Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Works

Tantric Ethics - Praise

An Explanation of the Precepts for Buddhist Vajrayana Practice

“Only a scholar with his long familiarity with Tibetan religious life and Buddhist doctrine could be a reliable guide to this treasure. I highly recommend it for practitioner and scholar alike.”—Jeffrey Hopkins, author of Cultivating Compassion

“Tsong-kha-pa’s synthesis and elucidation of the Vajrayana vows is a welcome and intriguing addition to the growing body of tantric literature available in English. This text (and Sparham's careful reading of it) highlights Tsong-kha-pa’s distinctive breadth and interpretive strategies, specifically his sophisticated text criticism, deference to Indian sources, and overriding concern to demonstrate that the morality taught in a tantric context builds on exoteric Mahayana Buddhism.”—Altar

“Another masterpiece by Tsongkhapa has just appeared in print: Tantric Ethics: An Explanation of the Precepts for Buddhist Vajrayana Practice. In this work, Tsongkhapa carefully lays out the precepts for tantric practitioners and addresses dilemmas such as those faced by Tibetan monks who vow to uphold the fundamental monastic precepts against violence and simultaneously take the tantric vow not to refrain from violence when it's called for. Questions like this were of vital importance throughout Tibetan Buddhist history and generated an enormous body of specialized literature. Translator Gareth Sparham labored for twenty-five years in his attempt to unravel and explain the complexity of Tsongkhapa’s account. His introduction orients the reader with a thorough grounding in the issues at stake and the terms in which they were debated. Tantric Ethics offers a glimpse into one of the most important debates in Tibetan Buddhist thought, and provides fertile ground for reflection on ways to define a Buddhist morality.”—Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Journal

“A wonderful book that contains a masterly translation of Je Tsongkhapa’s explanation of the tantric vows, providing a clear explanation of each vow and the criteria for determining when a downfall has occurred. A must-read for practitioners and scholars alike.”—Mandala

“Any work by Je Tsongkhapa is bound to be profound and clarifying. The present discourse entitled Fruit Clusters of Siddhis fully meets this expectation. Skillfully and lucidly translated here by Gareth Sparham, who teaches Tibetan language at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Fruit Clusters of Siddhis represents an authoritative exposition of the tantric vows. As with the other writings of Je Tsongkhapa, the present text overwhelmingly demonstrates that we are in the presence of a superb master of Yoga whose knowledge of the scriptures is unparalleled and whose own consummate realization allows him to speak with great insight and authority.”—Georg Feuerstein, Traditional Yoga Studies Interactive