ro-langs. The following story is an example of the legendary type. the location of which is not always known to the intended victim. Its skin.164 on Fri. the zombie kept coming! Both arms were cut off and still it moved. Only when a nomad decapitated it with a mighty swing of his sword did the ro-langs finally fall over. and bone had all been attacked. the flesh-zombie must be incised. one does not "kill" a ro-langs. she remembered. that when he died.the nomads threw Buddhist images and board-boundbooks at the zombie. Just as the son returned with several of the nomads. flesh. It then being the dead of winter. the corpse was placed in a small shack near the main house and left there. in desperation. blood. the son carefully circled behind the ro-langs and plunged the blade into its back just where his mother said the mole 74 This content downloaded from 169. at last. I group them into three types: (1) the legendary ro-langs. The above autochthonous classification is graded according to the degree of vulnerability. who went to see what was going on.
par excellence. out of that whole monastery.212.was located. A sngags-pa. before the astonished eyes of the acolyte. he unbolted the door and went into the temple. The villagers returned with him to the monastery.232. opened its eyes and slowly sat up. contaminating them all with ro-langssickness. 75 This content downloaded from 169. and then he approached the zombies. or "robe-blow. When the ro-langsturned its back. only the little acolyte was saved. 28 Jun 2013 13:43:11 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . a black cat suddenly came into the gloom of the temple hall and moved noiselessly towards the corpse of the lama. 20 This is another story from the repertoire of Bdag-mo Sa-skya-pa. Too frightened to sleep. headless heap. She thinks that this particular incident took place in the late nineteenth century. the legendary type of ro-langs story. the monks were all asleep and only a young acolyte remained awake. The lama of a certain monastery in Khams died and his body was laid out in the temple for week-long funeral services. so they bolted the door to imprison the zombies. but none had the courage to enter the temple. He first chanted mystic syllables to the sound of his ritual drum and bell. On the third night. The ro-langstwitched and pitched over in a bloody. therefore. illuminated only by the flickering light of butter-lamps. He struck each of the monks a blow with the flap of his outer robe. It was a ro-langs! The acolyte hid behind a large Buddha-image near the altar and stared in horroras the ro-langsmoved rigidly around the hall. which were conducted by the thirty monks of the monastery. The incident is one which happened many generations ago and the story is handed down through the years. It touched each of the sleeping monks on the head. Let us now consider an example of the second type of ro-langs story. the eleven-year-old boy sat and watched the corpse. Unafraid. The "legendary" ro-langs story exemplifies. And so. Then. The cat circled the corpse three times and then. his hair piled high on his head and fastened with ornaments of human bone. 18 A sngags-pa is one versed in ritualistic syllables (mantra) and is applied to those Rnying-ma-pa devotees who specialize in the occult arts.19The ro-langsmonks each fell over from this blow and the ro-langs lama was destroyed in the same way. that is.17 This. a nightmarish fantasy in Tibetan oral tradition. disappeared into the corpse. The body stirred. The multiplicity of morbid details suggests that the original story has not escaped subsequent elaborations. the epidemic type. a raconteur of ro-langs tales." which is delivered by gripping that part of the religious toga which is thrown over the left shoulder and lashing with it much in the manner of a whip. never to rise again. or "exorcist"18 was summoned and he came to the temple. 19 This is known as a gzan-lcag.20 17 This story is from the repertoire of Bdag-mo 'Jam-dbyangs Sa-skya-pa.164 on Fri. has certain characteristics. the acolyte slipped out of the temple and ran to warn the local villagers.
who died in 1950. Although every demonic ro-langs possesses the evil power to turn others into zombies by touching them on the head. 'Jamdbyangs-phun-tshogs. Wielding the heavy. At that moment.212. 76 This content downloaded from 169.e.232. wooden boards that serve as covers for the Tibetan "Book of the Dead.Ro-Langs: The Tibetan Zombie The special feature of this type of ro-langs story. Blood gushed from the wound and streamed down the face of the ro-langs.. set with butter-lamps. is that the ro-langs turns large numbers of people into ro-langs overnight. the abbot of Lha-rgyal monastery in Sde-dge. Khams. when the funeral ceremonies were completed. on the second night. Four days later.23 The second example of a comatose type of ro-langs story is as follows: There was in Sa-skya a very fat man by the name of Mi-nyag-pa Bstan-'dzin rgya-mtsho. and arrangements for her funeral ceremonies were carriedout.e. was placed in front of the curtain." the remaining lama struck the ro-langs on the head with all his strength. said that it happened when he was twelve years old (i.22 The reading of the book continued from day to day. 1927]). find it difficult to rise up when there is too much light. and he was requested to perform "pillow-guarding" for the corpse. Then. two of the lamas leaped to their feet and fled in terror." a monk-servant in the service of the late Khri-chen Rdo-rje-'chang. her corpse was laid out on a bier. One stayed behind. ruling lama of Sa-skya. The mother of Mthu-stobs dbang-phyug21at Sa-skya died. and last. which deals with the illusory events that transpire between death and rebirth. type of ro-langs story. so. is illustrated by the following stories. was visiting Sa-skya at the time. The third. 23 The Sa-skya Bdag-chen Rin-po-che. and then. The corpse of the deceased Mi-nyag-pa began to increase in size. The Tibetan Book of the Dead [Oxford. the ro-langs pulled the curtain aside and blew out the flickering butterlamps. 22 This Tibetan book. The lama. is available in translation (see Evans-Wentz. the corpse was cremated as per custom. ca.164 on Fri. the comatose type. on the third night. Three lamas sat cross-legged and read the Bar-do-thos-grol (i. Ro-langs. was disturbed as he watched the body slowly getting bigger and bigger. the corpse stirred. that is. He died in the iron-tiger year (1950). A curtain was hung in front of the bier and a low table. or "great food-master. for some demoniacal reason.It fell over and moved no more. who related this story to me. the corpse sud21 This man was the gsol-dpon-chen-mo. which I call the "epidemic" type. The Tibetan "Book of the Dead"). the affliction of many people in a short period of time distinguishes the "epidemic" type from those stories in which the ro-langs is destroyed without having claimed a single victim.. 1940) and that the event was told to him personally by the lama involved. 28 Jun 2013 13:43:11 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 'Jam-dbyangs.
the lama was too terrified to move. Dbus. the event is recent in time and identification of the deceased is complete. no one falls victim to the contamination of ro-langs sickness. a medical doctor in Tibet is also a monk or a lama. splattering everywhere. none necessitated establishing another "type" of ro-langs. and the comatose. that is. If visible pathological symptoms are manifested. Usually. First. contagious disease. Of the stories omitted from this paper.which was a "blood-zombie. with emphasis on the latter. Suffice it to say that the stories collected justify establishing only three types.232. the legendary. inanimate again. the epidemic. which contaminated all who came in close contact with it. Could this be the case for zombies in Tibet? The most nightmarish of the three types is the "legendary" ro-langs. he struck the corpse on the head and a veritable fountain of blood squirted into the air. This does not preclude the possibility that there may be yet another "type. the ro-langs is destroyed before it becomes completely ambulatory. But. Second." twitched and fell over. but not always. and Khams. which could hold its own with the more memorable monsters of medieval Europe. if it 24 This is yet another of Bdag-mo Sa-skya-pa's repertoire of ro-langs stories. Thus any logical interpretation of a "legendary" ro-langs story would prove futile. 28 Jun 2013 13:43:11 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Even the most illogical coffin sometimes contains a quite logical corpse.164 on Fri. The "epidemic" type of ro-langs story suggests the possibility that the corpse was infected with some virulent. finally. It is to be remembered that Tibetan medical practices are integrated with religious ritual.24 In these two illustrations of the comatose type of ro-langs. The ro-langs. we find certain distinguishing elements missing in the other two types. With a powerful slash of the wooden slat. the patient's treatment is a combination of magic and medicine.212. who collectively represent the provinces of Gtsang. Let us now look more closely into these stories of ro-langs. but he regained his control and took up the wooden book covers and approached the ro-langs. that incidents of this type are said to have happened so long ago that it is impossible to decorticate the fantastic embellishments from the original event. It is to be noted here that other ro-langs stories have been collected from the Tibetans residing at Seattle. It is to be remembered." for ro-langs stories in Tibetan oral tradition seem as numberless as the hairs on Dracula's head. 77 This content downloaded from 169. and. At first.denly exhaled air with a whoosh and opened its eyes. however.
Das.25 The limitations of Tibetan medical knowledge prevent any positive statement regarding the pathological condition of an "epidemic" ro-langs. only to have them recover again. 26 On death and funeral practices in Tibet. then. For color reproductions and discussion of these. but rather in a comatose state. the treatment tends to be more magical than medicinal. Rowan.26 a comatose state. This is. an exoricist with occult powers would be considered more efficacious than an orthodox monk trained in medicine. could be mistaken for death. in general. 27 I am indebted to Paul L. is attributed to the gdon spirits. In Tibet.27 These Tibetan stories. Washington.Ro-Langs: The Tibetan Zombie is an illness that exhibits no external signs. Sickness.212. 28 Jun 2013 13:43:11 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . M. 1961).164 on Fri. and cerebrospinal meningitis would be diagnosed as "spirit sickness. whether pathologically or psychologically induced. even though in a state of unconsciousness the entire time. The limitations of medical knowledge. In conclusion. in fact. There is a pathological condition called anasarca. the concept of the demonic ro-langs appears 25 Monks were trained in Tibetan medicine at Lcags-po-ri. Even the statement in the second story that the body of Mi-nyag-pa began to increase in size is not necessarily a necromantic embellishment. a symptom of the comatose state where lack of oxygen intensifies the bluish color of veinous blood in the sclera. have resulted in some people being pronounced dead. and pharmacopoeia were illustrated on wall hangings. which is characterized by abnormal retention of body fluids. In one case." In such cases. 78 This content downloaded from 169. for his suggestions on the medical aspects of this paper. If a Tibetan manifested signs of resuscitation after being considered dead. pp.D. Journey to Lhasa and Central Tibet (London.. a meningococcus would be considered a gdon spirit. Medizin in Tibet (Berlin. seem amenable to medical explanation. a patient in an American hospital gained almost thirty pounds in fortyeight hours. 252-57. the medical college which stands on a hill near the Potala in Lhasa. then. C. It is said that the sclera of the eye of a ro-langs is blue instead of white.232. and those made in this paper are only presumptions. 1902). see S. The basics of anatomy. medical instruments. of Seattle. The events of both comatose ro-langs stories given in this paper suggest the possibility that the ro-langs was not even a corpse but actually a person resuscitating from a comatose state. thus. if it is presumed that the person was not dead. he would be treated as a ro-langs. where death is usually presumed when the pulse cannot be felt and the breath not heard. The comatose type of ro-langs seems most amenable to logical explanation. see Ilza Veith. even in modern Western civilizations.
yugs te byung na bzung dgos te / lan dang po la zin na dngos grub chen po / bar pa la 'bring / tha ma la chung ngu 'grub / lan sum la ma zin na dang po 'o skol gnyis za / de nas yul khams stongs pa tsam du 'gro zer / dge bsnyen gyis lan dang po gnyis pa gnyis la ma zin / de nas ro langs dang kha sprad de bsdad pas / gsum pa la so btab pas zin / de nas Ice ral grir gyur / lus gser du song ngo / dge bsnyen gyis ral gri thogs te bskor bas nam mkha' la 'phags pa na / mu stegs na re / ngas ral gri'i don du bsgrubs pa yin pas ral gri nga la thong zer / ngas Itad mo zhig bltas la 'ong gis byas nas ri rab kyi rtse mor phyin / gling bzhi gling phran dang bcas pa yud kyis bskor nas / ral gri khong rang la gtad [fol.to be a natural development within the animistic framework of Tibetan medical practices. Thus the concept of demonic ro-langs resolves for the Tibetan the enigma of the "rising dead.232. 98a] 28 rgyal po gau pa la 'di'am de wa pa la'i mtshams su / dpal o tanta pu ri'i gtsug lag khang yang bzhengs te / de ni ma gadha'i phyogs cig na mu stegs byed kyi rnal 'byor pa sngags kyi nus pa grub cing drang po'i rang bzhin can na ra da zhes zer ba zhig yod cing / de ro langs kyi dngos grub sgrub pa la grogs lus stobs che zhing nad med la lus la dpa' bo'i mtshan ma dgu yod pa / ngag bden par smra ba / blo rno zhing dpa' ba / g. yog gyis byas pas / mu stegs pa'i sgrub 79 This content downloaded from 169. yo sgyu med pa / bzo'i gnas thams cad la mkhas pa zhig dgos pa las / gzhan med de / nang pa'i dge bsnyen zhig la 'dug pa g.212. yog mi byed zer / de na re / khyod mu stegs la skyabs su 'gro ni mi dgos / longs spyod zad mi shes pa 'byung bas chos dar bar byas pas chog mod zer / 'o na slop dpon la zhus la 'ong gi byas nas / slob dpon la zhus pas gnang ste de'i sgrub g.164 on Fri. 12 of this paper. mthong / de la nga'i sgrub g. and the resultant rolangs must be dealt with as a monster. If a person shows signs of resuscitation after being considered dead. Anabiosis of a presumed "corpse" is attributed to a demonic spirit." APPENDIX [Fol. yog byas / 'grub tu nye ba na de na re / ro langs Ice phyir g. 28 Jun 2013 13:43:11 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . the limits of pathology are passed and the realm of demonology is entered. 98b] pas / de na re / lus gser du song ba 'di khyod rang gyis / rus pa la ma thug par sha'i thad nas chod / chang rin dang / smad 'tshong gi don sogs log pa la ma song ba gyis / rang gi 'tsho ba dang dge ba'i las la sbyar na de ring bead pa'i shul do nub gang ste zad mi shes pa yong zer / khong rang ral gri thogs nas lha yul du song ngo / dge bsnyen des ro langs kyi gser la brten te / o tanta pu ri'i gtsug lag khang chen po bzhengs pa yin / o tanta 'phur byed kyi don yin / dge bsnyen gyis nam mkha' la phyin nas ri rab gling bzhi dngos su mthong ba'i bkod pa ltar bzhengs / dge bsnyen de la u dya u pa si ka zhes thogs so / lha khang de la rgyal po blon po sogs su'i yang drin ngos med / lha khang rtsig mkhan / lha bzhengs mkhan / bzo bo rnams kyi gla lto yon rgyu sogs thams cad ro langs kyi gser btsongs pa kho nas grub cing / gser de kho nas dge slong lnga brgya dang / dge 28 See n.
232. 28 Jun 2013 13:43:11 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .212.164 on Fri.Ro-Langs: The Tibetan Zombie bsnyen Inga brgya'i 'tsho ba sbyar te / dge bsnyen de nyid ma shi'i bar du khong rang gis chos gzhi bteg / 'da' ba'i tshe / gser 'dis re zhig gzhan la phan mi thogs / ma 'ongs pa na sems can la phan par 'gyur zhes gter du sbas // 80 This content downloaded from 169.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.