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Tibetan Book of the Dead (edition 2008)

by W. Y. Evans-Wentz (Author), Gregory Hillis (Foreword)

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613215,886 (4.14)3
Member:johnboles
Title:Tibetan Book of the Dead
Authors:W. Y. Evans-Wentz (Author)
Other authors:Gregory Hillis (Foreword)
Info:Metro Books (2008), Edition: First Edition, 228 pages
Collections:Fiction, Wishlist
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Tags:James Forman

Work details

The Tibetan Book of the Dead: First Complete Translation (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) by Graham Coleman (Editor)

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Outstanding book that gives perspective to how the Tibetan culture views death and the afterlife. No matter one's religious background, I found these writings comforting to a topic that scares me to no end. ( )
  Miloh | Jul 24, 2008 |
The Penguin Classics 2005 hardbound edition is the first complete translation of the whole cycle, rather than just the section that has been translated many times before (chapter 11 in this edition). It also includes introductions, notes and general interpretation aid from actual holders of the lineage/transmission, which probably makes it more accurate than many alternatives (given how heavily Vajrayana Buddhism relies on oral transmission).

What I appreciated most was the translation itself (by Gyume Dorje), done in prose (while preserving line breaks) and aiming to clarity and precision rather than "beauty". Given that beauty is a subjective concept, I tend to find 19th century translation of Buddhist texts rather unreadable: this edition is as readable as the subject allows.

I heartily recommend this edition to anybody who wants to read the "Tibetan book of the dead".

As for the content itself, I don't feel it can be rated. It is a classic from an ancient spiritual tradition, and as such its value depends on one's spiritual path and practice. For myself, having read it, I cannot help seeing it as magic rather than spirituality (despite being myself a buddhist and influenced by Tibetan buddhism among other schools). It is fascinating as an anthropological and cultural document, but I haven't found it useful as a spiritual tool. In this I obviously differ from countless generations of Tibetan buddhists: my judgment is not to be taken as condemnation, but as a personal view based on my own inclination and experience.
3 vote AnnaOok | Aug 10, 2007 |
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Coleman, GrahamEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jinpa, ThuptenEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Karma-gliṅ-paHistorical Authormain authorall editionsconfirmed
PadmasambhavaHistorical Authormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Dalai Lama XIVIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dorje, GyurmeTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zla-ba-bsam-'grub, KaziContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hillis, Gregory AlexanderForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
May all sentient beings, / 
children of buddha nature, / 
realise / 
the ultimate nature of mind: / 
insight and compassion, / 
in blissful union.
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The question of whether or not there exists a continuity of consciousness after death has been an important aspect of philosophical reflection and debate from ancient Indian times to the present.
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This is the first complete translation of "The Tibetan Book of the Dead", currently published by Penguin Classics, translated by Gyurme Dorje and edited by Graham Coleman and Thupten Jinpa; the book is attributed to Padmasambhava, was transcribed by his student Yeshe Tsogyal, and rediscovered by Karma Lingpa, so any of these authors may show up in the author field for the various editions. It sometimes shows up under Evans-Wentz, which is a mistake, because this edition is very different from Evans-Wentz's older, abridged one. Please DO NOT combine with other editions, unless you can confirm they are also complete translations.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143104942, Paperback)

Hailed as a "tremendous accomplishment," the first complete translation of a classic Buddhist text

Graced with opening words by His Holiness The Dalai Lama, the Penguin Deluxe Edition of The Tibetan Book of the Dead is "immaculately rendered in an English both graceful and precise." Translated with the close support of leading contemporary masters, this book faithfully presents the insights and intentions of the original work. It includes one of the most detailed and compelling descriptions of the after-death state in world literature, practices that can transform our experience of daily life, guidance on helping those who are dying, and an inspirational perspective on coping with bereavement. The vivid, embossed cover and beautiful, deckled-edged pages also make this the perfect gift for a loved one.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:31 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Reflecting the insights and intentions of the original work, this text includes one of the most detailed and compelling descriptions of the after-death state and practices that transform the experience of daily life and the process of dying.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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