Dreaming the Great Brahmin: Tibetan Traditions of the Buddhist Poet-Saint Saraha

Hardcover | June 2, 2005

byKurtis R. Schaeffer

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Dreaming the Great Brahmin explores the creation and recreation of Buddhist saints through narratives, poetry, art, ritual, and even dream visions. The first comprehensive cultural and literary history of the well-known Indian Buddhist poet saint Saraha, known as the Great Brahmin, this bookargues that we should view Saraha not as the founder of a tradition, but rather as its product. Kurtis Schaeffer shows how images, tales, and teachings of Saraha were transmitted, transformed, and created by members of diverse Buddhist traditions in Tibet, India, Nepal, and Mongolia. The result isthat there is not one Great Brahmin, but many. More broadly, Schaeffer argues that the immense importance of saints for Buddhism is best understood by looking at the creative adaptations of such figures that perpetuated their fame, for it is there that these saints come to life.

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Dreaming the Great Brahmin explores the creation and recreation of Buddhist saints through narratives, poetry, art, ritual, and even dream visions. The first comprehensive cultural and literary history of the well-known Indian Buddhist poet saint Saraha, known as the Great Brahmin, this bookargues that we should view Saraha not as the ...

Kurtis R. Schaeffer is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama. He is the author of Himalayan Hermitess: The Life of a Tibetan Buddhist Nun (OUP, 2003).

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 6.18 × 9.41 × 0.79 inPublished:June 2, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195173732

ISBN - 13:9780195173734

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"Kurtis Schaeffer has set before us a feast of Saraha lore, demonstrating the Tibetans' continued fascination with the person and the songs of the Great Brahmin. In this excellent book, Schaeffer details the polysemic stature of Saraha in Tibetan literature: as the source of religiousinspiration, as the vehicle for art, as the field of contested symbols, and as the basis for elaborate hermeneutics. His critical treatment of the Saraha literature shows how Tibetans continued to redefine Saraha, so that he became a saint for all seasons."--Ronald M. Davidson, author of IndianEsoteric Buddhism: A Social History of the Tantric Movement