Laughing Vajra: the outcast clown, satirical guru and smiling Buddha in Milarepa's songs

Ruth Gamble

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    Milarepa (1052–1135) was a Tibetan yogi who is one of Tibet's most well-known poets and beloved cultural figures. His stories and songs were at first re-told at first orally and later through literature, only reaching their classical form in the version of his story by Tsangnyön Heruka (1452–1502) in the late fifteenth century. This chapter explores how humour is used in the various literary re-tellings of his story and songs. In particular, it focuses on the use of three modes of humour deliverance in his writing. In the first of these he positions himself as a trickster outsider who pokes fun at society's norms. In the second, he uses satire and irony in his role as guru. And in the third, he expresses repeatedly the uninhibited joy that results from mystical realisations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNew views of Tibetan culture
    Editors David Templeman
    Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
    PublisherMonash University ePress
    Pages137-166
    ISBN (Print)9781876924775
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

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