By Serinity Young
The wisest teachings of Buddhism say that, like every oppositions, one needs to flow past gender. yet as Serinity younger exhibits during this enlightening paintings, the rhetoric of Buddhist texts, the symbolism of its iconography, and the performative import of its rituals, inform diversified, and sometimes contradictory, tales. In Courtesans and Tantric Consorts, Serinity younger takes the reader on a trip via greater than 2000 years of biographical writings, iconographic depictions, and formality practices revealing Buddhism's deep struggles with gender.Juxtaposing empowering photos of girls with their textual repudiation, starting with the Buddha himself who deserted his spouse; tantric courtesans who're essential to male enlightenment with fertility rituals designed to make sure male offspring; stories of gender-bending gods and goddesses with all male heavens; Serinity younger attracts on an enormous diversity of resources to bare the vibrant, and infrequently troubling, mosaic of ideals that tell Buddhist perspectives approximately gender and sexuality.
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Additional info for Courtesans and Tantric Consorts: Sexualities in Buddhist Narrative, Iconography, and Ritual
4, hereinafter the BC. It was composed around the beginning of the Common Era and Johnston’s edition contains the extant early chapters in Sanskrit, which are translated into English along with an English translation of the later chapters, which are available in Tibetan. 32. The paradigm of the solitary, male hero has been set forth by Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces (1949. Cleveland and New York: The World Publishing Company, 1956, 1968), passim. For a general discussion of the hero see Lord Raglan, The Hero: A Study in Tradition, Myth, and Drama, Part II, reprinted In Quest of the Hero, ed.
I will return to this topic in chapter 4. South Asia is replete with stories that connect beautiful, often seductive, women with male ascetics, from the ap±aras (divine women) Indra sends to seduce male sages to the happy family scenes of the as- 32 • Courtesans and Tantric Consorts Fig. 7 Kushan yak„≠, exposed vulva. © AAAUM (ACSAA 2828) Mothers and Sons • 33 Fig. 8 Future Buddha Maitreya Kushan, photograph by John C. Huntington, courtesy of the Huntington Archive. 34 • Courtesans and Tantric Consorts cetic god ÷iva and his beautiful wife PÅrvart≠.
17 The LV has similar, if briefer passages on the sleeping women. ”18 Rejection and Reconciliation • 7 The Buddha is seeing women, and the world, with different eyes. 19 The Buddha is seeing their inevitable fate, which is death; for him, they are already in a cemetery. Men are not associated with death and decay in the way women are, in spite of the fact that the Buddha’s realization about death and decay occurs through his three visions of men, not women, in varying stages of decline. 20 The fourth vision of a male ascetic is the solution to impermanence, which is to become a monk or a nun, and its realization remains male in that monks play prominent roles in his full-length biographies and in Buddhist iconography, while nuns do not.
Courtesans and Tantric Consorts: Sexualities in Buddhist Narrative, Iconography, and Ritual by Serinity Young