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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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A Tantric Couple

A Tantric Couple

The Hagiography of Cultural Revitalization

(p.208) Five A Tantric Couple
Love Letters from Golok

Holly Gayley

Columbia University Press

Chapter Five treats the joint career of Tāre Lhamo and Namtrul Rinpoche from 1980 forward as represented in his hagiography, Jewel Garland. In contrast to the intimate words exchanged between lovers in their correspondence, Jewel Garland portrays the public personae of this tantric couple, whose visionary talents and ritual prowess formed the basis of their many accomplishments promoting the revival of Buddhism in Golok. Tāre Lhamo and Namtrul Rinpoche are depicted side by side traveling throughout Golok to unearth their revelations, bestow tantric initiations, establish ritual practices at monasteries, and construct stūpas and temples. I argue that the writing of Buddhist hagiography is itself constituent of cultural revival and a means to reposition Buddhist masters at the center of society and as the main agents of Tibetan history.

Keywords:   Ritual, Pilgrimage, Buddhist revitalization, tantric couple, Golok, post-Mao era

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