The Clear Mirror


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"Subtitle: The Traditional Account of Tibet's Golden Age
Author: Sakyapa Sonam Gyaltsen
Translator: McComas Taylor
Softcover: 330 pages

"Just as China is stepping up its repression of Tibet by, among other deeds, identifying its own candidate for Panchen Lama in defiance of the exiled Dalai Lama's choice, comes Gyaltsen's admirable collection of folk materials that record a people's memory of itself when it was master of those who now master it. The Golden Age of Tibet, like the golden ages of so many peoples, was a time of giants who conquered, created and established a nation. This history, originally written in 1328, in an admirable new translation for English students of Tibetan Buddhism and culture. . . This is an important text, beautifully rendered." ~ Publishers Weekly

"The Clear Mirror, a traditional account of Tibet's Golden Age, is a great story. The histories of kings and kingdoms are probably always accounts of human beings at their worst, with self seeking, skull duggery and outright criminality. But the Tibetan view of history looks past this mean spiritedness and sees the soaring of the human spirit, in a broad sweep of poetic understanding which provides us with another dimension which gives great dignity to human beings. This mythic account of the creation of the universe, according to the Tibetans, takes us through the introduction of Buddhist to Tibet, and the rise of the kings of Tibet. This is a political book of great significance, indicated by the opening verse from a 9th century Sino-Tibetan Treaty wishing Tibetans happiness in their own country, and the same to the Chinese. It is a good historical sourcebook for the stories of the Chinese and Nepali princesses, and a strong affirmation of the vaidilty Tibet's