Tibet's Great Treasure Holder
The first-ever extensive biography of Tibet's most famous nonsectarian Buddhist lama.
Known as the "king of renunciates," Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye (1813-1899) forever changed the face of Buddhism through collecting, arranging, and disseminating the various lineage traditions of Tibet across sectarian lines. His extensive treasury collections of profound Buddhist teachings continue to be taught and transmitted throughout the Himalayas by all major traditions and represent the breadth and profundity of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and practice. Jamgon Kongtrul was a polymath, dedicated retreatant, writer, and teacher from the eastern Tibetan kingdom of Derge. During the nineteenth century, this region experienced extreme sectarian and political divides, during which Jamgon Kongtrul, along with Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Chokgyur Lingpa, set about collecting, teaching, and transmitting the major practice traditions found in Tibet. They focused particularly on preserving declining lineages. This conservation project, which did not adhere to the traditional divides of the Tibetan "schools" and included both tantric lineages coming from India as well as Tibetan treasure (terma) lineages, came to be known as the Rime or "unbiased" tradition. Jamgon Kongtrul is perhaps the most famous among these Rime figures. This is the most accessible work available on Jamgon Kongtrul's life, writings, and influence, written as a truly engaging historical biography. Alexander Gardner, who is a specialist of Jamgon Kongtrul, provides an intimate glimpse into the life of one of the most important Tibetan Buddhist teachers to have ever lived.