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Life of Padmasambhava - coverThe Life of Padmasambhava
— by Taranatha

The text contained in this book is a biography of Padmasambhava - the famed master from Oddiyana who introduced Tantric Buddhism in Tibet in the eighth century. Many accounts of the life of this great yogin exist in Tibetan, a number of which have been translated into Western languages.

The literal meaning of the word Tantra is "continuity". Indicating the nature of this profound spiritual path called the Vajrayana, this term also expresses the fact that acceding to the Tantric teachings is only possible through transmission from a qualified guru who himself has received this knowledge from another holder of that precise teaching, guaranteeing an unbroken link from teacher to disciple.

Padmasambhava - rainbow bodySince Padmasambhava is of central importance in the diffusion of its numerous lineages, dependable testimony regarding his life is valuable for those who study and practice these teachings. This narrative belongs to that category.

Taranatha (1575-?) - the author, is a major Tibetan historian of his time. His chronicle, based on the kama tradition, is considered fundamental by Tibetan scholars. In this work he records the life of Padmasambhava in the manner of modern historiography, satisfying a need for objectivity by using the most reliable sources available and including accurate references to them in his text, thus dispelling all doubt as to the authenticity of his account.

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More in this category: « History of Tibet Buddhism in India »

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