"The Tibetan Book of the Dead": A Biography (Lives of Great Religious Books)

The Tibetan ebook of the Dead is the main recognized Buddhist textual content within the West, having bought greater than one million copies because it was once first released in English in 1927. Carl Jung wrote a observation on it, Timothy Leary redesigned it as a guidebook for an acid journey, and the Beatles quoted Leary's model of their track "Tomorrow by no means Knows." extra lately, the ebook has been followed via the hospice flow, enshrined via Penguin Classics, and made into an audiobook learn via Richard Gere. but, as acclaimed author and student of Buddhism Donald Lopez writes, "The Tibetan publication of the Dead seriously isn't Tibetan, it isn't fairly a publication, and it isn't relatively approximately death." during this compelling advent and brief historical past, Lopez tells the unusual tale of the way a comparatively imprecise and malleable selection of Buddhist texts of doubtful foundation got here to be so revered--and so misunderstood--in the West.

The vital personality during this tale is Walter Evans-Wentz (1878-1965), an eccentric student and non secular seeker from Trenton, New Jersey, who, regardless of now not figuring out the Tibetan language and not traveling the rustic, crafted and named The Tibetan e-book of the Dead. in truth, Lopez argues, Evans-Wentz's e-book is far extra American than Tibetan, owing a better debt to Theosophy and Madame Blavatsky than to the lamas of the Land of Snows. certainly, Lopez means that the book's perennial allure stems not just from its origins in magical and mysterious Tibet, but in addition from the best way Evans-Wentz translated the textual content into the language of a truly American spirituality.

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Drink, a failing common between his countrymen, were the curse of his existence. This elevated his usual tendency to anger and led him, someday, inside of an ace of homicide. I had a few impact over him whereas I lived in Gangtok. I persuaded him to vow the whole abstinence from fermented drinks that's enjoined on all Buddhists. however it wanted extra power than he possessed to persevere. . . . i may inform many different fun tales approximately my strong interpreter, a few relatively fun, within the variety of Boccaccio.

Spence The lifeless Sea Scrolls, John J. Collins The Bhagavad Gita, Richard H. Davis Josephus’s The Jewish struggle, Martin Goodman The booklet of Mormon, Paul Gutjahr The booklet of Genesis, Ronald S. Hendel The publication of activity, Mark Larrimore the best Translations of All Time: The Septuagint and the Vulgate, Jack Miles The Passover Haggadah, Vanessa Ochs The music of Songs, Ilana Pardes Rumi’s Masnavi, Omid Safi The I Ching, Richard J. Smith The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, David Gordon White The Tibetan publication of the useless A BIOGRAPHY Donald S.

He starts his creation with a dialogue of symbolism, claiming that “some of the extra realized lāmas” have believed that “since very early instances there was a mystery overseas symbol-code in universal use one of the initiates, which offers a key to the that means of such occult doctrines as are all nonetheless jealously guarded by way of non secular fraternities in India, as in Tibet, and in China, Mongolia, and Japan. ” (3) it truly is this meant code that would permit him to make his such a lot doubtful deviations from what the Tibetan textual content states.

Has been preserved for us via an extended succession of saints and seers within the God-protected Land of the Snowy levels, Tibet. ” (2) It was once this “ultimate cultural dating” that triggered Evans-Wentz to dub his textual content, The Tibetan e-book of the lifeless. He starts his creation with a dialogue of symbolism, claiming that “some of the extra discovered lāmas” have believed that “since very early instances there was a mystery foreign symbol-code in universal use one of the initiates, which presents a key to the that means of such occult doctrines as are all nonetheless jealously guarded via spiritual fraternities in India, as in Tibet, and in China, Mongolia, and Japan.

The invention of treasure is as a result frequently preceded through the perform of sexual yoga with a consort. That consort, although, can be predestined for her associate, occasionally, named in a prophecy by means of Padmasambhava or his consort. yet relating to Karma Lingpa, whatever went incorrect. He selected the inaccurate lady, who bore him a son. regardless of the plain mismatch, Karma Lingpa effectively extracted treasure texts from Gampodar (Sgam po gdar) Mountain, assisted by means of his father. the 1st used to be entitled peaceable and Wrathful Deities: ordinary Liberation via [Recognition of] Enlightened goal (Zhi khro dgongs pa rang grol).

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