Tamuning, Guam February 5, 2000
"The Tibetan Book of The Dead"; translated by Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup, edited by W.Y. Evans-Wentz, is written in clear, formal, academic British English circa 1922.
It is a masterpiece of translation and esoteric religious exposition.
No serious religious scholar should be without it.
It is not particularly easy to read. A good dictionary (look up "numinous" to test) should be at hand. And, unless you are reasonably versed in Tibetan & Oriental Studies, be prepared to learn a great deal of genuinely esoteric lore.
However, "The Tibetan Book of The Dead" will take you places beyond the Plane of Earthly Existence, through the Light, the Joys, Fears & Desires of the AfterLife & Back a New Born Babe.
I'd say that's worth the effort to read it & to try to understand.
Rabbi Vander Cecil
First published in 1927. Translated by LAMA KAZI DAWA-SAMDUP. Edited by Dr. W.Y Evans-Wentz, formerly of Jesus College, Oxford who spent the rest of his life dedicating himself to following the teachings of this very translation. This writer is the one who first produced the teachings of 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead' to occident man in the west. It still remains the definitive edition to this day. The book also has many footnotes and an important lengthy introduction by C.G. Jung to introduce the occident mind to the nature of the book. The footnotes are the helping hand in reading and understanding the text.
This is a book about the raw mind. It may take you many lifetimes to understand. You may understand it after the first reading. There are no devices, tools, sects, schools or Gods used to get you there. This is a book about your mind. The mind is the only device you should need along with the book to bring you to the understanding of - knowing the nature of reality. Then when you are done with the book pass it on and use the only tool that this book expounds on. The mind.
I have not even attempted to read anything else since I found this book. That is because it is definitive. The book only needs your mind. Nothing else. That is why this book is THE definitive book of the mind. Christians should not be afraid of this book in any way shape or form. It is good natured, good willing and does nothing more than help expand your goodness.
It is through the book of the dead that you will learn the book of life.
As the recently deceased Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, of Tiruvannamalai, South India, admonished Evans-Wentz when he sojourned in his ashram he said - "Each of you should ask yourself, 'who, or what, am I?' Why am I here incarnate? Whither I am destined? Why is there birth and why is there death?'"
This book has never been equaled by any other book. And I am not just talking about within the confines of theology.
This is THE book.