Download A Bull of a Man: Images of Masculinity, Sex, and the Body in by John Powers PDF

By John Powers

The androgynous, asexual Buddha of latest renowned mind's eye stands in stark distinction to the muscular, virile, and sensual determine offered in Indian Buddhist texts. In early Buddhist literature and paintings, the Buddha’s excellent body and sexual prowess are vital elements of his legend because the world’s “ultimate man.” he's either the scholarly, religiously susceptible brahman and the warrior ruler who excels in martial arts, athletic targets, and sexual exploits. The Buddha easily plays those twin roles, combining his society’s norms for excellent manhood and making a strong photograph taken up by means of later fans in selling their culture in a hotly contested non secular industry. during this groundbreaking learn of formerly unexplored elements of the early Buddhist culture, John Powers skillfully adapts methodological methods from eu and North American historiography to the research of early Buddhist literature, paintings, and iconography, highlighting points of the culture which have been unusually invisible in past scholarship. The e-book specializes in the determine of the Buddha and his monastic fans to teach how they have been developed as paragons of masculinity, whose strong our bodies and compelling sexuality attracted girls, elicited admiration from males, and confident skeptics in their non secular attainments.

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Extra resources for A Bull of a Man: Images of Masculinity, Sex, and the Body in Indian Buddhism

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And more generally in struggles with other men for honor— in politics, business, and other competitive enterprises. 37 Siddhartha reportedly excelled in all martial arts, but some people who knew of his opulent, hedonistic lifestyle entertained doubts about his manly bona fides. When the time came for Suddhodana to arrange a marriage for his son, one prospective father-in-law worried that Siddhartha might not be man enough to shoulder his responsibilities. The marriage was an important part of Suddhodana’s plan to keep his son involved in worldly affairs: he hoped that it would lead to the birth of male heirs and that family entanglements would keep Siddhartha preoccupied with his wife, children, and royal responsibilities.

Upon hearing this description, Asita traveled to see the Buddha; he saw an infant who was “shining, glowing, and beautiful. ”29 The Deeds of the Buddha (ca. 31 This first part of his argument is flawed, however, because although it is true that Buddhist sources mention some beings who possessed some of the physical characteristics, only universal 31 a m a n ly m o n k monarchs and buddhas have all of them. Moreover, only buddhas have perfect physical characteristics, and so this constitutes a distinguishing feature that is unique to them.

His selfmastery is complete; he is marked with the thirty-two physical characteristics. And no one tires of looking at him. . [They ask,] “Who is this being? ” Thousands of women, wishing to see the most outstanding of men, leave their houses empty; they stand on the rooftops, in doorways, at windows, and in the streets to gaze at him. 16 The Perfect Man’s Perfect Birth After making his decision to be reborn in our world, the buddha-to-be surveyed the earth for a woman of unblemished moral qualities who only had nine months and seven days left to live.

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