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M28 K64 Contract Torma Monastery: Showing Orientation of Objects The True Achievement Torma Some Characteristic Movements of the Ging Stick with Ends Cut in the Four Directions Bouquet, Seen from Above, Thami, Order for Removing the Magic Daggers His proposed research concerned aspects of the temporary art created for ritual use in Tibetan Buddhism.

I had recently returned from Nepal, and he wished to inquire about conditions for research in Solu, to the south of the Mount Everest region. I could not have imagined then, nor, indeed, could Rick, that his work would result a decade later in the fullest cinematographic and textual documentation of a major Tibetan ritual cycle yet achieved.

Known only to a relatively small number of specialized scholars, however, is his thousand page dissertation, Mani Rimdu, Text and Tradition in a Tibetan Ritual, completed in at the University of Wisconsin. The film and the thesis both describe the Mani Rimdu festival celebrated annually at several of the Sherpa monasteries of Nepal.

Mani Rimdu Festival and Everest view trek

Because the festival had been often attended by trekkers and anthropologists, and indeed had been the topic of two previous books, one may suspect that it was already very well known. Rick showed us, however, that the Mani Rimdu festival remained poorly described and largely misunderstood. Its history, religious significance, and the elaborate ritual cycle in which the few days of public festivity are embedded had never been properly examined.

In fact, even the public masked dances, for which the Mani Rimdu was best known, had been in important respects misdescribed. As Rick clearly recognized, the religious arts of Tibet, including masked dance, painting and sculpture—which have much impressed Western observers owing to their fantastic imagery, profound symbolism, and splendid color and ornamentation—are almost entirely subservient to one great art form, the Buddhist tantric ritual.


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Throughout the abundant annotations to his work, and in his bibliography, Rick refers to a very wide range of previous research on Tibetan Buddhism. Though interested in theoretical reflection on a wide range of pertinent issues—including the analysis of ritual, the role of visual documentation in ethnographical research, and the methodology of translation—Rick believed that in the final analysis ritual performance spoke for itself.

Rick and I began to discuss prospects for the publication of the thesis not long after he had completed it. He soon reached the conclusion that, while the work as a whole might serve as a reference to specialists, an abridgement complementing the film would provide a useful introduction to Tibetan religious performance for those more broadly interested in Buddhism and in the study of ritual.

Rick completed a preliminary version of the text in , largely on the basis of the first volume of his dissertation. Before he could complete a final revision, however, tragedy struck and Rick was forced to turn his energies to battling the illness that ultimately claimed his life in May Foreword xix of this year. With the remarkable courage he summoned up throughout his struggle, Rick finished work on the manuscript just two months before his passing.

It has been my responsibility and my privilege to see his book through the press. Thanks, too, to Benjamin Bogin for generously assisting in the compilation of the index, and to the editorial staff of the State University of New York Press for their care at every stage of production. Matthew T. Although in America over the past few years, a demonstration of sand painting or even dough sculpture has become practically obligatory for museum exhibitions of Tibetan art, in it was difficult to even find photographs of them.

Such art was made for ritual, and, once in the field, it became apparent that a meaningful study would have to include their ritual context.

Mani Rimdu Festival 12222

To narrow my focus, I not only decided to concentrate on a single ritual, but also I began to shop around for one rich in temporary art. My search led me to the Mani Rimdu festival at Chiwong Monastery. And I was hooked. The festival was enchanting. Above all, the people there were unbelievably kind and helpful. One man whom I had barely met, the well-known Sherpa painter Oleshe, presented me with his entire collection of rare Tibetan xylographs pertaining to the ritual.

If the festival was fascinating, it was also unknown, despite the fact it had been written about before. With no knowledge of the Tibetan language, previous writers had ignored the hundreds of pages of texts used in the rituals. Of this rather large corpus, only two short prayers—less than a dozen pages, had been translated into any Western language.

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Even so, their translation was merest coincidence and their connection to the festival was not known. The deeper I went into the rituals, the more entranced I became by the beauty of their religious concept, their structure and, often, of their literary style. Beyond the individual rituals, there was another dimension of form— the interplay of each element with the others and the grand architecture of the festival as a whole. This interplay became a major focus of my research. Mani Rimdu was so big that it could not be used as a means to any other end. It was a study in and of itself.

As far-reaching as these pioneering works were, a niche still was left—a comprehensive study of a major Tibetan festival and the function of ritual in it. My initial object in seeking out Mani Rimdu had been a wise one—to limit my project to reasonable dimensions. Such a work could not have been accomplished without much help, and I am happy to have this chance to thank those who have contributed their faith, their expertise, or their financial support to this project. Without the help of this program, funded by the Ford Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the project could never have been brought to completion.

There are some who can never be thanked enough. Mani Rimdu is their tradition and this book is theirs. Nor is there any way to repay the kindness of my first teacher and graduate advisor at the University of Wisconsin, Geshe Lhundup Sopa. Without the solid background in Buddhist Studies that he gave his students, it is doubtful that the guardians of the Mani Rimdu tradition would have been willing to entrust their precious legacy to me; without his innate patience, this book would not have been accomplished.

Special thanks also go to Lama Tharchin, who gave endless hours of guidance through the convoluted byways of Mindroling ritual.

All those who are his students are fortunate to have such a teacher and friend. Their enlightened policies ensure the continuation of an international effort to record and preserve the diverse and remarkable culture of their beautiful land. The colleagues, Nepali and Western who throughout the evolution of this project have given advice, encouragement, and intellectual stimulation are too numerous to catalogue here.

Some of them are in alphabetical order : Dr. Keith Dowman; Mr. Hugh R. Downs; Professor David N. Gellner; Dr. Harka Gurung; Mr.

Hubert Ducleer; Fr. John Locke, S. Special thanks are due to Dr. All of us to whom he has opened his library, his home, and his mind are enormously fortunate.

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Lord of the Dance: The Mani Rimdu Festival in Tibet and Nepal - Richard J. Kohn - Google книги

A friend like him is good to have and hard to find. Nepal was an ideal place for my study in many ways. In its astounding cultural diversity, it preserves analogs of each side of the Tibetan cultural family tree. Here we find medieval Indian tantracism among the Newars of Kathmandu side by side with classic Siberian shamanism among the Magar of West Nepal and others.

On occasion, I have looked to either Newar Buddhism or to shamanism to illuminate an aspect of Mani Rimdu. Without the advice of experts in each field such as Pandit Bajracarya, Dr.

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Gellner and Fr. Locke on the one hand and Dr. Oppitz on the other, such comparative studies would have hardly been possible.


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They provided help and hospitality that made my work easier and my stay in Nepal more pleasant. I also give my thanks to Ms. Sabine Lehmann and the management and staff of the Vajra Hotel in Kathmandu for providing shelter and friendship on many occasions when I stumbled raw and disheveled out of the mountains; and to Mr. Charles Thomas for his generous hospitality and for the use of his wonderful library. Doctor Mark Tatz also deserves special mention here; with the heroism of a true bodhisattva, he undertook the task of reviewing the manuscript of my dissertation and offering his intelligent and insightful comments.

Professor Matthew Kapstein of the University of Chicago also deserves my thanks for encouraging me to transform that dissertation into this book. Last but never least, I thank FranzChristoph Giercke of Sky Walker Productions, who with a wave of his wand let me share the results of this long and arduous work with thousands of people around the world. To the others unnamed who have contributed help, advice and inspiration, thank you.

Sources and Methodology This book brings together several types of information on ritual practice— literary sources, works of art, and ethnographic data.