By David Snellgrove
An English translation of the autobiography of 4 medieval Tibetan Buddhism clergymen, a piece laying off a lot gentle on conventional Tibetan tradition and faith.
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Extra resources for Four Lamas of Dolpo: Autobiographies of Four Tibetan Lamas
As a set of five, whether as five in a special sense, or five in a psychophysical sense See below pp. 82, 186-7. For an account of his miraculous activities see W. Y. Evans-Wentz, The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, pp. 105-92, 'The Epitome of the Great Guru's Biography'. 'Lotus-Born' holds this pre-eminent position among the followers of the older orders of Tibetan Buddhism, the Nying-ma (Old Order), the Sa-kya (the Order of the great monastery of Sa-kya and its daughter monasteries) and the Ka-gyii (Order of the Transmitted Word), and it is to the teachings of these three orders that Buddhism in Dolpo adheres.
In English translation the word 'succession' would have little meaning, and so I have translated it as 'inner-disposition' and sometimes as 'soul-series'. 'Inner disposition' probably comes near enough to what a well read Tibetan would understand by the term, for he would take for granted the idea of continuity. 'Soul-series' expresses what most Tibetans really believe, but it commits them to a term the validity of which any well instructed Tibetan would have to deny. There exists another term for 'soul' or 'life-force', namely bla, and this term is manifestly non-Buddhist although it has been introduced into Tibetan Buddhist doctrine.
2 See Evans-Wentz, op. , pp. 277-334, 'The Path of the Mystic Sacrifice: the Yoga of subduing the lower self'. FOUR LAMAS OF DOLPO will appear to the yogin who invokes him long and well enough, and it is really meaningless to ask whether the divine forms are real or imagined, as one of the main purposes of the practice is to train the yogin towards the realization that all seemingly real forms are but imagined. By power of his meditation a yogin places himself as it were at the very centre of the mystic circle, which represents the whole of existence in its idealized state.
Four Lamas of Dolpo: Autobiographies of Four Tibetan Lamas by David Snellgrove