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The Tibetan Book of the Dead (Penguin Classics) Hardcover – 27 Oct 2005

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New edition edition (27 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713994142
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713994148
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 3.8 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 857,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'An enthralling book of immense spiritual importance'. -- JOANNA LUMLEY

About the Author

Gyurme Dorje (Ph.D.) is a leading scholar of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism from which the Tibetan Book of the Dead literature derives. Thupten Jinpa (Ph.D.) is the senior translator to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and President of the Institute of Tibetan Classics. Graham Coleman is President of the Orient Foundation (UK) a major Tibetan cultural conservancy organisation and writer / director of the acclaimed feature documentary Tibet: A Buddhist Trilogy.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bardo Boy on 17 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback
This review is for the paperback edition of the book and not the folio edition hardback which is beautifully produced. However it still has the colour plates of a thangka (Tibetan scroll painting) of the deities in the text and a neat metal foil on the cover...but what's inside it?

What isn't inside is the much loved Evens Wentz'sThe Tibetan Book of the Dead: Or the After-Death Experiences on the Bardo Plane translation that first captured Western esoteric imagination back in the late 1920's and on into the 60's. People familiar with it's rich evocative language and the religious lilt of the KJV Bible and Jung's introduction to that book maybe disappointed at the difference.

However as Evan's Wentz recognised he was introducing pioneer translation to English speakers he foresaw future advances in translation technique and knowledge. The new translation then comes after a century of scholarship and study in the West of Tibetan language and faith and so is the more technically 'accurate' translation. It is also one that comes with the blessing and advice of people who profoundly understand it's content, context and layers of meaning.

Inside the cover are the full practices to do with the text which a monk or retreatant would study before being introduced to the text we know as 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead' (This books Chapter 10). It is authorised by the Dalia Lama who's introduction about death and dying goes well beyond his usual forwards. Oral instructions were given to the translators by Dilgo Khyentse a great Tibetan Master of the 20th Century which will matter to some readers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephen F. on 23 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a newcomer to Buddhism, this was on my most wanted book list as it is a collection of teachings on dying, Bardo and rebirth.

I must stress that it would be very wise to have read elementary teachings on Buddhsim as some of the philosophical concepts are very difficult to understand for a beginner. There are numerous introductions at the start of the book, including one by HH The Dalai Lama which require you to be comfortable with many quite difficult subjects such as emptiness, dependent origination and so on. To be honest it took me a few nights just to read the introduction as I had to read sentences sometimes 10 times to try to understand them.

I would suggest a newcomer should read something like "The Joy of Living" by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche first (very well written and easy to understand) and then "Turning Confusion into Clarity" by the same author. Even then you might struggle.

I suppose it would be best to have a teacher to discuss the book with as you read it, I haven't found one yet.

Despite all of the above, the translation is easy to read and has footnotes. I like Thupten Jinpa (one of the authors and HH The Dalai Lama's official translator), and this was part of the reason I bought the book .

Good read - just persevere!
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124 of 137 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Dec. 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is indeed a very important book, with some pleasant illustrations. As an object it is wonderfully presented, the binding, cutting and whatever processes the book goes through have clearly been undertaken with great care or expensive machinery. Few books are as attractive or durable these days. What's really important, however, is the contents. If you believe in the words, they could prepare you for death and what lies beyond it (there are descriptions of the dying process which, if committed to memory, could be extremely comforting when the time comes). If you remain sceptical or follow another faith, relish the spectacular imagery and often beautiful verse in which many passages are expressed.
If I *had* to gripe, it'd be about the review above (below?) which, like many others on Amazon, is opinionated and enthusiastic but rather pointless. "I haven't read it but I bet it's ace" is hardly likely to encourage someone to part with nearly £20 to try a book, is it?
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A. Beeton on 11 Oct. 2007
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book when it was first published, out of impulse actually, because of the binding, and I am glad I did because it is a beautiful book to read. Someone once told me you cant read the TBOD without a Master's interpretation or guidance, but this is incorrect; if you are, like myself, interested in a general read to explore an esoteric work yourself, then the the various introductory chapters are more than enough to prepare the reader for the main text.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By ANiceCupOfTea on 28 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of those books everyone should read in their lifetime. I found it moving, and so very peaceful and has made me realise death is nothing to fear. Its not an easy book to read without any knowledge of Buddhism, but with my limited amount of knowledge (I'm still learning) I understood the book. Its a book I will re read over the years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sophie Roxburgh on 16 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fantastic book.

Offers very helpful insights into eastern views on life and death - and how best to make the most of these experiences!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Storm on 29 Jan. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There is a great deal of extra information compared to the Evans translation. My only minor gripe is that the OCR filled it with minor errors, apart from that, fantastic.
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