Tsadra Foundation · Digital Research Library
Welcome to the searchable catalog of the Tsadra Foundation Research Library in Boulder, Colorado. This is a private archive of Buddhist studies material to be used internally by Tsadra Foundation, its staff and fellow translators.
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Translations from 2023
Translations from 2022
A Revolutionary Artist of Tibet
Another beautifully printed art book from the Rubin Museum including the excellent scholarship of David Jackson. "Published in conjunction with an exhibition organized and presented by the Rubin Museum of Art, New York, September 5, 2014 through February 2, 2015....David Jackson focuses on the Khyenri style, the least known among the three major painting styles of Tibet, dating from the mid-fifteenth through the seventeenth century. The painting of Khyentse Chenmo, the founder of the Khyenri style who flourished from the 1450s to the 1490s, was significant for his radical rejection of the prevailing, classic Indic (especially Nepalese-inspired) styles with formal red backgrounds, enthusiastically replacing them with the intense greens and blues of Chinese landscapes. Jackson also brings to light several of Khyentse's paintings in museums outside Tibet, including some that have been unrecognized for over a century." (Source)
The Six Lamps
Jean-Luc Achard presents here one of the central texts of the Zhangzhung Nyengyü, Instructions on the Six Lamps (sgron ma drug gi gdams pa) in it's complete form, a set of instructions on Thögal as it is practiced in the Bön tradition. For someone versed in these teachings from the perspective of Nyingma Buddhism, the text presented here will seem almost entirely familiar (save for some term substitutions, g.yung drung for rdo rje, bon for chos, or again some enumerations varying from the Nyingma presentation), making the questions about the origins of Dzogchen put forth by the same author in earlier works such as L'Essence Perlée du Secret (Which came first, Bön or Nyingma? Is there an earlier source that seeded both traditions?) that much more relevant. Whether to the interest of advanced practitioners or dzogchen aficionados, this work adds to the corpus of translated instructions by providing an extensive, thorough, complete account of oral instructions on Thögal that are still hard to come by, certainly when it comes to Bön Dzogchen, and especially as presented by such an established and knowledgable scholar.
Grains of Gold
In 1941, philosopher and poet Gendun Chopel (1903–51) sent a large manuscript by ship, train, and yak across mountains and deserts to his homeland in the northeastern corner of Tibet. He would follow it five years later, returning to his native land after twelve years in India and Sri Lanka. But he did not receive the welcome he imagined: he was arrested by the government of the regent of the young Dalai Lama on trumped-up charges of treason. He emerged from prison three years later a broken man and died soon after.
Gendun Chopel was a prolific writer during his short life. Yet he considered that manuscript, which he titled Grains of Gold, to be his life’s work, one to delight his compatriots with tales of an ancient Indian and Tibetan past, while alerting them to the wonders and dangers of the strikingly modern land abutting Tibet’s southern border, the British colony of India. Now available for the first time in English, Grains of Gold is a unique compendium of South Asian and Tibetan culture that combines travelogue, drawings, history, and ethnography. Gendun Chopel describes the world he discovered in South Asia, from the ruins of the sacred sites of Buddhism to the Sanskrit classics he learned to read in the original. He is also sharply, often humorously critical of the Tibetan love of the fantastic, bursting one myth after another and finding fault with the accounts of earlier Tibetan pilgrims. Exploring a wide range of cultures and religions central to the history of the region, Gendun Chopel is eager to describe all the new knowledge he gathered in his travels to his Buddhist audience in Tibet.
At once the account of the experiences of a tragic figure in Tibetan history and the work of an extraordinary scholar, Grains of Gold is an accessible, compelling work animated by a sense of discovery of both a distant past and a strange present. (Source: University of Chicago Press)
Strange Tales of an Oriental Idol
We tend to think that the Buddha has always been seen as the compassionate sage admired around the world today, but until the nineteenth century, Europeans often regarded him as a nefarious figure, an idol worshipped by the pagans of the Orient. Donald S. Lopez Jr. offers here a rich sourcebook of European fantasies about the Buddha drawn from the works of dozens of authors over fifteen hundred years, including Clement of Alexandria, Marco Polo, St. Francis Xavier, Voltaire, and Sir William Jones.
Featuring writings by soldiers, adventurers, merchants, missionaries, theologians, and colonial officers, this volume contains a wide range of portraits of the Buddha. The descriptions are rarely flattering, as all manner of reports—some accurate, some inaccurate, and some garbled—came to circulate among European savants and eccentrics, many of whom were famous in their day but are long forgotten in ours. Taken together, these accounts present a fascinating picture, not only of the Buddha as he was understood and misunderstood for centuries, but also of his portrayers. (Source: University of Chicago Press)
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