The Voice of the Buddha

The Voice of the Buddha: The Beauty of Compassion (Lalitavistara Sutra) was translated from the French at Tarthang Tulku's request by Gwendolyn Bays, professor of French, and revised from the Tibetan by Deborah Black and Leslie Bradburn in consultation with Rinpoche. It was published to introduce to a Western audience the Buddha's own account of his life, enlightenment, and first teaching. Simultaneously instructive and inspiring in its imagery and beauty of expression, this two-volume work is embedded with numerous teachings related to the purpose of a Buddha that include 108 Doors of the Dharma, the major and auxiliary marks of a great being, and the qualities of the Buddha's voice that attune the mind to enlightenment. This book can be read and reflected upon chapter by chapter, knowing that each phrase can give access to deeper meanings. In this light, it becomes an ongoing meditation, supported and deepened by studying the thankas reproduced at the beginning of each chapter.


The first complete English translation of the most revered life story of the Buddha, the Lalitavistara Sutra expresses his life, enlightenment, and early teachings in exquisite poetic language. The Buddha bestowed this Sutra upon his disciples to demonstrate the inner nature and actions of the Enlightened One. Spoken in the Buddha's own voice, these teachings possess an inspiring beauty and power that no secondhand description can capture. An essential text for understanding the nature of the Buddha and the goal of Dharma practice.

Translated by Gwendolyn Bays from Edouard Foucaux's French, corrected with the Tibetan and the Sanskrit original.
29 full-color thankas, Sanskrit and Tibetan wordlists, glossary.


Two Volumes
ISBN 978-0-913546-86-4
726 pp.



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