Download Chinese Magical Medicine (Asian Religions and Cultures) by Michel Strickmann PDF

By Michel Strickmann

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

A simple predicament with therapeutic characterizes the full 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 open air the Buddhist or Taoist fold.

The ebook relies on shut readings of liturgies written in classical chinese language. the writer describes and interprets lots of them, analyzes their constitution, and seeks out nonliturgical resources to shed additional mild at the politics concerned with particular performances. in contrast to the few earlier reviews of comparable rituals, this booklet combines a scholar’s figuring out of the constitution and objectives of those rites with a fit suspicion of the practitioners’ claims to uniqueness.

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Example text

This was indeed the position taken by early Taoists. In their view, the phenomenal world had been provisionally turned over to the demonic princes, powers, and dominations of the dead. The situation is described by a fifthcentury Taoist master, Lu Hsiu-ching (406-77): In the recent past, there was great trouble and turmoil, and a falling away from earlier simplicity. The cosmic order lost its cohesion, and men became confounded with demons. The old and worn-out emanations (ch'i) of the Six Heavens came to claim official status and began calling themselves by high and mighty titles.

People of later times on the whole accepted rhe principle of joint responsibility as a matter of facr" 153 -as they apparendy always had done, and continue to do in the twentieth century, when vows undertaken to secure the recovery of an ailing parent are still common. In the event, Yang Hsi's divine informants were able to report that the outlook for father and brother was not after aJJ so grave. The Lady of the Southern Peak declared, "Hu-ya [the elder brother] should be careful nor to step on impurities again, nor to see fresh human excrement.

In that capacity he may eliminate the impurities in his system and cleanse away the corruption of his spermatic ~ouls. Thereafter he may gradually advance by degrees, until he arrives at an awakening from the great dreamPs Be you diligent, then, and take heed! , the profane]! And should you pass through the apocalyptic calamities of pestilence, flood, and fire bearing these my Annals on your person, none of the malignant influences or fell emanations of forest or mountain will be able to assail you.

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