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The Yogin and the Madman
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The Yogin and the Madman: Reading the Biographical Corpus of Tibet's Great Saint Milarepa

Andrew Quintman

Abstract

Tibetan biographers began writing Jetsun Milarepa's (1052–1135) life story shortly after his death, initiating a literary tradition that turned the poet and saint into a model of virtuosic Buddhist practice throughout the Himalayan world. This book traces this history and its innovations in narrative and aesthetic representation across four centuries, culminating in a detailed analysis of the genre's most famous example, composed in 1488 by Tsangnyön Heruka, or the “Madman of Western Tibet.” The book imagines these works as a kind of physical body supplanting the yogin's corporeal relics.

Keywords: death, Tibetan biographers, Jetsun Milarepa, literary tradition, Buddhist practice, Himalaya, Tsangnyön Heruka

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780231164153
Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015 DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231164153.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Andrew Quintman, author