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PROFESSOR’S INSTRUCTIONS: Please read this prompt carefully [Full disclosure: I’m asking you to pause or “refrain” before fully accepting Prof. Ray’s interpretation of the story] and note that the title that B & K gave this story doesn’t really match what’s going on.
Stories like the one about Abhayakaragupta and Vajrayogini from the formative period of Indo-Himalayan tantra become part of the lore of the “monastic tantric orthodoxy,” even though the Tibetan monks would not actually perform the actions that Vajrayogini seems to be inviting Abhayakaragupta to do. But what is the story trying to illustrate about the Tantric view of Vajrayana Buddhist path to enlightenment? How does Reggie Ray derive his conclusions at the end of the article? How could it apply to the western practitioners of Tantra today? Is it possible that Reggie Ray isn’t seeing all sides of the issue? Note that you can disentangle the actual story from his interpretation. Is it possible that this story really is about something other “ego” and “status”?
And here’s something the story might make us think about: What’s the difference psychologically and ethically between choosing an unconventional religious path and choosing a love affair that breaks the conventional social rules?
FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS AND SOURCES: Please watch these two youtube video lectures (they are long so you can play them in 2x speed and use the “open transcript” feature to read it to finish faster). Then please read two chapters that I attached in the files. There are two screenshots of a short chapter from a book. They are called “Tantric Teachings Part 1” and “Tantric Teachings Part 2” Read part 1 then part 2. I have also attached a screen recording of a chapter because I’m unable to add the chapter alone here. Please read the chapter (it’s short) and pause when you need to to read it.
Once you’re done, please answer the prompt. The questions and prompt are under “Professor’s Instructions”. You MUST include at least 5 in-text citations in the response. For the youtube videos the citations must have the minute and second where you found the answer. For example: (Vajrayana Part A, 12:46). For the chapters I attached, use the chapter name to cite. For example: (The Temptress and the Monk, 674). Page numbers are directly under each page of the screenshot and recording. You must acknowledge all 4 sources.
I will attach a student response as an example to help guide you through this response. PLEASE DO NOT COPY OFF THE STUDENT.
Please reach out if you have questions.