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Mother of Tibetan Buddhism : an introduction to the life and teaching of Ma-Cig Lab-Kyi Sgron-Ma

Date

1981

Journal Title

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Degree Level

Masters

Abstract

An attempt is made to learn the original character of the Tibetan Buddhist teaching known as gcod ("cutting-off") or bdud-kyi gcod ("cutting off spiritual death, Skt. Mara") and to establish the nature of the relationship between the gcod doctrine and the famous person of Ma-cig Lab-kyi sgron rna (elventh-twelfth cent.). These questions are not, as shown by a study of extent scholarship and translations, to be answered yet. Further investigation into the figure of spiritual death itself may show the evolution of a concept present in pre-Buddhist times through its unique presentation in the work of Ma-cig; the Tibetan translation for mara (bdud) justifies an examination of this concept in pre-Buddhist Tibet. Turning then to Tibetan materials, an account of the evolution of the gcod is translated in light of additional researches in this genre. An introduction to the few facts of Ma-cig's life is supplemented by the translation of a reverential work addressing significant events in her life. Thanks to the eclectic spirit of Tibetan editors and publishers, it now becomes possible to translate the original poetic teachings of Ma-cig which are the quintessence of the gcod, and to demonstrate the connection between her teachings and an obscure work of the Indian master Aryadeva, establishing the true role of these figures in the formulation and transmission of the gcod. An introduction will have raised the issues pe­culiar to this topic against the background of Western thought, and a conclusion will attempt to sum up the results of this investigation.

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Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Far Eastern Studies

Program

Far Eastern Studies

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