Download Buddha's Lions: The Lives of the Eighty-Four Siddhas by James B. Robinson PDF

By James B. Robinson

Those lifestyles tales of eighty-four Tantric masters who completed the top result of the Vajrayana have encouraged generations of practitioners. by means of counting on a professional instructor, committed women and men of alternative backgrounds: cobblers, princes, blacksmiths, and wood-gatherers, have been in a position to take daily adventure because the direction and achieve enlightenment in one lifetime. choked with refined, concise teachings expressed within the poetic songs of attention of the siddhas. very good advent to the Vajrayana and an excellent source for the examine of Tibetan. Tibetan textual content, iconographical notes, with eighty four specific line drawings.

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Sample text

The guru communicates two things: initiation and instruction. The concept of communicating some sort of force is inherent in the term 'initiation' (Sanskrit abhiJeka, Tibetan dbang skur), for in the Vajrayana context, this term refers to a ritual of coronation with the transmission of power; initiation is preparation for becoming a king of the spiritual realm. After the initiation, the guru gives instructions to the student in terms that he can put to immediate use. The teachings are pragmatic, in that the student's worldly occupation is often used as a vehicle for transcending the world; the student's characteristic activities becop1e the method of liberation.

When Viriipa came to the bank of the Ganges, he begged food and drink from the Ganges goddess, but she did not give him any. The master became angry, parted the waters, and went to the other side. In the city of Kanasati, Viriipa bought wine from a tavern girl; she gave him a glass of wine and a plate of rice which he greatly enjoyed. He continued eating and drinking. " The king and his subjects paid the price of the wine, which came to a million glasses, and Viriipa disappeared. Viriipa then went to the land called Indra in the country of the idolators.

Discontented with the ordinary life, Camaripa meets a yogin who gives him instructions that transform his work as a shoemaker into a spiritual activity. He is told to identify the mental distortions (Sanskrit kleias, Tibetan nyon mongs) and his conceptualizations, the roots of his bondage, with the leather of his trade. This leather is sewn onto the boards of friendliness and compassion (two of the Four Immeasurables generated in traditional Buddhist. , The drill to be used in the sewing is the instruction of the guru, the instrument by which the ordinary life is penetrated.

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