Cover image for The Tibetan book of the great liberation, or, The method of realizing nirvāṇa through knowing the mind : preceded by an epitome of Padma-Sambhava's biography ...
The Tibetan book of the great liberation, or, The method of realizing nirvāṇa through knowing the mind : preceded by an epitome of Padma-Sambhava's biography ...
Evans-Wentz, W. Y. (Walter Yeeling), 1878-1965.
Publication Information:
Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
R, lxiv, 261 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
General Note:
"First published by Oxford University Press, London, 1954"--T.p. verso.
Reading Level:
1400 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL1405 .W45 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, which was unknown to the Western world until its first publication in 1954, speaks to the quintessence of the Supreme Path, or Mahayana, and fully reveals the yogic method of attaining Enlightenment. Such attainment can happen, as shown here, by meansof knowing the One Mind, the cosmic All-Consciousness, without recourse to the postures, breathings, and other techniques associated with the lower yogas. The original text for this volume belongs to the Bardo Thodol series of treatises concerning various ways of achieving transcendence, a seriesthat figures into the Tantric school of the Mahayana. Authorship of this particular volume is attributed to the legendary Padma-Sambhava, who journeyed from India to Tibet in the 8th century, as the story goes, at the invitation of a Tibetan king. Padma-Sambhava's text per se is preceded by anaccount of the great guru's own life and secret doctrines. It is followed by the testamentary teachings of the Guru Phadampa Sangay, which are meant to augment the thought of the other gurus discussed herein. Still more useful supplementary material will be found in the book's introductory remarks, by its editor Evans-Wentz and by the eminent psychoanalyst C. G. Jung. The former presents a 100-page General Introduction that explains several key names and notions (such as Nirvana, for starters) with thelucidity, ease, and sagacity that are this scholar's hallmark; the latter offers a Psychological Commentary that weighs the differences between Eastern and Western modes of thought before equating the "collective unconscious" with the Enlightened Mind of the Buddhist. As with the other three volumesin the late Evans-Wentz's critically acclaimed Tibetan series, all four of which are being published by Oxford in new editions, this book also features a new Foreword by Donald S. Lopez.

Author Notes

Donald S. Lopez is at University of Michigan.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Evans-Wentz, an Oxford professor, produced a number of original studies on Tibetan Buddhism from the 1930s to the 1960s, which went through several editions. Oxford here resurrects four of these works, which now include new forewords and afterwords by scholar Donald S. Lopez who also analyzes the earlier editions. More for academic collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
It Were Better to Live One Single Dayp. x
The Buddha's Sermon on What is True Blessedness?p. xiv
Description of Illustrationsp. xv
The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberationp. xxix
General Introductionp. 1
The Epitome of the Great Guru's Biographyp. 105
Introductionp. 195
Indexp. 255