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The Mortality of the Dalai Lama and its Scriptural Sources: A Study in Tibetan Buddhist Political Theology

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Duration: 0:52:28 | Added: 26 May 2020
Loading Video...
Duration: 0:52:28 | Added: 26 May 2020
I am currently focusing on the problem of the Dalai Lama’s mortality that is, the question of how to come to terms with his suffering and death, in light of the association between Tibetan kingship and the deity Avalokiteśvara.

In this talk, I’ll share some of my work in progress on the divine kingship of the 5th Dalai Lama. In particular, I am currently focusing on the problem of the Dalai Lama’s mortality that is, the question of how to come to terms with his suffering and death, in light of the association between Tibetan kingship and the deity Avalokiteśvara. My sources are late 17th century texts written by the Desi Sangyé Gyatso, who wrote extensively on the 5th Dalai Lama’s joint divinity and mortality. In addition to their value for Tibetan intellectual and political history, my larger aim is to think about the Desi as a theorist of Buddhist kingship, one whose efforts to clarify a basic theological political dilemma may also speak to larger conversations about the dual constitution of royal authority.

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