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Ep48: Dr Ben Joffe 2 - Siddhi, Samaya, and Duels of Magick

Second interview with Dr Ben Joffe!

We dive into detail about who the ngakpa are, how they attain their powers (siddhi), common misconceptions about samaya, magical duels between sorcerers, and more!

Let me know what you think in the comments :-)


Audio version of this podcast also available on iTunes and Stitcher – search ‘Guru Viking Podcast’.


Show notes
In this episode I am once again joined by Dr Ben Joffe, anthropologist and scholar practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism.

This episode is the second part of a series in which we explore Ben’s PhD dissertation on the ngakpa of the Himalayas, or as Ben calls them ‘wizards and socially engaged yogis’.

In the previous episode, we met the scholar, exploring Ben’s life as well as looking at his research methodology.

In this episode we begin by defining the ngakpa, both in terms of traditional definitions as well as how the ngakpa exist and function today.
We explore the various tantric vows associated with the highest yoga tantra yidam empowerments, including common misinterpretations about samaya, and how hair and clothing styles are often used as on outer expression of inner or secret principles.

We look at how ngakpa develop their magical powers (siddhi), why they have often been viewed with suspicion by the religious and state authorities, and finally Ben recounts a story of a magical duel between sorcerers over local occult jurisdiction.

Topics include:
0:00 - Intro
1:07 - Who are the ngakpa?
23:58 - Tantric vows and the complex issue of samaya
54:22 - How ngakpa develop and use magical powers (siddhi)
1:09:18 - Ngakpa Yeshe Dorje’s magical duel with local sorcerers

RE: Ep48: Dr Ben Joffe 2 - Siddhi, Samaya, and Duels of Magick
5/4/20 11:25 AM as a reply to Steve James.
Awesome, thanks for posting! I'm going to go back and listen to the first episode with him, then listen to this new one. Will let you know any thoughts!

RE: Ep48: Dr Ben Joffe 2 - Siddhi, Samaya, and Duels of Magick
5/4/20 11:34 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Great! Let me know what you think :-) 

Here's the link to the first one: