on 15 February 2010
I read this book re-translated from English to Greek and I would say that the essence of the Tibetan teachings is still there (and I think would still be there after several re-translations as this is the way it works with the spirit of "wisdom"). Furthermore, I think that reading this book and complaining about the "bad translation" work means you at least kind of miss the whole point. But it seems that some people do have a problem with the translation so I would suggest that if you are looking for a book that will help you learn the Tibetan language perfectly, this one might not do (I'm not sure about this actually). Buy it only if you are looking for a book that contains several techniques and tips that can be used complementary to your own efforts in meditation in order to help you reach states of less and less ego (and into "nirvana" or call it whatever you like, the name doesn't change the essence). The way it works is that many people have took the journey out of their ego for many thousands of years, like you are, and them speaking of things that you also personally find while meditating might help you, working somewhat like a "map" of already discovered territories.
To be practical though, if someone actually has read this book and has also read of a better translation (which I doubt since this is a unique collection of several Tibetan works), then please do suggest of a better translation than this one, otherwise, if there is no better choice of translation, I surely recommend this book for all those modern "yogis" out there. And to be honest, I don't really think that such a book would need a recommendation by me, because even if it had only 1 star it would still sit there from above laughing at our ignorance; I'm just writing this review for those few of you who are looking for a really good book and are about to be discouraged by looking at the reviews here.
on 13 January 2013
I first owned this book as a paperback in about 1970 , and it formed part of my introduction to Tibetan Buddhism. At the time it had a great impact but eventually I chose a different path, and passed this and the other books in the series on. Now I am revisiting Buddhism and came across this and the other Evans Wentz titles as e-books and out of curiosity bought this and the Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation. In 1970 it was not clear to me what context the various texts translated in this volume had, EW and others added a lot of commentary, which was useful at the time but which now looks rather dated. Fortunately the books now have a second preface which adds a lot more context. I was surprised to realise just how much the precepts outlined in this book have guided my subsequent life, (in a positive manner). Nowadays there is a much wider range of translated material available and numerous other sources of information on Buddadharma through many traditions and lineages that have propagated to the West and therefore I would not necessarily recommend this as an introductory work. All of the tantric yogas outlined need elaboration and proper foundation practices and initiation if they are to be attempted, but as background information they make interesting reading. I hold this book in kind esteem and pay tribute to the editor and translator who were the first to make these teachings available in the English language. For me its appeal is its historical value and as a personal souvenir.