lDe’u ‘phrul, the manifestation of knowledge : ethnophilological studies in Tibetan divination with particular emphasis upon a common form of Bon lithomancy

Abstract : Though I intend to survey a variety of divination practices, my thesis focuses upon a particular type of pebble divination performed by Tibetan Bonpos. This form of divination, which is known as "Manifestation of Knowledge" (lde'u 'phrul), possesses a nearly unstudied textual tradition that, according to Bon histories, originates in the eleventh century. In addition to fieldwork conducted in various locations in Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal Pradesh, my discussion of lde' u 'phrul is supplemented by the translation of a number of previously unstudied lithomantic manuscripts. Chiefly, I focus upon the sMra seng rdel mo gsal ba'i me long, written by the 18th century ecumenicist and historian Kun grol grags pa. Certain aspects of this work will also be read against two later commentaries on the subject of lithomancy: (1) the Ma sangs 'phrul gyi rdel mo mngon shes rno gsal gyi sgron me, written by Slob dpon mKhas grub Lung rtogs rgya mtsho, the first preceptor of Yung drung gLing Monastery in Central Tibet; and (2) the sMra seng 'phrul gyi rdel mo mngon shes gsal ba'i sgron po, a 19th century witness of an alleged 11th century gter ma discovery attributed to the Bon "treasure revealer" (gter ston) Khro tshang 'brug lha. In using these materials, I adopt a broad view of hermeneutics, which does not restrict criticism to the manuscripts that I study, but also seeks to incorporate the contemporary performance of lDe'u 'phrul and, in particular, the diviner's unique perspective on the performance of divination into my textual critique.
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Alexander Smith. lDe’u ‘phrul, the manifestation of knowledge : ethnophilological studies in Tibetan divination with particular emphasis upon a common form of Bon lithomancy. Religions. École pratique des hautes études - EPHE PARIS, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016EPHE4092⟩. ⟨tel-02105224⟩

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