By Kurtis R. Schaeffer
Dreaming the good Brahmin explores the construction and activity of Buddhist saints via narratives, poetry, paintings, ritual, or even dream visions. the 1st accomplished cultural and literary background of the well known Indian Buddhist poet saint Saraha, referred to as the good Brahmin, this booklet argues that we should always view Saraha now not because the founding father of a practice, yet quite as its product. Kurtis Schaeffer indicates how photographs, stories, and teachings of Saraha have been transmitted, remodeled, and created by means of participants of numerous Buddhist traditions in Tibet, India, Nepal, and Mongolia. the result's that there's now not one nice Brahmin, yet many. extra widely, Schaeffer argues that the big significance of saints for Buddhism is better understood by way of the artistic variations of such figures that perpetuated their repute, for it truly is there that those saints come to life.
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Extra resources for Dreaming the Great Brahmin: Tibetan Traditions of the Buddhist Poet-Saint Saraha
The sl1tras of the Great Way rose to preeminence and popularity, and this is said to be [during] the time of the master. After this he decided he should practice mental austerities, and without straying from a meditative absorption in which his mind was without referent, he moved to various lands . Finally, in M arhata in the south, he saw a yoginI; of the realm whose continuum of self had been liberated. In the guise of a fletcher's daughter, by straightening arrows she pointed out the pur port of abiding reality through symbolism.
17 This is not much for the aspirant wishing to meet the adepts in the ritual circle to go on, but fortunately Kongtrul provides a more detailed account of the Great Brahmin' s visage in The Stream of Attainment, no doubt to aid the ritual performer engaged in visualization as much as the painter in need of directions. He describes S araha thus: "On a seat of antelope's hide Saraha [sits]. His body color is white, and red his hair. With his hands in the manner of an arrow straightening, he points out the primordial awareness of suchness with a symbol unwavering and straightforward teaching.
37 The question must be, then, whether the manuscript employed in 1 9 6 9 to translate the s ame pas sage is substantially different from the version translated above . One possible explanation is that the unique manuscript from which Guenther worked in 1 9 6 9 contained ad ditional material, and one possible source for this could be Tsuldak Trengwa' s Scholar's Feast of 15 6 5 , i n which epis odes corresponding very clos ely t o the problem areas cited above do occur. Tsuidak Trengwa's account of S araha's life runs: Lord Rangj ung teaches that the illustrious S araha, best of all adepts of the middle mantra, came 360 yeats after the Teacher's liberation TA L E S O F T H E G R E AT B RA H M I N from suffering.
Dreaming the Great Brahmin: Tibetan Traditions of the Buddhist Poet-Saint Saraha by Kurtis R. Schaeffer