Mother of Knowledge

ISBN 0.913546.91.7

Yeshe Tsogyal, Namkhay Nyingpo

Mother of Knowledge

The Enlightenment of Ye-shes mTsho-rgyal

Dharma, 1993.
Paperback, 244 pages

The Early Version of the Lady's Life

Covering much the same events in Yeshe Tsogyal's life, both historically and spiritually, as does Sky Dancer, this 9th century terma (treasure text) merits close comparison with the 17th century one translated by Dowman.

Both texts are similar enough to credibly represent a secret autobiography of Yeshe Tsogyal (757-817), surely the most important and influential woman of the Tantric tradition as practiced in Tibet. The works recount her adventurous life, first as student and consort/lover of Padmasambhava, and subsequently as a fully accredited teacher in her own right. Yeshe Tsygyal relates the events surrounding her initiations, explains the intimate rituals she practiced with Padmasambhava and others, her austerities and temptations as well as her efforts in spreading the then new teachings of the Inner Tantras.

Remains to be mentioned that a comparison of the two translations shows the 17th century text to be generally more outspoken. This may, however, depend as much on the translators than on the Tibetan originals.

Review: RCC
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