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Living KarmaThe Religious Practices of Ouyi Zhixu$
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Beverley McGuire

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231168021

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231168021.001.0001

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Vowing to Assume the Karma of Others

Vowing to Assume the Karma of Others

(p.81) Four Vowing to Assume the Karma of Others
Living Karma

Beverley Foulks McGuire

Columbia University Press

This chapter analyzes votive texts, in which Ouyi Zhixu envisions his future potential as a bodhisattva. Votive texts engage the future in a way that complements divination as a technique for diagnosing karma in the past, and repentance rituals as a means of redressing karma in the present. Votive texts allow Ouyi to not only project himself into the future but to also write his future by presenting himself as a bodhisattva. Ouyi presents two visions of himself as a bodhisattva: one that eliminates karma entirely in instances of sincere repentance, and another that assumes the karma of those who have committed particularly heinous sins, substituting for them and suffering karmic retribution on their behalf.

Keywords:   votive texts, Ouyi Zhixu, bodhisattva, divination, repentance rituals, karma

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