Download Lamas, Shamans and Ancestors: Village Religion in Sikkim by Anna Balikci PDF

By Anna Balikci

This cautious learn of the co-existence through the years one of the Lhopo (Bhutia) humans of Sikkim sheds new gentle at the supposedly antagonistic dating among Buddhism and shamanism. It examines the operating relationships among Buddhist lamas and practitioners of bon, considering the sacred heritage of the land in addition to its newer political and fiscal transformation. Their interactions are awarded when it comes to the contexts within which lamas and shamans meet, those being rituals of the sacred land, of the person and loved ones, and of village and kingdom. Village lamas and shamans are proven to proportion a conceptual view of truth that is on the base in their amiable coexistence. not like the hostility which, the new literature indicates, characterizes the lama-shaman courting, their organization unearths that the true war of words happens whilst village Buddhism is challenged by way of its traditional counterpart.

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In Upper Tibet (Bellezza 2005), the lhapa acts as a spirit-medium for important Buddhist protectors and it would thus be inappropriate, if not unthinkable, for the lhapa to act as their master, in the shamanic sense of master of spirits and in this context, the lhapa is indeed better defined as a spirit-medium serving these high ranking deities. In Tingchim however, where Buddhism has only had a cosmetic influence over the pawo, and where the patrilineage and its numerous non-Buddhist deities still play a role in the life of the descent group, agency is still attributed to the pawo to some extent.

R. dated 21st April 1969). introduction 9 politics of the state and its history (Basnet 1974, Sinha 1975, Rose 1978, Sengupta 1985). These writings have contributed to maintaining an image of the Lhopos as an aristocratic Tibetan Buddhist population that arrived, built monasteries and converted the indigenous Lepchas. But they omit to acknowledge the existence of the commoner Lhopo villagers who had a very limited understanding of Buddhism and lived in villages far removed from the six premier monasteries of the state9 and the Palace that were the centres of religious and, to some extent, political power.

Introduction 19 form, but eventually warned us of the pitfalls of a simple binary opposition. By re-analysing her own Sherpa material some twenty years later, she demonstrated how it would be misleading and “wrong to align the shamanism/Buddhism opposition permanently and completely with the relationalism/individualism opposition” (1995: 370) and that the shamanism/Buddhism opposition was just too simple. Indeed, at least in Tingchim, the assumption of opposition didn’t always hold true and instead obscured much of what was actually going on.

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