The Complete Works of Atisa

The Complete Works of Atisa
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Title: The Complete Works of Atisa
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Summary: These translations of the 11 th century Tibetan texts of Atisa open important charismatic documents for the general reader of Buddhism. Although these texts have been acknowledged for centuries as the source and inspiration of the Dge-lugs-pa and Bka' -gdams-pa monastic orders' in Tibet and Central Asia, the writings of Atisa have only recently found more interest among Western scholars. The Lamp for the Path and its Commentary were translated and published in 1983 by Richard Sherburne, and are included in this book, but newly added are his translations of the Twenty-five Key Texts authored by Atisa himself. The Key Texts are found in the Tibetan Tengyur in a collection called the 'The Hundred Root Texts' (rtsa brgya) which were preserved by Atisa's followers as fundamental for a proper study of Buddhist theory and practice.
Detail: These translations of the 11 th century Tibetan texts of Atisa open important charismatic documents for the general reader of Buddhism. Although these texts have been acknowledged for centuries as the source and inspiration of the Dge-lugs-pa and Bka' -gdams-pa monastic orders' in Tibet and Central Asia, the writings of Atisa have only recently found more interest among Western scholars. The Lamp for the Path and its Commentary were translated and published in 1983 by Richard Sherburne, and are included in this book, but newly added are his translations of the Twenty-five Key Texts authored by Atisa himself. The Key Texts are found in the Tibetan Tengyur in a collection called the 'The Hundred Root Texts' (rtsa brgya) which were preserved by Atisa's followers as fundamental for a proper study of Buddhist theory and practice. Atisa (982-1054 CE) is the Bengali monk-saint who sparked the revival of Buddhism in Tibet beginning in 1042 - after nearly a century and a half of repression and decline. He is the revered founder of the distinctive religious tradition that gave vitality to generations of great intellectual, political, and spiritual leaders of Tibet (not least of whom are the Dalai Lamas) who drew their inspiration and motivation from the program of spiritual discipline defined and described in these texts. Atisa's genius lay in the originality of his integration of the great but sometimes conflicting Indian Buddhist theories and practices of his day into a sure and sound doctrine for the achievement of Bodhi-Awakening and highest tantric mystical experience. His message does not fall under the heading of esoteric teaching, but was written for monks and beginners who had been out of touch or unfamiliar with the great Indian Sanskrit sources of Buddhist thought. It is an overview of Buddhism both profound and comprehensive that should be of interest to any student of the human religious experience. Richard Sherburne is professor emeritus of Religious Studies from Seattle University, a Jesuit priest with a doctorate in Buddhist Studies, lecturer and writer, and long time student and friend of Tibetan monks and lamas. He has done research in Buddhist monasteries in India, Nepal, and Bhutan, and has retraced Atisa's footsteps in Nepal, and central Tibet.