Discussion of Unity and Diversity of Kralorela


Tantra and Hindu

[Sheng Seleris: Life is Slavery (Perverted View of Kralorelan "Void"? Saka Morn = Zolathi Sect. Perhaps Sheng is Antigod in Eastern Cosmology, but he is Great Hero and Ruler of Pentian Nomads, see Description in Sons of Kargzant. Pentians are not evil.)

Yanoor's Great Deeds: Sunstop (Symbolic Meaning), Enemy of Non-humans, Discussion with Vashanti? Formalism vs Mysticism? (Zen?)
Tolerant Attitude to Foreigners? and Sea-communication: Opening of Port Lur Nop ]

Alex: Indeed I think Gloranthans have just such debates have have raged in the RW over such issues. Or in especially benighted corners, as have raged on this list. ;-) To take another point from Tibetan Buddhism (and enraging Terra some more, I don't doubt), their form of the bodhisattva concept in effect means that _no_ monk will achieve liberation, under it's realized for the entire world. Which is a pretty extreme case of "impeding one's own mystic progress", but not "failure", at least not in their own terms.

Terra: No matter how you want to say this or that, I think there isn't enough information and official set for Kralorela, except we can find some bits in Glorantha: Introduction to HW, and it doesn't tell enough about local colors and powers of Kralorela. I love both tibetan tantrism and ancient chinese (and mongolian) history (because Japan holds fertile tradition of buddhism and Chinese history) I don't think something bad to share it with someone like you. Though you might not like it.

Alex: Of course not. Have I in any sense implied there is? Hence what I thought was fairly liberal use of "IMO" and other such qualifiers.

Terra: Quotation Bits from Greg's statement, About Kralori Schism and Society:

<<Kralorela is a grand, grand mixture of cults, churches, rites of all types. They exist side by side without hostility.>>

Terra: Without hostility? Speaking extreme without considering Relativism and Absolutism, no such Society can be!

Greg: <<Rivalry, sure. Conflicts of interest? Yes, of course. Overt hostility AS A NORMAL WAY? No. No more than Taoism, Buddhism and Confucism are inherently hostile towards each other. Rival, conflicts of interest and occasional bursts of violence: yes. >>

Terra: I just want to express Greg's WORLD IS MADE OF EVERYTHING principle to more broadly applied form.

Terra: I want to say is that mythology is political, and Kralorela is still exist while most of Vithela is much drowned (that hold unified myth). If you find something unified myth in one culture, political (or at least, cultural) reason let it make such, (I think good example is Plentonius' GROY, though he failed on some local sources like that of Darjiin and Alkoth.)

While Entekosiad tells us how Carmanians / Lunar tell differently Pelandan myth, and its culturally varied denizens all remember events differently and "wrongly" from POV of others. I think Entekosiad is more good example for Kralorela than GROY or FS.

Alex: Yes and no. I agree there is a multiplicity of viewpoints, and Kralori
'Imperialism' has in many ways a lighter and more indulgent touch than the Dara Happan (and perhaps even the Lunar) sort, it does still exist, at least to the point of establishing that there _is_ some overarching philosophy and purposes that (supposedly) reconciles and encompasses all the different strands that might superficially seem at odds.

Terra: As Mark Galeotti wrote some about Kralori as cultural keywords and Voice. (xenophobic, secular, theistic, physiocracy) I think there is some kind of clear idea between secular and spiritual. Even if it might merely mean that Real things are Kralorelan while False things are all foreign, as Guardian Being Sharan Cho, of Encyclopaedists Herobands discerns. (And Mark himself also practical and doesn't care much about the metaphysical aspect of Kralorela, as far as at least I read his texts.)

While Greg Stafford speaks much about the respect to seclusion for effort of achieving Liberation in Vithelan Culture. (Of course, most of denizens of East is not mystics.) I think at least category of excessive unification of spiritual and secular factions (and repellence to such) exist in Kralorela. Though certainly you can call Tantric Buddhism as an extreme case of Nagarjuna teaching that interpretation "Samsara is equal to Nirvana", tantric tutors always warn it is dangerous to rely only on sensual method of tantrism and encourage other mahayana secure methods, and most of buddhists practice only paramita "seclusive" practice and use mandala only as amulets.

Terra: IMG, in the court of Chi Ting, Godunya is now ready to go Summerland Heaven and meditates the meaning of Utuma, doesn't show himself publicly and (it seems) he has no concern to the struggle between eunuchs and mandarins. (They are long sworn enemies throughout history) and Tantrists believe they want to help Godunya to achieve liberation and draw gaudy mandalas around the court, and eunuchs help them for their hidden idea.... and hinder the influence of snobbish, haughty mandarins. Mandarins of course want to throw both of them off and recover old good days.

Alex: The court are happy to _sponsor_ the construction of mandalas, if that answers your question. Of different sorts according to their own personal agenda, I don't doubt...

Terra: Godunya's attempt is harder than his predecessors because he not only want to bring his faithful subjects to heaven, but he also recover the lost organs (provinces) of Kralorela and dodge the danger of upcoming Hero Wars. Once, Godunya was seriously wounded by Sheng Seleris and was helped by strange "tantric" magicians, they said they can trap the Pain Star to the one corner of Sky, they succeeded and Godunya was seemingly grateful to them. Now Godunya secluded as other transition years of different emperors, and tantrists insist they got permission from Godunya to make their preparation for great ritual (it is similar to panoramic mandala of Karlachakra), but mandarins doubt it and consider it as another plot of eunuchs against them.

Alex: Are you quite sure you're answering your own question? ;-)

Terra: Not so sure, so I need your opinion. In long days of Glorantha history in RW, no one wants to describe clearly the past of Kralorela before Shang-Hsa (except few unofficial comments of Sandy Petersen I found).

Alex: It's inevitably going to be difficult to disentangle "history" and "mythology", unless one wishes to privilege one over the other... Typically in Glorantha, it's mythology that seems to have the upper hand, though granted sometimes one can see history peeping throuygh the cracks.

Terra: Here there is Buddhism Pantheon from India. While there is Legendary Kings of China that (might have been) another god pantheon of indigeneous China, but it was destroyed by confucian historians because they were rationalists and considered it is evil to tell old stories without (their own) moral lessons. Kralori Past Emperors are mish-mash of the two.

Alex: Kralori Past Emperors are each _both_, I think, simultaneously and without (acknowledged) contradiction.

Alex: Not as a rule, individual mandarins would more typically be of the Vashtanti tradition, they would personally construct or use mandalas, other than in the vaguest of possible philosophical senses.

(If you're using "mandarin" as a synonym for the Kralori state in general, or to include the Exarchs, I would modify this considerably.)

Terra: I use "mandarin" in very vague image of chinese intelligentia bureaucrats who is always busy at calcurating numbers, judging subjects (a sort of image of Sung Dynasty court). In free time, they perform tea parties and make poems. As in Taoistic Cosmology you can find in Journey to the West, bureaus of Heaven usually behave as mundane, humanly ones in typical chinese imagination. Can you recall the cosmology of Monkey King?

Alex: Yes, I'm sure there is such a 'tendency' in Kralorela, and a prevalent one in the "bureaucracy".

Terra: keeps "circles" of Kralorela that composes of Empire. But they reject to call it as mandala and thus reject the analysis from point of view of microcosm and macrocosm. (they think it is dangerous to identify them with Emperors, thus dragons)

Alex: I think on the contrary that it's perfectly valid to consider manifest dragons as mandalas (and likewise, the empire itself as one). No one would mistake a constructed mandala for a true dragon, however.

Terra: But IIRC in Tibetan Sense, their mind trainning is say, identifying themselves with the figure that composes the Mandala. (For example, you try to identify yourself with bodhisattva Vajrasattva.) I think such kind concept of "blasphemy" (from point of view of puritans) is very tantric.

Terra: They learn Draconic Understanding humanly, and reject the concept of personal "Liberation" except few achieved highest class in hierarchy like archexarchs. Draconic Wisdom manifests to them in understandable form. I think their way is open to every populace who understand the glyphs of Mikaday on obelisks which can be found at every great city corners. That is not something esoteric secret transmitted from tutor lama to one disciple.

Alex: Liberation isn't rejected, it's delayed. Kralori philosophy legitimises both the "mystical" approach, wherein monks meditate on Draconic Realization,

Terra: I think you read the context too literally, (certainly in Tibetan Practice lamas try to gain illusional body by tantric method to achieve power to enlighten people in the course of Mahayana Tradition. ) because if the good mandarin dedicates himself to help people, he eventually fail to such mind trainning. As far as I know, it needs both mental trainning and physiological trainning according to Tibetan medical science (Say, alchemistic transformation). Please make image on busy bureaus (like in buseri in DH) writing, ordering (and intriguing) to make time for their meditation. Maybe Thalurzni Sorcery has similarity to Tantrism?

Terra: If they [Zen Buddhist type] exist in Kralorela, maybe they also refuse Lamaism "pass-down" secret (include adoring mentor) and pompous rituals, etc.

Alex: As I say, I think pragmatically different traditions can co-exist within an overarching philosophy. Imagine if one of Buddha's lineal successors ruled over a huge empire, and most times any major doctrinal dispute arose (that might otherwise cause an irrevocable schism, say) announced "you're both right" (in the same spirit as 'let 1000 flowers bloom', etc). A bit like a theocracy with Greg as God-Emperor perhaps...

Terra: I don't think you can define it, VOID is not nihility and can only be defined as "reductio ad absurdum" and can't directly defined. (Nagarjuna's some kind of agnosticism?) I think it is something similar to "Trinity" in Christianity that is somewhat illogical but enforced by religious (and political) authority. And we don't know how this sort of Bodhisattva=Mahayana philosophy links to Vithelan Larn Hasamadori philosophy. And it is somewhat different from set of variety of Lunar Philosophy ("chaotic" illumination, rashoranism, jernotianism).

So I think unity of Kralorela mainly maintained by practicality of mandarins rather than conglomerate magico-bureaucrat network can be found in LE.

Terra: Then, what is the current trend of flavour of Tantric Lamaism? I think it somehow contradicts to "Chinese" flavour of Kralorela.....and Chinese and Tibetans are long rivals in history and culture....

Alex: I think this is a lot like arguing that Orlanthi culture is "contradictory" as it 'borrows' concepts and imagery from both Germanic and Celtic traditions (and others besides), which would be perhaps comparably broad.

Terra: But both culture now die out and Christianity resides on their cultural corpse (so you can freely use these unknown sources). The more we put on RW resource on fantasy, the more we care the similarity and difference of comparisons. What I find in Tibet and China are too different to make into one (one is too otherworldly and spiritual, another is too secular and socially pragmatic), if Kralorela is not too much culturally unified society, and if their culture(s) are varied and diverse, perhaps those can be independent, distinctly different. I agree many of Chinese are otherworldly (like some kind of taoists, buddhists, etc...) and Tibetans contemporary of Tang Empire is pragmatic nomads.....but this is beyond my scope at least for now and they are comparatively minority.

Terra: I think a sort of Kralori-tantrism is trend of post-Sheng Seleris period.

Alex: I think myself it dates back at least to Thalurzni, which isn't to say that other "trends" haven't come (and to a greater or lesser extent) gone ever since.

Terra: IMG, Kralori tantrists believe so, but mandarins might have another idea. Mythology is not what they experience if you are Wizardry People. I think it is same for majority of Kralorela. Some minority like devoted to one deity might know what occured to the past, but lay members don't have such ability.

Terra: I think you don't understand my context of thought, "sensual" method is not amoral, and even if you are not Sigmund Freud, I think many of technics of "Tantrism" can be called sensual from point of view of neutral person because that is very primal human worldly desire that mystic must firstly overcome. Even if you don't agree Kundalini is some kind of phallic image like Shiva's linga, or copulation mandala of Vajrasattva like this..... http://www.padmasambhava.org/pbc/gallery/vajrasattva.php ) But I don't think any kind of secular, culturally puritanic people like Confucian Mandarin admit to worship such kind of indecent image, or Otherworldly Indifference to Worldly Matter.

That is why Geluq sect taught its Mother-Tantric Practice only on chosen high-priests which passed tests of all Paramita (Orthodox) lessons.

Alex: I'm none the wiser what you _mean_ by 'sensual image' though -- it could be any number of things. In the simplest meaning of "of the senses" that's obviously true (redundant, even), but it also carries implications of carnality. If you exaggerate that latter sense, then you can make Vajrayana seem more "incompatible" with broader Mahayana this is really the case, IMO.

Terra: But you can see it from point of view of outsiders (say, ordinary Kralori and Mandarins), it is esoteric on the very heart that fascinates me.... And AFAIK esoteric religion is always considered something obscene.

Please don't ignore the fact that Tantrism is long condemned as immoral and obscene, as romans believed in Christians, and Confucians did to "lowbrow" taoists. They believe their enemies always commit orgy and kill infants in their catacomb. And many buddhism-tantric texts promote such propaganda rather than hinder it, because it is not political pamphlet.

Terra: I think Kralori sorcerers (Thalurzni) use some kind of diagram to make portal to the node of their spells, it is somewhat different from Glorantha Western Malkioni Wizards. It is similar to Fuxi's octagram. and Kralori animists (and theists?) also draw circles to go Spirit World. But what I want to say specifically Mandala is that Mixed Three Magic that makes safely combines all and enhance its effect. It is ritual and not personal magic. And energies should be balanced properly by three groups.

Terra: Mandala is tool of image training for tibetan buddhism, Kevin MacDonald explained briefly about it. Sensual Image is certainly primal image for human mentality, it is inevitable. Orthodox Paramita Method is an effort to oppress such impulse. Vajrayana is a way to use it as help this sort of evil into good.

<<Is Mandala somewhat relates to Kralori draconic magic?>>

Terra: Yes, but sometimes not.

Alex: I think yes, but sometimes in a manner not obvious to outsiders. Kralori tradition is happy to identify as "draconic" entities and concepts others might label as "mundane" or "mystical", or indeed "sorcerous or "theistic".

Terra: I should have explained what kind of vague image I had on the term of "Mandala". I think Thalurzni Alchemists use some sort of Feng-shui charts according to their own rules. No human figure appear in such charts unlike Tibetan Mandalas. (And Zen Buddhists, quite unlikely to use mandala in their "Wall Observation".)

Alex: Many Tibetan Mandalas have human (or more often, divine) figures, but not all such do (I don't believe). Certainly I'm not saying all or most Kralori ones ought to! I think they may have as their 'themes' identification between mandala, mundane world, greater cosmos, and maker, in any permutation, combination or sub-set. 'Geomatic' and 'alchemical' meanings certainly are consistent with that.

Alex: I'd have said the central purpose of the mandala was a "mystical" one (usual cautions and caveats). But certainly I'm sure different schools/ traditions use similar devices in ways that manifest as various 'Otherworldly' powers. I'd guess that these are often sorcerous, but fitted into (or seen as fitting into) the 'Darudan magical scheme' -- whatever that is. I think they are seen as dating make to Thalurzni -- but equally, so are a lot of things.

Alex: Not as a rule, individual mandarins would more typically be of the Vashtanti tradition, they would personally construct or use mandalas, other than in the vaguest of possible philosophical senses.

Alex: Oops, I meant that Vashanti 'types' would _not_ personally construct or use mandalas! My bad.

Terra: I think Vashanti types pay homage on "Mandala" (though I still feel uncertainty to use this tibetan term) but use only it in secular way of things, though certainly I don't know how it can be "secular" in magical Glorantha.

Alex: And thus they're meditational devices, in essence. Or are you unhappy with the idea of Kralori 'Darudism' putting any emphasis on dragons-as-bodhisattvas at all, rather than simply using mandalas as a means of doing so?

Terra: I think Good Mandarins don't want to become Emperor, thus don't want to be with Dragon as a center. Because Empire is the DRAGON. (You can use Broad Interpretation.)

Alex: But what I'm suggesting is that Kralori religion legitmises both, separately but as part of a greater whole. The 'tantric' Darudan monks serve the good of the Cosmos (and thus the state) by advancing their personal state of being, to further some boddhisattva path by manifesting their powers in some way or another. The 'mandarins' perform their mundane tasks for the good of the State (and the state serves a cosmic good, since its continued existance permits people's passage to the Summer Land Heaven, and all spiritual progress is ultimately dependent on the vices of the mundane world not running rampant and destroying any chance of praying, meditating, etc).

Terra: Then certainly two categories exist. In Introduction to Hero Wars: Glorantha, Generals and Mandarins are rivals in rural area. How about the movement of Eunuchs, vipers under the cloak of virtuous Emperor at the center of Empire?

Terra: I think Godunya defeated Sheng's lieutenants of Zolathi by learning their method, and found old way to channel its power. I think Kralori tantrists induce Sensual Images in Godunya's court, perhaps allying with eunuchs, and opposes mandarins who sought more traditional way of court (from POV of them) service like that of Vashanti. Current seclusion of Godunya to achieve final transformation is bad omen for mandarins......

Alex: The descriptions I've read of the Zolathi don't make them seem especially or necessarily tantrist, and more to the point, they themselves are implied to be a development/perversion of _pre-existing_ Kralori practices (but were certainly appallingly innovative so far as Peloria was concerned), so are unlikely to be the origin of some radically unique school of thought in and of themselves.

Terra: I still think there is some similarity to enigmatic Zolathi = Saka Morn sect and Kralori tantrism, but don't have strong opinion on it, except RW example that relationship between tibetan Sakya sect and Mongolian Empire.

[Sheng = Zolathi Doctrine: Life is Slavery.]

Terra: About Kralori way with Summerland Heaven, IIRC, all "good" Kralori go there no matter what they believe, that is similar to Solace of the Body for lkioni, and I think among Kralori, concept of "goodness" is the very subject of long debate who Dragon Emperors choose and not. (I suppose some of Kralori concentrate to one specific power or religion of Three Worlds. But I think they still go to Kralori heaven.)

Alex: I think this comparison is misleading in (at least) one crucially different respect. The point of Solace _is_ Solace; the point of the Summer Land Heaven is not simply being in the SLH, but to achieve some further cosmic and/or personal development distinct from the SLH itself, but which the SLH makes (much more) possible. (i.e. once there, to further one's draconic/mystical/whateverly progress.)

Terra: I don't think that is point Kralori feels it is important, I suppose normally, no one return from Summer Land Heaven (because Kralorela is just another place of Middle World) and no vithelans talk about foolish Kralori who came before the gate of heaven but failed to pass through. And if your statement is right, what is the difference between Kralori and other vithelans?

Alex: In Glorantha, Daruda's story has very much this character. (This is in Revealed Mythology, right?) Daruda uses his powers out of compassion for the suffering of the world, and his followers, following his example, do likewise in myriad different ways. I'm sure non-Darudan "mystics" condemn them for this (Mashunasan's lot, frex). Come to that, I'm sure they regularly condemn each _other_ for doing so erroneously and misguidedly -- and what's worse they're probably very often right. What's a selfless sacrifice, and what's an illusion and a trap of your own making is a potentially subtle, and clearly vastly perilous, distinction to make.

Terra: As I said, Greg might change his mind again, so still Mahayana might be failed mysticism and thus Kralori "theistic" (Mark Galeotti said) religion is "failed-properly" channelled to Draconic Realm.

Terra: Buddhism is FOREIGN RELIGION for RW China.

Alex: And in Tibet (or Japan) come to that...

Terra: Tibetan Important Tantric Texts were mostly invented in India before Islam destroyed these centers. Division of Sects in Tibet is not philosophical (as in India before Catastrophe) but rather political and dogmatic. Most of Tibetan Buddhists insist they are true successors of Indian Buddhism though that of mainland died. They once experienced Chinese Buddhism but refused.

Terra: I think Vashanti types pay homage on "Mandala" (though I still feel uncertainty to use this tibetan term) but use only it in secular way of things, though certainly I don't know how it can be "secular" in magical Glorantha.

Alex: Well, technically mandala isn't a Tibetan term as such. In origin it's Sanskrit, in English it has the status of a loan-word (it appears in ordinary dictionaries without italisation or foreign notation). I admit though I have mixed feelings about this -- for example, in one discussion Greg didn't like the use of the term 'chakra', and instead suggested 'dragon flower' or 'dragon organ' (while suggesting or at least approving of the comparison all the same). If mandala has an excessive amount of baggage I'm not necessarily opposed to looking for another, but what I mean by it is "a constructed temporary pictorial representation used for meditational purposes", _not_ something that necessary looks like a Tibetan mandala as such.

Terra: (They are long sworn enemies throughout history) and Tantrists believe they want to help Godunya to achieve liberation and draw gaudy mandalas around the court, and eunuchs help them for their hidden idea.... and hinder the influence of snobbish, haughty mandarins. Mandarins of course want to throw both of them off and recover old good days.

Alex: Why 'gaudy'? You seem very keen to take my rather lightweight comparison to Vajrayana (which would be pretty much that we have some concept analogous to each of mantras, mandalas and chakras, and some sort of philosophy that makes sense of having them) and strengthen it to stress its incompatibility with some equally strong analogue to Confucianism. I think you're either making rather too much of these comparisons, or indulging in a touch of the straw men here.

Terra: I think you forcibly bulk up together too many "Oriental" sources (that primally contradict, as Confucianism and Tantrism) into one. I don't want to change my "agnostic" attitude to Emperor's opinion that defines Kralori because it more likely express the tolerance of Kralori to variety of its culture than your attitude that "I put on only One true way of Kralori, mixed all Vajrayana-Confucianism-Taoism" even if you are right, it simply ends discussion and development of stories. I want source of good stories and it needs what people believe, not necessarily what really people practise.

Alex: There's nothing "new" about 'tantric' practice (in the sense that I've described), I dislike the idea that it originates in thee Seleric era. It seems to me you're trying to set up a conflict in terms of very sweeping categories ("tantric usurpers" vs. "Confucian traditionalists") that would be beetter cast in terms of specific, described-in-Kralori-terms factions and schools.

Terra: I don't show such clear attitude. As I said, I want to make agnostic attitude, some say Thalurzni is some sort of Bodhisattva, other say he was great, but mundane being like Chinese Saints. And no one remember clearly because New Dragon Ring destroyed all what not convenient for them and Godunya do same to all "contaminated" source.

Alex: I think it would be very difficult to articulate such a view as a member of the Kralori hierarchy, which is going to insist on the nature of all the previous emperors (since #5) as True Dragons. But if they give at least lip service to that idea, I'm certain they have a good deal of latitude in practice as to how they describe and regard them. As in, there's unlikely to be any requirement to conduct are particular rites, study of his 'mundane' life is perfectly acceptable, etc.

Terra: In China and Japan, Zen Buddhism and (some sort of) Baktism (Nenbutsu, you can achieve to Heaven only calling the name of Amitabha, etc...) exist as other great streams of Mahayana Buddhism. If they exist in Kralorela, maybe they also refuse Lamaism "pass-down" secret (include adoring mentor) and pompous rituals, etc. Though you might not like it, I think their mentality is more likely mainstream in RW China. Though certainly Tantrism existed in China, it is always as foreign influence, thus debauched and licentious.

Alex: You can only reach the Pure Land by such methods, but that doesn't preclude the possibility of liberation by other means (albeit more difficult, hence the whole point of the PL schools), and liberation is still the ultimate objective in any case. It's not difficult to imagine that where there was some central, but loose, religious authority such schools could co-exist under an overarching philosophical unity, while still being rivals in many practical senses.

Terra: Of course, tibetans can't avoid politics and their claim of cultural independence from China" and "familiarity to India" is inevitably influenced from activity of modern "Dalai Lama cult". But certainly even from POV of neutral observers, Tibetans have more influence from southern decentralised area rather than that from "tyranny of North". (So David Snellgrove and Hugh Richardson wrote in their famous "A Cultural History of Tibet".)

Alex: But it's not like you'll find me having argued "Tibet is just like China, let's mix and match with abandon".

Terra: (I remember typical western attitude to lump all "East" together as "Mystical" that Edward E Said condemned in his "Orientalism" that was European Way to rule Asia as the land of backwardness and irrationality. After all, stereotypes that shadow over fantasy source makes Glorantha such place from point of view of europeans, but I can't say such view is shared by among asians who always feel threat from the vast population and Chinese sophisticated, practical way of thinking and principle of action, philosophy. Joseph Needham also pointed out such gap and trend in his "Science and Civilization of China". I am not sure whether Greg has own idea on such scheme "Industrial Age Point of View" to his "World is Made of Everything.")

Alex: But like it or not, in Glorantha this is a deliberate pattern (at least to a degree, and with numerous local caveats). In the West the dominant understand is sorcerous, in the "North" it's theist, in the South nimist, and in the East, mystical. The mystical one most of all by its very nature must interact with the Otherworld (of the 'other' systems). Thus theist, animist, sorcerous and of course "mundane" forces come very much into place, but need to be understood in a way that makes sense given a mystical understand of the cosmos (or a draconic one, if you'd rather. in the case of K.).

Orientalism / Edward W. Said. -- Penguin, 1995. -- (Penguin history)
A Cultural History of Tibet / David Snellgrove and Hugh Richardson,
(Praeger 1968, reprint Prajna 1980) [translated into Japanese with good annotations from latest study.]
Science and Civilization in China / Joseph Needham


Alex: I think the Thalurzni tradition is explicitly "draconic" in the above sense, and is better described as "esoteric alchemy" than sorcery per se. But the magical effects of such magic happens in the Sorcery Plane (etc, etc), certainly.

Terra: Maybe Thalurzni Sorcery has similarity to Tantrism?

Alex: I think Thalurzni is the source for both (with certain caveats about earlier and later work). For the practical reasons you mention, I'm sure the traditions have diverged significantly, but I think they have many elements in common. e.g., a (meditational) mandala may be very similar in appearance to a (sorcerous) talisman. And likewise to a geomantic scheme, or the correct configuration in a ritual magic...

Terra: Then do you want to put on
Theism - (similar to) Tibetan Mandala Practice.
Sorcery-Thalurzni-RW Feng-Shui Art? Or Opposite is true? Or this dichotomy is not appropriate?

Alex: I'd have said the central purpose of the mandala was a "mystical" one (usual cautions and caveats). But certainly I'm sure different schools/ traditions use similar devices in ways that manifest as various 'Otherworldly' powers. I'd guess that these are often sorcerous, but fitted into (or seen as fitting into) the 'Darudan magical scheme' -- whatever that is. I think they are seen as dating make to Thalurzni -- but equally, so are a lot of things.

(I tend to think of Daruda as an enigmatic innovator, and Th. as a meticulous systematiser, and lots of Kralori religious practices being accounted for in terms such as "Daruda did such and such a thing, then Thalurzni wrote the following text explaining the meaning and correct usage of the underlying concept".)

Terra: I like your idea. To make a balance of Three World System, Old Genertela Box and Revealed Mythologies hinted Dragon Hsunchen and local adopted "foreign" Draconic Teaching. That might mean Kralori way has also relation to Korgatsu Tradition and certain type of Animism.

Alex: I suspect so. Of course, the Kralori would never admit to being influenced by Mere Foreigners -- and probably by the hsunchen least of all, who are after all near neighbours, and I'm sure officially held in complete contempt. (The Tiger I'm sure is especially seen as a motif for all that's bad in the Kralori worldview: selfish, lustful, lazy.) But deep down, however well hidden, I think it exists. And certainly I think many Kralori religious practices, including those seen as 'draconic' by the Kralori, would be seen as animist by outsiders.
(Especially God Learnerish ones...)

Tantra and Hinduism

My assumption about similarity of Mahayana Buddhism and Kralori way is not official but just a suggestion, but it explains well about Kralori way of philosophy in a certain level. And some of knowledge about RW tantrism might not be shared all of us. So I want to share it with you, please ignore below if you already know well about it.

First, Tantrism is never mainstream in Dominant Religion (Densely Populated Area) in east asia, India, China nor most of seaside areas though they experienced. So I feel uncomfortable to see it as dominant concept, but Alex and Peter doesn't accept its sexual images at least in the "vulgar" form and it should be understood only as metaphor and not direct hedonism that was experienced among Vadeli and Ebbeshal, but Shaktism is an aspect of Worship to Goddess from POV of man, for there is no Vinga in RW. I think Alex and Peter is too polished, or I am not sure tantrism without sexual images.

Second, I think Greg's familiarity to Sexual Image as a participants of Hippy culture and post-Vietnam War, and I think to understand Glorantha means to understand Greg Stafford. And Greg suggested Kundalini and some hints on Kralori fragment in RM. Though certainly I stress overly RW parallel of tantrism and China.

So please don't ignore Shaktism and an aspect of Hinduism. Though puritans refuse to understand their sacred texts also potentially sexual. I think Glorantha holds much debates about using sexual images openly.

Quote1: Greg's mention about sexual ecstasy in Q&A,
<<So where on the spectrum of differentiation do Orlanth and Ernalda exist? We know both are connected to the Universal Plane, which means that they have direct access to and/or part of that Universal non gendered and non differentiated state. However, by definition they would not be separate from each other there. They would be one, joined in eternity (much like the state we may obtain at that moment of coital orgasm). >>

Quote2: Sivoli and Kamboli in Affairs at Dusk.

<<Several times, Greg used Atrilithic Way term as more easily reachable, but easy-to-fail way to Enlightenment comparing with more Orthodox "Durapdur" Mysticism in his Eastern Mythology.>>] Ven Forn is a follower of Spirit Master Festanur, enemy of Vith.

[History of Hinduism and Tantric Method, without China and Tibet. And Tantric Buddhism texts appeared in Bengal before Muslims destroyed Indian Buddhism centers, like Great Temple of Vikramasila till early 13th century. Tibetan Buddhism is not from its own, but from India.]

Very Rough History of Tantra in Hinduism and Buddhism
1: Before Aryans, worship to Goddesses, non caste society. "Ideal State of Primitiveness" for feminism (later its worship labelled as Shaktism in sexual meaning from POV of man side), no distinct philosophy between difference of physical and spiritual, maybe.

2: Aryan Invasion, Rigid Caste System and Man-chauvinism, "primitiveness" of indigenous religion was rejected by conquerors. Many of rough castes are former indigenous people, they worshipped Great Goddesses and devils, later labelled as relation of Shiva, God of Yoga. Religion and Philosophy began to split I suppose.

3: Buddhism appears, traitorous teaching to Holy Order of Rigid Caste System from Warrior Caste to Priest Caste (Brahman). Buddhism thrived under King Asoka and threatened south hinduism area. Hinduism began to theoretical arming by the way of their enemies. Raja Yoga text appeared but it doesn't have relationship to Tantrism until later.

4: Mahayana Buddhism split from Classic Sects and offended its way doesn't consider about ordinary people, removed from true Nirvana and zealous only to understand holy texts, Nagarjuna was the Founder.

Tantrism appears among populace both in Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism, etc... who stuck to worship their mother than their ruler. (Though Hatha Yoga texts appeared much later than actual appearance of Tantrism.) Still Buddhism thrived under Gupta, Vardhana, Pala, various kingdoms of Bengal. In a certain level,  Orthodox Hindis condemned its way, so buddhists accepted lower caste relgion to enhance their power. (Many of tantric buddhism texts suggests worship of lower indian caste accepted as the follwer of great buddhas and idams.)

5: Fusion of Tantrism and Buddhism, Ordered docrinal tenet was created as the final form of Buddhism against the threat of tenet of monotheism and Hinduism. Vicramassira Temple was the center of many such tantric texts, later tibetans learned it and claimed it is most sophisticated form of Buddhism.

Gradually Indian Buddhism declined before the recovery of Hinduism and new Monotheism from West like Zoroastrianism and later, Muslim.

6: Destruction by Muslim, "Ignorant" Monotheists from West. Four Folded Tenet of Tantric Buddhism made and completed in Tibet as the successor of Indian Buddhism.

I think Mahayana Buddhism: Philosophy of Nagarjuna explained well about the utuma and paradox of Kralori, Orthodox Mysticism refuses this World, but Dragon made this world. Tantric Buddhism (Vajrayana) might not be similar to Kralori religion in the sense of "Tantrism", but tibetans (and Indian Buddhists, before died out) thinks it is the most sophisticated form of understanding Void and Nirvana, I am not sure its Sexual Image, High Philosophy and Rituals firmly connected into one can be disintegrated, so I want to suggest they exist in Kralorela as a whole, but just a minority.

Kriya -> Carya -> Yoga -> Anuttrara Yoga (Four Folded concept) is taught in Tibetan Buddhism, accepted by all dominant four sects. And Anuttrara Yoga (Highest Y oga) is considered as highest teaching and stresses most sexual image among texts, and such texts can be divided into three categories, Mother Tantra, Father Tantra and Unseparable. All Tantric Sects use both Tantra, in other words by Father Tantra, they try to summon heaven. While by Mother Tantra, they try to ascend themselves to higher place.

*Mother Tantra stresses Phisiological Transformation along with teaching of Arjul Veda and Tantric texts with Shaktism image and Kundalini, ascending of Meditator.

[Hevajra Tantra: This Mother Tantra text most revered by Sakya Sect (My suggestion: their is relationship to Saka Morn sect of Sheng [Mongol-Tibet], though such alchemistic (hedonistic?) image trainning is not well for Sheng's Instant Torture Camp, it reminds me Milarepa's suffering under Tutor Malupa, founder of Kagyu sect rather than Sakya.]

While Father Tantra stresses Meditating upon Mandala, and meditating upon the structure of Cosmos, try to make descending of Heaven. As its musclinity, the founder of Geluq Sect Tsongkhapa considered it is relatively safe and its main sect, Guhyasamaja Tantra as canon of Orthodox teaching. [I think if Kralori perfectly tantric in any meaning, Geluq creed is relatively safe for it awares risk of Shaktism and Alchemistic Way enough and its musclinity.]

Karlachakra is called the last of tantric holy texts and it was written in peculiar, unique form of Sanskrit unlike other texts, some say it was written in fantasic ideal state, called Shambara. It tried to combine both of Father Tantra and Mother Tantra in methodology and claims most sophisticated form of tantric Buddhism.


Tantra and Hindu

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