Thor bu - Curiosia Indo-Tibetica

Textual and visual odds and ends from India, Tibet, and around.

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Location: Kolozsvár/Cluj, Budapest, Oxford, ibi ubi

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Canons for all

Thanks to Dan for pointing out this blog entry. In short TBRC has decided to make canonical collections free for all to view. Their laudable decision will be followed by a string of lawsuits from Tibetologists all over the world (causing endless sleepless nights, exhaustion, spectacular breakdown of their non-canonical social life, etc.) However, for the time being many thanks are due.

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Blogger Dan said...

I've heard it's true among the American Buddhists, that whatever good thing you do you don't get even one iota of merit. In its place you get lots and lots of litigation. Is it a sign of the Kaliyug or the time of the Polluted Byproducts/Snyigs-ma? Take your pick! Just don't sue me.

8:08 pm  
Blogger Dan said...

Thank god for good spelling. One of my pettiest peeves is when people talk about "Buddhist cannons." Try googling it and feel the hopelessness. I even notice it in the running titles in the latest Tibet Journal. Just another negative sign of the final ion?

1:00 pm  
Blogger PDSz said...

well, there are buddhist cannons. ok, catapults then, or whatever they are supposed to be. Gronbold has written a nice little article on these.

11:16 pm  
Blogger Dan said...

Yantras smantras!

But seriously, where did Grönbold write about those cat-a-pulting devices? I know Newman translates the verses about them in his still-unpublished dissertation. I used to be horrified at the thought that, at some point in the distant past, they must've used cats for ammo. Which would seem to explain the composition of the word. Badly I guess. No room to swing a cat in this argument. Blame it on the small Greek.


11:00 am  
Blogger PDSz said...

"Kriegsmaschinen in einem buddhistischen tantra", Friedrich Wilhelm (ed.), Festschrift Dieter Schlinghoff, Reinbek 1996, pp. 63-97.

12:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hesitate to add to your exchange on what German librarians have written on Kriegsmaschinen, but as for the canon / cannon dichotomy, I'd just like to remind you that the seemingly contradictory qualities of these two entities are not always as obvious as you might think (since both have been used as military equipment).
When Lawrence A. Waddel (1854-1938), this nasty former professor of Chemistry and Pathology in the Calcutta Medical College and Assistant Sanitary Commissioner under the Government of India, was caught in the battle of Gyantse, a wooden book cover (presumably from the oversized Narthang canon, of which he stole and transported back to England more than one set), saved his life when they stopped a cannon ball from destroying his shelter.

[L. A. WADDELL, "Tibetan manuscripts and books, etc., collected during the Younghusband Mission to Lhasa." Imperial and Asiatic Quarterly Review, 34, 1912, p. 83.]


9:27 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, I think I get it. When cleverly employed by imperialist armies invading a religious country that has holy books, canons may provide protection from cannons. Clear! I am reminded of the 'striking' metaphor commonly employed in evangelical Sunday schools in Amerika. Among them the Bible is conceived as a sword. They have a practice they call a 'bible drill,' which begins when they say the words, "Raise your swords!" To try be fair, I see some Buddhists are using Dharma as a club to try to beat the followers of Jesus over the head, speaking metaphorically of course. I long for a more peaceful world where religions are less combatative.

12:36 pm  

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