From Here to Enlightenment: An Introduction to Tsong-kha-pa's Classic Text The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment
When the Dalai Lama was forced to go into exile in 1959, he could take only a few items with him. Among these cherished belongings was his copy of Tsong-kha-pa’s classic text The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment. This text distills all of the essential points of Tibetan Buddhism, clearly unfolding the entire Buddhist path to enlightenment.
In 2008, celebrating the long-awaited completion of the English-language translation of The Great Treatise, the Dalai Lama gave a historic six-day teaching at Lehigh University to explain the meaning of this classic text and to underscore its importance. It is the longest teaching that he has ever given to Westerners on just one text, and Westerners have never before had the opportunity to receive such a complete teaching that encompasses the totality of the Buddhist path from the Dalai Lama. From Here to Enlightenment makes the teachings from this momentous event available for a wider audience.
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.