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A History of Buddhism in India and Tibet

An Expanded Version of the Dharma's Origins Made by the Learned Scholar Deyu

Translated by Dan Martin
Published by Wisdom Publications
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

The first complete English translation of an important thirteenth-century history that sheds light on Tibet’s imperial past and on the transmission of the Buddhadharma into Central Asia.

Translated here into English for the first time in its entirety by perhaps the foremost living expert on Tibetan histories, this engaging translation, along with its ample annotation, is a must-have for serious readers and scholars of Buddhist studies. In this history, discover the first extensive biography of the Buddha composed in the Tibetan language, along with an account of subsequent Indian Buddhist history, particularly the writing of Buddhist treatises. The story then moves to Tibet, with an emphasis on the rulers of the Tibetan empire, the translators of Buddhist texts, and the lineages that transmitted doctrine and meditative practice. It concludes with an account of the demise of the monastic order followed by a look forward to the advent of the future Buddha Maitreya. 

The composer of this remarkably ecumenical Buddhist history compiled some of the most important early sources on the Tibetan imperial period preserved in his time, and his work may be the best record we have of those sources today. Dan Martin has rendered the richness of this history an accessible part of the world’s literary heritage.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications (July 19, 2022)
  • Length: 984 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780861714728

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Raves and Reviews

“This book is a treasure and a work of great service to those of us who are fascinated by Tibet's history and culture. Martin's translation—a massive achievement—allows readers to access a fascinating thirteenth-century Tibetan Buddhist history that has become a touchstone in Tibetan studies. The introduction is superb, and the notes throughout the work, in Martin's inimitable voice, include some great insights into this text's many delights and riddles.”

– Brandon Dotson, Associate Professor and Director, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Georgetown University

“Dan Martin’s translation of this capacious history of Buddhism in India and Tibet by the thirteenth-century Tibetan intellectual Deyu is in every sense of the word an amazing achievement. It is a veritable tour de force that has no rivals in the field of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies. Martin’s informative introduction reveals the depth and breadth of his own profound scholarship and illuminates the religious and socio-literary environment of Deyu’s work. The translation itself is simply a treat to read, and the easy-flowing diction of his English makes this remarkable work come to life in unexpected ways. Indeed, Martin’s diction belies the difficulties of the original text and goes to show how impossibly well he is equipped to translate this work. One notices at every step his exquisite control over the subject matter, and the copious notes that inform the translation never interfere with the text. This is a superb accomplishment!”

– Leonard van der Kuijp, Professor of Tibetan and Himalayan Studies, Harvard University

“The history of Buddhism in India and Tibet by the mysterious scholar Deyu is one of the most important Tibetan works on early Tibet. This translation is the ideal meeting of text and translator, as Dan Martin's lifetime study of Tibetan history, and historians, bears fruit in his clear translation and fascinating introduction and notes. For those interested in understanding how Tibetans created a way of telling stories of the past that reflect Buddhist principles and thus continue to illuminate the present as well, this is an ideal place to start.”

– Sam van Schaik, Head of the Endangered Archives Programme, The British Library; author of Tibet: A History

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More books in this series: Library of Tibetan Classics