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Books > Buddhist > Biography > The Seven Instruction Lineages (Jo Nang Taranatha)
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The Seven Instruction Lineages (Jo Nang Taranatha)
The Seven Instruction Lineages (Jo Nang Taranatha)
Description
Back of the Book

In the present work Taranatha paints a miraculous picture of the great Siddhas of India their lives and the lineages which sprang from their teachings In all the lives of some 59 Siddhas are related some well known others more obscure but all linked by their various lineage and by the instructions handed down from Siddha to disciple. Tarantha’s account of these remarkable lives is especially valuable as he had his gurus and as the sources of these accounts three Indians from the very traditions about which he wrote with such conviction.

The lineage accounts are very important for a clear understanding of the Tantric upadesas themselves. In several places Taranatha makes quite sure that his own lineage is irrefutably established so that there is no doubt that he is a participator in the upadesas themselves not merely a hander down of legends. The accounts were evidently passed on and due to the special factors involved in the Tantric oral tradition we cannot but understand them as being accurate and reliable.

Preface

Taranatha’s bka.babs.bdun.Idan was first translated into German by Albert Grunwedel in 1914 at St. Petersburg as part of the Bibliotheca Buddhica series. It was a pioneering work and has been quoted endless by Indian and European historians’ derailing with this period of Indian history. But, as with all such works, it had its limits. Errors of translation and misreading notwithstanding (and I make no claim that the present work is error free) it was largely inaccessible to the growing English speaking audience for Tibetan and Indian Buddhist material. Even Bhupendranath Datta’s précis and translation from the German of Grunwedel entitled Mystic Tales of Lama Taranatha was barely intelligible partly due to mistranslation and partly due to the amount of material omitted which made important lineage incomplete. In the light of this I felt that anew translation was married. I hope that in some way this does not detract from Grunwedel’s important work but augments it as it deserves.

I have been helped more than I can ever reply by the Ven. Traleg Rinpoche and Norbu Samphel very gifted in their respective fields and very dear friends.

Translator’s Introduction

In the present work Taranatha paints a miraculous picture of the great Siddhas of India their lives and the lineage which sprang from their teachings. In all the lives of some 59 Siddhas are related some well known others more obscure but all linked by their various lineages and by the instructions handed down from Siddha to disciple. Taranatha’s account of these remarkable lives is especially valuable as he had his gurus and as the sources of these accounts three Indians from the very traditions about which he wrote with such conviction. Among them was the great Biddhaguptanantha disciple of Mahasiddha Santigupta whose biography Taranatha records so eloquently in this work. Buddhaguptantha’s biography is recorded elsewhere in Taranatha collected works. The lineage accounts were very important to a clear understanding of the Tantric upadesas themselves and although not actually containing the teachings these sasmpradays or lineage accounts were a guarantee of the purity and fidelity of the teachings passed down from master to pupil. In several places Taranatha makes quite sure that his own lineage is irrefutably established so that is no doubt he is a participator in the upadesas themselves not merely a hander down of legends. Clearly then the accounts were orally passed on and due to the special factors involved in the Tantric oral tradition we cannot but understand them as being other than accurate and reliable.

Details of Taranatha’s life and the social and historical background in which he worked may be seen in this author’s translation of Taranatha’s Grol mai.rgyud.kyi.byung.khung.gsal.bar.byed.pai. Lorgyus.gser.gyi.phreng.ba. Published as the origin of the Tara Tantra by the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives Dharmaslas and in the present author’s article Taranatha’s the historian published in the Tibet Journal Vol. VI No 2 summer 1981.

Contents

Publisher’s Note v
Preface vii
Translator’s Introduction ix
Abstract of contents xi
Translation of bKa.babs.bdun.Idan.gyi.brgyud.pa’i.
rnam.thar.ngo.mtshar.rmad.du.byung.ba.rin.po.che’i
Ita.bu’irgyan.
1
Notes to the translation 129
Bibliography 155

The Seven Instruction Lineages (Jo Nang Taranatha)

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Back of the Book

In the present work Taranatha paints a miraculous picture of the great Siddhas of India their lives and the lineages which sprang from their teachings In all the lives of some 59 Siddhas are related some well known others more obscure but all linked by their various lineage and by the instructions handed down from Siddha to disciple. Tarantha’s account of these remarkable lives is especially valuable as he had his gurus and as the sources of these accounts three Indians from the very traditions about which he wrote with such conviction.

The lineage accounts are very important for a clear understanding of the Tantric upadesas themselves. In several places Taranatha makes quite sure that his own lineage is irrefutably established so that there is no doubt that he is a participator in the upadesas themselves not merely a hander down of legends. The accounts were evidently passed on and due to the special factors involved in the Tantric oral tradition we cannot but understand them as being accurate and reliable.

Preface

Taranatha’s bka.babs.bdun.Idan was first translated into German by Albert Grunwedel in 1914 at St. Petersburg as part of the Bibliotheca Buddhica series. It was a pioneering work and has been quoted endless by Indian and European historians’ derailing with this period of Indian history. But, as with all such works, it had its limits. Errors of translation and misreading notwithstanding (and I make no claim that the present work is error free) it was largely inaccessible to the growing English speaking audience for Tibetan and Indian Buddhist material. Even Bhupendranath Datta’s précis and translation from the German of Grunwedel entitled Mystic Tales of Lama Taranatha was barely intelligible partly due to mistranslation and partly due to the amount of material omitted which made important lineage incomplete. In the light of this I felt that anew translation was married. I hope that in some way this does not detract from Grunwedel’s important work but augments it as it deserves.

I have been helped more than I can ever reply by the Ven. Traleg Rinpoche and Norbu Samphel very gifted in their respective fields and very dear friends.

Translator’s Introduction

In the present work Taranatha paints a miraculous picture of the great Siddhas of India their lives and the lineage which sprang from their teachings. In all the lives of some 59 Siddhas are related some well known others more obscure but all linked by their various lineages and by the instructions handed down from Siddha to disciple. Taranatha’s account of these remarkable lives is especially valuable as he had his gurus and as the sources of these accounts three Indians from the very traditions about which he wrote with such conviction. Among them was the great Biddhaguptanantha disciple of Mahasiddha Santigupta whose biography Taranatha records so eloquently in this work. Buddhaguptantha’s biography is recorded elsewhere in Taranatha collected works. The lineage accounts were very important to a clear understanding of the Tantric upadesas themselves and although not actually containing the teachings these sasmpradays or lineage accounts were a guarantee of the purity and fidelity of the teachings passed down from master to pupil. In several places Taranatha makes quite sure that his own lineage is irrefutably established so that is no doubt he is a participator in the upadesas themselves not merely a hander down of legends. Clearly then the accounts were orally passed on and due to the special factors involved in the Tantric oral tradition we cannot but understand them as being other than accurate and reliable.

Details of Taranatha’s life and the social and historical background in which he worked may be seen in this author’s translation of Taranatha’s Grol mai.rgyud.kyi.byung.khung.gsal.bar.byed.pai. Lorgyus.gser.gyi.phreng.ba. Published as the origin of the Tara Tantra by the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives Dharmaslas and in the present author’s article Taranatha’s the historian published in the Tibet Journal Vol. VI No 2 summer 1981.

Contents

Publisher’s Note v
Preface vii
Translator’s Introduction ix
Abstract of contents xi
Translation of bKa.babs.bdun.Idan.gyi.brgyud.pa’i.
rnam.thar.ngo.mtshar.rmad.du.byung.ba.rin.po.che’i
Ita.bu’irgyan.
1
Notes to the translation 129
Bibliography 155
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