The book opens with a full account of the baffling personality of the great Bengali Pandit Atisa or Dipamkara Srijnana, the greatest of the teacher reformers of Tibetan Buddhism. The author proceeds to portray the Tibetan background of early Buddhism and gives an account of the early history of Tibet and Indo-Tibetan connections, together with a study of Buddhism in Tibet from the seventh century onwards right down to the time of Atisa in the eleventh century A.D.
The book is provided with an extremely valuable and illuminating set of Appendices sufficiently important to be worth describing in some detail. Appendix A contains Tibetan source-materials relating to the life and teaching of Atisa in English translation. Appendix B lists the works (219 in all) in Kanjur and Tanjur of which Dipamkara is either author, translator, reviser or otherwise. Appendix C gives the literal and annotated translation of the following works of dipamkara preserved in Tibetan translation in the Tanjur: Garyagiti, Caryagiti-Vrtti, Vimala-ratna-lekha, Bodhi-patha-pradipa. Appendix D gives The Tibetan sexagenary cycle with tables of conversion of the Christian Calendar to the Tibetan Calendar and vice versa.
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