Snowid wrote:"Ritual skull cups are traditionally formed from a human skull that has been cut into shape, lined with a metal rim and ornamented. Many skull cups are simply made out of a precious metal in the form of a cranium. They are usually elaborately decorated with artistic designs and Buddhist symbols like lotuses and vajras. Many are fitted with ornamented lids and have feet or a separate base in the form of human skulls.
As the libation vessel of a Vajrayana Buddhist, the skull cup can be seen as a parallel of the clay pot (kumbha in Sanskrit) of the Vedic sacrifice, the alms bowl of the Buddha, and the sacred water vase (kalasha in Sanskrit) of the bodhisattvas. In addition, as a receptacle for sacrificial offerings presented to wrathful deities, the skull cup parallels the tray of auspicious substances like jewels, flowers, or fruit presented to peaceful deities. In its most benign symbolism, as the begging bowl or food vessel of an ascetic, the skull cup serves as a constant reminder of death and impermanence.
smcj wrote:That being said, what I believe is remarkable about old Tibet is that they kept the Olympic Flame of enlightenment alive as the entire world went through countless social, military, economic, and technological convulsions, almost like a time capsule with life inside it.
As Thurman has (perhaps somewhat over-)stated, Tibet kept the ideal of enlightenment alive. And some people also attained enlightenment (as they did all throughout the Buddhist world) down to the present.
JKhedrup wrote:I am not hating on him because he is a socialist, I dislike his writing because his research is tainted through the political lens through which he views the world.
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