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Popular Buddhist Texts from Nepal
Narratives and Rituals of Newar Buddhism
Popular Buddhist Texts from Nepal
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Todd T. Lewis - Author
SUNY Series in Buddhist Studies
Price: $52.50 
Hardcover - 236 pages
Release Date: September 2000
ISBN10: 0-7914-4611-5
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-4611-9

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Price: $29.95 
Paperback - 236 pages
Release Date: September 2000
ISBN10: 0-7914-4612-3
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-4612-6

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Drawing on textual and anthropological research, this book demonstrates how popular ritual texts and stories have shaped the religion and culture of the only surviving Mahayana Buddhist society, the Newars of Kathmandu.

This book demonstrates how popular ritual texts and story narratives have shaped the religious life and culture of the only surviving South Asian Mahayana Buddhist society, the Newars of Kathmandu. It begins with an account of the Newar Buddhist community's history and its place within the religious environment of Nepal and proceeds to build around five popular translations, several of which were known across Asia: the Srngabheri Avadana, the Simhalasarthabahu Avadana, the Tara, the Mahakala Vratas, and the Pancaraksa. Lewis documents how the respective texts have been domesticated in Nepal's art and architecture, healing traditions, and rituals. He shows how they provide paradigmatic case studies that transcend the Nepalese context, illustrating universal practices or issues in all Buddhist communities, such as gender relations and stupa veneration, the role of merchants, ethnicity, violence, devotions to celestial bodhisattvas by kings and women, and the role of mantra recitations and healing rituals in the lives of Buddhists.

Todd T. Lewis is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the College of Holy Cross. He is the coauthor, with Theodore Riccardi, Jr., of The Himalayas: A Syllabus of the Region's History, Anthropology, and Religion, and, with John Esposito and Darrell Fasching, of Religions in the Modern World.


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Gregory Schopen
Preface

1. Introduction: Buddhism as a Pragmatic Religious Tradition

Popular Narratives and their “Domestication” in Buddhist Communities
The Development of Buddhist Ritualism
The Ritual Innovations of Mahayana Buddhism
Nepal and Newar Buddhism
The Context and Paradoxes of Modernity

2. Stupas and Spouses: The Shrngabheri Avadana

Background
Translation
The Domestication of the Text
Observations on the History of Practical Buddhism

3. Merchants, Demonesses, and Missionary Faith: The Simhalasarthabahu Avadana

Background
Translation
The Domestication of the Text
Observations on the History of Practical Buddhism

4. Devotions to a Celestial Bodhisattva: The Tara Vrata

Background
Translation
The Domestication of the Text

5. Invoking the Powers of the Buddhist “Dark Lord”: The Caturdashi Vrata of Mahakala

Background
Translation
The Domestication of the Text
Vratas and the History of Practical Buddhism

6. The Refuge of Recitation: The Pañcaraksa

Buddhism amid Disease in the Premodern World
Background
Translation
The Domestication of the Pañcaraksa Texts
Observations on the History of Practical Buddhism

7. Summary and Conclusions

Notes
Bibliography
Index



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36323/36324(NE/DG/)

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