Monday, April 27, 2009

Sa Chog: Tibetan Earth Ritual Examined

Elsewhere we have touched on what some might, with equal measure of grace and truth, characterize as "Tibetan feng shui;" a rather murky and complicated Sino-Indian amalgam, as are many things ascribed to Tibet. We took notice of a work by Martin Mills, entitled "Re-assessing the Supine Demoness: Royal Buddhist Geomancy in the Srong btsan sgam po Mythology." You can click the link to consult that, and examine our brief exchange with the author in the comments.

However, here we are taking notice of a work by Alexander Gardner, entitled "The Sa Chog: Violence and Veneration in a Tibetan soil ritual." This is a rather well done bit of business that I commend to everyone with interest in the subject. 

Before constructing a "funeral pyre, temple, stupa, and so forth, there is need of a sa chog to properly reckon with the serpent." So sayeth Karma chags med, in the seventeenth century, and our Mr. Gardner explains why, and a good bit of how, this is accomplished.

Highly endorsed.

Once again, I owe notice of a jewel to one of my two favorite sites on the 'net: here.

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