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Lion Of Siddhas: The Life And Teachings Of Padampa Sangye Paperback – June 2, 2008

5 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"His teachings can be found today in monasteries and retreat hermitages throughout central Asia, from Mongolia on the north, to Bhutan, Sikkim, and Ladakh on the south, and continue to be practiced with undiminished enthusiasm. My old friend David Molk working with Lama Tsering Wangdu has performed a wonderful service. . . . It is a great read and explodes with the sense and sensibility of the enlightenment dynamic."—Glenn H. Mullin, author of The Dalai Lamas on Tantra

"A rare portrait of an elusive yet important religious figure in Tibetan Buddhism. . . . Offers an entertaining glimpse into the life of a classic tantric iconoclast."—Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly

"Padampa Sangye is a charismatic and significant figure in his own right. . . . His eminently quotable teachings reflect a wise and curmudgeonly character who fought complacency and bucked convention."—Tricycle

"Collects two venerable texts in one volume, both skillfully translated into English for the first time. . . . An invaluable reference for Buddhist studies shelves and reference collections. . . . Highly recommended."—Library Bookwatch "This translation effectively presents this Master’s legacy from the 11th century, which is still as dynamic and inspiring for current times."—East and West Series

Review

"..a valuable resource, skillfully translated...This is a richly rewarding read."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Snow Lion; Spi edition (June 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559392991
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559392990
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #649,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A remarkable study of one of Tibetan Buddhism's greatest teachers

Lama Tsering Wangdu Rinpoche and David Molk have made a ground-breaking contribution to the West's comprehension of Tibetan Buddhism in their 337-page work "Lion of Siddhas". The life and teachings of the great Buddhist siddha (accomplished meditator) Padampa Sangye has been vividly presented in this profound yet readable book.

A millennium ago, the Indian yogi Padampa Sangye visited Tibet, finally settling near Mount Everest and establishing a Dharma village of committed lay Tibetan male and female practitioners. In this seemingly informal setting, Padampa Sangye dispensed both personal advice and advanced meditation teachings. Many of the question-and-answer sessions were recorded by his disciple Bodhisattva Kunga, and are beautifully rendered here, for the first time in English, in their full vibrancy and intimacy. Of particular note is the way in which these teachings reach out to the present, addressed as they are to householders, merchants, wives and husbands, as well as to solitary meditators.

"Lion of Siddhas" also contains the extensive spiritual biography (namthar) of Padampa Sangye by Chokyi Senge, also for the first time in English. It begins with his actions in previous lives; continues by describing his life and enlightened activity as the extraordinary teacher we know as Padampa Sengye; and concludes with the life-stories of those students (of both genders) who continued his life's work after his death.

Finally, the book concludes with a set of five appendices devoted to practice instructions. These cover topics from longevity practice to the purification of one's speech actions (transmutation of speech into mantra).
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Lion of Siddhas is a joyful and exciting text filled with the miraculous activities of enlightened beings. More importantly, David Molk's work is a clear pipeline to the words of the realized meditation master, Padampa Sangye. This will be no surprise for those familiar with David's translation efforts for some of the great living masters of Tibetan Buddhism.

Lion of Siddhas may rival the translations of the Songs of Milarepa in its importance and profundity. As one of the great Mahasiddhas of early Tibet, Padampa Sangye has been largely overlooked in the West despite being celebrated in the Songs of Milarepa as an equal and a fully realized being, and his profound influence on the First Panchen Lama.

Westerners may have a hard time accepting the claim that in the same lifetime Padampa Sangye was also Bodhidharma who brought Zen to China, as well as Kamalashila who firmly planted the gradual method of enlightenment in Tibet. Yet, within the writing one clearly encounters the gradual stages of Indo-Tibetan meditation thoroughly mixed with the iconoclasm and immediacy of Zen and Mahamudra. Finally, all is combined into one package with the precision of Tantric thought and practice. Based on the text, the extraordinary claim that one being is actually all three of these pivotal personalities seems somehow possible. Whether one accepts this and other miraculous claims, Padampa Sangye clearly represents a stunning synthesis of Buddhist thought and practice that is functional, non-sectarian and refreshingly non-monastic.

David Molk's lifetime of experience as a translator and Buddhist practitioner is evident in the translation, which portrays his deep personal acquaintance with the teachings.

This book is an important addition to any library, providing insight into extraordinary teachings. I offer a heartfelt thank you to Lama Tsering Wangdu Rinpoche for bringing these teachings to the West. I hope this is of value.
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Format: Paperback
Lion of Siddhas: The Life and Teachings of Padampa Sangye collects two venerable texts in one volume, both skillfully translated into English for the first time by expert and practicing Buddhist David Molk with Lama Tsering Wangdu Rinpoche. The first text of Lion of Siddhas is a biography of East Indian Mahasiddha Padampa Sangye, well known as a lineage guru to all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. He brought the lineage of Chod to Tibet, spread the Buddha's teachings in China, and the Tibetan tradition names him to be the Bodhidharma. His teaching methods could be extreme; he was known to tell his disciples (many of whom were women) to ignore social conventions, eschew social contacts, and transcend their cultural conditioning. The second text within Lion of Siddhas compiles Padampa Sangye's verbal and nonverbal teachings, known as "Mahamudra in Symbols", as recorded by his primary Tibetan disciple nearly one thousand years in the past. An invaluable reference for Buddhist studies shelves and reference collections, highly recommended.
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This is a rare text to have in one's possession! It took 2500 years for these teachings to be uncovered and now appearing in English is an extreme blessing; especially for those who have a karmic-link with this great master. The biography in the first half of the book is well written and easy to follow. The teachings for the remainder of the book are vivid and clear, for all those who aspire to cultivate the teaching of the Buddhadharma. Like Jetsun Milarepa, Padampa Sangye was a master of skillful means/crazy wisdom (in fact there is an endearing tale of these great masters meeting one-another, which appears in this text). His sole purpose is to bring all to Buddhahood through any means necessary. The medicine of the Dharma is the panacea concerning our personal/collective suffering, and Padampa Sangye's delivery is just as potent as it was when he taught in his physical form centuries ago. I feel that I can open this text at any point in my practice/study, and my mind will benefit from Padampa Sangye's teachings. If you are ready for a good dose of crazy wisdom in the form of Dharma teachings, having this book for your library is an indispensable blessing.
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