In the history of Tibetan Buddhism, the eleventh-century Indian mystic Nâropa occupies an unusual position, for his life and teachings mark both the end of a long tradition and the beginning of a new and rich era in Buddhist thought. Nâropa's biography, translated by the world-renowned Buddhist scholar Herbert V. Guenther from hitherto unknown sources, describes with great psychological insight the spiritual development of this scholar-saint. It is unique in that it also contains a detailed analysis of his teaching that has been authoritative for the whole of Tantric Buddhism.
This modern translation is accompanied by a commentary that relates Buddhist concepts to Western analytic philosophy, psychiatry, and depth psychology, thereby illuminating the significance of Tantra and Tantrism for our own time. Yet above all, it is the story of an individual whose years of endless toil and perseverance on the Buddhist path will serve as an inspiration to anyone who aspires to spiritual practice.