Analysis of the Vessantara Jataka and the Miao Shan

1795 words 8 pages
Luna Kanalaft
Tutorial 2
Critically Reading a Religious Ritual

Thick Description: * Describe when the ritual takes place. Does it respond to some particular event? It is held at specific time of year? Is it held on a regular basis? Is it performed only when needed? * What causes a group of people to hold or sponsor this ritual? -most commonly used in Tibet as a rite for turning away demons
-lay people will ask a monk or lama to perform or advert a future danger * Describe the sequence of events in the ritual. * Describe the visual scene of the ritual. What are the colors and textures? Are there pieces of visual art used? What to the participants look like?
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Luna Kandalaft
Tutorial #2
The Heart Sutra for Turning Away Demons
One of the most famous Buddhism texts, the Heart Sutra, is commonly known for its concise representation of the perfection of wisdom, the understanding when Buddhahood is realised. It is focused on the essence of the Buddha’s wisdom thus giving it great power. Used for many rituals, it is most commonly used in Tibet for turning away demons. This rite is usually performed by a lama or monk in request of a lay person. The lama performing the ritual will make a devotion to remove a present issue or to advert forthcoming endangerment. The ritual is held for few hours depending on the speed of the lama performing it. It begins with the Lama placing a statue of the Buddha on a white cloth, representing purity, with arranged offerings in front of it. He is sitting surrounded by objects representing each four demons. Each representation is placed south, east, west and north around the Buddha with an effigy, dough statue, with the back to the lama in face of the Buddha. This position presents the effigy as a substitute and a protector of the patron, acting as his surrogate before the demons. The effigy plays as an important part due to its representation of the patron. The patron must spit and breathe on the effigy that is dressed in a garment