The Strange Death of Pema the Demon Tamer

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The Strange Death of Pema the Demon Tamer
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Citation: Kapstein, Matthew T. "The Strange Death of Pema the Demon Tamer." In The Presence of Light: Divine Radiance and Religious Experience, edited by Matthew T. Kapstein, 119–156. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.

Article Summary

[Matthew Kapstein] discusses Tibetan esoteric traditions in which experiences of light and obscuration play prominent roles. The focal point here is the Great Perfection (rdzogs-chen) tradition of meditation, above all its teaching that some adepts who achieve the highest realization attain a "rainbow body" at death. When this takes place, the adept's physical remains dissolve into light and so make manifest the thoroughgoing transformation of the person that had been catalyzed by prior spiritual discipline. (Kapstein, preface, xii)