The Superhuman Life of Gesar of Ling

Shambhala Publications
1

King Gesar, renowned throughout Tibet and Central Asia, represents the ideal warrior—the principle of all-victorious confidence. As the central force of sanity, he conquers all his enemies, the evil forces of the four directions, who turn people's minds away from the true teachings of Buddhism. These enemies graphically represent the different manifestations of cowardly mind.

As Chögyam Trungpa explains in the Foreword:

"When we talk here about conquering our enemy, it is important to understand that we are not talking about aggression. The genuine warrior does not become resentful or arrogant . . . It is absolutely necessary for the warrior to subjugate his own ambition to conquer at the same time that he is subjugating his other more obvious enemies. Thus the idea of warriorship altogether is that by facing all our enemies fearlessly, with gentleness and intelligence, we can develop ourselves thereby attaining self-realization."

The legends of Gesar usually take weeks for a bard to recount. Filled with magic, adventure, and the triumphs of this great warrior-king, the stories will delight all—young and old alike.
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About the author

Alexandra David-Neel (1868–1969), born in Paris to a socially prominent family, was an acclaimed operatic soprano, political anarchist, religious reformer, intrepid explorer who traveled in Tibet for fourteen years, scholar of Buddhism, and author of more than forty books.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Shambhala Publications
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Published on
May 1, 2001
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780834829244
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Asia / Central Asia
Religion / Buddhism / General
Religion / Buddhism / Tibetan
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Nestled amid the high peaks and eternal snows of the Himalayas and other mountain ranges, Tibet is home to a centuries-old Buddhist tradition, rich in mystic rites and rituals aimed at helping adherents achieve spiritual bliss. In this fascinating volume, a noted authority delves into the nature and sources of Tibetan mysticism, providing readers with a wealth of information regarding Lamaic rites of initiation and the teachings given to initiates, both during and after the initiation ceremonies.
The author first defines Tibetan mysticism and examines the role of the spiritual guide and the choice of a master. This is followed by a discussion of the nature of the esoteric doctrines and traditional oral instruction. Madame David-Neel then recounts in detail the various kinds of initiations and their aims, including initiations with and without “activity,” the “Mani” initiation, and the different meanings of Aum mani padme hum! Also covered are the magic rites known as dubthabs, the “gymnastics” of respiration, daily spiritual exercises, the contemplation of sun and sky, the dalai lamas, different kinds of morality, and many other topics.
Alexandra David-Neel was a historian of religion and a resident of Tibet for 14 years. As a practicing Buddhist, she participated in many of the spiritual rites and practices described in this book, which gives her account a special immediacy and authenticity. Lucid, objective, and highly readable, Initiations and Initiates in Tibet is a treasury of fact and lore offering valuable insights and information to students of religion and Tibetan Buddhism in particular.
For centuries Tibet has been known as the last home of mystery, the hidden, sealed land, where ancient mysteries still survive that have perished in the rest of the Orient. Many men have written about Tibet and its secret lore, but few have actually penetrated it to learn its ancient wisdom. Among those few was Madame Alexandra David-Neel, a French orientalist. A practicing Buddhist, a profound historian of religion, and linguist, she actually lived in Tibet for more than 14 years. She had the great honor of being received by the Dalai Lama; she studied philosophical Buddhism and Tibetan Tantra at the great centers; she meditated in lonely caves and on wind-swept winter mountains with yogi hermits; and she even witnessed forbidden corpse-magic in the forests. Her experiences have been unique.
Magic and Mystery in Tibet tells the story of her experiences in Tibet, among lamas and magicians. It is neither a travel book nor an autobiography but a study of psychic discovery, a description of the occult and mystical theories and psychic training practices of Tibet. She tells of great sages and sorcerers that she met; of the system of monastic education; the great teachers and their disciples; Tibetan folklore about their spiritual athletes; reincarnation and memory from previous lives; elaborate magical rites to obtain siddhis; the horrible necromantic magic of the pre-Buddhist Bonpa shamas; mental visualization exercises to create disembodied thought forms (tulpas); visions; phenomena of physical yoga, control of the body heat mechanism; breathing exercises; sending “messages on the wind”; and much similar material.
An unusual aspect of Madame David-Neel’s book is that she herself experienced many of the phenomena she describes, yet she describes them with precision and in a matter-of-fact manner, permitting the reader to draw his own conclusions about validity, interpretation in terms of psychology, and value. Particularly interesting for the modern experiencer are her detailed instructions for tumo (the yoga of heat control) and creation of thought projections.
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