A Guide to Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Tantric Deities

by Vessantara

Sitting poised and serene upon fragrant lotus blooms, they offer smiles of infinite tenderness, immeasurable wisdom. Bellowing formidable roars of angry triumph from the heart of blazing infernos, they dance on the naked corpses of their enemies.

Who are these beings — the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Protectors, the “angry demons” and “benign deities” — of the Buddhist Tantric tradition? Are they products of an alien, even disturbed, imagination? Or are they, perhaps, real? What have they got to do with Buddhism? And what have they got to do with us?

In this vivid and informed account, an experienced Western Buddhist guides us into the heart of this magical realm and introduces us to the miraculous beings who dwell there.

Although this book can be used as a work of reference, it offers much more than a relaxed museum visit. Are we awake? Or are we dreaming? Surely, those awesome figures are alive — and have a message for us — a message with the power to change our lives.

Paperback, 376 pages
(36 black and white illustrations, 27 full color plates)
August 1996
List Price: $29.95

Buy it now!

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Believe nothing merely because you have been told it… Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings — that doctrine believe and cling to and take it as your guide.
The Buddha

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