Iain Sinclair. 2016. ‘The appearance of tantric monasticism in Nepal: a history of the public image and fasting ritual of Newar Buddhism, 980-1380’. Monash University, Melbourne: PhD diss. 418 pp., 90 illustrations, 27 tables. DOI:10.4225/03/58ab8cadcf152
Andrea Wollein. 2017. ‘An ethnographic study of the Mūl Dīpaṅkara shrine in Bhaktapur (Nepal): the relationship between people and place’. University of Vienna: M.A. thesis (Masterstudium Kultur u. Gesellschaft des neuzeitlichen Südasiens). 189 pp., 87 figures. [official notice] [author: facebook]
Abstract: This thesis presents locality specific research in the form of an ethnography that draws both from fieldwork and published scholarly literature. The inter-disciplinary research is contextualized within the wider field of South Asian Studies and pertains to Himalayan, Buddhist and Newar Studies as well as to Tibetology. It is specifically concerned with the socioreligious dimension of Newar Buddhist monasteries (Skrt. vihāra, New. bāhā and bahī), the Buddhist deity Dīpaṅkara and the configuration of the relationship between the two of them as found in the setting of the Mūl Dīpaṅkara shrine in Bhaktapur. Continue reading “Wollein (2017), The Mūl Dīpaṅkara shrine”
Luigi, Rogora. 2015-2016. ‘La Luce Nella Valle: Lo Svayambhūpurāṇa nel Buddhismo Nepālese’. Università degli Studi di Milano, Facoltà di Studi Umanistici. Corso di Laurea Triennale in Lettere. iv+167 pp. [academia.edu]
Note: Contains an annotated Italian translation of Svayambhūdharmadhātusamutpattinidānakathā 1.1–63.
Acri, Andrea (ed). 2016. Esoteric Buddhism in Mediaeval Maritime Asia: Networks of Masters, Texts, Icons. Nalanda-Sriwijaya Series 27. Singapore: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. xii+468 pp. ISBN: 978-981-4695-09-1 (whole book, digital), ISBN 978-981-4695-08-4 (print). [PDF: Introduction, Bibliography, Index]
Bühnemann, Gudrun. 2015. Śākyamuni’s Return Journey to Lumbinī ( lumbinīyātrā ): A Study of a Popular Theme in Newar Buddhist Art and Literature. Bhairawaha, Nepal: Lumbini International Research Institute. 108 pp. ISBN: 978-9937-2-9462-1
Kuala Lumpur Dhammajoti. Reading Buddhist Sanskrit Texts. An Elementary Grammatical Guide. Hong Kong: Buddha-dharma Centre of Hong Kong, 2012. ix + 361 pp. ISBN 978-988-16820-1-7 [available from Swindon Books]
A book that finds and almost fills its niche. Some weirdness is apparent, like the fact that sentences in romanized transcription do not appropriately add white space after finals. There are numerous typos and mistakes in sandhi, and there are no keys to the exercises — always a severe limitation. However, a patient and competent reviewer could easily detect, report and fix most of these problems. Any effort to knock down the high walls erected around the study of Sanskrit in ‘the West’ is, of course, worth encouraging.
From the Preface
“There are many excellent Sanskrit primers […] However, they all share the common feature of being based on non-Buddhist sources […]
many Buddhist students […] need to spend a large amount of time getting acquainted with those texts which are neither their concern proper nor source nor inspiration […]. It is out of this consideration that […] I had been thinking of producing an elementary manual totally based on the Buddhist texts” (p. v).
Tulasīlāla Siṃha. Tantrākhyāna: Ne saṃ. 638 yā mūlapāṭhayā sampādana, anuvāda va vivecanā. Yala: Nepālabhāṣā Kendrīya Vibhāga, Pāṭana Saṃyukta Kyāmpasa, 2009.
This is a transcription and translation into contemporary Newar of the earliest dated manuscript of the Tantrākhyāna(kathā) kept in Nepal. An older manuscript of this Newar Buddhist Pañcatantra remake — if we could call it that — ended up in the hands of Cecil Bendall and is kept in the United Kingdom, presumably unavailable to Mr. Siṃha.
Gudrun Bühnemann. The Life of the Buddha: Buddhist and Śaiva Iconography and Visual Narratives in Artists’ Sketchbooks from Nepal. By Gudrun Bühnemann, with Transliterations and Translations from the Newari by Kashinath Tamot. Lumbini: Lumbini International Research Institute, 2012. ISBN 9789937553049, 204 pp. USD$50. [available from Vajra Books]
About the Book
This book describes, analyses and reproduces line drawings from two manuscripts and a related section from a third manuscript. These are: 1) Manuscript M.82.169.2, preserved in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (circa late nineteenth century) 2) Manuscript 82.242.1-24, preserved in the Newark Museum (from the later part of the twentieth century) and 3) A section from manuscript 440 in the private collection of Ian Alsop, Santa Fe, New Mexico (early twentieth century). The line drawings depict Hindu/Śaiva and Buddhist deities and themes, but the Buddhist material is predominant, as one would expect in artists’ sketchbooks from Patan. […]
Nancy Grace Lin. ‘Adapting the Buddha’s Biographies: A Cultural History of the Wish-Fulfilling Vine in Tibet, Seventeenth to Eighteenth Centuries’. PhD diss., University of California at Berkeley, 2011. 319 pp. ISBN 9781267228482, ProQuest ID 928450843.
From the Abstract
The Wish-Fulfilling Vine of Bodhisattva Avadānas (Skt. Bodhisattvāvadānakalpalatā, Tb. Byang chub sems dpa’i rtogs pa brjod pa dpag bsam gyi ’khri shing) by Kṣemendra is an eleventh-century Sanskrit anthology of stories about the previous existences of the Buddha and his disciples, along with events from the Buddha’s final life. Translated into Tibetan circa 1270 and incorporated into the Tibetan Buddhist canon, by the seventeenth century the Vine occupied a place of high prestige in Tibet. I argue that adaptations of the Vine—condensed literary digests, paintings, and woodcuts—constitute sophisticated forms of commentary that reveal the ingenuity and concerns of their producers. […]
In Chapter One I trace how the Fifth Dalai Lama (1617-1682) and his court popularized the Vine through public instruction, paintings, and literary activities. These conspicuously cultured displays promoted renewed interest in Sanskrit and the Indic origins of Buddhism, while contributing to broader projects of knowledge production and state-building. In Chapter Two I demonstrate how the lay Pho lha dynasty (r. 1728-1750) appropriated the Vine, sponsoring two large-scale multimedia productions while developing models for lay kingship and patronage. In Chapter Three I argue that Si tu Paṇ chen Chos kyi ’byung gnas (1700-1774), an influential monk of Sde dge in eastern Tibet, articulated his vision of the ideal monastic through the design of Vine paintings and other literary and visual productions on the Buddha’s life. In Chapter Four I study Zhu chen Tshul khrims rin chen (1697-1774), court chaplain of Sde dge, and his work on the Vine as commentaries on cultural production.
Karen Maria Muldoon-Hules. ‘Brides of the Buddha and Other Stories: Reading the Women’s Stories of the 8th “Varga” of the “Avadānaśataka” in Context’. PhD dissertation, University of California at Los Angeles, 2011. 455 pages. ISBN: 9781124885032; ProQuest document ID 2462477631.
From the Abstract
There has been little in the way of systematic examinations of the evidence on marriage customs among Buddhists, and our understanding of the lives of early Buddhist women is still quite limited. Much of what has been published on early Buddhist women is based on Pali texts from Sri Lanka. Fortunately, ten stories or avadanas about women in the Avadānaśataka, a north Indian text probably compiled 2nd-4th century C.E., offer a chance to nuance [sic] that understanding. These stories provide evidence for marital customs among north Indian Buddhists during this period, customs that show significant Brahmanical influence. In addition, these ten avadānas hint at a changing position for Buddhist nuns that may have been related to an increasingly conservative view of women emerging in the Brahmanical tradition and a revamping of the asrama system into sequential life-stages for men.