Christopher Bell's talk about oracles, protector deities, and other mysteries
The Dalai Lama has sought and trusted the advice of the Nechung Oracle for centuries. In that time, this powerful office has involved the Tibetan Buddhist protector deity Pehar, or his emanations, to possess a human medium and offer prophetic counsel periodically. But the mechanisms through which the institution of Nechung grew, and the contours of the close relationship between the bodhisattva and the god, have yet to receive sustained attention.
The speaker will first outline the growth of the Nechung cult through three lenses - mythical, ritual, and institutional - before discussing the often obscure process of book publication as he makes his way through its final stages with this project.