© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 DOI: 10.1163/156852708X310509 Numen 55 (2008) 363 – 410 www.brill.nl/nu Toward a Geographic Biography: Mi la ras pa in the Tibetan Landscape Andrew Quintman Department of Religion, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA quintman@Princeton.edu Abstract Few Tibetan ﬁgures have left an impression on the Himalayan landscape, both literary and geographic, as indelibly as Mi la ras pa (ca. 1028–1111), whose career as medita- tor and poet was punctuated by travel across the borderlands of southern Tibet. Th is essay will begin to address the deﬁning role of place in Tibetan biographical literature by examining the intersections of text and terrain in the recording of an individual’s life. In particular, this study examines sites of transformation in Mi la ras pa’s bio- graphical narratives, arguing for what might be called a geographic biography by examining the dialogical relationship between a life story recorded on paper and a life imprinted on the ground. It ﬁrst considers the broad paradigms for landscaping the environment witnessed in Tibetan literature. It then examines ways in which the yog- in’s early biographical tradition treated the category of sacred place, creating increas- ingly detailed maps of the yogin’s life, and
Numen – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2008
Keywords: TIBET; TIBETAN LITERATURE; BIOGRAPHY; SACRED GEOGRAPHY; HAGIOGRAPHY; MI LA RAS PA
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