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Mipham's Beacon of Certainty: Illuminating the View of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism (Volume II) Paperback – September 1, 2002
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"... a thorough and clear study... a great source of understanding and inspiration..." (Tulku Thondup, author of The Hidden Teachings of Tibet and The Healing Power of Mind)
"Lama Mipham was one of the most extraordinary thinkers and meditators of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. In his Beacon of Certainty he illuminates some essential points of Madhyamika philosophy according to the view of the Great Perfection (Dzogchen). John Pettit's translation and in-depth presentation is a major contribution to the field of combining Madhyamika and Dzogchen studies, that remains largely unexplored." (Matthieu Ricard, co-author of The Monk and the Philosopher)
"With this outstanding study and translation of Mipham's Beacon of Certainty John Whitney Pettit makes an especially valuable contribution to our knowledge of Buddhist philosophical thought in Tibet. Despite the abundance of recent work on the scholasticism of the dominant Gelukpa order, the philosophical traditions of the other Tibetan Buddhist schools remain largely unknown. Mipham was one of Tibet's great interpreters of the Indian Buddhist legacy, whose writings have become the primary texts studied in colleges of the ancient Nyingmapa order, to which he belonged, and are widely read by Tibetan scholars adhering to the other monastic orders as well. The remarkable text translated here is traditionally renowned as one of his foremost essays on Madhyamaka thought, one that is intimately related to the perspective of the Great Perfection teachings of contemplation. Dr. Pettit's perceptive exploration of this work will be much appreciated by all serious readers in Buddhist Studies and the Philosophy of Religion." (Matthew Kapstein)
"Lama Mipham Rinpoche was a great Nyingma scholar of the 19th century, who wrote a prodigious number of works on all subjects, as well as brilliant commentaries on both sutra and tantra. His work translated here by John Whitney Pettit as Beacon of Certainty was particularly famous and one of his most beneficial for clearing away the doubts and confusions on the view, path, and meditation. It is my earnest hope that John Pettit's translation will bring great benefit to foreign students and scholars in the study of both philosophy and meditation practice. This is a valuable work indeed. I pray that all sentient beings receive benefit from this text and ultimately attain Enlightenment." (Penor Rinpoche)
"Mipham's philosophical languaging of Dzogchen in Beacon is widely regarded as a major treasure of the Tibetan tradition and John Pettit's masterful introduction and translation bring it to Western readers for the first time. This is a riveting and wonderful work, an exploration of the crucial background texts underlying Mipham's thinking, and engagingly exploring such central topics as the relationship of reasoning to direct meditative experience in Dzogchen. Both readable and informative, Pettit's work gives the reader a real education in some of the most compelling issues of Buddhism, especially their impact on Dzogchen." (Anne Klein, Rice University)
About the Author
Penor Rinpoche was the head of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. Born in 1932 in Eastern Tibet he was renowned by all as an exemplary master of the Tibetan tradition. He tirelessly taught devoted students around the world. He passed away in 2009.
Top Customer Reviews
First of all a "conventional and/or literal translation" of a philosophical term is not automatically the best translation. The early Tibetan translators were well aware of this and created an artificial vocabulary to translate Buddhist terms from Sanskrit into Tibetan -- so artificial that hardly anyone, even the most stalwart Tibetan Geshes and Khenpos, ever reads those old translations. Instead they read Tibetan-authored commentaries on the translated scriptures, which commentaries are highly technical, but nonetheless more readable than the translations. So perhaps Mipham's Beacon of Certainty is overly technical in its approach, but then Mipham's original composition is nothing if not a technical treatise.
If the author of Mipham's Beacon of Certainty had been perfectly literal in his translation of the term "zung-'jug", for example, he might have used "pair-joined" instead of "coalescent". But what makes more sense in plain English: "pair-joined", or "coalescent"?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is written by someone who is self professedly mistified by this text, and at a very profound PhD level at that. Read morePublished on February 14, 2014 by Auspicious Attainment
Puts the traditional through the Tibetan concept grinder with startling results, ending with apparent destruction of the clothing of what we accept as real.Published on April 29, 2013 by Wandering Swan
This appears to be an excellent resource. I look forward to reading more of it, but can someone post what is considered volume one?Published on September 8, 2012 by EricJT
While the mere availability of this text in english is certainly extraordinary and invaluable, the translation and writing will obstruct some of its benefit for most readers. Read morePublished on October 10, 2003