The Tibetan Book of the Dead: Or The After-Death Experiences on the Bardo Plane, according to L=ama Kazi Dawa-Samdup's English Rendering

Oxford University Press
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The Tibetan Book of the Dead is one of the texts that, according to legend, Padma-Sambhava was compelled to hide during his visit to Tibet in the late 8th century. The guru hid his books in stones, lakes, and pillars because the Tibetans of that day and age were somehow unprepared for their teachings. Now, in the form of the ever-popular Tibetan Book of the Dead, these teachings are constantly being discovered and rediscovered by Western readers of many different backgrounds--a phenomenon which began in 1927 with Oxford's first edition of Dr. Evans-Wentz's landmark volume. While it is traditionally used as a mortuary text, to be read or recited in the presence of a dead or dying person, this book--which relates the whole experience of death and rebirth in three intermediate states of being--was originally understood as a guide not only for the dead but also for the living. As a contribution to the science of death and dying--not to mention the belief in life after death, or the belief in rebirth--The Tibetan Book of the Dead is unique among the sacred texts of the world, for its socio-cultural influence in this regard is without comparison. This fourth edition features a new foreword, afterword, and suggested further reading list by Donald S. Lopez, author of Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West. Lopez traces the whole history of the late Evans-Wentz's three earlier editions of this book, fully considering the work of contributors to previous editions (C. G. Jung among them), the sections that were added by Evans-Wentz along the way, the questions surrounding the book's translation, and finally the volume's profound importance in engendering both popular and academic interest in the religion and culture of Tibet. Another key theme that Lopez addresses is the changing nature of this book's audience--from the prewar theosophists to the beat poets to the hippies to contemporary exponents of the hospice movement--and what these audiences have found (or sought) in its very old pages.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Sep 28, 2000
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Pages
354
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ISBN
9780198030515
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Buddhism / Tibetan
Religion / Eastern
Religion / History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, which was unknown to the Western world until its first publication in 1954, speaks to the quintessence of the Supreme Path, or Mah=ay=ana, and fully reveals the yogic method of attaining Enlightenment. Such attainment can happen, as shown here, by means of knowing the One Mind, the cosmic All-Consciousness, without recourse to the postures, breathings, and other techniques associated with the lower yogas. The original text for this volume belongs to the Bardo Thödol series of treatises concerning various ways of achieving transcendence, a series that figures into the Tantric school of the Mah=ay=ana. Authorship of this particular volume is attributed to the legendary Padma-Sambhava, who journeyed from India to Tibet in the 8th century, as the story goes, at the invitation of a Tibetan king. Padma-Sambhava's text per se is preceded by an account of the great guru's own life and secret doctrines. It is followed by the testamentary teachings of the Guru Phadampa Sangay, which are meant to augment the thought of the other gurus discussed herein. Still more useful supplementary material will be found in the book's introductory remarks, by its editor Evans-Wentz and by the eminent psychoanalyst C. G. Jung. The former presents a 100-page General Introduction that explains several key names and notions (such as Nirv=ana, for starters) with the lucidity, ease, and sagacity that are this scholar's hallmark; the latter offers a Psychological Commentary that weighs the differences between Eastern and Western modes of thought before equating the "collective unconscious" with the Enlightened Mind of the Buddhist. As with the other three volumes in the late Evans-Wentz's critically acclaimed Tibetan series, all four of which are being published by Oxford in new editions, this book also features a new Foreword by Donald S. Lopez.
About one thousand years ago, the great Indian pandit and yogi, Dipamkara Shrijnana (Atisha), was invited to Tibet to re-establish the Buddhadharma, which had been suppressed and corrupted for almost two centuries. One of Atisha's main accomplishments in Tibet was his writing of the seminal text, A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, in which he extracted the essence of all 84,000 teachings of the Buddha and organized them into a clear, step-like arrangement that makes it easy for any individual practitioner to understand and practice the Dharma. This genre of teachings is known as lam-rim, or steps of the path, and forms an essential part of every school of Tibetan Buddhism.


In this book, His Holiness the Dalai Lama gives a commentary to not only Atisha's revolutionary work but also to Lines of Experience, a short text written by Lama Tsongkhapa, who was perhaps the greatest of all Tibetan lam-rim authors. In bringing together Atisha, Lama Tsongkhapa and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, this book offers readers one of the clearest and most authoritative expositions of the Tibetan Buddhist path ever published, and it is recommended for those at the beginning of the path, the middle and the end.

This book is made possible by kind supporters of the Archive who, like you, appreciate how we make these teachings freely available in so many ways, including in our website for instant reading, listening or downloading, and as printed and electronic books. 
Our website offers immediate access to thousands of pages of teachings and hundreds of audio recordings by some of the greatest lamas of our time. Our photo gallery and our ever-popular books are also freely accessible there. 

Please help us increase our efforts to spread the Dharma for the happiness and benefit of all beings. You can find out more about becoming a supporter of the Archive and see all we have to offer by visiting our website.

Thank you so much, and please enjoy this book. 

Books, audiotapes, and classes about yoga are today as familiar as they are widespread, but we in the West have only recently become engaged in the meditative doctrines of the East--only in the last 70 or 80 years, in fact. In the early part of the 20th century, it was the pioneering efforts of keen scholars like W. Y. Evans-Wentz, the late editor of this volume, that triggered our ongoing occidental fascination with such phenomena as yoga, Zen, and meditation. Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines--a companion to the popular Tibetan Book of the Dead, which is also published by Oxford in an authoritative Evans-Wentz edition--is a collection of seven authentic Tibetan yoga texts that first appeared in English in 1935. In these pages, amid useful photographs and reproductions of yoga paintings and manuscripts, readers will encounter some of the principal meditations used by Hindu and Tibetan gurus and philosophers throughout the ages in the attainment of Right Knowledge and Enlightenment. Special commentaries precede each translated text, and a comprehensive introduction contrasts the tenets of Buddhism with European notions of religion, philosophy, and science. Evans-Wentz has also included a body of orally transmitted traditions and teachings that he received firsthand during his fifteen-plus years of study in the Orient, findings that will interest any student of anthropology, psychology, comparative religion, or applied Mah=ay=ana Yoga. These seven distinct but intimately related texts will grant any reader a full and complete view of the spiritual teachings that still inform the life and culture of the East. As with Evans-Wentz's other three Oxford titles on Tibetan religion, which are also appearing in new editions, this third edition of Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines features a new foreword by Donald S. Lopez, author of the recent Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead is one of the texts that, according to legend, Padma-Sambhava was compelled to hide during his visit to Tibet in the late 8th century. The guru hid his books in stones, lakes, and pillars because the Tibetans of that day and age were somehow unprepared for their teachings. Now, in the form of the ever-popular Tibetan Book of the Dead, these teachings are constantly being discovered and rediscovered by Western readers of many different backgrounds--a phenomenon which began in 1927 with Oxford's first edition of Dr. Evans-Wentz's landmark volume. While it is traditionally used as a mortuary text, to be read or recited in the presence of a dead or dying person, this book--which relates the whole experience of death and rebirth in three intermediate states of being--was originally understood as a guide not only for the dead but also for the living. As a contribution to the science of death and dying--not to mention the belief in life after death, or the belief in rebirth--The Tibetan Book of the Dead is unique among the sacred texts of the world, for its socio-cultural influence in this regard is without comparison. This fourth edition features a new foreword, afterword, and suggested further reading list by Donald S. Lopez, author of Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West. Lopez traces the whole history of the late Evans-Wentz's three earlier editions of this book, fully considering the work of contributors to previous editions (C. G. Jung among them), the sections that were added by Evans-Wentz along the way, the questions surrounding the book's translation, and finally the volume's profound importance in engendering both popular and academic interest in the religion and culture of Tibet. Another key theme that Lopez addresses is the changing nature of this book's audience--from the prewar theosophists to the beat poets to the hippies to contemporary exponents of the hospice movement--and what these audiences have found (or sought) in its very old pages.
Books, audiotapes, and classes about yoga are today as familiar as they are widespread, but we in the West have only recently become engaged in the meditative doctrines of the East--only in the last 70 or 80 years, in fact. In the early part of the 20th century, it was the pioneering efforts of keen scholars like W. Y. Evans-Wentz, the late editor of this volume, that triggered our ongoing occidental fascination with such phenomena as yoga, Zen, and meditation. Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines--a companion to the popular Tibetan Book of the Dead, which is also published by Oxford in an authoritative Evans-Wentz edition--is a collection of seven authentic Tibetan yoga texts that first appeared in English in 1935. In these pages, amid useful photographs and reproductions of yoga paintings and manuscripts, readers will encounter some of the principal meditations used by Hindu and Tibetan gurus and philosophers throughout the ages in the attainment of Right Knowledge and Enlightenment. Special commentaries precede each translated text, and a comprehensive introduction contrasts the tenets of Buddhism with European notions of religion, philosophy, and science. Evans-Wentz has also included a body of orally transmitted traditions and teachings that he received firsthand during his fifteen-plus years of study in the Orient, findings that will interest any student of anthropology, psychology, comparative religion, or applied Mah=ay=ana Yoga. These seven distinct but intimately related texts will grant any reader a full and complete view of the spiritual teachings that still inform the life and culture of the East. As with Evans-Wentz's other three Oxford titles on Tibetan religion, which are also appearing in new editions, this third edition of Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines features a new foreword by Donald S. Lopez, author of the recent Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West.
Books, audiotapes, and classes about yoga are today as familiar as they are widespread, but we in the West have only recently become engaged in the meditative doctrines of the East--only in the last 70 or 80 years, in fact. In the early part of the 20th century, it was the pioneering efforts of keen scholars like W. Y. Evans-Wentz, the late editor of this volume, that triggered our ongoing occidental fascination with such phenomena as yoga, Zen, and meditation. Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines--a companion to the popular Tibetan Book of the Dead, which is also published by Oxford in an authoritative Evans-Wentz edition--is a collection of seven authentic Tibetan yoga texts that first appeared in English in 1935. In these pages, amid useful photographs and reproductions of yoga paintings and manuscripts, readers will encounter some of the principal meditations used by Hindu and Tibetan gurus and philosophers throughout the ages in the attainment of Right Knowledge and Enlightenment. Special commentaries precede each translated text, and a comprehensive introduction contrasts the tenets of Buddhism with European notions of religion, philosophy, and science. Evans-Wentz has also included a body of orally transmitted traditions and teachings that he received firsthand during his fifteen-plus years of study in the Orient, findings that will interest any student of anthropology, psychology, comparative religion, or applied Mah=ay=ana Yoga. These seven distinct but intimately related texts will grant any reader a full and complete view of the spiritual teachings that still inform the life and culture of the East. As with Evans-Wentz's other three Oxford titles on Tibetan religion, which are also appearing in new editions, this third edition of Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines features a new foreword by Donald S. Lopez, author of the recent Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West.
The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, which was unknown to the Western world until its first publication in 1954, speaks to the quintessence of the Supreme Path, or Mah=ay=ana, and fully reveals the yogic method of attaining Enlightenment. Such attainment can happen, as shown here, by means of knowing the One Mind, the cosmic All-Consciousness, without recourse to the postures, breathings, and other techniques associated with the lower yogas. The original text for this volume belongs to the Bardo Thödol series of treatises concerning various ways of achieving transcendence, a series that figures into the Tantric school of the Mah=ay=ana. Authorship of this particular volume is attributed to the legendary Padma-Sambhava, who journeyed from India to Tibet in the 8th century, as the story goes, at the invitation of a Tibetan king. Padma-Sambhava's text per se is preceded by an account of the great guru's own life and secret doctrines. It is followed by the testamentary teachings of the Guru Phadampa Sangay, which are meant to augment the thought of the other gurus discussed herein. Still more useful supplementary material will be found in the book's introductory remarks, by its editor Evans-Wentz and by the eminent psychoanalyst C. G. Jung. The former presents a 100-page General Introduction that explains several key names and notions (such as Nirv=ana, for starters) with the lucidity, ease, and sagacity that are this scholar's hallmark; the latter offers a Psychological Commentary that weighs the differences between Eastern and Western modes of thought before equating the "collective unconscious" with the Enlightened Mind of the Buddhist. As with the other three volumes in the late Evans-Wentz's critically acclaimed Tibetan series, all four of which are being published by Oxford in new editions, this book also features a new Foreword by Donald S. Lopez.
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