The Guru Mandala Ritual

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“Newar Buddhists inhabit the Kathmandu Valley and make up 5.5 percent of Nepal’s population.” Edward Irons, who constructed a history data base regarding Newar Buddhists, discuss the aspects that contribute to Newar Buddhism and what it consist of. There are various texts within this religion to which are very important. The differences pertaining to Newar Buddism is the use of rituals and texts within the Sanghas. When looking at Buddhism in itself, it is recognized as a religion that spread through countries such as Sri Lanka, Tibet, Burma and China, as well as many other Asian countries. Ritual texts within the religion, along with stories and narratives make what the religion is today. The purpose of this essay is to outline use of rituals, texts and the overall history of Newar Buddhism by analyzing different rituals such as tantric ritual texts.

David Gellner, an author for the tantric ritual texts discussed in class, writes about the culture and the ritualized devotion to tantric rituals in this buddhist sect. Kathmandu Vally is a city in Nepal in which Newar Buddhism arises and is a home to amazing monuments and structures which tourists travel to see. This is one of the largest cities in Nepal and with its large religion community, it is growing rapidly. Newars as Gellner describes have 20 castes in which are dispersed throughout the city. There are three cities where Newar Buddism is localized, Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur. Priests come from castes made up of Sakyas and Vajracaryas. Analyzing the history of Newar Buddism allows a reader to understand the methodology of how the religion sect works and what contributes to the religion as a whole.

There are various rituals in which are discussed through Gellner...

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Kathmandu Valley is the only city in which Sanskritis are used (Gellner 2). The city of Kathmandy Valley is metropolitanized and is filled with religious liveliness. As mentioned previously, the occurrence of rituals is very important in this Buddhist sect. All major Newar Buddhist rituals begin with a sponsor in which performs the Guru Mandala under the eyeful watch of a Vajracarya priest. The Guru Mandala as Gellnar explains is a framing ritual and the performer offers the world the mandala to his teacher and the Vajrasattva Buddha. The guru mandala is the most basic ritual in Newar Buddhism and there are five written versions that are used, the oldest being a handbook called Kriya-Samuccaya. The Guru Mandala ritual can be performed in a God room which is a room of prayer, and is traditionally used on a daily basis.
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