Doney, Lewis

The Zangs gling ma

The First Padmasambhava Biography. Two Exemplars of its Earliest Attested Recension.

The importance of the Indian master Padmasambhava in Tibet can hardly be overstated. He is held by many Tibetans to be the “second Buddha,” who converted the land to Buddhism in the eighth century C.E. His religious biography has thus exerted a huge influence in Tibet. The earliest full-length example of this major tradition of Buddhist life-writing is the Zangs gling ma by Nyang ral Nyi ma 'od zer (1124–1192).
This publication introduces and reproduces two manuscripts from what its author argues is the earliest attested recension of the Zangs gling ma. The one hundred pages of introductory and supplementary material offered along with the reproductions not only make this case. They also aid the reader in gaining some familiarity with the texts, their “author,” and the wider tradition surrounding their central protagonist.The popularity of Padmasambhava crosses both sectarian and cultural boundaries in Tibet, and influences everything from ritual and philosophy to art to dance from an early period onwards. So the texts reproduced in this work should be of great benefit to scholars of early Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan religious culture and Buddhist life-writing more generally.

You will find more information on the book here.

Lewis Doney was a Zukunftsphilologie Fellow in 2014-2015.

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