Comprising the Buddhism of Tibet and the Key to the Middle Way by Tenzin Gyatso, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama and the Precious Garland and the Song of the four Mindfulnesses by Nagarjuna and the Seventh Dalai Lama.
The Buddhism of Tibet consists of four texts, the first two written by the fourteenth Dalai Lama himself and the remaining two chosen by him for Western readers:
The Buddhism of Tibet: In this excellent introduction, the Dalai Lama, explains the principal topics and central practices of Buddhism.
The Key to the Middle Way: The Dalai Lama leads the student to the discovery of the true meaning of emptiness. With acute precision, he presents many insights into the nature of emptiness.
The Precious Garland by Nagarjuna:
Originally written for a king this text is famous for its descriptions of the Bodhisattva path of compassion and for its clear, concise analysis of the Buddha’s teaching on emptiness. It describes how to find happiness by cultivating virtues of body, speech and mind and how to amass the stores of merit and wisdom required for enlightenment.
The Song of the Four Mindfulnesses by the 7th Dalai Lama: This short poem, accompanied by a commentary by the present Dalai Lama, contains all the essentials of Sutra and tantra. It is to be used as a basis for meditations on mindfulness of the guru, altruism, deity yoga and emptiness.
Sentient beings in general and mankind in particular have made and are continuing to make efforts to bring about their happiness and comfort by many different methods in accordance with their varying abilities. However, through a multitude of bad causes, both external and internal, they are continually tormented by many sufferings such as mental agitation and so forth. People in particular, unlike other living beings, create disturbances for themselves and others by reason of differences such as of country, race, political system and theory. As a result of these differences, groups of men are amassed, war is made and so on. Like intentionally putting a finger in its own eye, mankind consciously engages in many techniques that bring various undesirable consequences upon itself, such as causes for fear, man-made diseases, starvation and untimely death.
I have thought that under the circumstances of such a delicate time as described above, it would be wonderful if even a few people for a short period could have some internal peace. Also, many intelligent persons are analysing and seeking the meaning of emptiness. Based on that, I have commissioned the translation into English and publication of the following works:
The Buddhism of Tibet and The Key to the Middle Way, both by myself.
The Precious Garland of Advice for the King, by the protector Nagarjuna. This good explanation is a great compendium of both the profound emptiness and the extensive deeds of compassion, illuminating as well techniques for social welfare. The Song of the Four Mindfuinesses, by Kaysang Gyatso, the Seventh Dalai Lama. This work has only a few words, but contains all the essentials of sutra and tantra.
The present volume contains my own works, followed by the two texts by Nagarjuna and Kaysang Gyatso.
This introduction to Tibetan Buddhism in intended for beginners. The first half is a revised version of the appendix called An Outline of Buddhism in Tibet in my book My Land and My People. The second half expounds briefly the significance of the refuge, the concordance of actions and their fruits, the three trainings and Bodhicitta.
May those who seek the path of peace and happiness find it.
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