Chaityas of the Valley by Niels Gutschow: A Book Review

Mr. Hubert Decleer

Buddhist Himalaya: A Journal of Nagarjuna Institute of Exact Methods

Vol. X No. I & II  (1999-2000)


Copyright 1999 by Nagarjuna Institute of Exact Methods


Niels Gutschow, The Nepalese Chaitya - 1500 Years of Buddhist Votive Architecture in the Kathmandu Valley, Stuttgart & London: Ed. Axel Menges (Lumbini International Research Institute, Monograph Series, vol. I) 1997. With drawings by Bijay Basukala [et al.] & an essay by David Gellner; English translation by Philip Pierce. 6,000 Nrps.


1.  The survey


Not being a seer, I shall restrict myself to the humbler duties of the historian.

Gerard Fussman, SBS, p. 38


The cover has a delightful pencil drawing of a Lichhavi caitya by Robert Powell, highlighted in poster color, and it is a pity this is the only one in the volume.1 But the rich black-&-white photography is simply outstanding throughout and so very different from all those disconsolate views of seemingly dead courtyards in the Locke vihŒra directory.2 Niels Gutschow definitely has an eye for the poetic side and the esthetic quality of pèjŒ performed in connection with these caitya monuments. Among others, he provides a rare photograph of the scene following the rite of temporarily removing the life essence out of a stèpa previous to its renovation, when “a cow is tethered to the pinnacle of the caitya and allowed to produce the first cracks” (p. 69-70). Yet, apart from a cursory overview of the most common ritual cycles as performed by local non-specialist participants, Gutschow, if reluctantly, decides to leave that for another study.3 Meanwhile, he is of course in the first place all admiration for the resplendent art itself so that, pictorially, this is a jewel of a book.


It has long been the dream of many of us to see a magnificent artbook on Newar scroll paintings (paubhŒ, pa­a), with the kind of enlarged detail that allows a study of each iconographic detail and thematic variation; further engendering, one day, a genuine renaissance in the genre.4 Towards an appreciation of Newar Buddhist art at its true value, Gutschow’s Nepalese Chaitya is a step (in seven-league boots) in the right direction.


Obviously a work of this magnitude was not improvised overnight. The introduction informs us about the stages in this survey, sponsored by the German Research Council during its Nepal focus (‘Schwerpunkt”) years of generous funding and between 1985 and 1991 undertaken in situ by, among others, Surendra Joshi, Rem Ratna Bajracharya & Gyanendra Joshi.5


Besides the photography, the worth of the book lies especially in the meticulous line drawings carried out by these teams whereby ‘meticulous’, early on (p. 6-7), is defined as follows:


The final drawings are based on sketches made on site. Idealized line drawings were preferred over scrupulously accurate representations of an object. Often details are barely visible or can only be felt or sensed with one’s fingertips. Several details were reconstructed in the drawings on the basis of an assessment of the whole edifice.


It is unfortunate for the architecturally speaking less fluent among us that this distinction [between “idealized line drawings” and “scrupulously accurate” = “realistic” or “measured drawings”] is translated in visuals by a slightly misleading, double illustration (Plate 1, p.7), showing what we are led to believe are two drawn portrayals of a single niche frame (from a caitya located at YŒgu BŒhŒl, Patan):

“So, who of the two artists (Bijay Basukala and Ian Goodfellow, respectively) got it wrong?” we wonder. Till we come to realize that we actually have here the two drawing styles not of the same, but of two different parts of that Licchavi caitya, as Plate 268 (p.134) explains: respectively the west and the north side of the same monument. But in order to figure this out, the reader must first have looked up “YŒgubŒhŒ (Pa)” in the index, counterchecked the four entries under that heading, and finally recognized the earlier two among the four drawings reproduced in the said Plate 268, that shows all four sides of that caitya.


Having overcome the hurdle in this primary demonstration, the reader will soon appreciate the author’s decision of having opted for solution # (a), an imaginatively restored depiction of the materials. Indeed, in doubtful cases, even the most ‘scrupulously accurate/measured drawing’ is already a tentative interpretation, since the hand follows what the eye sees … or imagines it sees, and imaginatively tends to complete (=alter) a visually nonsignificant play of lines into a meaningful mental image.


The result is a marvelous, practically exhaustive anthology, drawn by professionals with infinite patience and care, and covering the stylistic variations in stèpa architecture from the earliest times till the moment of going into print. For, contrary to scroll painting, Newar stèpa architecture is very much a living art & craft, with commissions and restorations still regularly occurring. The text includes the study of a recent caitya in Bu BŒhŒ, dated 1971 9p. 294) and the author mentions Shakya artisans from Bh´che Bahal involved in crafting another “even while this book is being written’ (p.32).


The Nepalese Chaitya Volume carries the inquiry into questions that have puzzled the attentive visitor to (or inhabitant of) the Kathmandu Valley for years. If it does not always convey the definitive answers, it sure provides the researcher with the most complete and accurate data base ever made available: a precious work tool of the first order.  


2. About meaning


… it is nevertheless becoming more apparent every day that the content of Buddhism and Buddhist art is far more orthodox than was at first imagined, and orthodox not only in a Vedic sense, but even universally.

Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, Buddhist Art, p. 148.


Coomaraswamy, comfortably settled in Boston, went beyond art and art history, to the sources of the Perennial Philosophy.

Jag Mohan, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, p. 58.


At several points in the work, the author defines his goal, as “an architectural typology” (p.68), “a history of stylistic innovations” (p.250) and “a chronology of the forms” (p.251); elsewhere he speaks of a “vernacular variation” (p.302), thereby implying that he restricts his task to the recording of dialects within a given idiom.


All this sounds a bit like when, in treatises on historical method, we are told of proceeding via the stages of (1) external and (2) internal criticism of a given document, only then to concern ourselves with (3) its actual meaning (“what it says”) and validity as a witness. This creates the impression that, previous to stage # (3), historians confine themselves to examining paper and ink quality, handwriting, graphic effects, spelling and syntax, without daring so much as to read the document at hand. In reality, this is whether it may be worth the bother of any further examination. Likewise, never mind these caveats about his primary involvement in the formal aspects (p.56):


In the context of an iconographic study of the caitya, not much more than the introduction of new elements on certain types of structures can be pointed out. A more profound analysis will have to address the religious background and take into account written documents,


Gutschow, sooner or later, has to broach the subject of meanings involved. And does so, with various levels of success.


Grosso modo it can be said that much recent scholarly disputation on the subject has once more centered around the bad old question of whether we should approach stèpa symbolism via a universally valid system of “Fundamental Symbols of Sacred Science”, of unspecified Ancient Indic and largely pre-Buddhist provenance – or base ourselves solely on what Buddhist scriptural tradition has to say on the subject. The ideas of one protagonist in the debate, John Irwin (1980), barely represent much more than an update on the views held by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy et al. in mid-20th c. Philosophia Perennis pursuits; with similar wild guesses about an innate universal symbolism that only awaits detection by the modern visionary. Notwithstanding a serious rebuttal by both-feet-on-the-ground Gerard Fussman (1986: 40, 43, 47)


J. Irwin’s interest in the stèpa seems to stem from the idea that the stèpa embodies much older concepts, that it is evidence for a lost Neolithic ideology, which prevailed the world over; and that whether the Buddhists, or the Buddhist elite, were aware of it or not does not matter. … In short, J. Irwin’s thesis is the following: in the beginning, well before the advent of Buddhism, the stèpa was a cosmogram or a permanent cosmogony; Hindus forgot it; Buddhists forgot it; Jains forgot it; or if they knew, they concealed it, why, we do not know; but the Indian illiterate peasant stuck to that old conception so that 19th century “Hindu Fakirs” knew better than archeologists the sanctity of such spots…. [Although we have many descriptions of Buddhist maö¶alas, no one text has ever been produced, as far as I know, stating that the stèpa is cosmogram embodying Mount Meru, author Gutschow remains a faithful adept of the Coomaraswamy-Irwinian ‘cosmic’/ ‘all-basically-one’ School construct. One does not have to read very far into the 328 pages before encountering expressions such as (p.30):


… original consecration (prŒöa-prati·­hŒ-pèjŒ)… which imbued the caitya with cosmic energy


or (p.32):


The TathŒgata commands … the cosmic principle. … Vairocana occupies the center … of the universe


or coming across a quote and an approving nod in the direction of the inevitable John Irwin Credo (p.92):


The notion of the Primordial Hillock floating on the Primordial Ocean is all-pervasive. According to him [=Irwin] the yaús´ [central mast] of the caitya must be seen as “none other than the Axis Mundi itself, metaphysically identified with the World Tree and the World Pillar as interchangeable images of the instrument used to both separate and unite heaven and earth at the Creation. Both are in turn identified with the sun, which was released from the Cosmic Ocean at the moment of separation to create Time and the Seasons. By its orientation to the four cardinal points, the Axis expresses the unity of Space-Time and enables the worshipper, by performance of the rite of sun wise circumambulation (pradak·iöŒ), to identify with the rhythm of the cosmic cycle”.


I am happy to state that, among the regular circumambulation walkers around Svayaµbhè Hill, neither my Newar, ThakŒli or Tibetan friends, nor indeed myself, will, upon hearing this great all-encompassing yawn (‘everything is basically anything’), jump up in wonder and exclaim: “Oh, is that what we’re supposed to be doing?”


As we know from his previous output, Gutschow is indeed much more at home in the Hindu world, the creation myths of which lend themselves more readily – though not necessarily more accurately – to such dreamy lyrical vagueness. His far lesser familiarity with the vast Buddhist scriptural tradition is probably what prompted him to request an introductory essay from Newar anthropologist supreme, David N. Gellner, about, precisely, the Newar Buddhist setting.



3. Hierarchy of Ritual: anthropological views and the Buddhist view


I had the good fortune to meet and consult with Geshe Rabten and his disciple Gonsar Rinpoche, who in recent years have been in Switzerland. The learned Geshe told me I should meditate on Maju§r´. I was indeed impressed by his advice, but my nonritual devotion is in taking pains to solve problems, both in the language of a text and in its associated ideas. … The not inconsiderable labor to present this text in the proper light is the way I have meditated on Maju§r´.

Alex Wayman, MNS, 1-2.


--“… From about the age of thirty-five one should learn how to be detached (‘tyŒg yŒye’), one should stop doing business so much. … You have to get your man (mind, sentiments) unattached. You have to do some Dharma as you get older. Which do you go to, church or gumbŒ (Tibetan Buddhist monastery)?”

I tried feebly to say that my work, studying, was my dharma, and he put me firmly in my place:

--“Studying isn’t Dharma. You can have PhDs in seven different subjects and it won’t do you any good [when you’re about to die]!”

David Gellner, MHTP, 34.


Gellner does not juggle with pass-partout ‘cosmic’ declarations; he is too professional a fieldworker for that. The least he can do, in his foreword, is politely but firmly distance himself from that tirade (p.13):


Thus, while I have no evidence that the Newar laity believe caityas to symbolize the axis mundi, ..


He repeats in a short sketch what he has enlarged upon in his magnum opus (1992) concerning the absence of a celibate monkhood in the Newar saµgha. Somewhat euphemistically he notes that the option of monastic celibacy was “lost” in the fifteenth century, though there was “always” the provision for obtaining monastic ordination in the Tibetan saµgha (a somewhat doubtful assertion based on a solitary Bhaktapur 1656 inscription). Possibly exasperated at increasing western interest in Tibetan Buddhism as compared to that shown towards his own domain, a few snide remarks precede his argument about the Newar Buddhist social set-up being perfectly ‘normal’, i.e. well within the confines of Buddhist saµgha orthodoxy (p.11-12):


Newar Buddhism did not contain massive monasteries benefiting from royal support and extensive landholdings which could support textual scholarship. …


“Massive” perhaps not: everything in the Valley, compared to the great Buddhist states of Central, South and South-east Asian history, reminds one of a miniature train landscape. Yet I believe it is indisputable that the double vihŒra of ThŒm Bah´l, co-founded by the Bengali Master Dipaµkara êri-jŒna (alias Jowo Ati§Œ), was meant to receive royal support; and , even in the absence of extensive further evidence (as with Gellner’s solitary Bhaktapur monk), it is reasonable to suppose that ThŒm Bahil does not constitute an isolated example. Less than one century after Ati§Œ, in the early eleven hundreds we hear that , over the years, on each of the thirty-seven occasions of sending offerings to his Newar Guru Dipaµkara Rak·ita, the Tibetan yogin-translator from Rwa, Dorje-trag (‘Vajra-k´rti’), in addition presented an honorific fee to each of some two hundred tsa du, as the monks are called there, to be assembled for the occasion of a vast offering ceremony, as well as an honorific fee to each of some two hundred ha du practitioners of secret mantra to be assembled there for a Rite of the Multitudes (gaöa-cakra).


The inescapable conclusion is that, up to that period, (“unmarried”) Newar monks and non-celibate VajrayŒna experts were receiving equal sponsorship; and, contrary to certain current opinion – shared by Gellner and even more eagerly by Samuel (1993) – the monks are mentioned (=honored) first. There is not a trace here of the Bajracharya householder status’s supposed superceding of the monastic status, for sure not in the name of a superior kind of non-duality. According to the KŒlacakra Tanra, a scripture that is an accepted reference in the Newar Buddhist canon (Sanskrit manuscripts being found in the Newar collections),


If there are three qualified tantric masters available – a full monk, a novice and a householder – and, all else being equal, we need to choose from among them, the text says to rely on a fully ordained master. Devotion to a lay teacher in preference to a perfectly qualified monk undermines the Buddhist teachings. This is because people seeing such a monk being bypassed gain the impression that the monastic community, representing the Saµgha Jewel of Refuge – one of the Three Precious Gems that provide safe direction in life – is unnecessary. This is important to bear in mind in light of the tendency in the West to minimize the role end importance of monks and nuns in Buddhism and place the emphasis on laypersons.


The loss of the monastic option apart, the main problem for the Newar Buddhist community really concerns the validity of a saµgha devoid of a monastic core.


Again, the landholdings may not have been “extensive”, but the guthi system provided the means for entire range of Buddhist sponsorship. Was the (coming from an anthropologist, demeaning term) “textual” scholarship one of the items for which donations were allocated? Gellner does of course agree that


It would be a grave mistake, however, to assume therefore that they did not preserve a textual tradition … even though they did not produce learned schools of philosophical disputation as in Tibet.


The chief question is not about the existence of such learned schools, but about what is understood by “textual tradition”. It would be naïve to assume that it was restricted to pious manuscript copying. Philosophical treatises, furthermore, are not necessarily to be viewed as useless Byzantine hairsplitting, as Gellner seems to understand it. All Buddhist schools agree that an experienced right view is essential for correct meditation; and that the latter is an essential preliminary training towards the validity and efficiency of ritual activity. ‘Finding in meditation’ the exact experience of that right view requires a minimal dose of philosophical insight as well as the instructions of an experience master. It is not just enough to state that


Newar priests were first and foremost ritualists …


The temptation is of course great, for even the most painstaking of anthropologists, to project back into the past what they observe in the present, and view it as the standard of how it has always been. All the more so in the absence of any extensive indigenous historiography. It is therefore gratifying to note that Gellner, in the Nepalese Chaitya foreword, has toned down some of his earlier, more outspoken views:


It would also be a mistake to assume that they never practiced meditation or were lacking in spiritual commitment which already sounds quite different from his earlier (1992: 100) stance on the matter.


After the anthropologist’s bird eye view of the Buddhism of the Valley, let us now finally turn to the gist of the Gutschow opus itself.



4. Setting and caitya typology


The Nepal Maö¶ala of old is evoked by the magistral text of the Adya mahŒ-dŒna, recited at the start of every complex pèjŒ, here quoted after Gellner's annotated translation (1992: 191ff.). It is no mere coincidence that the two major Svayaµbhè PèrŒöa commentaries by Tibetan authors, those of Khamthrul IV, Chökyi Nyima (1730-1780) and of Tragkar Taso Tulku, Chökyi Wangchug (1775-1836), devote much of their efforts towards clarifying this information, containing as it does the definition par excellence of the Kathmandu valley as a sacred locus and functioning like the Svayaµbhè PèrŒöa in abridged form. The latter author has a few remarks on the therein mentioned epithet “Pa[]cala Country” (via the association of Prince MahŒsattva who at Namo Buddha, offered his body to a tigress), but both commentators concentrate on the definition of the Valley as an Upa-chandhoha, from among the ‘Great Lands’. The latter term, in this prayer evocation of “The Present Great Donation”, is rendered as p´­ha – and in translation (by Gellner and Huber alike, after Dowman) given as ‘Power Place’ – here meant to be understood in its most general meaning of ‘sacred spot’, not as the specific technical term of one type among the twelve kinds identified in the Tantras. The list of deities stated to inhabit and protect the Valley ends with the Ten Great Wrathful Ones, primarily delivered from the Guhya-samŒja and YamŒri Tantras, and not further defined.


In an earlier section (pp. 7-9) Gutschow establishes a caitya typology under nine headings, immediately emphasizing that these merely represent “an agreed code”, as close as one can get to a semblance of traditional nomenclature (largely derived from Hodgson’s ‘very creative’ informant Am¨tŒnanda), notwithstanding a degree of ‘confusion of categories’. Hence it is more an improvised, semi-technical, insiders’ slang, with no claim whatsoever to the status of scriptural orthodoxy (even though Paö¶ita Hemraj Shakya, for lack of anything better, is sometimes inclined to view it as such). Gutschow doe not discuss the apparent absence of caitya econometrics from all the known sketchbooks, even though such sketches do exist for the proportions of temples and even for parts thereof such as the ganjira finial; the only exception being those associated with the Svayaµbhè MahŒ-caitya restoration published by Kölver and faithfully reproduced in this volume. This apparent lack of directives regarding the proportions of the various structural elements is of course also what allowed for multi-directional evolution in types and subtypes, each with further innumerable variants in size, style and iconic display.


It is the purpose of Plate 2 (p. 9) to serve as a key for the architecturally helpless reader to visually remember these categories. But, as with the previous demonstration on drawing styles, an important didactic tool has gone slightly awry: first, because the author insisted on simultaneously also providing a chronological overview; second, because we are given a typology of nine chief categories that is then illustrated by fifteen caitya drawings, with the listing order mixed up (in favor of the chronological one); third and foremost, because the lay-out expert, Helmut Flubacher (p. 6), claimed or was given the upper hand, and, at least in this case, ignored what should have been primary in the demonstration: the caitya typology. At least sometimes should the aesthetically pleasing page cede to the demands of content and should dare to be subservient to the overriding purpose of the work. A simple re-ordering does the trick.


The author then turns to the basic caitya-associated vocabulary, defining the technical term of each structural element in some detail. One he struggles with (p. 21) concerns the crown ornament of the Svayaµbhè MahŒ-caitya, the equivalent of the muku­a or Vajra-Master’s crown. In his study of these “shields” (Newari: halŒpau or hal´pati), he follows the Kölver (1992a: 131) terminology in calling the figures, below the respective Buddha figures, “the NŒtha-s”, and also accepts the dating of 1918 for this innovation, apparently on the basis of an inscription in situ (mentioned, but not reproduced in Kölver). This is contradicted, indirectly, by Gutschow himself, since the Prince Waldemar watercolor of 1845 (p. 88, ill. 176) clearly shows a set of shields; and directly by Khamthrul IV who, in his Nectar for Snow Covered Ears guide of 1756, refers to the shields as part of the then recently carried out renovation work and even names the chief figures that crown each shield {f. 6a = 167}:


At present, since the renovations, this ‘capital’ (=harmikŒ) has been covered by sheets of gilt copper, bearing a pair of eyes in each direction … On top, this capital is surrounded by a lotus {tiara} with sculpted images of gilt copper, one in each of the four directions and representing, respectively:

Each of these is established as the Lord presiding over an entourage that consists of a set of Bodhisattvas, paö¶itas, siddhas and the like; one such set in each direction.


Accordingly the date of 1918 must refer to the renovation (textually well documented as having been sponsored by êŒkya-§r´) that included a ‘remake’ of these shields on a larger scale. With what extent of alteration in the iconography, it is hard to say, since the descriptive guide of the mid-18th c. renovation does not provide these details and mainly consists of an account of costs and wages for artisans involved.


Kölver (ibid., n. 27), after the inscriptions below the shields, also identifies the sets of four figures by name, but omits one (the Maju§r´ form) for the shield in the South. He also fails to inform us that the inscription is a Tibetan one, with the original Sanskrit names rendered in Tibetan translation, which explains one erroneous Sanskrit reconstruction in his list. The corrected list is as follows:


East: Buddha Vairocana

Samanta-bhadra, K·iti-garbha, Kha-garbha (=îkŒ§a-garbha), K¨·öa-caryŒ îcŒrya.

South: Buddha êŒkyamuni

Guru NŒgŒrjuna, Maju§r´-kumŒra-bhèta, îrya Maitreya-nŒtha, VŒg´§vara-k´rti îcŒrya.

West: Buddha AmitŒbha

Guru êŒnti-gupta, Loke§vara, U¶¶yŒna-guru Padma-sambhava, JŒlandhara îcŒrya.

North: Bhaisajya-guru Vaidèrya-prabha-rŒjŒ (=Medicine Buddha),

Vajra-pŒöi, Gor[ak]·a-nŒtha, Sarva-nivaraöa-vi·kambhin, îrya TŒrŒ.


Each name is followed by the customary “I offer salutation to…” Comparing this with the list of Khamthrul, we notice two changes in the main Buddhas, with Vairocana and AmitŒbha replacing the original Buddha Maitreya and Guru Rinpoche.


The list of the entourages ought not to be considered all that ‘bewildering’, asymmetry apart (for instance in the distribution of the Bodhisattvas: three in the East, two in the South, one in the West, two in the North).


The remaining figures should actually be associated with some of the chief lineages held by the Tibetan Master in charge of the 18th c. renovation, Katog Rigzin Tsewang Norbu (1698–1755):


It does make sense.



5. Iconographical evolution (I)


The political and cultural milieus, on the one hand, and the foreign contacts of Nepal during each of these periods, on the other, evidently show increasing Hinduisation of both polity and culture by successive dynasties.

K.P. Malla, LSA, 126.


In an Introductory move on the murders of the Paca–TathŒgata, the author touches upon the oft cited question about Vairocana’s alternative and inter–changeable symbolic hand gestures denoting, either Wisdom Fist = Auxiliaries to Enlightenment (Bodhi-aºg´ mudrŒ), or Setting the Wheel of Dharma in Motion (Dharma-cakra mudrŒ). From the evidence gathered, the four Buddhas, already in the earliest Licchavi caitya samples, appear to face the customary directions; the two instances where they don’t (out of the six Licchavi caityas with their statues intact) should probably be ascribed to later, locally improvised restorations, as should two other erroneous cases (especially the one of îlkva–hi­i, with AmitŒbha occurring twice, p.32). This seems a more logical explanation than the presumption that “it took time to establish an accepted order”; especially in the light of the numerous example elsewhere, of crumbling Licchavi caitya elements haphazardly re–assembled later in time (§ “The way in which the Licchavi caityas were re–used’, p.104 ff.). After all, this was solid doctrinal matter, not the stuff of local sculptors’ aesthetic preference.


More puzzling is the change that suddenly occurred in the mid-19th c., whereby the standard orientation scheme, on two of the newer type caityas, is suddenly altered:


S. Ratna-sambhava            S. AmitŒbha

W. AmitŒbha            E. Ak·obhya            W. Vajrasattva                   E. Vairocana

N. Amogha–siddhi                N. Maitreya


Standard orientation                  19th c. innovation in orientation


The point worth noting is the context in which this innovation takes place, on the two related types of caitya that themselves constituted an earlier innovation. They are

In the published debate between Bernard Kölver & Kamal Prakash Malla (1992: 208–222 & 223–226), the former author deemed this phenomenon syncretistic, to which the latter retorted with the oratorical question (p.224): “How many of them are there in a typical city like Patan, where there are thousands of caityas? As far as I know, there is only one, in BhelŒche[m] Tole.” Gutschow agrees with this (ill. 544, p.292), there are a total of 71– with the earliest dated, not altogether surprisingly, 1667, i.e. during the reign of Kind Pratap Malla, notorious for the poetic freedom in the inscriptions he put up lauding his own genius. For Kölver (1992: 216–217) the conclusion is clear:


The caitya was re-shaped in response to the most common of êaiva emblems, the liºga raised in the yoni. The TathŒgatas on the four sides correspond to the four faces the êaiva emblem so frequently shows (in its catur-mukha-liºga form) …The reduced volume of the caitya [dome] and the jala-hari or yoni condition each other, and are brought about in the attempt to adapt the caitya to one of the hallowed êaiva symbols.


Gutschow counters his own earlier argument re the water-drain: ‘a purely functional element’, enabling the water of a lustration offering to flow away (ill.129, p.70), when he remarks that (a) caityas had managed to do without it for centuries, and that (b) the water does not drain away properly in any case: there is no slope for the lustral water to drain, and once it does, it still collects on the lower platform or plinth — twice dysfunctional! (p.285) So indeed, we can only call the jala-hari a pseudo-technical euphemism for yoni. Having opted for the (meanwhile dismissed) drain hypothesis, Prof. Malla's objection here (1992: 224) is a feeble one:


There is no compelling argument to persuade us to think that this kind of caitya is a pervasive cultural expression standing as a visible testimonial to Buddhist art accommodating a êaiva symbol.


No one, except adherents of the Coomaraswamy-Irwin school (for whom, remember, it-is-all-basically-one), imagines it has here been a mater of gently ‘accommodating’; or, like in Kölver’s goody-goody view, “the emergence of a common set of signs and symbols, valid beyond the territory of an individual religion”. Bauddha-mŒrg´ Patan's one sample compared to êiva-mŒrg´ Kathmandu’s seventy-one­, on the contrary, goes a long way to suggest that the design was, at one time, imposed by a ruling power of fundamentalist Hindu Orientation, i.e. that enforced by any means Dharma-§Œstra-dictated, socio-religious rules.


Independent witness Situ Paöchen during his 1723 visit to the Valley was not fooled. In the course of dismissing a fantasized etymology of the Newari names Yen and Yenga for Upper and Lower Kathmandu, he describes such Water-drain-cum-World Mountain caitya in no uncertain terms (TA’I [122]):


Tibetans further claim that Yambu (=Kathmandu) is better known by its (Newari) name of Ya-mgal because in the city of Kathmandu there is the ‘Upper Jaw’ (Tib. Ya mgal) of îrya êŒriputra; and because this (relic) is most sacred, the place it occupies is within the one caitya located right in the middle of town. This is a blatant falsehood, however. This caitya, in fact, is a ‘receptacle for offering’ (Tib. Mchod rten = caitya) dedicated to MahŒ-deva, the great Hindu god. The caitya is square in shape, made in the form of a vessel with a spout, the inner hub of which, in the shape of a yoni, carries a liºga in its center — apart from which it is correctly built as a stèpa]. Of this class of caitya, there are great numbers, but one should view them as sacred representations of the Hindus.

Generally speaking, in the Newari language, the city of Kathmandu is divided into two parts, each with a different name. The eastern side [=NNE], starting from the King’s palace, is called Yen and the western side [=SSW.] is Yenga. Compared to Yen, there are many more houses in Yenga, so that Kathmandu came commonly to be referred to as Yenga, it seems [as a pars pro toto; and hence Yenga bears no relationship whatsoever to the Upper Jaw of êŒriputra relic, which is a fake etymology, created by naïve Tibetans].


The intention was clearly in the direction of some other anomalies, illustrated elsewhere in the Nepalese Caityas volume (the NhŒyka Bah´ where two four-armed ‘Buddha figures’ actually hold the standard hand attributes usually associated with Vi·öu and êiva, ill. 34-37), and culminating in [what at first sight looks like] a caitya (dated 1967), which Gutschow traced in SŒnŒgŒon, with Vi·öu, êiva, RŒma and K¨·öa issuing from the central shaft. After which, one must be singularly “unaffected by the march of events”, here come full circle, to still wonder whether such an inclusivistic syncretistic trend might not just reveal “a gradual process, with movements in both directions” (p.285).



6. Iconographical evolution (II)


The chapter with some of the best photography, vastly superior to anything in earlier publications, is dedicated to the MahŒbauddha complex in Patan (p.308 ff.). This is our first ever opportunity to fully appreciate one of the ultimate masterpieces of Newar caitya craft, especially for some of its intricate ornamentation at the upper levels.


The author repeats the story found in the 19th c. chronicle first made available by Wright. I feel Gutschow overworries about the misnomer MahŒbauddh for what cannot, originally, have been anything but MahŒbodhi, the name of the Great Enlightenment temple and the stone image it houses, in Bodhgaya.


Gutschow provides a complete overview of the iconographic program for each floor and section of the building — information unavailable till now and particularly hard to establish. Likewise, the section drawings and the plans of the layout for each floor probably constitute some of the most original contributions within the immense survey Arbeit of the entire project. His statement that the building is “astonishingly true to the prototype of Bihar” (p.310) at present can be further substantiated by

1)      other votive mini-models of the Bodhgaya complex, besides the one he cites after Slusser (and including a 15th c. one: Lo Bue 1994: pl. 61; see also Malandra n.d.); and especially relevant here,

2)      other ‘MahŒbauddha’-s built in other countries of South-East Asia (Brown n.d.) inspired by a motivation very similar to Lalitpur’s 16th c. donor ‘King of Fearlessness’, Abhaya-rŒjŒ [êŒkya]. Patan’s MahŒbauddh by far outshines the other known, reduced scale MahŒ-Bodhi temples of Pagan and of Pegu in Burma and of Chiengrai in Thailand.

The only puzzling point concerns the absence of any reference to one adjacent chapel/pavilion (the only surviving one of a set of four?) outside the platform, and surrounded by a narrow circumambulation passage in between the modern housing. Did the surveyors simply miss it?


What Gutschow does mention (p.58) is the caitya “in the potter community’s quarter of ChyŒgmŒ, which structure is said to have been erected to cover over the moulds from which the terra-cotta components of the MahŒbauddha temple were once formed.” Local tradition, in fact, remembers the discovery of these moulds among the ruins after the devastation of the complex by the earthquake of 1934. Largely thanks to this find, the Patan MahŒ-Bodhi regained most of its former splendor. It would have been nice to hear more about that potters’ community, especially regarding present-day technical and artistic ability to undertake, if not projects of that magnitude, at least caityas on humbler scale. Gutschow concludes that


In a way, the [ChyŒgmŒ] caitya represents a shrine dedicated to the tools of the craftsmen.


My personal, less romantic view is that it should rather be classed as a caitya elevated over (what in the context of the Dun-huang caves has been called) ‘pious waste’; especially in view of the fact that an extra set of moulds is preserved in a vihŒra elsewhere, specifically for the purpose of eventual repairs in the future.


This already lengthy review can not even attempt to cover every major theme among this rich collection of source materials. Future researchers will be able to escape a number of luring pitfalls if they heed Gutschow’s warnings about hasty dating. As in the above mentioned example of the Water-drain-cum-World Mr. Caitya that nearly fooled him, a motif widespread at a later date may have its origin several centuries earlier; and the other way round: certain archaisms may have a period of vogue after being revived. Few of us are eagle-eyed enough to distinguish that often very similar ‘objects’ actually belong to vastly different periods — a point once made by Ian Alsop in his discussion on the dating of Newar bronzes solely on the basis of stylistic traits.


We are on more solid ground when written sources are available. Combining the findings of the Tibetan sources (after Ehrhard 1989) with some of the less known Newar data, collected by former colleague Kölver and himself, Gutschow presents a close to complete overview of the Svayaµbhè restorations. To many a reader, much in there will be new.


In the absence of such written sources, a final solution is not yet in sight for a few problems. Why some licchavi stèpas became “A§oka Stèpas”, i.e. covered with so many layers of lime as to entirely conceal their original features, and why others escaped this fate; also, why no new ones have come into being for quite some time. No satisfactory explanation exists.


Another case in point concerns the iconography of the sublime “Fourfold Manifestation” (catur-vyèha) caityas with their four standing Buddha and/or Bodhisattvas, one of whom is identical to the famous Sarnath icon. Any certainly about

Appears more dubious than Gutschow and especially Gail (with Bandel’s approval) tend to hold, supposedly on the authority of Pal. Yet the latter (1974: ill. 180) shows one “Buddha’s descent from the Tu§itŒ heaven, Patan, 10th c.”, that includes êŒkyamuni with a striated robe: since the Gupta prototype represents one of the Eight Great Miracles, there can be no doubt about the identity of this standing Buddha figure. Nowhere, in fact, does Pal, on this issue, make any statement more categorical than (1974: 27–28)


The four standing figures represent the Bodhisattva PadmapŒöi or Avalokite§vara …, the Bodhisattva VajrapŒöi …, and two TathŒgatas, one of whom may portray the future Buddha, Maitreya, and the other êŒkyamuni …, Whether two TathŒgatas, each differently attired, portray the historical Buddha, êŒkyamuni and the future Buddha, Maitreya, is difficult to determine. On the other hand, the presence of two images of êŒkyamuni makes little symbolical sense. The argument only addresses redundancy (‘it can’t be the same figure twice’). He then adds (ibid.) that


In other such monuments [for instance at NŒga BahŒl hi­i] … they portray êŒkyamuni, Avalokite§vara, VajrapŒöi and Maitreya who is shown as a Bodhisattva (fig. 171)


The latter figure is also shown in Gutschow (ill. 338, p. 174). But when we look and countercheck in either illustration, this presumed ‘Maitreya Bodhisattva’, on the contrary, appears as a second smooth-robed Buddha figure instead!


Hence striated versus plain, in the depiction of the robes, is no more than that: a stylistic element to create variation, but devoid of any inherent meaning as to the identity or identification of the wearer. The Gutschow statement: “a figure in striated robe, widely identified as Maitreya” (p. 49) and especially “Gail’s [recent] further evidence” (p. 182) should therefore be taken with a grain of salt, and seen as an example of circular reasoning.


Part of the confusion (also in Pal’s subsequent discussion) stems from the stage in the identity of “Maitreya: whether we are talking about his role as one of êŒkyamuni’s eight great Bodhisattva disciples, or as the future Buddha pursuing his training in the Tu§itŒ Heaven:


The Buddha said to UpŒli: “Listen and reflect carefully! The TathŒgata knows everything exactly. Today in this assembly, I have said that the Bodhisattva Maitreya will win supreme and perfect Enlightenment. The man here present will die in twelve years; he will assuredly be reborn in the Tu§itŒ heaven… [After staying there for millions of myriads of years], he will be reborn here on earth, in Jambudv´pa, as it is said in the Maitreya-vyŒkaraöa”.


To make sense of the Four Manifestations caitya, only a few alternatives are possible if we take the meaning into account.


        (1) The earliest known example (the one behind the Svayaµbhè stèpa), which also happens to be “in absolute terms the oldest caitya in Nepal” (p. 175), in fact carries no figures with Bodhisattva attire at all. Hence, the topic depicted is more likely to be the first four Buddhas of the Auspicious Eon (Bhadra-kalpa): Krakucchanda, Kaöaka-muni, KŒ§yapa and êŒkya-muni.

        (2) This is the model followed by the 17th c. chatur-vyèha caitya in Itum BahŒl, with two important differences: (a) the absence of a ‘lustral water conduct’ (jala-droni/yoni) beneath their pedestal, and which in the Svayaµbhè prototype is most likely a later addition in any case; and (b), in the niches of the small caitya dome surmounting them, the presence of the standard four, seated Buddhas. Do the later merely represent a structural evolution in caitya ornamentation? My hunch is that they represent the individual Family Lords (Kulesha) crowning the figures below, as in many a meditational rite involving tradition.

        The emphasis in either case is on lineage continuity, either via the Buddhas of the previous ages, as in the first case, or still further accentuated in the second case when their respective Gurus are crowning their heads.

        (3) Once two Bodhisattva figures are introduced, as at Dhvaka BahŒl (Pal 1974: figs. 13–16 = Gutschow ills. 352–353, p. 182), their identification as VajrapŒöi and PadmapŒöi/Avalokite§vara is quite straightforward, since they prominently display their standard attributes, or vajra and lotus respectively; and there is little doubt that one of the accompanying Buddha figures ought to be êŒkyamuni

        (4)  But then, there is what became the standard configuration from the 17th c. onwards, which [besides the one figure in Buddha attire; Maitreya, according to Gutschow: the striated robe again] comprises Maju§r´, PadmapŒöi/Avalokite§vara, VajrapŒöi. The latter triad obviously represents the well-known ‘Three Families’ (TathŒgata, Lotus, and Vajra) according to the KriyŒ and CaryŒ Tantra systems. I would here stick to the identification as êŒkyamuni for the fourth figure, in his role as their teacher according to the MahŒyŒya sutras.

        Returning now finally to the second Buddha-like figure in the previous constellation of Dhvaka BahŒl, I think we have to leave it an open question. It might be Maitreya; it might also be Maju§r´ revealing his aspect as a Buddha, since, according to the same scriptures, he, like his companions Avalokite§vara and Vajrapaöi, “achieved Buddhahood countless eons ago”.

        (5) This might be the idea expressed in Vajrapaöi’s representational form at NyŒkhŒcuka (ill. 359, p. 184) where, the Bodhisattva crown apart, he is not different in attire from any of the standing Buddhas: wearing the same flowing robes, but carrying in the left hand a lotus that supports the vajra attribute. Gutschow here remarks that this set of four was “probably modeled after the example from Itum BahŒl, but introducing the four conventional Bodhisattvas … instead of four representations of êŒkyamuni Buddha”.


        On the basis of this formal analogy, the êvayambhè grouping of the Four Manifestations (#1, supra) too might represent these three Bodhisattva disciples in their manifest Buddhahood, as indistinguishable from the êŒkya sage of our epoch (i.e. in an interpretation replacing the earlier posited one, as the Four Buddhas of this Auspicious Eon).

        May be some of these matters are meant to remain slightly mysterious.



7. Wishes of Good Fortune


Let these few annotations not take away from the great value of The Nepalese Caitya, the true worth and admirable qualities of which are fully deployed in the remaining chapters that make up the bulk of the work: No matter how many months and years we have been the more than casual observer in the lanes, squares and vihŒra courtyards of our beloved Kathmandu Valley, for each set of statuary and each caitya variation, from the most humble to the monumental, Gutschow & his team reveal unseen gems we might otherwise never have become acquainted with. The boon is a lyrical testament to the centuries-long, mostly private sponsorship of public works of Newar art and to the living culture that managed to preserve this much intact.


If somehow, after Ernst Steinkellner’s (1996) example, the same sponsoring body could also bring out an affordable version so that the nonwealthy among the êŒkya and VajrŒcŒrya communities could gain a better acquaintance with this outstanding aspect of their own culture, it would prove yet more of a valuable contribution.


I muster a further, very private hope about the impact of this book. Newar bronze casting art has re-assumed a well deserved renown worldwide — cf. the numerous orders for large and medium pieces from Dharma centers abroad — not all that different from that which prompted the invitation of Master Arniko (1245–1306) and entourage to Tibet and to the Chinese capital. Similar commissions and the same kind of good luck have not yet befallen the stone sculptors and caitya craftsmen. Nepalese Caitya, to a Lalitpur representative (say, for the Bh´che BahŒl caitya artists) with the right contacts and entrepreneurial skills, can function as the ready-made catalogue for a near endless variety of, artistically, vastly superior types of caitya that could enhance new retreat places and teaching centers now constantly being built abroad. Possibly one day someone could even aspire to commissioning the rarer of statuary of up to eight or sixteen Bodhisattvas and eight offering goddesses (ill. 486-488, pp. 262-263). If bronze artists can fly abroad to assemble large pieces in situ, nothing need stand in the way for stone cutters, sculptors and terracotta artisans to go and work in situ for as long as it takes to complete the work. Should this catch on, Mr. Gutschow's work would gain higher resonance, probably beyond his own most cherished hopes.


Hubert Decleer






Atisha, Jowo Dipamkara Sri-jnana

      BODHI    Bodhi-patha-prad´pa. See Eimer, n.d.; Sherburne 1983; Doboom Tulku & Mullin 1983.


Bangdel, Lain Singh

        1992    “Comment on Gail’s [1992] Contribution”, in Kölver (ed.) 1992: 87-89.

        1995    Inventory of Stone Sculptures of the Kathmandu Valley, Kathmandu: Royal Nepal Academy.


Berzin, Alexander

        1997    Taking the Kalacakra Initiation, Ithaca, NY: Snowlion Publications.


Boeles, Jan J.

        1985    The Secret of Borobodur, Bangkok: “published privately by the author” [obtainable from The Siam Society].


Brown, Robert L.

         n.d.    “Bodhgaya and South-East Asia”, Marg, Vol. XXXX, no.1, pp. 61–84.


Castaneda, Carlos

        1973    Journey to Ixtlan. The Lessons of Don Juan, Penguin (reprint 1986).

        1974    Tales of Power, Penguin (reprint 1990).


Coomaraswamy, Ananda K.

        1977    “Buddhist Art” in Coomaraswamy: Selected Papers I, Traditional Art and Symbolism (Bollingen Series LXXXIX; Roger lipsey, ed.),

                      Princeton: University Press, & Delhi: Oxford University Press.


Dallapiccola, Anna Libera & Stephanie Zingel-Ave Lallemant (eds.)

        1980    The Stèpa: Its Religious, Historical and Architectural Significance, Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag (Beitrage zur Sudasienforschung,

                    Sudasien-Institut, Universitat Heidelberg, vol. 55).


Decleer, Hubert

        1994    “The Sacred Biography of Bharo ‘Maimed Hand’, a tenth century Vajracarya from Patan”, [2538th] Buddha Jayant´ ‘Souvenir’,

                      Lalitpur: Okubahal, pp. 95-104.

        1995    “Bajracharya Transmission in XIth Century Chobhar: Bharo ‘Main Hand’’s main disciple Vajrakirti, the translator from Rwa”,

                      Buddhist Himalaya, vol. VI, nos. 1-2, pp. 1-16.

        1996    “Master Atisha in Nepal: The Tham Bahil and Five Stupas’ Foundations according to the Dromtöm Itinerary”, Journal of the Nepal

                      Research Centre, vol. X, pp. 26-54.

in press      Review of Steinkellner 1995 & 1996, The Tibet Journal.


Doboom Tulku & Glenn Mullin

        1983    Atisha and Buddhism in Tibet, Delhi: Tibet House


Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdral Yeshe Dorje (ed.)

         n.d.    Bal yul mchod rten gsum gyi lo rgyus dang gnas bshad gangs can rna ba’I bdud rtsi [‘History of the set of three stupa, together with a

                   guide to the sacred spots in Nepal’], dpe cha format, 336 pp., Kathmandu, ca. 1983.


Eimer, Helmut, (ed.)

         n.d.    Bodhipathaprad´pa. Ein Lehrgedicht des Ati§Œ (Dipaµkara êr´-jŒna) in der Tibetischen Uberlieferung, Wiesbaden: Otto Harrasowitz

                   (series Asiatische Forschungen).


Ehrhard, Franz-Karl

        1989    “A Renovation of SvayaµbhènŒth-Stèpa in the 18th Century and its History”, Ancient Nepal, no. 144 (Oct.–Nov. 1989), pp. 1-8.


Fussman, Gerard

        1986    “Symbolism of the Buddhist Stèpa”, Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 37–53 (abbrev.:



Gail, Adalbert

        1992    “Nepalica Iconographica”, in Kölver (ed.) 1992: 77-86.


Gega Lama

        1983    Principles of Tibetan Art. Illustration and explanations of Buddhist iconography and iconometry according to the Karma Gadri School,

                    Darjeeling: Jamyang Singe Publ. (2 vols.)


Gellner, David N.

        1992    Monk, Householder and Tantric Priest. Newar Buddhism and its Hierarchy of Ritual, Cambridge: University Press (Cambridge Studies in

                    Social and Cultural Anthropology, vol. 84). [abbrev.: MHTP]



Goepper, Roger & Jaroslav Poncar

        1996    Alchi. Ladakh’s Hidden Buddhist Sanctuary: The sumtsek, London: Serindia Publication w/ Cologne: Orientstiftung zur Forderung Per

                    Ostasiastische Kunst.


Gutschow, Niels

   1990; 1993    “Chörtens (mchod-rten) in Humla” and “Chörten in Mustang”, Ancient Nepal, vol. 120, pp. 10-21; vol. 130-133, pp. 52-59,

                            continued in vol. 136 pp. 137-145.


Gutschow, Niels

        1987    See Mana-bajra Bajracharya 1977.


Gutschow, Niels & Axel Michaels (eds.)

        1987    Heritage of the Kathmandu Valley: Proceedings of an International Conference in Lubeck, June 1985, Sankt Augustin: VGH

                    Wissenschaftsverlag (Nepalica, vol. 4).


Gutschow, Niels w/ Ganesh Man Basukala

        1987    “The Navadurga of Bhaktapur — special implications of an urban ritual”, in Gutschow & Michaels (eds.) 1987: 135–166.


Heimsath, Kabir Mansingh & Hubert Decleer

    (in press)    Review of Macdonald (ed.) 1997, The Tibet Journal.


Herdick, Reinhard

        1987    “Death Ritual in Kirtipur in relationto urban space — on the evolution of a complex ritual”, in Gutschow & Michaels (eds.) 1987: 235


        1993    “Remarks on the Orientation of the Large Stèpas in the Kathmandu Valley: a Discussion of Principles of Lunar Ordering”, in Ramble &

                      Brauen (edsl) 1993: 101-123.

        1997    “A Guide to the Lapchi (La-phyi) Mandala. History, Landscape and Ritual in South-Western Tibet”, in Macdonald (ed.) 1997: 233-286.


Huber, Toni

        1993    What Is A Mountain? An Ethno-history of Representation and Ritual at Pure Crystal Mountain in Tibet, unpublished Ph.D thesis, University

                    of Canterbury, NZ.

        1994    “When What You See Is Not What You Get: Remarks on Traditional Tibetan Presentation of Sacred Geography”, in Samuel, Gregor &

                     Stutchbury (eds.) 1994: 39-52.


Irwin, John

        1980    “The axial symbolism of the early stèpa: An exegesis”, in Dallapiccola, Anna Libera & Stephanie Zingel-Ave Lallemant (eds.) 1980: 12-



Jing, Anning

        1994    “The portraits of Khubilai Khan and Chabi by Anige (1245-1306), a Nepali artist at the Yuan Court”, Artibus Asiae, vol. LIV, nos. ½,

                       pp. 40-86.


Karmay, Samtem & Philippe Sagant (eds.)

        1997    Les habitants du Toit du monde (Alexander W. Macdonald Festschrift), Nanterre: Societe d’ethnologie.


Katog Rigdzin Tsewang Norbu (Cyrus Stearns, transl. In preparation)

       (1742)    “Pure and Brief Clarification: A Seed for Discussion of the Certainty of Periods in the Hagiographies of Several Excellent Masters, such

                        as Mar[pa], Mi[larepa], Dwags po [=Gampopa], Jo bo rje the Father [Atisha] and His Spiritual Sons [Dromton and others]”,

                         [typescript/draft; original Tibetan text unavailable].


Khamthrul IV, Chokyi Nyima

  CHANDHO    Yul chen po nye ba’I cha ndho ha bal po’I gnas kyi dkar chag gangs can rna ba’I bdud rtsi [‘Nectar for Snow-Covered Ears: a

                         guide to the sacred places of the Nepal Valley’s ‘Great Land’ Upa-chandhoha’], in Dudjom Rinpoche (ed.), n.d., pp. 157-237

                         [Translation: see Macdonald & Dvags-po Rinpoche (1981) 1987].


Kölver, Bernard

       1992a    Re-building a Stupa, Architectural Drawings of the SvayaµbhènŒth, Bonn: VGH Wissenschaftsverlag (Nepalica, vol. 5).

       1992b    “Some Examples of Syncretism in Nepal”,in Kölver (ed.) 1992: 209-222.


Kölver, Bernard (ed.)

        1992    Aspects of Nepalese Traditions, Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.


Lamotte, Etienne

  (1958) 1988    History of Indian Buddhism, from the origins to the Shaka era, Louvain-la-Neuve: Institut Orientaliste (translation Sara Webb-Boin).


Levi, Sylvain

  (1903) 1986    Le Nepal. Etude historique d’un royaume Hindou (2 vols.), Paris: Ed. Errance.


Lewis, Todd Thornton (w/ Subarna Man Tuladhar & Labh Ratna Tuladhar)

        1989    “MahŒyŒna Vratas in Newar Buddhism”, Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 109-138.

  forthcoming    Mahayana Buddhist Texts from Nepal. Narratives and Rituals of Newar Buddhism, New York: SUNY [1998].  


Lo Bue, Erberto

        1984    Tesori del Tibet — oggetti d’arte dai monastery di Lhasa [‘Treasures from Tibet — Art Objects from Lhasa’s Monasteries’], Milano:

                    Galleria Ottavo Piono & Rozzano: La Rinascente.

        1990    “Iconographic Sources and Iconometric Literature in Tibetan and Himalayan Art”, in Skorupski (ed.) 1990: 171-197 and [not

                     numbered] 343-348.

        1997    “The role of Newar scholars in transmitting the Indian Buddhist heritage to Tibet (c. 750-c. 1200)”, in Karmay & Sagant (eds.) 1997:



Locke, John K.

        1985    [Newar] Buddhist Monasteries of Nepal. A Survey of the Bahas and Bahis of the Kathmandu Valley, Kathmandu: Sahayogi Press.


Macdonald, Alexander W.

        1987    Essays on the Ethnology of Nepal and South Asia, II, Kathmandu: Ratna Pustak Bhandar.


Macdonald, Alexander W. (ed.)

        1997    Mandala & Landscape, Delhi: D.K. Printworld.


Macdonald, Alexander W. & Dvags-po Rinpoche

  (1981) 1987    “Un guide peu lu des lieux-saints du Nepal Ilieme partie”, in: Strickmann (ed.) 1981: 237-273; = “A little-read Guide to the holy

                            places of Nepal — Part II”, in Macdonald 1987: 100-134.


Malandra, Geri H.

         n.d.    “The Mahabodhi Temple”, Marg, vol. XXXX, no. 1, pp. 9-28.


Malla, Kamal Prakash

        1983    “The Limits of Surface Archeology”, Contributions to Nepalese Studies, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 125-133 [= review of Slusser 1982; abbrev.:


        1982    “Comments on Kölver’s Contribution” [= Kölver 1992], in Kölver (ed.) 1992: 223-226.


Mana-bajra Bajracharya w/ Warren Smith

        1978    Mythological History of the Nepal Valley from the Svayambhu Purana, Kathmandu: Avalok Publishers.


Mana-bajra Bajracharya w/ Niels Gutschow

        1977    “Ritual as a Mediator of Space in Kathmandu”, Journal of the Nepal Research Centre, vol.1, pp. 1-10.


Mohan, Jag

        1979    Ananda K. Kumaraswamy, Delhi: Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (Builders of Modern India, vol. 51). 


Nuche Bajracharya w/ Richard Josephson

        1985    Swayambhu Historical Pictorial, Kathmandu: ‘Satya Ho’, [P.O.Box 3843].


Pal, Pratapaditya

        1974    The Arts of Nepal, Part I, Sculpture, Leiden & Köln: E.J. Brill.

        1985    Art of Nepal, Los Angeles: County Museum & University of California Press

        1990    Art of Tibet. A Catalogue of the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art Collection (Expanded Edition), Los Angeles: County Museum of Art

                    w/ Chidambaram: Mapin Public.


Ramble, Charles & Martin Brauen (eds.)

        1993    Anthropology of Tibet and the Himalayas — Proceedings of the International Seminar: Sept. 21–28, 1990, Zurich: Ethnological Museum

                    of the University (Ethnoligische Schriften Zurich, ESZ 12).


Rhie, Marylin & Robert A.F. Thurman

        1991    Wisdom and Compassion. The Sacred Art of Tibet, London: Thames & Hudson.


Samuel, Geoffrey

        1993    Civilized Shamans, Buddhism in Tibetan Societies, Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press.


Samuel, Geoffrey, Hamish Gregor & Elizabeth Stutchbury (eds.)

        1994    Tantra and Popular Religion in Tibet, New Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture & Aditya Prakashan (Shata Pitaka series of

                    Indo-Asian Literatures, vol. 376).


Sekler, Eduard F.

        1987    “Urban Design at Patan Darbar Square — A Preliminary Inquiry”, in Gutschow & Micheals 1987: 55–71.


Sherburne, Richard (transl.)

        1983            A Lamp for the Path and Commentary of Atisha, London: George Allen & Unwin.


Situ VIII, Panchen, Tenpe Nyinje

        TA’I    The Autobiography & Diaries of Situ Panchen (Tibetan Text, Lokesh Chandra, ed.; introduction by Gene Smith), Delhi: International

                      Academy of Indian Culture 1968.


Skorupski, Tadeusz (ed.)

        1990    Indo-Tibetan Studies (Snellgrove Festschrift), Tring: The Institute of Buddhist Studies.


Slusser, Mary Sheppard

        1982    Nepal Mandala: A Cultural Study of the Kathmandu Valley (2 vols.), Princeton: University Press.


Smith, Warren & Mana Bajra Bajracharya

        1978     See Mana Bajra Bajracharya 1978.


Stearns, Cyrus

    (in prep.)    See Katog Rigdzin Tsewang Norbu (1742).


Steinkellner, Ernst

        1995    Sudhana’s Miraculous Journey in the Temple of Ta pho. The insciptional text of the Tibetan Ganda-vyuha-sutra edited with introductory

                    remarks, Roma: IsMEO (Serie Orientale Roma LXXXVI).

        1996    A Short Guide to the Sudhana Frieze in the Temple of Ta pho [published at the occasion of the monastery’s millennium], Vienna:

                    Institute of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies.


Stickman, Michael (ed.)

        1981    Tantric and Taoist Studies in honour of R.A. Stein, I, Brussels: Institut Belge des Hautes Etudes Chinoises.


Taranatha, Jonang, Kunga Nyingpo

   YID CHES    rGyud rgyal gshin rje gshed skor gyi chos ‘byung rgyas pa yid ches ngo mtshar [‘Wonders of Conviction: an extensive transmission

                        history of the Yamari cycles of the Slayer of Death, King of Tantras’], in The Collected Works of Jonang Jetsun Taranatha, Leh: Stog

                        Palace 1984, vol. 10, pp. 1-147.


Templeman, David (transl.)

  (1983) 1990    Jonang Taranatha’s Seven Instruction Lineages, Dharmasala: Library of Tibetan Works & Archives.

        1989         Life of Krsna-carya/Kahna, Dharmasala: Library of Tibetan Works & Archives.


Tragkar Taso Tulku

       NGES    Baj yul gyi gnas dang rten gyi lo rgus nges par brjod pa’ phrul spong nor bu’i me long [‘The Jewel Mirror that Speaks the Truth,

                     Eradicating All Error: a history of the sacred sports and sacred images of Nepal’], Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project (and

                     Royal Archives), reel no. L381/8.


Vertanen, Riika

        1997    Review of Geshe Jampa Gyatso, “Everlasting Rain of Nectar: Purification Practice in Tibetan Buddhism”, The Tibet Journal, vol. XXII,

                    no. 3 (Aug. 1997), p. 120-124.


Vitali, Roberto

        1990    Early Temples of Central Tibet, London: Serindia Publications.


Wayman, Alex (transl.)

        1985    Chanting the Names of Manjusri: The Manjusri-nama-samgiti, with Sanskrit and Tibetan texts, Boston & London: Shambhala [abbrev.: