The divine madman: the sublime life and songs of Drukpa Kunley
This is the “secret biography” of one of Tibet’s foremost saints, the Buddha Drukpa Kunley (1455-1570). Appearing in the spiritual lineage established by Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa, and Milarepa, Drupka Kunley was recognized as an incarnation of the great Mahasiddha, Saraha. He is greatly loved by the people of Tibet as a “Crazy Wise” teacher and enlightened Master whose outrageous behavior and ribald humor were intended to awaken common people and yogis alike from the sleep of religious dogmatism and egoistic self-possession. This book is a compilation of anecdotes and songs passed on to this day in the taverns and temples of Tibet and Bhutan.
The Divine Madman was the first biography to appear in the west of a Crazy Adept “at work.” In contrast to other more ascetical teachers of the East who teach negation of the body and its desires, Drukpa Kunley used desire, emotion, and sexuality to arouse disillusionment, insight, and delight in all he encountered. With consummate skill he followed the path of Tantra, or the realization of Bliss in the union of opposites, employing sexuality to quicken the awakening of his consorts. As an unparalleled chronicle of Enlightened action, The Divine Madman is the most potent introduction to the high teaching of Tantrism to date.
Keith Dowman, who has translated the Tibetan text into English, has spent fourteen years in northern India and the Himalaya, engaged in meditation and study of the Tibetan tradition. His published translations include Calm and Clear, The Legend of the Great Stupa, and The Loom of Light. Lee Baarslag, who has provided illustrations full of authentic details, lives and paints in Nepal.