It is great that people wish to read, publish and share these Dharma books, however it has come to my attention that some online booksellers/distributors have been selling these two books without permission, for three to four times the actual retail price.
I make zero profit from these books and agreed that any royalties from sales go to the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, India. I did not set the original price of the books either. Although it is good they want to make the Dharma available, I wrote to the online booksellers a couple of times to request not to sell them at such a high price, but did not get any reply.
In the meantime, here are some links to articles and downloads on the topic of Shentong/Empty-of Other and Kālacakra that are freely available to all. In my view, Dharma texts should be freely available to all whenever possible, or at minimum cost!
Details about both books can be read below the photos here:
Tāranātha’s Commentary on the Heart Sūtra . Translated and edited by Adele Tomlin. Published by the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 2017.
A detailed study, translation and commentary on the Heart Sūtra written by Tāranātha (1575–1634), with extensive annotations from his longer commentary on the Sutra, The Previously Non-Existent Explanation of the Heart Sutra (shes rab snying po’i ‘grel ba sngon med legs bshad).
Tāranātha is widely considered to be one of the most remarkable Buddhist scholars, translators and practitioners from Tibet. In his commentary, Tāranātha succinctly distils his vast studies of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist thought on prajñāpāramitā and Buddha-Nature with the philosophical view of ‘Empty-of-Other’. The leitmotif of the text is Tāranātha’s five-fold assertion that the Sūtra ‘clearly teaches the Empty-of-Other Great Madhyamaka’. For Tāranātha, this confirms that ‘the intention of all three Turnings is the Empty-of-Other Great Madhyamaka’.
Tāranātha’s explanation is a valuable addition to the corpus of (Indian and Tibetan) translated commentaries on the Heart Sūtra. As a concise distillation of the Jonang view of Empty-of-Other and its connection to prajñāpāramitā, it provides the reader with a reasoned analysis as to why prajñāpāramitā involves not only ‘seeing’ that all phenomena are empty of intrinsic existence, but also realizing, via primordial awareness, that the ultimate nature is ‘unchanging’ and ‘permanent’, going beyond ‘impermanent’ conditioning, duality and mental elaborations.
In his foreword to the book, Prof. Matthew Kapstein (University of Chicago, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris) states it is:
‘…is a valuable service to Tibetan Buddhist Studies. Her work, originally written as her M.A thesis, is clear and precise throughout, well-exemplifying the distinguished tradition of research on Buddhism at the University of Hamburg…..Ms Tomlin’s study may be recommended as a particularly attractive and accessible introduction to the Jonangpa’s distinctive doctrinal perspective.’
A public lecture on this book and text was given by Adele Tomlin at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute in October 2018 and is available to listen on the RYI website here. There is a short introduction by Dr. Diane Denis who explains how the Zhentong view is often not represented, or misrepresented, in scholarly research, and the actual talk starts at 1.14 mins in: https://soundcloud.com/rangjung-yeshe-institute/adele-tomlin-taranathas-commentary-on-the-heart-sutra
The Chariot that Transports to the Kingdom of the Four Kāyas by Bamda Gelek Gyamtso. Translated and edited by Adele Tomlin. Published by the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 2019.
The foreword for this book was provided by Dr. Cyrus Stearns, an eminent Tibetan Buddhist scholar and translator, and expert on the life, philosophy and history of Jonang masters, particularly that of Kunkhyen Dolpopa, one of the main founders and lineage holders of Jonang.
Stearns explained to me that he had previously done a draft translation of another root text ‘Seeing the Meaningful’, by Taranatha from teachings he had received on the Kālacakra Preliminaries and Six Yogas in the late 1980s. He stated that was was able to study that text in Nepal with his teacher, Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, and translated it orally three times when he taught the entire work in Nepal, Borneo, and the U.S. He explained that text, and the One Hundred Blazing Lights supplementary commentary, ‘are two of the most amazing works I’ve ever studied’. Stearns says in his foreword of this book publication that:
“…students who wish to practice these profound instructions finally have a reliable source in English. Felipe Zabala’s graphic illustrations of the Kālacakra worldy cosmos are also a beautiful addition to the work. Adele Tomlin’s fine translation of Bamda Gelek’s work will be of great benefit to anyone who studies and practises these teachings.”
For more on the Shentong/Empty-of-Other view, see :
Texts and Translations
- Kālacakra Texts
- A Hundred Blazing Lights: Supplementary Commentary on ‘Meaningful to See’ by Jetsun Tāranātha . Translated and edited by Adele Tomlin (Dakini Publications, 2020)
- Meaningful to See: Guidance on the Profound Path of the Vajra-Yogas by Jetsun Tāranātha. Translated and edited by Adele Tomlin (Dakini Publications, 2020)
- Innate Kālacakra: Instruction Texts and Recitations. Translated and edited by Adele Tomlin (Dakini Publications, 2019)
- The Chariot that Transports One to the Four Kāyas by Bamda Gelek Gyatso. Translated and edited by Adele Tomlin (Library of Tibetan Works and Archive, 2018)