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The Blue Annals: Pt. 1 & 2 [Hardcover]

George N. Roerich
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1296 pages
  • Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass,; New edition edition (Jun 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8120804716
  • ISBN-13: 978-8120804715
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 15.2 x 6.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,458,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This book is divided into 15 chapter, each dedicated to the history of a particular school of Tibetan Buddhism. It provides a comparative study of the chronological data given by T'ang annals, blue annals, and Tunhuang chronicles.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By .
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The “Blue annals, stages of the Appearance of the Doctrine and Preachers in the Land of Tibet” has become known as the Blue Annals. It is perhaps the authoritative and most cited reference work on the establishment of the lineages of the Buddhist schools in Tibet from around the time of 1500. Here translated into English by George Roerich, it is a rich reference source for those wishing to study the lineages of the Tibetan schools of Buddhism.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars notice re: review of Sept. 13th, 1999 31 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
There are a number of misleading comments in the September 13, 1999 review from "A reader from Southern Vermont." For what it's worth: the *Blue Annals* is, in fact, a fine translation by Mr. Roerich of an extremely important Tibetan historical text by the renowned Tibetan historian `Gos lo-tsaa-ba gZhon-nu-dpal. The Tibetan text translated here is known as the *Deb-ther sngon-po*; it dates from the late 15th century. Roerich's translation is from 1946. I have not examined the 1988 reprint, but if it conforms to the previous edition, there is not (indeed there could not be, given the dates) any information whatsoever about "the Chinese takeover of Tibet, the genocide of the Tibetan people and the attempted eradication of the Buddhist tradition in the 1950's" in this work. For a very detailed (and fortunately still in print) treatment of post-1950 Tibetan history, the reader should see M. Goldstein, *A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951 : The Demise of the Lamaist State*.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oft-cited, classic piece of the Tibetan religious history genre 15 Sep 2009
By monyouk - Published on Amazon.com
also known as 'chöjung' (written form: chos-'byung) among the ecclesiastically educated natives. The usual way of reading from cover to cover is not applicable here, for the simple reason of doing so presupposes a great deal of preliminary familiarity with Tibetan Buddhism and its history. In other words, it works as a primary source for tracing particular lineages of the Nyingma, Kadam, Kagyü, and Sakya sects, with many of their by now extinct branches; abbatial successions; excerpts from the hagiographies of wandering siddhas/druptob-s and yogins/neljorpa-s; related names and places; royal and noble patrons; sútra and tantra transmissions during the later diffusion (phyi-dar, pronounced 'cheedar')and, to some extent, under the early diffusion (snga-dar) of Dharma in Tibet.

The compilation of this treasure trove of primary data came to completion in 1478 at the quill of the "translator from the Gö region, Shönupel"; a fact which naturally implies that the systematic destruction of Tibetan culture by the Chinese lies almost half a millenium beyond the scope of the book. For a much more recent treatment of similar kind, see Dudjom Rinpoche's (1904-87) The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism: Its Fundamentals and History (trans. and annot. by Gyurme Dorje & Matthew Kapstein, Boston 1991) originally in two volumes, but of late reissued in one tome. To researchers: T.V. Wylie's "A Place Name Index to George N. Roerich's Translation of the Blue Annals" (Rome 1957) comes in handy! As for the translator (1902-60), he was a student of the pioneering French Orientalist Paul Pelliot's. His father, the famous Nicholas Roerich, was a Russian-born painter, Theosophist, traveler, art collector and potential intel gatherer who is also said to have been the "guru" to Vice President Henry Wallace (Secretary of Agriculture, and of Commerce). This latter gentleman is credited with having come up w/ the pyramid and the all-seeing eye (of Horus?) design being visible on back of the US dollar bill.

As a concluding note, the saffron-robed novices/monks, shown on the cover photo while on their daily routine to collect alms, are not Tibetan but hail from some Theravádin/Hinayána country in Southeast Asia.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very comprehensive history of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism 14 Sep 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This comprehensive work of Mr. Roerich includes the introduction of Buddhism in the 8th Century to Tibet, as well as some history of the earlier period of "kings" and the Bon religion. The author explains how the influx of Buddhism came mainly from India with some Chinese culture mixed in with the Bon religion. Though thorough Mr. Roerich's writing style is very scholarly rather than literary and could be called somewhat dry. The lineages of the major sects of Tibetan Buddhism are traced from the first teacher of each sect to the next and the next to the near present or current "holders of the faith" of each line. The author tells how the written form of Tibetan was instituted to translate texts from the Indian treasury of the Buddhist canon. Many pilgramages were undertaken by Tibetans to the centers of Buddhism in India right up until these centers of learning were destroyed by the Mogal invasions of the 11th and 12th centuries. The Blue Annals is very complete in describing a huge amount of history up until the time of the Chinese takeover of Tibet, the genocide of the Tibetan people and the attempted eradication of the Buddhist tradition in the 1950's.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book, but... 4 Mar 2009
By Derik - Published on Amazon.com
Its a great book, very very specific and with lots of details on the history and dates. The only recommendation i will give to any possible buyer is: it is NOT a easy book to read, it has many names(of persons and places), many dates, very specific information that if you just are just looking for an overview of the history this is not the book. Besides that, its a great compilation of Buddhist history . Enjoy.
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