By Dr Robert Mayer

Approximately part the quantity is taken up by way of an intricate Tibetan textual content variation of 4 chapters from the Phur pa bcu gnyis (PCN), a widely known yet up to now little-studied tantric textual content of the Nying-ma-pa college of Tibetan Buddhism, followed via a long and hugely technical dialogue of the issues occupied with modifying texts of this sort ...The introductory fabric of Mayer's e-book offers a masterly and unique precis of the problems raised by way of those difficulties. The questions concerned, these of canonicity, authenticity, imaginative and prescient and revelation, are very important to the certainty of Tibetan and different traditions of Buddhism within the west. Mayer's booklet is the 1st sizeable try to current an total photo of those matters ...Appealing to scholars of Tibetan Buddhism to expand their horizons, Mayer presents outstanding proof of the benefits in doing so ...He units this paintings in a huge highbrow framework drawn from the sociology of faith.

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Samuel points out that the shamanic and clerical currents are complementary and interdependent in Tibetan Buddhism, but that shamanic Buddhism is more marginalised or has less autonomy in Theravada Buddhism (Samuel 1993:7). Nevertheless, as he and other scholars have pointed out, even in Theravada the shamanic current is necessarily an integral part of the Buddhist religion. To illustrate this point, we can turn to the example of Ceylon. As Samuel (1993) and many others have shown, in the course of history the clerical wing of Buddhism is correlated with strong centralised states in most Buddhist cultural regions, and this is particularly so in Ceylon (Walpola Rahula:1974).

Hence, from one point of view, it is in avoiding any imbalance between the two aspects of bodhicitta that constitutes the Buddhist Middle Way, and it is often in pursuit of this that tensions have inevitably and constantly occurred. In that such tensions are necessary to the well-being of 27 Or, to be more precise, they correspond to the yogins, who are problematic for Samuel's schema in that they have great potential for pragmatic activity, but are discouraged from using it. CHAPTER ONE: THE ISSUE OF AUTHENTICITY 41 Buddhism as a whole, their manifestation can be seen as a sign of Buddhist vitality, of Buddhism struggling to attain the correct balance in the face of changing historical conditions, and need not be regarded as pathological; nevertheless, on the ground, they may be experienced as a very real and bitter conflict between the shamanic and clerical parties involved.

Io 4r, lines 1-2). : "The definition of a yogic direct perceiver is a non-conceptual non-mistaken exalted knower in the continuum of a Superior that is produced from a meditative stabilization which is a union of calm abiding and special insight and which has become its own uncommon empowering condition" (see Lati Rinbochay 1980:61-2). In this modern dGe-Iugs-pa understanding, yogi-pratyak$a can occur only in those above the Path of Seeing (darsana-miirga), in other words, an exalted state of being that implies considerable accomplishment of meditative stability (samiidhi) in both iamatha and vijJasyanii (Lati Rinpochay 1980:16-20).

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