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Travels in the Netherworld – Buddhist Popular Narratives of Death and the Afterlife in Tibet | Oxford Scholarship Online
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Travels in the Netherworld: Buddhist Popular Narratives of Death and the Afterlife in Tibet

Bryan J. Cuevas


This book examines a little-known genre of Tibetan narrative literature about the délok, ordinary men and women who claim to have died, traveled through hell, and then returned from the afterlife. These narratives enjoy audiences ranging from the most sophisticated monastic scholars to pious townsfolk, villagers, and nomads. Their accounts emphasize the universal Buddhist principles of impermanence and worldly suffering, the fluctuations of karma, and the feasibility of obtaining a favorable rebirth through virtue and merit. Providing an analysis of four return-from-death tales, including the ... More

Keywords: Tibetan narrative literature, délok, monastic scholars, nomads, Buddhist principles, impermanence, worldly suffering, karma, rebirth, virtue

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780195341164
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195341164.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Bryan J. Cuevas, author