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Between Na Rak And A Hard Place: Evil Rebirth And The Violation Of Vows In Early Rnying Ma Pa Sources And Their Dunhuang Antecedents

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Chapter Summary

In the histories of the Rnying ma pa tradition, we find a notable record of the iconographic program of the eleventh-century temple of 'Ug pa lung, founded by one of celebrated masters of the period, Zur po che Shakya 'byung gnas. The Na rak cycle has long played a significant role in Rnying ma pa confessional and mortuary ritual, though this is somewhat obscured because its presence in Rnying ma pa practice is evident primarily through the revealed gter ma cycles it inspired, rather than through direct practice of the Rnying ma bka' ma rituals themselves. At Dunhuang, accordingly, lotus maṇḍalas are very well represented in both the Tibetan and Chinese collections. The text of IOL Tib J 318 consists of three folios, 'numbered' in the left hand margin of the obverse of each with the syllables ka, 'kha, and ga.

Keywords: Dunhuang; IOL Tib J 318; lotus maṇḍala; Na rak; Rnying ma pa; Ug pa lung



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