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Buddhist Masters of Enchantment: The Lives and Legends of the Mahasiddhas (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Juni 1998

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In Buddhist Masters of Enchantment, Robert Beer, having studied with the greatest living painters of the Tibetan tradition, offers up mesmerizing polychrome images of legendary tantric masters. The illustrations accompany a modern translation of a centuries-old text that in the hands of Tibetan Buddhist initiate Keith Dowman reads as enchantingly as the Brothers Grimm. Buddhist Masters of Enchantment is a rich achievement, worthy of the great mahasiddhas it depicts, men and women who attained spectacular powers of enlightenment within their lifetimes. --Brian Bruya


"These are extraordinary, riveting tales. . . a book of high merit and high adventure, a marvel of inspired creation. . . stories through whose cosmic transparency shines the illimitable Buddha-nature." (Small Press)

"Robert Beer is a master. His own story of being rescued by Tibetan art is almost as amazing as the stories of the Mahasiddhas." (Frank Olinsky, Tricycle Magazine)


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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 7 Rezensionen
14 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Buddhist Fariytales 22. Dezember 2000
Von Brooke E. Schedneck - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
I had to read this book for a course on Tantric Buddhism and it was so much fun to read. There is a great introduction which explains a bit about Tantra and some of the terminology in the book. The book is about the mahasiddhas or exemplars of this tradition. The book consists of short stories, about two pages each, of the enlightenment and adventures of these religious people. The best part about it is that they all went through these rigorous mental and physical states to reach Enlightenment and none of them got there in quite the same way. There are thiefs, kings, and young women who have interesting and fun tales to read. I would recommend reading some of these stories for children at bedtime but be careful choosing which one, those Tantrics can get a little crazy!
16 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The 'founding fathers' of tantric Buddhism 28. Juni 2005
Von Claus Hetting - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Before reading this book it is important to understand how the 'mahasiddhas' fit into the overall picture of Buddhism today.

The Buddha gave different kinds of teachnings to match the needs and abilities of different people. To his most simple minded students he broadly taught on how not to hurt others and how to avoid suffering. To his more advanced students, he gave teachings on the 'emptiness' of all phenomena. To his most advanced students, however, he gave his highest teachings, namely methods and wisdom allowing the student to directly experience the nature of mind itself. These teachings are today known as the Tibetan traditions of Dzogchen and Chagchen (Mahamudra). They are tantric, i.e. the transform mind and 'weave' dharma into people's lives, and they are something completely different that the Therevada (Thai or Southern) Buddhist schools.

(I am not even sure that all of the tantric teachings were ever fully written down, perhaps in many cases they were simply transmitted orally from teacher to student in a continuous chain up until now. But they are certainly in a very real and contemporary way part of modern Buddhism, in fact, they constitue Buddhist teachings of the highest possible level).

The 'mahasiddhas' were the Indian yogis who carried the highest teachings on the nature of mind, ie. the tantric transmission which today only exists in Tibetan practice lineages, such as the Kagyu or Nyingma schools. And this book presents the stories surrounding these legendary figures.

Because of the seemingly supernatural powers which come along with understanding fully the nature of mind, the mahasiddhas developed unusual abilities, some of which are represented in this book. However, the point of the book is not to show magic and miracles, nor was this the point of the mahasiddhas' work. The Buddha himself almost never carried out miracles because they are normally not conducive to the spiritual development of people. So, they were in a sense a by-product.

I hope that gives an idea of the background onto which these accounts should be seen. And it is a very good and interesting book, especially for Buddhist practitioners.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Enchanting 2. Februar 2008
Von Brandon Stocks - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
This book is a classic of Tantric Indian Buddhism. I believe all 84 of the Mahasiddhas were native to the Indian sub-continent, among them were individuals from various castes. There is an interesting autobiographical note by the illustrator and a nice introduction by the translator. The book consists of 54 short stories for 54 of the 84 Mahasiddhas. I believe there is one illustration for each of the 54 chapters, and many are full color paintings.

I really enjoyed this book. One of the things I like best about it is that it gives examples of how different types of individuals can pursue enlightenment in the tantric tradition. Some of the mahasiddhas started out in life as monks, scholars, or kings, but others started out as thieves, peasants, or gluttons; there is really a very wide range. Both men and women mahasiddhas are included, though the majority are men.

The stories read like mythology, but where myth starts and history begins is anyone's guess. The stories are full of magic and miraculous happenings. Several of the mahasiddhas are individuals who are very important to Tibetan Buddhism, and at least one (Nagarjuna) is important to all Buddhism except maybe Theravada.

Often in the stories a distraught individual will meet a teacher and the teacher will give them a practice that is suited to the individual's life and nature. The book does not have specific information on practices. The practices are only described in broad outlines. As for the illustrations, I really like them, especially the color paintings. Im sure I will read through this book again at least once.
A Contemporary Classic - Great for Anyone Interested in Tibetan Buddhism, whether Academically or Personally 13. Juli 2011
Von L. Erickson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I simply love this book. Robert Beer, the illustrator, is a modern-day master of Tibetan thangka painting. He endured years of training and apprenticeship in this ancient art, and in this book uses it to create unique, contemporary thangkas of the 84 Mahasiddhas, or founding masters, of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. Keith Dowman, himself also a revered practitioner of and writer on Tibetan Buddhism, has translated the accompanying legends of these masters' life stories. These stories will read like folklore to most, but if you are familiar with Vajrayana/Tantric Buddhism, you will find many profound teachings here as well. One of the founding tenets of this tradition is that anyone, of any walk of life, may attain enlightenment in one lifetime, and these stories are an excellent example of this - kings, paupers, princesses, prostitutes, butchers, fishmongers, businessmen, housewives - all attain enlightenment in these stories, and go on to become mahasiddhas. Also key to each story is the way their individual circumstances become part of their practice - become part of their journey to enlightenment.

So all in all, this is a beautiful, fascinating book, that anyone interested in folklore and/or Tibetan Buddhism, will love.
Lovely Stories 9. Juni 2013
Von Suzanne Hall - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
The short but interesting writings are lovely reads. One needs to realize that however surprising their lives, they are real. I read them out loud to a Buddhist who is a hospice client.
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