Chandrakirti, who lived in India in the 7th century CE, is a major Mahayana Buddhist scholar whose works are studied in modern Western universities and traditional Tibetan Buddhist monasteries.
In these chapters he offers therapeutic advice to monastics and lay people on how to cope with death, suffering, lust and egotism. Each chapter focuses on a different mistaken idea that must be conquered by the person who aspires to be a Buddha. Chandrakirti argues that people deceive themselves by believing in their immortality, in the pleasurable and pure nature of their bodies, and in the pride they take in themselves and their possessions.
Lang's translation captures the clarity of Chandrakirti's arguments and the lively humor of the stories and examples he uses.
The introduction explores the range of Candrakirti's interests in religion, philosophy, psychology, politics, and erotic poetry.