Friday, May 15, 2009

Mani Kabum in English Translation


I mentioned this in passing, in another post, but it is as if nobody noticed. Really, we should take careful notice, because it is an extremely important development.

Trizin Tsering Rinpoche -- one of Kalu Rinpoche's most devoted disciples -- has translated the Mani Kabum into English, and published the handsome, two-volume set you see pictured above. This is available (to the U.S.A.) by air mail for around USD $260.00, give or take the exchange rate fluctuations. It comes from Singapore, and unfortunately isn't all that easy to order, but is most definitely worth the effort.

So, why should we care?

Try to remember one of the first stories your teacher ever told you: Lhathothori receives golden volumes that Chenrezig drops from the sky to the balcony of Lhathothori's palace. Nobody can read these, so they are kept as a treasure. Later, Thonmisambhota is sent to India and charged to learn all the languages. He returns to Tibet, and does a translation...

Ring a bell?

Now that it is in English, it is as if it has dropped from the sky again (except this time, the people in S'pore are charging USD $75.00 for air delivery -- which they claim takes two weeks). This is just my personal opinion, but I feel the Mani Kabum should be required reading in every university-level Buddhist studies program, and at every "dharma center" in the English-speaking world. In historical terms, this is what we might call the mother of all primary sources when it comes to Tibetan Buddhism.

Click this link to begin your journey.

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