Birds and Fishes:
View and Method in the Mahāyoga Texts of Buddhaguhya
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jackman Humanities Building, Rm 317
170 St George St
Kammie Takahashi is assistant professor of religion studies at Muhlenberg College and director of a very small, but newly reinvigorated Asian Studies program. She teaches courses on East and Central Asian religion to undergraduates, focusing on Tibet and Japan. Her scholarship is primarily concerned with early Tibetan Mahayoga, exploring issues of transmission, translation, literary production, and nativization of Indian ideas and practices in Tibet. From the ninth-century, she has begun looking backward to the sources of those earliest Tibetan lineages, working on canonical collections and lineage records, especially concentrating on the Mahayoga works of Buddhaguhya. Last year Kammie Takahashi started preliminary research on some tantric elephant iconography hidden away in a local lord’s temple in Japan’s Tohoku region, which research she hopes to return to this summer.
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“Pronouncing Praxis and Doing Doxography: Exploring the Functions of Genre in Early Tibetan Tantra”
at McMaster (University Hall 122) on Friday, March 24 from 4-6pm.
This paper takes up a type of textual redaction which involves literary fluidity and creativity, one that holds at the margins between shared texts within a particular community or lineage of transmission. In addition to the diachronic creative embellishment and accretion of individual texts of all genres, we see particularly in texts which might be characterized as representing oral traditions of lung or man ngag, passages which appear to have been borrowed wholesale from other texts with no expressed recognition by the authors of their sources via annotation, teaching title, or authorial attribution, or even of the fact of any loan whatsoever. Tapping these sites of borrowing allows us a window into the complicated webs of practical transmission and lineal identity that might otherwise be lost. The paper takes up the particular case of ninth-century dPal dbyangs’s texts, exploring the textual fluidity therein, and hypothesizing about his perceptions of teachings and teachers.