Ulrike Roesler teaches Indian studies at the University of Freiburg in Germany and specializes in the history of the Tibetan Kadampa tradition.
Books, Courses & Podcasts
Stages of the Buddha’s Teachings
Runner-up for 2017 Shantarakshita Award for Excellence in Translation from the Tsadra Foundation
The “stages of the teachings” or tenrim genre of Tibetan spiritual writing expounds the Mahayana Buddhist teachings as a systematic progression, from the practices required at the start of the bodhisattva’s career to the final perfect awakening of buddhahood. The texts in the present volume each exerted seminal influence in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The first text, The Blue Compendium, presents the instructions of the Kadam teacher Potowa (1027/31–1105) as recorded by his student Dölpa (1059–1131). This verse work is followed by Gampopa’s (1079–1153) revered Ornament of Precious Liberation, which remains the most authoritative text on the path to enlightenment within the Kagyü school with its extensive quotations from the Indian scriptures. The final selection is Clarifying the Sage’s Intent, a masterwork by the preeminent sage of the Sakya tradition, Sakya Paṇḍita (1182–1251).
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Lives Lived, Lives Imagined
From the Buddha in ancient India to a nun in modern-day Los Angeles, Lives Lived, Lives Imagined crosses time, traditions, and cultures to present fascinating depictions of lives lived on the Buddhist path. Buddhist biographies come to life in many forms; they come from known poets and anonymous compilers; they are told by bards and even enacted by performers; they may also be autobiographies, either public or secret. Equally diverse have been the purposes they have served—as models for emulation, as origin stories for a particular community or lineage, or as narrative explications of doctrine.
This book, a collection of papers presented at a conference at the University of Oxford, presents a multifaceted, multitradition portrait of Buddhist biographies. Part 1 deals with biographies of the Buddha, investigating Chinese and Pali sources and the Sanskrit dramatizations of Asvaghosa. Part 2 contains modern Buddhist life stories, including a rare autobiography from Burma. Part 3 explores the Tibetan tradition, including such well-known figures as Milarepa, Shakya Chogden, and Karmapa Mikyö Dorje. Together, these biographies and studies reveal the rich diversity of Buddhism’s myriad incarnations over its long history and the dynamic scope of its thought and practice.