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Love Letters from GolokA Tantric Couple in Modern Tibet$
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Holly Gayley

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231180528

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231180528.001.0001

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Inseparable Companions

Inseparable Companions

A Buddhist Courtship and Correspondence

(p.116) Three Inseparable Companions
Love Letters from Golok

Holly Gayley

Columbia University Press

Chapter 3 begins my analysis of the courtship between Tāre Lhamo and Namtrul Rinpoche enacted through the fifty-six letters of their correspondence, exchanged between 1978 and 1980. In this chapter, I explore their use of Indic and Tibetan literary models to express affection, to engage in the sport of attraction in tantric terms, and to convey their emergent sense of partnership, mutual reliance, and joint mission. Specifically, I contrast the idealized portrait of Tāre Lhamo and Namtrul Rinpoche found in their respective hagiographies with the more humanizing and multifaceted representation in their correspondence, in which the future couple's own voices come to the fore. I argue that the personal and prophetic dimensions of their courtship are inextricably intertwined, both being integral to their emerging agency as a couple.

Keywords:   Love, Tibetan folk songs, Prophecy, past life recollections, sexuality, Buddhist tantra

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