The Tibetan Book of the Dead (Oxford Paperbacks) Paperback – 1 Oct 1980
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Dr. Evans-Wentz, who literally sat at the feet of a Tibetan lama for years in order to acquire his wisdom...not only displays a deeply sympathetic interest in those esoteric doctrines so characteristic of the genius of the East, but likewise possesses the rare faculty of making them more or less intelligible to the layman. (Anthropology (on the previous edition)) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Evans-Wents, Jesus College Oxford.
Donald S. Lopez Jr. is the Carl W. Belser Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the University of Michigan. He is the author and editor of many books on Buddhism, including Buddhism in Practice and Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West, and key religious texts by His Holiness the Dalai Lama: The Joy of Living and Dying in Peace, The Way to Freedom, and Awakening the Mind, Lightening the Heart. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
"The Tibetan Book of the Dead" is a translation of a Tibetan mortuary text, known in original as "Bar do thos grol". Or rather, it's a translation of a portion of a text from a genre known as "Bar do thos grol". The English title is the translator's. In original, the text is used by the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
Those who read this book should also obtain a copy of "Prisoners of Shangri-La" by Donald Lopez, which contains the true story surrounding this mysterious book. It turns out that Evans-Wentz was a member of a New Religious Movement, the Theosophical Society. For this reason, his interpretations of the Tibetan text should be taken with a very large grain of salt. Thus, Evans-Wentz claims (on the authority of a real lama, no less) that Tibetan Buddhism has a secret message similar to that of Theosophy. Of course, there is no evidence whatsoever for such a claim. Another "lama" associated with this book, Anagarika Govinda, was actually a German national who couldn't even read Buddhist texts in their original language and claimed to have been initiated into the Kagyu sect. Lopez points out that the initiation ritual described by Hoffman (Govinda's real name) doesn't exist. In other words, "Lama" Govinda was something of a fraud. I readily admit that he seems to have been quite a character!Read more ›
This book is in fact a manual about what may happen after death, or rather when and after dying. It is very complicated but it is fascinating to see the details given by the author of this manual. Let's say that after death nothing is easy since you arrive there with your karma, what merit you have accumulated in your life, positive and negative, and what religious education you have acquired, none, little, a lot, or even plenty more.
The first element that is surprising is that the manual has to be read in the ear of the dying or just dead or recently deceased person to help him/her find his/her way in this after world. The manual proposes three periods: the Chikhai Bardo just after death, in two phases, about three and a half or four days altogether. Then the Chonyid Bardo which lasts fourteen days, twice seven days. And then the Sidpa Bardo that can last up to 49 days and five more seven day cycles.
The manual is addressed to the officiant, who can be anyone since it is advised for everyone to learn it by heart, for one's own benefit, but also for the benefit of anyone who is dying since this manual can only really help if it is read in the ear of the dying or dead person. The manual contains many passages that are prayers the dying or dead person is supposed to utter him/herself but the officiant seems to be the prompter who recites these prayers in the first person as if he were the dying or dead person.Read more ›
one who knows can get liberation :)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Skip the Donald S. Lopez Jr. droppings and just enjoy the musings of Wentz, Jung and Woodruffe.Published 13 months ago by a badly positioned hole near centre of chariot wheel
i was looking forward to reading this book but i found it to be very boring.it is not easy to understand.Published on 5 Nov. 2013 by dolores kelly
this is one of the bestest translation ever written on the 'Bardo Thö dol' (Tibetan book of the Dead) not as dry as most scholarly versions, nether the less created with the... Read morePublished on 24 Jun. 2005 by B. tomas