The Padmakara Translation Group, based in France, has a distinguished reputation for all its translations of Tibetan texts and teachings. Its work has been published in several languages and is renowned for its clear and accurate literary style.
Shantideva was a scholar in the eighth century from the monastic university Nalanda, one of the most celebrated centers of learning in ancient India. According to legend, Shantideva was greatly inspired by the celestial bodhisattva Manjushri, from whom he secretly received teachings and great insights. Yet as far as the other monks could tell, there was nothing special about Shantideva. In fact, he seemed to do nothing but eat and sleep. In an attempt to embarrass him, the monks forced Shantideva's hand by convincing him to publicly expound on the scriptures. To the amazement of all in attendance that day, Shantideva delivered the original and moving verses of the Bodhicharyavatara. When he reached verse thirty-four of the ninth chapter, he began to rise into the sky, until he at last disappeared. Following this, Shantideva became a great teacher.
Born in 1935 into a farming family in northeastern Tibet, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama was recognized early in his life as a reincarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. By age four, he was enthroned in Lhasa. During the 1950s, the political stability of Tibet was threatened when China's People's Liberation Army entered the country and established a military presence. Increased tensions put the life of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama in danger, and in 1959, he fled the country at night to Dharamsala, India, where he established the Tibetan government in exile.