Enlightened beings : life stories from the Ganden oral tradition /
by Janice D. Willis.
Boston : Wisdom Publications, 1995.
xxii, 282 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
0861710681 (acid-free paper) :
More Details
Boston : Wisdom Publications, 1995.
0861710681 (acid-free paper) :
general note
Includes bibliographical references (p. 253-274) and index.
catalogue key
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1995-11:
One of the stereotypical views of Tibetan Buddhism is that two of its four major sects (the Kagyu and Nyingma) are concerned primarily with "practice" whereas the other two (the Sakya and Geluk) are concerned primarily with "theory." A counterexample to this stereotype is provided in this book, which offers biographies of six famous masters of the Geluk (Ganden) tradition, displaying their commitment to, and success in the practice of, a form of tantric meditation called mah=amudr=a ("great seal"). The biographies themselves are quite brief, ranging from five to 14 pages. They are translated, for the most part, from a modern Tibetan summary rather than from a more famous and extensive 18th-century collection of biographies. Willis (Wesleyan Univ.) has supplemented her translations with an extensive introduction. In addition, more than half the book is taken up with appendixes, notes, a glossary, and a bibliography (made up largely of works in English), designed to make the biographies accessible to its intended audience of general readers and undergraduate students of Buddhism. D. S. Lopez Jr.; University of Michigan
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1995
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Unpaid Annotation
Inspirational life stories of sacred biographies of six great Tibetan Buddhist meditators.
Unpaid Annotation
Here for the first time ever in any Western language are the sacred biographies of six great tantric meditators from the Gelukpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. These life stories - or namtar - are actually tales of liberation. Part of a distinct tradition in Tibetan Buddhism, they are meant not only to inspire but also to instruct others on the path to enlightenment. In Professor Willis's introduction and detailed annotations, you'll gain a wealth of information about how to read and interpret namtar texts, as well as some valuable insights into the religious and political worlds in which these early Tibetan masters studied, practiced, and became enlightened beings in their lifetimes.
Table of Contents
Namtar as Literature and Liturgyp. 3
A General Definitionp. 3
Chi, the Historicalp. 7
Nang, the Inspirationalp. 14
Sang, the Instructionalp. 20
The Liberation Life Stories of: The Lord of Accomplishment, Jampel Gyatsop. 33
Baso Chokyi Gyeltsenp. 43
The Great Siddha, Chokyi Dorjep. 49
Gyelwa Ensapap. 57
The Scholar-Siddha, Sanggye Yeshep. 73
The First Panchen, Losang Chokyi Gyeltsenp. 85
Appendix I. The Gelukpa Mahamudra Lineagep. 99
Appendix II. Prayer to the Lineage Lamas (in English)p. 101
Appendix III. Prayer to the Lineage Lamas (in Tibetan)p. 107
Appendix IV. The Meaning and Methods of Mahamudrap. 111
Appendix V. The Life of Yongdzin Yeshe Gyeltsenp. 125
Abbreviationsp. 132
Notesp. 133
Glossaryp. 225
Sanskrit-Tibetan Glossaryp. 247
Bibliographyp. 253
Indexp. 275
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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