John Powers's A Bull of a Man: Images of Masculinity, Sex, and the Body in PDF

By John Powers

ISBN-10: 0674033299

ISBN-13: 9780674033290

The androgynous, asexual Buddha of up to date renowned mind's eye stands in stark distinction to the muscular, virile, and sensual determine offered in Indian Buddhist texts. In early Buddhist literature and artwork, the Buddha’s ideal body and sexual prowess are very important parts of his legend because the world’s “ultimate man.” he's either the scholarly, religiously vulnerable brahman and the warrior ruler who excels in martial arts, athletic objectives, and sexual exploits. The Buddha easily plays those twin roles, combining his society’s norms for perfect manhood and making a strong photo taken up by means of later fans in selling their culture in a hotly contested spiritual industry. during this groundbreaking research of formerly unexplored points of the early Buddhist culture, John Powers skillfully adapts methodological techniques from ecu and North American historiography to the learn of early Buddhist literature, artwork, and iconography, highlighting features of the culture which have been unusually invisible in previous scholarship. The publication specializes in the determine of the Buddha and his monastic fans to teach how they have been built as paragons of masculinity, whose strong our bodies and compelling sexuality attracted girls, elicited admiration from males, and confident skeptics in their religious attainments.

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Additional info for A Bull of a Man: Images of Masculinity, Sex, and the Body in Indian Buddhism

Example text

He soon left her and moved to another city, but she still loved him and pursued him there. The Buddha when recounting this story tells his audience that Syama was a previous incarnation of Yasodhara and that she had been his wife in numerous other former lives. Moreover, he always leaves her to pursue his own interests. 56 The Long Road to Awakening Siddhartha announced that he would leave the palace as soon as possible, but the king ordered his guards to shut the gates and prevent his son’s escape.

He is portrayed as consciously following a paradigm and enacting deeds that conform to the expectations of his human and divine audiences and that will serve a didactic purpose for those who witness these deeds. Every major exploit is witnessed by countless legions of gods, who know in advance the sequence of events and eagerly anticipate the Buddha’s display of the stages of awakening. Similarly, humans expect certain bodily signs of accomplishment and conformity to religious norms and judge the Buddha’s physical enactment accordingly.

Some of these magnificent women, though longing made them try to rush, were delayed in their movements by the weight of their chariot-like hips and full breasts. . The palaces were full of young women, who threw open the windows in their excitement; the city appeared as magnificent on all sides as paradise with heavenly mansions full of celestial nymphs. . Beholding the king’s son in the full glory of his beauty and majesty, the women murmured softly, “Blessed is his wife,” with pure minds and from no ulterior motive.

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A Bull of a Man: Images of Masculinity, Sex, and the Body in Indian Buddhism by John Powers


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