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Buddhadharma : Fall 2011
77 fall 2 01 1 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly RORY LINDSAY is a Ph.D. student in the Department of South Asian Studies at Harvard University. Reviews There once stood a buddha coated in spiders, scorpions, and snakes. He had nine vile heads, enormous wings, eighteen hands clasping fearsome instruments, and spat fire as he trampled the beings underneath him. The perfec- tion of compassion, he forced a trident into the torso of a ruthless demon named Rudra—a formerly devout Buddhist who became an enemy of the dharma after misunderstanding key doctrines— and consumed him, thereby ending his awful career. In the buddha’s stomach Rudra was purified, and after emerging from the buddha’s anus, he pledged alle- giance to him and begged for liberation. The buddha offered teachings before finally destroying him, liberating him into emptiness and reconstituting him as a protector of the dharma. Told and retold in various tantric Buddhist sources, this narrative has long served to justify the tantras’ insistence on compassionate violence as a path to liberation. Violent ritual, Buddhists have reasoned, became necessary when Rudra emerged as a powerful demonic force. The longest extant version of the story is found in the Compendium of Intentions Sutra, a central work of the Anuyoga class of tantras belonging to THE DARK SIDE OF TIBETAN BUDDHISM tHe taMinG of tHe DeMons: Violence and liberation in tibetan buddhism Mahakala (Buddhist Protector) - Shanglon (Minister) 1800 –1899 Nyingma and Geluk Lineages Reviewed by Rory lindsay by Jacob P. Dalton Yale university Press, 2011 $40; 336 pages ColleCtionofRubinMuseuMofaRt(aCC.#P1995.21.5)