Materializing Dreams and Omens: The Autobiographical Subjectivity of the Tibetan Yoginī Kun dga’ ‘Phrin las dbang mo (1585-1668). 2020. In Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines, 56, 263-292.
Abstract: This paper reflects on the autobiographical subjectivity of the 17th c. Tibetan woman author and yoginī Rje btsun ma Kun dga’ ‘Phrin las dbang mo (1585-1668). She was a close disciple and secret consort (gsang yum) to Rje btsun Tāranātha (1575-1635), a Jonang lineage-holder and key figure in the transmission of gzhan stong (zhentong) philosophy, and mentor to the generation of masters who were instrumental in transplanting the Jonangpas from central Tibet to Amdo. This paper (a) discusses the provenance of the manuscript of her autobiography, the Gsang ba’i ye shes or The Secret Gnosis, and related source texts; (b) contextualizes her autobiography in the broader Tibetan literature written by and about women in Tibet; (c) presents her to be an author whose writing style captures her relationality within a given social context and ability to operate within juxtaposed lived worlds; and (d) to exemplify the literary modes that she effectuates as an author, reflects on select dreams in her autobiography that describe the oneiric consciousness that she pilots as a yoginī.