Searching for the Right Buddha: Procedures for Locating Incarnations (tulkus) in Tibetan Historical Literature

UBC Himalaya Program is hosting a talk which will consider the topic of incarnate lamas (tulkus)—births of the same awakened consciousness in successive human bodies. It will focus particularly on the practices used to locate subsequent incarnations of deceased Tibetan lamas. These practices involve analyzing prophecies and divinations, as well as evaluating child tulku candidates in a well-known test requiring the identification of a deceased master’s personal implements out of a group of duplicate objects. This talk will examine literary depictions of these practices in Tibetan literature, focusing on cases that have yielded contested results.

Please RSVP for this event here.

About the speaker:

Ben Wood is an instructor with the Department of Asian Studies at Langara College. His research focuses on Tibetan and South Asian Buddhist literature, particularly the genres of Tibetan Buddhist biography, autobiography, and monastic history. His recent publications have examined literary portrayals of a number of aspects of Tibetan Buddhist monastic life, such as childhood, economy, violence, and sexual misconduct. He also works on a collaborative SSHRC-funded project entitled “Gold, Statue, Text: Visualizing Movement in Tibetan History,” which uses digital tools to map the historical movement of persons and things around the central Tibetan site of Shalu Monastery.

This event is free and open to the public.

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