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Reincarnate Lamas: Chögyam Trungpa and Chagdud Tulku

  • Laurie Hovell McMillin

Abstract

As we have seen, a tulku is the bodily emanation of an enlightened being who is able to choose the manner, time, and place of his reappearance on earth. Unlike in Hindu systems of reincarnation, however, it is not a soul or atman that moves from body to body, and unlike most other forms of Buddhism which argue that no thing is transferred from life to life, in the Tibetan system, it is consciousness that transfers from life to life. This matter of multiple lives presents a curious rhetorical situation for someone recounting his or her life. If he or she is an incarnation, where should the narration begin? How many lives should be recounted?

Keywords

Sexual Harassment Cautionary Tale Referential Power Bodily Emanation Buddha Nature 
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Notes

  1. 4.
    See Campbell, Traveller in Space (NewYork: Braziller), 1996.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    See ChogyamTrungpa’s Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (Berkeley: Shambala, 1973), The Myth of Freedom (Berkeley: Shambala, 1976), and Crazy Wisdom (Boston: Shambala, 1991).Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    David Snellgrove, Four Lamas of Dolpo (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967), p. ix.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    See David Germano, “Remembering the Dismembered Body of Tibet,” in Buddhism in Contemporary Tibet, ed. Melvyn Goldstein and Matthew Kapstein (Berkeley: University of California, 1998), pp. 53–94.Google Scholar
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    Marco Polo, The Book of Ser Marco Polo the Venetian concerning the Kingdoms and Marvels of the East, trans. and ed. Sir HenryYule (NewYork: Scribner’s, 1903), p. 301.Google Scholar
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    Ibid., p. 92.Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    Geertz, “Religion as a Cultural System,” Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1973), p. 112.Google Scholar
  8. 11.
    See Bhabha’s classic “Signs Taken for Wonders: Questions ofAmbivalence and Authority under a Tree Outside Delhi, May 1817,” `Race,” Writing, and Difference, ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1985), pp. 163–184.Google Scholar
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    Lobsang P. Lhalungpa, The Life of Milarepa (NewYork:Arkana, 1977), p. 139.Google Scholar
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    Keith Dowman, The Divine Madman: The Sublime Songs and Drukpa Kunley (Middletown, Calif.: Dawn Horse Press, 1980), pp. 8–9.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Laurie Hovell McMillin 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurie Hovell McMillin

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