Ties That Bind: Maternal Imagery and Discourse in Indian Buddhism Reiko Ohnuma

ISBN: 9780199915675

Published: July 1st 2012

Paperback

262 pages


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Ties That Bind: Maternal Imagery and Discourse in Indian Buddhism  by  Reiko Ohnuma

Ties That Bind: Maternal Imagery and Discourse in Indian Buddhism by Reiko Ohnuma
July 1st 2012 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | 262 pages | ISBN: 9780199915675 | 10.27 Mb

Reiko Ohnuma offers a wide-ranging exploration of the complex role of maternal imagery and discourse in pre-modern South Asian Buddhism. Motherhood was sometimes extolled as the most appropriate symbol for buddhahood itself, and sometimes denigratedMoreReiko Ohnuma offers a wide-ranging exploration of the complex role of maternal imagery and discourse in pre-modern South Asian Buddhism. Motherhood was sometimes extolled as the most appropriate symbol for buddhahood itself, and sometimes denigrated as the most paradigmatic manifestation of attachment and suffering. In Buddhist literature, feelings of love and gratitude for the mothers nurturance frequently mingle with submerged feelings of hostility and resentment for the unbreakable obligations thus created, and positive images of self-sacrificing mothers are counterbalanced by horrific depictions of mothers who kill and devour.

Institutionally, the formal definition of the Buddhist renunciant as one who has severed all familial ties seems to co-exist uneasily with an abundance of historical evidence demonstrating monks and nuns continuing concern for their mothers, as well as other familial entanglements. Ohnumas study provides critical insight into Buddhist depictions of maternal love and grief, the role of the Buddhas own mothers, Maya and Mahaprajapata, the use of pregnancy and gestation as metaphors for the attainment of enlightenment, the use of breastfeeding as a metaphor for the compassionate deeds of buddhas and bodhisattvas, and the relationship between Buddhism and motherhood as it actually existed in day-to-day life.



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