By John Clifford Holt
Ancient, anthropological, and philosophical in strategy, Buddha within the Crown is a case examine in non secular and cultural swap. It examines some of the ways that Avalokitesvara, the main renowned and proliferated bodhisattva of Mahayana Buddhism all through south, southeast, and east Asia, was once assimilated into the reworking spiritual tradition of Sri Lanka, some of the most pluralistic in Asia. Exploring the expressions of the bodhisattva's cult in Sanskrit and Sinhala literature, in iconography, epigraphy, ritual, image, and fantasy, the writer develops a provocative thesis in regards to the dynamics of non secular swap. Interdisciplinary in scope, addressing a large choice of concerns on the subject of Buddhist idea and perform, and offering new and unique info at the wealthy cultural heritage of Sri Lanka, this ebook will curiosity scholars of Buddhism and South Asia.
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Additional info for Buddha in the Crown: Avalokitesvara in the Buddhist Traditions of Sri Lanka
How [or why] did a form of music borrowed from a cultural minority become a vehicle of popular creativity? Because its energetic rhythms lent themselves to the expression of the urban experience and sentiment, as the traditional forms of Sinhala folk music rooted in the rhythms of rural life did not. Cultural borrowings have only a viable existence when they fulfill the need of the borrowers themselves. So too, the Parsee semi-operatic theatre became at the turn of the century the stimulus for the Tower Hall drama, and Sinhala nadagama derived not only from the Tamil folk drama, but also from Portuguese Catholic devotional music—to issue ultimately in Dr.
Lokottara-oriented, "other-worldly" actions may not be performed for purposes wholly relevant to daily life. " For Ames, laukika-oriented rituals are primarily practical and magical, while lokottara-aimed activities are of a more specifically religious nature. Ames's finding would also seem to be consistent with the analyses and theories advanced by Mandelbaum [1964, 1966] and, to a certain extent, especially with regard to laukika, with an analysis of rituals subsequently advanced by Moore .
While positive karmic consequences resulting from good intentions effect a better rebirth, they also fuel the further course of samsara. Their eventual transcendence, which leads to nibbana, is wholly a matter of personal responsibility. Theravada Buddhism, it would seem, is a soteriology by means of self-effort. However, as we noted previously, it is crucial to understand that the existence of gods and other supernatural beings is not denied. There is a popular Sinhala expression one often hears among village laity during festivals and rites.