The Holy Land Reborn: Pilgrimage and the Tibetan Reinvention of Buddhist India

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Overview

The Dalai Lama has said that Tibetans consider themselves “the child of Indian civilization” and that India is the “holy land” from whose sources the Tibetans have built their own civilization. What explains this powerful allegiance to India? In The Holy Land Reborn¸ Toni Huber investigates how Tibetans have maintained a ritual relationship to India, particularly by way of pilgrimage, and what it means for them to consider India as their holy land.
Focusing on the Tibetan creation and recreation of India as a destination, a landscape, and a kind of other, in both real and idealized terms, Huber explores how Tibetans have used the idea of India as a religious territory and a sacred geography in the development of their own religion and society. In a timely closing chapter, Huber also takes up the meaning of India for the Tibetans who live in exile in their Buddhist holy land.
A major contribution to the study of Buddhism, The Holy Land Reborn describes changes in Tibetan constructs of India over the centuries, ultimately challenging largely static views of the sacred geography of Buddhism in India.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226356488
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 8/15/2008
  • Series: Buddhism and Modernity Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Toni Huber is professor of Tibetan studies at the Institute for Asian and African Studies at Humboldt University, Berlin. He is the author or editor of five books, including most recently Nomads of Eastern Tibet.

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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Locating and dislocating the land of the Buddha

1 The shifting terrain of the Buddha 15

2 Buddhist knowledge and anachronism in Tibet 40

3 Journeying to the centre of the world 58

4 Tantric Buddhist India and its Tibetan appropriation 85

Pt. 2 Reinventing the holy land in India

5 Nirvana in Assam 125

6 Return to the centre of the world 166

7 The allure of the Atsaras 193

8 The precious guru in the Punjab 232

Pt. 3 Modern rebirths of the holy land

9 Archaeological and discursive rebirths of Buddhist India 251

10 Encountering the modern holy land 291

11 Exile in the land of the Buddha 336

Notes 377

Bibliography 439

Index 485

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