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Power, charisma, and ritual curing in a Tibetan community in India Calkowski, Marcia 1985

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POWER, CHARISMA, AND RITUAL CURING IN A TIBETAN COMMUNITY IN INDIA By Marcia Calkowski B.A., Rice University, 1970 M.A., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1974 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Anthropology and Sociology) We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA November 1985 (c) Marcia Calkowski, 1985 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. I t i s understood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Abstract This d i s s e r t a t i o n i s concerned with the ways i n which Tibetans l i v i n g i n Dharmsala, Northern India, react to events such as i l l n e s s , personal d i s t r e s s , and misfortune, when they perceive such events as disturbances to a given s o c i a l and moral order and as evidence of " s p i r i t attack". To r e - e s t a b l i s h the order, the context moves/widens from a concern with an a f f l i c t e d i n d i v i d u a l to include more general p o l i t i c a l issues and f i n a l l y focuses on the l e g i t i m a t i o n of authority. Dharmsala Tibetans l i v e i n a h i e r a r c h i c a l society and subscribe to a h i e r a r c h i c a l cosmos. The ideology places r e s p o n s i b i l i t y upon humans for a l i g n i n g t h i s hierarchy and prescribes the legitimate means by which the hierarchy may be ascended. Two e f f i c i e n t causes of i l l n e s s e s r e s u l t i n s p i r i t attack: (1) the f i r s t a t t r i b u t e s s p i r i t attack to human v i o l a t i o n of h i e r a r c h i c a l tenets; (2) the second, to the i l l e g i t i m a t e status ambitions of e v i l s p i r i t s . The l o g i c of the r i t u a l cure addresses the r e s o l u t i o n of status ambiguities. Successful r i t u a l cures are appreciated i n terms of two idioms denoting two aspects of charismatic authority. When the s p i r i t attack r e s u l t s from human v i o l a t i o n of h i e r a r c h i c a l tenets, the patient's cure i s contingent upon h i s or her unsystematically acquired power ( r l u n g - r t a ) . When the second e f f i c i e n t cause obtains and e v i l s p i r i t s are responsible f o r the attack, the patient's cure depends upon the outcome of a duel between an exorcist and the s p i r i t ( s ) , and the successful cure i s described i n terms of systematically acquired i i power (dbang). These idioms serve not only to legitimate status i n Tibetan society, but also to r a t i o n a l i z e h i e r a r c h i c a l ascent. In addition to r i t u a l curing, the idioms are employed i n assessing the outcomes of events such as sports, gambling, and weather-making. Where the idioms overlap moral ambiguities emerge. The two idioms are d i s c e r n i b l e i n much of Tibetan h i s t o r y where they focus upon the l e g i t i m a t i o n of succession to charismatic o f f i c e . The idiom of unsystematically acquired power appears to predominate i n the present refugee context. i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract i i L i s t of Tables i x L i s t of Figures x L i s t of Maps x i Acknowledgements x i i Guide to Tibetan Orthography x i i i Preface x iv CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION 1 Methodology Used i n the Study and Some F i e l d Considerations 1 Statement of the Problem 7 Organization of Content 16 NOTES 18 CHAPTER I I : THE SETTING 19 Introduction 19 The Te r r a i n 19 The Cosmological Interface ..25 The Tibetans of Dharmsala 27 The S o c i a l Epicenters of Dharmsala 33 The Indian Interface 36 The Western Interface 38 Further Explorations of the Western-Tibetan Interface 45 i v Cosmology 51 Some Major Considerations i n Tibetan Buddhist Religious Structure 58 NOTES 63 CHAPTER I I I : RITUAL APPEASEMENT: ALIGNING THE COSMIC HIERARCHY 65 The Lha 67 The Klu 77 The I n t e n t i o n a l i t y of the G i f t 85 Conclusion 88 NOTES 90 CHAPTER IV: THE AMBIVALENCE OF HIERARCHICAL ASCENT 91 The Hierarchy of Demons 97 The Demon as a "Bad F i t " 100 The TIPA Ghost 102 The Problem of Dbang 107 The Dangers of Dbang 117 The Contractor's Exorcism 119 The Shugs-ldan Rgyal-po 122 Dbang Contests 128 The Story of Tara Lee Wang 129 Conclusion 133 CHAPTER V: TRICKS, TRAPS, AND TRANSFORMATIONS: TIBETAN STRATEGIES OF EXORCISM 135 TRICKS 137 The Appeal of Constructions 137 v Refracting the E v i l Eye 139 Change of Status.. 140 The Ransom R i t u a l 142 Analysis. 147 TRAPS 148 TRANSFORMATIONS 150 A Lay Application 152 T r a d i t i o n Under Attack 153 A C u l t u r a l Exorcism 157 Conclusion 162 NOTES 164 CHAPTER VI: A DUR-SRI EXORCISM AT THE TIBETAN CHILDREN'S VILLAGE 165 INSTILLING HIERARCHICAL PRECEPTS 169 THE DESTRUCTION OF CHALLENGERS 177 The Story of Rudra 177 The Ling-ga 192 The Cemetery B u r i a l 193 Analysis. 195 THE FOURTH DAY - APPEASING THE KLU and SA-BDAG 203 THE FIFTH DAY - EXORCISING GT0R-NAG-MG0-GSUM 205 Analysis 208 Conclusion 211 CHAPTER VII: RLUNG-RTA - UNCERTAINTY AS HIERARCHICAL VALIDATION 213 v i Rlung-rta as a Protection Against S p i r i t Attack 219 Gambling ......221 Sports 222 Divi n a t i o n 224 A R i t u a l of Soul R e t r i e v a l 225 1. Preparations 226 2. Luring the Soul and Testing I t s Return 227 3. Securing the Blessings of Long L i f e 229 Analysis 229 1. The Lasso and Trapping the Soul 229 2. Sheep 229 3. Turquoise 232 4. Stones, Dice, and Gyang 233 A Marriage of Souls 234 The Dalai Lama and the Scapegoat 243 Conclusion. 247 NOTES 250 CHAPTER VIII: OF A MONSTROUS BIRTH AND MIRACULOUS RETURNS: LEGITIMATING RULE IN TIBETAN HISTORY 251 Introduction ................251 Divine Kings 253 Tibet Decentralizes and Lineage Gurus Emerge 257 The Patron-Priest Relationship and the Rise of the Sa-skya Hierarchs 260 v i i The Sa-skya Pattern of Legitimation 263 Family Hegemonies 266 The Emergence of the Da l a i Lamas.... 267 The Rise of Regents and Court Intrigue 272 The Thirteenth D a l a i Lama 277 Regent R i v a l r y 280 The Fourteenth D a l a i Lama and the Chinese Invasion 285 Conclusion 286 NOTES 292 CHAPTER IX: CONCLUSION 293 The E f f i c i e n t Causes of S p i r i t Attack and Concomitant Cures 293 Baraka, Rlung-rta, Dbang, and Mana 297 The Permutations of Tibetan Charismatic O f f i c e 299 E x i l e and the Continuity of Charismatic O f f i c e 303 The Moral Order and Dharmsala Tibetans 306 Conclusion. , 311 BIBLIOGRAPHY... 313 APPENDIX: GLOSSARY OF TIBETAN TERMS 320 > v i i i LIST OF TABLES Chronological Table of Tibetan Rulers, Buddhist Lineage Gurus, and Major Charismatic O f f i c e s 282 i x LIST OF FIGURES F i g . 1, Diagram of Tibetan Cosmology 56 F i g . 2, Diagram of Exorcism S i t e , TCV Home No. 10 167 F i g . 3, The A l t a r 168 F i g . 4, Tshogs Of f e r i n g 174 F i g . 5, The Black Tent 186 F i g . 6, I n t e r i o r of the Black Tent 186 F i g . 7, D i v i n a t i o n Cauldron 189 x * LIST OF MAPS . I. Map of India Locating Dharmsala • 2 I I . Map of Upper Dharmsala 24 I I I . Map of Ethnic T i b e t 29 x i Acknowledgements I t would be impossible for me to acknowledge personally a l l of the people i n India whose friendship, good humour, timely wisdom, and assistance were invaluable to me as an i n d i v i d u a l and as an anthropological fieldworker. A society of refugees, such as that of the Tibetans i n India, i s a f r o n t i e r society armed with a r i c h t r a d i t i o n but f a c i n g an uncertain future. This society has produced i n d i v i d u a l s , and attracted i n d i v i d u a l s (Indian and Western), who have often provided me with exceptional insights into the interplay of dilemmas i n Tibetan refugee society. I would l i k e to express my gratitude to the M i n i s t r y of Education of the Government of India, Mr. Malik of the S h a s t r i Indo-Catiadian I n s t i t u t e , Gyatso Tsering and K. Dhondup of the L i b r a r y of Tibetan Works and Archives, Jigme Tsarong of the Tibetan Astro-Medical Center, Tashi Wangdui, Professor Doctor Lokesh Chandra, Sherab Gyatso, Sonam Tashi, Frank Fernandez of the United States Consulate, New Delhi, Tsering Wangyal, and the Tibetan I n s t i t u t e of Performing A r t s . I would further l i k e to acknowledge the graduate fellowships I received from the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, and the generosity of Dr. Alan and Pamela Sandstrom i n allowing me to use t h e i r word-processor. x i i Guide To Tibetan Orthography To the reader unfamiliar with Tibetan, the c l u s t e r s of consonants to be found i n any t r a n s l i t e r a t i o n of Tibetan pose a seemingly insurmountable challenge. The orthography I have used throughout t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n i s a system developed by T u r r e l l Wylie (1959). I have inserted a glossary of the Tibetan terms I use i n the appendix, but I w i l l c i t e a few pronunciation r u l e s as a guide to the reader: (1) In Tibetan, there are eight p r e f i x l e t t e r s which are not pronounced i f they immediately preceed a consonant - "g", "d", "b", "m", " r " , "s", "1", and '"a" (the more common t r a n s l i t e r a t i o n f o r the l a t t e r i s a si n g l e apostrophe). Thus, rgyal-po i s pronounced "gyal-po"; bde i s pronounced "de". When the p r e f i x l e t t e r s "d" and "b" occur i n conjunction, as, for example, i n the word dbang, "db" i s pronounced "w". (2) When "1" immediately follows a p r e f i x consonant, the l a t t e r i s not pronounced; hence, k l u becomes " l u " . (3) There are two f i n a l l e t t e r s , "d" and "s", which are not pronounced; hence, 'Aphags-pa i s pronounced "Phag-pa", and med i s pronounced "me". The f i n a l l e t t e r s "g", " r " , and "1" are sometimes not pronounced; hence, ama-lags would be pronounced "ama-la", and gsol becomes "so". (4) Several i n t e r e s t i n g consonant combinations include: " k h r i " (pronounced as " t r h i " ) ; "br" (pronounced as " d r " ) ; "gr" (pronounced as "d r " ) ; " z l a " (pronounced as "da"); " s r " (pronounced as " s " ) ; "phya" (pronounced as "ch"); "mya" (pronounced as "nya"); "py" (pronounced as " j " ) ; "kr" (pronounced as " t r " ) ; and "zh" (pronounced as "sh"). (5) F i n a l l y , " t h " and "ph" in d i c a t e an aspirated " t " and "p" res p e c t i v e l y ; "c" i s pronounced as " j " , and "ng" i s pronounced as an i n i t i a l l e t t e r . x i i i Preface In New D e l h i , on January 2, 1978, more than two hundred Tibetans greeted the a r r i v a l of President Carter's motorcade by waving black, scarves, the t r a d i t i o n a l Tibetan white greeting scarf (kha-btags) dyed black. By this symbolic gesture, the Tibetans defined t h e i r protest against exclusion of Ti b e t i n President Carter's global human ri g h t s p o l i c y and for preventing the Da l a i Lama from v i s i t i n g the United States...The Tibetans were also carrying banners saying 'What about human ri g h t s i n Tibet? Are Tibetans not human? (Tibetan Review 1978:8). From the overt emphasis placed by President Carter on 'human r i g h t s ' , many Tibetan refugees i n India hoped that the cause of Tibetan independence and the s i t u a t i o n of Tibetans i n T i b e t would be o f f i c i a l l y recognized by h i s administration, and that the f i r s t v i s i t by the Da l a i Lama to the United States would be r e a l i z e d . President Carter's i n i t i a l announcement of the 'human ri g h t s ' p o l i c y ' had even earned him his own Tibetan nickname i n India - Jigme Khatag ('Ajig-med Kha-btags), which means "Fearless Honorific Scarf". For Tibetans, the name held a deeper meaning. The "h o n o r i f i c s c a r f " or " h o n o r i f i c greeting scarf" i s a pervasive symbol of s o c i a l t i e s i n Tibetan culture, the mutual obligations and r e c i p r o c a l exchanges which mark any ongoing s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p . A g i f t is not a g i f t f o r Tibetans i f i t i s not presented with a white scarf, which i s usually xi v placed about the r e c i p i e n t ' s neck. Layers of such scarves mantle the bride and groom(s) at a Tibetan wedding. Scarves are offered on ceremonial occasions such as the Tibetan New Year to persons, places, and numina who command respect. Further, such scarves drape a corpse on i t s journey to the burning ghat. A scarf offered to the Dalai Lama or other high lama i s immediately returned, wrapped by the receiving lama about the donor's neck. This dramatic and immediate return of the g i f t impresses upon the donor that the blessing from the lama r e f l e c t s the o f f e r i n g of the s c a r f . In the Tibetan view, President Garter had c l e a r l y v i o l a t e d the obligations attendant upon his very high p o s i t i o n . Since black i s an inauspicious color for Tibetans, who f i n d a black scarf to be an appropriate " g i f t " only for c e r t a i n r e c a l c i t r a n t sub-human numina. President Garter's r e f u s a l to acknowledge "Tibet" i n a public manner served to transform him from someone Tibetans could trust and to whom Tibetans could appeal for help (as Tibetans would appeal to the gods), into a sub-sentient i r a s c i b l e creature. The o f f e r of a black scarf was thereby an act mirroring what Tibetan's construed as President Carter's v i o l a t i o n of the moral order. The Tibetans concluded t h e i r demonstration with a f i n a l plea: I f the Tibetans do not get Your Excellency's support i t w i l l show conclusively that the fate of a l l small nations of the world depends on power p o l i t i c s , and that i n order to preserve t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l r i ghts and national e n t i t y , they should unscrupulously, without the l e a s t regard to ethics or morality, play up the super powers one against another (Tibetan Review 1978:8). xv The strategy of the above appeal i s the strategy of a Tibetan exorcism. The questions raised by the appeal include those which seek to define legitimate power and legitimate authority, c r i t i c a l issues i n Tibetan refugee society. Though a Tibetan exorcism or curing r i t u a l appears to be concerned with the problems of an i n d i v i d u a l , the l o g i c of the cure addresses the manipulation of power, and thereby places r i t u a l curing i n the wider p o l i t i c a l context. In the course of my study of such curing r i t u a l s i n a Tibetan refugee society, I found quantitative methods such as census-gathering and surveys to be impossible to implement. Refugees are ne c e s s a r i l y chary of providing information they construe as p o t e n t i a l l y harmful to themselves (as are other populations so chary). Hence, my methodology f e l l under the r u b r i c of what anthropologists r e f e r to as "pa r t i c i p a n t observation" and included: informal interviews, structured interviews, language study, the taking of l i f e h i s t o r i e s , discourse a n a l y s i s , s i t u a t i o n a l a n a l y s i s , the use of documentary sources and translated texts, and analysis of taped interviews. My informants came from disparate parts of Tibet, represented the followers of the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism, included members of d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l classes and economic standings, and ranged i n age from six-year-olds to septuagenarians. The r e l i g i o u s s p e c i a l i s t s whom I interviewed included twenty Dge-liigs-pa lamas, two Sa-skya lamas, two Bk'a-rgyud-pa lamas, the head of the Buddhist School of D i a l e c t i c s , three x v i Rnying-ma-pa lamas, and f i v e Rnying-ma-pa cave meditators. I interviewed high and low ranking Tibetan Government o f f i c i a l s , and the administrators, teachers, and students of the Tibetan Children's V i l l a g e and the Tibetan I n s t i t u t e of Performing Arts. I consulted Tibetan, Western, and Ayurvedic physicians and t h e i r patients, and interviewed merchants, h o t e l i e r s , restauranteurs, sweater s e l l e r s , carpet weavers, c h i l d r e n , grandparents, chang (barley beer) vendors, and v i s i t i n g Tibetans from the south of India, Europe, Canada, the United States, and from Tibet. I conducted interviews i n Tibetan and i n English and r e l i e d upon a tr a n s l a t o r for in-depth interviews. The reading of any anthropological d i s s e r t a t i o n or work nece s s a r i l y poses the question "Who i s speaking?" The anthropologist abstracts from information gathered as a participant-observer and creates a construction of the r e a l i t y held by those whom he or she has studied and with whom he or she has l i v e d . This construction by the anthropologist enters into the act of data-gathering i t s e l f as i t enters into varying l e v e l s of abstraction. Such i s the nature of the anthropological enterprise. x v i i 1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION This d i s s e r t a t i o n i s concerned with the ways i n which Tibetans l i v i n g i n Dharmsala, Northern India, react to events such as i l l n e s s , personal d i s t r e s s , and misfortune, when they perceive such events as disturbances to a given s o c i a l and moral order or equilibrium. So as to r e - e s t a b l i s h the order, these Tibetans, who often treat s o c i a l and moral disturbances as evidence of " s p i r i t attack", seek to legitimate authority through r i t u a l curing. Authority is at issue In Tibetan r i t u a l curing, since the s e l e c t i o n of the r i t u a l to be performed hinges upon the assignment of moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the disturbance. Moreover, the cure i t s e l f may be interpreted as the successful manipulation of two idioms denoting ascribed or achieved power, idioms with which Tibetans symbolize two d i s t i n c t aspects of charismatic authority. Methodology Used i n the Study and Some F i e l d Considerations My fieldwork took place i n Dharmsala*', Himachal Pradesh, India between November 1978 and June 1981. The area i s home to the Dal a i Lama, the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, several Tibetan monasteries, and about 8,000 Tibetan refugees. Many of these 2 I. MAP OF INDIA LOCATING DHARMSALA 3 refugees, who fol lowed the D a l a i Lama into e x i l e i n 1959-1961, have s i n g u l a r l y dramatic h i s t o r i e s . During the i r f l i g h t s into e x i l e , most dodged b u l l e t s and traversed d i f f i c u l t Himalayan mountain passes by n i g h t . A number of refugees were forced to leave spouses and c h i l d r e n behind. In Dharmsala, one may come across Tibetans who have been tortured 2 and imprisoned i n T i b e t by the Chinese f o r over twenty y e a r s . These Tibetans were re leased from p r i s o n i n 1980-81, and then permitted to j o i n r e l a t i v e s l i v i n g i n Ind ia . Since no exchange of l e t t e r s or v i s i t o r s between Tibetans l i v i n g i n T i b e t and those l i v i n g in e x i l e was p o s s i b l e u n t i l 1979, the refugees in India had no knowledge of the fate of r e l a t i v e s who had not been able to escape and had remained behind. The per iod of my f ie ldwork co inc ided wi th the i n i t i a t i o n of the o f f i c i a l exchange of l e t t e r s between Tibetans l i v i n g i n e x i l e and the i r r e l a t i v e s in T i b e t , and of " f a c t - f i n d i n g miss ions" to T i b e t by o f f i c i a l de legat ions from the T ibe tan Government- in-3 E x i l e . I t a l s o co inc ided wi th a t r i c k l i n g of T ibe tan v i s i t o r s from T i b e t . Thus, fo r the f i r s t time i n over twenty years of e x i l e , T ibetans in Dharmsala were able to l earn something of family members heretofore l o s t to them. The new p r i v i l e g e s enabl ing Tibetans in e x i l e to t rave l to T i b e t , and Tibetans i n T i b e t to v i s i t I n d i a , have posed problems apart from 4 the r e - s u r f a c i n g of i n t r a - f a m i l i a l anguish. Although v i s i t s from r e l a t i v e s i n T i b e t were eager ly a n t i c i p a t e d by Dharmsala T ibe tans , a few of the v i s i t o r s aroused suspic ions in Dharmsala, s ince the i r economic circumstances and opinions d id not match those of the 4 majority of the other Tibetans permitted to v i s i t r e l a t i v e s i n India. For an anthropologist attempting to do fieldwork i n such circumstances, a pragmatic approach was ent a i l e d . I did not ask questions about' the Tibetan Government or about Tibetan p o l i t i c s . I did not try to conduct household surveys. I conducted interviews where I could and when people had the time to talk to me. My conversational Tibetan s u f f i c e d me i n the bazaar, but not i n the caves of older meditators from the eastern Tibetan province of Khams. In this I received inestimable assistance from Sherab Gyatso, whom I hired In his spare time to translate for me. Sherab i s the kind of friend/informant whom any anthropologist would p r i z e , someone with s o c i a l perception and wit. During my stay i n Dharmsala I l i v e d i n Tibetan h o t e l s . Such lodgings did not f i t my i n i t i a l l y more romantic image of fieldwork, but they proved a sensible choice. In f a c t there was, i t turned out, no other p o s s i b i l i t y . When I f i r s t thought to f i n d a family to lodge with, I consulted a Tibetan Government security o f f i c e r . He was not enthusiastic about such a choice since he cautioned that i f I were to l i v e with a family, I might unint e n t i o n a l l y become embroiled i n th e i r arguments, and that my best choice would be to remain i n a ho t e l . A further advantage of a hot e l , pf course, i s that i t o f f e r s a semblance of privacy unavailable i n most other places, and people coming for interviews or v i s i t s might f e e l on a neutral'.'ground. My s p e c i f i c research i n t e r e s t was r i t u a l curing. I learned of several i l l n e s s episodes that were related by my informants d i r e c t l y to the traumas produced by the Tibetan diaspora i t s e l f . One s t r i k i n g example of such traumas was recounted to me by one young man, who had l i v e d with his mother i n Nepal for several years before they came to India. His mother became quite i l l in Nepal, and v i s i t e d a Western h o s p i t a l i n Kathmandu. There, she jumped about and spat a t the doctors, who claimed they could do nothing for her and expected her to die. The family l i v e d on a thir d f l o o r i n a house i n Kathmandu, and, on occasion, had to r e s t r a i n the woman ph y s i c a l l y from leaping out of the t h i r d - f l o o r window. Whenever the young man's mother t r i e d to walk s t r a i g h t out the window, she would say that she was going to meet her son (who was i n the room). The woman f i n a l l y began to speak i n the voice of her s i s t e r , who had died as the family had escaped from T i b e t . The s i s t e r , speaking through the woman, informed her audience that she had waited on top of a mountain near the Sikkim border, but that the family had l e f t T i b e t without her. The family v i s i t e d a Tibetan lady oracle, who instructed them as to which r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l s to perform. The family complied with the lady oracle's recommendations, and the mother became well again within a month. Another man f l e d to India with his family i n 1959, and became gravely i l l . He was advised by a very high reincarnate lama to leave his family and devote himself to a l i f e of meditation and prayer. The man followed the lama's advice, and recovered completely. One recent i l l n e s s i n Dharmsala has not, however, been so cured. In this case, a man who had resigned himself to the death of his wife and c h i l d r e n i n Ti b e t , learned of their existence through the exchange of l e t t e r s between Ti b e t and India begun i n 1979. This discovery has caused him to withdraw from society, to eat l e s s , and, i n the opinion of his 6 co-workers, to waste away. The case of this i n d i v i d u a l , however, i s highly unusual i n Tibetan refugee society, since the man himself has not sought a cure, nor has anyone been able to persuade him to do so. The most dramatic response given by a few Tibetans i n Dharmsala to t h e i r e x i s t e n t i a l s i t u a t i o n as refugees, a response which was interpreted by Tibetans as the r e s u l t of s p i r i t attack, occurred i n 1974. Tibetans had been f i g h t i n g a g u e r r i l l a war against the Chinese in T i b e t since 1950. By the 1960's, Tibetan g u e r r i l l a bases had been established i n Mustang, Nepal, and the C.I.A. was conducting advanced t r a i n i n g courses for some Tibetans at army bases i n Colorado. The C.I.A. withdrew t h e i r support of these g u e r r i l l a s (which had never been very substantial) i n 1972, and, under severe pressure from China, the Nepal Government took measures to eradicate the g u e r r i l l a bases. F i n a l l y , i n 1974, the l a s t great Tibetan g u e r r i l l a leader, General Wangdu, was k i l l e d . ^ Upon learning of this f i n a l d i s s o l u t i o n of the Tibetan g u e r r i l l a s based i n Nepal, several Tibetans i n Dharmsala (one purportedly a cabinet minister of the Tibetan government) stabbed themselves, and one couple stabbed their baby. The Tibetan Government's reaction to this incident was to order the annual performance, from thence onward, of a sbyin-sreg r i t u a l f o r Tibetans i n Dharmsala. Sbyin-sreg means "a f i r e o f f e r i n g " , the burning of various r i t u a l substances as an o f f e r i n g to a Buddhist d e i t y . Through the performance of a sbyin-sreg r i t u a l , the deity's assistance may be invoked for peaceful or wrathful purposes. In this instance, powerful e v i l s p i r i t s were said to have been a t work, and the r i t u a l addressed their destruction. 7 The above examples suggest that r i t u a l curing provides Tibetan refugees with the means to address and resolve personal tragedies erupting from t h e i r f l i g h t into e x i l e . I found, however, that incidences of s p i r i t attack, were rarely a t t r i b u t e d to such c a u s a l i t i e s . Rather, most case h i s t o r i e s of s p i r i t attack were focused upon moral issues i n t r i n s i c to Tibetan society. Moreover, patients did not n e c e s s a r i l y have to be present while they were being cured. Once patients learned of (or were s a t i s f i e d with) t h e i r diagnoses, they frequently l e f t i t up to lamas (bla-mas) or other r i t u a l s p e c i a l i s t s to cure them. Nonetheless, patients almost in v a r i a b l y p a r t i c i p a t e d a c t i v e l y i n one phase of the curing process -the evaluation of the "cures". Patients accomplished this by weighing c r i t e r i a which Tibetans applied to other s o c i a l disturbances - the issues of moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and authority. Thus, while I investigated r i t u a l curing, I began to focus on the problem of authority i n Dharmsala Tibetan society. Statement of the Problem Tibetans possess a l i t e r a t e "great medical" t r a d i t i o n which p a r a l l e l s the Ayurvedic and Chinese medical systems. This t r a d i t i o n , which has gained world-wide i n t e r e s t , was c a r r i e d into e x i l e by Tibetan refugees and i s practiced and taught at the Tibetan Astro-Medical Center i n Dharmsala, India. But Tibetan medicine i s not the only health-care option f o r Tibetan refugees. Those l i v i n g i n Dharmsala may choose diagnoses and treatments from multiple medical 8 systems. Tibetans may v i s i t Ayurvedic doctors, an " i n j e c t i o n " doctor who administers p e n i c i l l i n shots w i l l y - n i l l y to a l l comers, a French Western physician who i s versed i n acupuncture and studies Tibetan medicine, the Indian h o s p i t a l i n lower Dharmsala, or the Western doctors at Delek (Bde-legs) H o s p i t a l , a small c l i n i c serving the community of McLeod Ganj and the Tibetan Children's V i l l a g e . The above, however, does not exhaust the p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r medical treatment i n Dharmsala. There are, f o r example, Tibetan patients who opt for r i t u a l diagnoses and curing from d i v i n e r s , oracles, and Buddhist p r a c t i t i o n e r s . R i t u a l curing i s often sought by patients who have already made the rounds of the various a v a i l a b l e doctors and not been s a t i s f i e d with t h e i r r e s u l t s . Such patients ei t h e r did not consider themselves to be cured or experienced a recurrence of t h e i r i l l n e s s e s . Moreover, many of these patients usually account f o r t h e i r treatment choice by drawing attention to the fa c t that r i t u a l curing was for them a " l a s t r e s o r t " . Other Tibetan patients who seek r i t u a l curing may have been diagnosed by Tibetan doctors as s u f f e r i n g from s p i r i t attack, an i l l n e s s which e s s e n t i a l l y does not f a l l under the j u r i s d i c t i o n of Tibetan medicine (no one i n Dharmsala so diagnosed would continue Tibetan medical treatment). In addition, there are many Tibetans whose immediate response to i l l n e s s i s to consult d i v i n e r s or oracles, not doctors. I could roughly taxonomize the choice of many of these patients according to the following c r i t e r i a : (1) for s u p e r f i c i a l skin diseases, r i n g worm, wounds, or broken bones, Tibetans choose the Western c l i n i c ; (2) f o r i n t e r n a l but not " l i f e - t h r e a t e n i n g " complaints, they consult Tibetan 9 medical doctors; (3) when other modes of treatment proved unsatisfactory or patients "sensed" that t h e i r i l l n e s s e s were r e l a t e d to supernatural attack, they e n l i s t the aid of r i t u a l curers; and (4) those s u f f e r e r s who f e e l from the onset of t h e i r i l l n e s s e s that they were to die might avoid doctors or curers altogether, and seek, instead, the advice of lamas as to how best to prepare for r e b i r t h . My i n v e s t i g a t i o n s rested with the choice of r i t u a l ,curing by Tibetans i n Dharmsala. If such curing was esteemed as a " l a s t r e s o r t " , i t might also serve as a "safety valve" i n that i t was a treatment option that provided a patient with a meaning for i l l n e s s not c l e a r l y or s a t i s f a c t o r i l y a r t i c u l a t e d i n a l t e r n a t i v e medical s o l u t i o n s . In t h i s premise I follow Young (1976:5), who suggests that people adhere to t h e i r medical t r a d i t i o n s because these t r a d i t i o n s prove to be successful ways to deal with untenable events, such as i l l n e s s , and these t r a d i t i o n s "perform an o n t o l o g i c a l r o l e -communicating and confirming important ideas about the r e a l world." > He cogently argues that i n Western society, medical t r a d i t i o n s tend to f a i l most su f f e r e r s of "psychosomatic" diseases, since these s u f f e r e r s are denied exculpation. They are not able to divest themselves of e t i o l o g i c a l r e s o n s i b i l i t y for t h e i r i l l n e s s e s nor are they able to f i n d a s a t i s f a c t o r y paradigm, within the re p e r t o i r e of Western medical paradigms, with which they can locate themselves o n t o l o g i c a l l y through the meaning of t h e i r i l l n e s s e s . In many non-Western s o c i e t i e s , however, psychosomatic i l l n e s s e s do not e x i s t as a patient or s u f f e r e r w i l l eventually f i n d what for him or her i s a s u i t a b l e i l l n e s s paradigm. We must ask what such a paradigm o f f e r s a patient or those 10 intimately related to the patient. Evans-Pritchard (1937) traced the complexities of dual causation i n Zande explanations of disturbing phenomena such as i l l n e s s . Prolonged i l l n e s s / or i l l n e s s which does not respond to medication, i s at t r i b u t e d to witchcraft as well as to the " a c t i v i t y of the disease i t s e l f " (1937:509). Witchcraft, however, i s the key factor i n determining whether or not the patient recovers. Thus, e f f o r t s made on behalf of someone ser i o u s l y i l l are, f o r the most part, directed to consultations with oracles and manipulating measures to counteract the wit c h c r a f t . Such dual c a u s a l i t y provides the Azande with a f i e l d of p o s s i b i l i t i e s within which they may manipulate the moral order, and create f o r themselves s a t i s f a c t o r y explanations of the problematic. G l i c k (1967) proposed that the ideology of i l l n e s s and curing i n a society may be predicted from a study of those selected c u l t u r a l domains the society invests with power. Kleinman (1980) extends t h i s proposal i n h i s discussion of competing c l i n i c a l r e a l i t i e s . By ' c l i n i c a l r e a l i t y ' , Kleinman r e f e r s to "the health-related aspects of s o c i a l r e a l i t y , " which incorporate sickness b e l i e f s , treatment expectations, sickness behaviour, and responses to sickness. When views of c l i n i c a l r e a l i t y c o n f l i c t , then "the sources of le g i t i m a t i o n and power impinging upon the health care system w i l l eventually determine which view p r e v a i l s , which c l i n i c a l r e a l i t y i s sanctioned" (1980:44). Kleinman i l l u s t r a t e s h i s contention by c i t i n g , f o r L example, the marginal status given shamanistic curers i n the People's Republic of China and the emergence of the peyote c u l t as a c o r o l l a r y of the change i n t r a d i t i o n a l Navaho values (1980:44). But Kleinman 11 externalizes the notion of 'power' to the process of the cure i t s e l f , and thereby makes a s i g n i f i c a n t omission i n h i s endeavor to analyze the c u l t u r a l construction of i l l n e s s . Most p r e c i s e l y , 'power', as i t enters into the ideology of i l l n e s s and curing (or anywhere else) describes a r e l a t i o n s h i p . Power, for example, may r e f e r to "command over...another's actions...[and] command over e x i s t i n g benefits or resources" (Nadel 1957:115). Turner (1967:356) recasts the old equation of knowledge and power: To restore order, health, or peace the powers that make for these must be brought i n t o play by the correct use and combination of symbols, viewed as r e p o s i t o r i e s of power as well as semantic symbols: For Ndembu,...to 'know something', to understand the meaning of a symbol or the use of a 'medicine', for example, i s to increase i n 'power'. Levi-Strauss applies a s i m i l a r equation i n h i s argument for the e f f i c a c y of symbols. The Cuna shaman, i n r e l a t i n g a myth to a woman undergoing a d i f f i c u l t labor, provides her with "an ordered and i n t e l l i g i b l e form" for an "experience that would otherwise be chaotic and i n e x p r e s s i b l e . " The myth o f f e r s a "reorganization, i n a favorable d i r e c t i o n , of the process to which the sic k woman i s subjected" (1967:193). Levi-Strauss further suggests the p o s s i b i l i t y of an organic transformation stimulated by the " s t r u c t u r a l reorganization" of a patient induced "to l i v e out a myth" (1967:197). With Turner and Levi-Strauss, then, we add to the d e f i n i t i o n of power the a b i l i t y to e f f e c t desired transformations. These transformations include the a b i l i t y to influence another or change 12 another's mind, to transform substance to substance, substance to energy, energy to substance, or r e l a t i o n s h i p to r e l a t i o n s h i p , as would obtain i n a change i n status. A change of status necessarily marks a transformation i n the q u a l i t i e s of r e l a t i o n s h i p s e x i s t i n g between an i n d i v i d u a l and others. Turner (1969) has shown t h i s to be the case i n hi s analysis of l i m i n a l i t y and communitas; Burridge (1960), i n h i s analysis of mill e n a r i a n movements. The r e s o l u t i o n of status ambiguities i s e s s e n t i a l l y a transformative process, and t h i s process has become p i v o t a l to the study of curing r i t u a l s . Lewis (1971) holds that possession c u l t s a t t r a c t p a r t i c i p a n t s from the oppressed and marginal c l a s s e s . These c u l t s serve t h e i r members by enabling them to a t t a i n a status and f u l f i l l desires denied to them i n the 'normal' s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s of everyday r e a l i t y . Since women tend to be deprived more than men i n most s o c i e t i e s , women are more l i k e l y to become possessed or diagnosed as "possessed". Their cure usually e n t a i l s l i f e - l o n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a possession c u l t . Lambek (1981) refuses to consign possession c u l t s to the periphery of society and suggests, instead, that the structure of possession i s not simply "an explanatory or r a t i o n a l i z i n g device developed to i n t e r p r e t trance behavior" (1981:60). Possession trance i n Mayotte e f f e c t s communication between three "autonomous" e n t i t i e s : the host, the s p i r i t , and an a f f i n e of the host. The s p i r i t ' s status i s i n i t i a l l y ambiguous, but through repeated trance sessions, the host, s p i r i t , and a f f i n e accommodate t h e i r mutual r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and the s p i r i t i s "incorporated i n t o the body of s p i r i t s of that species that i s act i v e i n the v i l l a g e and into the extended family groupings of the host" (1981:117). I t i s , i n f a c t , the s p i r i t who receives medication i n a ceremony ostensibly designed to cure the host. This strategy, Lambek argues, serves to juxtapose the i d e n t i t i e s of host and s p i r i t and "to communicate new dimensions i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s that are i n e f f e c t a l l the time" beteen host and a f f i n e (1981:83). In her study of a zar c u l t i n Northern Sudan, Boddy (1982) concludes that s p i r i t possession and a woman's i n i t i a l curing ceremony mark her t r a n s i t i o n to adult status. Zar s p i r i t s impersonate the f a m i l i a r , the legendary, and the t r u l y exotic f or these Sudanese women. As zar s p i r i t s assert themelves i n a myriad of personae, t h e i r hostesses confront the d i a l e c t i c of s e l f and other, and a t t a i n a self-knowledge through exposure to other p o s s i b i l i t i e s . Kapferer (1983) addresses a s i m i l a r issue i n his i n v e s t i g a t i o n of exorcism r i t u a l s i n S r i Lanka. Here the patients do not themselves become possessed (though they may become entranced), but more or less s i t through night-long r i t u a l s while an exorcist and his c o t e r i e of actor-curers, who dress as various demons, perform a v i r t u a l sickness opera for the benefit of the patient and the audience. Much of the demonic i n t e r a c t i o n , as played by the curers, i s comic. Kapferer finds i n comedy "the discovery of a l t e r n a t i v e p o s s i b i l i t i e s " , some of which attempt "to f a l s i f y that which we take to be o b j e c t i v e l y true i n the world" (1983:210). When exorcism comedy tests the h i e r a r c h i c a l order of the Sinhalese cosmos, the divine i s shown to sustain i t s e l f , while the demonic " f a i l s to maintain i t s unity and i s di s c r e d i t e d and reduced" (1983:210). During the r i t u a l , the patient may be encouraged 14 to i d e n t i f y with the demonic element (which has caused the patient's i l l n e s s ) . When, i n the performance, the demon i s " k i l l e d " , t h i s signs the death of the relevance of the patient's own subjective a t t i t u d e toward the demonic. The comedy, in s o f a r as the patient can become subj e c t i v e l y distanced from himself or h e r s e l f , and can reconstitute s e l f as an object and through the a t t i t u d e s of others, has a p o t e n t i a l curative power (1983:219). The patient i s cured when the conditions are established for a "reformation of the normal a t t i t u d e , both towards the world of the supernatural and towards the mundane r e a l i t i e s which are incorporated within i t " (Kapferer 1983:205). Crapanzano's study (1973) of the Hamadsha, a Moroccan r e l i g i o u s brotherhood i d e n t i f i e d with a possession c u l t , an analysis which has had a marked influence on both Lambek and Boddy, appears, however, to bear the most s i g n i f i c a n t l y of a l l of these studies upon the Tibetan case. Crapanzano focuses on the concept of baraka i n Hamadsha curing exegesis. Patients who become sic k as a r e s u l t of transgressions against jnun s p i r i t s must p a r t i c i p a t e i n a Hamadsha possession ceremony, and may eventually e l e c t to j o i n the c u l t . Like the s p i r i t s known to Boddy and Lambek, jnun often become the l i f e - p a r t n e r s of t h e i r hosts, and the jnun become more accommodating and a l t e r t h e i r behavior towards t h e i r hosts. But t h e i r transformation i s dramatic, and i t i s achieved by the t r a n s f e r of baraka, a s p i r i t u a l power of s a i n t l y o r i g i n a t i o n , from c u l t adepts to the patient. I f the a f f l i c t i n g j i n n i s very powerful, the t r a n s f e r of baraka to the patient does not cure, but rather "puts the patient i n a state of p o t e n t i a l cure" (1973:168). In the process of a Hamadsha cure, baraka i s transformed "from a highly contagious p o t e n t i a l i z i n g force to a non-contagious p o t e n t i a l or actual state of being" (1973:166-167). In general, t h i s baraka can be transmitted i n only two ways: (1) by the d i r e c t descendent of a s a i n t l y Hamadsha lineage, or (2) by a c u l t adept i n an extraordinary s t a t e . These rules of transmission suggest that once the patient receives baraka, c u l t ideology appears to take pains to r e s t r i c t i t s inappropriate transfer or possession. The patient, for example, w i l l not be able to transfer baraka himself, and i s usually cured when his new a c q u i s i t i o n of baraka i s tempered with a regimen of prayers and pilgrimage, a regimen which legitimates the a c q u i s i t i o n . Geertz describes baraka as "a g i f t which some men have i n greater degree than others, and which a few...have i n superlative degree" (1971:44). He suggests that what has been at play i n Moroccan c u l t u r a l h i s t o r y i s "the elevation of what Max Weber c a l l e d hereditary charisma over what he c a l l e d personal charisma and to the containment of baraka within the confines of a f i x e d and ordered status system" (1971:45). The problem of baraka, as Geertz sees i t , i s "to decide who has i t , how much, and how to benefit from i t " (1971:44). In Tibetan society, two concepts p a r a l l e l the notion of baraka i n Moroccan society - dbang and r l u n g - r t a (roughly glossed r e s p e c t i v e l y as 'power' and'luck'), which are, e s s e n t i a l l y , two mutually exclusive c a p a c i t i e s . I t i s the manipulation of these c a p a c i t i e s that informs the question of s p i r i t attack and r i t u a l cure f o r Tibetans. 16 Organization of Content In the above, I have considered several important t h e o r e t i c a l approaches to the study of curing r i t u a l s , a l l of which suggest that the patient's apperception of "power" i s i n t e g r a l to the p o s s i b i l i t y of his or her cure. In Chapter I I , I introduce the f i e l d l o c a t i o n and incorporate some notions of cosmology with a de s c r i p t i o n of i t s geography. I next provide a rough taxonomy of the people who l i v e i n Dharmsala - the Tibetans, l o c a l Indian Gaddhis, and the various types of Westerners who also l i v e i n or v i s i t Dharmsala. This taxonomy i s followed by a discussion of the "Tibetan-Western Interface", and I complete the chapter with a more de t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n of Tibetan cosmology and the concept of lama or s p i r i t u a l teacher. Chapter I I I introduces the notion of legitimate cosmological hierarchy i n Tibetan ideology, discusses some i l l n e s s e s a t t r i b u t e d to human infringement upon this legitimate hierarchy, and analyzes the l o g i c of r i t u a l cures addressed to such i l l n e s s e s . Chapter IV probes the question of e v i l i n Tibetan society by r e f l e c t i n g upon the desires of demons. Tibetan demons and ghosts, who often attack innocent victims, generally wish to be someone e l s e . Their various attempts to achieve a d i f f e r e n t (higher) status are often clumsy, but may also prove to be exceedingly dangerous. The worst ghosts and demons are monks or lamas who have acquired a great deal of s p i r i t u a l power, but whose minds have turned against r e l i g i o n . Chapter V examines the l o g i c of three modes of Tibetan exorcism 17 designed to defeat the demonic, and then reviews a r i t u a l a p p l i c a t i o n of some of these modes i n a secular context. Chapter VI describes an exorcism held at the Tibetan Children's V i l l a g e to capture the sto l e n soul of a dead monk teacher, a soul having the po t e n t i a l to become a powerful threat to the community. Chapter VII turns to a detailed i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the concept of rlung-rta i n Tibetan ideology, and r e l a t e s this concept to gambling, sports, d i v i n a t i o n , and to the cure of patients who have provoked attacks from s p i r i t s . Chapter VIII presents a synopsis of the , h i s t o r i c a l l e g i t i m a t i o n of rule i n T i b e t . Chapter IX i s the conclusion. Here I t i e the symbolic implications of Tibetan r i t u a l curing to various p o s s i b i l i t i e s of succession to charismatic o f f i c e i n Tibetan society, and to c e r t a i n questions of legitimacy Tibetans f i n d currently problematic. 18 NOTES 1. Dharmsala i s also commonly spelled "Dharamsala". I prefer "Dharmsala", as i t i s the convention adopted by the Government of India with respect to o f f i c i a l maps of India. 2. John Avedon (1984) gives an ex c e l l e n t account of the personal h i s t o r i e s of some of the survivors of Chinese prisons i n T i b e t who have been able to reach India, and of some of the f l i g h t s into e x i l e made by Dharmsala Tibetans i n 1959. In a d d i t i o n to c h r o n i c l i n g the immediate events leading up to the March 10, 1959 Uprising by Tibetans i n Lhasa against the Chinese, and the escape of the D a l a i Lama, Avedon u t i l i z e s Tibetan sources to provide a rare view into post-1959 Tibet. 3. There were four " f a c t - f i n d i n g missions" to T i b e t composed mainly of representatives of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile between 1979 and 1982. These missions have been suspended since 1983, when new reports of the execution of Tibetans i n T i b e t reached Dharmsala. 4. Tibetans who have been granted permission by the Chinese to tr a v e l to India are never allowed to trave l to India (or to Nepal) with their spouses. Some of these Tibetan v i s i t o r s were permitted to tr a v e l with their c h i l d r e n , and, when possible, the Tibetan v i s i t o r s l e f t their c h i l d r e n behind i n India In order to be educated i n Tibetan schools. In addition, Tibetan refugees, who wish to v i s i t t h e i r r e l a t i v e s i n Tibet, are currently granted Chinese visas on the condition that they apply for visas as "Overseas Chinese", and not as Tibetans. This p r a c t i c e has placed the Tibetans i n a p a r t i c u l a r l y d i f f i c u l t s i t u a t i o n , since they must choose between v i s i t i n g t h e i r r e l a t i v e s and serving the p o l i t i c a l ends of the Chinese. One further point of concern, which has ar i s e n i n the context of this exchange of v i s i t o r s and l e t t e r s , i s the f a c t that i n order for a Tibetan i n Tib e t to apply for t r a v e l permission, he or she must l i s t h i s or her r e l a t i v e s l i v i n g i n e x i l e . Equally, a refugee Tibetan applying for a Chinese v i s a must l i s t h i s or her destination and the r e l a t i v e s who l i v e there. The crux of the Tibetan refugees' concern i s that this mapping of families i n T ibet and i n e x i l e could be used, i f the p o l i t i c a l climate changed, to put a d d i t i o n a l pressure upon e x i l e Tibetans worried about t h e i r r e l a t i v e s ' welfare or l i v e s . 5. Andrugtsang (1973), Patterson (1960), P e i s s e l (1972), and Avedon (1984) provide d e t a i l e d accounts of the Tibetan resistance movement. 19 CHAPTER II THE SETTING Introduction This chapter provides a p h y s i c a l , s o c i a l , and cosmological se t t i n g f o r the study. I f i r s t describe the phys i c a l s e t t i n g of Dharmsala, then turn to a discussion of some of the s o c i a l aspects of Tibetan l i f e i n Dharmsala, and conclude with an overview of Tibetan cosmology and the r o l e of the lama i n Tibetan Buddhism. The Te r r a i n Dharmsala, the s i t e of my fieldwork among Tibetan refugees, has been the seat of the Dalai Lama's Government since 1960. I t i s situated spectacularly i n the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh at the f o o t h i l l s of the Dhauladhar Range, Himalayan peaks with an average a l t i t u d e of about 5,000 meters. Two ridges separate Dharmsala proper from these mountains. The B r i t i s h b u i l t a m i l i t a r y cantonment on the f i r s t ridge, which r i s e s some 1,000 meters from lower Dharmsala. A lower and more narrow ridge, upon which the B r i t i s h established the town of McLeod Ganj, roughly bisects this f i r s t ridge. These ridges and the mountains harbor deodar trees, rhododendrons, pines, wild flowers and wildlife:, snow leopards, bears, foxes, j a c k a l s , Rhesus macaques, langurs, hawks, vultures, a v a r i e t y of other Himalayan b i r d s , the odd scorpion, and rare snake. What t r u l y sets Dharmsala apart from other better known former h i l l stations such as Simla and Mussoorie i s i t s r e l a t i v e ease of access coupled with the intimacy of the Dhauladars, which may be reached on foot in one arduous or two less taxing days. Dharmsala was to be the summer c a p i t a l of the Raj, but i t s heady a t t r a c t i o n soured i n 1905 when almost a l l of the town of McLeod Ganj was destroyed and many were k i l l e d i n an earthquake. Simla became the summer c a p i t a l and McLeod Ganj a l l but'forgotten. A scion of the N.N. Nowrojee family, proprietors of a general merchandise store i n McLeod Ganj for generations, had been interested i n r e v i v i n g the town. When he heard that the Government of India was seeking a permanent residence for the Dalai Lama, he petitioned New Delhi and Pandit Nehru. The Government of India, Pandit Nehru, and the Tibetans found McLeod Ganj an agreeable s o l u t i o n . The B r i t i s h had already earmarked three d i s t i n c t locales i n Dharmsala 1s upper region: the army cantonment, McLeod Ganj, and Highcroft House, the o r i g i n a l seat of the d i s t r i c t commissioner. This house, about ha l f a kilometer above McLeod Ganj, became the temporary "palace" of the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan Children's V i l l a g e , a school and dormitory complex f o r Tibetan orphans and semi-orphans, was constructed high up on the ridge near the army cantonment, and a few Tibetan f a m i l i e s took up residence j u s t beneath the Tibetan Children's V i l l a g e or "TCV" i n the small hamlet of Forsythe Ganj. The "ghost town" of McLeod Ganj became home to Tibetans who learned of the Dalai Lama's acceptance of the o f f e r . Many of them came to McLeod Ganj to a s s i s t i n the establishment of the monasteries, temple, and government of the Dalai Lama. Some of them continue to function as a service community f o r the Tibetan government, while others elected to set up small shops, restaurants, and hotels catering to the i n f l u x of Western v i s i t o r s to this " L i t t l e Lhasa". Although McLeod Ganj was a place where work was not guaranteed, i t was an a l t e r n a t i v e to working i n road construction crews, the employment of most Tibetan refugees i n the early 1960's. When many Tibetans working i n these crews were offered homesteads i n the south of India, those who had managed to garner a l i v i n g i n Dharmsala remained. McLeod Ganj, with i t s two s t r e e t s , expanded as Tibetan dwellings t r i c k l e d down the flanks of i t s narrow ridge, stopping short of the small, terraced farms of the l o c a l Gaddhi v i l l a g e r s . One end of Mcleod Ganj's narrow ridge abuts the f i r s t major ridge p a r a l l e l i n g the Dhauladar range, the ridge hosting TGV and the Dalai Lama's former "temporary palace". At the other end of the ridge, Rnam-rgyal Monastery, the Buddhist School of D i a l e c t i c s , and the main Buddhist temple were b u i l t . Just beyond this complex, a t the very edge of the ridge, a new residence was constructed for the D a l a i Lama. A narrow road motorable by jeep descends from this end of the ridge to lower Dharmsala. About half-way down this road one finds the L i b r a r y of Tibetan Works and Archives, the Cabinet Building and other o f f i c e s of the D a l a i Lama's Government, and dormitories for resident scholars and government o f f i c e r s . Close to this complex, referred to as either the "Library" or "Gangs-skyid" (a pleasing view of the snow mountains), a term r e f e r r i n g to the government b u i l d i n g s , i s the Nechung (Gnas-chung) Monastery. The abbot of the Nechung Monstery is the chief state oracle of Tibet, the Nechung Oracle. The end of McLeod Ganj opposite to the temple complex and the D a l a i Lama's palace i s the bus stop, a convergence of f i v e roads motorable by bus, two roads more or less motorable (depending upon monsoon conditions) by jeep, and a footpath. Scheduled passenger buses are l i m i t e d to the twelve-kilometer s t r e t c h of road from Kotwali Bazaar i n Lower Dharmsala up through Forsythe Ganj to the McLeod Ganj bus stop. But chartered buses may carry Hindu pilgrims past this bus stop and along Bhagsu Road, past a Seisraological S t a t i o n to the bathing springs of Bhagsunath and i t s Shiva temple. From Bhagsunath, pilgrims may walk a b i t further to the Bhagsu w a t e r f a l l . Tibetan government o f f i c e r s , d i g n i t a r i e s , and Delek (Bde-legs) Hospital workers (a Western medical c l i n i c s t a f f e d by volunteer A u s t r a l i a n interns and nurses and some bio-medically trained Tibetan nurses) frequently t r a v e l by jeep from TCV to McLeod Ganj and on to the temple complex or down the ridge to the Tibetan L i b r a r y and government complex. Of the two roads which are c o n d i t i o n a l l y motorable by jeep, one leads to the "old palace" (now an Indian Government trekking hostel) and on to Dharamkot, while the other reaches the Tibetan I n s t i t u t e of Performing Arts before i t fades into a t r a i l to Triund (the saddle of the second ridge separating Dharmsala from the Dhauladar Range). These two roads were bedded with rock during the B r i t i s h Raj i n order to preserve t h e i r i n t e g r i t y during the monsoon. But these rocks have a l l but disappeared as Tibetans removed 23 them to f o r t i f y the foundations of th e i r h i l l s i d e houses. The footpath leading from McLeod Ganj past a former post o f f i c e and a small temple begins deceptively as a paved road. Once past the post o f f i c e , however, i t narrows to a d i r t path which descends r a p i d l y and dramatically to lower Dharmsala. I t i s the shortest route from McLeod Ganj to lower Dharmsala but an u n l i k e l y choice f or anyone laden with bazaar purchases from the markets of lower Dharmsala. The paved road to TGV from McLeod Ganj winds past a fountain b u i l t by the Gorkha R i f l e s and then o f f e r s the t r a v e l l e r an alternate route, a foot path ascending more steeply and d i r e c t l y to TCV. Taking the shortest path a v a i l a b l e , whether or not i t l i e s s t r a i g h t up a mountainside, i s ° jokingly referred to by young Tibetans as "choosing the t a n t r i c path". A r e l a t i v e l y l e v e l footpath l i n k s the Tibetan I n s t i t u t e of Performing Arts (TIPA) and a Sngags-pa Sgom-pa with the TGV, traversing the c r e s t of this major ridge against which McLeod Ganj abuts. The Sngags-pa Sgom-pa i s a small temple complex of a reincarnated Rnying-ma-pa weathermaker-cum-exorclst, his family, d i s c i p l e s , and fellow sngags-pas. A sngags-pa Is e s s e n t i a l l y a t a n t r i c p r a c t i t i o n e r , who controls the weather, conducts exorcisms, and performs d i v i n a t i o n s ; sgom-pa refers to a temple (as a place of meditation). The Sngags-pa Sgom-pa properly marks one end of this major ridge. To the north, i t commands a magnificent view of the Dhauladar Range, Triund, and Bhagsunath F a l l s ; to the east, i t affords a view across the v a l l e y formed by the Bhagsu River. Looking south from the Sngags-pa Sgom-pa, one sees the Tibetan L i b r a r y and government o f f i c e s some 500 meters lower. V TO LOWER DHARMSALA TO LOWER DHARMSALA TRAILS ROADS — ^ — TO LOWER DHARMSALA II. MAP OF UPPER DHARMSALA (SCHEMATIC ONLY) The path up the ridge from the Sngags-pa Sgom-pa and along i t s crest leads from the TIPA to the Tshe-mchog-gling monastery. D i r e c t l y across the path from Tshe-mchog-gling i s R i s h i Bhawan, a t o u r i s t hostel, where Western "hippies" as they are c a l l e d by the Tibetans, often hold " f u l l moon" pa r t i e s . The path ascends further to the residence of the former Gling Rinpoche, senior tutor to the Dalai Lama, and then past the "old palace" up through a wilder, uninhabited region marked by stone cairns, sidepaths to meditation caves, an incense-burning ground, and, f i n a l l y , loops down to the Tibetan Children's V i l l a g e . The Cosmological Interface The above des c r i p t i o n barely sketches the complex topography and geography of Upper Dharmsala. A l l of these routes are well-known to and frequented by the Tibetans of Upper Dharmsala. However, these roads and paths l i n k together not only the various regions of Dharmsala, but also the t r a v e l l e r to other cosmic realms. Many of these routes, according to Tibetan b e l i e f , i n v i t e a possible encounter with supernatural beings. Halfway down the road from McLeod Ganj to the Tibetan Library, for example, i s Devi Chand's tea s t a l l , a welcome re s p i t e on t h i s steep road. Just beyond t h i s tea s t a l l i s a small spring, a known haunt of klu, the chthonic, touchy guardians of the s o i l and water who are akin to water-dwelling and snake-like creatures. If the t r a v e l l e r p ollutes t h i s stream, he or she r i s k s sickness caused by the i r r i t a t e d k l u . The Gorkha Fountain, a fountain b u i l t by the Gorkha R i f l e s on the road to TCV, i s a much grander source of water and i s believed to be populated by many powerful k l u . The Tibetan I n s t i t u t e of Performing Arts i s also home to a number of k l u . Care i s taken not to p o l l u t e the well near the I n s t i t u t e ' s s i n g l e water tap. Klu, however, are not the only supernatural beings who inhabit Upper Dharmsala. Bends i n the road (or path) are to be approached at night with extreme caution, since one may catch a glimpse i n such places of b e a u t i f u l women who are a c t u a l l y ghosts attemping to lure unsuspecting male t r a v e l e r s o f f a p r e c i p i c e to t h e i r deaths. A famous bend i n the road leading to the TIPA i s marked by mani stones, two large rock slabs painted c o l o r f u l l y with the prayer "Om mani padme hum" ( " a l l h a i l to the jewel i n the l o t u s " ) . These stones are intended to counteract a number of e v i l s p i r i t s seen or encountered along t h i s road. S t o r i e s are also t o l d of a l o c a l Gaddhi woman who was d r i v i n g her two c a t t l e along the f a m i l i a r but precipitous route on the way to Triund. For no apparent reason, t h i s woman and her cows f e l l to t h e i r deaths. People say that she was attacked by powerful gz'a s p i r i t s , e v i l emanations from the planets. The most famous traverse i s along the road from McLeod Ganj to Forsythe Ganj. Forsythe Ganj, where several houses s e l l chang (Tibetan barley beer), i s an a t t r a c t i v e evening destination f or some Tibetan men. Since the bus from Lower Dharmsala to McLeod Ganj t r a v e l s infrequently at night, walking to Forsythe Ganj (about two kilometers) i s the popular choice. The road, however, takes the t r a v e l l e r past two rather hazardous features of the landscape. The f i r s t hazard i s a bridge which i s frequently washed away by the monsoon. Just below t h i s bridge i s the Tibetan burning ghat or cremation ground, a place v i s i t e d at night only by sngags-pas who wish to t e s t t h e i r powers against cannibal s p i r i t s . Down the road a b i t further i s the Church of St. John i n the Wilderness with i t s stained glass windows and monument to Lord E l g i n , Viceroy of India, who died i n Dharmsala and was buried i n the cemetery by t h i s church i n 1863. The burning ghat and the cemetery a l e r t the t r a v e l l e r to the p o s s i b i l i t y of encountering a ghost. Such apprehension i s more t y p i c a l of the t r a v e l l e r from McLeod Ganj to Forsythe Ganj, since i t i s believed that a t r a v e l l e r w e l l - f o r t i f i e d with chang would be l e s s l i k e l y to spot anything out of the ordinary. Reports abound of people who have been dead f o r years being sighted on t h i s road. The best way to handle a ghost one might meet i n such circumstances i s to not respond to any questions the ghost might ask of one. Tibetans say that responding to or acknowledging the ghost would enslave one to i t . The Tibetans of Dharmsala Refugee Tibetans have been a favoured target for the e f f o r t s of i n t e r n a t i o n a l agencies. A former president of the World Council of Churches explained to me that of a l l the refugee groups with which he had worked, only the Tibetans had managed to sustain t h e i r c u l t u r a l i n t e g r i t y over a period of more than twenty years. He ventured that the continued i n t e r e s t of the a i d agencies i n the Tibetans had much to 28 do with t h i s fact.^" Some 5,000 to 8,000 Tibetans l i v e i n McLeod Ganj, the TCV, and the Tibetan l i b r a r y complex or i n what i s re f e r r e d to as Upper Dharmsala. The Tibetan population f l u c t u a t e s according to the sweater-selling season. During the months from November to March, two thousand or so Tibetans leave Dharmsala to purchase sweaters wholesale i n the Punjab and then r e t a i l them i n the h i l l s t a t i o n s and major c i t i e s of northern India. McLeod Ganj also hosts a small Indian population of shopkeepers (butchers, tea vendors, c i g a r e t t e vendors, f r u i t and vegetable vendors, and a Himachal Pradesh state l i q u o r s t o r e ) , who established t h e i r businesses a f t e r the i n f l u x of Tibetans to the region. The McLeod Ganj ridge, as well as the ridges beyond i t , are flanked with the houses and terraced farms of l o c a l Gaddhi people. The Tibetan refugees l i v i n g i n Dharmsala o r i g i n a t e from d i f f e r e n t regions of Tibet: Lhasa, Mng'a-ri, Dbus-Gtsang, Amdo, Khams, Spu-rang, and Kong-po (see Map I I I ) ; and they speak d i f f e r e n t d i a l e c t s of Tibetan. Most Dharmsala Tibetans have r e l a t i v e s l i v i n g i n settlements i n South India, and many of the young government workers, teachers, musicians, actors, and dancers do not have immediate family members l i v i n g i n Dharmsala. This absence of immediate r e l a t i v e s contributes to the increasing incidence of "love" marriages among the young. Marriage patterns s t i l l r e f l e c t , however, those practiced i n T i b e t . Tibetans appear to be e s s e n t i a l l y p a t r i l i n e a l and p a t r i l o c a l ; however, as Aziz (1974) notes, residence i n Tibet took precedence over l i n e a l i t y . DHARMSALA SIMLA INDIA INNER M O N G O L I A • DELHI CHINA III. MAP OF ETHNIC TIBET to I l l e g i t i m a t e c h i l d r e n were absorbed into the household of the mother's brother, and i l l e g i t i m a t e males would often acquire equal r i g h t s to property with the mother's brother's sons. The marriage patterns of T i b e t - polyandry (a discussion of which enters into Chapter VII), polygyny, and monogamy - obtain i n Dharmsala and i n other settlements of Tibetan refugees i n India. Of these marriage patterns, polygyny i s the most infrequent. Rinchen Dolma Taring (1970) describes her own f i r s t marriage, a polygynous one, i n terms of a p o l i t i c a l and economic strategy occasionally adopted by the Tibetan a r i s t o c r a t s . In e x i l e , however, polygyny tends to occur among commoners, and appears to occur a t the behest of a f i r s t wife. In one such instance, a woman asked her husband to take her close f r i e n d as an a d d i t i o n a l wife. A more common rationale f or polygyny, however, i s given as a f i r s t wife's fears that her husband might leave her, and cease to be her economic provider. In Tibet, some Tibetans say that these endeavors entailed an a c t i v e attempt by the f i r s t wife to seek out and befriend a younger and more b e a u t i f u l woman. The f i r s t wife would then suggest this woman to her husband as a second wife. In this way, the husband would be preoccupied with the new wife, but would not abandon the f i r s t wife. A minor scandal erupted at a Tibetan school when one woman attempted a s i m i l a r strategy with her daughter. The daughter, on a school holiday (and, therefore, vacationing i n another part of India), had attracted the amorous overtures of her step-father. Though the g i r l r e s i s t e d h i s advances s u c c e s s f u l l y , the mother wished to resolve the s i t u a t i o n (and to prevent her husband's p o t e n t i a l wandering) by marrying the g i r l to her step-father. Although such a p r a c t i c e mirrors descriptions given by Prince Peter (1963) of Tibetan father-son polyandry, the g i r l and her school-fellows (who were on holiday i n the same area) found the s i t u a t i o n untenable. The school-fellows arranged for the g i r l ' s "escape" from her mother's house, and, upon her return to school, the g i r l wrote to her Western sponsor (who paid for her schooling), explaining her s i t u a t i o n and s o l i c i t i n g his f i n a n c i a l assistance. T i b e t was a h i e r a r c h i c a l society, and the observance of this hierarchy i s sustained by Tibetans i n e x i l e . The d i s t i n c t i o n of classes i n Tibetan society has been addressed by Goldstein (1971a, 1971b, 1971c, 1972). The e s s e n t i a l c l a s s d i s t i n c t i o n was that between the hereditary a r i s t o c r a t s (sku-drag), and the commoners (mi-ser). The commoners, however, could be further categorized as taxpayers (khral-pa), and small householders (dud-chung). While the former possessed h e r i t a b l e lands upon which they paid tax to t h e i r overlord (a hereditary noble), the "small householders" tended to pay t h e i r tax i n corvee labor, and might be attached to a monastic estate or to that of a noble family. These commoners were both a g r i c u l t u r a l i s t s and nomads ('abrog-pa). Nomads, however, could be attached to estates or owners of t h e i r own s i z a b l e herds. The l a t t e r paid taxes d i r e c t l y to the Tibetan government, and not to an intermediary overlord. The lowest class of Tibetans was comprised of butchers, metal workers, miners, and blacksmiths. Butchers were so distinguished because they committed the grave s i n of k i l l i n g animals; metal workers and blacksmiths, because they manufactured weapons; and 32 miners, because they invaded the t e r r i t o r y and s t o l e the treasures of the guardians of the earth. Corpse c a r r i e r s and beggars constituted the equivalent of outcastes i n T i b e t . Aziz (1974:24) i d e n t i f i e s four major endogamous groups i n Ti b e t : the ar i s t o c r a c y ; sngags-pa (hereditary p r i e s t s ) ; mi-ser ( a g r i c u l t u r a l i s t s , nomads, laborers, and tra d e r s ) ; and yawa (outcastes). In Dharmsala, Tibetans describe themselves as former a g r i c u l t u r a l i s t s , nomads, merchants, a r i s t o c r a t s , musicians, actors, or monks. With the exception of the a r i s t o c r a t s , Dharmsala Tibetans currently tend to define themselves i n terms of t h e i r present occupations (as businessmen, government workers, teachers, carpet weavers, gold smiths, e t c . ) . Government o f f i c e r s enjoy great prestige i n the Dharmsala community, as t h e i r service i s generally thought to include s e l f - s a c r i f i c e i n the i n t e r e s t of the greater Tibetan common good. Those who have become very successful at business enjoy an upward mobility i n Dharmsala soc i e t y , but they are unable, nonetheless, to acquire the t i t l e of sku-drag ( a r i s t o c r a t ) , which i s reserved f o r those of noble b i r t h . The refugee s i t u a t i o n has, however, stimulated many young Tibetans to reassess the v a l i d i t y of the claims to p r i v i l e g e s occasionally presented by a r i s t o c r a t i c Tibetan f a m i l i e s . Rumours abound as to the wealth brought out of Tibet by c e r t a i n f a m i l i e s , who now claim poverty when they attempt to obtain scholarships f o r t h e i r c h i l d r e n . Opportunities f o r higher education are severely l i m i t e d , 3 3 and, as Nowak cogently observes: young Tibetans today regard their government's p o l i c i e s of appointments and a l l o c a t i o n s with wary concern, always on v the lookout f o r any evidence of fav o r i t i s m i n general and nepotism In p a r t i c u l a r (1984:108). College scholarships can lead to prestigious government jobs or to teaching positions at prestigious schools such as the Tibetan Children's V i l l a g e . Thus, education i s af f o r d i n g the p o s s i b i l i t y of augmenting the c r i t e r i a by which Tibetans define s o c i a l status. The S o c i a l Epicenters of Upper Dharmsala The varying topography of Upper Dharmsala has contributed to the formation of f i v e s o c i a l epicenters of the Tibetan population. The f i r s t i s that of the main temple, the Da l a i Lama's palace, the Buddhist School of D i a l e c t i c s , and Rnam-rgyal Monastery. The second incorporates the Tibetan l i b r a r y , dormitories for students of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan o f f i c e workers, and the Tibetan Government bui l d i n g s . These o f f i c e buildings are referred to as "Gangs-skyid" or "a pleasing view of the snow mountains", and the young government 3 employees are c a l l e d the "Gangs-skyid boys" by other Tibetan groups (very few women serve as government employees). They enjoy high prestige i n the e x i l e community throughout India because they are considered to be serving the Tibetan cause (see Nowak 1984). The third epicenter i s the Tibetan Children's V i l l a g e with perhaps two thousand c h i l d r e n , one hundred teachers, and s t a f f members. Teachers at the TCV a lso enjoy h igh p res t ige i n the T ibetan community s ince the school c u r r e n t l y has the reputat ion of being the best and the most well-endowed T ibetan s c h o o l . The TCV teachers and the government employees earn s i m i l a r s a l a r i e s (about R s . 300 - 350 per month), but the TCV teachers have the d i s t i n c t advantage of f ree room and board a t the school whi le the government employees cont r ibute R s . 100 or more per month i n order to dine a t the Gangs-skyid "mess". The four th ep icenter is the T ibetan I n s t i t u t e of Performing Ar ts ( formerly the T ibetan Mus ic , Dance, and Drama S o c i e t y ) . Th is i n s t i t u t i o n was es tab l i shed by the D a l a i Lama some two months a f t e r h is f l i g h t to India i n March, 1959, and was, thus, the f i r s t T ibetan i n s t i t u t i o n organized in e x i l e . But the young musicians and dancers of TIPA, most of whom are i n the i r twent ies , are considered to be students of the i n s t i t u t e , and a l l students a t th is i n s t i t u t e , a c l a s s i f i c a t i o n which incorporates both c h i l d r e n and adu l t performers, were provided free room and board but were paid only Rs. 30 per month. The f i f t h and f i n a l ep icenter i s that of McLeod Ganj proper . T ibetans l i v i n g here f o r the most part run smal l shops, res taurants , and h o t e l s , or work In the carpet f a c t o r y weaving carpets and manufacturing smal l t o u r i s t items for l o c a l sa le and export . The 4 Tibetan Youth Congress has a shop, p r i n t s i t s newspaper, and holds i t s meetings here. McLeod Ganj is a l s o where one f inds the T ibe tan As t ro -Med ica l Center and the c l i n i c s of two d is t ingu ished T ibetan medical p h y s i c i a n s . The young men of these epicenters are constant r i v a l s . One popular f i e l d of compet i t ion is s p o r t s . To th is end, teams representing each of the epicenters, with the exception of the temple complex, are organized, and competitions i n basketball, soccer, and, occasionally, i n track and f i e l d are held. Some young monks occasionally j o i n the McLeod Ganj team, and the D i a l e c t i c a l School may play the Rnam-rgyal Monastery monks. Another popular f i e l d of competition, one that i s not pursued by the young monks, i s for spouses. Joking and common aphorisms abound i n regard to this event. Local adage has i t that young women who work i n the McLeod Ganj carpet factory wish to marry Tibetans i n the Indian army. In the early 1960's, when Tibetan refugees were beginning to s e t t l e i n India, Tibetan men who joined the Indian army had sub s t a n t i a l incomes i n r e l a t i o n to other Tibetans. They were, therefore, a t t r a c t i v e marriage prospects. These days, however, Tibetan men with army careers are desired c h i e f l y by the less sophisticated and less educated young Tibetan women. The "Gangs-skyid boys" reportedly desire well-educated, a t t r a c t i v e wives. Though t h e i r prestige i s high i n the community, however, "everyone knows" that t h e i r s a l a r i e s are meager, not s u f f i c i e n t to maintain a non-working wife. In Dharmsala, the young women who are the most highly prized by both "Gangs-skyid boys" and TCV male teachers are TCV female teachers. The mutual preference for these women on the part of two epicenters has often led to mild confrontations where "Gangs-skyid boys" have accused the TGV male teachers of hoarding the women f o r themselves, or where TCV male teachers have locked the doors to the h a l l where a party i s being 36 held, preventing the "Gangs-skyid boys" from entering. One TCV female teacher described her peers' awareness of th e i r marriageablity as f o s t e r i n g what she deemed t h e i r pronounced coquettish behaviour. TCV female teachers must exercise caution i n th e i r a f f a i r s , however, since the administration expects them to maintain circumspect images in the community.^ The young women performers of TIPA, singled out f o r t h e i r beauty, are also considered to be very marriageable. They may easily»become the wives of high Tibetan government o f f i c i a l s , wealthy merchants, European Tibetans or Westerners. The young men, on the other hand, are most l i k e l y to marry other TIPA performers. With their s a l a r i e s of Rs. 30 per month, TIPA male performers are not considered uby McLeod Ganj parents to be prospective grooms f o r t h e i r daughters. The Indian Interface Tibetans i n Dharmsala enjoy, on the whole, good s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s with t h e i r Indian neighbors. Lower Dharmsala prospered with the i n f l u x of Tibetans to the area i n 1960; many new businesses emerged to cater to the Tibetan population and to Western t o u r i s t s . Indian t o u r i s t s and pilgrims come to Dharmsala to v i s i t the Shiva temple and Bhagsunath, as well as to v i s i t the main Tibetan Buddhist temple In McLeod Ganj. Moreover, Indians often seek medical treatment a t the Tibetan Astro-Medical Center. Tibetans, i n turn, f l o c k to Hindi movies shown i n lower Dharmsala, and love Hindi f i l m songs. Many young Tibetan women are taken with the romantic image of Hindi f i l m stars, and decorate t h e i r walls with pictures of these s t a r s . Most Dharmsala Tibetans are fa m i l i a r with one f i l m s t a r , Kabir Bedi, whose mother funded the f i r s t school f o r Tibetan monks i n e x i l e . Several middle-aged Tibetan women showed me photographs taken i n the 1960's of themselves wearing Indian s a r i s , and a few young Tibetan g i r l s on rare occasion apply a tlka mark (a dot of red paste applied to the forehead as a sign of Hindu r i t u a l b l e s s i n g , or, as Is the case here, as a beauty mark applied by Indian women) to the i r foreheads i n emulation of th e i r f a v o r i t e Hindi female f i l m s t a r s . L i f e i n e x i l e has also forced Tibetan women to adapt to the more stringent notions of modesty held by women of northern India. Tibetan 9 women, for example, no longer bare t h e i r breasts when performing strenuous labor i n the heat. They have also adopted the habit of wearing long pajama bottoms, even i n hot weather, under t h e i r customary dress, the phyu-pa (chupa), as i s the custom of Indian women who wear long pants under long overshirts (an a l t e r n a t i v e costume to the s a r i ) . Gaddhis comprise a d i s t i n c t ethnic category of the Indian population i n and around Dharmsala, since they are e s s e n t i a l l y mountain-dwelling p a s t o r a l i s t s . Nostalgic Tibetans i d e n t i f y with Gaddhis by v i r t u e of their occupation and habitat. Gaddhis, who s e l l t h e i r milk and eggs to Tibetan restaurants and housewives, and animals to Dharmsala markets, have also enjoyed a marked prosperity with the a r r i v a l of the Tibetans. One point of contention that does a r i s e between Tibetans and Gaddhis, however, involves Tibetan chang (beer) vendors. Several Tibetans i n Dharmsala brew chang and s e l l i t without a government l i c e n s e . Occasionally, Gaddhi men spend household budgets at the chang houses. When the i r wives then complain to the po l i c e , the p o l i c e re-double t h e i r e f f o r t s to close the chang businesses. The Western Interface Apart from being the residence of several thousand Tibetans who l i v e i n f i v e s o c i a l epicenters, Upper Dharmsala i s the residence of the Dalai Lama and the c a p i t a l of T i b e t i n e x i l e . As such, Upper Dharmsala has a v i r t u a l l y continuous stream of representatives from i n t e r n a t i o n a l wire s e r v i c e s , the B r i t i s h Broadcasting Corporation, Newsweek, Time, the Far Eastern Economic Review, Asia Weekly, Per Stern, various f i l m makers, scholars, dharraa students, merchants, people seeking Tibetan medical cures, and pilgrims from L a h u l - S p i t i , Ladakh, Mon (NEFA), and the Tibetan settlements. The Western population of Upper Dharmsala f a l l s roughly Into three categories. The f i r s t category i s that of scholars and students of Tibetan Buddhism who generally remain u n t i l t h e i r visas expire. The second category i s that of Commonwealth c i t i z e n s who have l i v e d for years i n the neighborhood. Some of these residents are also students of Tibetan Buddhism, some are simply attracted to the area, and some of them have established themselves as s i g n i f i c a n t p a r t i c i p a n t s i n Tibetan community l i f e . The thir d category could be described as that of seasonal Western t o u r i s t s . These Westerners usually f l o c k to places such as Dharmsala, Rishikesh, and Kashmir to escape the heat of the Indian p l a i n s from A p r i l to September. The i n t e r a c t i o n s between Tibetans and Westerners i n Upper Dharmsala could be characterized as very f r i e n d l y , but the presence of the l a t t e r i n Upper Dharmsala provides ample opportunity for each group to r e f l e c t upon the nature of the other. The height of the t o u r i s t season i s from the l a t t e r part of March to the beginning of the monsoon i n June. During the t o u r i s t season, many Indian saddhus pass through Dharmsala, some with an eye to the swelling number of Western t o u r i s t s l i k e l y to be i n town. Saddhus are generally well-versed i n the scheduling of important Tibetan Buddhist events, such as the Mon Lam teachings given i n the temple by the D a l a i Lama a f t e r Lo-gsar, Tibetan New Year. Consequently, hundreds may l i n e the road to the temple, extending t h e i r alms cups to those a r r i v i n g to receive r e l i g i o u s teachings. A few saddhus, Hindu a s c e t i c s , holy men, and/or t a n t r i c p r a c t i t i o n e r s , may also perform yogic feats by the McLeod Ganj bus stop. Though saddhus w i l l enrapture Western t o u r i s t s when they do so, Tibetans w i l l generally avert t h e i r eyes or t r y to pay l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n . Tibetans assume that saddhus have powers which might prove dangerous. Tou r i s t s have been the major contributors to the prosperity of McLeod Ganj and the prosperity of Dharmsala i n general. When I l e f t McLeod Ganj i n May, 1981, there were t h i r t e e n Tibetan restaurants, two Indian restaurants, several tea s t a l l s , nine Tibetan t o u r i s t h otels, one Indian state h o t e l , and numerous Tibetan shops and s t a l l s . Some of the hotels and restaurants sported Tibetan names l i k e "Kailash Hotel", "Kokonor Restaurant", "Om Restaurant", and "Kunga Restaurant". Others have more Westernized names: "Green Guest House", "Tibetan Memory Restaurant", "Hotel Tibet", "Rainbow Hotel", "Friends"! Corner", "Crazy Horse", or, as i t i s commonly referred to - "Samdup's Thukpa Palace", and "Last Chance", so named because i t was the l a s t restaurant along the Bhagsu Road. In 1979-1980, some of these restaurants featured posters of Bruce Lee on t h e i r walls, while others waited for the seasonal i n f l u x of the orange-robed followers of the Indian guru Rajneesh to brighten t h e i r i n t e r i o r s . The hotels and restaurants are f i l l e d during the peak season. Few restaurants permit the diner to eat unaccompanied by rock or disco music. Many North American and European t o u r i s t s remark on the q u a l i t y of this music since, i n McLeod Ganj, one Is l i k e l y to hear both the l a t e s t Western music h i t s and venerable rock-and-roll c l a s s i c s . One restaurant had a t e l e v i s i o n set on which one could watch re-runs of American t e l e v i s i o n s e r i e s , Soviet wrestling, and a v a r i e t y of other forms of entertainment. With the introduction of video-cassette players to Dharmsala, the f a v o r i t e fare i s purported to be cowboy movies and mons ter movies. Young (and middle-aged) Tibetan men dress f o r everyday i n Western s t y l e . Blue jeans, denim jackets, down vests, and down jackets are highly prized items. Some of these a r t i c l e s are purchased from t o u r i s t s ; others come from refugee a i d s o c i e t i e s . A few young women dare to wear blue jeans, but most wear the Tibetan phyu-pa (chupa), a sleeved or sleeveless cloak. The s k i r t of this cloak i s hitched t i g h t l y at the back of the waist, providing the wearer with two deep 41 back pleats which permit free and elegant movement. In Tib e t , a woman's phyu-pa was a voluminous garment which allowed f o r the swell of pregnancy. In e x i l e , however, only older or pregnant women wear the t r a d i t i o n a l version. Young women prefer t h e i r phyu-pas to be pre c i s e l y t a i l o r e d and t i g h t - f i t t i n g . Men's phyu-pas are always sleeved and shorter than are women's. The length and number of fo l d s i n the back of a man's phyu-pa may ind i c a t e h i s o f f i c e , age, and regional d e r i v a t i o n . Young men do not re j e c t t h i s national garment, but tend to wear i t on o f f i c i a l and r e l i g i o u s occasions. The f a i l u r e of these "cosmopolitan" Dharmsala Tibetans to appear r e g u l a r l y on McLeod Ganj s t r e e t s i n ex c l u s i v e l y t r a d i t i o n a l garb has disappointed a number of t o u r i s t s and j o u r n a l i s t s . A young female photographer who was attempting to put together a photo-documentary on Tibetans i n e x i l e , confided to me that whenever she sighted, through the lens of her camera, a pair of blue jeans on a Tibetan, the camera "automatically" turned away. She decided that the monks were the only authentic representatives of Ti b e t . A National Geographic photographer turned up i n McLeod Ganj and was unable to f i n d what he considered to be " t r a d i t i o n a l Tibetan faces" to photograph. As a l a s t r e s o r t , he approached the d i r e c t o r of TIPA and asked to photograph the performers i n t h e i r costumes. An anthropologist who ar r i v e d i n McLeod Ganj shortly a f t e r my departure, commented to a f r i e n d of mine, a f t e r a stay of only a few weeks, that the Tibetans i n McLeod Ganj had only a "memory c u l t u r e " and that Tibetan t r a d i t i o n s had obviously faded. A s o c i o l o g i s t who was a student of Tibetan Buddhism claimed that he never entered a restaurant 42 i n McLeod Ganj since one was c e r t a i n to contract h e p a t i t i s i n such places. He preferred to eat at a dharma students' mess near the Tibetan L i b r a r y , and passed through McLeod Ganj only with other dharma students on t h e i r way up to a meditation house belonging to a Western Buddhist organzation. After spending approximately two and one-half years i n the f i e l d , I did not share the impressions of these other Western v i s i t o r s . I sensed even before I a r r i v e d i n McLeod Ganj that my f i e l d work would not be so easy. On the one hand, McLeod Ganj was not a remote v i l l a g e that could be reached only a f t e r a week's trek from an a i r p o r t . I t boasted luxuries many fieldworkers can only dream of, the occasional hot shower, a four-hour bus r i d e to a t r a i n s t a t i o n , a fourteen-hour bus r i d e to Delhi, good food, an i n v i g o r a t i n g climate coupled with magnificent scenery, a cosmopolitan atmosphere, " f r i e n d l y natives", and the p o s s i b i l i t y of speaking to another Westerner i f one so wished. On the other hand, McLeod Ganj or Upper Dharmsala, does not present i t s e l f as a v i l l a g e whose inhabitants are homogeneous i n d i a l e c t , regional o r i g i n , or naivete towards scholars. Westerners have been coming to Dharmsala as refugee a i d society workers, health service professionals, sponsors, t o u r i s t s , j o u r n a l i s t s , and scholars since 1960. Students of Tibetan Buddhism began to a r r i v e i n number i n the early 1970's, when the Li b r a r y of Tibetan Works and Archives began to o f f e r courses. Thus, many residents (Tibetan and otherwise) of Upper Dharmsala have fir m notions of what scholars study or what i s relevant to s c h o l a r l y i n t e r e s t . Certain Tibetans such as major oracles, lamas, and physicians have been besieged with questions from both serious and 43 i d l e seekers. Accordingly, they have e s s e n t i a l l y standardized t h e i r answers or become adept a t dismissing i n q u i r i e s . Tibetans are quite well-versed i n t h e i r presentation of s e l f , and conscious of the p r o l i f e r a t i o n s of t h e i r "image" i n world opinion. Certain techniques of f i e l d research are, thus, simply not a p p l i c a b l e . Although I requested and received permission to tape-record s p e c i f i c interviews, I discovered that I could not walk or s i t about with a s p i r a l notebook, and write i n front of others. This type of a c t i v i t y , I was cautioned, "would make people nervous." Questionnaires and s t a t i s t i c a l surveys represent other f u t i l e research s t r a t e g i e s f or Dharmsala. A Western doctor working i n McLeod Ganj was interested In the medical treatment choices of Tibetans, and wished to gain some understanding of the frequency of and context for a p p l i c a t i o n to div i n e r s and o r a c l e s . To this end, he developed a questionnaire, and employed both Tibetan nurses who worked with him at h i s c l i n i c and young Tibetans on leave from college to conduct the survey. To his dismay, however, he found that the Tibetan nurses denied that any oracles existed i n Dharmsala, and the college students were not enthusiastic about t h e i r task. These students reported to the doctor that the McLeod Ganj Tibetans were not i n c l i n e d to respond to surveys. Tibetans also have the i r own view of Westerners. The Red Cross and various refugee a i d society workers who were on hand i n the early 1960's, a s s i s t i n g the refugees, prompted the Tibetans to devise a nickname for those people ( e s p e c i a l l y those who were American) - "USA pag-pa rgyu-ma" or "USA pork sausage". A le s s p h y s i c a l l y disparaging but nonetheless s i g n i f i c a n t l a b e l applied to most Westerners by Tibetans i s "Injee" (Russians are referred to as "Ursu"). "Injee" neatly combines "English speaker" with "farengee" or "foreigner" i n Hindi and Urdu. The connotations c a r r i e d by this l a b e l range from p o s i t i v e to negative. When Tibetan school c h i l d r e n are cautioned that an "Injee" is coming, they may well associate the "Injee" with a sbyin-bdag or sponsor, a Westerner who sponsors th e i r schooling and should be respected. However, "Injee Sgom-pa" - a Western monastery, "Injee a n i " for a Western nun, and "Injee grwa-pa" - a Western monk, are a l l designations which tend to impugn the status of the s i g n i f i e d . Tibetans do respect Westerners who take monastic vows and adopt monastic dress i f they consider the Westerners to be serious students of Buddhism who i s o l a t e themselves from the bustle of McLeod Ganj and s u b s i s t on a d i e t of tsamba, roasted barley f l o u r . But a number of Tibetans are acquainted with the Westerner who l i k e s to try out the r o l e of a monk or nun for a few weeks. "Injee" becomes an extremely disparaging adjective when applied by Tibetan parents or by monk school teachers to s t y l e of dress, h a i r , music, dance, and parties enjoyed by young Tibetans. Although disco-dances were bi-weekly a f f a i r s i n Dharmsala at the time I l e f t the f i e l d , they continue to Inspire the objections of some Tibetans. A young TCV lady teacher described the f i r s t such dances held i n McLeod Ganj. According to her, a l l of the old people of McLeod Ganj peered through the windows of the Tibetan restaurant where the dance was being held, and conveyed unfavourable reports of the event to the parents (who might be l i v i n g i n other settlements) of the 45 dancers. Some Tibetan mothers i n s t r u c t t h e i r small c h i l d r e n to cry "Injee Gdug-chag" ("Bad Injee") to Westerners who might walk up the path from McLeod Ganj to a TIPA dance. But, on the other hand, disco dances have proved to be successful fund r a i s e r s , and these days many people try to arrange them. - An i n t e r e s t i n g l a b e l applied to Westerners derives from Tibetan cosmology. For a joke, TIPA students began to r e f e r to non-Tibetans as kl u , the sub-human guardians of wealth, water, land, and f e r t i l i t y . In the Tibetan opera Pema Womba (Pad-ma 'Aod-'abar), d i f f e r e n t colored k l u sink the ship belonging to the hero's father. The TIPA performers, taking these k l u as the i r reference points, decided to c l a s s i f y foreigners according to color of kl u . Hence, Europeans became red k l u , Americans became yellow k l u , Africans became black k l u , and Asians became white k l u . This symbolic l i n k i n g , thus, presents non-Tibetans as sub-human but powerful, not completely sentient, quick to anger, wealthy, obsessed with hygiene, and people to whom one should show respect and around whom one must exercise caution. Further Explorations of the Western-Tibetan Interface DeVoe (1983), a f t e r i n v e s t i g a t i n g the success of the Tibetan refugee community i n continuing to secure s u b s t a n t i a l amounts of funding from i n t e r n a t i o n a l a i d organizations, has concluded that continued i n t e r n a t i o n a l aid may be understood i n l i g h t of Maussian theories of g i f t exchange. Where Tibetans d i s t i n g u i s h themselves from other refugee groups In q u a l i f y i n g as "worthy" rec i p i e n t s i s i n t h e i r ingenuity at "returning" the donor's g i f t , whether this return g i f t , for example, i s the completion of a new classroom, a photograph of a sponsored c h i l d with his or her new item of c l o t h i n g , or an organized reception f o r the donor's v i s i t to India, the donor i s assured that the g i f t given i s being put to the donor's intended use. DeVoe suggests that this assurance, i n whatever manifestation, complements the g i f t . However, she also c i t e s the incongruity of Tibetan and Western understandings of g i f t exchange. This incongruity, as we s h a l l see, results from the expectation on the part of Westerners and Tibetans that the g i f t serves as the i d e n t i c a l symbolic operator f o r two fundamentally d i s t i n c t "prestige systems" (Burridge 1969:133). A c l a s s i c example of what DeVoe refers to as the "basic dissonance i n Tibetan and Western understanding of g i f t exchange" (1983:108) was occasioned by the a r r i v a l of a Westerner who was one c h i l d ' s sponsor (sbyin-bdag or " g i f t - g i v e r " ) i n the school complex where the c h i l d was enr o l l e d . These occasions can r i s e to minor spectacles when the sponsor unbundles his or her bounty of g i f t s ( c l o t h i n g , food, watches, toys) intended for one c h i l d before an audience including non-recipient c h i l d r e n . In one p a r t i c u l a r case, the sponsor was distressed to catch 'his'"Tibetan c h i l d sharing amongst his friends the presents the sponsor had j u s t given him. Here, the young student had inadvertently discovered his sponsor's rule — that the g i f t s he gives are s i n g u l a r l y directed to him and not to be shared or...passed down the l i n e (1983:112). The sponsor's expectations of a return on h i s g i f t would, to a c e r t a i n extent, devolve from h i s a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n and a n t i c i p a t i o n of presenting the g i f t to the c h i l d . But more importantly, DeVoe suggests, the knowledge that the sponsored c h i l d would take exclusive delight i n the g i f t provides the sponsor with a s i g n i f i c a n t return on h i s g i f t . According to the donor's prestige system, the c h i l d ' s status would be enhanced by h i s or her exclusive possession of the g i f t . In the Tibetan context, however, the Western sponsor could be viewed as denying the c h i l d the r i g h t to pass part or a l l of the g i f t "down the l i n e . " This denial prevents the c h i l d (and, i n d i r e c t l y , the sponsor) from assuming the higher status Tibetan ideology would confer upon the i n i t i a t o r of g i f t s "passed down the l i n e " . A second example a r i s e s from a three month session of dharma teachings held February through A p r i l 1982, and sponsored by a Western dharma organization. The teachings were held i n Dharmsala, where the organization maintains a centre, and consisted of a graded s e r i e s of i n i t i a t i o n s (dbang) given by prominent Tibetan lamas (including the Dalai Lama). The preliminary teachings were held i n the main temple i n Dharmsala, while more advanced teachings were conducted at the dharma centre i t s e l f . DeVoe describes the teaching of Buddhism as "one of the highest g i f t s one can give" (1983:108) i n Tibetan s o c i e t y : Patterned on the old Tibetan way, Tibetan refugees i n the f i n a n c i a l p o s i t i o n to do so w i l l sponsor teachings. That means they w i l l pay the lamas' expenses and fees for putting on the teaching and c a l l f o r the public to attend, usually 48 giving refreshments afterwards. In the Tibetan custom, everyone i s welcome to hear the teachings. Some may make t h e i r own o f f e r i n g s of items or rupees when the teaching i s over, but by no means w i l l a l l do t h i s , nor i s i t a f i x e d and mandatory fee (1983:108). The preliminary teachings provoked amazement i n the Tibetan community and considerable controversy when Tibetans discovered how the dharma organization c o n t r o l l e d access to them. The dharma organization stationed i t s " t i c k e t - t a k e r s " at a l l temple entry points. These " t i c k e t - t a k e r s " demanded stubs of any Westerners attempting to gain access to the temple to hear the teachings; the stubs being proof of payment by would-be i n i t i a t e s to the teachings. While Tibetans were exempted from having to produce any stubs, i t was the f i r s t time that Westerners outnumbered Tibetans at a r e l i g i o u s event i n s i d e the main temple (Tibetan Review :1982b). Tibetans who witnessed several Westerners p h y s i c a l l y restrained from entering the temple by the " t i c k e t - t a k e r s " were shocked at t h i s new Western i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Tibetan Buddhism. This i n t e r p r e t a t i o n maintained that "to receive a teaching, each i n d i v i d u a l had to o f f e r or give the same amount of money" (1983:109). This new Western i n t e r p r e t a t i o n broke the " e t h i c a l l y acceptable code of offered teachings" among Tibetans - that "those endowed with the wealth o f f e r to sponsor the teachings; the lamas i n turn are thusly i n a p o s i t i o n to o f f e r the teachings to a l l who seek i t " (1983:109). DeVoe h i g h l i g h t s what she r e f e r s to as the v i o l a t i o n of a " t a c i t r u l e of g i f t exchange by picking out those who 'deserved' the teaching by how much they had paid f o r i t " (1983:110). Furthermore, o 49 the payments f o r the teachings were absorbed by the dharma centre i t s e l f , and were not presented to the "revered lamas who gave teachings i n the temple!" (1983:110). DeVoe notes that T ibetans never s t i p u l a t e that r e c i p i e n t s of a p u b l i c r e l i g i o u s teaching must somehow " q u a l i f y " themselves f o r the r o l e by purchasing a t i c k e t . -a Regardless of the l e v e l of understanding i n d i v i d u a l s come in to a teaching wi th , a l l who hear i t w i l l b e n e f i t i n some way from i t , T ibetans say, and the i r very attendance w i l l i n turn cont r ibute to the betterment of a l l other human beings (1983:110). Thus, the dharma centre i n quest ion v i o l a t e d the norms of g i v i n g . To extend the impl ica t ions of th is v i o l a t i o n a b i t fu r the r , the dharma centre might be seen as f a i l i n g to subscr ibe to r e q u i s i t e T ibetan h i e r a r c h i c a l p r i n c i p l e s . These p r i n c i p l e s en jo in the sponsor to both " o f f e r up" (mchod-pa pul -ba) and "give down" (dge-ba gtong-ba) . The behaviour of the dharma centre members, the would-be sponsors of the teachings , was more untoward for t h e i r r e f u s a l to al low the g i f t to " t r i c k l e down". The conc lus ion of th is three month course of dharma i n s t r u c t i o n provides a t h i r d example of "bas ic dissonance" i n T ibetan and Western understanding of g i f t exchange, an example which DeVoe does not mention, but one which s t i r r e d considerable controversy and a f ive-month spate of l e t t e r s to the e d i t o r of the T ibetan Review. The i n c i d e n t occurred dur ing a d isco-dance given a t the T ibe tan I n s t i t u t e of Performing Arts and intended as a b e n e f i t fo r the dharma centre which sponsored the teachings. Those attending the dance included approximately 300 Westerners, and among those 300 were a number of Western dharma students who had p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the three month course and who had received several dbangs ( i n i t i a t i o n s ) . Now, anyone may be present at preliminary Buddhist teachings and derive b e n e f i t from such teachings, but i n order to be i n i t i a t e d into higher teachings, that i s , to receive a dbang, one must make c e r t a i n vows. The students who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the course desired these i n i t i a t i o n s and, therefore, formally subscribed to preliminary monastic vows. Their adoption of these vows was s i g n i f i e d by t h e i r adoption of the habits of Buddhist monks and nuns. When the band (The Subterranean Vajrahammer) began to play, however, these students shed t h e i r habits i n a backroom of the performance h a l l , donned t - s h i r t s and bluejeans, and danced. Several young Tibetans present, Including the e d i t o r of the Tibetan Review, witnessed this costume transformation. In subsequent weeks, posters were displayed i n McCleod Ganj requesting those who had taken vinaya vows (the vows of i n i t i a t i o n ) not to attend disco-dances, while the e d i t o r found a good deal of fodder for his r e p e r t o r i a l cannon. Almost a l l of the Tibetan l e t t e r s i n response to the editor's report were highly c r i t i c a l of the "dancing monks" (as they came to be c a l l e d ) , while those of Westerners were divided i n opinion. The g i s t of a number of the Tibetan l e t t e r s e s s e n t i a l l y c r i t i c i z e d the Western monks and nuns f o r t h e i r f a i l u r e to respect the " g i f t " (the teachings and i n i t i a t i o n s ) which had been given to them by their public symbolic disavowal (the shedding of monastic habit) of t h e i r " o f f e r i n g " - t h e i r 51 monas t i c vows. Cosmology The pre-Buddhist Botipo Tibetan cosmos consisted of a t r i - p a r t l t e hierarchy: the upper world of the white lha (gods); the middle world of the yellow gnyen (tree and rock s p i r i t s ) and humans; and the lower world of the blue k l u . The lha included greater and l e s s e r gods, such as those of the mountains as opposed to those of the rocks, l o c a l protective d e i t i e s , and gods of war (dgra-lha). The middle world was inhabited by a number of ambiguously categorized numina such as the btsan. Tucci (1980) finds no s t r i c t demarcation between, for example, btsan and k l u . Certain btsan have been described to me, however, as the progeny of cross-world marriages between humans and k l u , which would place these btsan as h i e r a r c h i c a l mediators. Other btsan are the ghosts of humans who have died i n b a t t l e . Btsan, according to a Dharmsala cave meditator, are the guardians of one's personal I n t e g r i t y . I f , f o r example, someone i s performing a r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l , but the btsan observing the person finds his or her intentions questionable, the btsan w i l l harm that person. Btsan are known to be i n t o l e r a n t and short-tempered, but t h e i r i n t e r e s t s appear to l i e with i n t e g r i t y or legitimacy of one's actions. "Btsan", as w i l l be i l l u s t r a t e d i n Chapter VIII, i s also a common component of the names of the div i n e Tibetan kings. The lower world was inhabited by k l u , the guardians of the s o i l and water, who are reponsible for r a i n , snow, h a i l , and the f e r t i l i t y of the land. In r e l a t i o n to 52 humans, each l e v e l of the Bonpo cosmos contained numina who might be eit h e r protective or dangerous. This t r i - p a r t i t e cosmology i s respected i n everyday contemporary Tibetan r i t u a l p r a c t i c e . Before a Tibetan, f or example, si p s h i s f i r s t cup of chang (barley beer), he employs the t h i r d f i n g e r of h i s l e f t hand to f l i c k three drops of the l i q u o r into the a i r . The f i r s t drop i s an o f f e r i n g to the beings of the upper world; the second, to those of the middle world; and the t h i r d , to the denizens of the lower world. S i m i l a r l y , Tibetan Lo-gsar (New Year) t r a d i t i o n d i c t a t e s that each household display a phye-mar on the a l t a r . Phye-mar i s a decorated wooden box divided i n t o two compartments, one containing wheat f l o u r mixed with butter, the other containing tsamba (roasted barley f l o u r ) mixed with butter. On the f i r s t day of the new year, each household member takes a pinch of wheat f l o u r and f l i c k s i t three times i n the a i r with the thumb and second fi n g e r of the r i g h t hand, and repeats the o f f e r i n g with a pinch of the barley f l o u r . Anyone paying the customary Lo-gsar v i s i t to the household w i l l be immediately directed to the family a l t a r , where the v i s i t o r w i l l o f f e r phye-mar to the three realms as a sign of f e l i c i t a t i o n s to the household. Buddhism introduced the Indian pantheon to T i b e t . Subsequently, each of the three Bonpo d i v i s i o n s of the cosmos was more or l e s s b i f u r c a t e d , y i e l d i n g s i x possible domains for a soul's r e b i r t h . These domains are known c o l l e c t i v e l y by the Sanskrit term samsara. The s i x domains are portrayed iconographically i n the Buddhist wheel of l i f e . 53 In descending order of s u p e r i o r i t y or pre fer red existence according to common d o c t r i n a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n are the fo l low ing : (1) L h a - y u l , the land of the gods (2) Lha -ma-y in -yu l , the land of the w a r - l i k e t i t ans ( S a n s k r i t , asura) (3) M i - y u l , the world of humans (mi) (4) K l u - y u l , the realm of the k l u and animals (5) Y i - d w a g s - y u l , the realm of the hungry ghosts (6) Mya-ba, the Buddhist h e l l s With the in t roduc t ion of Buddhism to T i b e t , the doc t r ine of the t ransmigrat ion of souls or metempsychosis and karma in f luenced T ibe tan cosmology. According to th is d o c t r i n e , each sou l (rnam-shes) i s subjected to an endless cyc le of r eb i r ths (samsara) unless i t can a t t a i n enl ightenment, n i rvana . One is born in to one of these cosmologica l niches according to one's accumulations of mer i t (bsod-nams) and s i n (d ikpa) . When a denizen of one of these realms d i e s , h is or her rnam-shes enters a l i m b o - l i k e per iod known as bar-do ("between states") fo r a per iod of 49 days. Upon the completion of th is p e r i o d , the rnam-shes enters another realm. G s h i n - r j e , the Lord of Death, i s supposed to weigh one's merits aga ins t one's s ins to determine the circumstances of one's r e b i r t h (Schlagintwei t 1968:93), but the prayers of Buddhist monks and lamas are thought to be ab le to a s s i s t the rnam-shes t r a v e l i n g through bar-do to achieve a good r e b i r t h . Once enlightenment is achieved, however, the sou l can transcend the cycle of rebirths altogether. In Tibetan Buddhist ideology, however, several options obtain for the enlightened soul. There are, for example, beings who have transcended the realm of r e b i r t h s , but who are not f u l l y enlightened. Others become human emanations of Bodhisattvas, and may return to samsara out of compassion to a s s i s t others i n obtaining s a l v a t i o n . There i s a d i v i s i o n of the Buddhist heaven into l e v e l s which e x i s t above ordinary l h a - y u l , and transcend the realm of samsara. The supreme l e v e l is that of the Adi Buddha or Vajradhara (Rdo-rje  'Achang), the eternal Buddha. Beneath the Adi Buddha i s the l e v e l of the thousand Dhyani Buddhas, who correspond to the Buddhas teaching on earth. Of these Dhyani Buddhas, f i v e are known to this period of the universe: Amitabha ('Aod-dpag-med), Vairocana (Rnam-par-snang-mdzad), Ratnasambhava (Rin-chen 'Abyung-ldan), Amoghasiddhi (Don-yod-grub-pa), and Aksobhya (Mi-Bskyod-pa). The next l e v e l i n descending order i s that of the Dhyani Bodhisattvas, who are considered to be the " s p i r i t u a l sons" of the Dhyani Buddhas (Schlagintweit 1968:52). A Buddha teaching on earth i s subject to the physical l i m i t a t i o n s experienced by humans and, thus, may die. I t i s the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the Dhyani Bodhisattvas to continue the work of the earthly Buddha u n t i l the next Buddha appears. The fourth and most recent Buddha to appear on earth was Sakyamuni. His Dhyani Buddha i s Amitabha, and h i s Dhyani Bodhisattva i s Avalokitesvara (Spyan-ras-gzigs). Since the D a l a i Lama i s considered to be the incarnation of Avalokitesvara, he represents the continuation on earth of the work of Sakyamuni. Ten stages of varying degrees of enlightenment separate the Bodhisattvas from the lowest l e v e l of transcendent heavens. The lowest of these heavens i s inhabited by chos-skyongs ("oracles"), mkh'a-'agro-mas (khandromas), "sky-going goddesses", and mgon-pos, various protectors of r e l i g i o n . These various Buddhas and stages of Buddhahood are referred to c o l l o q u i a l l y as the 'greater l h a ' . For those subject to samsara, only a r e b i r t h i n the lowest of heavens may be ant i c i p a t e d , that of sensual d e l i g h t s , not of enlightened understanding. Though these gods enjoy a l l manner of sensual delights and lead a b l i s s f u l existence, t h e i r tenure i n th i s realm is f i n i t e . When a god or goddess exhausts his or her store of merit, he or she dies. A week before a god dies, he sickens and i s shunned by his fellow gods, and death i s , therefore, as miserable f o r a god as i t i s for a human. His soul may be reborn again as a god or as a l e s s e r being. Lha-ma-yin means l i t e r a l l y "god not i t i s " , and the lha-ma-yin rank below the lha but above humans. Their realm i s considered to be almost equivalent to that of the lha i n i t s sensual d e l i g h t s . But lha-ma-yin have a martial nature and constantly war upon each other and envy the lha, who enjoy higher status and possess the f r u i t of the wish-granting tree. According to Waddell (1974:82), the lha-ma-yin are fated to die waging a war they cannot win against the lha, and b i r t h into this realm follows f o r those who boasted "during t h e i r human career" of the i r superior piety. The human realm i s depicted by Buddhists as one r i f e with eight major miseries: (1) b i r t h ; (2) old age; (3) sickness; (4) death; 56 ENLIGHTENED BEINGS MKH'A- 'AGRO-MAS M G O N - P O S / SEMI-INUGHTENEO BEINGS CHOS-SKYONGS i i iHi i iQuAni ta in i i^^ LHA-YUl (WORLD OF THE GODS) SAMSARA (REALM Of REBIRTHS) LHA-MA-YIN-YUL (WORLD OF THE TITANS) BTSAN (progeny of cross-world marriages between humans and klu) RGYAL-POS (ghosts of apostate lamas) . MI-YUL (WORLD OF HUMANS) BTSAN (ghosts of slain warriors) GHOSTS t KLU-YUL (WORLD OF THE SERPENT BEINGS A N D SA-BDAGS) YI-DWAGS (HUNGRY GHOSTS) MYAL-BA (BUDDHIST HELLS) designates attachment to, but not membership in, the living human world •^rf" designates possibility of cross-world marriage F i g . 1, D I A G R A M O F T I B E T A N C O S M O L O G Y (5) u n f u l f i l l e d desires; (6) punishments for moral breaches; (7) separation from loved ones and valued objects; and (8) offensive objects and sensations (as, for example, 'bad smells'). Immediately beneath the human realm i s that of animals and k l u . The fate of animals i s to be the prey or the slaves of others. The k l u , as portrayed i n Buddhist iconography, s u f f e r along with animals since the klu are the prey of the Garuda, a gigantic e a g l e - l i k e b i r d . The yi-dwags or hungry ghosts e x i s t between the animal world and the Buddhist h e l l s . These hungry ghosts are depicted as b i g - b e l l i e d , narrow-necked creatures with tiny mouths. Though their world i s f i l l e d with sensual d e l i g h t s , they are constantly ravenous since they are unable to ingest or digest food. Waddell (1974:97) notes that any food these yi-dwags swallow i s thought to burn once Inside t h e i r mouths or to be transformed into sharp c u t t i n g implements. Any water they drink i s supposed to transform into flames. A common explanation of the yi-dwags p l i g h t offered by Dharmsala Tibetans i s that the throats of the yi-dwags are so thin that they are able to swallow only the i r own mucus. These hungry ghosts have been miserly, greedy, and envious In t h e i r former human l i v e s ; hence, they have been reborn i n a realm which mirrors that of the lha-ma-yin. The lha-ma-yin do not r e a l i z e that they l i v e i n a v i r t u a l heaven because they preoccupy themselves with envying the gods. The yl-dwags are c o n t i n u a l l y t a n t a l i z e d by the sensual delights which they cannot enjoy. The karmic f a c t o r predisposing a soul to r e b i r t h as a lha-ma-yin i s presumptuous piety; those predisposing a soul to r e b i r t h as a yi-dwags are envy and greed. The Buddhist h e l l s are categorized into eight cold and eight hot h e l l s . To these various h e l l s are parcelled out s u i c i d e s , murderers, "fraudulent trustees, tyrants, ignorant physicians who k i l l e d t h e i r p a tients," those d i s r e s p e c t f u l to the i r parents, the Buddha, or to lamas, thieves, those who have profaned the s c r i p t u r e s , cheats, h e r e t i c s , wasters of food, apostates, and, among others, those who have harmed or shed the blood of a holy man (Waddell 1974:98). A v a r i e t y of numina not c i t e d above also populate the Tibetan cosmos and are referred to by Nebesky-Wojkowitz (1956), Tu c c i (1980), E k v a l l (1964), and others. Many of these supernaturals are s p e c i f i c to c e r t a i n regions of T i b e t . They generally inhabit one of the s i x realms, but, occasionally, as i s the case with btsan,^ they f a l l between categories, e i t h e r as o f f s p r i n g of cross-realm marriages or as ghosts. Some Major Considerations i n Tibetan Buddhist Religious Structure Though a d e t a i l e d discussion of Buddhist philosophy and monastic pr a c t i c e i s well beyond the scope of this d i s s e r t a t i o n , I w i l l o u t l i n e some of the elements of Tibetan monastic organization and Tibetan Buddhism which play into the ideology of Tibetan hierarchy. The Tibetan monastery i t s e l f i s organized h i e r a r c h i c a l l y . Monks are assigned d i f f e r e n t statuses i n accordance with the precepts of Buddhism they have vowed to observe. A dge-tshul i s a novice, while a 6 dge-slong i s a f u l l y ordained monk. Since Tibetan Buddhism incorporates the mystical practices of T a n t r i c schools, monks may be further distinguished from one another according to the r e l i g i o u s i n i t i a t i o n s (dbang) which they have received. The Dge-lugs-pa sect has a further r e l i g i o u s t i t l e , that of dge-bshes. This t i t l e corresponds to "Doctor of Theology", and i s attained upon the successful completion of examinations which test the candidate's knowledge of " l o g i c as a basic formative d i s c i p l i n e " of Dge-lugs-pa theology, (Tucci 1980:111). Michael and Knez observe that the monastic organizations i n Tib e t provided a "broad avenue by which a l l class d i s t i n c t i o n s i n Tibetan society were overcome" (1981:56). Young boys of f i v e or s i x years of age, u s u a l l y - e i t h e r middle or youngest sons, were e l i g i b l e to enter a monastery. G i r l s were also e l i g i b l e a t the age of s i x to enter nunneries.^ Enrollment i n the monasteries was both voluntary and, g i n c e r t a i n areas of T i b e t , by conscription. Monastic service presented a commoner with the means to enhance h i s s o c i a l status, since monks are highly respected i n Tibetan society. Furthermore, Michael and Knez c i t e monastic service as an opportunity for a commoner to enter the "highest administrative positions i n the c e n t r a l , regional, and l o c a l governments" (1981:57). The implications of this opportunity were not l o s t to some of the fa m i l i e s of the n o v i t i a t e s . Buddhism teaches that proper a c t i o n (thabs) w i l l enable one to acquire perfect knowledge (shes) which w i l l i n turn lead to the attainment of nirvana and escape from the cycle of r e b i r t h s . But d i f f e r e n t schools of Buddhism hold d i f f e r e n t interpretations of how proper a c t i o n should be practiced. In Tibet, the p i v o t a l focus of Buddhism became the lama or guru, and fo r th is reason, Waddell (1974), Tucc i (1980), and others have re fe r red to Buddhism in T i b e t as "Lamaism". The lama transmits the Buddhist s c r i p t u r e ( lung) and i t s in tent to the p u p i l through h is " l i v i n g , d i r e c t contac t" , and awakens i n the p u p i l a "myst ica l " apprec ia t ion of the text (Tucc i 1980:44). S t e i n remarks that a d i s c i p l e had to go from teacher to teacher i n order to study a new doct r ine or commentary (1972:149). T u c c i l i kens the bond between lama and d i s c i p l e to that of s p i r i t u a l father and son, a r e l a t i o n s h i p which transcends any bonds of k i n s h i p . Paul (1982), s e i z i n g the imp l ica t ions of th is r e l a t i o n s h i p , f inds i n i t a symbolic s o l u t i o n to the Oedipal c o n f l i c t s associa ted with succession s i n c e , he contends, the female element i s removed from the scene. However, on the basis of T ibetan h i s t o r y alone (as w i l l be considered in Chapter V I I I ) , one f inds that there was no shortage of competi t ion between the adherents of d i f f e r e n t s p i r i t u a l l ineages in T i b e t . Samuel (1978b) observes that the terra "lama" has a number of connotations i n T ibetan s o c i e t y . He d i s t i n g u i s h e s four usages of the term: (1) the abbot of a monastery, the holder of a sen ior admin is t ra t i ve post i n the monastery, or the holder of a senior p o s i t i o n i n the s p i r i t u a l h ie rarchy of the monastery ' ; (2) a governmental, r e l i g i o u s , p o l i t i c a l , and j u d i c i a l funct ionary such as the D a l a i Lama; (3) a guru or teacher of t a n t r i c p r a c t i c e w i th in the monastery; and (4) from the lay pe rspec t i ve , a magical p r a c t i t i o n e r who performs r i t u a l s of c u r i n g , exorcism, and guides the sou l of the deceased through bar-do to a for tunate r e b i r t h . Though Samuel 61 acknowledges the In t e r - r e l a t i o n s of these functions, he suggests a teleology - that the lama as a teacher e a s i l y becomes the lama as p o l i t i c a l authority, e s p e c i a l l y If he has secured h i s reputation as a performer of r i t u a l s . Importantly, Samuel further suggests: In the case of the most senior lamas i n his own monastic order...the Thirteenth D a l a i Lama selected these himself, without respect to incarnate-lama status, from monks who had gradually worked th e i r way up through the monastic hierarchy. The most senior of these posts (Abbot of Dg'a-ldan) was In some respects senior to the Dalai Lama himself, and i t would doubtless have been uncomfortable to have had this post f i l l e d by an incarnate-lama l i n e which would be bound to constitute a series of p o t e n t i a l r i v a l s for the D a l a i Lama's own power (1978a:5). Thus, i n Tibet, where as Samuel (1982) suggests, the r e l i g i o u s aspect of society was not secondary to the secular, the lama, as a s i g n i f i c a n t magical p r a c t i t i o n e r and/or teacher, could e a s i l y play a complex p o l i t i c a l r o l e . Several anthropologists, who have worked i n Buddhist s o c i e t i e s , and who have studied r i t u a l s addressed to various supernatural beings, have found the popular a t t e n t i o n paid to these numina to be problematic. Spiro (1967), i n his analysis of Burmese supernaturalism, appears to be convinced that the Burmese simply refuse to see the Inconsistencies In the existence of supernatural beings (such as nats) and the laws of karma. Tarabiah (1977) suggests that there are necessary i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s between both b e l i e f s since they serve d i s t i n c t s o c i a l s t r u c t u r a l i n t e r e s t s . Holmberg (1984) has proposed that among the Tamang, a Nepali people who subscribe to Buddhism, this d i s t i n c t i o n i s served by the opposition between the l i v i n g and the dead. For the Tamang, magical c o n t r o l of the supernatural i s important f o r the l i v i n g , but Buddhist r i t e s concern the dead. But I suggest that the p o l i t i c a l aspect of the lama i n T i b e t may shed some l i g h t on what has heretofore been observed as a major cont r a d i c t i o n . 63 NOTES 1. For a th e o r e t i c a l treatment of the r o l e of the sbyin-bdag or Western sponsor i n Tibetan refugee l i f e , see DeVoe (1983). 2. For a thorough discussion of the education of Tibetan c h i l d r e n i n e x i l e , see Nowak (1984). 3. Tibetans i n Dharmsala apply the terra bu (boy) to any male between the ages of about nine years and for t y years. Tibetan speakers of English often apply the English word "boy" i n such references. I f a male i n this age range i s known to be married and a father, or a holder of high o f f i c e , however, the speaker w i l l employ other terms of reference b e f i t t i n g the known status - e.g., pho ("man"), pa-lags ("respectful terra f o r father" - lags being an h o n o r i f i c s u f f i x ) , mi ("man"), sku-dngon ("high o f f i c i a l " ) , etc. S i m i l a r l y , a young woman between the ages of roughly eight years and t h i r t y years w i l l be referred to as bu-mo ( " g i r l " ) , unless the woman i s wearing an apron, which s i g n i f i e s marriage, or i s known by the speaker to be married. Women known to be married would be referred to as ama-lags; older women would be referred to as mp_ or mo-lags. P a r t i c u l a r terms of reference also designate women of high b i r t h and immediate family members of a Dal a i Lama. 4. The Tibetan Youth Congress was organized i n 1970 i n response to a speech given by the D a l a i Lama c a l l i n g f o r the need of Tibetan youth to keep i n touch with the problems of the Tibetan people. The avowed aim of the organization i s the creation of an independent Tibetan nation. Membership i n the organization consists of "young" Tibetan men and women between the ages of sixteen years and for t y years. The TYC publishes a b l - l l n g u a l magazine, d i r e c t s i t s e l f to community a i d projects (e.g., l a t r i n e construction, clean-up campaigns), and also p a r t i c i p a t e s i n numerous p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s . The TYC, for example, reg u l a r l y submits demands to the Chinese Embassy i n Delhi, and writes to the U.N. and heads of" states, i n an attempt to fo s t e r more consideration of the Tibetan case. 5. In the raid-1970'is, several TCV female teachers were asked by the administration to resign t h e i r posts, because t h e i r romantic a f f a i r s had become "too pu b l i c " . One such teacher expressed her understanding of the s i t u a t i o n i n terms of c o n f l i c t i n g m o r a l i t i e s . She was educated i n what i s considered to be a prestigious g i r l s ' school i n India, where she had l i t t l e contact with Tibetans. When she came to Dharmsala to teach, she discussed l i f e i n T i b e t with some of the older Dharmsala l a d i e s , and discovered that the c o n s t r i c t i o n s placed upon female sex u a l i t y i n India did not conform to the more l i b e r a l a t t i t u d e towards female sexuality i n T i b e t . Although t h i s young woman's assessment of disparate m o r a l i t i e s suggests a r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n on her 64 part of the a c t i v i t i e s leading up to her being f i r e d as a teacher, romantic a f f a i r s between unmarried and married Tibetans abound i n Dharmsala. Furthermore, i n most of T i b e t , with, perhaps, the exception of Lhasa, young Tibetan men and women engaged r e l a t i v e l y f r e e l y i n romantic involvements. Boys would often sneak into the tents inhabited by t h e i r paramours at night. Tibetans i n Dharmsala say that parents were aware of the young lovers' a c t i v i t i e s . Such a c t i v i t i e s were generally sanctioned unless the parents happened "to see" (as opposed "to hear") the l o v e r s . Thus, the issue of morality, i n the TCV case, appears to be directed more towards preserving a c e r t a i n image of the school to the public i n general, and to the sponsors i n p a r t i c u l a r . 6. The ten Buddhist precepts observed by the dge-tshul and dge-slong are: not to k i l l ; not to s t e a l ; not to drink a l c o h o l ; celibacy; not to eat at inappropriate times; not to engage i n music, singing, dancing, or to attend t h e a t r i c a l performances; not to deck oneself with flowers, perfume, or ornaments; not to sleep on a high bed; and not to receive gold or s i l v e r (Tucci 1980:111). These precepts often sustained multiple Interpretations i n the monastic communities of Tibet. Monks are, of course, highly s k i l l e d i n monastic dance, and i n the playing of r e l i g i o u s music. Furthermore, i n Lhasa, one of the major opera troupes was composed e n t i r e l y of monks. The precept forbidding a monk to receive gold or s i l v e r was directed to the i n d i v i d u a l monk, and not to the monastic organization, as monasteries often retained vast landholdings, and made loans. 7. No s t a t i s t i c s are a v a i l a b l e on the a c t u a l number of monks v i s - a - v i s that of nuns i n T i b e t , but nunneries and nuns i n T i b e t were f a r outnumbered by monks and monasteries. Tibetan men i n Dharmsala tend to regard nuns with amusement, since they a s s e r t that sexual abstinence for women i s well-nigh impossible. Although nuns may be requested to perform a r i t u a l i n one's home, nuns would not be as prestigious f o r the sponsor of the r i t u a l as monks would be. Few Tibetan g i r l s i n Dharmsala enter a nunnery. The nunnery i s considered to be a pleasant retirement home, however, for widows or older women. 8. In some areas of Mng'a-ri, f o r example, nomad fa m i l i e s who wished to r e t a i n t h e i r sons, who were invaluable contributors to the family economy, paid a tax to avoid the sons' c o n s c r i p t i o n i n both monastic and m i l i t a r y service. 65 CHAPTER III RITUAL APPEASEMENT: ALIGNING THE COSMOLOGICAL HIERARCHY The strategies adopted i n the curing r i t u a l s Tibetans perform i n e x i l e d i f f e r markedly according to whether or not the patient i s found to be morally responsible for his or her i l l n e s s . I f the decree of div i n e r or oracle sought by the patient, the patient's r e l a t i v e s , or friends, holds the patient reprehensible for some trespass against a cosmological being, then the focus of the ensuing curing r i t u a l i s the appeasement, usually through prestations, of that being. The numina so i n f r i n g e d upon, however, come from but two realms of samsara, that of the lha or gods and the k l u or nagas. While the realm of the lha is superior to that of humans, the ranks of the k l u are i n f e r i o r . But each realm " l e g i t i m a t e l y " takes offense against human trespass and must be appeased through prestation. This prestation through r i t u a l might be viewed as an alignment of the cosmos, an alignment which at once avows the existence of a cosmological hierarchy and expresses the unique p o s i t i o n of humans v i s - a - v i s that hierarchy. For Tibetans, "prestation" connotes two d i s t i n c t actions, " o f f e r i n g up" (mchod-pa pul-ba) and "giving down" (dge-ba  gtong-ba). While an " o f f e r i n g " i s always directed up, that i s , towards any being or beings superior to humans i n the cosmic ranks, " g i v i n g " presumes the i n f e r i o r status of the r e c i p i e n t . In either form of action, Tibetan r i t u a l prestations a f f i r m status r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Moreover, the performance of a Tibetan Buddhist r i t u a l , whether i t be "big" (wrathful) or "small" (peaceful), as informants gloss r i t u a l a c t i o n , requires the i n v i t a t i o n of members of the four cosmic realms as guests. These categories include: (1) Buddhas who have attained nirvana; (2) the mgon-pos, wrathful protectors of r e l i g i o n ; (3) the sentient beings from the s i x l e v e l s of samsara - the lha (gods), lha-ma-yin ( t i t a n s or asuras), human beings, k l u (nagas) and animals, yi-dwags (hungry ghosts), and h e l l beings; and (4) those " e v i l s p i r i t s around here" who frequent r e l i g i o u s events. A l l of these guests must be tendered prestations, but the f i r s t two realms, that of the Buddhas and mgon-pos, unquestionably receive " o f f e r i n g s " , while with the exception of the lha (gods), the creatures inhabiting samsara and the e v i l s p i r i t s are "given" something as a r e q u i s i t e a c t of compassion on the part of the donor. Thus, any r i t u a l of appeasement i n v i t e s the members of the cosmic ranks to witness and p a r t i c i p a t e i n the alignment of the hierarchy. This chapter w i l l address the issue of cosmic alignment by discussing the nature of the more or less immediate neighbors of humans i n the cosmological hierarchy, the lha or gods and the k l u or serpent beings, some i l l n e s s e s caused by lha and k l u r e s u l t i n g from the moral r e p r e h e n s i b i l i t y of humans, why humans might be deemed so reprehensible, and, f i n a l l y , the importance of the i n t e n t i o n a l ! t y of appeasement. The Lha Lha (gods) and lha-mo (goddesses) are terms Tibetans apply to enlightened beings (those Buddhas who have transcended samsaric existence), protectors of the f a i t h , the 'compassionate' beings to whom humans may apply f o r assistance, l o c a l gods and goddesses who preside over s p e c i f i c regions such as v a l l e y s , mountains, mountain passes, or the household, as well as to other inhabitants of the various l e v e l s of Tibetan Buddhist heaven. Lha are, above a l l , the most powerful members of the cosmological hierarchy and usually the most i n t e l l i g e n t . Lha appear e i t h e r i n wrathful or peaceful manifestations. Some ex c l u s i v e l y adopt one manifestation as does the wrathful protectoress of Spyan-ras-gzigs, the compassionate Buddha, who incarnates i n the person of the Dalai Lama, while other lha may manifest themselves i n two or more forms. In Tibetan Buddhist temples, statues of wrathful d e i t i e s are set i n alcoves and t y p i c a l l y v e i l e d with gauze pendants i n rainbow c o l o r s . As one monk explained, i f people enter the temple to receive blessings and look upon the images of these wrathful d e i t i e s , they w i l l suddenly become a f r a i d and t h e i r fear could produce an adverse e f f e c t upon t h e i r blessings. The rainbow-colored gauze v e i l would s h i e l d the viewers' eyes, causing the image to reveal i t s e l f slowly, and, thereby, "wear out" the immediate h o r r i f i c e f f e c t . Iconographic depictions of l h a , whether painted s c r o l l s (thang-ka) i l l u s t r a t i n g the enlightened ones and t h e i r h i s t o r i e s or cosmological r e l a t i o n s h i p s , or paper reproductions of these s c r o l l s framed, i f possible, i n glass ( i n order to prevent any noxious odors from reaching the l h a ) , are the "ornaments" of every Tibetan home and are always hung above eye-level. In f a c t , these painted s c r o l l s represent windows f o r the human eye and are illuminated with the l i g h t of butter lamps burning on the a l t a r beneath the s c r o l l . This l i g h t i n g arrangement reveals the perspective of the painting to advantage and emphasizes the elevated status of the lha. When households display a pantheon of Tibetan d e i t i e s on t h e i r a l t a r s , care Is taken to preserve the ranking of the lha and of the sprul-skus, or reincarnated lamas; a p o r t r a i t of the D a l a i Lama, for example, must always occupy the highest p o s i t i o n of any of the incarnated lamas. The s i z e of the lha (as well as of other numina) also must be taken into consideration by humans who might venture into lha ha b i t a t s . During a r i t u a l given to consecrate a new Rnying-ma-pa  sgom-pa In Dharmsala, a procession c a r r i e d an e f f i g y of the F i f t h Dalai Lama, a demon, and a triangular box containing e v i l s p i r i t s that would be destroyed (the s i g n i f i c a n c e of which w i l l be discussed i n Chapters V and VI) from the new sgom-pa to a crossing of paths some distance from the sgom-pa. The procession was led by a lay man carrying a s c r o l l painting (thang-ka) depicting the wheel of l i f e . A sngags-pa (one who Is a s p e c i a l i s t i n magic s p e l l s ) explained to me the importance of the thang-ka i n warning the l o c a l d e i t i e s about the procession and what i t conveyed. The warnings were dire c t e d to three d i f f e r e n t numina - greater lha, l e s s e r lha, and sa-bdag. The greater lha were requested to remove their legs and not stand i n the way; the medium-sized lha, to remove the i r bodies; and the short 69 sa-bdags, tx> bend down i n order to avoid being struck by the e f f i g i e s or box. I f any of these numina touched the "givings" of the r i t u a l , they would be harmed. The t r i - p a r t i t e request, then, i s addressed to three legitimate cosmic l e v e l s , and i s presented as a demonstration of human concern for t h e i r welfare. A gtor-ma, a cake molded from barley f l o u r (upon which I w i l l elaborate l a t e r ) , comprises the medium for both " o f f e r i n g s " and "givings". As i t would be deleterious f o r l o c a l lha to come into contact with gtor-mas designated for e v i l s p i r i t s , Tibetans think, by the same token, that gtor-mas offered to lha might cause rabies i n dogs that might happen upon them. A gtor-ma f o r a lha would necess a r i l y overpower a l e s s e r being l i k e a dog. Students of monastic dance are, on occasion, the victims of a s i m i l a r status discrepancy. I f the lha whom the dancer depicts i s too powerful, the dancer might become extremely i l l . Both cases i l l u s t r a t e the inversion of the intended d i r e c t i o n of the prestation. A d d i t i o n a l l y , Tibetan domestic a l t a r s might display an image of the god inha b i t i n g the p a r t i c u l a r v a l l e y or area i n T i b e t which was the o r i g i n a l f a m i l i a l residence. This lha, (the skyes-lha or y u l - l h a ) , would not be a Buddha or enlightened being but rather a member of the 'worldly' cl a s s of lha, those attached to samsaric existence as opposed to i t s enlightened transcenders. The supreme form of lha i s Buddhahood and i s followed c l o s e l y by the Bodhisattvas, who embody the compassionate aspect of Buddhahood. These lha provide the source of wisdom, guidance, and assistance f o r the s o t e r i o l o g i c a l goals of Buddhists - the transcending of samsaric existence or, a t 70 l e a s t , a favorable r e b i r t h that would further the i n d i v i d u a l along the path to enlightenment. As one dge-bshes i n s i s t e d , "These supreme beings can help for m i l l i o n s of years, but these l e s s e r lha do not have that power. They are only able to help i n simple day to day a c t i v i t i e s . " The remark of the dge-bshes was prompted by h i s admission that "we Tibetans constantly seek the advice of the les s e r l h a . " Though the two state oracles, the Nechung Oracle (Gnas-chung  Chos-rgyal) and Ganden Oracle (Dg'a-ldan Chos-rgyal) are government lha and, necessarily, of a 'higher type', the oracles a v a i l a b l e to the general p u b l i c are frequently of lower status and can be a t once e a s i l y insulted and r e a d i l y appeased. I f these l e s s e r lha are properly approached, however, they w i l l r e a d i l y give predictions concerning human welfare. The l e s s e r lha depend upon human off e r i n g s to a c e r t a i n extent and, therefore, e x i s t interdependently with humans: they are not those i n whom people can 'take refuge', as dictated by Buddhist tenet, or act as "guide, philosopher, and f r i e n d " , as may be expected of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Furthermore, unlike the l e s s e r lha (whom people continually seek for advice and d a i l y assistance), the supreme beings w i l l never leave one, so to speak, " i n a l u r c h " . Lesser lha are, nonetheless, the focus of considerable r i t u a l a t t e n t i o n and i n s p i r e no small degree of human devotion. The skyes-lha, the lha assigned to one from b i r t h and usually the l o c a l guardian of the v a l l e y i n which one i s born, are known to rescue t h e i r human charges from dangerous s i t u a t i o n s , as the following examples 71 i l l u s t r a t e : (1) One time i n T i b e t a monk was performing the bar-do r i t e s f o r a person who had died. As the r i t u a l , which was a b i t boring, wore on, the monk began to yawn, and, f i n a l l y , nodded o f f to sleep. In h i s dream, he saw himself praying along with the monks, but suddenly a r i d e r on a white horse appeared i n h i s dream, and kept running back and f o r t h before him, disturbing h i s prayers. At l a s t the monk became so angry that he reached for his tea cup to throw at the r i d e r . This thought awakened him and he heard the other monks outside c a l l i n g him to come out. Then, to his horror, he noticed that the hand of the corpse, which was covered with white gauze kha-btags (ceremonial scarves), was moving. The monk jumped up and ran out to save himself from this ro-langs (walking corpse). He discovered that the r i d e r on the white horse was his skyes-lha that had come to save him. (2) Once i n T i b e t there l i v e d a family c o n s i s t i n g of a father, mother, and a beloved son. They were very r e l i g i o u s and never f a i l e d to p r o p i t i a t e t h e i r skyes-lha. When th e i r son was s i x years old, he was ordained as a monk and admitted to a monastery. Many years passed with no e v i l forces playing upon the family u n t i l one day, when the father became bed-ridden with a mysterious i l l n e s s , and the source of his i l l n e s s eluded the l o c a l doctor. F i n a l l y , the man's wife consulted the l o c a l oracle who prescribed the appropriate r e l i g i o u s r i t e s , o f f e r i n g s , and prayers to ward o f f the e v i l s p i r i t s responsible f o r the disease. The oracle further prophesied that the s i c k man's rlung-rta (his "luck") was at i t s lowest ebb, leaving him extremely vulnerable to attacks from e v i l s p i r i t s and, therefore, that the man must r e f r a i n from leaving the house a t dawn or dusk (busy hours f o r e v i l s p i r i t s ) for some time. The man followed the oracle's p r e s c r i p t i o n s and began to recover. But, ignoring the oracle's admonition, the father l e f t the house one evening. As he s t r o l l e d away, he reached a wooded area where he saw a number of people enjoying a p i c n i c , drinking, and singing songs. He even recognized some of his f r i e n d s , who enticed him to j o i n them and drink a great deal of beer. Amidst t h i s f e s t i v i t y , the man noticed hi s son, the monk, hurrying to fetch him home. This annoyed the man considerably, and he scolded h i s son for leaving the monastery without permission. Although the father threatened to beat his son upon the i r return home i f the son did not a t once depart for his monastery, the monk refused to budge unless accompanied by his father. The father a t l a s t resigned himself to returning home despite the entreaties of his new friends to stay. His f r i e n d s , however, loaded the pockets of his wool phyu-pa (cloak) with eatables to take home. The son guided his drunken father home where the f r a n t i c wife f i n a l l y saw her husband walking alone, singing, and shouting with his eyes closed i n a state of delirium. The " i n t e l l i g e n t " wife i n s t a n t l y put her husband into bed rather than quarrel with him, but the man refused to sleep u n t i l he and his wife had eaten the food he had brought from the p i c n i c . When the wife went to r e t r i e v e the food, she found that the 'eatables' were dismembered human f l e s h . Despite her horror, she retained the presence of mind to throw away these remains and replace 73 them with food from her own pantry. She presented her husband with the s u b s t i t u t e food as he narrated h i s adventure with the p i c n i c k e r s , and complained that t h e i r son had run away from the monastery to j o i n him at the p i c n i c . The woman, however, was surprised to hear of her son's presence since she had not seen him return with her husband. The next day, her husband became extremely i l l , and the wife again consulted the oracle. She was a t once rebuked by the lha f o r allowing her husband to go out l a t e a t night, contrary to the lha's advice. The oracle informed her that the son who had rescued her husband was a c t u a l l y the man's skyes-lha, not t h e i r monk son. Further r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l s were prescribed and the man f i n a l l y recovered. The above two i l l u s t r a t i o n s confirm the importance of a l o c a l god such as a skyes-lha i n saving one's l i f e despite one's stupid a c t i o n s . But, i n some instances, blindness or sickness can be caused by one's skyes-lha because the skyes-lha f e e l s neglected by humans. I f one Is born i n Lhasa, f o r example, one's skyes-lha i s Panden Lhamo (Dpal-ldan  Lha-mo), the wrathful protectoress of the Dalai Lama. She i s known to become offended i f she i s not thought about a l l the time and the object of prayers. One man dreamed that a young monk was trying to strangle him. Upon consulting an oracle, the man learned that the "young monk" was his skyes-lha who was angered a t the man's inattentiveness. The skyes-lha i s not an enlightened being but can be r e l i e d upon i n most events to come to one's assistance, e s p e c i a l l y i f the skyes-lha enjoys the respect of his or her charges and the i r l e v e l 74 of rlung-rta i s low. Oracles are venerated f o r t h e i r r o l e as "information brokers". High-ranking oracles such as the Nechung are compared by some Tibetans to the Dalai Lama's press secretary, someone who transmits c r i t i c a l knowledge from "on high" down to the general p u b l i c and also confirms, denies, or corrects public queries. Lesser oracles, however, have se n s i t i v e natures and demand f a i t h f u l n e s s as well as o f f e r i n g s from their followers. Tibetans stress the importance of developing a re l a t i o n s h i p with a p a r t i c u l a r lama to whom one should customarily go for mo_ (dice d i v i n a t i o n ) . To seek predictions from one lama i s often expressed as an " i d e a l " s i t u a t i o n , but common pr a c t i c e contradicts this i d e a l since many Tibetans w i l l "go for mo" from several sources and weigh each r e s u l t i n l i g h t of his or her personal considerations. One informant emphasized that when mo predictions regarding the curing of sickness do not prove accurate, the lama performing the d i v i n a t i o n should not be blamed, that the patient's karma i s responsible. But i n practice, I found that Tibetans tend to blame "karma" as a l a s t resort and prefer, instead, to "rank" d i v i n e r s , have th e i r personal f a v o r i t e s , and might be said, indeed, to r e c r u i t c l i e n t s f o r these f a v o r i t e s , thereby b o l s t e r i n g the prestige of that d i v i n e r , and making i t fashionable to consult him or her. Of course, i n Tibetan society, monks and lamas are said to perform d i v i n a t i o n through t h e i r own meditations and are never imputed to harbor emotions such as jealousy, anger, and hatred. The p r a c t i c e of ranking d i v i n e r s when c a r r i e d over to the oracular sphere, bears serious consequences. Those seeking the advice of more than one oracle r i s k e x c i t i n g the wrath of whichever oracle's pronouncements were not followed. I f one r e j e c t s an oracle to whom one has customarily gone, one may expect that oracle or, rather, the lha posessing that oracle, to become jealous. Such wrath r e s u l t s i n sickness, blindness, or death f o r the former c l i e n t , and stems from human impugnation of oracular and, thereby, of lha status. A rather unusual case was that of one young Tibetan who, worried that h i s f a i l i n g a school subject (geography) might hurt h i s chances of future employment with the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, consulted the lady oracle (who happened to be h i s distant r e l a t i v e ) . During the session, he ended up arguing with the oracle and eventually winning the dispute, persuading the lha that h i s intentions were not to make money, but to serve the Tibetan people. The young man requested, however, that I not mention to other Tibetans that he had quarreled with an o r a c l e . While the high state oracles, the Nechung and Ganden, are government i n s t i t u t i o n s and i n v i t e d to present annual reports on the prospect of Tibet as well as to supply p r a c t i c a l d i r e c t i v e s f o r ministers of state, many l e s s e r oracles announce themselves i n order to derive some benefits from human beings. For example, since these l e s s e r lha are disembodied, some require the use of a human form i n order to partake of desired sensual pleasures such as eating, drinking, and smelling pleasant aromas. Furthermore, l e s s e r lha come to enjoy the status and attendant p r i v i l e g e s of a valued consultant. Although, as mentioned above, lamas are a v a i l a b l e f o r di v i n a t i o n s , they are, as one government o f f i c a l put i t , " a f t e r a l l human and not possessed by a superpower. Lamas do not deal i n worldly things." Oracles represent an i n t e r f a c e of the cosmic order between lh a - y u l (gods' country) and mi-yul (the realm of humans). To consult an oracle, then, i s to i n t e r a c t with a god. An oracle i s considered to be an ultimate authority (which explains the young Tibetan's reluctance to have the f a c t known that he contested that a u t h o r i t y ) . This p o s i t i n g of god-human complementarity i s not l o s t upon i n f e r i o r gods and those ghosts who contribute to the phenomenon, purportedly common to Tibetan refugee settlements i n India, of the f a l s e oracle (see also E p s t e i n 1978). whereas high oracles manifest moral action (to the extreme of k i l l i n g people who are s o c i a l pariahs), l e s s e r oracles f u l f i l l themselves as much as they a s s i s t humans. I t i s the l a t t e r oracles who excite the envy of i n f e r i o r lha and ghosts. The human v i c t i m chosen to be a medium by the f a l s e oracle or ghost displays at f i r s t the f i v e stages of possession: (1) shivering; (2) a face contorted with pain; (3) back and stomach pain; (4) tensed muscles and trembling; and (5) sudden screams and jumps -a l l of which are followed by the announcement of the possessing lha's name. However, the predictions made by a f a l s e oracle w i l l not be f u l f i l l e d , and w i l l thereby disavow the legitimacy of the oracle. Tibetans sharply d i s t i n g u i s h ghost from lha possession. In the event a person i s possessed by a ghost, he or she shouts or screams, but due to "some g u i l t y complex or i n f e r i o r i t y f e e l i n g , " the possessed i n d i v i d u a l avoids looking into the faces of those around him or her and i s a f r a i d of f i r e (a tool of e x o r c i s t s ) . Someone possessed by a 77 l h a , on the other hand, w i l l become much more imposing, gaze d i r e c t l y into the faces of others, and immediately announce that he or she i s a c e r t a i n lha. The truth of the possessing lha's statements i s tested i n another way. When a new oracle i s brought into the presence of a very high lama or oracle such as the Nechung, the l a t t e r orders the prospective oracle to enter trance and throws "mantra" grains (mustard seeds which have been empowered through the meditations of lamas) on him or her. I f the oracle i s the a c t u a l lha, he can "digest the power" of these grains; i f the oracle i s f a l s e , he must come out of trance. The Nechung Oracle customarily entered trance along with the new oracle and threw grains a t him to determine hi s legitimacy (Nebesky-Wojkowitz 1956:419), presumably a d i r e c t challenge from one lha to another. The Klu Klu, who are somewhat akin to the Indian naga, are among those beings ranked below humans In the cosmological hierarchy but possessing superhuman powers. The k l u and their close r e l a t i v e s , the sa-bdags (landlords of the s o i l ) guard the purity of water, the hearth, and the f e r t i l i t y of the land. The Tibetan opera Nor-bzang begins with the poisoning of a lake, and the subsequent immediate departure of the klu-mo (a k l u queen), who had ensured the abundance of crops and c l a r i t y of the water. Her departure r e s u l t s i n drought and famine. Ortner notes the k l u " c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of being c l o s e l y 78 concerned with people and t h e i r a f f a i r s " and t h e i r extreme s e n s i t i v i t y to any infringement upon the i r environment from "burning animal matter - meat, milk, h a i r , n a i l s , bloody clothes, and so on - i n the household f i r e " to the p o l l u t i o n of streams or lakes with human excreta (1978b:279). Klu are always searching f o r a clean place to l i v e , and, thus, are forced to move on whenever t h e i r h a b i t a t i s despoiled. The response of k l u and sa-bdag to such offenses i s to a f f l i c t the human perpetrators of such actions with disease, e s p e c i a l l y with diseases of the s k i n such as b o i l s , i n f e c t i o n s , swollen j o i n t s , and leprosy. Such diseases would a f f e c t one's appearance, and, therefore, one's presentation of s e l f , an aspect of status i n Tibetan society. Klu are known to be l e s s sentient than humans and i n s p i r e exasperated parents to chide t h e i r c h i l d r e n with the s i m i l a r i t y of th e i r behavior to that of k l u , behavior that i s i r a s c i b l e , r e l e n t l e s s , and unforgiving. One lama advised that I t Is better not to seek any friendship with k l u , that one might indeed become s i c k at the mere s i g h t of one. Klu never forget an i n s u l t or i n j u r y , whether or not i t be i n t e n t i o n a l , and are characterized by a p e r s i s t e n t anger i f not appeased. Klu, l i k e the lha, are s o c i a l creatures whose society i s structured into four castes - the rgya-gling or royal family, bram-ze or p r i e s t s , dmangs-rig or commoners, and, f i n a l l y , the dor-pa or r e c a l c i t r a n t e v i l doers. Each "caste", as Tibetans l i t e r a l l y categorize k l u , would have i t s a r i s t o c r a t s , family r e t a i n e r s , and general followers. While the f i r s t three castes with the exception of c e r t a i n royal k l u are distinguished as white and generally h e l p f u l to humans, the malevolent dor pa and c e r t a i n k l u kings are black. White k l u must be appeased; black k l u , exorcized. White k l u are pr o p i t i a t e d with "givings" (since they rank beneath humans on the cosmological scale) of three white substances (milk, butter, and curd) and three sweet substances (white sugar, brown sugar, and honey). In the event that a person's i l l n e s s or in j u r y has resulted from h i s or her p h y s i c a l l y harming a k l u by, f o r example, a c c i d e n t a l l y stepping on the klu's arm or leg, the k l u i s also offered medicine s p e c i f i c a l l y designed to cure i t s limb. I f the klu's hand has been injured, a c e r t a i n f r u i t resembling a hand i s pulverized into a medicinal ingredient and given to the k l u , such as b e f i t s homeopathic l o g i c . A habitat pleasing to k l u , such as a patch of grass on a platform festooned with prayer flags and barley cakes (gtor-ma), might also be presented. In the appeasement of k l u , the s t r i c t observance of r i t u a l context i s as important as i s the pr e s t a t i o n i t s e l f . The o f f i c i a n t s of the r i t u a l must not eat meat or have anything to do with blood the day of the ceremony. Furthermore, the timing of the r i t u a l i s c r i t i c a l . I f i t i s performed on the wrong date, the zhal-'adon (meaning r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l or puja i n Hindi) might have a reverse e f f e c t - that i s , antagonize rather than appease the k l u . A s t r o l o g i c a l c a l c u l a t i o n s can forecast the occasions of k l u meetings, p a r t i e s , or general get-togethers. Tibetan l o g i c d i c t a t e s that r i t u a l p r o p i t i a t i o n s of k l u prove most e f f e c t i v e when the k l u themselves are having a b i g party since the prestations w i l l augment the food stocks 80 of the k lu h o s t s . But i f k l u are ent iced to a r i t u a l dur ing t h e i r per iod of h ibernat ion or per iods of r e t r e a t , t h e i r s leep i s d i s t u r b e d , t h e i r own r u l e s are broken, and the e f f e c t s of these v i o l a t i o n s can prove harmful to humans. j Dharmsala i s r e p l e t e with t a l e s of those who have suf fe red from k l u a t t a c k s : (1) There was a man who cut wood fo r the monastery. One day he became s i c k and bent over . No cure could be found because i t was the a c t i o n of k l u . The man had cut too many t r e e s . (2) An a r c h i t e c t suf fered b o i l s on h i s hand. When a monk not iced t h i s , the a r c h i t e c t was informed that the b o i l s were caused by k l u . Since the a r c h i t e c t had so much contact with cont rac tors and b u i l d e r s , some of the k l u ' s d isp leasure had c a r r i e d over to him. (3) One young man, whose i n f a n t son suf fered from a ser ious k l u d i s e a s e , had f i n a l l y resor ted to Western medicine and had moved h i s wi fe and son to a l o c a l Western c l i n i c . Before the f a m i l y ' s re turn to t h e i r o r i g i n a l home, I not iced the young man washing the fami ly cooking pots i n the t r i c k l e of water coming from a faucet which was c l o s e to a la rge w e l l . He was a f r a i d to dip the pots i n the we l l un less they were f i r s t very c l e a n , s ince k l u were known to inhab i t the w e l l and might take ob jec t ion to d i r t y p o t s . I looked at i t , a somewhat run-down we l l with grass and p lants growing from i t s broken b r i c k s , and suggested that i t looked l i k e a place where k l u might 81 dwell. To this the young man replied with a warning to me not to talk about them and a suggestion that I go to have some tea. (4) A young boy who accidentally crushed a frog (one form of klu) while shutting a door, broke out in a skin rash for two weeks as a result. (5) A young g i r l bitten by a mad dog, was also discovered to be suffering from a klu attack, when her family consulted an oracle. In her case, the efficient cause of the attack was not her responsibility. Someone, the oracle revealed, had carelessly tossed a nail clipping on the ground and had thereby polluted the home of certain klu. A bird ate the clipping and then died. The bird, in turn, was eaten by a dog, and the dog, as a result, became rabid. The mad dog then bit the g i r l . The illnesses of the bird, dog, and the g i r l were a l l a consequence of the klu's rage. The g i r l was cured after the oracle managed to suck a small stone dog from her body, and her family made prestations to the klu. The culprit who committed the offense against the klu suffered no retribution because his rlung-rta was high. The g i r l ' s rlung-rta, however, was, at the time of her attack, very low. (6) One young monk provided the following account of his encounter with klu: "One day a few years ago we monks went to the Tibetan Children's V i l l a g e for a s p e c i a l puja. The older monks got to r i d e i n jeeps, but we younger ones had to walk. Therefore, we took the middle road (the shortcut) back and were racing to see i f we could reach McGleod Ganj before the jeep did. We often used to race each other and this day, although not on every day, I happened to be ahead. I was not thinking about anything but suddenly f e l t that I was going too f a s t and should stop, but I could not stop myself. I j u s t kept on running. I f e l l face forward, h i t t i n g my knees, the palms of my hands, and my face and was unconscious for about 10-15 minutes. The other boys (young monks) tr i e d to help me but I was not able to walk even with their help for some time. Although I f e l l , I did not f e e l any pain in s i d e , j u s t a stunned f e e l i n g on the outside. We were i n a hurry but I had to move slowly. Blood was coming from my face and hands, and, as we passed the Gorkha Fountain (a fountain which was b u i l t by the Gorkha R i f l e s ) , I thought to wash i t o f f . There were some Western hippies washing t h e i r dishes and clothes i n the fountain at that time. Then I washed the blood o f f . I was not thinking a t the time that k l u l i v e d there, I did not think any were there, I was not thinking about i t . The others went ahead so they would not be l a t e and could explain why I would be. One Western hippie i n v i t e d me to come back with him to his hotel where he had bandages and ointment. I went with him and he put the ointment and bandages on my wounds. Then I returned to the monastery. The f i r s t night 1 f e l t nothing and did not think anything about i t . The second night my face began to swell. Monks said, "Oh, look at your face!" But I did not think anything of i t . By the'third or fourth day, however, ray face was so swollen I could not see. One boy went to a high Rinpoche (reincarnated lama) for mo (dice) divination. The Rinpoche threw mo and discovered that I was being attacked by klu. The Rinpoche then asked the boy to find out from me what had happened the past few days. The boy asked me and I thought, "1 have been in the temple doing zhal-'adon the past few days and nothing happened." Then finally I thought about falling down and washing in the fountain. The boy returned to the Rinpoche with my story, but the Rinpoche had already thrown mo and informed the boy that I had washed in the fountain and offended the klu. He prescribed the appropriate zhal-'adon to be performed in order to please the klu. So I had four monks from the monastery perform the ritual. They gathered items such as incense and sweet things that klu like. Then, when the zhal-'adon was finished, I took those items to the Gorkha fountain. No other monks were with me, since, i f their rlung-rta was high, i t would prevent the klu from appearing. I set the ritual offerings down by the fountain and apologized to the klu in three languages - Tibetan, Hindi, and then English -because the Rinpoche advised that I did not know which language the klu might speak. I said, 'Klu, please forgive me for washing my blood off here. If I had known you were here, I never would have done so, e t c ' That night the swelling went down, so the klu had accepted ray apology."''' The interpretation of rlung-rta and its relationship to the young monk is a subject I will elaborate upon in Chapter VII. For the present, the point to be made i s that the young monk i n i t i a l l y refused to accept r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r h i s offense against the k l u , but the Rinpoche had recognized that the status of the k l u had been i n f r i n g e d upon. Humans and k l u occupy adjacent niches i n Tibetan cosmological hierarchy and can have r e c i p r o c a l e f f e c t s upon one another. One adage states that humans can detect the skin cast o f f by snakes (who are also a form of klu) and that k l u can see the skin cast o f f by humans, but neither humans nor k l u are aware of t h e i r own sloughed skins. Ortner stresses that the "touchy" character of k l u derives from t h e i r "great s u s c e p t i b i l i t y and s e n s i t i v i t y " to human p o l l u t i o n of t h e i r environment (1978b:279). Anyone s u f f e r i n g from a k l u disease i s g u i l t y of committing a moral transgression with respect to k l u by s u l l y i n g t h e i r habitat, causing them physical i n j u r y , or disrupting t h e i r own s o c i a l regulations. However, k l u who r e t a l i a t e against human a f f r o n t s are not exorcized but appeased. Their vengeance i s morally appropriate because human respect f o r k l u status and i t s concomitants was not forthcoming. Despite the lower cosmic ranking of k l u , humans are enjoined through the decrees of d i v i n e r s and oracles to be mindful of the legitimate claims of these i n f e r i o r creatures. The t e r r i t o r y of humans and that of k l u necessarily overlaps and, perhaps, i l l u s t r a t e s Dumont's contention that the problem to be negotiated i s not the ownership of the land, but "a complementarity between d i f f e r e n t r i g h t s bearing on the same object" (1970:201). 85 The IntentionalIty of the Gift Thus far, I have discussed two cosmological levels requiring appeasements, whether these appeasements be "offerings up" (mchod-pa  pul-ba) or "givings down" (dge-ba gtong-ba), the nature of lha and klu, their beneficial or detrimental effects upon humans, and their reactions to insult or injury in response to infringements upon their statuses. But one significant factor remains to be considered -the intentionality of Tibetan appeasement. The four following examples illustrate a concern with the intentions of the donor: (1) Seven water bowls are considered to be the "best" offering one may make to a lha since when butter lamps are burned, one may be too attached to the expense of the butter or o i l used to burn the lamps. If there^is some attachment to the butter because of its cost, the meaning of the offering is lost. Water, on the other hand, is free and the offerer would not form an attachment to i t . (2) Once a man and his dog were travelling the mountains and f e l l into a huge ice crevasse. Both managed to land safely and, after a few days, the man grew accustomed to his new situation. He noticed that though he was starving, his dog had grown fat. The dog had been licking something which the man decided to try. It was a wish-fulfilling gem (norbu) and instantly sated the man's appetite. When summer arrived, a dragon flew into the crevasse and picked up the norbu to l i c k as i t flew skyward. The man grabbed hold of the dragon's t a i l and was c a r r i e d up to heaven where everything was very b e a u t i f u l . The lha asked the man what he desired, and, though heaven was en t i c i n g , the man expressed h i s wish to r e j o i n h i s wife and ch i l d r e n . The lha agreed to this but i n s i s t e d that he f i r s t ask for anything he wanted and take presents with him. The man chose gold and s i l k s , which were packed i n a sack for his journey. Upon the man's return to h i s family, he narrated the story of h i s journey and boasted of his new wealth. However, when he opened the sack, he found that a l l he had were small s t r i p s of c l o t h and a few tiny b i t s of gold. This t a l e , as my informant pointed out, s a t i r i z e s the human conviction that the lha and k l u are quite s a t i s f i e d with being told of the riches to be presented to them and with receiving small pieces of s i l k c l o t h , a few coins, etc. (which are common r i t u a l p r e s t a t i o n s ) . A b i t of c l o t h or coins s u f f i c e s to symbolize the g i f t . The i n t e n t i o n of the lha's g i f t must equally supercede the g i f t i t s e l f i n importance. (3) One day a man ar r i v e d a t a well where k l u were known to l i v e and defecated on the edge of the well. The man Informed the k l u that he had presented them with a golden water pot (bum-pa). While this man continued on h i s way, another man approached the well and was shocked a t the si g h t of excrement on i t s rim. As he cleaned the well, he speculated aloud as to who might have committed such a nasty deed. This second man was thus responsible f o r arousing the wrath of the k l u and became very i l l . Two explanations provided for this story from the same informant were: (1) that as the k l u had been convinced previously that they had received a handsome g i f t b e f i t t i n g t h e i r importance, they were a l l the more incensed a t the truth and the thoughtlessness of the second man i n so informing them; and (2) that the f i r s t man's rlung-rta was s u f f i c i e n t l y high to enable him to treat the k l u so r e c k l e s s l y and yet avoid t h e i r wrath, while the second man's rlung-rta was very low. The l o g i c a l outcome of the unwitting second man's "good inte n t i o n s " was a debasement of the status presumed by the k l u . A q u i n t e s s e n t i a l point, the importance of one's rlung-rta l e v e l , as i n the young monk's tal e , I w i l l discuss i n Chapter VII. For the present, i t s u f f i c e s to note that the intentions of the second man, though ostensibly directed towards c o r r e c t i n g a transgression, a c t u a l l y debased the status of the k l u . He i n d i r e c t l y pointed up t h e i r g u l l i b i l i t y and lack of i n t e l l i g e n c e by d i r e c t i n g a t t e n t i o n to th e i r polluted home, (a s i t u a t i o n which forces them to search for a new residence). The second man, then, became responsible for his e t h i c a l v i o l a t i o n of the prerogatives of status. This e t h i c a l v i o l a t i o n served him far worse than the appropriately proferred, a l b e i t p o l l u t i n g g i f t from the f i r s t man. (4) For the return of the D a l a i Lama from h i s 1980 tour of the United States, the Tibetans of Dharmsala b u i l t three d i f f e r e n t gates through which the D a l a i Lama's entourage would pass. The f i r s t gate to receive the motorcade was the work of young government o f f i c i a l s and decorated with the i n t r i c a t e painting c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the door frames of the monasteries and temples of Lhasa. A second gate was bordered with pine branches and supported a banner of welcome. The t h i r d gate, which leads into McCleod Ganj, displayed elaborately fashioned s i l k brocade banners. These gates were constructed as o f f e r i n g s to the D a l a i Lama and as an expression of happiness a t h i s return, but the gates, as was generally known, also represented a f r i e n d l y competition amongst three major neighborhoods of Dharmsala. While many were aware that a competition was taking place, one young Tibetan was very much displeased with the competitive s p i r i t since, as he s a i d , each gate was an o f f e r i n g to the D a l a i Lama. His objection, then, expresses an i d e a l , that an o f f e r i n g i s not an o f f e r i n g i f i t i s also the donor's entry into some competition, a competition enhancing the prestige of the winner. In p r a c t i c e , however, the very process of recording the names and amounts given by donors, and, i n c e r t a i n contexts, the p u b l i c announcement of such information, stimulates the amount of p u b l i c o f f e r i n g while subverting this i d e a l . Conclus ion The d i r e c t i v e of appeasements i n Tibetan curing r i t u a l s i s to legitimate or reconfirm the status of lha and k l u with respect to humans. Whilst humans may come into c o n f l i c t with both lha and k l u , these two categories of numina never c o n f l i c t with each other. I t i s humans who must take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the "alignment" of status. Since appeasements are proffered to lha and k l u when humans have suffered as a r e s u l t of ignoring or i n f r i n g i n g upon the p r i v i l e g e s of lha or k l u status, the l o g i c emerging from the young man's d i s t r e s s at competitive o f f e r i n g s i s that humans cannot pursue their own status i n t e r e s t when appeasing the status i n t e r e s t of others (the lha and the k l u ) , who are the more or less immediate neighbors of humans i n the Tibetan cosraological hierarchy. Important as appeasements are In humbling the patient and enhancing the status of offended lha and k l u , or i n re-negotiating the status of the pa t i e n t v i s - a - v i s that of the numina, the successful cure seems to depend not upon the patient's s k i l l a t self-effacement, but rather upon h i s or her rlun g - r t a . NOTES 1. Sudhir Kakar (1982) describes this same incidence of k l u attack. His research a s s i s t a n t came to Dharmsala f o r two weeks i n an attempt to gather data on Tibetan r i t u a l curing, and requested my help. I introduced him to the young monk, and we were both present as the young monk recounted h i s i l l n e s s episode. The young monk, however, was not, as Kakar states (1982:111), one of "Nagpalla's" patients. The young monk appealed to a venerated Dge-lugs-pa Rinpoche for a diagnosis and p r e s c r i p t i v e r i t u a l . 91 CHAPTER IV THE AMBIVALENCE OF HIERARCHICAL ASCENT As Turner has shown, i n a society without c e n t r a l i z e d p o l i t i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , such as that of the Ndembu, disturbed s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s are expressly thought to manifest themselves i n i l l n e s s e s (1967:51). However, i n the great medical t r a d i t i o n s of Asia - Ayurvedic, Tibetan, and Chinese - which have emerged with c e n t r a l i z e d p o l i t i c a l systems and s t r i c t s o c i a l h i e r a r c h i e s , disease i s commonly found to r e s u l t from an i n t e r n a l imbalance of bodily humours or energies and the external cosmos. This etiology, endemic to the non-biomedical "great medical t r a d i t i o n s " , suggests, then, that the i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s of the patient's close k i n are not considered to be v i t a l to disease diagnosis or cure. Diagnostic a t t e n t i o n In these "great t r a d i t i o n s " i s often addressed to the lack of synchrony between a patient's "inner balance" and a s t r o l o g i c a l harmony. I suggest that this endeavor to synchronize the patient's "inner workings" with a s t r a l t r a j e c t o r i e s i s a masking of the obligations humans bear towards the s o c i a l structure or the s o c i a l hierarchy. Since the peregrinations of the stars are beyond the reach of human manipulations, i t i s the patient's inner humours which must be adjusted to conform to cosmic rhythms. If the cosmos i s a symbolic 92 p r o j e c t i o n of the fixedness of s o c i a l hierarchy, then the patient must r e a l i g n himself or her s e l f to concur with these s o c i a l d i c t a t e s . One maxim which seemingly i s unive r s a l to hierarchies Is a systematic p r e s c r i p t i o n for ascending or descending i n the hierarchy - i . e . , the legitimate means for transcending one's status and, concomitantly, the category of errors which would impel one's descent i n the hierarchy. In Chapter I I I , I discussed the context which might assign the patient moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r his or her i l l n e s s . This moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y a r i s e s from the patient's i n d i f f e r e n c e or neglect of the status prerogatives of supernatural beings. But what then can we say about i l l n e s s e s r e s u l t i n g from attack by e v i l s p i r i t s , i l l n e s s e s which Tibetans do not diagnose as the patient's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ? Such i l l n e s s e s , I w i l l argue, are also the r e s u l t of moral transgressions against the cosmological hierarchy, but this time they are the transgressions of demons. Demons, unlike humans, do not d i r e c t l y i n s u l t their status superiors, yet they transgress against the hierarchy. What then do demons do, or, more appropriately, exactly what i s i t that demons want? Thi s question has not gone unargued In theological and phi l o s o p h i c a l c i r c l e s and i s beginning to be addressed by anthropologists. Kapferer, i n his analysis of Sinhalese exorcisms, views demons as both a symbol of the subjugation of lower classes and. as an a n t i - s t r u c t u r a l element: Demons when they attack are fearsome beings of domination who i s o l a t e t h e i r victims In a h o r r i f y i n g r e a l i t y and determine t h e i r every a c t i o n . In many ways, therefore, demonic attack symbolizes the subordination of a Sinhalese 93 working class and peasantry who are caught i n an obdurate world, weakened i n i t s structure, and who are s o c i a l l y and p o l i t i c a l l y fragmented by economic and p o l i t i c a l forces beyond t h e i r control. Demons are the terrors which prowl at the base of the hierarchy. But a l s o , l i k e t h e i r working cla s s and peasant victims, demons are the contradiction of an order i n which they are normally subjugated and are a hidden power waiting to break free (1983:35-36). Tibetan demons, however, for reasons which w i l l become c l e a r l a t e r , do not e x i s t p r e c i s e l y a t the "base of the hierarchy" nor do they n e c e s s a r i l y c o n s t i t u t e an element of a n t i - s t r u c t u r e . T h e i r case may be drawn i n part from some of the conclusions reached by 0'Flaherty i n her investigations of Hindu demons. She f i n d s , for example, that somewhere between the writing of the Rg Veda and the Puranas the demons tumbled out of heaven, and notes that "the gods are usually the ones who make demons into demons, because of the divine d i s i n c l i n a t i o n to share heaven" (1976:66). The Vedic period established a cosmos c o n s i s t i n g of heaven and earth where transactions were conducted e x c l u s i v e l y between gods i n heaven and men on earth and demons were an e x t e r i o r threat to both worlds. The Puranic period, however, constructed a t r i - p a r t i t e cosmos, heaven and the gods were mirrored by an underworld populated with demons and connected by a world mountain (Meru), which provided a stairway to heaven for humans or demonic a s c e t i c s (1976:81). Therefore, the cosmos was re-mapped, and the means to negotiate the ascent to heaven was provided by the a c q u i s i t i o n of r e l i g i o u s power. The Brahmanic p r i e s t s of the period, however, found such p o s s i b i l i t i e s threatening to the gods and to t h e i r vocation, and authored texts describing appropriate and inappropriate methods of obtaining r e l i g i o u s power. While those who conformed to the prescribed r i t u a l sphere were regarded as e t h i c a l , a s c e t i c s , who achieve t h e i r power through i n d i v i d u a l action, were "mortals who aspired to r e l i g i o u s power outside the r i t u a l sphere" and " i n h e r i t e d the r o l e of demons i n the cosmic masque" (1976:80). In this way, 0'Flaherty notes that e v i l entered the system and cosmology became " e t h i c a l l y dualized". In addition, Hindu gods, demons, and mortals began to compete for a l i m i t e d good - "power, Immortality, heaven" (1976:81). According to Kapferer, the Sinhalese Buddhist cosmic hierarchy ranks supernatural beings with respect to the degree to which they follow Buddhist teachings or are committed to the Buddhist path (1983:114). But the Tibetan cosmic hierarchy, drawing from the Puranic theories, occasionally assigns rather unethical beings to r e l a t i v e l y high places. Such beings are exemplified by the lha-ma-yln ("god-not-is") who rank above humans but below the lha. Vedic mythology p i t s Devas (lha) against Asuras (lha-ma-yin), but also, as E l i a d e suggests (1976:59), points up a "co n s u b s t a n t i a l i t y " between the two. This consubstantiallty p e r s i s t s despite the Puranic topographic expansion of the cosmos and guarantees the Asuras a ranking close to the gods. Such a high p o s i t i o n f or them, however, may have proved somewhat problematic f o r the Puranic desire to e t h i c i z e the newly formed hierarchy. 0'Flaherty notes that the Puranic e t h i c i z a t i o n of the c o n f l i c t between Deva and Asura resulted i n the replacement of the opposition god/demon with good/evil or "enlightened/proud" (1976:61). The Tibetans took this c o n f l i c t s e r i o u s l y as may be seen i n the following account of the " w i s h - f u l f i l l i n g tree": During the time of Buddha, a long time ago, there was a big tree growing i n the universe. Though the roots of the tree were i n a kingdom populated by lha-ma-yin, i t s branches were i n lha-yul (gods' country). Therefore, the lha were always enjoying the f r u i t s of this tree, f r u i t s which would provide anything the eater desired. The lha-ma-yin were not pleased with this s i t u a t i o n and believed that since the roots of the tree were i n t h e i r land, the lha were enjoying the f r u i t u n j u s t i f i a b l y . The lha-ma-yin, therefore, declared war against the lha. A great war persisted for a very long time and the lha-ma-yIn were slowly getting the better of the lha. I f the lha were defeated, then the Buddhist r e l i g i o n would be affected because the lha provide protection for the r e l i g i o n . Therefore, the lha requested a previous Lord Buddha (not the present one) to provide them with a s o l u t i o n . The Buddha r e p l i e d , "Appease Dgra-lha (the god of war) and obtain help from him." The lha then took nine weapons to Dgra-lha and performed pujas requesting h i s a i d , o f f e r i n g him many things. F i n a l l y , Dgra-lha agreed to help. He conquered the lha -ma-yin and established, once and for a l l , the d i s p o s i t i o n of the f r u i t s from the w i s h - f u l f i l l i n g tree. From this time on, we Tibetans have sought Dgra-lha's protection i n a war. This account presents a number of i n t e r e s t i n g issues, but f o r the present, the point of note i s that the lha, who are the 'protectors of r e l i g i o n ' , were l o s i n g . T heir place, though below that of the Buddhas, l e g i t i m a t e l y rests well above everyone else's and yet t h e i r power could be e f f e c t i v e l y challenged by those ranking beneath them. The primal s i n of the demon appears to be h i s or her determination to buck the rules of hierarchy or, rather, to assume the benefits of the upper echelon through w i l l f u l , independent a c t i o n and the seizure of unsanctioned power. This demonic " s i n " , as Kapferer so su c c i n c t l y puts i t , i s that "demons transgress the rules of movement through the cosmic hierarchy, which i s dependent on both a transformation i n appearance and a transformation i n the a t t i t u d e and essence of t h e i r being" (1983:126). The p o t e n t i a l movement of demons up the hierarchy through the t r i c k s they are wont to play on the senses offends those who subscribe to the notion of a systematic and e t h i c a l progression ' through the ranks', and attacks the p r i n c i p l e s s t r u c t u r i n g h i e r a r c h y — i . e . , the power of Buddha's teachings. Kapferer l a b e l s i t in v e r t i n g "the structure of determinations i n the cosmic order" (1983:126). I suggest that what distinguishes Sinhalese from Tibetan demons are the c r i t e r i a by which ranking i n the h i e r a r c h i c a l structure of the respective demonic realms i s determined. For the Sinhalese, Kapferer argues that more highly ranked demons are somewhat persuaded by the Buddha's teachings, while the more lowly demons are "in-accord with the extent to which they are p o l l u t i n g , absolute representations of nature disordered, and of the extent to which they personify i n t h e i r c r e a t i o n the disorder of c u l t u r e " (1983:115). Thus, Kapferer concludes that degree of adherence to the Buddha's teachings, r e l a t i v e purity, and expression of the ordering p r i n c i p l e s or unity of culture, as opposed to the disordering propensities of nature, are the key factors ranking d e i t i e s or demons " r e l a t i v e to each other and within t h e i r (respective) categories" (1983:115). Although the degree of adherence to the Buddha's teachings o f f e r s a respectable l o g i c of ranking where degrees of understanding may be opposed to degrees of 97 ignorance, Tibetan cosmology acknowledges the i n d i v i d u a l power, wealth, and notoriety of demons. These factors c o n s t i t u t e demonic assets, and measure out the prestige and ranking a demon enjoys v i s - a - v i s other demons. I f a demon can acquire status i n such a fashion, there exists a hierarchy i n the demonic realm. But this hierarchy i s not constructed according to Buddhist tenets. The implication, then, i s that external determinants of cosmological ranking may not nec e s s a r i l y r e f l e c t the i n t e r n a l c r i t e r i a applied within any cosmological niche. The Hierarchy of Demons Demons are inv a r i a b l y thought of as threatening and often described by anthropologists as "the co n t r a d i c t i o n of an order" (Kapferer 1983, Ortner 1980, et a l ) . Tibetan demons are c e r t a i n s p i r i t s who managed to elude the e f f o r t s of Padmasambhava to convert any r e b e l l i o u s beings to Buddhism, and ghosts who have not been exorcised, and, thus, who have grown more powerful as time passes. Tibetan demons, then, constitute a category comprising both ancient s p i r i t s and powerful ghosts, and the d i s t i n c t i o n between these demons and ghosts i s permeable. Tibetan demons and ghosts do not f i t p r e c i s e l y into any of the prescribed cosraological orders (the ghosts who worry humans are not yl-dwags), but tend instead to hover about the i n t e r s t i c e s of the legitimate hierarchy. But Tibetans say that powerful demons and powerful ghosts have t h e i r own followers, as do powerful inhabitants of any p a r t i c u l a r cosmological niche. What appears to emerge, then, from Tibetan accounts i s that demons compose and adhere to t h e i r own hierarc h i e s within the demonic realms. In the preceding chapter, I noted the s o c i a l s t r a t a occupied by the lesser lha and the k l u where both groups are considered to be s o c i a l creatures who enjoy company, d i s l i k e i s o l a t i o n , and arrange themselves i n four castes: royalty, p r i e s t s , commoners, and crim i n a l s . Although I did not hear of demons al i g n i n g themselves according to castes, there are reportedly hiera r c h i e s of e v i l s p i r i t s . For example, the hierarchy of ghosts may be detected i n the reports some Tibetans have made of seeing a f r i e n d who has died walking along a path. The e n t i r e f i g u r e of the deceased person i s v i s i b l e but i t s appearance i s very shabby - the ghosts clothes may be rent, h i s or her h a i r unkempt, and, perhaps, there are sores or wounds on the "body". This sorry state i s considered proof that the ghost (or the deceased's rnam-shes) has been made the servant of other ghosts who have more s e n i o r i t y - that i s , have been ghosts for a longer period of time and have acquired a c e r t a i n amount of power i n that capacity. The shabby ghosts are, thus, i n the service of the more powerful ghosts. According to Tibetan Buddhist eschatology, one becomes a ghost i f , at the point of death, one's rnam-shes (transmigrating consciousness), the eternal soul which w i l l go through a bar-do period and eventually on to r e b i r t h , remains attached to persons or things, to samsaric existence. A ghost i s , i n essence, a rnam-shes that i s attached to i t s former l i f e and unable to t r a v e l through bar-do i n search of r e b i r t h . This r e b i r t h , which would f i x the soul into another and possibly superior rung of the hierarchy (depending, of course, upon the soul's karmic p r e d i s p o s i t i o n or amassment of bsod-nams - merit), i s denied the ghost. A rnam-shes which remains too attached to i t s former l i f e also r i s k s f a l l i n g into the service of i t s more powerful ghost predecessors. Tibetan ghosts and demons r e l i s h , above a l l , the conquest of human souls. Though rnam-shes may be reborn into any one of the s i x categories of sentient beings, only those humanly embodied whet the demonic appetite. Ghosts usually adopt a rather passive strategy for obtaining souls. Often they merely appear i n some guise before t h e i r intended v i c t i m , who i s l i k e l y to be walking a lonely path at night. The victim's consequent shock i s s u f f i c i e n t to f r i g h t e n h i s secondary soul, the b l a , Into leaving his or her body, which, i n turn, w i l l cause the v i c t i m to decline i n health and eventually die. Upon the victim's death, the ghost seizes the rnam-shes. The bdud (demons) take a more aggressive tack and often apply themselves d i r e c t l y to e f f e c t i n g the a c t u a l death of t h e i r v i c t i m . Whether the s o u l - s t e a l e r s be ghosts or demons, they are wont to p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e i r own s o c i a l gatherings at dawn or dusk, which mark, i n opposition to human custom, th e i r evening and e a r l y morning respectively, and meet i n designated places such as the crossing of three roads or under bridges. The talk In such places, a t such times, and amongst such company i s believed to c o n s i s t mostly of boasting about the respective number of rnam-shes captured and malevolent actions directed against humans. 100 The Demon as a "Bad F i t " While the most powerful e v i l s p i r i t s are i n t e n t upon capturing and enslaving souls, there are others who appear to be preoccupied with acquiring human embodiment. This group is exemplified by witches, l e s s e r lha, and walking corpses. Witches (son-'adre, bdud-mo, ba-mo) are somewhat unique i n this spectrum as they represent the only e v i l s p i r i t "grounded" by a present "human l i f e " b i r t h . Under normal human circumstances, a person's l i f e i s near i t s end i f the b l a or secondary soul leaves the body. However, i n the case of witches, i t i s a d i f f e r e n t matter e n t i r e l y . Witches are almost i n v a r i a b l y female (none of ray informants could r e c o l l e c t a male witch), may comprise one-fourth of the Tibetan female population, and may also be unaware of their p ropensities. While a witch sleeps, her bla or secondary soul leaves her body and wanders about attempting to take possession of someone and, i n so doing, take c o n t r o l of that person's body. The connection of the witch's b l a to her own body i s not, however, severed. One account of witch possession described the a r r i v a l i n a small Khams v i l l a g e of a great l o r d and his b e a u t i f u l wife from Lhasa. A known v i l l a g e witch took a fancy to this woman and one night, while the couple was dining and drinking chang, the b e a u t i f u l wife suddenly began to joke and sing i n Khams-pa d i a l e c t , a speech heretofore unknown to her. From this very f a c t people knew that the witch had taken possession of the wife. This t a l e recounts, then, the desire of the witch to occupy another's body and takes note of the 101 f a c t that the woman's speech betrayed her. Another instance of unacceptable oratory may be seen i n the detection of a f a l s e oracle (presented i n Chapter I I I ) , where u n f u l f i l l e d predictions c a l l into question the 'legitimacy' of the oracle. If speech can ind i c a t e the i n t r u s i o n of e v i l i n Tibetan society, so may body movement. The case i n point i s the Tibetan phenomenon of the 'walking corpse' ( c f . Wylie 1964) The walking corpse or ro-langs i s created by an e v i l s p i r i t who upon a death, hastens to try to 'make a go' of the discarded body. The ro-langs i s h o r r i f y i n g because i t i s believed that h i s touch w i l l induce a s i m i l a r c o n d i t i o n i n another person, but he may be detected through his singular body movements. A ro-langs i s extremely s t i f f and unable to bend his body a t a l l . For th i s reason, doorways and windows i n Lhasa were supposedly b u i l t very low so the ro-langs, unable to stoop, would be prevented from entering a home. Corpses were customarily bent and tied i n monasteries to prevent th e i r possible future as ro-langs. Each of the above examples i l l u s t r a t e s a 'bad f i t ' between a body and the disembodied as with the ro-langs, or unseemly speech r e s u l t i n g from witch possession or the f a l s e predictions from dubious oracles. The urge on the part of the offending s p i r i t to assume the shape or speech of another hints a t d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with i t s current p o s i t i o n . Now, anyone f a m i l i a r with Tibetan cosmology might well argue that these e v i l s p i r i t s are ranked beneath humans and, therefore, might yearn for the human advantage since only human b i r t h affords a possible e x i t (enlightenment) from samsara or a chance for r e b i r t h i n the godly realm, and women, who occupy an i n f e r i o r status 102 to men i n the human realm, may well desire consciously or unconsciously to be someone e l s e . But the above examples also suggest that attempts to inhabit another human's body are ultimately doomed to f a i l u r e because the mis-match w i l l become r e a d i l y apparent to other humans. A thir d example of a 'bad f i t ' concerns an I n t r i c a t e case involving, among other things, a TIPA ghost. In this example, however, the ghost was considered to be a r e f l e c t i o n of the Inappropriate behaviour or the 'bad f i t ' of her former husband: The TIPA Ghost A famous romance i n Dharmsala, the love a f f a i r of two adolescent dancers at the Tibetan I n s t i t u t e of Performing A r t s , soured i n the public view a f t e r the young couple married. The young man expected h i s wife to perform a l l domestic tasks, and l e f t her constantly i n order to gad about with other young men, as i s the custom with unmarried men. Tibetans perceived the young man's treatment of h i s wife as d i s r e s p e c t f u l , since he often stayed out a l l night, and never Informed her of his whereabouts or a c t i v i t i e s . The f i r s t sign observed by h i s fellow TIPA members as r e t r i b u t i o n for h i s i n a t t e n t i o n to his wife was the young man's contraction of a klu. disease. He had sores covering his entire body, had to shave h i s head, and could not walk e a s i l y . The young man became i l l while h i s wife was pregnant, and could not a s s i s t during her labour (most of the other members of the I n s t i t u t e were on tour i n Europe and North 103 America at this time). The baby died during the birth, and the young wife died two days later. The young man arranged for bar-do rituals to be performed, but, in the opinion of his peers, his arrangements were far too meager. His friends later agreed that the young man, though poor, should have borrowed money in order to pray properly for his wife's soul. To make matters much worse, the young man initiated an a f f a i r with another woman before the 49-day bar-do period had been completed. Thus, before his former wife's soul had taken re-birth, the young man had already forgotten her for another woman. The night after the funeral, the room formerly belonging to the young couple had been locked. Their neighbor, another performer, and his visiting sister were sleeping in an adjacent room. They both heard a scratching sound coming from the locked room, and the noise persisted thoughout the night. The next morning, the sister related the story to her mother, who discounted i t completely. The mother agreed, however, to spend the next night in the adjacent room with her son. Her son f o r t i f i e d himself with a lot of rum, hoping i t would make him f a l l sleep. His tactic, however, did not work. His mother heard the same noise coming from the locked room, and became terribly frightened. The mother, who lived in TCV, sought the help of the major Dharmsala exorcist (sngags-pa), who, at that time, also lived in TCV. When the exorcist performed a dice divination, he discovered that the young man's wife had become a ghost, and had returned to TIPA. Her exorcism, then, was thought to be extremely important, 104 since an unexorcised ghost only becomes more powerful. When the ex o r c i s t a r r i v e d a t TIPA, he ordered the I n s t i t u t e members to open a l l the doors and windows. Everything with a l i d was uncovered. Every room i n the TIPA dormitory, o f f i c e , and theater was searched f o r the presence of the ghost. F i n a l l y , the e x o r c i s t located the ghost i n a locked trunk In the couple's former room (the d e t a i l s of this mode of exorcism are presented i n Chapter V I ) . The box i n which the young woman's ghost had been h i d i n g contained the school uniform she had worn before she became a member of TIPA. The discovery of the school uniform by ythe e x o r c i s t was thought p a r t i c u l a r l y s i g n i f i c a n t by the TIPA members, since the young woman's romance with her husband had blossomed during t h e i r school days before they joined TIPA. At the point of her death, the young woman was thought to have been too attached to her school days, and her romance with her husband. The husband p r e c i p i t a t e d her ghosthood by having an untimely a f f a i r . Though the husband married the woman he had begun to see so soon a f t e r h i s f i r s t wife's death, TIPA members agreed that the exorcism had chastened hira. He now prays f o r h i s f i r s t wife every day. A further twist to this episode may be seen i n the f a c t that the man's present wife i s perceived by some of the TIPA members as a witch. She has reversed the r e l a t i o n s obtaining i n her husband'is f i r s t marriage, since she has been known to beat him, order him about, and enjoy her own romantic a f f a i r s . What i s considered to be more convincing evidence, however, i s the f a c t that one of her former lovers has twice been discovered sleep-walking to the couple's door. 105 When h i s fellow performers awakened him, he had no r e c o l l e c t i o n of h i s reason for being there, and concluded that the woman, though she might not be conscious of the f a c t , had somehow drawn him to her. Several of this sleep-walker's male friends at the I n s t i t u t e t r i e d to encourage this woman to v i s i t the Sa-skya Khri-chen, the highest Sa-skya lama, who l i v e s i n the state of Uttar Pradesh. This lama was suggested to her, since he i s known to have the power to co n t r o l witches. She disagreed with their i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , however, and did not v i s i t the lama. The TIPA members do r e f e r to the young husband'!s bad karma ( l a s ) i n t h e i r i n i t i a l r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of the misfortunes of these two couples, but Dharmsala Tibetans tend to prefer more e x p l i c i t r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s than those afforded by an answer of "karma" per se. In considering the young husband, several TIPA performers viewed the young husband's ina t t e n t i o n to his wife to be r e f l e c t e d i n h i s k l u attack. Since a k l u disease i s thought to d i s f i g u r e one's appearance, i t enters into one's int e r a c t i o n s with others. Poor s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s , then, could be r e f l e c t e d i n a k l u disease. Furthermore, while Tibetans usually consider ghosts to be the product of inappropriate attachments, the young wife's ghost i s at once such a product as well as a r e f l e c t i o n of her husband's i n f i d e l i t y . A fourth example presents the case of a 'bad f i t ' with respect to 'mind'. This anomaly i s represented by a p a r t i c u l a r type of Tibetan ghost known as a rgyal-po which l i t e r a l l y means 'king*. L i c h t e r (1981) i n his ethnography of the Tsumbas, a Tibetanoid (Goldstein 106 1975:69) people of northwestern Nepal, treats the rgyal-po phenomenon at some length. Among the Tsumbas, rgyal-po are the ghosts of "greedy or i r a s c i b l e lamas" (Lichter 1981:285). Furthermore, lamas or monks who become ghosts betray the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the monastic community to be exemplars of detachment since ghosthood i s c o n d i t i o n a l upon c l i n g i n g to things, conditions, or persons i n l i f e . Dharmsala accounts of rgyal-pos concur with those of Tsumbas i n depicting t h e i r intolerance and the fa c t that t h e i r former human 'selves' had not attained enlightenment (enlightened beings can choose to reincarnate or leave samsara altogether, but never become ghosts). Dharmsala s t o r i e s also stress the tendency of many rgyal-pos to become protectors of a household, and protectors i n p a r t i c u l a r of the household's resources. One rgyal-po known as Shera - "the b l i n d one" accompanied the household herds. Whenever the animals went to drink from a stream, Shera would p u l l t h e i r t a i l s to prevent them from f a l l i n g i n the water (a viable prospect i n many Himalayan r i v e r v a l l e y s ) . In t h i s way, the rgyal-po was thought to take care of the household and h i s i r a s c i b i l i t y derives from the anxieties he f o s t e r s i n t h i s r o l e . I f , for example, the father of a household hosts many par t i e s and gives away expensive presents during the course of these pa r t i e s , the rgyal-po who 'looks a f t e r ' the household becomes i n f u r i a t e d at the waste of money and w i l l harm the father i n r e t r i b u t i o n . Such descriptions of the rgyal-po would agree i n part with Ortner's contention (1978:153) that Sherpa monastic asceticism contradicts the e s s e n t i a l s o c i a l l u b r i c a n t of h o s p i t a l i t y and 107 reaffirms L i c h t e r ' s point about the material attachments of rgyal-pos. Dharmsala de s c r i p t i o n s , however, point up a more i n t r i g u i n g aspect of rgyal-pos - namely, that they occupy d i f f e r e n t ranks, and that those i n the highest echelons must be appeased through r i t u a l ; that rgyal-pos were r e l i g i o u s persons who l a t e r became disoriented and r e b e l l e d against r e l i g i o n , and that they are extremely dangerous. They have a "very powerful way of harming" as a r e s u l t of the high education they received i n t h e i r former l i v e s . Rgyal-pos, thus, have accumulated a large amount of r e l i g i o u s knowledge and the power that such knowledge e n t a i l s , but have gone against r e l i g i o n by constructing a new hierarchy, or, at l e a s t , by adhering to a hierarchy outside the l i m i t s of sanctioned Buddhist structure. Their '[wrong mindfulness', then, establishes them as a 'bad f i t ' i n the r e l i g i o u s order, but places them a t the top of an a l t e r n a t e hierarchy. Tibetan demons and ghosts, then, who commonly assume inappropriate statuses, symbolize "mis-directed" ambition, and may further c a l l into question the d e f i n i t i o n of "acceptable ambition" i n Tibetan society. The Problem of Dbang Tucci defines dbang tang as a "psychical and material strength and s e c u r i t y r e s t i n g upon the knowledge of past karma" (1980:176). Dbang tang or las dbang (karmic dbang), I was t o l d , emerges from one's previous l i v e s due to the e f f e c t of karma, and i s a type of power. Although i t may r e s u l t i n part from good deeds performed i n previous l i v e s , i t i s not synonymous with bsod-nams or merit. One's r e l a t i v e stock of bsod-nams, also the r e s u l t of good deeds, i s a key determinant i n d i r e c t i n g the rnam-shes (transmigrating consciousness) to the next r e b i r t h . I f one's stock of bsod-nams i s high, a favourable b i r t h w i l l obtain, i f i t i s low, the opposite r e s u l t s . But dbang tang i s a d i f f e r e n t sort of p o t e n t i a l . I f , for example, one i s destined to be reborn as a dog, but one has accrued a s i g n i f i c a n t amount of dbang, then one w i l l indeed be a dog, but one w i l l be the most powerful of dogs, l i v e i n the best of households, and enjoy favourable treatment from one's masters. An important d i s t i n c t i o n between dbang tang and bsod-nams i s that the l a t t e r i s i n e x t r i c a b l y linked to karmic c a u s a l i t y . The bsod-nams acquired i n one's present l i f e w i l l have no bearing on one's present l i f e , and actions directed to i t s increase w i l l have e f f e c t only i n one's next l i f e . Dbang tang, however, may be increased i n the here and now and bear d i r e c t l y upon one!s present l i f e s i t u a t i o n . The power one may acquire within the parameters of a l i f e t i m e i s known as dbang and connotes power i n the animal kingdom, i n human society, and, as I w i l l argue, power i n the realms of e v i l . If one has enough dbang, one may even transcend karmic d i c t a t e s . For example, although astrology i s believed to predict the karmically determined l i m i t s to one's l i f e s p a n , a person who has a great amount of dbang w i l l be able to l i v e beyond t h i s "inborn l i m i t " u n t i l t h i s stock of dbang i s exhausted. Dbang also denotes the power one may obtain through meditational d e i t i e s , r e l i g i o u s i n i t i a t i o n s given by lamas, or even from the mere touch of a lama (phyag-dbang or 109 'hand-blessing'). Epstein r e f e r s to such a transfer of dbang as "metonymical i n that i t reveals sacred power as a whole and unspecified form flowing from the most highly disvalued l e v e l of existence, the body, from which ac t i o n o r i g i n a t e s " (1978:193). Epstein i l l u s t r a t e s this flow by c i t i n g the ingestion of "medicine p i l l s made of lamas' bodily e f f l u v i a " , and the Tibetan p r a c t i c e of bowing to touch their lama's f e e t "with the top of t h e i r heads (the most profound part of the body)" (1978:193). But of p a r t i c u l a r s i g n i f i c a n c e , as Epstein i n d i c a t e s , i s that once a lama obtains his dbang, "nothing can d i v e s t him of this generalized form of power through which he can transmit blessings" whatever his character or degree of learning (1978:232). Religious i n i t i a t i o n s , according to native exegesis, are an e s s e n t i a l and graded seri e s of steps towards enlightenment. One does not a t t a i n enlightenment by one's s e l f alone, but rather through a p p l i c a t i o n to Bodhisattvas, the enlightened meditational d e i t i e s . In his e x c e l l e n t discussion of the c u l t of Tara (Sgrol-ma) among the Bk'a-rgyud-pa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, Beyer (1973) presents the etiquette of approach an adept must follow i n h i s quest for s a l v a t i o n . The most basic i n i t i a t i o n , f o r example, provides the frame through which the applicant requests permission simply to p r a c t i c e the r i t u a l s associated with Tara and i s an obligatory "precursor to her r i t u a l service, her evocation and employment" (1973:375). Only a lama can i n i t i a t e a d i s c i p l e since i n i t i a t i o n requires the transfer of magical power from the lama to d i s c i p l e i n order to "catalyze", as i t were, or e f f e c t the d i s c i p l e ' s completion of the r i t u a l step. This no magical power and the i n i t i a t i o n i t s e l f i s referred to as dbang. When a d i s c i p l e completes an i n i t i a t i o n , he or she becomes empowered with a c e r t a i n amount of dbang which w i l l prolong hi s or her l i f e and i d e a l l y extend the p o s s i b i l i t y of acquiring more r e l i g i o u s knowledge within a l i f e t i m e and enhance his or her chances of enlightenment. As I mentioned above, the successful completion of a preliminary i n i t i a t i o n prepares one to be a candidate for a secondary i n i t i a t i o n , and so on. A lama cannot bestow an i n i t i a t i o n upon a d i s c i p l e i f the lama has not himself received that s p e c i f i c i n i t i a t i o n , and i n i t i a t o r y candidates for any but the most basic i n i t i a t i o n s are purportedly screened c a r e f u l l y for t h e i r s u i t a b i l i t y , since the further one ascends the sequence of i n i t i a t i o n s , the more dbang one accumulates. The successful completion of an i n i t i a t i o n i s marked symbolically when the applicant receives a srung-mdud "blessing thread" to be t i e d around his or her neck from the o f f i c i a t i n g lama. These threads are blessed when the lama t i e s a sacred knot or s e r i e s of knots and blows a spoken mantra onto the knot(s), which imbues i t with dbang and protects the wearer from e v i l influences. Some Tibetans venture that a srung-mdud may be so powerful i t could contravene the e f f e c t of an innoculation administered to the wearer and, thus, act as an e f f e c t i v e b a r r i e r against any external i n t r u s i o n . Moreover, srung-mdud may take the form of mantras written or printed on r i c e paper and folded into squares to be wrapped i n threads of the f i v e colors (red, white, blue, green, and yellow), or r o l l e d and worn i n amulet cases (g'au). While obtaining some of the p a r t i c u l a r s on these srung-mdud, I asked one informant why a great sngags-pa might wear one and his reply suggested that i t would protect the sngags-pa from e v i l influences or feelings of g u i l t - but j u s t as my informant was about to expand upon this concept, another monk entered the sgom-pa where I was conducting the interview. In l i g h t of this a d d i t i o n to his audience, my informant requested that I ask questions pertaining s o l e l y to Tibetan 'culture' and not to s p e c i f i c r e l i g i o u s matters. The r a t i o n a l e f or h i s anxiety springs from a maxim commonly pronounced by Tibetans i n e x i l e to foreigners - that i t i s a s i n to make any mistakes i n explaining dharma. The presence of the other monk a l l e g e d l y created the context f o r this p o s s i b i l i t y . Since, however, my informant was beginning to expand upon an ambivalence that accompanies sngags-pas as the other monk entered, I interpreted his heretofore underaonstrated reluctance to answer any questions as a r e s u l t of a t a c i t understanding among sngags-pas and other r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i t i o n e r s not to communicate c e r t a i n matters to Westerners and, e s p e c i a l l y , not to elaborate upon any subjects which might point up c e r t a i n r e l i g i o u s paradoxes. Dbang, however, conveys f a r more than protection for those who possess i t . Apart from i t s capacity to extend the l i f e s p a n , dbang produces an e f f e c t known as dngos-grub. This e f f e c t i s designated i n two ways. The f i r s t i s mchog dngos-grub which refe r s to the wealth, fame, and power one might desire i n this world or this l i f e . A cave meditator explained the concept as follows: At a s o c i a l gathering or party, many people w i l l be talking but one person w i l l become the center of a t t e n t i o n . Everyone would f i n d this person's speech to be elegant and, as i f he exerted some i n v i s i b l e influence, he would be very 112 persuasive. The i n v i s i b l e influence i s the r e s u l t of t h i s person's accumulated dbang. Others may t a l k and t a l k but f a i l to convince anyone, and t h i s i s a consequence of t h e i r lack of dbang. Mchog dngos-grub implies material success as well as an a b i l i t y to influence others, that i s to say, to create a 'following*. The second type i s thun mong ma y i n dngos-grub and i s considered to be the superior of the two as t h i s second type w i l l enhance one's future l i v e s , not j u s t one's present l i f e . Thun mong ma y i n dngos-grub enables one not only to impress people i n t h i s l i f e but also conveys the power to help those i n h e l l , or lower beings i n general, to a t t a i n a better r e b i r t h by changing t h e i r mental a t t i t u d e or t h e i r i n t e n t i o n a l i t y . The importance of 'right thought' i s a constant theme i n Buddhism, and even surfaced on the occasion of the 1980 anniversary of the March 10th up r i s i n g by Tibetans i n Lhasa against the Chinese, when H.H. the Da l a i Lama, i n h i s u n o f f i c a l extemporaneous speech to the Tibetan pu b l i c , cautioned monks not to change t h e i r clothes (adopt a monk's habit) unless they had changed t h e i r minds. I n f l u e n t i a l people, then, are thought to have been c o l l e c t i n g dbang i n previous l i v e s as well as i n t h e i r present l i v e s . The f r u i t s of such accumulation prove exceedingly useful on a material plane and may, with correct a p p l i c a t i o n , prove useful on a s p i r i t u a l plane. Dbang i s also a power which one c o l l e c t s i n a deliberate manner, but not necess a r i l y i n an e t h i c a l manner. One sngags-pa, f o r example, i n s i s t e d that even a bad man who sought i n i t i a t i o n s could garner some dbang. E v i l deeds or a l e s s than desirable motivation would not 113 prevent interested p a r t i e s from seeking i n i t i a t i o n s and obtaining i t . A wealthy Dharmsala family evinced this 'unethical' approach to i n i t i a t i o n , i n the l o c a l view, by the circumstances i n which they l e f t the son's new bride while the family trooped o f f to the temple to receive teachings and i n i t i a t i o n given by the D a l a i Lama a f t e r the New Year. The young bride had, i n obedience to her a r i s t o c r a t i c but impoverished parents, r e l u c t a n t l y l e f t school and married the son of the family i n question. Her ex c e l l e n t command of English was useful i n serving the family enterprise, but her unhappiness was well known to them and to several Western v i s i t o r s In Dharmsala. On the day of the temple teachings, the g i r l had been l e f t behind to supervise the business and to await the a r r i v a l of concrete f o r the family's b u i l d i n g expansion. The concrete was delivered as ant i c i p a t e d , but the young woman was thrust into an embarassing p o s i t i o n when the contractors demanded payment f o r the load. The g i r l ' s in-laws had taken care to leave her with no money l e s t she 'run away', and the g i r l , i n tears, appealed to a Westerner for a loan (which was promptly repaid when the family returned). This episode drew considerable commentary and sympathy from the community, who found a great degree of hypocrisy i n the family's p u r s u i t of r e l i g i o n but, a t the same time, asserted that the family's presence a t the teachings would, nonetheless, augment the i r stock of dbang. In h i s study of a Sherpa monastery, Paul, using the Sherpa ong for dbang, notes that an in d i v i d u a l ' s s p i r i t u a l progress i s measured i n h i s completion of four stages of i n i t i a t i o n s or ong. The f i r s t stage enables the student to conform his actions and body to the 114 teachings of Buddha; the second adjusts h i s speech; the t h i r d r aises h i s thought to the l e v e l of a 'Buddha raind't and i n the fourth stage, enlightenment or becoming the Buddha i s achieved (1970:475). Now, almost i n l i n e with Bateson's (1972) stages of learning, something can go wrong before the successful completion of the next stage, or, for some reason - e.g. untimely death - the candidate does not complete the stages. Few become enlightened i n a l i f e t i m e and, for most, thousands upon thousands of l i v e s must be run through before the soul achieves t h i s ultimate goal. The worst p o s s i b i l i t y , from the r e l i g i o u s perspective, i s that the candidate's mind can turn against r e l i g i o n a f t e r the candidate has received considerable dbang and r e l i g i o u s knowledge. Those who have accumulated the greatest amount of dbang are i n v a r i a b l y monks or lamas; hence, i f their minds 'turn', they are destined to become ghosts, ghosts with a great deal of power but without the prescribed r e l i g i o u s a t t i t u d e to d i r e c t i t s use. Dbang may also be obtained i n more mundane ways than through i n i t i a t i o n s , as many Tibetans are convinced that the mere touch from or sight of a great lama w i l l bestow dbang. But the a c q u i s i t i o n of dbang i s not for our purposes so important as i s i t s c o r r e c t a p p l i c a t i o n , and the contrast between high Dge-lugs-pa lamas and the sngags-pas i s , i n this respect, most revealing. Sngags i s the p r a c t i c e of Tantra (the utterance of a magic mantra) and a sngags-pa i s a T a n t r i c p r a c t i t i o n e r . Sngags-pas are often of the Rnying-ma-pa or Bk'a-rgyud-pa sects and when questioned on what distinguishes these sngags-pas from other lamas, Tibetans respond that sngags-pas function as weathermakers, e x o r c i s t s , and p o t e n t i a l l y as sorcerers. 115 In Dharmsala, the majority sect i s Dge-lugs-pa, of which the Dalai Lama i s the head, but the Rnying-ma-pas enjoy a s i g n i f i c a n t , a l b e i t subsidiary, p o s i t i o n . The Rnying-ma-pa sngags-pas i n Dharmsala are of p a r t i c u l a r importance to the community a t large and to the Tibetan government because they agree to undertake and have great success with questionable and dangerous tasks. Such tasks include stopping r a i n or h a i l and expelling ghosts and demons. Weathermaklng i s a questionable, i n that i t i s s i n f u l a c t i v i t y because i t tampers with the r i g h t f u l prerogatives of the k l u , who regulate p r e c i p i t a t i o n . Stopping the r a i n , for example, i s no simple matter, as one sngags-pa explained, but involves a great deal of preparation. I t is much ea s i e r to prevent r a i n on some s p e c i f i c future date than i t is to stop r a i n that i s already f a l l i n g . Furthermore, stopping the r a i n requires that the sngags-pa d i r e c t l y challenge the k l u . In so doing, he manifests his dbang against t h e i r power, and thereby changes the natural order. The k l u , who prefer to dole out the weather a t thei r own whim, r e t a l i a t e against this manipulation where they can. Although k l u are unable to best the weatherraaker, they are sa i d to take revenge upon his wife, who often experiences sores on her body (a k l u induced disease). Despite the s i n f u l aspect of weathermaklng, i t i s an e s s e n t i a l career. Weathermaklng i s ordered by the Tibetan government for important o f f i c i a l functions. The weather must always be "made", for example, on each March 10th anniversary of the 1959 Lhasa u p r i s i n g , for Tibetan New Year ( e s p e c i a l l y for the day the Da l a i Lama bestows pub l i c blessings), for s p e c i a l pujas or teachings, and by the Tibetan I n s t i t u t e of Performing Arts when an opera i s to be presented. I was witness to a number of the above occasions when the weather p r i o r to and following the s p e c i f i e d event was t e r r i b l e (hailstorms), but proved sunny and pleasant f o r the desired period. Tibetans w i l l , however, remark on subsequent nasty weather as i n d i c a t i v e of the klu's rage, since the k l u may be bent but temporarily to the w i l l of the sngags-pa. For a Kalacakra I n i t i a t i o n held i n Ladakh, the D a l a i Lama reportedly requested his chief weathermaker to provide clouds to sh e l t e r the 60,000 expected i n i t i a t e s from the sun. The weathermaker journeyed to Ladakh well i n advance of the i n i t i a t i o n i n order to make preparations, the desired clouds formed f o r the i n i t i a t i o n (a rare sig h t i n Ladakh), but th e i r unfortunate and unexpected product, snow, f e l l upon the people. The D a l a i Lama ordered the weathermaker to remove them, and so he d i d . But this was accomplished only a f t e r a great outburst f e l l from the sky. Later, the weathermaker confided to one Informant that those who o blamed him for the snow should ask the Dalai Lama about i t . "Since there are never clouds In Ladakh during the monsoon (which a f f e c t s the r e s t of India), I t might be expected that clouds would provide snow." The native i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of weathermaking i n i t i a l l y emphasizes i t s s i n f u l aspect, but almost immediately adds a compensatory coda: namely, that the sngags-pa, i n committing the s i n , Is a c t u a l l y s a c r i f i c i n g himself ( i n c u r r i n g bad karma) f o r the b e n e f i t of others. On c e r t a i n occasions such as holy days, the weather must be c o n t r o l l e d , and the f a c t of h i s s a c r i f i c e f o r the b e n e f i t of others a c t u a l l y reverses any sins the sngags-pa may acquire. But while lay 117 Tibetans w i l l c i t e a sngags-pa's interference with natural order as the cause of the s i n In this case, high Dge-lugs-pa lamas c r i t i c i z e and deride the weathermakers f o r the f a c t that they have made a p u b l i c display of t h e i r power, and a spectacular one a t that. One Dharmsala account r e c a l l s an occasion when an o f f i c i a l weathermaker was supposedly unable to c o n t r o l the weather before a c r i t i c a l event, and, f i n a l l y , a f t e r much reluctance, a very high Dge-lugs-pa incarnate agreed to do i t j u s t once "to show people." His e f f o r t s purportedly met with resounding success, but he has refused ever since to repeat the feat. The Dangers of Dbang The dbang of great t a n t r i c p r a c t i t i o n e r s i s attained through learning the mantras related to a p a r t i c u l a r deity, undertaking meditational retreats f o r periods of three years, three months, and three days, and spending 108 nights performing r i t e s of gcod ( o f f e r i n g up one's body to cannibal s p i r i t s ) i n a cemetery and 108 nights at a spring (the home of k l u ) . Such power i s not necessarily transmitted through reincarnation, but must be systematically gained. The intensive t r a i n i n g and meditation i s considered to be e s s e n t i a l since the p r a c t i c e of Tantra always imposes extreme danger to the performer. A sngags-pa, i n the view of Tibetans, i s most spectacular i n h i s roles as weathermaker and e x o r c i s t . Exorcism does not d i s t u r b the legitimate cosmic order, but rather challenges and subdues, i n one way or another, ghosts and demonic 118 elements. However, only a sngags-pa with great power and intense concentration can succeed a t exorcism. I f his dbang i s i n s u f f i c i e n t , and h i s concentration waivers during the r i t u a l , the ghosts or demons w i l l not submit, rather, they w i l l grow more powerful from having defeated the e x o r c i s t and, thereby, pose a f a r more serious threat c a l l i n g f o r the e f f o r t s of an even greater t a n t r i c p r a c t i t i o n e r . As a Tibetan cave meditator noted: I t so happens that those e v i l beings have a l l the defects of human beings; i n f a c t , they are even worse than we are. They have a l l the weaknesses because they tend to look down upon those monks who read s c r i p t u r e s but who are not learned, who are not p r a c t i c i n g Buddhists. I f the e x o r c i s t or the e x o r c i s t i n a l l i a n c e with h i s tutelary deity possesses s u f f i c i e n t dbang, then the e v i l Is c o n t r o l l e d by v i r t u e of the exorcist's superior power. With this l o g i c comes a r a t i o n a l e which substantiates the reluctance often professed by Tibetan sngags-pas to d i r e c t wrathful measures against ghosts and demons - i . e . , that i f the exorcist's dbang i s i n s u f f i c i e n t , he w i l l f a i l i n h i s contest with the demon, a f a i l u r e which w i l l enhance the demon's power and further the demon's chances of besting an e x o r c i s t i n the future. In addition, f a i l u r e on the part of the e x o r c i s t not only endangers him but also promotes the demon's or ghost's status i n the 'alternate hierarchy'. This p o s s i b i l i t y i s i l l u s t r a t e d by the exorcism of a contractor's ghost i n the Tibetan Children's V i l l a g e or "TCV". TCV, which i s one of the most r i c h l y endowed Tibetan i n s t i t u t i o n s i n e x i l e , i s also the 119 s i t e of ongoing construction of classrooms, dormitories, and dining h a l l s designed to serve the orphan i n f a n t s , elementary and highschool students who reside there. Therefore, a contractor working f o r TCV i s l i k e l y to be a successful businessman. But, by v i r t u e of his vocation, he i s bound to disturb the earth and, therefore, the k l u and sa-bdag that claim legitimate residence there. A contractor working f o r TCV then must take s p e c i a l precautions to appease those who are displaced and displeased by the construction. One TCV contractor's disregard for such precautions led to the exorcism of h i s ghost: The Contractor's Exorcism One evening, a TCV contractor was r i d i n g his motorcycle along the road connecting TCV with McCleod Ganj. A fountain donated by the Gorkha R i f l e s i s a major landmark along t h i s road and acknowledged to be the dwelling of many k l u (who are na t u r a l l y a t t r a c t e d to springs, wells, bodies of water, strange rock formations, and c e r t a i n trees). T r a v e l l e r s approach this fountain with caution, taking care to avoid p o l l u t i n g the fountain. But as the contractor rode past the fountain, a snake crossed the road. The man stopped h i s motorcycle, but a f t e r becoming impatient with the snake's slow pace, he surged ahead. As the contractor rode over the snake, he imagined that i t might somehow wind i t s e l f up on the motorcycle wheel and b i t e him. This thought frightened him to the point that he l o s t h i s b l a or secondary soul. The contractor became very i l l immediately following this i ncident and consulted a renowned lady o r a c l e . She presented a 120 diagnosis and chastised him severely, c a l l i n g him an ' e v i l man' who had angered the k l u and informed him that he would die within a week. The contractor subsequently died within the week. Shortly afterwards, the TCV cooks, who begin work a t four a.m., discovered to t h e i r horror that huge logs had magically appeared i n the ovens, and that the great cauldrons within which meals were mixed for the e n t i r e school were f l o a t i n g about the kitchen. The lady oracle was consulted once more concerning the o r i g i n of this p o l t e r g e i s t and she pronounced i t the work of the contractor's ghost. Her s o l u t i o n to the matter required the performance of a wrathful sbyln sreg r i t u a l , which Nebesky-Wojkowitz describes as "the burning of an e v i l s p i r i t , mostly done a f t e r a l l e f f o r t s to subdue the e v i l doer and to bring him on the path of v i r t u e have f a i l e d " (1956:528). Monks were hired by TCV to perform this r i t u a l , but f a i l e d - the p o l t e r g e i s t remained. Following t h i s f a i l u r e , TCV requested the chief Dharmsala sngags-pa, a reincarnate Rnying-ma-pa lama who i s the o f f i c i a l weathermaker and the major Dharmsala e x o r c i s t , to subdue the contractor's ghost. But this sngags-pa was exceedingly r e l u c t a n t to perform the exorcism, claiming that now i t would require an extremely wrathful zhal-'adon to c o n t r o l the ghost and that he himself doubted his c a p a b i l i t i e s to defeat i t , i t s power having increased by the f a i l u r e of the f i r s t exorcism. The people, however, persisted and, f i n a l l y , a f t e r o f f e r i n g s u f f i c i e n t l i b a t i o n s of barley beer (chang) to the sngags-pa, his consent was secured. The e x o r c i s t Instructed some TCV residents to go to the contractor's house, where they would f i n d h i s c h i l d r e n playing outside 121 and h i s widow s i t t i n g i n the doorstep r e c i t i n g her rosary. As the sngags-pa predicted, the contractor's family were found so engaged, and the TCV residents took confidence i n the exorcist's power. He then gave the residents a large s k i n bag and ordered them to take i t to the contractor's house and walk around i t . While the man carrying the bag c i r c l e d the house, he suddenly found that the empty bag appeared to weigh one k i l o . The bag was returned to the e x o r c i s t who burned i t i n a f i r e . The ghost did not return. D This lay r e t e l l i n g of an exorcism weaves together a number of themes. I t condemns a wealthy contractor who f a i l e d to respect the cosmic hierarchy and thereby hints at the p o s s i b i l i t y that wealth as w e l l as dbang might pose dangers f o r the 'legitimate' hierarchy. But i t also suggests that the contractor had s u f f i c i e n t importance to enable him to become a powerful ghost. I t cautions against underestimating the strength of an e v i l s p i r i t , a message the e x o r c i s t may have wished to communicate to his parish, who did not, a f t e r a l l , i n i t i a l l y seek his services. But I t i s the exorcist's emphasis upon the enormity of the task and the uncertainty of the outcome that presses upon everyone the thesis that i n s u f f i c i e n t r e l i g i o u s power can be defeated. Furthermore, a sngags-pa who has not mastered a l l of the mantras rela t e d to h i s tutelary diety, whose thoughts stray from meditation a t the point of h i s death, or who engages i n unethical a p p l i c a t i o n of his dbang, w i l l become a rgyal-po capable of accomplishing much harm. In the hierarchy of ghosts, sngags-pas with incomplete r e l i g i o u s 122 knowledge (not yet enlightened) or those who have turned away from r e l i g i o n , assume the highest status. One Dge-lugs-pa sprul-sku commented that such a t a n t r i c ghost can even manifest i t s e l f with the animal head of i t s former t u t e l a r y deity and wield much of that deity's power, but do so, of course, without the i n t e n t i o n a l i t y and d i r e c t i o n of the d e i t y . The far-reaching impact that a major rgyal-po may have on Tibetan society i s i l l u s t r a t e d i n the following h i s t o r y : The Shugs-ldan Rgyal-po Many years ago a f t e r the time of Srong-btsan Sgam-po (the f i r s t great king of a united T i b e t ) , there was a dge-bshes who was extremely learned and wrote commentaries on Buddhism. Something went wrong, however, and there was much controversy about h i s w r i t i n g s . The Tibetan government f i n a l l y decided to do away with him and caught him, wrapped him up i n a sheepskin, sewed i t closed, and threw him into the r i v e r . At that time his mother saw him dying and followed him as he floated down the r i v e r . The sheepskin reached the bank of the r i v e r and she opened i t . He was about to die of suffocation and she was beside h e r s e l f . She meant to i n s t r u c t him as follows: "You are educated, you know so much, do not be a f r a i d of what might happen to you and remember to a s s i s t whomever has helped you i n this l i f e and harm those who have hurt you." But i n her haste, the mother's wording went awry. Instead she s a i d , "Harm those who helped you and help those who harmed you." Thus her words became engraved i n his mind. He was reborn as a 123 rgyal-po and proceeded to harm a l l those who had helped him and helped those who had harmed him. Even those members of the Tibetan government who had k i l l e d him he now a s s i s t e d . While the mother gave her mistaken advice, a black cat sprang out of the bag and ran to a nearby mountain where the cat was absorbed into the mountain. At that point he changed into the rgyal-po. The knowledge of the existence of this rgyal-po spread f a r and wide. During the time of one of the Dal a i Lamas, this Shugs-ldan rgyal-po was creating obstacles a f f e c t i n g whatever the D a l a i Lama wished to do. The Dalai Lama consulted h i s chamberlain and informed him of the need of a sngags-pa to perform a dur puja and asked i f one were a v a i l a b l e . The chamberlain r e p l i e d that one existed and the government subsequently sent a message down from the Potala requesting the sngags-pa's presence. When the sngags-pa received his i n v i t a t i o n to the Potala he was at f i r s t f u l l of fear as to what might happen, he worried that he might have been the cause of c e r t a i n things. When he reached the palace, the Dal a i Lama asked him, "What do you do these days?" The sngags-pa answered that he performed dur exorcisms and earned h i s l i v i n g . The Dalai Lama then asked hira i f he could do rgyal-dur exorcisms. The sngags-pa r e p l i e d that he could and the Dalai Lama then asked him to perform such a r i t u a l i n order to exorcise the Shugs-ldan. The sngags-pa prepared gtor-mas and fashioned thread-crosses referred to by Tibetans as rnara-mkh'as. The most simple rnam-rakh'a consists of two crossed s t i c k s which are bound with colored threads u n t i l the object resembles a cob-web 124 (Nebesky-Wojkowitz 1956:369). More complex forms include elaborate geometric configurations of thread-crosses which may reach ten or more meters i n height. According to Nebesky-Wojkowitz (1956:370), these thread-crosses, when used for exorcistic purposes, entangle e v i l spirits "just like a f l y [is entangled] in a cob-web." Dharmsala sngags-pas, however, maintain that, in the perception of the e v i l s p i r i t , a rnam-mkh'a becomes a rainbow, and thereby serves to attract the s p i r i t . While the sngags-pa prepared the rnam-mkh'as for the r i t u a l , the Shugs-ldan rgyal-po appeared at the exorcism s i t e . He watched his body being sculpted into a gtor-ma (dough cake) and wondered what the sngags-pa was up to, thinking, "He's making my shape on the altar." The sngags-pa could see that the Shugs-ldan was present. Suddenly, he threw some powerful mantras and the Shugs-ldan was absorbed into the gtor-ma. But when the Shugs-ldan found himself imprisoned in the gtor-ma, everything was at once completely transformed for him. The rnam-mkh'as became rainbows, he believed that he was inhabiting a palace and had wonderful things to eat, a river, and many beautiful things. Then he was cast away by the sngags-pa. The Shugs-ldan could not escape because there was too much temptation for him. He was banished beyond the great ocean for twelve years. At the end of this period he returned and found his way to Tibet. He spent some time eating cast-away gtor-mas and food and slowly recovered his harming strength. Once more he became extremely powerful and harmful, although on occasion he was helpful. There was a time when people mistook him for a lha. People gave equal status to both the 125 Shugs-ldan Oracle and to Pehar (the Nechung Oracle, c h i e f state oracle of T i b e t ) . Therefore, the D a l a i Lama had to make i t c l e a r to people how Pehar originated and how the Shugs-ldan originated, what t h e i r d i f f e r e n c e s were, and which could be consulted. The Shugs-ldan Oracle i s not usually consulted because he always harms. Some people do consult him, however. This h i s t o r y of a famous rgyal-po i s replete with contradictions: a learned dge-bshes writing h e r e t i c a l Buddhist commentaries; k i l l i n g a man by sewing him i n t o a metaphorical "womb" and casting him i n a r i v e r ; mistaken advice from a mother; and harming those who helped him while a s s i s t i n g those who harmed him. These oppositions underscore the symbolic s i g n i f i c a n c e of a rgyal-po - that everything about him i s contradictory. But without, f o r the present, analyzing the rgyal-po's exorcism, we must remark upon the e x o r c i s t ' s anxiety when summoned before the D a l a i Lama. This sngags-pa fears that something may have gone amiss as a r e s u l t of the a p p l i c a t i o n s of h i s powers. The above h i s t o r y presented by a Rnying-ma-pa sngags-pa d i f f e r s markedly from a version given by Nebesky-Wojkowitz wherein a reincarnate lama named Bsod-nams Grags-pa i n s p i r e d the jealousy of other reincarnates and the Tibetan Government. Though r e s i s t i n g many plo t s against h i s l i f e , the lama, "weary of the incessant intrigues...decided to leave the world v o l u n t a r i l y " (1956:134). His ghost, however, i s persuaded by a d i s c i p l e to take revenge and great calamities b e f a l l T i b e t . The only lama capable of exorcising the 126 s p i r i t is the abbot of Mindoling (a Dge-lugs-pa motiastery), but this abbot is tricked while performing the exorcism by an aspect of Tshangs-pa (possibly Pehar). He loses his concentration, and is unable to imprison the s p i r i t . Finally, the Tibetan Government discovers that the cause of the rgyal-po's wrath was the injustice perpetrated towards Bsod-nams Grags-pa, decides to appease the s p i r i t , and requests that i t assume the role of a Dge-lugs-pa protective deity - a request to which the rgyal-po agrees (1956:135-136). The descriptions of Rdo-rje Shugs-ldan's abode is replete with graphic details of scattered corpses, bodily effluvia, dripping blood, etc., a l l of which reportedly appeals to the demonic appetite. While the f i r s t history of the Shugs-ldan oracle, given by a Rnying-ma-pa cave meditator, stresses the relationship between the misdirected ambition of a dge-bshes and the contrariness of his ghost; the second version, offered by Nebesky-Wojkowitz (1956), casts the rgyal-po as a victim of the ambitions of other lamas. In Dharmsala, the Shugs-ldan oracle is a problematic figure for both professed Dge-lugs-pas and Rnying-ma-pas. One informant claimed that the Dalai Lama had once held an i n i t i a t i o n in India and requested that any of the would-be initiates who at any time had consulted the Shugs-ldan oracle not participate. In response to the Dalai Lama's request, many monks and lay Tibetans purportedly l e f t the scene. This informant was also quite certain that a reincarnate lama had written a recent treatise on the subject of the Shugs-ldan oracle, outlining the reasons why this oracle was not in keeping with the principles of the 127 Dge-lugs-pa sect. Furthermore, another lama attempted to publish a r e b u t t a l to this t r e a t i s e but was discouraged from doing so by the D a l a i Lama, who f e l t the r e b u t t a l might create undesirable s e c t a r i a n squabbles. The Shugs-ldan oracle i s also known to be an oracle who guards his status j e a l o u s l y , and who w i l l harm former ' c l i e n t s ' who might venture elsewhere for advice. That the Shugs-ldan oracle continues to secure followers among Tibetans i n e x i l e i s found problematic by the D a l a i Lama and others, for the Shugs-ldan Rgyal-po represents the unethical a p p l i c a t i o n of r e l i g i o u s power. The Shugs-ldan oracle, thus, may well symbolize a c e r t a i n ambivalence to r e l i g i o u s power or to the implications of r e l i g i o u s power. Without entering into an analysis of the doctrine, which i s beyond the scope of this d i s s e r t a t i o n , we may look to what may well underlie the D a l a i Lama's acceptance of Pehar, the Nechung oracle (the chief state oracle of T i b e t ) , and h i s r e j e c t i o n of the Shugs-ldan. Nebesky-Wojkowitz (1956) c i t e s numerous o r i g i n s a t t r i b u t e d to Pehar, most of which place him as a non-Buddhist personal protective d e i t y of the king of Hor, one of the notable kingdoms conquered by Tibet's epic hero Gesar. Certain accounts have Pehar subjugated by Padmasambhava while others a s s e r t that Gesar himself subdued Pehar and compelled him to become a defender of Buddhism, and, i n p a r t i c u l a r , a protector of the Tibetan Government. When Pehar or one of his ministers i s invoked to possess the Nechung oracle, the Tibetan Government receives pronouncements and predictions on a f f a i r s of state. The Nechung oracle i s thereby the most respected o r a c l e among 128 Tibetans, and Pehar, the most powerful deity of the Tibetan pantheon to take possession of a human. Although there are different versions of Pehar's arrival in Tibet, what emerges most significantly for the purpose at hand is that the epic of Gesar may not be sung in the Nechung monastery lest Pehar be upset upon being reminded "of the defeat he had suffered" (1956:105). This observance is currently upheld with respect to the Nechung monastery in Dharmsala. Pehar is the trusted protector of the Tibetan state despite his non-Tibetan and non-Buddhist origins because he was converted to Buddhism either by a great hero Gesar or the tantric specialist Padmasambhava; in other words, Pehar did not "achieve" his religious knowledge or power. Rather, he was granted his religious power by a great lha. By not singing the legend of Gesar in the "presence" of Pehar - I.e., in the Nechung monastery, Tibetans demonstrate their respect for a demon who has submitted himself to the ethical tenets of Buddhism. The Shugs-ldan oracle, on the other hand, symbolizes someone who has systematically acquired religious power, but who has broken free of ethical constraints. i Dbang Contests Tibet, according to the legends surrounding Padmasambhava, was orginally converted to Buddhism through a series of contests between Bon-po priests and Padmasambhava, contests which pitted the magical power of the priests against that of the Guru much in the following manner: 129 The Story of Tara Lee Wang I t so happened that during the reign of King Khri-srong  Lde-btsan, when the Bon r e l i g i o n was prevalent i n Tibet, but Guru Rinpoche was beginning to convert the land to Buddhism, the King's chief minister died. A f t e r his death, a s p e c i a l r i t u a l was performed to send h i s soul up to a higher place, a better world. For this r i t u a l , the King i n v i t e d both Buddhist monks and Bon p r i e s t s and each performed th e i r version of the lam-'adun r i t u a l . For the performance of ttie r i t u a l , each of the competing p r a c t i t i o n e r s drew a human fi g u r e (to represent the soul of the deceased), and then uttered h i s respective s c r i p t u r e s . The King decided to judge which r e l i g i o n was superior by observing the success of each side. During the Bon r i t u a l , the King found that the drawing began to assume human form and suddenly started to speak. , The fi g u r e announced that he was Tara Lee Wang (the dead minist e r ) , l i s t e d h i s accomplishments as minister, r e c a l l e d h i s conversations with the King, and described h i s tr a v e l s . In short, the figur e recounted the l i f e h i s t o r y of Tara Lee Wang. The King was very suprised to hear the figure's speech. He then v i s i t e d the Buddhist r i t u a l and found that, although they were also performing a r i t u a l to guide the soul of the deceased minister, nothing was happening with the paper f i g u r e . From this observation the King concluded that the Bon monks r e a l l y had the better command of tan t r i e mantras. The King consulted Guru Rinpoche about h i s observations and said, 130 "I have seen c e r t a i n miraculous things when the Bon p r i e s t s pray, whereas nothing happens when the Buddhist monks pray." Guru Rinpoche r e p l i e d , " A l l r i g h t . I gave one i n i t i a t i o n a long time ago to a l l the ministers, a t a n t r i c i n i t i a t i o n . In that i n i t i a t i o n I gave a s p e c i a l t a n t r i c name to a l l the King's ministers. These t a n t r i c names are not known by others - they are very sacred. Why don't you go to that human fi g u r e who speaks, and ask him what his s p e c i a l t a n t r i c name i s ? " Guru Rinpoche also gave the King a rdo-rje (thunderbolt) to hide In the f r o n t pocket of h i s phyu-pa (c l o a k ) , and instructed him to allow only the top of i t to protrude from the lower f o l d of h i s phyu-pa. The King then went to the Bon r i t u a l , and saw that the fi g u r e was s t i l l t a l k i n g . The King then asked, "Since you are one of the ministers who received a t a n t r i c i n i t i a t i o n from Guru Rinpoche and received a t a n t r i c name, what i s that name?" The fi g u r e r e p l i e d , "Oh, I don't know. When Guru Rinpoche was g i v i n g these names, he kicked me out. I was hiding behind the w a l l , behind the water." Then the King revealed the t i p of the thunderbolt from underneath his s h i r t and the fig u r e became t e r r i f i e d , crying, "Please don't do that - don't show me that thing! I t i s so powerful - that rdo-rje!" F i n a l l y , the fi g u r e confessed that he was not Tara Lee Wang. The King asked him who he was, and the figure r e p l i e d that he was an e v i l bdud and not the soul of Tara Lee Wang. The bdud had come, i n f a c t , to harm the soul of Tara Lee Wang. I f the soul of Tara Lee Wang was not "caught" with this puja, then he could not be directed to a better world, to r e b i r t h . 131 As the narrator of this tale explained, whether or not the e v i l i s prevented from harming the soul of the deceased or a s i c k person depends upon the personal dbang of the man who performs the puja. I t depends upon how high the lama i s , his strength, and his personal power (dbang). The strength of the Bon prayers could not match that of Guru Rinpoche. Tibetans are, thus, well-versed not only In the v a r i e t y of powerful magicians of various r e l i g i o n s , but also In the s u p e r i o r i t y of Buddhism i n cases of magical combat. But this s u p e r i o r i t y does not go unchallenged i n the present-day context of refugee l i f e . Indian saddhus, f o r example, frequently t r a v e l to Dharmsala. While some come on a pilgrimage to v i s i t l o c a l Hindu shrines, others, f a m i l i a r with their glamorous image i n the West, follow the t o u r i s t flow i n hopes of o picking up alms. Tibetans i n Dharmsala acknowledge that these saddhus may be t a n t r i e p r a c t i t i o n e r s with some of the same s k i l l s possessed by Tibetan sngags-pas. Tibetans who read Indian newspapers also read occasional accounts of Indian tantries engaging i n heinous r i t e s such as c h i l d s a c r i f i c e , a l l of which contributes to a r e l a t i v e unease experienced by a number of Tibetans where saddhus are concerned. When a bridge l i n k i n g Forsythe Ganj with McCleod Ganj had been almost r e b u i l t a f t e r I t had been washed away i n the monsoon, word was out among Tibetan mothers i n Dharmsala to keep a v i g i l a n t eye upon their o f f s p r i n g . I t was rumoured that a disreputable saddhu was searching the l o c a l area for two boys between the ages of three and eight to bury under each end of the new bridge, the l o g i c of this s a c r i f i c e being that the e v i l s p i r i t s who gather under bridges and p r e c i p i t a t e accidents i n order to capture victims would be sa t i a t e d by the boys and r e f r a i n from harming future t r a v e l l e r s . A Tibetan maskmaker's daughter was reportedly captured by the saddhu who was deceived by her recently shaved head (a prophylactic for l i c e and ringworm), but was abruptly discarded by him upon h i s discovery of her sex. Such reports ground an unfavorable reception of saddhus by Tibetans. On one occasion, an Indian saddhu entered a Tibetan restaurant while I happened to be conversing with the manager. She immediately appeared to be agitated, questioned the saddhu's presence i n the restaurant, and f i n a l l y persuaded him to leave. The manager expressed to me her fear that he might cast the e v i l eye upon her and/or the restaurant i f he remained inside f o r a long time. "We have," she s a i d , "no protection against them." Sngags-pas and Tibetan monks, however, are confident that they have s u f f i c i e n t power to counteract the e v i l influence of saddhus, but hold, a l l the same, an intense d i s l i k e of them, f o r saddhus may engage them i n v i r t u a l r e l i g i o u s duels. The springs of Bhagsunath, a Hindu shrine i n the Dharmsala area, are a popular bathing spot f o r Indians and Tibetans, and frequented by Tibetan monks and lamas. On one occasion, a number of saddhus convened a t the spring, and the Tibetan monks, b e l i e v i n g that the saddhus had p o l l u t e d the springs with t h e i r r i t e s of black magic, performed a r i t u a l there to counteract the e v i l before they resumed th e i r bathing. The d i s a f f e c t i o n harbored by the Tibetan monks towards the saddhus, however, i s more a r e s u l t of the 133 f a c t that the saddhus' actions force the Tibetans into a power contest (and thereby a display of power), than that the Tibetans entertained any p o s s i b i l i t y of defeat. GonclusIon Rgyal-pos, the ghosts of monks or lamas "turned away from r e l i g i o n " , provide a clue to the problem of e v i l i n Tibetan cosmology - v i z . , they h i n t a t the f a c t that r e l i g i o u s power might be amoral. I f r e l i g i o u s power can be amoral In so f a r as i t may be attained or u t i l i z e d without the a p p l i c a t i o n of the " B o d h i c l t t a " (enlightened) mind, i t presents a way to construct an unethical but competitive a l t e r n a t e hierarchy. Dge-lugs-pa lamas fear a public display of dbang or any occasion which necessitates i t s major a p p l i c a t i o n , since dbang, unattenuated by "wisdom" or conformity to the Buddhist doctrine, constitutes a destructive force. Furthermore, this destructive force can be countered only with the exercise of a greater amount of dbang. The controversy surrounding the "legitimacy" of the Shugs-ldan Oracle points up a major focus of this d i s s e r t a t i o n , that the very factor which elevates humans i n the r e l i g i o u s hierarchy, dbang, also provides the greatest threat to i t s 'legitimate' ascent. What underlies the threat i s not that e v i l beings are a n t i t h e t i c a l to a structured universe, but that through what Husserl (1962) has termed " e i d e t i c reduction", demons can s t r i p away the Buddhist tenets which accompany Tibetan notions of cosmological legitimacy and expose the p o s s i b i l i t y of a hierarchy unmotivated by e t h i c a l considerations and 134 substantiated by sheer achievement - a l l of which must be read as the accumulation of dbang. 135 CHAPTER V TRICKS, TRAPS, AND TRANSFORMATIONS: TIBETAN STRATEGIES OF EXORCISM When a Tibetan Is found by decree of d i v i n e r , o r a c l e , or astrologer to be the present or p o t e n t i a l v i c t i m of e v i l s p i r i t s , s p i r i t s who trespass against humans and the Buddhist doctrine, an exorcism i s prescribed to a l l e v i a t e the patient's s u f f e r i n g . In Chapter I I I , I noted that Tibetan r i t u a l s are p r i m a r i ly dichotomized into 'peaceful' or 'jwrathful'. But each of these categories i s again subdivided to y i e l d four c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s of Tibetan Buddhist r i t u a l : (1) z h i ; (2) rgyas; (3) dbang; and (4) drag. These four c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s represent four s t y l e s of subjugation and follow the four possible manifestations of a meditational deity as presented i n a cham (monastic) dance. In the performance of cham, the dancer wears a mask coloured white, yellow, red, or blue depending upon whether the s t y l e of subjugation adopted by the deity i s zhi-ba (peacefully subduing), rgyas-ba (subduing through the a p p l i c a t i o n of wealth), dbang (subduing by manifesting power), or drag-po ( v i o l e n t subjugation). Each chos-rgyal (defender of Buddhism) has a,repertoire of four performances or dances corresponding to these four modes of subjugation. The choice of s t y l e i s determined by the occasion. The 136 performance of monastic dance, according to one dge-bshes who teaches i t a t a Tibetan school i n India, i s to demonstrate how, i n ancient times, the gods conquered e v i l . The p a r t i c u l a r manifestation ( z h l ,  rgyas, dbang,or drag) adopted by the deity would be prompted by the degree of r e c a l c i t r a n c e exhibited by the demon; for example, i f the demon does not submit before the deity's chosen aspect, then t a c t i c s must be switched and the chos-rgyal must try a more powerful a p p l i c a t i o n . Therefore, i f the rgyas-ba aspect f a i l s , then the deity w i l l appear i n a dbang-bo mode. The strategy underlying mode se l e c t i o n always appears to include a preference for applying the l e a s t amount of pressure (the most peaceful mode possible) to c o n t r o l the demon. The most peaceful or zhi-ba mode i s adopted, as I discussed i n Chapter I I I , when humans have in f r i n g e d upon the status prerogatives of the legitimate cosmological order, and, thus, corresponds In theory to what Ortner refers to as a 'self-effacement' on the part of human beings (1975:160). However, when Tibetans must deal with demons or the demonic cousins (as evidenced by e v i l k l u and l e s s e r gods) of 'righteous' k l u , sa-bdag, and lh a , they s e l e c t one of the three a l t e r n a t e strategems: rgyas-ba, dbang-bo, or drag-po. These three strategems I w i l l gloss r e s p e c t i v e l y as " t r i c k s , traps, and transformations" and present as three commentaries on the ' i l l u s o r y nature' of ambition i n a h i e r a r c h i c a l society. In add i t i o n , each mode, taken i n sequence from the most peaceful to the most wrathful, represents an exponential increase i n the 'directness' of address -i . e . , from 'self-effacement' to ' a n n i h i l a t i o n ' . 137 TRICKS The Tibetan milieu i s a world replete with various demons and harmful cosmic emanations, but these negative forces, according to Buddhist tenet, are harbored under the cloak of ignorance, and, therefore, may be countered with what appears to be a basic Tibetan premise, that ignorance can be deceived and that "confused e v i l i s c o n t r o l l a b l e e v i l ' . Tibetans, for reasons which we w i l l address l a t e r , prefer to deal with their demons under peaceful auspices -i . e . , a zhi-ba or rgyas-ba puja. But such auspices are e f f e c t i v e s o l e l y because they u t i l i z e numerous str a t e g i e s designed, f o r example, to deceive demons who would thwart merit-making a c t i v i t i e s , to provide antidotes to a s t r o l o g i c a l cycles of v u l n e r a b i l i t y , and to heal the s i c k . The l o g i c underlying these s t r a t e g i e s points up a key moral parameter d i v i d i n g human p o t e n t i a l from demonic a s p i r a t i o n , that of status ambitions. The Appeal of Constructions Acquiring bsod-nams or merit enables a Tibetan to enhance his or her chances of a good r e b i r t h . Though bsod-nams i s weighed against the sum of an i n d i v i d u a l ' s bad deeds In the working out of h i s or her karma, bsod-nams i s a quantum which does not diminish from one l i f e t i m e to the next and i s r e a d i l y increased through the performance of various acts including prayers, r e l i g i o u s o f f e r i n g s , compassionate gi v i n g , the sponsoring of monks, and through the b u i l d i n g of bridges 138 and monasteries. The b u i l d i n g of bridges i s considered e s p e c i a l l y o meritorious since bridges a id numerous t r a v e l l e r s and pilgrims while monasteries service multiple r e l i g i o u s functions. But acts of great merit-making such as these, whether they be r e l i g i o u s consecrations or secular constructions tempt the obstructive urges of e v i l s p i r i t s . The Tibetan s o l u t i o n to these obstructive urges i s to counter them with t a c t i c a l diversions. With respect to bridge b u i l d i n g , the Tibetan s a i n t Thangton Gyalpo (Thang-ston rgyal-po) i s credited with the most famous. While b u i l d i n g one of h i s 58 i r o n suspension bridges i n T i b e t , Thangton Gyalpo was fr u s t r a t e d by demons who would come i n the night and wreak havoc on the work accomplished on the bridge during the day. F i n a l l y , the s a i n t created seven dancers who so enthralled the demons with t h e i r performance that the demons were diverted from the bridge and e a s i l y subdued. S p i r i t s seeking to destroy monasteries or mu l t i - s t o r i e d b u i l d i n g s receive a d i f f e r e n t greeting altogether. When the walls of a new monastery, nunnery, or grand b u i l d i n g are completed, a large e r e c t phallus molded from p l a s t e r or wood and adorned with garlands of f r u i t i s a f f i x e d to the top of one w a l l to confront any s t r e e t s i d e spectators. Tibetans informed me that the phallus would turn away the eye of envious people whose thoughts might bode i l l f o r the b u i l d i n g or i t s Inhabitants (envy i s thought to be a threat to the a c q u i s i t i o n of dbang, whether s p i r i t u a l or ma t e r i a l ) . The h i s t o r i c a l precedent f o r this procedure occurred during the construction of a monastery i n Ti b e t . Although monks would labor by day to r a i s e the walls, t h e i r e f f o r t s were demolished each night by witches. F i n a l l y , the abbot devised a plan enabling the construction to be completed. He decreed that a model of an e r e c t penis be attached to the w a l l of the monastery. According to legend, the witches arr i v e d eager to destroy the b u i l d i n g and, thereby, the acts of merit performed by the monks, but the witches were forced to r e t r e a t i n extreme embarassment a t the s i g h t of the phallus. Although this curious event i n v i t e s a number of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , the Tibetan exegesis, that the phallus turned the witches away by embarassing them, f i t s with the preservation of Thangton Gyalpo's bridge. The witches and demons were thoroughly confused by the s i g h t of a phallus projecting from a monastery and dancers on a pilgrim's bridge; i n other words, they were deceived by unusual juxtapositions of images or the manipulation of appearances. Refracting the E v i l Eye A s t r o l o g i c a l c a l c u l a t i o n s often reveal that the strengths and weaknesses of an i n d i v i d u a l are subject to cycles of f l u c t u a t i o n . In the case of the very young and the e l d e r l y , Tibetans pay s p e c i a l a t t e n t i o n to the state of the srog or l i f e v i t a l i t y and that of the bla or secondary soul. Women i n childbearlng years must be concerned with their l u or body, young men with their dbang, and important o f f i c i a l s with their r l u n g - r t a , which i n this respect i s regarded as the success of t h e i r p o l i t i c a l p o l i c i e s . These respective anxieties may peak i n the i n d i v i d u a l ' s skag year, one which recurs every twelve years a f t e r h i s or her th i r t e e n t h year and renders the i n d i v i d u a l p a r t i c u l a r l y vulnerable to the workings of e v i l s p i r i t s . This v u l n e r a b i l i t y may be counteracted i f the one susceptible wears a s h i r t or coat with a sun and moon or swastika (the emblem of the wheel of samsaric existence) sewn on the back. These symbols, according to Tibetan thought, are auspicious i n that they represent i l l u m i n a t i o n or the d i s p e l l i n g of the ignorance so c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of e v i l beings. Furthermore, these symbols serve to ward o f f the supe r s t i t i o n s other people might p r o j e c t towards the wearer. Thus, i t might be said that the sun, moon, and the swastika transform a vulnerable i n d i v i d u a l into someone who r e f r a c t s or "educates" the e v i l eye, that i s , someone who "educates" ignorance and s u p e r s t i t i o n (which might be more r e a d i l y termed "un-Buddhist thought"). Change of Status A number of techniques used i n Tibetan healing r i t u a l s also address appearance as the interface between the patient and the e v i l s p i r i t . Precautionary measures are taken with infants and young c h i l d r e n t r a v e l l i n g outside the family dwelling. A black s t r i p e of soot is drawn down the c h i l d ' s nose, a custom d e r i v i n g from a legend about the goddess Tara. The s t r i p e supposedly renders the c h i l d i n v i s i b l e to ghosts or whatever beings might harbor designs on the c h i l d or the c h i l d ' s family. An in f a n t so besmirched i s deemed ugly and not worth the s t r i v i n g s of demons. One common antidote to i l l n e s s prescribed by oracles and lamas i s the ming-gyur lu-gyur or "name change, body change". One lama 141 explained that Tibetans occasionally receive t h e i r names not from lamas but rather from r e l a t i v e s . In such cases the names may not be ' i n harmony' with the person's horoscope and cause the person to become i l l . Another d i f f i c u l t y a r i s i n g i n the context of names occurs i n the event some e v i l s p i r i t or k l u happens to develop a grudge against someone and extends t h i s grudge to anyone bearing a l i k e name. Thus, i t i s often imperative f o r an i n d i v i d u a l a f f l i c t e d with i l l n e s s to receive a new name. I f a person or family i s c o n t i n u a l l y beset with i l l n e s s and names have been changed several times, the new name selected f o r the patient might be something l i k e khyi-skyag or "dog excrement" or s h i - s l o g , glossed as "death turned away". These names are thought to d e f l e c t any jealousy or hatred nurtured by others towards the patient and encourage t h e i r compassionate treatment of him or her. While e v i l s p i r i t s would be s i n g u l a r l y d i s i n t e r e s t e d i n anyone so basely named as "dog excrement" and warned o f f someone somewhat h e r o i c a l l y referred to as "death turned away" (which implies that death was unsuccessful i n trapping the person), humans who might harbor negative sentiments towards a patient are reminded through the use of such names of the in d i v i d u a l ' s s u f f e r i n g and, thus, i d e a l l y enjoined not to contribute to i t s furtherance. New clo t h i n g and even a new r o l e may al s o be required therapy for i l l n e s s . Harmful s p i r i t s are attached to the odors and well-used c l o t h i n g which mark a person. Therefore, two nights p r i o r to Lo-gsar, the Tibetan New Year, a female e f f i g y fashioned from barley dough and accompanied by coins and b i t s of old rags i s set outside and a t some distance from a Tibetan home. Tibetans venture that the female e f f i g y represents the mother of the household, a major a t t r a c t i o n , since the mother as a supplier of food and care has been a primary i n t e r e s t f o r the e v i l s p i r i t s who may have been inhabiting the household f o r the past year. These s p i r i t s , enticed by the e f f i g y , are thus directed away from the house. The family members, who remove "bad smells" (which may denote sins and po l l u t i o n ) by rubbing themselves a l l over with a b a l l of dough to be contributed to the entourage of the female e f f i g y , bathe, dress i n new clothes with the onset of the New Year, and thereby elude malevolent beings once again. One Tibetan father, following the i n s t r u c t i o n s of an oracle, went so f a r as to become a monk for a period of eight years i n order to cure h i s daughter's i l l n e s s . Change of dress, then, and occasionally d r a s t i c a l t e r a t i o n of status serve to confuse and turn away demons. The Ransom R i t u a l The example of the female e f f i g y set out before Tibetan New Year f i t s into a r i t u a l category known as glud, an e f f o r t to placate a supernatural by o f f e r i n g (or g i v i n g as i s the case with demons or i n f e r i o r s ) what amounts to a s a c r i f i c e prompting a lha to a s s i s t i n a l l e v i a t i n g the victim's s u f f e r i n g or designed to d i s t r a c t a demon from i t s o r i g i n a l goal by providing what to the demonic eye proves a t a n t a l i z i n g substitute. Now Tibetan Buddhists openly express t h e i r horror of r i t u a l s a c r i f i c e e n t a i l i n g the k i l l i n g of animals as actions b e f i t t i n g t h e i r pre-Buddhist ancestors or the p a r t i c i p a n t s i n notable Hindu r i t u a l s such as Dasain i n Nepal ( L i c h t e r 1980:61). Therefore, 143 the s a c r i f i c e i s performed by i n v e r t i n g the notion of blood s a c r i f i c e i f a deity i s to be beseeched, and by c o n t r i v i n g a metonymical ploy (a substitute) i f a demon Is to be deceived. In the former case, an animal i s not s a c r i f i c e d , but, on behalf of the patient, spared from the butcher's k n i f e . This animal Is known as a tshe-thar and more s p e c i f i c a l l y may be a tshe-lugs ( l i f e sheep) or tshe-gyag ( l i f e yak) or even a tshe-bya ( l i f e b i r d , often a chicken), the l a t t e r being a popular choice as i t i s a more affordable tshe-thar f o r Tibetans i n e x i l e . The ear of the animal so designated i s tagged with streamers i n the f i v e colours, red, yellow, blue, green, and white, and i t s l i v i n g provided for the remainder of i t s natural l i f e by the p a t i e n t as an o f f e r i n g to the d e i t y receiving the patient's s u p p l i c a t i o n . Demons are not, however, offered salvaged sheep or chickens. Although demons have been known (Tucci 1980:177) to attack domestic animals, i n Dharmsala, where Tibetans f o r the most part lead quasi-urban l i f e s t y l e s , demons i n t r i g u e s o l e l y a f t e r humans. The s a c r i f i c e or glud, then, which has been glossed as "ransom" by Tucci (1980), E k v a l l (1964:165), Nebesky-Wojkowitz (1956), consists of an e f f i g y of the s i c k person sculpted from barley dough (tsamba) and usually placed upon a platform with small coins, b i t s of the victim's c l o t h i n g , eatables, and, i f necessary, p o r t r a i t s of the victim's family. A young t r a n s l a t o r f o r a Tibetan Rinpoche maintained that glud would never be "offered" to a lha, but instead "given" to bdud or d e v i l s : " I f you present an o f f e r i n g to a lha, i t must be set i n a high, clean place l i k e an a l t a r or up on a mountain, but i f you give something to demons, then the best place i s to leave i t where three roads i n t e r s e c t . " I f the glud are l e f t i n such places Tibetans say that the glud w i l l be brought to the a t t e n t i o n of the demon no matter from which d i r e c t i o n he or she comes. E k v a l l speaks of these glud dispatched to "beyond-the-limits places" as combining "the concept of s u b s t i t u t i o n and the concept of an agent who w i l l bear away misfortune and d i s a s t e r by assuming the g u i l t f o r the s i n which has caused them" (1964:165). For McCleod Ganj residents, one of the most popular places to leave glud i s a remote bend i n the former B r i t i s h - b u i l t road (now a d i r t t r a i l ) leading from the bus stop i n McCleod Ganj to the Tibetan I n s t i t u t e of Performing A r t s . Approximately two kilometers from McCleod Ganj, one may veer l e f t and take a path up a ridge to a t o u r i s t h o s t e l and the Tse Chokling (Tshe-mchog-gling) monastery, or turn r i g h t into the Tibetan I n s t i t u t e of Performing Arts and a sngags-pa sgom-pa. From this point, the former road continues on to a remote Indian settlement and, f i n a l l y , becomes a t r a i l leading up to Himalayan ridges. C l e a r l y the choice of this road as a place to leave glud provides a l o c a t i o n that i s a t once r e l a t i v e l y remote from the "urbanized" McCleod Ganj, but a l s o d i r e c t l y In a path frequented by a few monks, Tibetan musicians and dancers, Western t o u r i s t s , and the returning nocturnal gambler. During what would be a skag year (every twelfth year following one's thi r t e e n t h year) f o r the D a l a i Lama or a very high incarnate, or upon the wish of a p a r t i c u l a r group to display t h e i r homage, a rten-bzhugs or "long l i f e " ceremony i s performed wherein a glud or e f f i g y of the D a l a i Lama or the high incarnate, as the case may be, i s fashioned. Although a rten-bzhugs r i t u a l may be performed f o r the b e n e f i t of a commoner, i t i s i n the case of one performed f o r the Da l a i Lama that an i n t e r e s t i n g c o n f l i c t of interpretations a r i s e s . During the r i t u a l , f i v e young monks dressed to represent khandromas (mkh'a-'agro-mas), the sky-going goddesses, approach the Dalai Lama and sing to him. F i n a l l y , they pick up the e f f i g y of the D a l a i Lama and carry i t o f f ( i n the one such r i t u a l I witnessed, the e f f i g y was taken to a lake about twenty-five miles away, into which i t was c a s t ) . The monks enacting the r o l e of khandromas do not return f o r one week. One Bk'a-rgyud-pa cave meditator explained the r o l e of the khandromas as 'helping goddesses' who a s s i s t i n d e f l e c t i n g any e v i l from the person of the D a l a i Lama and thereby help to prolong h i s l i f e . The e v i l s , i n this case, must be s a t i s f i e d with the e f f i g y of the Dalai Lama. But the exegesis provided by several high Dge-lugs-pa  sprul-skus portrayed the khandromas as intent upon i n v i t i n g the Dal a i Lama to leave samsara (and presumably j o i n them i n a b l i s s f u l transcendental s t a t e ) . They r o l l out f i v e colors of banners to the throne upon which the Dalai Lama s i t s but are offered the e f f i g y instead and told that i t was a l l they could expect. The response of the khandromas Is then to r o l l up the banners and accept the e f f i g y , which they could take anywhere. The ra t i o n a l e f o r the monks' f a i l u r e to return immediately upon disposing of the e f f i g y was that they could stay away for a day to re s t . The d i f f e r e n c e i n exegesis pertains i n part to secular perspective and i n part to a consideration of the audience. The 146 Bk'a-rgyud-pa cave meditator provides an explanation consistent with the l o g i c employed i n other rten-bzhugs r i t u a l s and the customary r o l e of khandromas as postive. The Dge-lugs-pa sprul-skus and dge-bshes, * however, subscribe to a d i f f e r e n t exegesis. Not wishing to recount the probable poisonings of the eighth through twelfth D a l a i Lamas, they suggest that the Dalai Lama i s too enlightened a being to f a l l prey to the machinations of e v i l , and choose, instead, to p o s i t i o n the long l i f e of the Dalai Lama on a d i f f e r e n t e t h i c a l a x i s . In this construct, c e r t a i n khandromas pose as temptresses i n v i t i n g the D a l a i Lama to leave samsara and thereby forsake h i s compassionate stance towards a l l sentient beings, while other khandromas plead with him to remain, as a compassionate a c t for a l l sentient beings. One young Tibetan government o f f i c e r provided an i l l u m i n a t i n g i n s i g h t into the meaning of glud; "Performing r e l i g i o u s acts (chos  byas-pa)," he s a i d , "hypnotizes the bad s p i r i t s , confusing them so they w i l l accept glud instead of the r e a l person." Whether or not a glud, as has often been interpreted ( T u c c i , et a l ) , i s a ransom, bribe, or substitute magically activated and symbolizing the person(s) on whose behalf the r i t u a l i s performed, acceptance of the glud reveals a c e r t a i n degree of s t u p i d i t y on the part of the e v i l s p i r i t s . The glud w i l l never a f f o r d access (or future access) to the ultimate p r i z e , a human rnam-shes (transmigrating consciousness). But the glud, i f accepted by the e v i l s p i r i t , i s thought to provide temporary s a t i s f a c t i o n or gyang. \ 147 Analysis The s t r a t e g i e s u t i l i z e d to d e f l e c t the e v i l eye, secure bridges and monasteries, and heal the s i c k are immanently concerned with the manipulation of appearance or appearances. A c h i l d with a blackened nose is e i t h e r i n v i s i b l e to e v i l s p i r i t s , o r transformed from a desirable object into one that i s not. The sun and the moon, sewn on the back of a garment, r e f r a c t any i l l - i n t e n t i o n e d observations, while demons and witches are thwarted by the unseemly phenomenon of a phallus a f f i x e d to a monastery w a l l and entertainment a t a bridge. Why then do appearances figure so s i g n i f i c a n t l y In Tibetan strategies? Perhaps one answer i s that, i n Tibetan curing r i t u a l s , e v i l s p i r i t s are confounded when they too r e a d i l y accept what they mistake for appropriate appearance, that i s , an i n d i v i d u a l ' s name, c l o t h i n g , odors, or e f f i g y . These external appearances are s a l i e n t indicators of status i n a h i e r a r c h i c a l society which subscribes to a h i e r a r c h i c a l cosmology. Status Is an i n t r i n s i c denominator, whether as b a r r i e r or conduit, i n any s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n . The elements d e l i m i t i n g status i n Tibetan society hold powerful a t t r a c t i o n s f o r demons and e v i l s p i r i t s . But demons, according to Buddhist tenet, are characterized by t h e i r ignorance, and, therefore, demonic perception i s l i m i t e d . Demons are fi r m l y convinced by s u p e r f i c i a l i t i e s . A Tibetan ghost, a f t e r a l l , resembles a human i n a l l respects save that a ghost has a hollow i n t e r i o r , a d i s t i n c t i o n marking a ghost as a l l e x t e r i o r appearance. I f an i n d i v i d u a l i s somewhat f l e x i b l e i n h i s or her presentation of s e l f and perception of status, and not too attached to i t s external 148 d e l i m i t e r s , that i n d i v i d u a l can d e f l e c t envy and s u c c e s s f u l l y augment hi s or her store of merit and power, thereby enhancing his or her l i f e p o t e n t i a l s , whether i n this l i f e or the next. A key determinant of human p o t e n t i a l i n Tibetan c u l t u r e , then, emerges from the l o g i c underlying r i t u a l actions as the perception of status. I f r i g i d , this perception serves as a b a r r i e r , an obstruction, and becomes the Tibetan bar chad or hindrance to the successful pursuit of goals. I f t h e i r perception of status i s f l e x i b l e , however, humans become more god-like, and can turn events to t h e i r advantage, or, at l e a s t , humans can distance themselves further from demons. TRAPS Thus f a r , we have been considering some peaceful, a l b e i t deceptive, means Tibetan employ to subdue demons. One might assume, however, that the more discerning or " r e c a l c i t r a n t " the e v i l s p i r i t i s , the less l i k e l y the above t a c t i c s might succeed. I f t h e i r adversaries are not so g u l l i b l e , sngags-pas must adopt a wrathful strategem. The milder form of wrathful a p p l i c a t i o n i s that of dbang, a s t y l e of subjugation considered (as i s the rgyas-ba mode) to be " i n d i r e c t " and which, I suggest, amounts to an " e x i l e " rather than a destruction of the demon. In a rgyas-ba r i t u a l such as the presenting of glud, lamas or sngags-pas provide the e v i l s p i r i t s with ransom o f f e r i n g s or s u b s t i t u t e s . But f o r the rgyal-dur puja ordered by the D a l a i Lama i n the myth of the Shugs-ldan Rgyal-po (as given i n Chapter IV), the e x o r c i s t molded a gtor-ma e f f i g y of the rgyal-po himself. This t a c t i c marks a diff e r e n c e from the way demons are treated i n the structure of a "peaceful" r i t u a l . As i s the case with peaceful subjugations, the ex o r c i s t once again t r i c k s the demon. But t h i s time, the l u r e i s not a ransom or glud i n the same sense. Rather than provide the rgyal-po with a substitute f o r h i s intended v i c t i m , the sngags-pa instead constructs what for the rgyal-po i s a desirable self-image. The rgyal-po not only f i n d s h i s shape on the a l t a r but, through magical a c t i o n , f i n d s himself trapped i n that shape. However, f o r the moment at l e a s t , the rgyal-po perceives himself as in h a b i t i n g a palace surrounded by a l l manner of sensual d e l i g h t s . To the demon, the thread-crosses (see the exorcism of the Shugs-ldan Rgyal-po i n Chapter IV) or rnam-mkh'as appear as rainbows rather than as " s p i r i t traps". The rgyal-po's perception of the rnam-mkh'a as a "rainbow" i s a perception created by the sngags-pa's power to e f f e c t the rgyal-po's perceptual transformation. The rgyal-po i s immediately a t t r a c t e d to the thread crosses (rnam-mkh'as), and, upon further inspection, he discovers the a s t r o l o g i c a l signs f i x i n g h i s i d e n t i t y and, perhaps, even e f f i g i e s (paper drawings) of h i s parents. These a t t r a c t i o n s a l l serve to convince the rgyal-po that he, indeed, i s being addressed and that he "belongs" on the a l t a r . The symbolic palace, r i c h food, and sensual surroundings are intended to f u l f i l l h i s l u s t and ambition. The strategy of a glud r i t u a l discussed above i s to deceive the demon in t o thinking he has received h i s v i c t i m , a v i c t i m the demon wishes to 150 employ to further his status i n demonic society. But the dbang strategy i s not to provide the rgyal-po with a "slave" or t o o l f o r achieving his ambitions, i t i s , rather, to convince the rgyal-po that he has already 'made i t to the top' - i . e . , that he has a r r i v e d i n the heaven of the gods - and, therefore, need not bother any further about harassing humans since h i s greatest desires have been s a t i a t e d . Of course, i f the demon i s so persuaded, i t i s only because of the s u p e r i o r i t y of the exorcist's dbang, or his a b i l i t y to influence, to transform perception. However, as evidenced by h i s c y c l i c a l return to the world of humans, the rgyal-po i s exiled but temporarily as a r e s u l t of a dbang-bo exorcism. He recovers his strength by eating the gtor-mas which are the "givings" f o r subhuman beings. TRANSFORMATIONS The t r i c k s and traps applied by Tibetan e x o r c i s t s both serve to deceive demons by convincing them that they have captured t h e i r victims, as i s the case with a glud r i t u a l , or that they have ascended to the top of the hierarchy, as i s the object of a mdos r i t u a l . But one more technique remains, and i t i s the most wrathful (drag^po) a p p l i c a t i o n of power by the e x o r c i s t . This strategy, I w i l l argue, does not merely e x i l e a demon only for hira to return with renewed vigor a t some l a t e r date, but,rather transforms the e v i l In appearance, i n t e n t i o n a l I t y , and cosmological status. The most wrathful mode drag-po of Tibetan Buddhist exorcisms i s 151 the gto. In t h i s r i t u a l , the e x o r c i s t must invoke this aspect of his raeditational d e i t y and o f f e r g i f t s symbolizing the " f l e s h and bones of enemies" to be used by the protective d e i t i e s i n t h e i r attack upon uncompromising e v i l (Tucci 1980:180). A drag-po r i t u a l i s a r i t u a l of destruction, but as Dharmsala sngags-pas explained, "The purpose of the r i t u a l i s not to hurt the e v i l s p i r i t but to teach i t something as, f o r example, not to do e v i l deeds and to repent. I f the e v i l s p i r i t repents the work r e s u l t i n g from h i s karmic circumstance, then he w i l l gain a better l i f e i n the next l i f e . " Beyer notes that i n the l i t u r g y of drag-po r i t u a l s , the words meaning " d e l i v e r " or " l i b e r a t e " are substituted f o r " k i l l , " and the i n t e n t of the r i t u a l i s "not only to destroy the body of the object of the r i t u a l but a l s o to dispatch h i s 'awareness'... to a heaven or Pure Land, ... that the s l a i n may avoid the eons i n h e l l which might otherwise be h i s l o t , and that he may gain a l l the s p i r i t u a l benefits of a fortunate r e b i r t h " (1973:304). Although Dharmsala sngags-pas express more caution In pr e d i c t i n g such a splendid and immediate des t i n a t i o n f o r the "born again" s p i r i t , they agree with Beyer's examination i n t h e i r emphasis on turning the s p i r i t away from h i s former l i f e and d i r e c t i n g him towards a more favorable r e b i r t h . I f the r i t u a l accomplishes this feat, then i t succeeds i n a c t u a l l y transforming the e v i l s p i r i t . Whereas the l e s s wrathful approach would be to trap the e v i l i n h i s own e f f i g y and temporarily ajxile him, the drag-po r i t u a l would n e c e s s a r i l y sever the s p i r i t from his old existence and place him into another and better plane of existence. However, since the s p i r i t 152 undergoes a complete change of a t t i t u d e , he would not, i n h i s new l i f e , wield the power he possessed i n h i s e v i l l i f e . A LAY APPLICATION The s t r a t e g i e s of a Tibetan e x o r c i s t are not n e c e s s a r i l y l i m i t e d to the province of r e l i g i o n . They are, i n d e f t hands, an expedient p o l i t i c a l tool. A recent case In point regarding a " l a y " a p p l i c a t i o n of a Tibetan exorcist's t a c t i c s was framed by two issues: the f i r s t concerns the ongoing contentiousness among the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism which, at times, constitutes regional, rather than r e l i g i o u s differences; and the second springs from the current appeal expressed by many young Tibetans In e x i l e that everyone transcend sectarianism and regionalism and unite under the banner of a shared "culture" i n order to promote the i d e a l of Rangzen ( s p e l l e d rang-btsan i n Tibetan orthography, but spelled rangzen by Tibetans who wish to communicate this concept on the fronts of t - s h i r t s or i n l i t e r a t u r e to non-Tibetans). Rang means " s e l f " , while btsan, i n this context, means "power, force, or strength". Rangzen, i s , as Nowak (1984:31-32) emphasizes, a post-1959 introduction to the Tibetan lexicon, and expresses the i d e a l of a self-governed, independent T i b e t . U n t i l quite recently, the concept of Tibetan culture was tucked by the Tibetans themselves under the aegis of Tibetan Buddhism and l i g h t l y dismissed. But the increasing references by the Dalai Lama, young Tibetan writers, Westerners, and the People's Republic of China (and this most probably i n response to the r h e t o r i c from Dharmsala) to the importance of Tibetan culture and r e l i g i o n has marshalled considerable enthusiasm f o r the subject among Tibetans i n e x i l e . I t has launched, or a t l e a s t enhanced, the careers of Tibetan w r i t e r s , a r t i s t s , innovators, and ' c u l t u r a l ' conservators. This enthusiasm has also prompted a few to assume the ro l e of " c u l t u r a l censor," and, therefore, judge the appropriateness of a p a r t i c u l a r ' c u l t u r a l ' item or event as i t may emerge i n e x i l e . Thus, a dramatic performance, one that might well i n the past have been defined as entertainment and l e f t a t that, may now be Infused with considerable ' c u l t u r a l ' import, and, on this basis, i n v i t e acclaim or censure. But, as we s h a l l see, this emerging c u l t u r a l self-consciousness among Tibetans i n e x i l e may serve to v i t i a t e the i d e a l of unity as much as i t may v i t a l i z e t h e i r c u l t u r e . T r a d i t i o n Under Attack A r e l a t i v e l y recent c r i s i s f o r this 'new' perception of Tibetan c u l t u r e arose i n May, 1981 during the annual meeting of the Tibetan National Assembly i n Dharmsala. This Assembly, the highest decision-making body i n e x i l e , i s composed of the D a l a i Lama's cabinet, the l e s s powerful elected Tibetan People's Deputies, and the l e a s t powerful d i r e c t o r s of a l l the departments of the Tibetan Government. At the annual meetings, the Cabinet and the People's Deputies convene to consider the reports of the di r e c t o r s and to lecture these same d i r e c t o r s on p o l i c y issues. But this p a r t i c u l a r 154 meeting resulted i n an unusual s t i r i n the Tibetan community. When a deputy concerned with Religious A f f a i r s , a monk from the Bk'a-rgyud-pa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, rose to present h i s l e c t u r e , he launched a d i a t r i b e against the Tibetan I n s t i t u t e of Performing Arts f o r t h e i r s t y l e of performance, e s p e c i a l l y f o r t h e i r s t y l e of Nor-bzang, the opera which was to be presented the following day i n honor of the members of the Assembly. The monk deputy prefaced h i s attack with h i s deep concern that the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism were growing further apart i n e x i l e , and that the Tibetan I n s t i t u t e of Performing Arts, the one i n s t i t u t i o n renowned i n e x i l e as a preserver of t r a d i t i o n a l Tibetan music, dance, and drama, was promulgating r e l i g i o u s sectarianism by p u b l i c i z i n g i t i n the performance of a Tibetan opera. The opera i n question, Nor-bzang, which i s considered by Tibetans to be the 'most Tibetan' i n theme of a l l the operas performed, features a disreputable and s e l f - s e r v i n g r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i t i o n e r , an exorcist-cum-sorcerer named Am-chog Hari Nag-po, who conspires with an e v i l princess to destroy the b e a u t i f u l wife of the prince. This e x o r c i s t ' s name tra n s l a t e s as "Black Ear-Parrot" (the exo r c i s t ' s Sanskrit middle name Hari means " p a r r o t " ) . The name r e f e r s to someone who eavesdrops and repeats what he hears i n a malicious way. This sorcerer i s a comic f i g u r e who announces h i s entry i n t o the opera scenario with a well-known Bk'a-rgyud-pa four-stanza mantra, a prayer to Padmasambhava. The People's Deputy, a Bk'a-rgyud-pa monk himself, took exception to t h i s use of the mantra and decried the Tibetan I n s t i t u t e of Performing Arts f o r smearing the image of the 155 Bk'a-rgyud-pa sect. Such defamation, he claimed, encouraged r e l i g i o u s schism within the Tibetan community i n e x i l e . To this c r i t i q u e , the d i r e c t o r of the I n s t i t u t e retorted that the use of the Bk'a-rgyud-pa mantra was not what he himself had directed but was part of Tibetan opera t r a d i t i o n . He suggested that although the deputy might be unacquainted with Tibetan opera as i t was performed i n Lhasa, the general audience was very f a m i l i a r with the Am-chog Hari Nag-po character and would never Interpret him as a lampoon of the Bk'a-rgyud-pa sect. In f a c t , the repertoire of Tibetan operas contains s i m i l a r characterizations f or a l l of the sects. The d i r e c t o r of the Tibetan I n s t i t u t e of Performing Arts had challenged the People's Deputy's c u l t u r a l knowledge. The deputy could not respond to this challenge and had been bested i n debate by a status i n f e r i o r . However, as i s the custom i n such annual meetings, the debate waged for an a d d i t i o n a l hour as other People's Deputies sprang to the defense of t h e i r fellow member and status peer, the Bk'a-rgyud-pa monk. Their actions were prompted by t h e i r umbrage at the sheer impropriety of a status i n f e r i o r ' s winning a debate i n a meeting of the National Assembly. Other i n s t i t u t e d i r e c t o r s who wished to side with t h e i r superiors also spoke on behalf of the now mute Bk'a-rgyud-pa monk. By v i r t u e of the number of the Assembly now disagreeing with him, the Director of the Tibetan I n s t i t u t e of Performing Arts o f f i c i a l l y l o s t the debate. The t a c i t assumption, thus, concerning debate shared by a t l e a s t the members of the Tibetan National Assembly was that the status of the disputants was a more c r i t i c a l f a c t o r i n determining the outcome 156 than was cogency of argument. Although t h i s assumption might generally remain unquestioned i n a h i e r a r c h i c a l society such as that of the Tibetans, the issue and consequence of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r debate bore d i r e c t l y upon the v i a b i l i t y of c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n , the subject which has recently captivated Tibetans i n e x i l e . The outcome of the debate e x p l i c i t l y queried the p o l i t i c a l s u i t a b i l i t y of c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n and i m p l i c i t l y underscored the prestige of the People's Deputy himself and the Bk'a-rgyud-pa sect i n general. The Deputy also achieved a f a c i l e v i c t o r y i n the Tibetan National Assembly with his choice of the Tibetan I n s t i t u t e of Performing Arts as his v e h i c l e . This I n s t i t u t e , formerly known as the Tibetan Music, Dance, and Drama Society, was the f i r s t i n s t i t u t i o n organized by the Tibetan Government-in-Exile and was designed to preserve the performing a r t s of Tibet, but the society has also been one of the poorest of the organizations formed i n e x i l e . The performers, who were for the most part c l a s s i f i e d as students, received at t h i s time approximately one-tenth or 30 Rs. of the salary paid to other government workers. While young women often graduate from the society to a r i s t o c r a t i c marriages and t r i p s abroad, the young men, who prove to be the sustaining members and applauded performers of the I n s t i t u t e , and are enjoined by the public to preserve Tibetan culture and serve t h e i r government, are shunned by the parents of prospective brides, ambitious young government c l e r k s , and others as being shabby economic prospects i n contrast to sweater-sellers, m i l i t a r y men, and merchants. The I n s t i t u t e i s also notorious for having been the f i r s t to host public Western-style disco dances (which were formerly confined to 157 private e l i t e gatherings) in order to raise funds. By reason of i t s inferior social and economic status and the imputed Western tastes of i t s members, the TIPA, thus, provided a convenient and popular scapegoat in the arena of the Tibetan National Assembly. Reports of the debate, however, had excited public imagination and speculation. The meeting of the National Assembly had lasted into early evening as a result of this debate. The members of the Institute were scheduled to perform the opera Nor-bzang the next morning before the Dalai Lama, the Cabinet, the People's Deputies, and the general public in what, for the institute, was a less customary location, a square formed by the Tibetan library and government buildings. Dharmsala Tibetans, as Dr. Robin Ridington has observed to me, appear to comprise a society which derives i t s livelihood from i t s culture and the sale of sweaters. The definition of Tibetan culture and the presentation of this culture to Tibetans and to non-Tibetans has thus become a focal issue in Dharmsala. In the controversy surrounding the performance of a Tibetan opera, the pol i t i c s of cultural propriety had been opposed to cultural tradition, and the latter had lost. What remained in question, then, was whether the Dalai Lama agreed with the findings of the National Assembly and what import such findings might bear upon future cultural events. If tradition was suspect, what body or faction might in the future dictate cultural guidelines? This new public enthusiasm for "Tibetan Culture" had suddenly become problematic, "culture" or "cultural tradition" had become something possibly riddled with potentially 158 infectious agents. A Cultural Exorcism The public suspected that something else might be afoot. After the audience assembled the following morning, the expectations that the Dalai Lama would witness the event were not f u l f i l l e d , and people busied themselves with further speculations. The actors themselves informed me that they were i n i t i a l l y disappointed at the Dalai Lama's absence, but surmised that as a l l of the other venerable members of the National Assembly along with the distinguished visitors were present, that perhaps the Dalai Lama was purposefully absenting himself in order to avoid inhibiting in any way the Institute's response to the Deputy's challenge of the previous day. When the comic figure Am-chog Hari Nag-po, the clown priest, entered the opera arena to i n i t i a t e his scene, he danced in and sat down, but, instead of reciting the traditional Bk'a-rgyud-pa mantra, he simply paused. Another actor, who was portraying a high minister, asked him why he had not begun his usual performance. The clown priest replied, "I heard that something happened yesterday at the annual meeting, and I had a bad dream that my gods are doing the wrong things, and I don't know what I am supposed to say now." The minister then asked what had happened. Am-chog Hari Nag-po answered, "It's better for me not to say anything because they were talking about me at the meeting." At this point, he began to sing one of the latest and most popular Hindi film songs and the audience roared. The actor 159 then announced, " I t ' s better to sing a Hindi song because nobody objects to i t and I won't be punished. I f I say something e l s e , or do another kind of Tibetan prayer, there w i l l be another problem." This new dialogue devised by the I n s t i t u t e ' s d i r e c t o r presented an i n t e r e s t i n g commentary on the Tibetans i n e x i l e . Everyone took immense pleasure i n Hindi f i l m s and songs, no Tibetan could possibly disagree on the merits of a Hindi f i l m song, but Tibetan content was something else again. Tibetan content was reason enough f o r fac t i o n a l i s m , quarreling, and a f f r o n t s . Also, a more subtle message emerged, that while c e r t a i n Tibetans i n e x i l e might a f f e c t a c u l t u r a l s u p e r i o r i t y by harshly c r i t i q u i n g any sign of Westernization i n Tibetan youth, none took the l e a s t notice of the e f f e c t Hindu culture had on t h e i r l i v e s . After completing some r e f r a i n s from the Hindi f i l m song, the actor resumed his customary Am-chog Hari Nag-po r o l e , wherein he presents a fore-shortened version of an exorcism. T r a d i t i o n a l l y , i n a performance of Nor-bzang, Am-chog Hari Nag-po would mold a simple clay-colored gtor-ma or dough cake, enact the o f f e r i n g of i t to a deity or cosmic being, and then toss i t out, as c e r t a i n gtor-mas are discarded i n the p r a c t i c e of numerous Tibetan curing r i t u a l s . But t h i s performance was unique. The gtor-ma molded by the actor was no simple, crudely shaped mass, but, rather, a properly painted and perfect skeleton, which evoked the dur-bdag or guardian of the cemetery dancer often used i c o n i c a l l y to p u b l i c i z e a performance of the TIPA. Furthermore, Am-chog Hari Nag-po had seated himself d i r e c t l y beneath the most distinguished members of the audience, the 160 Cabinet, the People's Deputies, and important guests. Therefore, when the actor concluded h i s scene by throwing out t h i s f a n t a s t i c gtor-ma, he cast i t i n t h e i r d i r e c t i o n . The casting of t h i s skeleton gtor-ma i n the d i r e c t i o n of the People's Deputies was greeted with considerable h i l a r i t y by the audience and the Cabinet. The deputy responsible f o r prompting the d i a t r i b e against the I n s t i t u t e and those who supported him were not, however, amused, for Am-chog Hari Nag-po's gesture offered i n symbolic fashion a double-edged challenge. The skeleton gtor-ma was polysemic, representing the monastic dancers who carry away accumulated e v i l , the malnourishment or impoverished nature of the TIPA, and serving as a substitute, an e f f i g y f o r the I n s t i t u t e i t s e l f . The message such an o f f e r i n g conveys i n conventional Tibetan exorcism (glud) i s e i t h e r "take t h i s you d e v i l s and leave us alone" or, i f t r u l y ignorant e v i l s p i r i t s are being addressed, "take us, here we are." Through such a gesture, then, the Tibetan I n s t i t u t e of Performing Arts indicated that the deputies, a powerful body, had chosen to attack the i n s t i t u t e that, i n e x i l e , must struggle the hardest, i s the most impoverished, and occupies an i n f e r i o r status p o s i t i o n . A d d i t i o n a l l y , i f the deputies 'picked up the gtor-ma' so to speak, or acknowledged the o f f e r i n g by eating i t - that i s to say, continued t h e i r attack on the I n s t i t u t e and upon c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n , the deputies, i n front of the general pu b l i c , would be revealing themselves to be demons. To t h i s the public responded with unremitting approval. At the 161 end of the opera, members of the audience joined together i n the t r a d i t i o n a l Tibetan round dance for two hours at the l i b r a r y and then, a f t e r a three kilometer walk up to McCleod Ganj, resumed t h e i r c e l e b r a t i o n with Tibetan dance for three more hours. People continued to speak of the event for several months afterward. The Tibetan I n s t i t u t e of Performing Arts had p u b l i c a l l y defeated the People's Deputies by symbolically performing t h e i r exorcism. This exorcism of the People's Deputies, however, did not end with the Tibetan I n s t i t u t e of Performing A r t s . The Tibetan Review (1981:5) reported that a senior member of the Cabinet and the Chairman of the Assembly of People's Deputies announced that from thence forward, a l l discussions held i n the National Assembly meetings and resolutions passed, heretofore guarded secrets, would be made public through Tibetan publications, thereby enabling people to have "an idea of what the Assembly does and how. This would also enable them to evaluate the performance of t h e i r elected representative." The exorcism was pursued i n a p o l i t i c a l fashion when "sweeping changes i n the composition and e l e c t i o n procedure of the Assembly of Tibetan People's Deputies" (Tibetan Review 1982a:4) were i n i t i a t e d i n September 1981. None of the previous People's Deputies were returned to o f f i c e i n the e l e c t i o n which followed i n May 1982 (Tibetan Review 1982b:4). 1 The members of the Tibetan I n s t i t u t e of Performing Arts have recently received salary increments putting them more or l e s s on a f i n a n c i a l par with other government workers and the I n s t i t u t e i t s e l f i s expanding. By claiming a p u n c t i l i o u s stance and accusing the TIPA of 162 i n s t i g a t i n g r i f t s i n the refugee society, the deputy not only created an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the r o l e of the clown p r i e s t as one that r i d i c u l e d the Bk 1a-rgyud-pa sect, an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n which did not correspond with the public i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the r o l e , but also c a l l e d a ttention to the demands of h i s own r e l i g i o u s sect and i t s importance. While the deputy was censuring c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n and v i t i a t i n g i t by vi r t u e of the p o l i t i c a l strength of h i s status peers i n the National Assembly, he was, i n e f f e c t , championing h i s personal sectarian cause and fanning the flame of s o c i a l schism i n the refugee s o c i e t y . The t a c t i c devised by the opera troupe i n defense of c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n , and themselves, was a l o g i c a l Tibetan response to any serious case of demonic attack. The dramatic performance they offered presented f ar more than a t h e a t r i c a l parody - i t condensed the debate i n the Assembly, pointed up the unwillingness on the part of many Tibetans to transcend i n d i v i d u a l i n t e r e s t s i n the greater i n t e r e s t of the Tibetan refugee society, and threw i n t o r e l i e f the context which ^ necessitates exorcism, the assumption of status and power by those who are inappropriate f o r the r o l e s . Conclusion The t r i c k s , traps, and transformations which constitute the st r a t e g i e s of Tibetan exorcism devolve from the manipulation of status. T r i c k s , which involve o f f e r i n g s such as glud and the use of other scapegoats, placate the somewhat stupid demons by u t i l i z i n g the markers of status i n Tibetan society - names, cl o t h i n g , family, and 163 wealth - to convince the demons that they have indeed acquired t h e i r 'slaves', assets which the demons must have i f they wish to gain greater prestige i n t h e i r own realm. Traps, the essence of mdos r i t u a l s , are intended not only to e x i l e the demons, but also to convince them that they have already reached the top of t h e i r own hierarchy or have a r r i v e d i n heaven ( l h a - y u l ) . But transformations are concerned with d i r e c t a n n i h i l a t i o n of the e v i l s p i r i t s and serve to place the s p i r i t s i n a higher, but humbler plane. By v i r t u e of t h e i r r e b i r t h i n a 'better world', the demons ostensibly ascend i n the legitimate cosmological hierarchy; however, since t h e i r minds have been transformed as well, they would necessarily be bereft of t h e i r former ambitions, and thereby be 'humbler'. The demons who undergo transformation would seemingly be catapulted from the top of t h e i r alternate hierarchy to a lowly rank i n the legitimate hierarchy. The implications of t h i s transformation I continue to explore i n Chapters VII and VIII. The incident at the Tibetan opera i l l u s t r a t e s the repercussions that may ensue from a s a t i r i c manipulation of exorcism strategy v i s - a - v i s the s o c i a l hierarchy. 164 NOTES 1. The new election procedures stipulated that the number of regional Deputies would be reduced from twelve to six; thus, two deputies would be elected to represent each of the three regions: Dbus-Gtsang,  Khams, and Amdo. Five deputies would continue to represent the four major sects of Tibetan Buddhism and the Bon religion respectively. Each Tibetan voter, who acquires his or her right to vote by paying one rupee per month to the Tibetan Government in Dharmsala, would be able to vote for candidates representing each of the three regions of Tibet. The results of these popular elections, however, now constitute a popular nomination of candidates. The l i s t of these candidates is then presented to the Dalai Lama, who has been requested to select the f i n a l six candidates himself. These new election procedures are intended to dispel the indulgence " i n divisive regional politics and unbecoming conduct" said to characterize the Seventh Assembly of People's Deputies elected in 1978 (Tibetan Review 1982a:4). However, the Tibetan Review (ibid.) expresses the concern, on the part of some Tibetans, for the fact that each Tibetan, regardless of his or her region of origin, could now vote for candidates representing the other two regions. Since the predominant Tibetan population i n exile comes from Dbus-Gtsang, some Tibetans fear increased complaints about unfair representation from Khams and Amdo Tibetans. These complaints, in turn, would lead to further regional divisions and disunity among exile Tibetans. A second interpretation of this turn of events suggests that the Dalai Lama, "determined to keep this democratic Institution alive," accepted the proposal of selecting the f i n a l round of deputies himself (Wangyal 1982:3). Nowak (1984:179) furthers this second interpretation with her assessment that the Dalai Lama emerges here as a sacred symbol "used to n u l l i f y the dangerously divisive effects of secular contestations for power." 165 < CHAPTER VI A DUR SRI EXORCISM AT THE TIBETAN CHILDREN' S VILLAGE A major exorcism conducted only twice previously i n eight years occurred a t the Tibetan Children's V i l l a g e i n January, 1980, i n Home Number 10, a home donated by Canadians to Tibetan orphans. This exorcism was performed on what f o r Tibetans i n e x i l e was a r e l a t i v e l y grand scale, and was necessitated by a s t r o l o g i c a l predictions c a s t for the soul of a recently deceased dge-bshes, who had taught a t the TCV day school i n McCleod Ganj. This s h i - t s t (death horoscope) determined that the mam shes of the dge-bshes had f a l l e n Into the c o n t r o l of e v i l dur and s r l . Furthermore, i t had aroused c e r t a i n i l l - d i s p o s e d k l u and sa-bdags (guardians of the s o i l ) and stimulated the appetite of a demon known as Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum (black gtor-ma with three heads) who opens his mouth when a human dies i n a n t i c i p a t i o n of more deaths. The s e t t i n g for the r i t u a l was the dining room of the dormitory and was provided as a l o c a t i o n by the chief sponsors of the r i t u a l , the administration of TCV, who were concerned about the predicted fate of the soul of the dge-bshes and the danger such a f a t e posed for the community of TCV as a whole. But the chief e x o r c i s t , along with his f i v e a s s i s t a n t Rnying-ma-pa monks, assured me that the benefits of the r i t u a l would reach far beyond the soul of the former teacher and TCV 166 to embrace a l l sentient beings. Now this claim bears particular import, as I shall discuss later, because the exorcism, which was performed only three weeks following the death and, thus, well within the 49-day period designated as bar-do, was intrinsically intended to prevent the deceased teacher's rnam-shes from becoming a rgyal-po. When 1 questioned the sngags-pas about the probability that a highly revered dge-bshes might become a rgyal-po, they replied that one could not rely upon outside appearance, that people differed from each other internally and what a person thought might be completely different from what he manifested physically. This Tibetan emphasis upon the unreliability of perception and the intrinsic as opposed to the extrinsic determinants of status (physical appearance, public acclaim) recalls the rationale behind Tibetan scapegoats and ransom rituals, that the demons often have trouble distinguishing i l l u s i o n from 'reality' since they mistake what signifies the victim socially for the victim himself or herself. The sngags-pas suggested further that the deceased dge-bshes might have fallen under the influence of some recalcitrant numina (lesser lha or local s p i r i t s who have refused to submit to Buddhism) or, perhaps, had some moral flaws. Whatever the reason, however, the astrological calculations were responsible for detecting the danger. No matter how "high" - that is to say how powerful or far along in the path to enlightenment - a lama or dge-bshes might be, i f his death horoscope established a similar prognosis, then a dur-sri r i t u a l must be performed. The exorcism in question was conducted over five days and addressed three specific problems which surfaced with the death of the 167 c h i e f e x o r c i s t s n g a g s - p a s b l a c k t e n t c a u l d r o n n s n g a g s - p a s ' d o o r ( ) C ) c v i s i t o r s ' s e a t s Following the DUR-SRI exorcism, the black tent is replaced with a GLUD for the KLU, and, finally, with an effigy of GTOR-NAG-MGO-GSUM. F i g . 2 D I A G R A M O F E X O R C I S M SITE, T C V H O M E N O . 10 PEACOCK FEATHERS BUM-PA NORTH LAS-KYI RDO-RJE MKH'A-'AGRO-MA MKH'A-'AGRO-MA THANG-KA OF SGROl-MA DMAR-PO OFFERINGS TO THE FIVE MAJOR MKH'A-'AGRO-MAS SOUTH / \ WEST RIN-CHEN PAD-MA MKH-'A-'AGRO-MA MKH'A-'AGRO-MA ' O O OFFERINGS TO THE EIGHTEEN LESSER MKH'A-'AGRO-MAS FIRST LEVEL OF OFFERINGS BLOOD NCENSE o o ^ / \ ^ F O O D GTOR-MA o BUTTER LAMP OFFERING OF THE FIVE SENSES FLESH WRATHFUL OFFERINGS A FOOD GTOR-MA A A MILK o OO o SAFFRON FOOD RICE MCENSE BUTTER LAMP GTOR-MA SECOND LEVEL OF OFFERINGS PEACEFUL OFFERINGS O O O O O o o A A "GIVNGS" TO LESSER BEINGS THIRD LEVEL OF "GIVINGS , WEAPONS OF THE MKH'A- 'AGRO-MAS F i g . 3, THE A L T A R dge-bshes; (1) the release of his rnam-shes and subjugation of the e v i l s who were c o n t r o l l i n g that rnam-shes; (2) the turning away of c e r t a i n malevolent sa-bdags endemic to the TCV area who had been Inspired by the death; and (3) the entrapment of Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum (the three-headed cemetery demon). INSTILLING HIERARCHICAL PRECEPTS As has been well-documented by Ortner (1973,1975), a Sherpa (or Tibetan Buddhist) r i t u a l designed to invoke the assistance of the gods i n achieving a desired end r e l i e s upon a h i e r a r c h i c a l l y arranged a l t a r of gtor-mas ( b a s i c a l l y c o n i c a l dough figures) which represent both temporary 'seats' as w e l l as food f or the lha (gods) and mgon-pos (defenders of Buddhism), and a v a r i e t y of o f f e r i n g s , as well as what I noted i n Chapter I I I to be 'givings'. In the TCV d u r - s r i r i t u a l , the a l t a r consisted of three l e v e l s of gtor-mas (see Figure 3): (1) the highest contained the gtor-ma representing a temporary abode f o r Sgrol-ma Dmar-po ( Sanskrit - Kurukulla) flanked on e i t h e r side by gtor-mas f o r two d i r e c t i o n a l khandromas (mkh'a-'agro-mas), and fronted by 18 smaller gtor-mas f o r Messer khandromas'; (2) the second l e v e l contained the wrathful o f f e r i n g s : incense (here symbolizing human f a t ) , a butter lamp (symbolizing the l i q u i d of decomposing corpses), a gtor-ma representing meat and bones, blood, and a gtor-ma fashioned into a head and grotesquely d i s p l a y i n g the f i v e senses; and the peaceful o f f e r i n g s : s a f f r o n (representing flowers), incense, butter lamps, a food gtor-ma, and milk (each 'set' of o f f e r i n g s directed towards e i t h e r the wrathful or peaceful aspects of the meditatonal deity Sgrol-ma Dmar-po and her helpers); and (3) the lowest l e v e l containing the "givings" to the mgon-pos (protective l e s s e r lha) and l e s s e r beings such as klus and sa-bdags who amount to what Ortner deems "touchy and changeable l o c a l s p i r i t s " (1975:137) as well as yi-dwags (hungry ghosts) and the bgegs or l e s s e r demons. Ortner r e f e r s to the l a t t e r as demons who must be dissuaded from entering the temple and consuming a l l the of f e r i n g s at hand. Ortner summarizes a basic structure f or a Sherpa Buddhist r i t u a l b r i e f l y as follows: (1) an i n i t i a l p u r i f i c a t i o n r i t e appeases any p o t e n t i a l l y d i f f i c u l t l o c a l s p i r i t s as well as produces the appropriate meditational state i n the celebrants; (2) the gods are i n v i t e d to attend this reception; (3) the gods are then requested to 'take th e i r seats' i n the gtor-ma prepared for them on the a l t a r , and presentations of gtor-ma are made to the l e s s e r beings; (4) the gods are encouraged to enjoy th e i r o f f e r i n g s and then, when they are trapped i n the r o l e of guest, are appealed to f o r whatever favour i s requested of them; and (5) the ceremony i s concluded with the o f f e r i n g of tshogs (or prasad i n Hindu r i t u a l ) , a "communing cake", to the gods and humans, the o f f i c i a t i n g lama reads f i n a l benedictions, and the a l t a r i s dismantled (1975:137-138). Although this summary i s not intended i n any way to evoke the richness and complexity of a Tibetan Buddhist r i t u a l , a study that requires the analysis of Buddhist scholars and ethnorausicologists, i t encapsulates the d a i l y r i t u a l formula evoked by the sngags-pa to 171 secure the aid of the raeditational deity in recovering the soul of the dge-bshes and defeating the aroused e v i l . One notable addition to Ortner's structure occurs after the fourth stage, since the sngags-pa, in order to attain the power necessary to exorcize the e v i l , applies the "process of generation" where he visualizes himself as the deity and becomes " i n effect, the transformer through which the divine power can pass out of the realm of knowledge and into theworld of events" (Beyer 1973:66). While the offerings on the two higher levels of the altar (which included the temporary dwellings for Sgrol-ma Dmar-po and the khandromas) remained for the five days of the r i t u a l , the lowest level was replaced each day. These "givings" were proffered in conjunction with the reading of appropriate textual passages and skull-drum fanfare. No matter who the recipient of any gtor-ma might be, ritu a l protocol dictated that a gtor-ma be f i r s t presented to Sgrol-ma  Dmar-po by the assisting monk, who raised i t above his head while facing the "seat" of Sgrol-ma Dmar-po, turned to bow to the offic i a t i n g sngags-pa, and backed out of the dining room to toss the "givings" outside to the appropriate recipients as well as to the waiting crows. The offi c i a t i n g sngags-pa accompanied each such departure with the toss of a few rice grains to each of the three realms. In this way, the gtor-mas designated for mgon-pos, the klu, the sa-bdag, and lesser beings were cleared each morning, the lowest of these entitles receiving their gtor-mas after the others. The offering of tshogs, as Epstein has noted (1978), evokes a communion among social classes, deities, and spirits". Tshogs is 1 7 2 commonly a cake of barley f l o u r combined with water, sugar, and butter, but a tshogs o f f e r i n g often includes puffed r i c e , peanuts, candy, and f r u i t from the bazaar along with this cake. Shortly before the conclusion of each day of the r i t u a l , tshogs and consecrated chang were offered to the supernatural and human attendants a t the ceremony. What i s of p a r t i c u l a r s i g n i f i c a n c e i s the d i v i s i o n of the tshogs and the order i n which i t i s d i s t r i b u t e d . As may be seen from Figure 4, this d u r - s r i exorcism featured two tshogs 'cakes', each decorated with a butter c i r c l e and crescent to represent the sun and the moon, referred to as 'ornaments' of the gtor-ma. Since the sun produces l i g h t and the moon Is said to have a ' f a i r complexion,' both symbolize f o r Tibetans the counteraction of ignorance (conceptualized as the lack of l i g h t ) . The procedure f o r d i s t r i b u t i n g the tshogs focuses upon the des t i n a t i o n of i t s various l a y e r s . The a s s i s t i n g monk brandishes a t a n t r i c axe over the larger of the two tshogs, s l i c e s o f f the top (which includes the sun and moon ornaments), o f f e r s i t to the gtor-ma representing the 'seat' of Sgrol-ma Dmar-po (a seat which Is also referred to as her mandala), and, before s e t t i n g this p o r t i o n on the highest l e v e l of the a l t a r , places a small piece of i t together with some consecrated chang into a s i l v e r c h a l i c e . This piece of the tshogs, which i s deemed to be an o f f e r i n g f o r the protective d e i t i e s (srung-ma) i s thrown outside. Upon re-entering the h a l l , the monk prostrates three times before the a l t a r and then presents the smaller of the tshogs to the o f f i c i a t i n g sngags-pa who, a t this point, i s thought to have generated the goddess Sgrol-ma Dmar-po i n himself and, 173 thus, as the goddess h e r s e l f , he performs mudras ( r i t u a l hand gestures) with rdo-rje and b e l l i n hand over the tshogs. Thus consecrated, this tshogs becomes the o f f e r i n g to the sngags-pa as an emanation of the goddess. Af t e r the sngags-pa's acceptance of the tshogs, the a s s i s t i n g monk o f f e r s a l l human pa r t i c i p a n t s some consecrated chang. This chang i s accepted i n the l e f t hand, the hand that i s not responsible for ( p o t e n t i a l l y wrong) actions as i s the r i g h t hand, some i s drunk, and the remainder applied to the top of the head (where one receives blessings from lamas). The t h i r d section of the large tshogs i s known as 'agrong-ba, meaning "the k i l l i n g of lamas and kings." Whenever a r e l i g i o u s ceremony i s performed, a sngags-pa commented, there i s bound to be an opposition from an e v i l force whatever the purpose of the r i t u a l . These " e v i l s of Ignorance", therefore, must be v i s u a l i z e d as being k i l l e d during the r i t u a l , transformed into a "sea of nectars" and, thus, transformed into an o f f e r i n g for the d e i t i e s . The remains of the e v i l must then be v i s u a l i z e d as "nothing bad, but rather something good to eat." This t h i r d section i s placed on the second l e v e l of the a l t a r . The fourth section of the tshogs i s gtsang-lhag - meaning "clean remains." Now the d e i t y of the mandala and the protectors throw down some remainder from the o f f e r i n g s they have received. These "table scraps" of the gods become the tshogs eaten by humans, and thus the i n t e g r a t i o n of the human pa r t i c i p a n t s i n this cosmic communion i s accomplished when the humans are presented with the leavings of the gods. But the etiquette of partaking i n the tshogs requires that the TSHOGS OFFERING TO EXORCIST (who becomes an emanation of SGROL-MA DMAR-POj F i g . 4, T S H O G S O F F E R I N G humans leave morsels of the i r own tshogs. The a s s i s t i n g monk c o l l e c t s the scraps from human tshogs and mixes them with the f i f t h and f i n a l layer of the o r i g i n a l cake. By u t t e r i n g c e r t a i n mantras, the e x o r c i s t transforms these human leavings into a 'powerful' food (tshogs-lhag) which w i l l be fed to inhabitants of the lower world, and, i n p a r t i c u l a r , to the yi-dwags. A l l during the ceremony, these yi-dwags have awaited the tshogs, which has the power to provide some s a t i s f a c t i o n i n what proves otherwise f o r them to be the h e l l of Tantalus. For the yi-dwags are the ghosts of rapacious i n d i v i d u a l s who have taken r e b i r t h i n h e l l as i n s a t i a b l e , b i g - b e l l i e d , narrow-necked, f i r e - b r e a t h i n g ghosts. Though the yi-dwags are constantly ravenous, t h e i r throats are so thi n that they are only able to swallow the mucus from th e i r noses. This tshogs-lhag, then, w i l l provide food f o r them and help them to a better r e b i r t h . C l e a r l y the procedure f o r dispensing tshogs contains the elements of a communion, but, more importantly, i t impresses upon the pa r t i c i p a n t s that the "leavings" of those higher i n the hierarchy are "blessings" bestowed upon those beneath. The highest ranking receive the f i r s t o f f e r i n g s . But a second message from this r i t e of tshogs i s that those beneath one must be considered - a f t e r a l l , the l o w l i e s t beings have nothing to o f f e r up and nothing to "give down". I f humans wish to keep themselves, so to speak, " i n the middle," they must attend to "givings" almost as much as they address " o f f e r i n g s " . I t Is, however, not only the structure exposed by the process of dispensing tshogs that Is imbued with the meaning of hierarchy, but also the symbolic implications of the tshogs i t s e l f . As I b r i e f l y discussed in Chapter IV, dbang (sacred power) produces an effect called dngos-grub, which refers to wealth, fame, and power - what one desires In this world. When participants receive this tshogs, they are said to be receiving dngos-grub from celestial beings. Dngos-grub appears in two forms: (1) mchog dngos-grub, which designates material success and the ability to influence others; and (2) thun-mong ma yin dngos-grub - happiness in the next l i f e . If humans obtain their tshogs from the leavings of the protectors, who are not yet enlightened beings, the benefits would only be those of mchog dngos-grub. For this reason, as befits an orientation towards the fortunes of one's future l i f e and a goal of enlightenment, the ritual celebrants are enjoined to partake only of the tshogs (leavings) from the medirational deity. Possession of thun-mong ma  yin dngos-grub enables one not only to influence other people but also empowers one to help those in hell, to rescue them from their miseries. Such power, in turn, ideally implies the ability to turn another's mind to the Buddhist path. What the notion of dngos-grub lends to the understanding of hierarchy derives from the distinction between the two levels of tshogs - thar-pa from the deity and the tshogs of the protectors, whereas the latter assist in the here and now to attain the wealth and status one desires, the former reminds the celebrant of the 'ordained1; basis for the hierarchy, one declared according to the level of spiritual achievement attained and where those inhabiting the highest level direct their power to assist others along the spiritual path. 177 THE DESTRUCTION OF CHALLENGERS Attention to the a l t a r , invoking the d e i t i e s , and a f f i r m i n g the hierarchy through r i t u a l manipulation form a s c a f f o l d i n g f or a Tibetan Buddhist r i t u a l . But the focus and much of the drama may well l i e i n the p a r t i c u l a r task a t hand. The focus of the f i r s t three days of this d u r - s r i r i t u a l was upon releasing the soul of the dge-bshes and trapping the e v i l s who had s t o l e n or influenced i t . For t h i s reason, the wrathful manifestation of Sgrol-ma was appealed to f o r assistance along with a host of "working" khandromas, c e l e s t i a l goddesses who would engage a c t i v e l y i n combat with the e v i l . These khandromas wield r i t u a l weapons provided by the sngags-pas and d e r i v i n g from the body parts of a conquered demon. These weapons were created from the great demon Rudra, whose myth was related as follows: The Story of Rudra M i l l i o n s of years ago there l i v e d a demon who, i n conjunction with h i s wife, was accustomed to harming everyone who l i v e d i n the v i c i n i t y . The wife became pregnant suddenly and gave b i r t h to a monstrous son whom the parents named Rudra. A l l who came to see the c h i l d were disgusted and firmly convinced that he was a bad omen. The public thought the mother should be k i l l e d along with her son. Even the father was s u f f i c i e n t l y angry a t the b i r t h of such a son that he took both h i s wife and t h e i r son to the graveyard, where he k i l l e d her. The baby demon, however, had not been k i l l e d , only l e f t to di e . He sucked the milk from his dead mother's breast f o r one week and survived, growing considerably. The second week he ate the meat from her corpse and grew s t i l l more. The th i r d week he ate her bones. A f t e r three weeks, he had become so powerful that he was able to control the three realms: heaven, earth, and the lower world. Rudra exercised h i s power by k i l l i n g and eating people. He was uncontrollable and no one came to challenge him. F i n a l l y , a prophecy from heaven decreed the way i n which Rudra might be caught and brought under contol. The advice from heaven declared that a dur r i t u a l should be performed and that two s p e c i a l lha - Rdo-rje Phag-mo (Dorje Phagmo) "the Thunderbolt Sow", and Rta-mgrin (Tamdin), the horse-headed god (S. Hayagriva) would come to earth to a s s i s t . The r i t u a l was performed and the lha a r r i v e d . Rta-mgrin entered Rudra's body through the top of his head and Rdo-rje Phag-mo entered Rudra through his anus. The two lha started to play with Rudra's in t e s t i n e s and organs, causing him excruciating pain. Though the demon screamed and flew up to heaven and down to the lower world he could not a l l e v i a t e h i s s u f f e r i n g . F i n a l l y , Rudra surrendered, promising to be under the con t r o l of the lha from that time on. In this way, Rudra was defeated and eventually di r e c t e d to heaven a f t e r expressing his remorse and dying. His remains have been u t i l i z e d as weapons by the khandromas to combat the dur and s r i ever since. The narrator of this myth presented the weapons and th e i r bodily referents as follows: Rudra's Corporeal Elements Weapons of the Mkh'a-'agro-mas Hair Intestines Chin Teeth Head Ribs Tongue Shoulder Blade Kidneys Black and White Yak T a i l s Black Rope Worn Around the Neck S i c k l e Pebbles Hammer Iron Bow Knife Axe Two B a l l s of Thread Carried i n a Net Bag Heart S toraach Pyramid-Shaped Torma Skin Bag Made from a Sheep's Stomach (when t i e d , t h i s bag stops the breathing of the e v i l trapped Inside) Aorta Spine Scalp Diaphragm Arrow Spear Stone Cauldron Triangular Iron Box A r e l i g i o u s o r i g i n a t i o n i s also a t t r i b u t e d to Rudra - that i s , he 180 i s considered to be the disastrous r e b i r t h of a former lama whose mind had 'gone wrong'- and exemplifies a defiance of 'natural order' by successively c a n n i b a l i z i n g his mother. His defeat i s achieved by an attack launched from opposite ends of his body (head and anus) by two powerful gods - Rta-mgrin (the horse-headed Hayagriva) and Rdo-rje  Phag-mo (the "Thunderbolt Sow"). This attack comes to f r u i t i o n i n the middle of Rudra's body and suggests, i f one applies a cosmological analogy, that i t i s i n the middle or human realm that Rudra i s s u c c e s s f u l l y 'reoriented'. The use of h i s body parts i s thought to enable a sngags-pa to capture the e v i l s p i r i t s and makes an i m p l i c i t symbolic statement when one considers, as we s h a l l presently, the nature of the e v i l . The timing of this d u r - s r i puja was s i g n i f i c a n t since the t r a d i t i o n a l 49-day period during which the rnam-shes would pass through the l i r a i n a l state of bar-do had not yet expired. The explanation I was given for holding the r i t u a l 'early' - that i s , p r i o r to the 49th day following the death - was that i t was occasioned by the extreme seriousness of the matter a t hand. A l l of the dur and s r i were predicted through a s t r o l o g i c a l c a l c u l a t i o n to be waiting with baited breath to nab the rnam-shes immediately upon i t s completion of the 49th day. The death horoscope ( s h i - t s i ) c a s t f o r the dge-bshes found h i s soul i n e x t r i c a b l y l i n k e d to two classes of e v i l represented by nine dur and thirteen s r i . While the dur are considered to have physical form but be i n v i s i b l e , the s r i , which are disembodied and i n v i s i b l e , manifest, i n a sense, a " r e v i t a l i z a t i o n of e v i l " - that i s 181 to say, s r l c o n s t i t u t e the a f t e r e f f e c t s of a person's bad actions. These " a f t e r e f f e c t s " take th e i r own r e b i r t h , or, perhaps more accurately, t h e i r f i r s t b i r t h , and become powerful e v i l s p i r i t s . But the expressed d i s t i n c t i o n between these two categories derives from the corporeal aspect of the dur and the disembodied, emanatlve character of the s r l . The dur are presented i n nine categories: 1. Za-dre This dre tends to harm the society i n which the person has died and appears at someone's b i r t h , wishing to capture and c o n t r o l the transmigrating consciousness (the mam shes which goes through r e b i r t h ) . I t Is always present during one's l i f e . I f , a t death, the za-dre succeeds i n i t s quest, i t may also harm the deceased's family members. 2. Shi-shed This i s the e v i l born out of a dead person. I f , a t the point of death, a person's mind i s conscious of harming someone, that e v i l i s c a l l e d shi-shed. 3. Srog-chod At the point of death when everything turns black, the e v i l which does the work of ending a person's l i f e i s c a l l e d srog-chod. 182 4. Dbug-len The e v i l that takes away the breath at the time of death. 5. Tshe-len The e v i l that comes to shorten l i f e . Through the e f f o r t s of this e v i l , one's l i f e span i s reduced. 6. Tang-throg The e v i l that comes to s t e a l one's health. This e v i l w i l l come i n the form of disease or i n the form of ngos ba (a gloss f o r e v i l s p i r i t i n general), whatever health one has, I t s t e a l s . 7. Son-bdud This e v i l does not k i l l but does cause disease. 8. Shin-srog An attachment develops f o r something one might happen to see a t the point of death. Such attachment i s perceived as an e v i l which remains within one's family. 9. S h l - r j e A f t e r a person dies, this e v i l attempts to capture the rnam-shes i n order to employ I t . 183 The s r i are presented i n thirtee n categories: 1. Pho-sri The e v i l s p i r i t (thoughts, deeds) of the male. I f a man di e s , his pho-sri.attempts to take r e b i r t h . 2. Mo-sri I f a woman die s , her e v i l s p i r i t (thoughts, deeds) t r i e s to take r e b i r t h . 3. Dar - s r i The prime of youth i s considered to be from 25 to 40 years of age. If someone dies during this period, the e v i l remains of h i s or her l i f e t i m e i s referred to as d a r - s r i . 4. Dam-sri i I f f r i endship or understanding among people e x i s t s , but the death of someone creates a misunderstanding among people, i t i s the work of dam-sri. Concomitantly, i f one's work i s not successful and desires are u n f u l f i l l e d , i t i s also due to the actions of dam-sri. 5. Ched-sri I f someone i s doing very important work such as government work (perhaps the person i s a prime m i n i s t e r ) , but misfortunes prevent the person from doing the work, i t i s a r e s u l t of the actions of ched-sri. 184 6. Chu-srl When minor work i s interrupted, chu-sri i s responsible. 7. Rgan-sri When misfortunes occur to an extremely old person, he or she i s a f f l i c t e d by r g a n - s r i . For example, I f a person i s to reach 80 years of age (predicated by karmic d i c t a t e s ) but dies a few years before, i t i s the work of r g a n - s r i . 8. Gshon-sri Gshon-srl harms youths of 15-16 years of age, shortening th e i r l i v e s . 9. Dgra-sri This s r i emanates from an enemy. I t can also be the e f f e c t d e r i v i n g from the enemies one has had-in previous l i v e s . Their s r i can harm a person i n this l i f e t i m e . 10. G r e - s r i When a gun m i s f i r e s or a sword misses, i t i s due to the work of g r e - s r i . I f a person enters a f i g h t wishing only to harm not to k i l l , but manages to k i l l his opponent despite h i s intentions, a g r e - s r i i s at work. S i m i l a r l y , p r i c k i n g one's fin g e r with a needle while sewing i s also the work of g r e - s r i . 185 11. Dur-sri The harmful s p i r i t of the graveyard. 12. Mtshon-sri The s r i of weapons. In a l l weapons, the s r i of previous duels and wars can e x i s t and cause further wars. 13. S h i - s r i The s p e c i f i c s r i which causes death. I t can be c l a s s i f i e d temporally. Thus, there are year s r i , month s r i , day s r i , hour s r i , e tc. I t i s the period of time within which the s r i w i l l f i n a l l y k i l l a person. A l o n g - l i f e or rten-bzhugs r i t u a l i s required to counteract the e f f e c t s of this s r i . A b r i e f glance a t the above typology of e v i l (and I must note that my informant maintained that each of the types of dur and s r i could again be divided into many sub-types) suggests that while the dur appear to be concerned l a r g e l y with the timing of and factors immediately contributing to death, the s r i are more "conceptually" i n t r i g u i n g i n t h e i r manifestation as disembodied, emanative e v i l . Although s i x of the s r i all u d e to e v i l s directed to s p e c i f i c l i f e - s t a g e s , sexuality, and c a l e n d r i c events, the others appear to address the problem of I n t e n t i o n a l i t y and emphasize interference with the completion of work, misunderstandings between people, and unintended bad e f f e c t s . The remaining s r i - the d u r - s r i , or s p i r i t HEAD OF LING-GA GTOR-MAS REPRESENTING DWELLINGS FOR PROTECTIVE M K H ' A - ' A G R O - M A S F i g . 6 , I N T E R I O R O F THE B L A C K TENT of the graveyard was the major s r i confronted by the r i t u a l , but the other s r i and dur would be destroyed as well. The process of trapping the e v i l s and the soul of the dge-bshes required three days of r i t u a l . During the preparations, the monks wrote the names of the dur and s r i on 22 small s t i c k s of wood. Since the dead geshe was a male, the names of the 13 s r i were inscribed on st i c k s of female wood, glang-ma (an alpine willow) or lcang-ma (another species of willow), while the names of the dur were put on st i c k s of male wood, shug-pa (cypress) or tang-ma (rhododendron). I f a woman had died, the s r i names would be written on male wood; the dur, on female wood. During the I n i t i a l phases of the r i t u a l (addressing the a l t a r , invoking the d e i t y ) , these s t i c k s l a y i n a triang u l a r black iron box which rested on a separate a l t a r set to the r i g h t of the main a l t a r (and under a large p o r t r a i t of the D a l a i Lama which hung i n the home's dining room). The tria n g u l a r box, which was said to represent Rudra's diaphragm, also contained substances known c o l l e c t i v e l y as rdzas, including traces of precious metals, r i c e , and roasted barley f l o u r . The triangular box (zor) was surrounded by a fence of crossed s t i c k s symbolizing the "working" khandromas, agents of Sgrol-ma Dmar-po, who would be guarding the box throughout the ceremony. This structure was draped with a black c l o t h i n order to 'dim the senses' of any e v i l s who might be trapped i n s i d e , preventing them from developing any notions of escape. When the appropriate moment ar r i v e d to seek out the dur and s r i , the a s s i s t i n g monk removed the triangular box from i t s black tent and emptied the contents into a bag made from a sheep's stomach ("Rudra's 188 stomach"). The monk presented this bag to a layman (a TCV construction worker) who had already draped a small Imitation human skin across h i s r i g h t shoulder and c a r r i e d a black and white yak t a i l together with several of the brass implements (Rudra's body parts),the armaments of the khandromas. Another layman c a r r i e d a sheep scapula (with meat on i t ) , net bag with b a l l s of yarn, and pebbles. The holder of the bag blew a s h r i l l whistle which i s alleged to a t t r a c t ghosts and e v i l s p i r i t s , and swung the bag about the dining h a l l , making c e r t a i n to h i t everyone present at l e a s t once with the bag. From time to time, the bag holder would run outside to c i r c l e Home No. 10, blowing his whistle and shaking the bag. No one, with the exception of the o f f i c i a t i n g e x o r c i s t , was immune to an address from i t . One of the l a y men h i t the other with the sheep scapula. An old woman entered the h a l l to observe the proceedings and was greeted with the thrust of the bone and the shake of the yak t a i l . She laughed, aware that conventional wisdom held that the e v i l s could be hiding i n any d i r e c t i o n . "After a l l , " I was t o l d , " i f you are beaten by the bag, then the e v i l s are not able to enter you. The e v i l s try very hard to hide and may even hide i n the f i v e c o l o r s , but since these colors represent the f i v e elements and the f i v e elements are part of the khandromas, according to s c r i p t u r e , you should not be a f r a i d . " As the search f o r the dur and s r i continued, the e x o r c i s t would coax, beckon, and challenge the e v i l s to approach and partake of the rdzas. Wearing his sgom-zhwa, the hat of an adept i n meditation (Norbu and Turnbull 1970:86), the e x o r c i s t Indicated that he had generated the raeditational deity, the wrathful aspect of Sgrol-ma DIVINATION CAULDRON F i g . 7, D I V I N A T I O N C A U L D R O N Dmar-po, i n himself. From the perspective of the e v i l s p i r i t s , the e x o r c i s t so generated emits flames from his eyebrows which f r i g h t e n away the humbler of the s p i r i t s . Since one purpose of the exorcism i s to dispatch as much e v i l as possible, the e x o r c i s t must wear a dom-ra ( l i t e r a l l y "bear fence") which i s a black fri n g e t r a d i t i o n a l l y made from bearskin and worn across the brow to shelter the eyebrows, thereby preventing the s p i r i t s from n o t i c i n g the flames. Bears were thought to attack the forehead i f one did not wear a dom-ra: bears could not to l e r a t e the s i g h t of flames which emanated from the brows of c e r t a i n i n d i v i d u a l s . This dom-ra was also worn by wandering monks i n T i b e t to render them i n v i s i b l e to e a s i l y frightened s p i r i t s . But as the wearing of a dom-ra has s i g n i f i c a n c e from the viewpoint of e v i l s p i r i t s , i t a l s o Is supposed to guard the wearer's eyesight as the dom-ra i s empowered with mantras. This l a t t e r exegesis, that the dom-ra functions to preserve the wearer's eyesight, may also suggest that the e x o r c i s t , i n h i s charged state of dbang, must take precautions to avoid turning his power i n a malevolent or "un-Buddhist" d i r e c t i o n . A f t e r the stomach bag was opened to several d i r e c t i o n s , the e x o r c i s t waved h i s phur-bu (a t a n t r i c dagger) to which was attached a long black streamer, snapped h i s fingers, and pointed to a cauldron set before him. The cauldron rested on three rocks painted to resemble human s k u l l s , which i n turn were set upon a large s k i n cut and painted to evoke a human skin, and draped over a small table. Atop the cauldron (which symbolizes Rudra's s k u l l ) l a y a t r i a n g l e formed from three metal spears. In response to the exorcist's beckoning, the 191 layman approached the cauldron and emptied the contents of the bag into the t r i a n g l e formed by the metal spears. By picking up the wood s t i c k s as they had f a l l e n into the cauldron with h i s r i t u a l forceps, the e x o r c i s t divined whether or not the dur and s r i were caught. This d i v i n a t i o n a l t e r e d the p l a y f u l mood induced among the pa r t i c i p a n t s by the "bag hunt" into one of anxious a t t e n t i o n to the outcome. I f the name of a s r i written i n t h i s case on male wood faced down, this meant that the s r i had been caught. I f the name of the dur written on female wood faced up, then the dur had been trapped. Upon each s t i c k that registered successful capture, the e x o r c i s t painted a red s t r i p e . The s t i c k s and rdzas would be returned to the bag for another attempt to trap the remaining dur and s r i . The e x o r c i s t would add a f f e c t i v e comment to the proceedings by shaking h i s head and pouting i f a p a r t i c u l a r d i v i n a t i o n displayed l i t t l e success, drawing the audience's a t t e n t i o n towards the s i g n i f i c a n c e of h i s d i v i n a t i o n . This process was repeated over three days u n t i l the e v i l s had been sought su c c e s s f u l l y from the ten d i r e c t i o n s - the c a r d i n a l points, meridians, zenith, and nadir. Although the textual p r e s c r i p t i o n d i c t a t e s that ten t r i a l s must be conducted to account for the ten d i r e c t i o n s , a powerful lama, as one cave meditator opined, "might have his own f e e l i n g that the e v i l i s caught, and stop the hunt a f t e r f i v e or seven attempts." Upon the completion of the t r i a l s during the f i r s t two days of the r i t u a l , the s t i c k s and rdzas were returned to the triangular box guarded by the "working khandromas", and covered with the black c l o t h . This "prison" was further draped with the l a r g e r "human" skin and topped with a plate of f i v e gtor-mas, which were a d d i t i o n a l temporary seats for Sgrol-ma Dmar-po and four d i r e c t i o n a l khandromas. The Ling-ga On the t h i r d and c r i t i c a l day of the d u r - s r i exorcism, r i t u a l preparations included the fashioning of a small humanoid e f f i g y from the gtor-ma ingredients of barley f l o u r and water. When, on the t h i r d day, the e x o r c i s t determined that the dur and s r i from the ten d i r e c t i o n s had been trapped, he magically transferred them in t o t h i s e f f i g y or l i n g - g a . The ling-ga was said to represent the u n i f i c a t i o n and, importantly, the embodiment of a l l the dur and s r i hunted by the bag holder and "trapped" by the e x o r c i s t . Once the e v i l s were thus united, the e x o r c i s t decapitated the e f f i g y and further dismembered i t , an a c t i o n which purportedly slays the e v i l but slays i t "with a compassionate mind", sending the soul of the e v i l on to a better r e b i r t h . The head of the ling-ga was offered to Sgrol-ma  Dmar-po, and the remainder mixed i n with the d i v i n a t i o n s t i c k s and rdzas i n the cauldron. The d i v i n a t i o n s t i c k s were l a i d out to form an i n t e r l a c e d t r i a n g l e within the cauldron, sprinkled with sacred water, and set a f i r e . The capture of the dur and s r i effected the release of the soul of the dge-bshes from them and thereby enabled the soul to be summoned, as i s the case with non-exorcistic bar-do r i t e s , to enter a likeness of the dge-bshes drawn on r i c e paper. Af t e r i n s t r u c t i n g the soul to proceed i n the correct d i r e c t i o n , the e x o r c i s t burned t h i s soul paper, thereby dispatching i t to a better r e b i r t h . The f i r i n g of the cauldron's contents, a spectacle watched by saucer-eyed c h i l d r e n peering into the windows of the dining room, also provided r e l i e f for those i n the community who had been troubled with dreams depicting th e i r dead r e l a t i v e s i n p i t i a b l e condition. By w r i t i n g the name of the deceased r e l a t i v e on a piece of paper to be burned i n this yid-shes-me ("wish f u l f i l l i n g flame"), a person so troubled could a n t i c i p a t e improved conditions and an improved r e b i r t h f o r the r e l a t i v e ' s soul. The Cemetery B u r i a l The ashes of the burned, decapitated ling-ga, d i v i n a t i o n s t i c k s , and rdzas were then stuffed into the a c t u a l head of a black dog (Nebesky-Wojkowitz l i s t s s k u l l s of foxes, badgers, and marmots as candidates f o r cemetery b u r i a l i n d u r - s r i exorcisms (1956:517)). The dog's head was wrapped with a rainbow-coloured cord (which had linked the e x o r c i s t with the raeditational deity at times of 'generation' during the r i t u a l ) i n a thread-cross pattern and then impaled with the stakes which had formerly guarded the contents of the triangular box as i t lay i n the black tent, the stakes which represented the "working khandromas". The five-coloured "rainbow" cord symbolizes the f i v e elements - earth, a i r , f i r e , water, and ether - and constitutes a s p e c i a l weapon - srung-khor-bkyed-ba ("tied by the weapon of the f i v e elements"). But, as the e x o r c i s t i n s i s t e d , "These weapons w i l l not hurt the e v i l . On the contrary, the e v i l w i l l f e e l that he has been 194 surrounded by a rainbow and t h i s w i l l give him peace and happiness." The wooden stakes are transformed i n the perception of the e v i l into a palace. Then the dog's head was placed i n the t r i a n g u l a r box, and the cauldron, rock ' s k u l l s ' , a tree branch, and burning coals were taken i n a TCV truck to the Tibetan cremation grounds, set o f f j u s t to one side of a seasonal w a t e r f a l l , and beneath a road bridge approximately one and one-half kilometers from TCV. A f t e r p r o p i t i a t i n g the guardian of the cemetery with a l i b a t i o n of blood, the monks dug a hole f o r the b u r i a l of the box. The e x o r c i s t f i r s t tossed r i c e i n t o the hole, then placed the dog's head i n the hole, and covered the dog's head res p e c t i v e l y with three rocks, burning co a l s , water, and a bush branch. The r i c e symbolized a double thunderbolt b a r r i e r preventing any descent of the e v i l , while the three rocks, burning coals, water, and a bush branch s i g n i f i e d , r e s p e c t i v e l y , mountains, f i r e , the ocean, and a great f o r e s t - four protective b a r r i e r s . Upon covering these protective b a r r i e r s with earth, nine stones were stacked on the spot to create a black mchod-rten. The conclusion of the b u r i a l consisted of the r e c i t i n g of prayers accompanied by a damaru, a Sanskrit term used by Tibetans to denote a "double-headed hour-glass shaped p e l l e t drum (made from human s k u l l caps or wood)" (Tucci 1980:298), and b e l l s , invoking the protection of the guardians of the four d i r e c t i o n s , and, l a s t l y , the creation of a f i n a l double thunderbolt sealing the b u r i a l through the performance of a t a n t r i c dance by the e x o r c i s t and another sngags-pa. 195 Analysis Nebesky-Wojkowitz notes that although Tibetan r i t u a l texts often prescribe the offering of a blood libation, beer or red-coloured water is often substituted for blood in the actual performance of the r i t u a l (1956:343). However, for the performance of exorcisms, "actual blood has to be used, and Tibetan works give detailed information about the kinds of blood" needed (1956:343). The control of the particular evils in this exorcism required, according to scripture, the use of a black dog's head. Unlike the dough cakes, thread-crosses, elements of Rudra's body, and "toy" weapons belonging to the mkh'a-'agro-mas, a l l of which are essentially symbols; the dog's head i s , f i r s t and foremost, a dog's head. Though the dog's head becomes a symbol in the process of the r i t u a l , i t is also comprehensible as a non-symbol -simply as the head of a dog. Why then must the dog's head or blood for an exorcism be "real" when other r i t u a l implements and elements are not? The answer to this question li e s in knowing who is responsible for supplying the r i t u a l element. While thread-crosses and gtor-mas used in this r i t u a l were constructed by sngags-pas, the dog's head and blood were supplied by the sponsor of the exorcism, TCV. In other words, someone at TCV ki l l e d or arranged to obtain the dog's head, and thereby f u l f i l l e d the obligation held by the sponsor of such a r i t u a l . Tibetans maintain that only sngags-pas can create gtor-mas or rnam-mkh'as - the reason being that gtor-mas are not gtor-mas unless they have been empowered with mantras, a task only lamas or sngags-pas are capable 196 of performing. The sponsor of the r i t u a l must supply a dramatic and " r e a l " substance, since he or she cannot match the powers held by the e x o r c i s t s . Heads (or s k u l l s ) are common containers i n Tibetan r i t u a l p r a c t i c e . Many Tibetan relgious r i t u a l s feature skull-cups f i l l e d with l i b a t i o n s of blood or ambrosia (symbolic semen). These skull-cups are said to remind one of r e b i r t h and the transmigration of souls. The cauldron within which the capture of the dur and s r i was divined represented Rudra's s k u l l . Furthermore, the most prized object placed on a Tibetan family's a l t a r during the Tibetan New Year was the head of a sheep (now represented by sheep sculpted from butter or a sheep's head sculpted from butter). The sheep's head i s thought to a t t r a c t prosperity and to symbolize "the s t a r t of something good". Thus, the use of a dog's s k u l l to contain exorcized e v i l s p i r i t s suggests that the e v i l s p i r i t s would get a "new s t a r t " - that i s , obtain a new b i r t h . Paul presents a d e t a i l e d discussion of the symbolism of the triangular black box, the ling-ga, and the phur-bu. The triangular shape he finds evocative of female g e n i t a l i a "on account of the Y-shaped anatomy of the female lower torso and thighs," and the shape of pubic h a i r . He notes that the phur-bu i s portrayed iconographically as a deity with a three-sided blade f o r the lower h a l f of his body. Paul thus equates the blade with a phallus. A Sherpa e x o r c i s t places the ling-ga i n the t r i a n g u l a r box and stabs i t three times with the phur-bu. Paul then suggests that the ling-ga i s stabbed thus by the phur-bu because the ling-ga i s the " i n t e r l o p i n g 197 t h i r d party" at the scene of a "primal copulation" (1979:289). Paul expands upon h i s analysis i n a l a t e r consideration (1982), where he notes that the word ling-ga i s borrowed from the Sanskrit, where i t s e x p l i c i t meaning i s "phallus". He interprets the ling-ga then to be an i n t e r l o p i n g phallus which i s symbolically castrated by the e x o r c i s t . The "stabbing of i t represents a duel between males f o r the possession of the female organ" (1982:123). Furthermore, Paul observes that during a performance of the Sherpa Mani Rimdu (an annual monastic dance), two skeleton dancers drag about a s o f t white d o l l e f f i g y , referred to by Sherpa informants as a "baby". While this "baby", with a red c l o t h sewn on i t s groin area (interpreted by Paul as a sign of the "baby's" c a s t r a t i o n ) , i s thrown to the crowd, two t a n t r i s t s stab the ling-ga i n a triangular box with a phur-bu. Drawing a p a r a l l e l between the "baby" and the ling-ga , Paul concludes that the ling-ga i n the triangular box i s a "baby which appears i n the womb" s i g n i f y i n g at once the desired " f r u i t " of the sexual union beteen the phur-bu and the tria n g u l a r box, as w e l l as a future sexual r i v a l of the phur-bu. This symbolism thus presents the ling-ga as a 'condensed Oedipal symbol' (1982:123). Such an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s i n t e r e s t i n g , but i t derives much from Sherpa, not Tibetan exegesis. Moreover, to symbolize an Oedipal c o n f l i c t and i t s attempted r e s o l u t i o n i s to symbolize the problem of succession. I suggest that the p u r s u i t of the l a t t e r problem, though i t may be a d e r i v a t i v e of Oedipal c o n f l i c t , provides greater i n s i g h t Into Tibetan ideology. The Tibetans i n Dharmsala enact this r i t u a l ^aspect d i f f e r e n t l y 198 from Sherpas. In the TCV r i t u a l , the o f f i c i a t i n g lama did not stab the ling-ga as i t lay Inside the black box, but dismembered i t separately, to be stuffed along with the ashes of the d i v i n i n g s t i c k s and the rdzas i n a dog's head. Furthermore, although Paul's assessment of the ' g e n i t a l ' character of the black box appears quite p l a u s i b l e , i s i t only native suppression of the sexual import of the box that leads to i t s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with Rudra's diaphragm? I suggest that a further meaning may be derived from the symbolism of the ling-ga and triangular box. F i r s t l y , we must consider Paul's contention that "the entrance to the womb is equated with the worst fate imaginable" as rendered e x p l i c i t l y i n "Buddhist ideas and with the oedipal anxiety associated with reproduction" (1979:290). On the other hand, the exegesis at Dharmsala stresses the f a c t that the e v i l integrated i n the ling-ga w i l l now be i n a p o s i t i o n to take a more auspicious r e b i r t h , that the status and 'moral intent' of the e v i l w i l l be tru l y transformed. Furthermore, i t i s the "embodiment" or the "necessity f o r embodiment" of the e v i l that demands c l o s e r a t t e n t i o n . In describing the process of capturing the s r i and dur, my informant was quite p r e c i s e about the appropriate l a b e l i n g of the male and female wood. The death of a male required that the s r i names be written on female wood and the dur names, on male wood. The opposite p r e s c r i p t i o n would hold i n the event of a female's death. Now, what s i g n i f i e s whether or not the p a r t i c u l a r e v i l has indeed been trapped i s the p o s i t i o n i n which the s t i c k lands when i t i s dumped from the bag. Female wood must always land with the name side up; male wood, 1 9 9 with the name side down. Without going too f a r a f i e l d , one might well detect a metaphor f or a standard copulation p o s i t i o n i n this f a l l of s t i c k s . A d d i t i o n a l l y , we must r e c a l l that s r i are disembodied, emanative e v i l while dur are embodied. I f a male di e s , then, the s r i names must be written on female wood and face up; i f a female dies, s r i names must be written.on male wood and face down. The symbolism suggests that trapping the e v i l i n a sexual p o s i t i o n or causing the dur to 'have intercourse' with the s r l , divines th e i r capture. Also, s r l names are always written on wood sexed oppositely to the deceased - the s r l a f f e c t i n g a man are trapped on female s t i c k s , the s r i a f f e c t i n g a woman, on male s t i c k s . I f the s r i are disembodied emanations, the r i t u a l p r e s c r i p t i o n s appear to provide a channel for thei r embodiment by drawing them into a sexual union with the embodied dur, which might, i n multivalent symbolic a p p l i c a t i o n , also represent the embodied deceased. I f this Is the case, the llng-ga could indeed be considered to be a 'baby' (the product of this union), but might more importantly be deemed a 'body' - the successful Incorporation of heretofore i n t r a c t a b l e , w i l l f u l , and, therefore, dangerous aspects of consciousness or i n t e n t i o n a l I t y (the s r i ) . Tibetans consider s r i to be a l l the more s i n i s t e r f o r the i r lack of substance. The l o g i c underlying t h e i r exorcism, then, i s that s r i cannot be co n t r o l l e d u n t i l they can be embodied. In the consecration ceremony for the new Rnying-ma-pa sgom-pa i n Dharmsala, the o f f i c i a t i n g sngags-pa supervised the wrathful destruction of e v i l s r i imprisoned i n another t r i a n g u l a r black box. F i r s t l y , these s r i were burned; secondly, the sngags-pa shot them with two arrows and a stone from a slingshot. These wrathful acts were performed for the sake of "insurance" i n the event that the s r i showed any further sign of escaping. But the weapons used are known as thabs-shes or "method and wisdom" weapons. In T a n t r i c parlance, the language of sngags-pas, male denotes thabs or method, while female denotes shes or wisdom. The s l i n g and bow are female, the stone and arrows are male. The destruction of the s r i i s , therefore, guaranteed by the union of male with female. Thus, i f the black t r i a n g l e i s to be accepted as a "return to the womb," i t may be that the subtle point has more to do with embodiment, as a r e b i r t h i s contingent upon having some kind of body to begin with, than i t does with Oedipal entanglements. Secondly, i f the phur-bu stabbing the ling-ga i s to be viewed as a " p h a l l i c " f i g h t , I suggest that, on a d i f f e r e n t l e v e l , i t amounts to a contest of dbang between the e x o r c i s t and the s r i . I f the s r i , as th e i r descriptions seem to indicate, derive t h e i r existence from the 'intentions* of a rgyal-po, then t h e i r strength combines dbang with knowledge, making them formidable adversaries. T h i r d l y , native exegesis explains the box as Rudra's diaphragm. A diaphragm presents an i n t e r e s t i n g a l t e r n a t i v e to the "womb" approach. The diaphragm not only controls r e s p i r a t i o n but a l s o cross-sections the human thorax, neatly separating the heart and lungs from organs of digestion, sex, and excretion. I f the diaphragm i s conceived as a human mid-point by the sngags-pas, the ling-ga's 201 dismemberment, or placement i n a "diaphragm", r e c a l l s the t r l - p a r t i t e cosmic theme where humans occupy the middle l e v e l (Rudra's exceptional power, a f t e r a l l , was a t t r i b u t e d to his a b i l i t y to wreak havoc i n heaven, on earth, and i n the lower world). As the s r i must be embodied i n the ling-ga , so the i r placement i n Rudra's diaphragm restores them to a quasi-human status. One of the fundamental tenets of Buddhism points up the i l l u s i o n s obtained from the senses. However, a human b i r t h i s not, as Paul would have i t , a di s a s t e r according to the Tibetan conceptual system. I t i s , a c t u a l l y , the most desirable of r e b i r t h s . Lha-ma-yin occupy a higher cosmological status, but the l i f e of a lha-ma-yin (who are occasionally compared to merchants) i s that of one who has a l l he could want but remains f r u s t r a t e d and almost a s t r u c t u r a l r e v e r s a l of the yi-dwags or hungry ghost. Lha-ma-yin are destined for sub-human rebirths as a r e s u l t of t h e i r m a r t i a l attitudes and excessive greed. A lha leads an altogether pleasant l i f e but one that w i l l i n due time end, and, i n terms of the cycle of r e b i r t h s , one would only take a le s s e r rebirth, a f t e r having l i v e d as a lha. The Buddhas and meditational d e i t i e s do not reside In the realm of the lha as they have, a f t e r a l l , transcended samsara and do not take r e b i r t h . But acquiring t h e i r status presupposes enlightenment. The exception to this r u l e i s the Boddhlsattva who el e c t s "out of compassion for a l l sentient beings" to incarnate i n human form i n order to a s s i s t these beings along t h e i r own paths to nirvana. Taking human b i r t h provides the only possible 'way out* of samsara, f o r only humans can become enlightened. Why then should the idea of 'embodiment' prove so c r i t i c a l a symbolic emphasis i n a Tibetan exorcism? Ortner' devotes considerable a t t e n t i o n to the "bodying" of the gods - that i s , inducing d e i t i e s to s i t i n temporary torma dwellings, receive o f f e r i n g s , and then l i s t e n to the entreaties of the i r human p r o p i t i a t o r s - and concludes that this aspect of Tibetan Buddhist r i t u a l echoes the etiquette of "forced" h o s p i t a l i t y so common among the Sherpas where the i n i t i a l l y u nwilling guest i s gradually molded through the pr o f e r r i n g of a l l manner of sensual delights into a receptive a l l y , w i l l i n g to grant any requests from the host. She views the gods' embodiment and subjection to sensory s t i m u l i as de l i b e r a t e attempts on the part of humans to po l l u t e the d e i t i e s and, thereby, to Inspire t h e i r rage (a polluted state) against the demonic elements. I f the gods were not, thus, polluted, i t would be impossible to draw them from t h e i r b l i s s f u l state of emotional detachment i n order to counteract e v i l (1979:154-159). When there i s human b i r t h , r e s p o n s i b i l i t y obtains not only for seeking enlightenment, but also, as I maintained i n Chapter I I I , for the alignment of the legitimate hierarchy. Humans are c a l l e d upon to legitimate the status of the lha and k l u . I f these s r i , as emanations of the 'Intentions' of a monk 'gone wrong', the TCV dge-bshes, must be embodied i n a humanbid form before they can be dispatched, the imp l i c a t i o n i s that only through a human form, the middle l e v e l of the cosmos, can these intentions be re-instated and invested with submission to the legitimate cosmic hierarchy. The dge-bshes's intentions must become "human again", i n order to be 203 brought i n l i n e with the hierarchy. I f , as Or trier implies, the gods must be embodied before any r i t u a l can proceed, perhaps t h e i r embodiment provides them with a human perspective. THE FOURTH DAY - APPEASING THE KLU AND SA-BDAG The fourth day of r i t u a l took a d i f f e r e n t turn and addressed the problem posed by capricious sa-bdag (the landlords of the s o i l ) , who are thought to be c l o s e l y related to k l u , the guardians of watery regions. The r a t i o n a l e f o r t h e i r Inclusion i n the r i t u a l was not made cle a r to me, but, as the r i t u a l was purportedly conducted f o r the b e n e f i t of the TCV community (as well as for a l l sentient beings), where the s o i l i s c o n t i n u a l l y being disturbed for the construction of new b u i l d i n g s , any major exorcism performed there might well devote some a t t e n t i o n to putting them In abeyance. Accordingly, a new structure was placed on the a l t a r where the "black tent" had stood during the preceding three days. This structure consisted of a wooden platform about four feet square covered with a layer of mud into which several items were anchored: elaborate thread-crosses (rnam-mkh'as), f i r branches, representations of the 12 zodiacal signs, Mount Meru (the center of the universe), a spindle to a t t r a c t female k l u and an arrow to a t t r a c t male kl u s , two r i c e paper drawings of sa-bdags (female and male), two r i c e paper drawings of klus (female and male), and a dough e f f i g y of a man dressed i n yellow and red and wearing a lama's t r a v e l l i n g hat. 204 As appropriate textual passages were read by the monks and the exor c i s t , the a s s i s t i n g monk would present bowls of milk, incense, curd, and barley f l o u r to the sa-bdags. The purpose of such "givings", a sngags-pa explained, was to s a t i s f y them, and the textual passages enjoined them as follows: "Now here i s your food, enjoy i t . Here are your clothes, enjoy them. Here i s your chang, enjoy i t . And now be s a t i s f i e d ! • Don't harm here! Please go away!" At the end of the r i t u a l day, the structure was c a r r i e d out of the dining h a l l by four laymen who set i t a d r i f t i n a small lake adjacent to TCV and j u s t beside the i n t e r s e c t i o n of three roads. This "giving" to the sa-bdags follows the standard glud formula which presents e v i l s p i r i t s with an e f f i g y of what they desire. In this case, the "yellow and red-robed" man symbolized the dge-bshes, who had managed to arouse the i n t e r e s t of the sa-bdags as well as of the dur and s r i . But a l l the a t t e n t i o n directed by the sngags-pas to the placing of a s t r o l o g i c a l signs i n this rnam-mkh'a structure, signs believed to depict the horoscope of the sa-bdags, and the p o r t r a i t s of klus and sa bdags themselves, indicates t h e i r attempt to convince the sa-bdags and klus that they indeed belong "inside" this structure. These numina are persuaded, for example, that they are a s t r o l o g i c a l l y fixed there, that they have a rainbow palace with everything they could possibly desire, and, most importantly, that they have trapped the "dge-bshes". This p a r t i c u l a r formula approaches that applied i n the dbang-bo r i t u a l mode where the e v i l i s also impressed with the splendor of h i s surroundings, but i t d i f f e r s i n the respect that the sa-bdags and klus are not e x i l e d , that i s 205 to say, they are not "forced" to accept, only "persuaded" to do so. THE FIFTH DAY - EXORCISING GTOR-NAG-MGO-GSUM Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum l i t e r a l l y means "black torraa with three heads" and proves an exceptionally i n t e r e s t i n g member of the Tibetan demonic pantheon by v i r t u e of the c o n f l i c t of interpretations surrounding him. Nebesky-Wojkowitz describes a Nag-po-mgo-gsum as follows: The body of the figu r e i s coloured black on i t s upper part, the lower h a l f , which has the shape of the c o i l e d t a i l of a snake, i s painted red. On the body are set three heads: the red head of an ox i n the middle, a blue pig head on the l e f t . . . , and a yellow tiger head - i n some cases the head of a snake - on the r i g h t side (1956:514-515). Nebesky-Wojkowitz adds that " t h i s f i g u r e seems to be regarded as an 'emanation' of Manjusri (the wisdom aspect of Buddha), since the ceremony i s believe to stand under the influence of th i s Bodhisattva" (1956:514). Paul agrees with this assessment i n h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the Sherpa version of Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum a version which equates this h o r r i f i c creature with Rigs-gsurn mgon-po, " c o n s t e l l a t i o n of three gods" - Spyan-ras-gzigs (Avalokitesvara, the compassionate Buddha), 'Ajam-dpal-byangs (Manjusri, the wisdom Buddha, Paul renders f o r the Sherpas as Zherabiyang), and Phyag-na-rdo-rje (Vajrapani, the wrathful aspect of Buddha). This " t r i a d i s thought of as an emanation of Zhembiyang, god of the wisdom that pierces the 'cloud of ignorance' 206 with which the demonic enemies of religion are identified" (1979:297). One informant, entrusted with the making of masks for the monastic dances held at the Dge-lugs-pa monasteries of the Tibetan exile community in India, also described Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum as a three-headed emanation of Manjusri ('Ajam-dpal-byangs). In his reckoning, the heads were ranked as ox, pig, and tiger, according to relative degree of wrath each manifested. In addition, each head took responsibility for guarding against e v i l sentient beings at different times of day. Since e v i l s p i r i t s follow an opposite daily schedule to that of humans, their activities peak at night. Dawn and dusk pose the greatest times of dangers for humans because dawn and dusk represent the dinner and breakfast hours, respectively, for demons. Dawn and dusk provide the potentially dangerous transition between light and dark. By this logic, the tiger head commands in the morning when the evils are about to retire after a f u l l night's Intriguing; the ox head, tends to evils who are most li k e l y asleep (noon would be the demonic midnight); and the pig head takes charge in the evening when the demons are beginning to s t i r and rather hungry. However, Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum is a creature addressed in Rnying-ma-pa rituals and one sngags-pa maintained that Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum was indeed an e v i l graveyard demon who tended to "open his mouth," and thereby cause many deaths. His history, provided by a Rnying-ma-pa sngags-pa is as follows: "A long time ago, a mother Khen and father Geng-pho became the parents of Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum. They thought that Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum was 207 e v i l because he had some power enabling him to do bad things from the time of his b i r t h . The l o c a l community also considered h i s b i r t h to be a bad omen. They accordingly consulted the Buddha of that time known as 'Ajam-dpal-byangs. This Buddha could see that Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum had an e v i l nature and, therefore, c o n t r o l l e d him, informing him that he should not stay i n this world because he would create troubles here. 'Ajam-dpal-byangs indicated to Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum that he would be sent to another world with whatever he desired. So Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum consented, and 'they signed an agreement of sorts.' Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum demanded h i s palace with a rainbow and everything good to eat, as well as worldly wealth. Therefore, i n the r i t u a l , i f we were Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum we would see a l l h i s worldly wealth i n the structure and we would be very happy and leave the world once again. Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum i s not so powerful as Rudra was because Rudra could c o n t r o l the three realms, while Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum has power i n only one." The construction designated f o r Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum replaced the glud f o r the sa-bdags which had rested on the a l t a r the previous day. I t included representations of the 28 c o n s t e l l a t i o n s , the nine me-ba ( a s t r o l o g i c a l c a l c u l a t i o n s ) , the eight par-khas ( a s t r o l o g i c a l c a l c u l a t i o n s ) , the eighth day of the week (an unusual calendric occurrence related to a predicted s o l a r eclipse),, a palace, thread-crosses (rainbows), the monster's parents, an arrow and spindle to a t t r a c t k l u "followers" of this creature, p o r t r a i t s of sa-bdags (also followers of Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum), milk, tea, chang, butter, 208 sugar, spices, and barley f l o u r . The demon himself was molded i n barley dough. The bottom half of the body was red, the upper h a l f , black. His r i g h t head was a yellow t i g e r ; his middle head, a red ox; and his l e f t head, a black pig. This Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum also brandished f i v e pairs of arms (represented by balloons), each pair holding one of the f i v e elements. Towards the end of t h i s exorcism, the e n t i r e structure was wrapped with the five-coloured cord (the same type of cord used to wrap the dog's head containing the dur and s r i ) . F i n a l l y , the apparatus was c a r r i e d out by four laymen and l e f t i n the middle of the i n t e r s e c t i o n of three roads. The lay men set o f f f i r e c r a c k e r s to demolish the structure and dashed away, but an audience of c h i l d r e n , who had followed the procession from the TCV home, remained behind, barely waited for the l a s t f i r e c r a c k e r to explode before they jumped g l e e f u l l y into the structure and r o l l e d a l l over the elaborately modelled gtor-ma. Everything and everyone were now v e i l e d by the cloud of f i r e c r a c k e r smoke. Analysis The Sherpa Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum, according to Paul, i s not-destroyed but taken to an undisclosed spot "to stand guard." This procedure then d i f f e r s r a d i c a l l y from that i n Dharmsala, where the embodiment of a deity could be accomplished only i n a sku (consecrated statue placed on an a l t a r ) , an oracle, or a temporary gtor-ma dwelling placed high on an a l t a r and discarded only when the deity had vacated i t . An "emanation" of Manjusri would never i n Dharmsala be " l e f t on the road." Also, Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum could not be considered a glud or ransom o f f e r i n g since the gtor-ma served to trap him. What then might this c o n f l i c t of Interpretations imply? One explanation springs from the p r o b a b i l i t y that d i f f e r e n t s c r i p t u r a l versions of this creature are extant. But i n the context of the d u r - s r i r i t u a l held a t TCV, the d e s c r i p t i o n of Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum as being a three-headed monster with a black upper hal f and red lower h a l f Is p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant f o r Tibetans, who have h i s t o r i c a l l y paid meticulous a t t e n t i o n to dress codes which s t r i c t l y f o r b i d anyone who i s not a lama, monk, or nun from wearing red on the lower h a l f of the body. This d i v i s i o n of the gtor-ma body into black and red may well suggest that Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum had a r e l i g i o u s past as did the rgyal-po whose predicted fate s i g n a l l e d the necessity for performing the d u r - s r i exorcism. Furthermore, according to my informant, this exorcism of Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum was often performed every year i n a community. C l e a r l y , to these Dharmsala Rnying-ma-pas, Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum presents an on-going problem, and, perhaps, his perennial a r r i v a l i n the community draws a t t e n t i o n to the dangers of misdirected s p i r i t u a l power. And, although Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum may be 'exiled*!, he cannot be stamped out. Temporary e x i l e i s also a common so l u t i o n given to various " s o c i a l problems" that may crop up i n Dharmsala. One young Tibetan t h i e f , f or example, was able to c o l l e c t a sum of money donated by various members of the community when he announced his repentance and d e c i s i o n to go Dehra Dun to j o i n the Tibetan d i v i s i o n of the Indian 210 Army. He took o f f to Delhi Instead and resumed h i s former l i f e s t y l e . But he had, nonetheless, temporarily s a t i s f i e d the o f f i c e r s of the Tibetan government with h i s professed intentions. Other problems req u i r i n g " e x i l e " are generally re l a t e d to unsanctioned sexual a c t i v i t i e s . A f i f t e e n - y e a r - o l d female student who had ov e r t l y p r o s t i t u t e d h e r s e l f was shipped to a school i n Ladakh. Another young woman su c c e s s f u l l y h i d her pregnancy u n t i l one evening when she f a i l e d to return to her dormitory. The search party assembled i n response to her absence discovered her, and, some distance away, the baby to which she had given b i r t h i n the woods. Af t e r much resistance on her part, she f i n a l l y , i n an informant's words, "broke down" and disclosed the i d e n t i t y of the baby's father (who would be expected to make some co n t r i b u t i o n to the baby's support). The issue was "resolved" by " e x i l i n g " her to Nepal u n t i l her scandal cooled i n the community. By an i n t e r e s t i n g turn of events, however, someone r e c a l l e d that the baby had been found very near the spot where a high lama had been recently cremated, a coincidence which suddenly transformed the infant into a candidate f o r the new incarnation of the deceased lama. I f the baby were to be successful i n assuming this r o l e , his mother would return to Dharmsala i n triumph. Another but not so fortunate " e x i l e " was generated from a great scandal that erupted when a dge-bshes was found to be the father of a bastard. Before h i s r o l e had become public knowledge, he had arranged d i s c r e e t l y to send the young woman to Nepal; however, when her confession had been obtained and the dge-bshes had confirmed i t when 211 questioned, both were sent away in disgrace to separate destinations; the dge-bshes stripped of his robes and his standing. If "exile" is a solution for moral dilemmas which are untenable, but at the same time irrepressible, then the transformation of this demon into an emanation of Manjusri (the wisdom aspect of Buddha) provides a handy way out of the problem. If Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum was thoroughly under the influence of Manjusri, he would not call attention to religious dilemmas devolving from the misuse of "spiritual power" since wisdom in the company of dbang (power) is precisely what demons do not possess. Therefore, the banishing of this demon correspondingly announces his eventual return, and, therefore, concludes the entire dur-srl ritual with a message conveying vital concern with the possibility of monks and/or power "gone wrong". Conclusion The dur-srl ritual held at TCV presents three aspects of exorcism: (1) glud to placate the sa-bdag and klu; (2) a mdos or effigy of Gtor-nag-mgo-gsum to exile this demon; and (3) a gto ritual to annihilate and transform the disembodied and embodied evil who captured the soul of the dge-bshes (as well as to release that soul, enabling i t to attain a rebirth). The methods of capture and destruction of the evil dur and sri spirits illustrate that evil cannot be transformed (wrathfully destroyed and dispatched to a rebirth) unless i t is fi r s t embodied in some sort of "humanoid" form. 212 But what obtains from this message, again, i s that i t i s humans who must take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the "alignment" of status i n the Tibetan cosmological hierarchy. Demons and e v i l s p i r i t s may challenge the legitimate hierarchy because ( e s p e c i a l l y as rgyal-pos) they are able to obtain s p i r i t u a l power, but i f they are directed into 'human' form, they can be forced to comply with human r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and, thereby, be forced to r e l i n q u i s h t h e i r challenge or 'alternate h i e r a r c h i c a l ' ambitions. 213 CHAPTER VII RLUNG-RTA - UNCERTAINTY AS HIERARCHICAL VALIDATION Western travellers in more remote areas of the Himalayas have never left their encounters with Buddhist 'prayer flags' unremarked. In Dharmsala, these flags are invariably strung from a house corner to a nearby tree, and whenever a public bsangs-gsol (incense burning ceremony) is held, the flags in alternate colors of red, blue, white, yellow, and green are flown in row after row along the great circumambulation path (gling-khor) surrounding the Dalai Lama's palace, the temple, and Rnam-rgyal monastery as well as high along the ridges above McCleod Ganj. These flags (dar-chog) are cloths stamped with a printed text usually encircling the image of a rlung-rta (wind-horse), a horse bearing a flaming mystic jewel (norbu) upon its back and originally associated with an astrological concept (Waddell 1967:408-418). My informants maintained that with each wave of such a flag in the wind, the horse with the norbu upon its back would fly up to heaven, conveying the prayers of whomever raised the flag. The higher the flags are set, the greater chance the horse has to catch the wind that would convey him to heaven. There, the lha would receive the prayers and be disposed to confer what for the moment I will terra "luck" upon the beseecher. These prayer f l a g s are raised i n conjunction with a ceremony of o f f e r i n g incense (bsangs) to the gods. A bsangs-gsol i s the most frequently performed public r i t u a l i n Dharmsala and i s held throughout the Tibetan community-in-exile on the t h i r d day of the Tibetan New Year and on the celebration of the Dalai Lama's birthday. The r i t u a l i s a lso occasioned by the wishes of s p e c i f i c groups, such as the Chu-bshi-gangs-drug (Four Rivers, Six Ranges), a Tibetan g u e r r i l l a movement that fought the Chinese, to commemorate t h e i r founder Andrug Gompo Tashi or by other s p e c i a l events. A bsangs-gsol was held, f o r example, the morning the Dalai Lama departed on a v i s i t to the Soviet Union and Mongolia to guarantee the safety of h i s t r a v e l s , and another one four days l a t e r was given to ensure the success of h i s journey. Such ceremonies have no partisan bias, however, since these ceremonies are s i m i l a r l y observed whenever the Dalai Lama v i s i t s the United States, Canada, and Europe. But a bsangs-gsol may be offered p r i v a t e l y by i n d i v i d u a l s or households at any time, and i s customarily performed before a Tibetan embarks on a sweater-selling sojourn or before other business ventures. When a bsangs-gsol i s held at the palace circumambulation path (gling-khor), people gather about 7:30 i n the morning equipped with small c l o t h saddlebags embroidered with flaming jewels and containing the juniper branches (incense) and chang to be offered to the gods. While monks s i t t i n g on the ground i n a row facing a stone a l t a r chant prayers, people approach the a l t a r , seemingly upon impulse and i n no fi x e d order, and add powdered incense or juniper branches to the f i r e , and, perhaps, pour some chang into a huge s i l v e r bowl r e s t i n g before the monks, which would at i n t e r v a l s be emptied i n t o the f i r e . The pa r t i c i p a n t s s i t on the grassy k n o l l before the a l t a r , some praying, others minding c h i l d r e n , gossiping, or watching the proceedings. At times an i n d i v i d u a l w i l l appear to adopt a look of pleased excitement as he or she r i s e s from s i t t i n g on the grass to make h i s or her o f f e r i n g . The f i r e i s usually large enough to produce smoke that billows one hundred feet or more and the circumambulation path i s ringed with row upon row of prayer f l a g s . When each person has contributed h i s or her o f f e r i n g to the f i r e and the monks cease t h e i r prayers, everyone r i s e s , grasps a r i g h t handful of barley f l o u r (offered by the sponsors of the bsangs-gsol, that i s , those who h i r e the monks, to those who are empty-handed), and takes a place i n a huge c i r c l e . Then, i n Dharmsala, the man elected as the skyid-sdug"*' leader of the McCleod Ganj Tibetan merchants leads everyone i n singing the Tibetan national anthem and a song i n honor of the Da l a i Lama. Aft e r the songs, the people cry "so" as they r a i s e t h e i r r i g h t hands three times. At the t h i r d r a i s i n g of hands, everyone throws the f l o u r i n t o the a i r , shouting "Kyi-Kyi  Gsol-Gsol Lha Rgyal-lo!" ("Victory to the Gods!"). This marks the o f f i c i a l end of the r i t e . I f , however, the general ambience i s j u b i l a n t , some people w i l l p e l t each other with f l o u r throughout t h e i r return hike to McCleod Ganj, while others might sing a r i a s from Tibetan operas. The crying of " g s o l " (so), meaning "take t h i s o f f e r i n g " , i s made three times, probably to the three cosmic realms, but as one Tibetan opined, "We sing t h i s as a chorus to b u i l d up to something. 'Kyl-Kyl' i s a Tibetan warrior's cry on the b a t t l e f i e l d . " 'Gsol' conveys the notion of increase. Some Tibetans who consider the decrease i n the number of Tibetan monks and lamas i n e x i l e to i n d i c a t e a correspondent decrease In the number of lha e x i s t i n g f o r Tibetans both i n T i b e t and i n e x i l e , maintain that an o f f e r i n g of incense to the gods w i l l sustain the remaining Tibetan lha. How Tibetan lha might come to such a reduced state i s evinced i n an episode I heard from the epic of Gesar, when the hero i s about to determine how the w i s h - f u l f i l l i n g gems and other s p o i l s from h i s conquest of Stag-gzig (Iran) might best be d i s t r i b u t e d . Gesar, who i s himself a l h a , repeatedly asks of his audience a r h e t o r i c a l question - "Am I not wonderful?" - but his mood changes, and he denounces the p r o b a b i l i t y of pu b l i c ingratitude by giving three proverbs i l l u s t r a t i n g the respective fates of mdzo (a cow-yak hybrid), horses, and mothers. Each case i s remarked f o r the utter lack of regard and compassion exhibited by the owners of the mdzo and horses and the ch i l d r e n of the mothers when the animals or mothers grow old and infirm, a lack of regard despite the f a i t h f u l s e rvice of the former and the nurture of the l a t e r . In a s i m i l a r manner, Gesar warns, "Sentient beings w i l l tend to forget me and my greatness w i l l slowly decline." Some Tibetans r e f e r to the bsangs-gsol as a lh a - g s o l , a r i t u a l which enhances the gods. In eit h e r case, the r i t e i s believed to please the gods and to r a i s e the i n d i v i d u a l rlung-rta of each p a r t i c i p a n t . Now the lha are pr o p i t i a t e d and fed not so much by the burnt o f f e r i n g s , as by t h e i r smell, which i s , of course, wafted to 217 heaven by the great column of smoke. Juniper branches produce the most desirable incense because Tibetans say that the smell i s the most pleasing to the gods. In f a c t , smell, as one of the f i v e senses, i s a p i v o t a l reference point used by Tibetans to designate p o l l u t i o n . I t i s good to put glass over pictures of the Dalai Lama and other high lamas who might appear on the family a l t a r i n order to prevent them from exposure to "bad smells". Women w i l l avoid entering, although they w i l l circumambulate, the main temple i n Dharmsala, during t h e i r menstrual periods because they do not wish to offend with t h e i r "bad smells". Li c h t e r (1980) delves into the practice of nose-grabbing among the Tsumbas and concludes that i t i s practiced between good fr i e n d s when one of them has committed some breach of f a i t h . The offender's nose i s grabbed to remind him or her that his or her actions have v i o l a t e d the norms of frie n d s h i p . Furthermore, i n Tibet, a married woman who committed adultery occasionally suffered the loss of her nose at the hand of her husband. Monks performing a sbyin-sreg r i t u a l , or preparing the gtor-rgya gtor-ma p r i o r to the pre-New Year exorcism of e v i l s p i r i t s at the main temple, w i l l cover t h e i r noses and mouths with a white c l o t h t i e d behind t h e i r heads to prevent any bad smells they might emit from reaching the of f e r i n g s or the gtor-ma. I f , as Lic h t e r seems to suggest, "smells" are related metaphorically to the state of a s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p , then i t holds that providing these lha with the most pleasing aromas might serve to sustain a good s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p with them. The best possible place to hold a bsangs-gsol i s on a mountain. 218 As one dge-bshes explained: A bsangs-gsol i s held mainly to appease l e s s e r lha l i k e one's skyes-lha. I t would not be directed towards the Buddhas. I f these lha are pleased, they w i l l come to help you and that w i l l increase your rlung-rta. I f you want to give a party for your friends i n your room, you cook for them and prepare everything. But, i f you take them outside Instead to a b e a u t i f u l place l i k e a garden, and serve the same food, they w i l l be much happier. They would be much happier due to the e f f e c t of the beauty from the outside. By the same reasoning, you could perform a bsangs-gsol i n your room, but when we go up there on the h i l l s i d e with the clean a i r , the lhas w i l l be much happier. A bsangs-gsol i s performed with the avowed i n t e n t of r a i s i n g rlung-rta - but i t proves as much of a test of one's amount of rlung-rta as i t provides a way to increase i t . I f , f o r example, a planned bsangs-gsol must be cancelled due to weather or f o r some other reason, I t i s proof that one's rlung-rta i s low. Equally, a strong wind that c a r r i e s away the smoke from the bsangs f i r e , wet wood that refuses to burn, or a short column of smoke a l l ind i c a t e that one's rlung-rta i s low and not about to be raised. Rlung-rta cannot, then, be obtained with c e r t a i n t y i n any systematic manner and, as one informant remarked, "You can t e s t your rlung-rta a t the same time that you are trying to r a i s e i t . " Rlung-rta, the human goal of this incense-burning ceremony, i s translated by Tibetans as "luck". But s e t t i n g this exegesis aside for the present, we can draw some comparisons between the p o t e n t i a l s of r l u n g - r t a , dbang, and bsod-nams. Bsod-nams, as discussed i n Chapter I I , i s the sum t o t a l of one's good deeds or meritorious a c t i v i t i e s and i s the p o s i t i v e aspect of karma. Dbang tang may derive from one's karmic actions or may be a c t i v e l y and d e l i b e r a t e l y pursued i n this l i f e t i m e . Dbang tang c o n s t i t u t e s a s p i r i t u a l power, but one which may, as we have shown above, be acquired without a 'proper a t t i t u d e ' . Rlung-rta, however, i s unique i n that i t can, as Epstein concludes, be " e i t h e r high or low, unlike bsod-nams, which can accumulate (bsag) or be exhausted" (1982:240). Rlung-rta, i n f a c t , fluctuates d a i l y , and i s discovered only i n retrospect. I t does not 'carry over' into the next l i f e , and although some Tibetans prefer to assess i t as a product of one's accumulated bsod-nams, i t i s e s s e n t i a l l y uncertain. Rlung-rta even appears, at f i r s t glance, to be the very a n t i t h e s i s of a h i e r a r c h i c a l ethos. Rlung-rta i s also a p o t e n t i a l a v a i l a b l e only to humans — i . e . , ghosts do not have rlung - r t a , demons do not have rlun g - r t a , and k l u do not have rlung-rta. Thus, rlung-rta i s a p a r t i c u l a r favour bestowed only upon humans and by whimsical gods. Rlung-rta as a Protection Against S p i r i t Attack In Chapter II I , I recounted the story of a young monk who had polluted the Gorkha Fountain, the home of k l u , and suffered as a r e s u l t of h i s unintended a c t i o n . The young monk explained to me that he was susceptible to an attack from the k l u because h i s rlung-rta had been low. The Rinpoche whom he had consulted, however, would never be so susceptible because of his high status and i t s attendant knowledge and power (dbang). The more dharma one knew, the l e s s l i k e l y one might be the v i c t i m of a s p i r i t attack. The young monk surmised that the hippies who had been washing their laundry and dishes i n the fountain would not prove to be p o t e n t i a l k l u targets e i t h e r as a r e s u l t of the i r own high rlung-rta or due to the f a c t that they did not believe i n or were unaware of the existence of k l u . I f , the young monk theorized, a Westerner believed i n k l u and had the same l e v e l of rlung-rta as the young monk did, then possibly both would be attacked. Rlung-rta, to Tibetan reckoning, i s neither systematically nor ' f a i r l y ' (that i s to say, i n keeping with one's e t h i c a l acts or intents) a l l o t t e d . I f a young monk i s very good and studies d i l i g e n t l y while others play, but happens to be i n the same area when the d i s c i p l i n a r i a n monk spots the young monk's delinquent peers, then a l l w i l l be punished even i f the innocent monk protests that he was not playing. The boy would be i n that s i t u a t i o n and punished through no f a u l t of his own, but as a r e s u l t of his low rlun g - r t a . Another example from Chapter I I I which removes rlung-rta from any immediate e t h i c a l "grounding" presents i t as a type of protection f o r the possessor, a protection which renders him or her immune to attacks from e v i l s p i r i t s or " j u s t i f i a b l y " outraged k l u , as i s the case with the polluted k l u w e l l (presented i n Chapter I I I ) . The protection provided by rlung-rta apparently renders a person i n v i s i b l e or transforms him or her i n the perception of a p o t e n t i a l adversary. The phrenum (the indentation of skin between the upper l i p and the nose), which i s thought to be a l o c a t i o n of the bla or secondary soul, and the eyebrows radiate flames i f one's rlung-rta i s high. These flames are so b r i l l i a n t that they b l i n d e v i l s p i r i t s 221 although they are i n v i s i b l e to humans. But when one's rlung-rta i s low, the flames dim and e v i l s p i r i t s or animals may attack. Rlung-rta can stand a Tibetan i n as good a stead as does dbang, but rlung-rta cannot be d e l i b e r a t e l y or systematically attained. Gambling Only a new opportunity to gamble excites Tibetans more than does the outcome of a game of chance. In the West, gambling has been launched by s o c i o l o g i s t s and psychologists onto a course that p a r a l l e l s alcoholism. However, i n the Tibetan context, a very d i f f e r e n t case may be presented for i t . Gambling, f o r Tibetans, may prove to be a transcendental experience. Tibetan c h i l d r e n experiment with the four-sided knucklebone of a sheep (a-cug or "joined bone"). The concave side i s c a l l e d "horse" and i t s opposite end represents a donkey; the other sides are termed "goat" and "sheep". I f the toss of the knucklebone reveals the "horse" side, i t Indicates the player w i l l win money; the donkey side f o r e t e l l s l o s s . S i m i l a r l y , the "sheep" represents food, but the "goat" Indicates that one w i l l go hungry. Adults may e l e c t to play the indigenous Tibetan game of sho, mah-jong, buy l o t t e r y t i c k e t s , or, as was done i n T i b e t , race horses. Gambling, f o r the Tibetan, may prove almost the equivalent of a Western "weather report" i n the amount of i n t e r e s t and ensuing commentary aroused by i t s announcement of the assorted rlung-rta " l e v e l s " of the various players. In Tibetan society, gambling provides a singular opportunity to measure one's quantum of rlung-rta 222 f o r the day against those of a l l other comers, and Tibetans believe f o r the most part that a l l enter a game of chance on an equal b a s i s . One Tibetan proverb spoken while gambling or during a horse race proves the r u l e by providing the exception: "Mi sk a l bza-ba l a , lcag  g i 'agram-pa dgos" or "he who has an i r o n jaw can eat other people's chances." This proverb ref e r s to the gambler who continues to win despite the equalizing laws of p r o b a b i l i t y , he, thus, "eats" other people's chances to win by v i r t u e of h i s i r o n jaw, which symbolizes his personal stock of dbang tang. What i s of i n t e r e s t here again, i s the a s s o c i a t i o n of dbang tang or dbang with systematic advancement. A gambler who suddenly makes a big " k i l l i n g " one night or wins a l o t t e r y demonstrates his r l u n g - r t a , but one who i s consistent demonstrates his dbang. A p a r a l l e l to this may be found i n the young monk's insistence that he was vulnerable to a k l u attack because his rlung-rta was low. A high Rinpoche would be immune not because of his high rlu n g - r t a , but due to his s i g n i f i c a n t amount of dbang. The young monk did not hold h i s lower amount of dbang responsible for his misfortune because he harbored no i l l u s i o n s as to h i s progress up the s p i r i t u a l ladder, he knew p r e c i s e l y where he ranked i n the r e l i g i o u s hierarchy, and accused instead h i s mercurial r l u n g - r t a . Sports In sports, however, l o s s i s assigned to a d i f f e r e n t c a u s a l i t y . Dharmsala, as I mentioned i n Chapter I I , i s divided more or le s s into f i v e s o c i a l spheres based upon geographical reference points - i . e . , the l i b r a r y and the Tibetan government buildings of Gangs-skyid, the D a l a i Lama's palace and temple complex (including the Buddhist D i a l e c t i c a l School and Rnam-rgyal Monastery), McCleod Ganj, TCV, and the TIPA. With the exception of the Da l a i Lama's complex, the other four regions produce sports teams who compete i n l o c a l and regional basketball and soccer tournaments. Now, with the adoption of such Western sports (soccer was played i n Lhasa and introduced by Tibetan a r i s t o c r a t s educated In the E n g l i s h schools of Sikkim), has also come the attendant p r e s c r i p t i o n s urging " f a i r play" and the notion of "good sp or tsmanship". The twentieth anniversary (1980) of TCV, which would be marked by sports, c a l i s t h e n i c s d r i l l s , feasts, singing, and dancing, was also the occasion for numerous essays written by TCV students on the subject of "good sportsmanship" which appeared i n the TCV school paper. What tends to happen during these sportive combats, however, i s not so much i n keeping with these professed i d e a l s . The TCV teachers' team considers i t s e l f the best of the Dharmsala teams because the teachers have superior sports f a c i l i t i e s with which to pr a c t i c e , and some of the teachers spend much time doing so. But on occasion, they lose to a supposedly i n f e r i o r team. At such times, the TCV team may appear about to score almost c e r t a i n goals, but the other team's goal keeper may somehow manage to make "impossible" saves or the b a l l glances o f f a goal post rather than reaching the goal. When the TCV teachers are defeated on t h e i r home ground, however, by another team, ( e s p e c i a l l y i f the other team members might be considered the s o c i a l I n f e r i o r s of the TCV teachers 224 as would be the case with the drama school team), the TGV teachers and some students reportedly have slung mud and stones at the departing, victorious team. The teachers' defeat signals to the community that the TCV rlung-rta level is low. The loss proves, i n a sense, to be a forced admission on their part, an admission of low rlung-rta. The mud-slinging is rationalized as a response to the shame that this announcement brings to the teachers. The night before an important game, young Tibetan players w i l l place their uniforms and b a l l underneath a statue of Buddha and hold a bsangs-gsol the morning of the game in an attempt to raise their rlung-rta. But i f the team, nonetheless loses, they w i l l f i r s t blame the referee and accuse him of cheating, asking him to swear by a portrait of the Dalai Lama that he has called the game f a i r l y . Low rlung-rta is the last mentioned of a l l possible excuses, no one wishes to consider the possibility in the context of sports. Divination Gambling, or, more precisely, the r o l l of dice, enters other spheres quite prominently as well. Henderson (1966:1103) cites the use of a r o l l of dice in the adjudication of disputes. Dice figure most importantly in divination. There are, for example, a number of methods used for divination - consulting oracles, astrological calculations, counting beads on a rosary (phreng-ba), interpreting dreams, etc. - but one of the most common strategies is to go to a lama for mo, a divination involving the throw of dice and the 225 reading of a s c r i p t u r a l passage pertaining to the number thrown. Rona Tas (1956:173) makes reference to an a s s o c i a t i o n between the d i v i n a t i o n dice of the goddess Lha-mo and healing. More than one dge-bshes noted that a t r u l y educated and very high lama would not have to r e s o r t to such t a c t i c s , that he would simply divine the p r e d i c t i o n mentally. They claimed, however, that ignorant people, or those who have not established s p e c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s with t h e i r lamas, expect the dice to be r o l l e d . I f i t i s not, these people might believe that the lama i s l y i n g to them. The tangible r e s u l t of a dice r o l l affords the people s a t i s f a c t i o n and, equally, assures them of the " v a l i d i t y " of the r e s u l t . A dice throw also figures s i g n i f i c a n t l y i n a Tibetan r i t u a l of soul r e t r i e v a l (bla-khug tshe-khug), a r i t u a l that adds another dimension to the exorcisms described i n the preceding chapters i n that i t combines a dbang contest between the o f f i c i a t i n g sngags-pa and s o u l - s t e a l e r s , as i s done i n gto or mdos r i t u a l s , with the d i r e c t p a r t i c i p a t i o n of the patient himself i n a rlung-rta competition between the sexes. A R i t u a l of Soul R e t r i e v a l A r i t u a l of soul r e t r i e v a l (bla-khug) was performed for one young man on the advice of the lady o r a c l e . He had taken a bus t r i p with friends to Kangra, the d i s t r i c t c a p i t a l , to enjoy swimming and a p i c n i c . On the journey, the bus stopped i n a v i l l a g e where many saddhus l i v e and the passengers were entertained by a dancing monkey. 226 The young Tibetan wanted to feed the monkey some peanuts, but since he was afraid to do so by hand, the monkey's owner agreed to offer the peanuts himself. However, when the owner presented the peanuts In his open palm, the monkey bit his owner's hand, and the young Tibetan and his friends responded to this act by pelting the monkey with stones. Later that day, the young man f e l l i l l with fever and trembling. He consulted doctors to no avail, and finally sought the opinion of the lady oracle, who recounted his experience on the Kangra trip and ascertained that the saddhus living in that village had cursed him, causing him to lose his soul (bla), through the vehicle of the monkey. The ritual of soul retrieval consists essentially of four parts: a reception for the soul-stealers, breaking their hold on the patient, luring the freed soul (bla) back to the patient and determining whether or not i t has returned, and, finally, calling in the blessings of long-life for the patient. 1. Preparations ! The soul-stealers must fi r s t be invited to the ritual, but their invitation will not be accepted unless elaborate preparations are made: thread crosses, clothing, food, money, f i r branches, and a 'palace' are a l l anchored in a mud-base platform. Also, the soul-stealers themselves are depicted as five dough effigies representing the four cardinal directions plus the center. The officiating sngags-pa beckons the spirits to the ceremony, assuring 227 them that a palace and i t s b e a u t i f u l surroundings - trees, r i v e r s , rainbows, and a l l manner of d e l i g h t f u l foods and wealth have been readied f o r them. When the e v i l s p i r i t s a r r i v e , they f i n d themselves magically transferred to and trapped i n s i d e t h e i r gtor-ma e f f i g i e s . The sngags-pa then breaks t h e i r c o n t r o l over the patient. He ties a thread around each finger of the patient's l e f t hand and l i n k s one f i n g e r to each of the e f f i g i e s . These s t r i n g s represent the lassos thrown by the soul - s t e a l e r s onto the patient and describe t h e i r intentions towards him. Since they already possess his b l a , i t i s only a matter of time before the s p i r i t s gain complete c o n t r o l and capture the ultimate p r i z e , the rnam-shes or etern a l soul. The ex o r c i s t reads Buddhist scriptures exhorting the s p i r i t s to go beyond-the great ocean surrounding the world and to remain there i n the palace b u i l t f o r them, content with what has been offered, and never to harm the patient again. As the e x o r c i s t r e c i t e s this message to each of the f i v e s p i r i t s , he cuts the thread l i n k i n g that p a r t i c u l a r s p i r i t to the patient. When the f i f t h thread i s cut, the bla i s considered to be free from c a p t i v i t y . 2. Luring the Soul and Testing I t s Return At this point i n the r i t u a l the bla s t i l l roams f r e e l y . I t must be lured into a sheep and then into a turquoise from where i t can re-enter the patient's body. The patient must perform three tests In order to determine whether or not his bla has returned. For this purpose, a cauldron i s f i l l e d with a milk and water mixture. A white 228 sheep sculpted from butter i s placed into the patient's drinking cup and floated on the milk. In the f i r s t t est, the patient, who s i t s before the cauldron, sets the cup spinning In a clockwise d i r e c t i o n . I f , a f t e r the ro t a t i o n stops, the head or l e f t shoulder of the butter sheep faces the patient, the bla has entered the sheep ( c f . Lessing, 1951). I f the desired r e s u l t Is not produced, another attempt is made. Three such t r i a l s are permitted within the r i t u a l p r e s c r i p t i o n . For the second test, three black stones, three white stones, and a turquoise are tossed into the milk and water mixture. The patient must reach i n , r e t r i e v e a handful of stones, and then examine them. The white stones must outnumber the black, and the turquoise must appear. I f • this i s not the case, the stones are returned to the cauldron and the patient t r i e s once more (again three t r i a l s are permitted). The f i n a l t est involves the throw of three white and three black dice. A woman is c a l l e d i n to throw the black dice against the patient's white. The patient has three chances to r o l l a higher number than the woman. If he succeeds i n these t r i a l s , his bla has returned and the patient wears the turquoise recovered from the cauldron about hi s neck. Since the b l a i s said to have a mental a f f i n i t y for turquoise, wearing i t w i l l ensure that the b l a remains wi t h i n the body. I f the patient f a i l s i n one of these tests, the performance of a more wrathful r i t u a l i s prescribed. This r i t u a l , the gcod, would be a gto r i t u a l . 229 3. Securing the Blessings of Long Life The ritual concludes with the patient's securing the blessings of a long l i f e . In his right hand, the patient grasps a ceremonial arrow (md'a-dar) and, at appropriate pauses in the ceremony, circles i t in the air and calls for the return of his bla and the return of a long-life (tshe-ring) span. This arrow is endowed with the power to summon the blessings of long-life from the three realms, heaven, earth, and the lower world. The blessings accrued through this arrow flow into a small bowl of barley beer (chang) which the patient then drinks. Analysis My analysis of this ritual begins by exploring some of its salient symbols, namely: the lasso, sheep, turquoise, stones, dice, and arrow, in order to gain their emergent meanings. 1. The Lasso and Trapping the Soul A lasso is used by Tibetan nomads to single out a member of their herds. In the ritual, i t symbolizes the hold of the bla-stealers over the patient. Lassoes are also employed in capturing witches and brides. Normally, a person's l i f e is near its end i f the bla leaves the body. In the case of witches, however, i t is a different matter entirely. Witches are almost invariably female and also unconscious of t h e i r propensities. While a witch sleeps, her bla leaves her body and wanders about attempting to possess someone and, i n so doing, co n t r o l that person's rnam-shes. But the connection of the witch's b l a to her body i s not thought to be severed. One method of determining whether or not a woman i s a witch i s to f i l l the woman's shoes with f l o u r while she sleeps. I f , In the morning, the f l o u r i n the shoes has been pressed down, i t indicates that the woman has trav e l l e d about a t night while her body has remained at home. Shoes f i t t e d to statues of witches chained i n the Sa-skya monastery i n Tib e t reportedly had to be replaced monthly since the shoes wore out so quickly. The witch, then, has an extremely mobile b l a or secondary soul. When a witch takes possession of someone, c e r t a i n mandatory procedures must be followed. One case of witch-possession occurred to a middle-aged man In the McLeod Ganj community who was not conducting himself s t r i c t l y according to c e r t a i n norms of pub l i c morality. This man was subject to a considerable amount of gossip (mi-kha) i n McLeod Ganj because he had married a young lady who already had a c h i l d by another man. Although the young lady and her former lover considered themselves to be married (by v i r t u e of l i v i n g together and being the parents of a c h i l d ) , the young woman's parents arranged.for her to marry a wealthier and much older man while her f i r s t 'husband' was temporarily out of India. In the eyes of the community, the young woman was forced to submit to her parents' wishes and, thus, not blamed for her change of s i t u a t i o n . However, neither he nor his new wife took much notice of her son. 231 This c h i l d could often be seen wandering about McLeod Ganj begging money. His actions were rather encouraged, however, by l o c a l people. When a Tibetan who knew of the boy's s i t u a t i o n met him on the road, he would ask the lad who h i s father was. When the boy r e p l i e d c o r r e c t l y , he would be given a twenty-five paisa c o i n (equivalent to one-fourth of an Indian Rupee). The young lady's new husband was not unaware of t h i s v i l l a g e sentiment, that he was u n f i t to be the father of the c h i l d , and, hence, the husband of h i s wife. Furthermore, the new husband r e a l i z e d that h i s wife's former lover was r e l a t e d to the lady oracle. One night, the new husband returned to h i s home l a t e a f t e r becoming intoxicated at a party. On h i s way, the man passed the house of an old woman who happened to be a known witch. Upon reaching h i s family, he babbled as i f he were the old woman and announced himself i n her name. But h i s r