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Tangtong Gyalpo is one of Tibet's most famous heros and one of Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche's past incarnations. This text is a meticulous translation of his biography written by one of his disciples which has been passed on for centuries.
King of the Empty Plain is familiar to every Tibetan yet nearly unknown in the rest of the world. Tangtong Gyalpo's incredible lifespan, profound teachings, unprecedented engineering feats, eccentric deeds, and creation of Tibetan opera have earned this fascinating figure a unique status in Tibetan culture. Believed to be the great Indian master Padmasambhava appearing again in the world to benefit living beings, he discovered techniques for achieving longevity that are still held in highest esteem and are frequently taught six hundred years later. His construction of fifty-eight iron suspension bridges, sixty wooden bridges, 118 ferries, 111 stupa monuments, and countless temples and monasteries in Tibet and Bhutan remains an awe-inspiring accomplishment.
"Stearns, one of the most respected translators of classical Tibetan texts, beautifully brings to life the story of one of Tibet's most inspiring and loved personalities. This book is a must for anyone who is interested in Tibetan culture and history, as well as those who wish to see how the altruistic ideals of the bodhisattva path can be concretely applied in socioeconomic and humanitarian action." Thupten Jinpa, translator to H.H. the Dalai Lama and author of Self, Reality, and Reason in Tibetan Philosophy
"This represents the culmination of many years of patient scholarship and contemplation of the problems of meaningful translation into English. . . . The author has selected a figure of enormous importance for the cultural context of Tibetan Buddhism. This is a book that will last." E. Gene Smith, executive director of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center