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Buddhism in Tibet

Buddhism in Tibet
$37.60$47.00  [ 20% off ]
Item Code: IHL598
Author: Emil Schlagintweit
Publisher: Sri Satguru Publications
Edition: 2008
ISBN: 8170308798
Pages: 457 (Illustrated Throughout In B/W)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.8 inch X 5.8 inch
From the Jacket

The present work has for its object the description of Buddhism as we find it in Tibet.

The book is divide into two parts, ‘which deals with Sketch of the life of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, Gradual rise and present area of the Buddhist eligion, the religious system of Sakyamuni, the Historical account of the introduction of Buddhism into Tibet, the sacred literature, Views on metemsychosis, details characteristic of the religion of the people, translation of an Address to the Buddhas of Confession’, the Tibetan priesthood, Religious buildings and monuments, representation of Buddhist deities, Worship of the deities, and religious ceremonies, the systems of reckoning time, and Description of various tables used for astrological purposes.


THE religious systems of all ages—paganism in its rudest form perhaps excepted—have undergone changes and modifications which, if not materially affecting their principles, have at least exercised a certain influence upon their development. Buddhism may be considered a remarkable illustration of this; for not only have the rites suffered notable changes, but even the dogmas themselves have, in the course of time, become much altered. Although plain and simple in the earlier stages of its existence, it was in time greatly modified by the successive introduction of new doctrines, laws, and rites; so-called reformers arose, who assembled around them a greater or less number of followers; and these by degrees formed schools, which by-and—by developed into sects. The shifting of its original seat also exercised al considerable influence: the difference between a tropical and a cold and desert region and between the physical character of tribes separated by the distinctive marks of the Arian and Turanian races, had to be smoothed over, partly at least, and obliterated by the influence of time.

The present work has for its object the description of Buddhism as we now find it in Tibet, after an existence in this country of upwards of twelve centuries.

The information obtained by my brothers Hermann, Adolphe, and Robert de Schlagintweit, when on the scientific mission undertaken between the years 1854458, which gave them the opportunity of visiting various parts of Tibet and of the Buddhist countries in the Himalaya, has been the chief source on which I have drawn for my• remarks and descriptions. The reports of former travellers have also been consulted and compared with the contributions received from my brothers. Not less important for my subject, as enabling one to judge of the fundamental laws of Buddhism, and their subsequent modifications, were the researches of the oriental philologists and intelligent writers on Buddhist doctrines, amongst whom Hodgson and Burnouf have so successfully led the way to the analysis of the original native works.

For the greater part of the objects here treated of and for most of the native explanatory remarks, I am indebted to my brother Hermann. He had engaged in Sikkim the services of Chibu Lama, a very intelligent Lepcha, then a political agent of the Raja of Sikkim at Darjiling. Through this personage he was enabled to obtain numerous objects which had come from Lhassa, the centre of the Buddhist faith in Tibet. Mr. Hodgson and Dr. Campbell, besides giving him much valuable in- formation, were also so kind as to present him with various articles of interest for this subject. In Western Tibet, it was particularly at the monastery of Himis and in Leh, the capital of Ladak, that Hermann’s wishes were the most readily accomplished. In Gnari Khorsum Adolphe, who was at that time accompanied by Robert, succeeded in persuading the Lamas of Gyungul and Mangnang to sell him even objects which he had seen treated with the greatest respect and awe.

The folio atlas of twenty plates, two feet high and one and a half broad, contains facsimiles of representations of deities and of objects used for keeping off evil spirits. The originals were reproduced by means of transfer—paper, a method which has the great advantage that the alterations are entirely avoided which the artists are but too willing to make. The drawings being mechanically copied retain entirely the stamp of foreign art. The details in reference to the method employed lm- the reproduction are given in the introduction to the atlas. The plates have been printed in the lithographic establishment of Dr. C. Wolf and Son at Munich.

For the illustrations accompanying the text I selected those of a more scientific nature in preference to those of a descriptive character. They consist of copies taken from original woodcuts and of prints in Tibetan characters of the texts translated. These tables have been executed in the imperial printing office at Vienna. Their correct execution was kindly undertaken by Mr. de Auer, the director of this institution, so well known for its excellence in typographical and artistical reproductions.

In my studies of Tibetan I have been greatly assisted by Mr. A. Schiefner at St. Petersburg, to whose publications I shall often have occasion to allude. This gentle- man also afforded me the welcome opportunity of laying the verbal explanatory details of the priests in loco a second time before a Lama, the Buriat Galsang Gombojew, who is engaged at St. Petersburg as teacher of Mongolian; he made for` me, besides, various abstracts from books contained in the imperial oriental libraries having ` a bearing upon these objects.

I may be allowed to mention that I had the honour of presenting to the Royal Academy of Munich the Address to the Buddhas of Confession (contained in Chapter XL), a sacred imploration, of which a translation in German was inserted in the Proceedings of this Institution (February, 1863).


Part I.
The Various Systems of Buddhism
Section I.
Indian Buddhism.
Chapter I. Sketch of the life of Sakyamuni, The founder of Buddhism
Origin – The principal events in his life. His attainment of the perfection of a Buddha. Period of his existence. 3
Chapter II. Gradual Rise and Present area of the Buddhist religion.
Development and decline in India – Extension over various parts of Asia. Comparison of the number of Buddhists with that of Christians. 3
Chapter III. The religious system of Sakyamuni.
The fundamental law. The dogma of the four truths, and the paths leading to salvation. 15
Chapter IV. The Hinayana System.
Controversies about Sakyamuni’s laws 19
The Hinayana doctrines. The twelve Indians; character of the precept; incitation to abstract meditation; gradations of perfection 22
Chapter V. The Mahayana Systems
Nagarjuna 30
The fundamental Mahayana principles 32
The contemplative Mahayana (Yogacharya) system 39
The Prasanga-Madhyamika school 41
Chapter VI. The system of Mysticism.
General character – The Kala Chakra system; its origin and dogmas 46
Section II.
Tibetan Buddhism.
Chapter VII. Historical account of the introduction of Buddhism into Tibet.
Earliest religion of the Tibetans 61
Introduction of Buddhist aogmas into Eastern Tibet. Era of king srongtsan gampo and King Thisrong de tsan. The reforms of the Lama Tsonkhapa 62
Propagation of Buddhism into China, Ladak, and Eastern Himalaya Buddhist sects in Tibet 71
Chapter VIII. The sacred literature
Works translated from Sanskrit, and works written in Tibetan 76
The two compilations of Kanjur and Tanjur 78
Tibetan literature in Europe 81
Analysis of the Mani Kambum 84
Names and representations of Padmapani 88
Chapter IX. Views on Metemeychosis.
Re-births 91
Means of deliverance from re-births 94
Sukhavati, the adobe of the blessed 98
Chapter X. Details Characteristic of the religion of the people.
Amount of religious knowledge 103
Gods, genii, and malignant spirits. The spirits Lhamayin and Dudpos. The legends about Lhamo, Tsangpa, and Chakdor 107
Prayers 117
Chapter XI. Translation of an address to the Buddhas of Conpession.
Translation and explanatory remarks 122
Part II.
Preset Lamaic Institutions.
Chapter XII. The Tibetan Priesthood.
Materials contained in reports of European travellers 145
Fundamental laws 148
Hierarchical system 152
Organization of the clergy.
Principles of its constitution 159
Revenues 160
Grades amongst the Lamas 161
Number of Lamas 164
Occupations 165
Diet 167
Dress. (Caps and hats; gownl inner vest; cloak; boots; shoes; rosaries; amulet-bores) 170
Chapter XIII. Religious Buildings and Monuments.
Ceremonies preceding the erection 177
Monasteries 179
Historical document relating to the foundation of the monastery of Himis, in Ladak 183
Temples 188
Religious monuments.
1. Chortens 192
2. Manis 196
3. Derchoks and Lapchas 198
Chapter XIV. Representations of Buddhist deities.
Deities represented 201
Methods of executing sacred objects. Drawings and paintings. Statues and bas-reliefs 202
Characteristic types.
General attitude of the body and position of the fingers 207
Buddhas 208
Bodhisattvas 212
Priests, ancient and modern 213
Dragsheds 214
Illustrations derired from Measurements 216
Chapter XV. Worship of the deities, and religious Ceremonies’.
Daily service 227
Offerings. Musical instruments 228
Prayer-cylinders 229
Performance of religius Dramas 232
Sacred days and festivals.
Monthly and annual festivals 237
The ceremony Tuisol 239
The ceremony Nyungne 240
Rites for the attainment of supernatural faculties 242
Peculiar cermonies for ensuring the assistance of the gods.
1. The rite Dubjed 247
2. The Burnt-offering 249
3. Invocation of Lungts 253
4. The Talisman Changpo 256
5. The magical figure Phurbu 257
6. The ceremony Thugdam Kantsai 260
7. Invocation of Nagpo Chenpo by “moving the arrow” 261
8. The ceremony Yangug 263
9. Ceremonies performed in cases of Illness 265
10. Funeral rites 269
Chapter XVI. The systems of reckoning time.
1. Calendars and Astrological tables 273
2. The various modes of Chronology.
The cycle of twelve years 275
Counting back from the current year 276
The cycle of sixty years 276
The cycle of two hundred and fifty-two years 284
3. The Year and its divisions 287
Chapter XVII. Description of Various Tables used for astrological purposes.
Importance attributed to Astrology 290
I. Tables for indicating lucky and unlucky periods.
1. The elements and cyclic animals 293
2. The spirits of the season 298
3. Figures and oracles for determining the character of a given day 300
II. Tables for direction in important undertakings.
1. The square tortoise 304
2. The circular tortoise 311
III. Tables of destiny in cause of sickness.
1. The human figures 313
2. Allegorical figures and dice 314
IV. Tables of marriage.
1. Table with numerals 315
2. Table with cyclic animals 318
V. A soothsaying table with numerous figures and sentences 320
A. Literature: an alphabetical list of the works and memoirs connected with Buddhism, its dogmas, history and geographical distribution 331
B. Glossary of Tibetan Terms, their spelling and transliteration with a reference to the explantions contained in this volume 371
C. Additions to the Address to the Buddhas or Confession, translated in chapter xi. 393
Index 397

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