Travels in the netherworld: Buddhist popular narratives of death and the afterlife in Tibet

Book Cover
Average Rating
Oxford University Press,
Pub. Date:
In Travels in the Netherworld, Bryan J. Cuevas examines a fascinating but little-known genre of Tibetan narrative literature about thedélok, ordinary men and women who claim to have died, traveled through hell, and then returned from the afterlife. These narratives enjoy audiences ranging from the most sophisticated monastic scholars to pious townsfolk, villagers, and nomads. Their accounts emphasize the universal Buddhist principles of impermanence and worldly suffering, the fluctuations of karma, and the feasibility of obtaining a favorable rebirth through virtue and merit. Providing a clear, detailed analysis of four vivid return-from-death tales, including the stories of a Tibetan housewife, a lama, a young noble woman, and a Buddhist monk, Cuevas argues that these narratives express ideas about death and the afterlife that held wide currency among all classes of faithful Buddhists in Tibet.Relying on a diversity of traditional Tibetan sources, Buddhist canonical scriptures, scholastic textbooks, ritual and meditation manuals, and medical treatises, in addition to thedélok works themselves, Cuevas surveys a broad range of popular Tibetan Buddhist ideas about death and dying. He explores beliefs about the vulnerability of the soul and its journey beyond death, karmic retribution and the terrors of hell, the nature of demons and demonic possession, ghosts, and reanimated corpses. Cuevas argues that these extraordinary accounts exhibit flexibility between social and religious categories that are conventionally polarized and concludes that, contrary to the accepted wisdom, such rigid divisions as elite and folk, monastic and lay religion are not sufficiently representative of traditional Tibetan Buddhism on the ground. This study offers innovative perspectives on popular religion in Tibet and fills a gap in an important field of Tibetan literature.
Also in this Series
More Like This
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID e0f96cb8-cef0-c584-6059-eb0d6db46f01
full_title travels in the netherworld buddhist popular narratives of death and the afterlife in tibet
author cuevas bryan j
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-14 05:04:25AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Cuevas, Bryan J., 1967-
author2-role , (OCoLC)227011339, .b1301768807-06-1601-25-11, 1435642147 (electronic bk.), 294.3/423, 5213195, 92QYMA7, 9781435642140 (electronic bk.), BQ4487.C84 2008eb, Cuevas, Bryan J.,1967-, Electronic books., Electronic reproduction.Boulder, Colo. :NetLibrary,2008.Available via World Wide Web.Access may be limited to NetLibrary affiliated libraries., English qEnglish., Includes bibliographical references (p. [169]-192) and index., LDR63.1 20090105115539 EBKSLDR63.1 20090105115539 EBKS, MAIN, N$TN$T, NetLibrary, Inc., OCLC Holdings Updated 20110802, Original, Oxford ;New York :Oxford University Press,2008., To hell and back -- Travels of a Tibetan housewife -- A lama in distress -- The return of a noble young lady -- A ghost in monk's robes -- Storytellers., Travels in the netherworldBuddhist popular narratives of death and the afterlife in Tibet /Bryan J. Cuevas., a-cc-ti, q01-25-11mz-, qBibliographies., qBook., qComputerFiles., qSoftware., qeBook., viii, 199 p. ;25 cm.
author_display Cuevas, Bryan J
detailed_location_arlington EBSCOhost
format_arlington eBook
format_category_arlington eBook
id e0f96cb8-cef0-c584-6059-eb0d6db46f01
isbn 9781435642140
item_details external_econtent:ils:.b13017688||EBSCOhost|Online|eBook|eBook|1|false|true|EBSCOhost||||Available Online||q||
itype_arlington eCollection
lexile_score -1
literary_form Other
literary_form_full Other
local_callnumber_arlington Online
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library Online, Aurora Hills Online, Central Online, Cherrydale Online, Columbia Pike Online, Connection Crystal City Online, Detention Center Online, Glencarlyn Online, Local History Online, Plaza Online, Shirlington Online, Westover Online
primary_isbn 9781435642140
publishDate 2008
record_details external_econtent:ils:.b13017688|eBook|eBook||English|Oxford University Press,|2008.|viii, 199 p. ; 25 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
scoping_details_arlington external_econtent:ils:.b13017688||Available Online|Available Online|false|true|false|false|false|true||||
title_display Travels in the netherworld Buddhist popular narratives of death and the afterlife in Tibet
title_full Travels in the netherworld [electronic resource] : Buddhist popular narratives of death and the afterlife in Tibet / Bryan J. Cuevas
title_short Travels in the netherworld
title_sub Buddhist popular narratives of death and the afterlife in Tibet