Consecration of Images and Stūpas by Yael Bentor

Yael Bentor. Consecration of Images and Stūpas in Indo-Tibetan Tantric Buddhism. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1996. Harcover, xxii + 415 pp.

Most publications on Tibetan Buddhism deal with the philosophical edifice of Vajrayana, which is somewhat of an imbalance considering that Tibetan Buddhist practice consists to a significant degree of ritual performances. The present monograph, therefore, can be said to fill an important gap in the existing literature. It is an exemplary monograph on a complex traditional ritual for consecrating reliquaries (stūpa) and temples, expounded and interpreted with the help of senior monks of the Ganden Chöpeling Monastery near Kathmandu, Nepal.

Yael Bentor, a lecturer in Tibetan Buddhism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, shows a high degree of empathy and even sympathy for her subject, which lends her presentation an aura of authenticity and immediacy. Her introduction is broad based enough to give even those readers who are not well read in Tibetan Buddhism a good orientation to what is to come.

The bulk of her work consists in an English rendering of a ritual manual “Immense Downpour of Virtue and Goodness” compiled by the late Trijang Rinpoche, the Junior Tutor of H. H. the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, together with her careful and elaborate notes.

This ritual, along with its preparatory and concluding rituals, offers a valuable glimpse into the Tantric worldview and Tibetan Buddhist ritualism.

Copyright ©2006 by Georg Feuerstein. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in any form requires prior permission from Traditional Yoga Studies.

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