The earth as a treasure in Tibetan Buddhism: Visionary revelation and its interactions with the environment

Antonio Terrone*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this article I examine conceptions of the environment in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of Treasure revelation that I propose are founded upon systems of exchange and relationality. Tibetan religious specialists known as Treasure revealers do not simply remove a Treasure from its place; they often leave a 'replacement Treasure' intended to appease both the local protective deity believed to be in charge of guarding the Buddhist Treasure and nourishing the local environment. I demonstrate that the logic of Treasure revelation is based on forming an interdependent exchange between humans and the land they inhabit. The source of the Treasure becomes a place deserving respect, protection, and devotion on both religious and ecological levels. I call this phenomenon 'the ecology of revelation', and I maintain that this is a fundamental socio-religious ethic characterized by respect for the environment and awareness of humans' connection to it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-482
Number of pages23
JournalJournal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • China
  • Dechen Ösel Dorjé
  • Environment
  • Mountain deities' cult
  • Religious life and customs
  • Sacred place
  • Tibet
  • Tibetan Buddhism
  • Visionary revelation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Religious studies

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