[Buddha-l] Dharmapala, redux

JKirkpatrick jkirk at spro.net
Wed Aug 4 08:48:39 MDT 2010

Dan wrote:

"Thus, when Joanna chides Andy by insisting that the yaksa
stories are ONLY symbolic, and have no play in the historical
world of actual human activities, she does so unaware that
Buddhists unpacked the Vajrapani story in precisely that way, and
that it was an important undergirding in the thinking, action,
and rhetoric of the Mongols and Tibetans as the former installed
the Gelugpas into power over the latter (with the assistance of
the Chinese), as documented in the following two essays:" [etc

First, I wasn't "chiding" Andy. I was pointing out another way to
read stories that his remarks suggested he's not up on. 

As for my discussion: first, I didinoti nsist that yasksha
stories are only symbolic period. My earlier breif discussion of
DeCaroli should have made that clear.  Should have been obvious
that I was responding to the story in its Pali era context, as
argued initially by Andy -- not in relation to the much later
historical events cited by Dan; but then he has a tendency to
distort reality to suit his spleen. Symbolic language can be used
to bolster all kinds of strategies and has been so used, as
anyone even vaguely familiar with any kind of history would know;
so his snide accusation that I am "unaware" of certain historical
trends is pointless. 

Oh and another thing. Re "Lance tends to take the opposite
tact:"--  the word is "tack", not "tact".
But then Dan probably wouldn't know anything about sailing.


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