Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines: Or Seven Books of Wisdom of the Great Path, According to the Late Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup's English Rendering Paperback – 1 Jan 2000
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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Be sure to read the author's wonderful introduction and extensive footnotes, which help to weave a story about spirituality, both Eastern and Western.
The shortened titles of these seven texts are as follows:
(1) Gampopa's Supreme Path, called 'The Precious Rosary. '
(2) The Epitome of the Great Symbol.
(3) The Epitome of the Six Doctrines
(4) The Transference of Consciousness
(5) The Method of Eradicating the Lower Self.
(6) The Fivefold Wisdom of the Long Hum
(7) The Essence of the Transcendental Wisdom.
Briefly summed up as 'Seven Books of Wisdom of the Great Path' - what we actually find here is a compendium of all the major doctrines and practices known to Tibetan Buddhism, as rooted in the Mahayana- although some practices, such as 'Pho-wa' (transference of consciousness) seem to be peculiarly Tibetan - even though utilised in an orthodox Buddhist context. Special commentaries precede each carefully rendered text, a wealth of information at the reader's disposal.
In recent years, some critics have questioned the approach taken by W.Y. Evans-Wentz. It is worth quoting W.Y. E-W again: " this volume is meant at once for the exact scholar and for the general reader. The former will note that the original textual sources, which are sevenfold, are authentic, and that nothing has been incoporated into the texts or presented in the introductions and annotations which has not had doctrinal sanction. "
Earlier editions of this text had a preface and tribute by Prof Chen Chi Chang, a Chinese Buddhist scholar who not only practiced Tibetan Buddhism with leading Lamas, but also had an honorary Tibetan title bestowed upon him - Cha-gyur Khan-po (Master interpreter/translator). W.Y. Evans Wentz was Rhodes scholar with impeccable qualifications. However, he was no dry-as-dust academic. Something of a scholar-gypsy-cum-pilgrim, W-Y Evans-Wentz wandered around N. India, Sikkhim, Tibetan communities etc., sitting at the feet of genuine Buddhist teachers, before that world was turned upside down by political upheaval. These are valuable sources.
These texts are ancient and old but have served millions since their inception. The work that Evans-Wentz has done here is substantial if not some of the most important yoga concepts ever seen by the occident. You will probably need a guru of some kind to help you get started in any form of yoga but this book is plain sailing once you learn the basics right. Most of the major yoga practices are covered in this book. Most new books on yoga are indebted to this mans work on the subject, all directly brought back from the orient by master gurus whom which Dr. W.Y.Evans-Wentz was a student for years.
There is lots of philosophy to go through and lots of text and this may put a lot of readers off, or those what to get straight into the practice but there is lots of philosophy and mental orientation to get right first. It is all here... all 434 pages of it! Mostly text! There is nothing else like it! The original is here!
*** The other books in the series are - The Tibetan Book of the dead and Tibets Greatest Yogi Milarepa - before this one. The final book in the series is The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation. ***
This book is a good look at esoteric Buddhism. One of my favorites.