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King of the Empty Plain: The Tibetan Iron-Bridge Builder Tangtong Gyalpo
By: Cyrus Stearns

King of the Empty Plain

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Translator: Cyrus Stearns
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 1559392754 / 9781559392754
Publication Date: 2007

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Product Code: 14955

Description About the author Contents
The legendary Buddhist master Tangtong Gyalpo (1361?-1485), "King of the Empty Plain," is familiar to every Tibetan, yet nearly unknown in the rest of the world. His incredible lifespan, profound teachings, unprecedented engineering feats, eccentric deeds, and creation of Tibetan opera have earned this fascinating figure a unique status in Tibetan culture. Believed to be the great Indian master Padmasambhava appearing again in the world to benefit living beings, Tangtong Gyalpo discovered techniques for achieving longevity that are still being in highest esteem and frequently taught six hundred years later. His construction of fifty-eight iron bridges, 118 ferries, 111 stupa monuments, and countless temples and monasteries in Tibet and Bhutan remains an awe-inspiring accomplishment.
"King of the Empty Plain: The Tibetan Iron-Bridge Builder Tangton Gyalpo" is a detailed study of the life and legacy of this great master. An extensive introduction discusses Tangtong Gyalpo's Dharma traditions, the question of his amazing longevity, his "crazy" activities manifested to enhance his own realization and to benefit others, and his astonishing engineering and architectural achievements. The book includes a complete translation of the most famous Tibetan biography of Tangtong Gyalpo, as well as the Tibetan text and English translation of a unique early manuscript describing his miraculous death. The text is further enriched with ten color plates and seventy-seven black and white illustrations.

"King of the Empty Plain" is a fascinating account of the life of Tangtong Gyalpo, one of the most innovative and eclectic Tibetan masters of all times. By translating and elucidating his biography in a very readable style and in great detail, Cyrus Stearns leads us through his wide-ranging achievements, from building iron-chain bridges and architectural masterpieces to mystical accomplishment in his personal life. [Stearns] unravels some of the historical mysteries that have surrounded this master for centuries, such as how he may have lived until he was 124, but keeps his discussion deeply informed by the Tibetan tradition. An excellent work of cultural translation!

King of the Empty Plain: The Tibetan Iron-Bridge Builder Tangtong Gyalpo, Cyrus Stearns, Snow Lion Publications, Hardcover, 2007, 682 Pages, $49.95

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