The Divine Madman

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Subtitle: The Sublime Life and Songs of Drukpa Kunley
Author: Keith Dowman
Softcover ~ 162 pages

The Divine Madman
is the secret biography of one of Tibet's best-loved saints, the buddha Drukpa Kunley. Drukpa Kunley was a "nyomba", a crazy yogi who taught through outrageous behavior and ribald humor, through symbolic action, songs and poetry. Using people's emotion, neuroses and sexuality as a tantric yogi through skillfull means and crazy wisdom, Drukpa Kunley awakened others' buddha-nature. He belonged to the lineage of Tilo, Naro, Marpa and Milarepa and taught the same profound Mahamudra yoga, but his most secret teaching was radical Dzogchen, Tibet's existential yoga.

He wandered as a tantric beggar through Central and Southern Tibet in the 15th century and is still well-known there as the hero of anti-establishment and anti-monastic tales and the author of bawdy songs. But in Bhutan he became more than an icon, he still is the patron saint of a country where the phallus is revered as a religious icon.

This book is a collection of anecdotes and songs compiled by a Bhutanese scholar, Geshe Chaphu, made last century, which became a best seller in the Himalayas. It has been translated by Keith Dowman into easily accessible prose and poetry. Lee Baarslag has illustrated the work with her fine line-drawings.