The Tibetan Book of the Dead

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Tibetan Book of the Dead

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The Dalai Lama's blessing attends Thurman's translation of the Book of Natural Liberation Through Understanding in the Between . Composed by Padma Sambhava in the late eighth century, this text minutely describes the ``betweens'' ( Bardos ) or after-death transition states. Thurman, who opens this work with a new section of preliminary prayers, gives a helpful commentary in terms Westerners can understand and boldface portions to be read aloud in the presence of the dead. He closes by appending Nyingma tradition works to the main text. This text has already been translated in 1927 and 1975, and some of Thurman's new translation choices are questionable. For instance, the West has adopted the term karma , which expresses the original meaning better than evolution --an alternative that obscures the personal responsibility emphasized in Buddhism. In addition, since Tibetan pronouns are sexually neutral, alternating his with her from verse to verse confuses. Still, Westerners will find this a colorful, awesome journey. For informed readers.-- Dara Eklund, Los Angeles P.L.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553370904
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/28/1993
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 195,623
  • Product dimensions: 5.23 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Color Plates
Pt. 1 Preparations for the Journey
Ch. 1 Background 5
An Outline of Tibetan History 5
Tibet: A Spiritual Civilization 10
Tibet's Present Plight 12
Buddhism in Summary 13
Tibetan Ideas About Death 18
Ch. 2 The Tibetan Science of Death 23
What Is Death? 23
The Six Realms 29
The Three Buddha Bodies 33
The Body-Mind Complex 35
Stages of Death 41
The Reality of Liberation 45
Ch. 3 The Tibetan Art of Dying 51
Introduction 51
Ordinary Preparations for Death 52
Extraordinary Preparations 58
Ch. 4 The Natural Liberation Literature 83
The History of the Texts 83
The Sections of the Book 87
Pt. 2 The Guidebook for the Journey: The Great Book of Natural Liberation Through Understanding in the Between
Ch. 5 The Between Prayers 97
The Prayer of the Three Body Mentor Yoga 99
The Prayer for Help from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas 105
The Prayer for Deliverance from the Straits of the Between 108
The Prayer for Refuge from the Terrors of the Between 112
The Root Verses of the Six Betweens 115
Ch. 6 The Guidebook to the Betweens 117
The Prayer of the Reality Between 117
The Mild Deity Reality Between 131
The Fierce Deity Reality Between 149
Orientation to the Existence Between 167
Pt. 3 Supplementary Translations
Ch. 7 The Dharma Practice, Natural Liberation of the Instincts 205
The Ten Branches of Accumulating Merit 206
Enlightening, Protecting, and Purifying 210
The Actual Visualization 211
Ch. 8 The Natural Liberation Through Naked Vision, Identifying the Intelligence 227
The Quintessence 228
The Need for This Identification 229
The Detailed Identification 231
Glossary 243
Essential Bibliography 277
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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