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This book traces the lifestory of Rechungpa (1084-1161) - the student of the famous teacher Milarepa - using rare and little-known manuscripts, and discovers how the image of both Milarepa and Rechungpa underwent fundamental transformations over a period of over three centuries.
Peter Alan Roberts compares significant episodes in the life of Rechungpa as portrayed in a succession of texts, and thus demonstrates the evolution of Rechungpa’s biography. This is the first survey of the surviving literature which includes a detailed analysis of their dates, authorship and interrelationships. It shows how Rechungpa was increasingly portrayed as a rebellious, volatile and difficult pupil, as a lineage from a fellow-pupil prospered to become dominant in Tibet.
Written in a style that makes it accessible to broad readership, Roberts' book will be of great value to anyone with an interest in the fields of Tibetan literature, history or religion.
1. Introduction 2. The Biographies 3. The Evolution of Milarepa’s Biography 4. Rechungpa’s Childhood 5. A Sick Rechungpa Goes to India 6. Rechungpa is Sent to India for the Teaching of the Bodiless Dakini 7. Rechungpa Obtains the Teachings of the Bodiless Dakini 8. Rechungpa’s Return and the Yak Horn that was too Small 9. Rechungpa’s Later Years