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The Water and Wood Shastras

The Third Gungthang Rinpoche, Venerable Konchok Tenpai Dronme

Translated by Yeshe Khedrup and Wilson Hurley

The Water and Wood Shastras are poems that embody the central passion of ancient Tibetan culture—the pursuit of knowledge and compassion to actualize the highest potential of the human spirit. They are part of the Subhasita genre of literature, which flourished in ancient India and was eventually taken up in Tibet.

Shastras (Tibetan: bstan bcos) are commentaries on the Buddha's teachings meant to help transform the mind and protect it from negative states, which lead to suffering. To communicate the insights within his commentaries, Gungthang Rinpoche drew upon his own experiences from years of intensive spiritual study and expressed his thoughts through rich verbal images drawn from the natural world. Such were the tools he used to articulate his realizations for the benefit of others.

The poems included in this volume illustrate the author's profound insights into the nature of humanity and the essence of the path to enlightenment. Their message is deep and vast, but deceptively simplified and beautifully garbed in the metaphors of Gungthang Rinpoche's elegant verse.

In addition to the poems, the volume contains an illuminating biography of Gungthang Rinpoche and critical commentary on the place these poems occupy within ancient Tibetan thought and culture, making the volume highly suitable for both a lay market and an academically inclined audience.

ISBN 978-0-9765469-9-3, 200 pages, 4.75" x 7", paperback, © 2012
U.S. $19.99

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Copyright © 2012-Present by Karuna Publications