Tsangnyon Heruka

The Life of Milarepa
  • The Life of Milarepa

  • The Life of Milarepa is one of the most beloved stories of the Tibetan people and a great literary example of the contemplative life. This biography, a dramatic tale from a culture now in crisis, can be read on several levels. A personal and moving introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, it is also a detailed guide to the search for liberation. It presents a quest for purification and buddhahood in a single lifetime, tracing the path of a great sinner who became a great saint. It is also a powerfully evocative narrative, full of magic, miracles, suspense, and humor, while reflecting the religious and social life of medieval Tibet.

Tsangnyön Heruka (Gtsang smyon Heruka, 1452-1507), the self- proclaimed "madman of Central Tibet," was both an iconoclastic tantric master and a celebrated author, best known for his versions of The Life of Milarepa and The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa. Andrew Quintman is an assistant professor of religious studies at Yale. He served as the academic director of the School of International Training's Tibetan studies program based in Katmandu for seven years. Donald S. Lopez, Jr., specializes in late Indian Mahayana Buddhism and in Tibetan Buddhism. He is Arthur E. Link Distinguished Professor and department chair at the University of Michigan, and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000.

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