[INDOLOGY] Lomasa rsi in a Himachali mahatmya?

Matthew Kapstein mattkapstein at proton.me
Sun Dec 17 09:47:29 UTC 2023

Dear Westin,

I don't see any evidence for this being "often" mentioned. The source appears to be a 1902 article on the Triloknath temple in HP: J. Ph. Vpgel, Triloknath.” JASB 71,1: 35-41.

A brief Google search shows a number of articles on Triloknath in the 120 years since Vogel wrote on it - I would suggest looking there. I don't have the Vogel article, but the relevant passage is quoted in Francke's Antiquities of Indian Tibet and it is clear that Vogel himself never saw the MahAtmya in question - he states that he was told of it by Brahmans visiting Rewalsar. This makes me a bit suspicious - a standard response to an inquisitive stranger who wants to know more about a pilgrimage site is "you'll have to look in the MahAtmya".....

Matthew T. Kapstein
Professor emeritus
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, PSL Research University, Paris

The University of Chicago Divinity School


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On Sunday, December 17th, 2023 at 3:39 AM, Westin Harris via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Greetings Indologists,
> A friend off list asked me to post this question.
> Studies of Tibetan Buddhist pilgrimage practices in the Western Himalayas (from Vogel to Huber, etc.) often mention a local Sanskrit mahatmya (perhaps associated with Rewalsar?) containing stories of Lomasa Rsi said to resemble popular narratives of Guru Padmasambhava. However, I have not been able to identify the name of this mahatmya.
> Does anyone know the name of this mahatmya?
> Thank you.
> (Sorry for lack of diacritics; I’m on a cell phone.)
> Sincerely,
> Westin Harris
> Ph.D. Candidate
> Study of Religion
> University of California, Davis
> https://religions.ucdavis.edu/people/westin-harris
> 2021 Dissertation Fellow,
> The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies
> Sarva Mangalam.
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