By Thomas Marcotty
Dagger Blessing: The Tibetan Phurpa Cult : Reflections and fabrics
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Extra info for Dagger Blessing: The Tibetan Phurpa Cult : Reflections and Materials
In th e dag g er ritu a l they a r e hence real, perceivable, and p re s e n t. The sam e is valid for wild onions, caraw ay se ed or b e rrie s o f th e b arb erry bush which, if thrown, a re also supposed to keep th e air clean of unwelcome dem onic onlookers. But I doubt if - as is said in th e old in stru c tion s - ink c an be p re p ared from th e c e re b ra l blood of one who died o f idiocy (61). Such inks, which must be le ft to visualization, a re needed for th e production of effig ie s o f which I will speak below.
In theory, th e refo re, the front is clea rly marked: anybody may decide in favour or against the dagger cult. This should clarify the situation. But th a t is just theory. In p ra c tic e nobody knows who has th e mag#: dagger hidden in his belt. Who sees what happens a t night on the c e m e te rie s? One devines this and whispers th a t about who is handling the black-poisenous dagger c u lt of th e le ft hand: why should a woman have died here in childbed? Or why has the cattle- of a neighbouring village died of foot-and-m outh disease?
In T ibet th ere a re no o th e r g re at rivers. The general custom is the openair-burial, th e corpse being deposed at c e rta in places. It will then serve th e birds and b easts of prey as food. By this last good deed the deceased may yet gain some m e rit. T hat is why I use the te rm place of the dead. 54 A nother location suitable for dagger rituals one finds in the te m p le s in as much as they are built according to rule: Vajrayana te m ples are e re c te d on rectan gu lar The narrow side of the re c ta n g le - and one usually finds the e n tra n c e th e re too - is o rien ted to th e east.