The story of Tibet’s notorious master of Buddhist sorcery—translated for the first time into English
An essential sacred text of Tibetan Buddhism, The All-Pervading Melodious Drumbeat tells the wondrous story of Ra Lotsawa Dorjé Drak. Though he was canonized as a saint and a fully enlightened buddha, the eleventh-century Ra Lotsawa’s life story presents a darker path than those taken by Siddhartha Gautama and Milarepa. Viewed by some as a murderous villain and by others as a liberator of human suffering, Ra Lotsawa used his formidable power and magical abilities to defeat his rivals, accumulate wealth, and amass a devoted following. His life offers a rare view into the often overlooked roles of magic and sorcery in the Buddhist tradition. Despite this sinister legacy, his fame also rests on an illustrious career as a translator of Buddhist scriptures, through which he helped spark a renaissance of Buddhism in Tibet. This spirited new translation gives readers in English their first opportunity to encounter one of the most colorful and memorable figures in Tibetan Buddhist history.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Echoes of Enlightenment explores the issues of gender and sainthood raised by the recently discovered "liberation story" of the fourteenth-century Tibetan female Buddhist practitioner S?nam Peldren. Born in 1328, S?nam Peldren spent most of her adult life as a nomad in eastern Tibet until her death in 1372. She is believed to have been illiterate, lacking religious education, and unconnected to established religious institutions. For that reason, and because as a woman her claims of religious authority would have been constantly questioned, S?nam Peldren's success in legitimizing her claims of divine identity appear all the more remarkable. Today the site of her death is recognized as sacred by local residents. Suzanne Bessenger draws on the new-found biography of the saint to understand how the written record of the saint's life is shaped both by the hagiographical agendas of its multiple authors and by the dictates of the genres of Tibetan religious literature, including biography and poetry. She considers S?nam Peldren's enduring historical legacy as a fascinating piece of Tibetan history that reveals much about the social and textual machinations of saint production. Finally, she identifies S?nam Peldren as one of the earliest recorded instances of a historical Tibetan woman successfully using the uniquely Tibetan hermeneutic of deity emanation to achieve religious authority.
The Life of the Madman of ? tells the story of K?nga Zangpo (1458-1532), a famous Tibetan Buddhist ascetic of the Kagy? sect. Having grown weary of the trials of human existence, K?nga Zangpo renounced the world during his teenage years, committing himself to learning and practicing the holy Dharma as a monk. Some years later he would give up his monkhood to take on a unique tantric asceticism that entailed dressing in human remains, wandering from place to place, and provoking others to attack him physically, among other norm-overturning behaviors. It was because of this asceticism that K?nga Zangpo came to be known as the Madman of ?. David M. Divalerio translates this biography, originally written in two parts in 1494 and 1537, making accessible to a modern audience a rich depiction of religious life in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Tibet. The book also details K?nga Zangpo's many miracles, a testament to the spiritual perfection he attained. His final thirty years were spent at his monastery of Tsimar Pel, where he dispensed teachings to his numerous disciples and followers. The Life of this remarkable and controversial figure, now available in English for the first time, provides new means for understanding the tradition of the "holy madman" (smyon pa) in Tibetan Buddhism.
The Lawudo Lama presents two life stories along with an extended introduction laying out their social and cultural context. It takes place in the Mount Everest region of Nepal, the home of the famous Sherpa guides, where the people practice Tibetan Buddhism and revere the local lamas and yogis. The stories are centered in Lawudo, a small village in the Khumbu region, and the central figure is the renowned Lawudo Lama.
The first Lawudo Lama portrayed, Lama Kunzang Yeshe (1864-1946), was a yogi of the Nyingma lineage who spent much of his life meditating in a cave near Lawudo, and his life is reconstructed through meticulous research of written and oral histories. The second story is of Kunzang Yeshe's reincarnation, a monk of the Gelug lineage known as Lama Zopa Rinpoche, whose story is given in a first-person narrative. Lama Zopa is well known in the West as the author of several books and as the Spritual Director of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), which has more than 100 affiliate Buddhist centers worldwide. Lama Zopa Rinpoche travels and teaches extensively to large audiences and has thousands of students.
The Lawudo Lama will appeal to travelers to Nepal, to Buddhist practitioners, and to scholars trying to understand the culture of the region. It is well documented, and is accompanied by more than 125 color and black and white photos, drawings, lineage charts, and maps.
The tradition known as the Path with the Result, or Lamdre, is the most important tantric system of meditation practice and theory in the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism. This volume contains an unprecedented compilation of eleven vital works from different periods in the history of the Path with the Result in India and Tibet, including the Vajra Lines of the great Indian adept Virupa (ca. seventh-eighth centuries), the basic text of the tradition. The collection also includes six writings by Jamyang Khyentse Wangchuk (1524-68) and an instruction manual composed by the Fifth Dalai Lama (1617-62). None of the works in this book have ever been published before in any European language, and most of these writings traditionally have been considered secret. The present translation, an important new volume of the Library of Tibetan Classics, has been made with the personal approval and encouragement of His Holiness Sakya Trizin, head of the Sakya tradition. Students of the Lamdre will rejoice at the availability and lucidity of this major translation of key Sakya texts.
In this book, Anne Carolyn Klein, an American scholar and teacher of Buddhism, and Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, a rigorously trained Tibetan Lama who was among the first to bring Bon Dzogchen teachings to the West, provide a study and translation of the Authenticity of Open Awareness, a foundational text of the Bon Dzogchen tradition. This is the first time a Bon philosophical text of this scope has been translated into any Western language, and as such it is a significant addition to the study of Tibetan religion and Eastern thought. Klein and Rinpoche provide extensive introductory, explanatory and historical material that situates the text in the context of Tibetan thought and culture, thus making it accessible to nonspecialists, and an essential reference for scholars and practitioners alike.
Creation and Completion represents some of the most profound teachings of Jamgon Kongtrul (1813-99), one of the true spiritual and literary giants of Tibetan history. Though brief, it offers a lifetime of advice for all who wish to engage in-and deepen-the practice of tantric Buddhist meditation.
The original text, beautifully translated and introduced by Sara Harding, is further brought to life by an in-depth commentary by the contemporary master Thrangu Rinpoche. Key Tibetan Buddhist fundamentals are quickly made clear, so that the reader may confidently enter into tantra's oft-misunderstood "creation" and "completion" stages.
In the creation stage, practitioners visualize themselves in the form of buddhas and other enlightened beings in order to break down their ordinary concepts of themselves and the world around them. This meditation practice prepares the mind for engaging in the completion stage, where one has a direct encounter with the ultimate nature of mind and reality.
Explore a complete history of one of Tibet’s four main Buddhist schools, from its origins to the present day.
Since its 1976 publication in Tibetan, Dhongthog Rinpoche’s history of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism has been a key reference for specialists in Tibetan studies. Now English readers can consult it as well through Sam van Schaik’s authoritative, fully annotated and accessible translation.
The book begins by examining the development of Buddhism in India and Tibet, setting the scene for the Khon family’s establishment of the Sakya school in the eleventh century. Rinpoche subsequently provides accounts of the transmission of the Lamdre (the heart of Sakya contemplative practice and other major streams of esoteric instruction) and the Ngor and Tshar branches of the Sakya tradition. Highlights also include surveys of great Sakya and nonsectarian masters such as Rongtongpa, Gorampa, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, and Khyentse Chokyi Lodro. This traditional history, compiled both from earlier histories and from the author's direct connection to masters of the tradition, is an enormously valuable resource for the study of Tibetan Buddhism.
The revelations of Düdjom Lingpa, a highly influential mystic of 19th century Tibet, translated by B. Alan Wallace, widely respected for his lucid and readable translations of Tibetan Buddhism.
Düdjom Lingpa (1835–1904) was one of the foremost tantric masters of his time. This new series includes his visionary teachings on the Great Perfection (Dzogchen), the pinnacle of practice in Tibet's oldest Buddhist school.
Volume 1 contains four works explaining the view and practice of the Great Perfection, the signature style of meditation of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism:
The Sharp Vajra of Conscious Awareness Tantra: This work is considered the root distillation of Düdjom Lingpa's wisdom.
Essence of Clear Meaning: This definitive commentary, which unpacks the quintessential verses of The Sharp Vajra, is based on Düdjom Lingpa's oral teachings recorded by his disciple Pema Tashi.
The Foolish Dharma of an Idiot Clothed in Mud and Feathers: Düdjom Lingpa narrates the essential Dharma teachings from the perspective of an old man rejecting superficial appearances.
The Enlightened View of Samantabhadra: A masterful exposition of the Great Perfection is revealed as a dialogue between wisdom beings who bestow a treasury of pith instructions and specific advice for practitioners.
While the teachings in this series have inspired generations of Tibetans, few have been published in translation—until now.
Ritual is one of the most pervasive religious phenomena in the Tibetan cultural world. Despite its ubiquity and importance to Tibetan cultural life, however, only in recent years has Tibetan ritual been given the attention it deserves. This is the first scholarly collection to focus on this important subject. Unique in its historical, geographical and disciplinary breadth, this book brings together eleven essays by an international cast of scholars working on ritual texts, institutions and practices in the greater Tibetan cultural world - Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and Mongolia. While most of the chapters focus on Buddhism, two deal with ritual in Tibet's indigenous Bon religion. All of the essays are original to this volume. An extensive introduction by the editor provides a broad overview of Tibetan ritual and contextualizes the chapters within the field of Buddhist and Tibetan studies. The book should find use in advanced undergraduate courses and graduate seminars on Tibetan religion. It will also be of interest to students and scholars of ritual generally.
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