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Battling the Buddha of LoveA Cultural Biography of the Greatest Statue Never Built$
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Jessica Marie Falcone

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781501723469

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501723469.001.0001

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Guru Devotion, Authority, and Belief in the Shadow of the Maitreya Project

(p.227) Conclusion Faith/SHRADDHA
Battling the Buddha of Love

Jessica Marie Falcone

Cornell University Press

This chapter asks the question: how did a Buddhist organization manage to cause so much suffering and anxiety in Kushinagar, despite their solidly good intentions? Also, why did the project go largely unquestioned by devotees? This chapter explores “guru devotion” and “skillful means” in Tibetan Buddhism, especially as it extends to the manner in which the guru is deemed unassailable to devotees in matters of ethics and practice. Due to the widespread perception amongst FPMT devotees that their guru is omniscient, the MPI statue project–despite being contested and unpopular in India –could only be tentatively and furtively questioned in the hallways of FPMT.

Keywords:   Guru devotion, Skillful means, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Upaya, Tibetan Buddhism, Transnational Buddhism, Global Buddhism, Waiting, Maitreya Project

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