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Advice to Kublai Khan: Letters by the Tibetan Monk Chogyal Phagpa to Kublai Khan and his Court

Wilkinson, Christopher; Phagpa, Chogyal

Verlag: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015
ISBN 10: 1511513438 / ISBN 13: 9781511513432
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Titel: Advice to Kublai Khan: Letters by the ...

Verlag: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Erscheinungsdatum: 2015

Einband: Soft cover

Zustand: New


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Über diesen Titel:

Inhaltsangabe: When the Mongol Empire was at its height it controlled the world from China and Korea to Russia on into Eastern Europe, South-east Asia, and Persia. It was during this period that a ten year old Tibetan child, Phagpa (1235-1280), was taken to the court of the Khans. Educated there by his uncle, Sakya Pandita, he grew up speaking both Mongolian and Tibetan. While in his twenties, he created the first written alphabet for the Mongolian language. He became a religious advisor to Kublai Khan, and officiated at his installation as Emperor. As Kublai Khan had granted him regencies over the thirteen myriarchies of Tibet, he was titled Chogyal, or ?Dharma King.? He was on familiar enough terms with the leaders of the Mongol empire, including Kublai Khan, that he wrote letters to them. These letters are documents of state that offer us a window into the Yuan Dynasty. Phagpa, as a monk, exhorts the Khans to understand the ways of Buddhism, and also speaks out on such practices as massacre and the chopping off of hands. He speaks out for the right of public assembly. He presents economic theories regarding the taxation of the populace, while decrying the seizure of assets. While doing these things, he also speaks to the personal concerns and situation of his readers. We read of the despair of Duchess Pundari, for example, whose good husband had died unexpectedly and whose wealth was being stolen. These letters, being written in a world where many religions were known and to readers who were not necessarily sympathetic to Buddhism, also offer us brilliant presentations of Buddhist ideas as they were taught to non-Buddhists. The larger part of Tibetan Buddhist literature was written by and for scholars in the tradition. Here we have preserved Buddhist teachings intended for an audience not already familiar with the tradition. The Advice for King Hoko, for example, gives a detailed explanation of the Buddhist view on the structure and development of the universe. While these letters were addressed to only one individual, a member of the Mongol Court, they were written with an understanding that they would be read by many. Because of the brilliant presentation each represents, they have become texts used for teaching by Tibetan Lamas through the centuries, and even today we will hear of Lamas giving seminars focused on these letters. I hope that these translations will also serve to give communities who study the Dharma a reliable text to work from.

Über den Autor: Christopher Wilkinson began his career in Buddhist literature at the age of fifteen, taking refuge vows from his guru Dezhung Rinpoche. In that same year he began formal study of Tibetan language at the University of Washington under Geshe Ngawang Nornang and Turrell Wylie. He became a Buddhist monk, for three years, at the age of eighteen, living in the home of Dezhung Rinpoche while he continued his studies at the University of Washington. He graduated in 1980 with a B.A. degree in Asian Languages and Literature and another B.A. degree in Comparative Religion (College Honors, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa). After a two year tour of Buddhist pilgrimage sites throughout Asia he worked for five years in refugee resettlement in Seattle, Washington, then proceeded to the University of Calgary for an M.A. in Buddhist Studies where he wrote a groundbreaking thesis on the Yangti transmission of the Great Perfection tradition titled ?Clear Meaning: Studies on a Thirteenth Century rDzog chen Tantra.? He proceeded to work on a critical edition of the Sanskrit text of the 20,000 line Perfection of Wisdom in Berkeley, California, followed by an intensive study of Burmese language in Hawaii. In 1990 he began three years? service as a visiting professor in English Literature in Sulawesi, Indonesia, exploring the remnants of the ancient Sri Vijaya Empire there. He worked as a research fellow for the Shelly and Donald Rubin Foundation for several years, playing a part in the early development of the famous Rubin Museum of Art. In the years that followed he became a Research Fellow at the Centre de Recherches sur les Civilisations de l'Asie Orientale, Collège de France, and taught at the University of Calgary as an Adjunct Professor for five years. He is currently completing his doctoral dissertation, a study of the Yoginitantra first translated into Tibetan during the Eighth century of our era, at the University of Leiden?s Institute for Area Studies. Wishing to bring the literature which has inspired him through his many years of Buddhist study and practice into fruition he has spent the years from 2009 to the present translating the works of the Sakya Founders, a portion of which forms the contents of the present volume.

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