The Holy Madmen of Tibet

ISBN : 9780199391219

David M. DiValerio
368 ページ
173 x 235 mm

Over the course of the last millennium in Tibet, some tantric yogins have taken on norm-overturning modes of behavior, including provoking others to violence, publicly consuming filth, having sex, and dressing in human remains. While these individuals were called "mad," their apparent mental unwellness was not seen as resulting from any unfortunate circumstance, but symptomatic of having achieved a higher state of existence through religious practice. This book is the first comprehensive study of these "holy madmen," who have captured the imaginations of Tibetans and Westerners alike. Focusing on the lives and works of three "holy madmen" from the fifteenth century - the Madman of Tsang (Tsangnyon Heruka, or Sangye Gyeltsen, 1452-1507, and author of The Life of Milarepa), the Madman of U (Unyon Kungpa Sangpo, 1458-1532), and the Madman of the Drukpa Kagyu (Drukpa Kunle, 1455-1529). DiValerio shows how literary representations of these madmen came to play a role in the formation of sectarian identities and the historical mythologies of various sects. DiValerio also conveys a well-rounded understanding of the human beings behind these colorful personas by looking at the trajectories of their lives, their religious practices and their literary works, all in their due historical context. In the process he ranges from lesser-known tantric practices to central Tibetan politics to the nature of sainthood, and the "holy madmen" emerge as self-aware and purposeful individuals who were anything but crazy.


List of Maps and Figures
Technical Note
Chapter 1: The Lives of the Madmen of U and Tsang
History and Hagiography
The Life of the Madman of U (1458-1532)
The Life of the Madman of Tsang (1452-1507)
Chapter 2: Of Scripture and Bone: The Tantric Discipline of the Madmen of U and Tsang
The Practice of the Observance
The Secret Practice, the Insane Observance
"You, the Hero, Glorious Heruka Himself..."
Tantric Literalism
Chapter 3: Sainthood in the Making: The Madmen of U and Tsang in Public
The Drum Sound of Their Fame
The Repertoire of Siddha Behavior
Performing Enlightenment
"To Spread and Increase the Teachings of the Kagyu"
Tantric Literalism in Context: Competing Models of Buddhist Holiness
Intermezzo: The Relationship between the Madmen of U and Tsang
Chapter 4: Civil War, Strategic Alliances: The Madmen of U and Tsang in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Tibet
The Pakmodru-Geluk Partnership
The Rinpungpa Revolt
Priestly Alliances and Sectarian Aggression under the Rinpungpas
Sakya, Kagyu and Rinpungpa Affairs
"A Mutual Understanding": The Patrons of the Madmen of U and Tsang
Chapter 5: Making History: The Later Projects of the Madmen of U and Tsang
The Projects of the Madman of U and His Disciples
The Literary School of the Madman of Tsang
Writing and Printing the Life of Milarepa
Milarepa the Madman, the Madman as Milarepa
Putting the Aural Transmission to Paper
Renovating the Swayambhunath Stupa
Chapter 6: Who Was Drukpa Kunle?
Popular Depictions of Drukpa Kunle
Drukpa Kunle's Miscellaneous Writings
The Trajectory of Drukpa Kunle's Life
Drukpa Kunle's Position in Politics
Drukpa Kunle the Critic
Drukpa Kunle and the Holy Madmen
The Transformation of Drukpa Kunle
Chapter 7: The Enduring Trope of Holy Madness
Other Madmen and Madwomen
The Broader Rhetoric of Madness
Influencing Deed and Representation within the Madman Tradition
The Allure of Holy Madness
Tibetan Spellings
Works Cited
Tibetan-language Sources
European-language Sources


David M. DiValerio is Assistant Professor of History and Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.