Chinese Magical Medicine (Asian Religions and Cultures)

By Michel Strickmann

This ebook argues that the main profound and far-reaching results of Buddhism on chinese language tradition happened on the point of perform, particularly in non secular rituals designed to therapy humans of sickness, demonic ownership, and undesirable good fortune. this tradition would go away its longest lasting imprint at the liturgical culture of Taoism. In concentrating on non secular perform, it offers a corrective to conventional stories of chinese language faith, which overemphasize metaphysics and spirituality.

A uncomplicated trouble with therapeutic characterizes the total gamut of non secular expression in East Asia. by means of focusing on the medieval improvement of chinese language healing ritual, the writer discovers the germinal middle of many still-current rituals around the social and doctrinal frontiers of Buddhism and Taoism, in addition to outdoors the Buddhist or Taoist fold.

The ebook is predicated on shut readings of liturgies written in classical chinese language. the writer describes and interprets a lot of them, analyzes their constitution, and seeks out nonliturgical resources to shed extra gentle at the politics excited about particular performances. in contrast to the few earlier stories of comparable rituals, this ebook combines a scholar’s knowing of the constitution and targets of those rites with a fit suspicion of the practitioners’ claims to uniqueness.

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370 Bibliography Goepper, Roger. 1 979· "Some Thou h . East Asia. " In Wolf an Baue g ts on _rhe_Icon m Esoteric Buddhism of Herbert Franke Mii! ch:ner zero etas,ed. , Sthudla Smo~Mongolica: Festschrift fiir , s; laiiSC e Studien 2 . 2 w· - . 1983a. "An Early paintings b ok. five· 45-54- 1esbaden. asiatiques 37, 2: 67-103. y oen m Cologne. "' Asiatische StudienfEtudes ~z:. Jb. Das Kultbild im Ritus des esoterischen Buddhismus in Japan. Gombrich, Richard 1966 "Th C . . · · e onsecranon of a Buddh. I ASian stories 26: 23-36.

The most obvious concentration of all kinds of the ritual was once on sickness or misfortune notion to emanate from human malice-or malign witchcraft. We may perhaps achieve a few concept of ways well-suited this ritual was once to its instances after we remember the stipulations in eleventh-century Japan (described in the beginning of bankruptcy 5), whilst an unlimited array of demonic perils was once gave the impression to emanate from the jealousy of the dwelling, in addition to the regrets or resentment of the lifeless. at the back of all of the demonic coruscations of the fox may possibly flicker a marginally of rabies or hydrophobia, and the fox's insanity, anger, or delirium is understood to different traditions outdoors East Asia (compare the German Fuchsteufelswut).

In the event you galvanize it at the center of somebody struggling with manic fury, the worms that brought on the disorder will move slowly clear of him that very evening. if you happen to two times seven occasions seal the center of 1 struggling with falling frenzy (epilepsy) or insanity, he'll straight away be cured. The seal works so good on any such number of illnesses simply because (the textual content tells us) it includes the names of aU demons and spirits. it really is glaring, then, that embedded within the ornate script and entangled within the elaborate star-charts is a whole nomenclature of the spirit global; the names of strength, names that keep watch over and command, are all occultly found in the cryptic inscriptions.

Atural positive aspects ("mountains and seas") and their denizens are set forth as a chain of concentric jewelry, widening outward from the author's sinocentric concentration, and the "peoples" are mostly tremendous theriomorphic or demoniform photographs of the alien and nervous. forty three reworked animals-especiall)' foxes, snakes, canines, and tigers-continued to supply an ever-present demonic possibility during which sexual ownership used to be a dominant subject matter (as we are going to see in bankruptcy 6). different suggestive demonographic info is discernible in money owed of rhe nice Exorcism (ta-no).

Wu-shih-erh ping-fang (Fihy-Two clinical Prescriptions). nameless (second century B. C. E. ). Peking: Wen-wu ch'u-pan she, 1979. Yao-~hih ;u-lai kuan-hsing i-kuei fa (The drugs Buddha's Contemplation futual}. Trans. Vajrabodhi. T. 923, vol. 19. Yao-shih liu-li-hmng ju-lai pen-yiian kung-te ching (Siitra on rhe benefits of the Fund_amenta1 Vows of the grasp of therapeutic, the Lapis Lazuli Radiance Tathagata). Trans. Hsiian-tsang (ca. 650). T. 450, vol. r four . Yen-shih chia-hsiin (Family Instruc6ons of grasp Yen), via Yen Chih-t'ui (531 _ c~·-590) .

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