Zraadha in Nepal

Joel H. Tatelman jhtatelman at FACSTAFF.WISC.EDU
Wed May 6 14:42:12 UTC 1998

Regarding Richard Cohen's queries (below). I certainly can't answer any
of them, but the following might be good places to seek the answers.

David N. GELLNER. 1992. _Monk, Householder, and Tantric Priest: Newar
Buddhism and its Hierarchy of Ritual. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1992.

idem. 1995. 'Saakyas and Vajraacaaryas: From Holy Order to Quasi-Ethnic
Group'. In _Contested Hierarchies: A Collaborative Ethnology of Caste
Among the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley_.
Ed. David N. Gellner and Declan Quigley. Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp.

I require some information about the practices and beliefs of the
valley's Sakyas. Either direct answers or references for further research
would be most appreciated.

1) Though Buddhist, do the Sakyas perform zraadha ceremonies in honor of
dead akin to those performed by the valley's Hindu population?

2) Does Sakyamuni receive mention in the course of the Sakyas' funerary
rites, in his capacity as a member of the clan rather than as a buddha? In
other words, is he treated as an ancestor, or even clan-deity?

3) Does Dipankara have any place in the Sakyas' funerary rites? In other
words, is he treated as an ancestor, or even clan-deity?

4) How is inhertance distributed upon the death of a father? How do the
Sakyas' inheritance practices compare with those of other groups in the

Dr. Joel Tatelman,
Visiting Lecturer in Sanskrit,
Department of South Asian Studies,
University of Wisconsin-Madison,
1250 Van Hise Hall,
1220 Linden Drive,
Madison, WI 53706

Tel.: (608) 276-0447 or 262-2749.
Fax:  (608) 265-3538

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