Buddhist Coast of the Caspian Sea


The article analyzes the pragmatic and textological traditions of the ritual for “neutralizing evil words” in the tantric and folk forms of Kalmykia. The popularity of the ritual in the past and present justifies the focus on this aspect. The study aims to analyze the structure and content of the texts used in performing the tantric ritual and in practicing its popular forms. It employs comparative-historical and textological methods based on the principles of historicism and objectivity. The ritual is a traditional tantric practice that seeks the help of Buddhist deities to remove obstacles to spiritual growth through visualization. The tradition includes two types of texts: tantric sutras and texts of mantras (Dharani). However, most practitioners were not prepared for this level of practice, leading to the development of popular folk forms of protection such as “cutting a black tongue” and other textual traditions. The analysis reveals that the verbal tradition of popular forms is also represented by two types of texts. The popularity of folk forms indicates that Buddhist teachings have long included an organic combination of the tantric ritual and its folk forms. The article targets specialists in Buddhist studies, religious studies, ethnologists, and historians of cultures.

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