The science of sensual pleasure according to a Buddhist monk: Ju Mipam's contribution to kamasastra literature in Tibet

Sarah Hieatt Jacoby*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Of all the myriad aspects of Indian learning to be incorporated into Tibetan Buddhist scholarship, one of the least likely would seem to be the Indian science of sensual pleasure, kamasastra. Even so, we do find traces of Sanskrit Kamasastra transposed into Tibetan Buddhist idiom. The most innovative example is the Treatise on Passion ('Dod pa'i bstan bcos) written by Ju Mipam Jamyang Namgyel Gyatso (1846-1912). This article investigates the reasons why the polymath monastic scholar Ju Mipam included Kamasastra in his expansive literary output, as well as his sources and influences for doing so. It argues that Mipam's work builds on an intertextuality already apparent in late medieval Sanskrit tantric and kamasastric works, but one that took on new importance in the context of the non-biased outlook (Tib. ris med) that characterized Ju Mipam's nineteenth-century eastern Tibetan milieu.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-337
Number of pages19
JournalBulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
Volume80
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

Keywords

  • Ju mipam jamyang namgyel gyatso
  • Kamasastra
  • Rimé
  • Tantra
  • Tibetan buddhism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History

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