The Hidden History of the Tibetan Book of the Dead

By Bryan J. Cuevas | Go to book overview

gained so much from his wisdom and patient generosity. I thank Henk Blezer for the many spirited and insightful discussions of our shared interest in this literature and related topics. I am thankful as well to Toni Huber for his unfailing support and friendly encouragement. Without the good-natured library assistance of Nawang Thokmey, bibliographer of the Tibetan Collection at the University of Virginia, much of the primary research for this book would surely never have been completed. My thanks to Burkhard Quessel, curator of the Tibetan Collections of the British Library, for providing invaluable bibliographical information and generous access to electronic images of rare Tibetan manuscripts. Thanks are also due to Tsering Wangyal Shawa, geographic information systems librarian at Princeton University, who prepared the fine Tibetan maps reproduced in the book.

I wish also to thank the following individuals and institutions that generously provided all types of assistance, reference materials, and answers to my endless queries over the long course of research for this book: the American Institute of Indian Studies (New Delhi), John Ardussi, the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (Sarnath), Lawrence Epstein, Karma Phuntsho, Karma Rikdzin, Khenpo Dorje Tsering, Khenpo Namdrol Tsering, Khenpo Nyima Dondup, Khenpo Sangye Tenzin Jongdong, Kunzang Lama, Lobpon Tenzin Norgyay, Dan Martin, Menri Bonpo Monastery (Dolanji Village), Menri Ponlob Trinley Nyima Rinpoche, Namdroling Nyingma Monastery (Bylakuppe), Neema Phenthok, Nyichang Rinpoche Thuptan Chodak Gyatso, Trent Pomplun, Ramon Prats, Françoise Pommaret, Andrew Quintman, Sangak Tenzin Zangpo, Kurtis Schaeffer, the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation, Tandin Situ, Phil Stanley, Thinley Tenzin, the Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library, Jeff Watt, and David White.

Finally, closest to home, my most profound gratitude must go to my parents, Janice and John, for a lifetime of inspiration and unconditional support. My thanks also to Kathy and Jim Morgan, who have given me fortitude in so many ways. And to my wife, Amanda, for just about everything.

-viii-

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The Hidden History of the Tibetan Book of the Dead
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • A Note on Tibetan Words xi
  • 1 - Introduction: the Saga of the Tibetan Book of the Dead 3
  • I - Death and the Dead 25
  • 2 - Beginnings: Funeral Ritual in Ancient Tibet 27
  • 3 - Transitions: the Buddhist Intermediate State 39
  • 4 - From Death to Disposal 69
  • II - Prophecy, Concealment, Revelation 79
  • 5 - Prophecies of the Lotus Guru 81
  • 6 - A Tale of Fathers and Sons 91
  • 7 - The Gampodar Treasures 101
  • 8 - The Third Generation 120
  • III - Traditions in Transformation 135
  • 9 - Traditions in Eastern Tibet 137
  • 10 - Traditions in Central and Southern Tibet 158
  • IV - Text and Consolidation 177
  • 11 - Rikzin Nyima Drakpa, Sorcerer from Kham 179
  • 12 - Conclusion: Manuscripts and Printed Texts 205
  • Notes 217
  • Bibliography 271
  • List of Tibetan Spellings 303
  • Index 312
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