Passionate Enlightenment

January 13, 2018 | Author: João Santana | Category: Tantra, Vajrayana, Ethnicity, Race & Gender, Gender, Tibetan Buddhism
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Women in Tantric Buddhism


Miranda Shaw



Copyright© 1994 by Princeton University Press Published by Princeton University Press, 41 William Street, Princeton, New Jersey 08540 In the United Kingdom: Princeton University Press, Chichester, West Sussex All Rights Reserved

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Shaw, Miranda Eberle, 1954Passionate enlightenment: women in Tantric Buddhism I Miranda Shaw. p. em. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-691..()338().3 ISBN 0-691-01090-0 (pbk.) 1. Women in Tantric Buddhism-India. BQ8915.553 1994 294.3'925'082-dc20 93-31407

This book has been composed in Adobe Palatino Princeton University Press books are printed on acid-free paper and meet the guidelines for permanence and durability of the Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity of the Council on Library Resources Printed in the United States of America Third printing, with corrections, 1994 Fourth printing, and first paperback printing, 1995

7 9 10 8 6



&~~·q~·~"l;\.,(\"~~-~..~·~\~ ~

(),~().\·~·~"'\~',' (To Lama Sonam Jorphel Rinpoche, consummate Tantric guide,

for unforgettable kindness and rare compassion)

--------Contents ________ List of Illustrations




Guide to 'D'ansliteration


Chapter One. Seeking the Traces of Sky-Dancers Scholarly Contexts Theoretical Considerations Methodology

3 4 8 12

Chapter Two. Tantric Buddhism in India: Religious and Historical Introduction Tantric Buddhist Thought and Practice Cultural Background of the Tantric Movement

20 21 30

Chapter Three. Women in Tantric Theory: Powerful and Auspicious Numinous, Sky-Borne Women Respect and Honor Consequences of Disrespect Classifications of Women Mothers, Sisters, and Daughters Dancers, Courtesans, and Low-Caste Women The Dancer and the King Thntric Gender Ideology: A Gynocentric Balance Chapter Four. Women in Tantric Circles: Adepts and Experts Challenging Androcentric R.etldings Magic and Ritual Thntric Feasts Envisioning Deities and Mat)rjalas Inner Yogas and Perfection Stage Realization and Enlightenment Women as Gurus Chapter Five. Women in Tantric History: Founders and Pioneers Vajravati and Wrathful Red Tiirii, a Female Buddha Niguma and a Cakrasa~t~vara Healing Ma1J4ala

35 37 39

47 53 58 59

63 68

74 75 78 81 84 86

87 97

101 102 107

viii CONTENTS La~minknril and Severed-Headed Vajrayoginr Mekluzla, Kanakhalii, and Severed-Headed Vajrayoginr Inner Yoga Siddhariijflr and the Buddha of Infinite Life Siddharajiii and the Lord Who Dances on a Lotus Bhi~u1J.l La~mr and Avalokitdvara Fasting Practice The Mothers of the "Founding Fathers"

Chapter Six. Women in Tantric Relationships: Intimacy as a Path to Enlightenment Tantric Union: Centerpiece of the Tantric Paradigm Union with an Imagined Partner Tantric Union and Tantric Metaphor Union as Worship of the Female Partner The Inner Yoga of the Yogini Inner Fire Offering Intimacy and Tantric Union Women's Competence for Tantric Union Reciprocity and Tantric Union Chapter Seven. Spontaneous Jewellike Yogini on Passion and Enlightenment The Teachings of Spontaneous Jewellike Yogini Spontaneous Jewellike Yogini, the Woman

110 113 117

122 126 130 140 142 147 149 152 159 163

166 168 173

179 182 190

Chapter Eight. Conclusions Historiographic Issues Iconographic Issues Buddhologicalissues

195 195 201



Bibliography Tibetan Sources Sanskrit and Western Language Sources

265 265 269




_ _ _ _ _ List of Illustrations _ _ _ __

FIGURE 1. Yogini reveling in skylike freedom. Drawing from Tibetan painting, by Merry Norris and Emily Martindale. FIGURE 2. MaQ.ibhadra attaining enlightenment. Detail of sixteenth-century painting. Used by kind permission of Tibet House, New Delhi. Photo courtesy of John C. Huntington. FIGURE 3. Female Buddha Vajrayogini. Nepalese woodblock print. FIGURE 4. Silphamukha, wrathful female Buddha. Drawing in author's collection. FIGURE 5. CaQ.Q.amaharo!laQ.a, defender of women, with Dve!;Javajri. Drawing from Nepalese painting, by Emily Martindale. FIGURE 6. Padmalocana, Jiianalocana, and Savari. Detail of sixteenth-century painting. Used by kind permission of Tibet House, New Delhi. Photo courtesy of John C. Huntington. FIGURE 7: Oombiyoginr and Oombipa riding a tigress. Detail of sixteenth-century painting. Used by kind permission of Tibet House, New Delhi. Photo courtesy of John C. Huntington. FIGURE 8. Oombryogini dancing on lake. Drawing from Tibetan woodblock print, by Emily Martindale. FIGURE 9. Buddha Tara. Nepalese woodblock print. FIGURE 10. Severed-Headed Vajrayogini. Drawing from Tibetan and Indian paintings, by Emily Martindale. FIGURE 11. Sister adepts Mekhala and I
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