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The Arrow and the Spindle: Studies in History, Myths, Rituals and Beliefs in Tibet (Volumes I)

 
Samten G. Karmay (Author)
Synopsis The book opens with some studies of previously unknown royal edicts that shed light on early Buddhist practices testifying to the expansion of the Tibetan Empire (Part I).

The author then reflects upon the origin of Dzogchen Philosophy (Part II) and examines the Bon religion considered as the source of Dzogchen Philosophy (Part III).

A previously untouched subject in Tibetan studies is the relation between the origin of myths and popular rituals that convey the ancient beliefs that are still intact underneath the surface of Lamaistic tradition, particularly that of the mountain cult amongst the laity. The author gives a comprehensive analysis of this cultural and religious complex (Part IV).

This leads to the studies of the Gesar epic from an anthropological point of view on the basic structure of the epic and its social organisation (Part V).

The author also dwells upon the subject of Tibet’s reunification under the rule of the Fifth Dalai Lama in the seventeenth century and sees Lamaistic Government as the main cause of its gradual decline culminating in the total loss of its independence in the twentieth century (Part VI).
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About the author

Samten G. Karmay

Born in Amdo, North Eastern Tibet, and educated in a Bonpo Monastery, Samten G. Karmay studied Buddhist philosophy at Drepung, a monastic university in Central Tibet, till 1959. He was also Visitiing Scholar or the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London where he had obtained M.Phil and Ph.D. degrees. He has been visiting Scholar in a number of academic institutions; Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, paris; Toyo Bonko, University of Tokyo and the University of Kyoto, Japan. In 1981, he became Charge de Recherche in the Centre national de la recherche scientique (C.N.R.S.), Paris and a member of Laboratoire d’ethnologie et de sociologie comparative, Universite de sociologie comparative, Universite de Paris-X. From 1989, he became a Directeeur de Recherche in C.N.R.S. and was awarded the 1990 silver Medal of the C.N.R.S. For “Toriginalite et la qualite” in his research. He has carried out several research missions in Tibet: Amdo in 1985, Central Tibet in 1987 and 1991; Khams and Amdo in 1993; Central Tibet in 1995; India and Nepal in 1996. In 1995 he was elected President of the International Association for Tibetan Studies at its 7th Congress in Graz, Austria. He is the author of several books including The Great Perfecton, A Philosophical and Meditative Teaching of Tibetan Buddhism, and Secret Visions if the Fifth Dalai Lama. He has also published over forty articles on various aspects of Tibetan civilization in English, French and Tibetan.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Arrow and the Spindle: Studies in History, Myths, Rituals and Beliefs in Tibet (Volumes I)
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.09.2009
Edition Reprint
Publisher Mandala Book Point
Language: English
isbn 9994655106
length xiv+604p., Figures; Tables; Plates; Bibliography; Index; 23cm.

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