Enlightened Vagabond: The Life and Teachings of Patrul Rinpoche

Dza Patrul Rinpoche, trans. from the Tibetan by Matthieu Ricard. Shambhala, $24.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-61180-330-3
Patrul Rinpoche ranks as one of Tibetan Buddhism’s most influential masters of the 19th century, but he lacks a detailed hagiography to which practitioners can refer. Ricard’s newest single-volume compendium helps fill this void, composed of stories told by teachers as well as Patrul’s teaching texts and short biographies. Through these vivid stories, Patrul is remembered as a nonsectarian vagabond renunciant who preached the benefits of meditation and the cultivation of bodhicitta (compassion for all beings). The tales trace Patrul’s life from birth to death, including his formal renunciation; the receiving of his nickname, Old Dog; and his emptiness realization. Many people he met were fooled by Patrul’s unassuming and disheveled appearance, holding back from giving him teaching, food, or clothes; when he revealed his true identity, Patrul also revealed the underlying preconceptions and habits that obstructed the cultivation of generosity in order to save all sentient beings. Ricard’s purpose is not to present an exhaustive translation of the existent biographies but to preserve a rich oral tradition and interweave its stories with the existing written record. This is a convenient and useful reference on the life of Patrul Rinpoche. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/19/2017
Release date: 07/18/2017
Genre: Religion
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