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The Jewel Ornament of Liberation

4.48  ·  Rating Details  ·  182 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
In this skillful translation, Herbert Guenther offers English-speaking readers's comprehensive and authoritative exposition of the stages of the Buddhist path. A masterly survey of Tibetan Buddhism, The Jewel Ornament of Liberation explains how an enlightened attitude is strengthened by practicing the six perfections (generosity, discipline, patience, exertion, ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Shambhala (first published 1100)
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Ermina Williams
Sep 01, 2011 Ermina Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Essential Buddhist reading. Especially useful is the commentary by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. For those who are familiar with Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, you'll know that he doesn't offer translations and slight interpretations of the essential texts. He lives and breathes them into digestible, pithy, core instructions that penetrate the heart and mind at once.
Gemma Williams
Mar 23, 2008 Gemma Williams rated it really liked it
A quite amazing scope covered here,and lots and lots to think about! Am really looking forward to my new study group and discussing it in depth. In the meantime will allow it to sink in a bit before writing about it, and will listen to Padmavajra's contributions as well.
Mar 21, 2015 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not for the beginner. For Tibetan Buddhists, it's the equivalent of the Bible for Christians. I'll read it over and over as part of my practice.
Stephen Blache
Mar 13, 2011 Stephen Blache rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dharma-study
A fundamental introduction to Sutra Mahamudra from one of the yogi Milarepa's most important students. A solid introductory presentation to this tradition.
Mar 23, 2009 Cindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most important book I've ever read.
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Gampopa Sönam Rinchen (Tib. སྒམ་པོ་པ་བསོད་ནམས་རིན་ཆེན་, Wyl. sgam po pa bsod nams rin chen) (1079-1153/9) after first training as a physician (hence his name Dakpo Lharje (Tib. དྭགས་པོ་ལྷ་རྗེ་, Wyl. dwags po lha rje), the Physician of Dakpo), became the principle student of the yogi Jetsun Milarepa. He went on to integrate the Kadampa teachings of Atisha, which he had studied previously, with the ...more
More about Gampopa...

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“The "kindness of giving you a body" means that, at first, our bodies are not fully matured nor are our pleasant complexions. We started in the mother's womb as just an oval spot and oblong lump, and from there we developed through the vital essence of the mother's blood and flesh. We grew through the vital essence of her food while she endured embarrassment, pain, and suffering. After we were born, from a small worm until we were fully grown, she developed our body.
The "kindness of undergoing hardships for you" means that, at first, we were not wearing any clothes with all their ornamentation, did not possess any wealth, and did not bring any provisions. We just came with a mouth and stomach-empty-handed, without any material things.
When we came to this place where we knew no one, she gave food when we were hungry, she gave drink when we were thirsty, she gave clothes when we were cold, she gave wealth when we had nothing. Also, she did not just give us things she did not need. Rather, she has given us what she did not dare use for herself, things she did not dare eat, drink, or wear for herself, things she did not dare employ for the happiness of this life, things she did not dare use for her next life's wealth. In brief, without looking for happiness in this life or next, she nurtured her child.
She did not obtain these things easily or with pleasure. She collected them by creating various negative karmas, by sufferings and hardships, and gave them all to the child. For example, creating negative karma: she fed the child through various nonvirtuous actions like fishing, butchering, and so forth. For example, suffering: to give to the child, she accumulated wealth by working at a business or farm and so forth, wearing frost for shoes, wearing stars as a hat, riding on the horse of her legs, her hem like a whip, giving her legs to the dogs and her face to the people.
Furthermore, she loved the unknown one much more than her father, mother, and teachers who were very kind to her. She watched the child with eyes of love, and kept it warm in soft cloth. She dandled the child in her ten fingers, and lifted it up in the sky. She called to it in a loving, pleasant voice, saying, "Joyful one, you who delight Mommy. Lu, lu, you happy one," and so forth.
The "kindness of giving you life" means that, at first, we were not capable of eating with our mouth and hands nor were we capable of enduring all the different hardships. We were like feeble insects without strength; we were just silly and could not think anything. Again, without rejection, the mother served us, put us on her lap, protected us from fire and water, held us away from precipices, dispelled all harmful things, and performed rituals. Out of fear for our death or fear for our health, she did divinations and consulted astrologers. Through many ritual ceremonies and many other different things, in inconceivable ways, she protected the life of her child.
The "kindness of showing you the world" means that, at first, we did not come here knowing various things, seeing broadly, and being talented. We could only cry and move our legs and hands. Other than that, we knew nothing. The mother taught us how to eat when we did not know how. She taught us how to wear clothes when we did not know how. She taught us how to walk when we did not know how. She taught us how to talk when we did not know how to say "Mama," or "Hi," and so forth. She taught us various skills, creative arts, and so forth. She tried to make us equal when we were unequal, and tried to make the uneven even for us.
Not only have we had a mother in this lifetime, but from beginningless samsara she served as a mother countless times.”
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