Gendun Chopel is considered the most important Tibetan intellectual of the twentieth century. His life spanned the two defining moments in modern Tibetan history: the entry into Lhasa by British troops in 1904 and by Chinese troops in 1951. Recognized as an incarnate lama while he was a child, Gendun Chopel excelled in the traditional monastic curriculum and went on to become expert in fields as diverse as philosophy, history, linguistics, geography, and tantric Buddhism. Near the end of his life, before he was persecuted and imprisoned by the government of the young Dalai Lama, he would dictate the Adornment for Nagarjuna’s Thought, a work on Madhyamaka, or “Middle Way,” philosophy. It sparked controversy immediately upon its publication and continues to do so today. The Madman’s Middle Way presents the first English translation of this major Tibetan Buddhist work, accompanied by an essay on Gendun Chopel’s life liberally interspersed with passages from his writings. Donald S. Lopez Jr. also provides a commentary that sheds light on the doctrinal context of the Adornment and summarizes its key arguments. Ultimately, Lopez examines the long-standing debate over whether Gendun Chopel in fact is the author of the Adornment; the heated critical response to the work by Tibetan monks of the Dalai Lama’s sect; and what the Adornment tells us about Tibetan Buddhism’s encounter with modernity. The result is an insightful glimpse into a provocative and enigmatic workthatwill be of great interest to anyone seriously interested in Buddhism or Asian religions.
In this major work, Jeffrey Hopkins, on e of the world's foremost scholar-practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism, offers a clear exposition of the Prasangika-Madhyamaka view of emptiness as presented in the Ge-luk-ba tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. In bringing this remarkable and complex philosophy to life, he describes the meditational practices by which emptiness can be realized and shows throughout that, far from being merely abstract, these teachings can be vivid and utterly practical. Presented in six parts, this book is indispensable for those wishing to delve deeply into Buddhist thought.
Does a Bodhisattva's initial direct cognition of emptiness differ from subsequent ones? Can one "improve" a nondualistic understanding of the unconditioned and, if so, what role might subtle states of concentration play in the process? In material collected by Anne Klein over a seven-year period, Kensur Yeshey Tupden addresses these and other crucial issues of Buddhist soteriology to provide one of the richest presentations of Tibetan oral philosophy yet published in English. Anne Klein's introduction to his commentary surveys oral genres associated with Tibetan textual study, and the volume concludes with a translation of the text on which Kensur bases his discussion of the "Perfection of Wisdom" chapter in Tsong-kha-pa's Illumination of (Candrakirti's) Thought (dbu ma dgongs pa rab gsal), translated here by Jeffrey Hopkins and Anne Klein.
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