Nirvana in Assam

in The Holy Land Reborn

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780226356488
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226356501 | DOI:
Nirvana in Assam

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Replicas of the landscape or topography of the Buddhist holy land were often carefully modeled imitations of the Indian Buddhist sites, precisely in order to enhance their authenticity, sanctity, and ritual efficacy. The Tibetans created a Buddhist holy land replica directly in India itself, at a new location that was of great convenience to them in terms of proximity and access. Yet in doing so they did not recognize this substitute holy land as being a replica of any kind. Rather, they considered it to be a “rediscovery” of the original but lost ancient Indian holy sites of the Buddha. The Tibetan replica holy land was founded in India after the claimed rediscovery there by Tibetan Buddhists of Kuśinagar. There are several traditions concerning the initial rediscovery of Kuśinagar in Assam by followers of Tibetan Buddhism. This chapter discusses the late sixteenth-century revitalization of Hinduism throughout the area prior to the Tibetan Buddhist rediscovery of Kuśinagar at Hājo.

Keywords: replicas; holy land; India; Assam; Buddhism; Hinduism; Kuśinagar; Hājo; holy sites; Buddha

Chapter.  15718 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Buddhism

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