Dagger Blessing: The Tibetan Phurpa Cult : Reflections and by Thomas Marcotty

By Thomas Marcotty

Dagger Blessing: The Tibetan Phurpa Cult : Reflections and fabrics

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Extra info for Dagger Blessing: The Tibetan Phurpa Cult : Reflections and Materials

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This function of the a c to r is in the Phurpa c u lt tak en over by a 'linga* meaning as much as ’image* or ’symbol* (62). This im age may look very d ifferen t. It might be in the form of an about two hands high cone, not very much like a human, made of dried and then painted dough (63). This would, however, be the exception. As a rule the dagger man draws the im age with ink, w aterco lo u r, or possibly also with blood on a piece of p aper th e size of a hand. H ere you see such an effigy which like so many effig ies re p re se n ts an obviously unhappy man-like c r e a t u r e o fte n chained.

Maybe 1 should add another exam ple for th at: I rem e m b er a conversation with a dag­ ger man on th e issue of how best to make a y a n tra (39). These a re simple g eo m etric al figures, mainly e q u ilater­ al triangles, which one must draw on the ground in front o f on eself for exorcism cerem onies. How a re such yantras done? By sc ratch in g the ground? With dying powder? By markings with guardian daggers? The reply obtained ran equivalent to this: ’You may do this in one way or an­ o th e r.

The T ib etan governm ent in exile now residing in D haram sala to the north of th e Indian c a p ita l Delhi res ts reserved. On th e one hand they have advised th e ir mission­ ary monks in Europe and th e U nited S ta t e s not to put th e dagger c u lt (and also o th e r ta n tr i c p ra ctice s) into th e fo re fro n t o f th e ir in struc tio n if possible. On th e o th e r hand the presently reigning 14th Dalai L ama has never denounced the Phurpa cult. In his en to u ra g e th e re is even a proper dagger p riest and hail m a s te r (49) whose duty it is to provide for fine w e a th e r for big events in the open.

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