The Seven Instruction Lineages
Jo Nang Tāranātha
Translated and edited by David Templeman
In the present work, Tāranātha paints a miraculous picture of the great Siddhas of India – their lives and the lineages which sprang from their teachings. In all, the lives of some 59 Siddhas are related –some well-known, others more obscure, but all linked by their various lineages and by the instructions handed down from Siddha to disciple. Tāranātha’s account of these remarkable lives is especially valuable as he had as his gurus, and as the sources of these accounts, three Indians from the very traditions about which he wrote with such conviction.
The lineage accounts are very important for a clear understanding of the Tantric upadeśas themselves. In several places Tāranātha makes quite sure that his own lineage is irrefutably established so that there is no doubt that he is a participator in the upadeśas themselves, not merely a hander down of legends. The accounts were evidently passed on and, due to the special factors involved in the tantric oral tradition, we cannot but understand them as being accurate and reliable.
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