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By Abhayadatta, Keith Dowman

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Additional info for Masters of Mahamudra: Songs and Histories of the Eighty-Four Buddhist Siddhas

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To a large extent those very prejudices, preconceptions and other limitations of his critic's blinkered vision which the siddha rejoices to see eradicated, determine the perception of him as crazy. For instance, when the critic interprets the siddha's act, or gesture, as a crazy irrelevancy, as the non-sequitur of a madman, it is probable that he is failing to intuit the level of response upon which the siddha is operating, and that his discursive analysis is precluding the soteriological effect in his own mind through which those open to the siddha's transmission of meaning by symbolical action or gesture benefit.

His action is said to be unmotivated and aimless. 42 As the siddha' contemplates the river's flow with an intrinsic but detached awareness, his actions make no ripples-that is the Buddha's Karma. Egomotivated action is an attempt to divert the river's flow for personal or social advantage, and such action creates a concatenation of cause and effect that eventually returns to impinge positively or negatively upon its perpetrator-that is karma. 48 The siddha's action is in such harmony with the natural flow that he may appear to be the agent of a supernatural authority, or he himself may be iden· tified as that authority with the elements at his command.

The number eight refers to the psychological categories of the eight forms of consciousness (a~tavz}iiiina): the five sensual, and intellectual, emotional and seed consciousnesses. Each cremation ground has a pond, a tree, a stiipa and a protectress in proximity. Boudhanath, in the Kathmandu Valley, is one such cremation ground, and the Cool Garden Cremation Ground (Sitavana T. bSz1 ba'i tshal) is located on a hill four miles north-east of Bodh Gaya in Bihar, according to contemporary Tibetan sources.

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