The Just King

The Tibetan Buddhist Classic on Leading an Ethical Life

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Jamgön Mipham
Translator(s): 
José Ignacio Cabezón
  • Boulder, CO: 
    Shambhala Publications, Inc.
    , July
     2017.
     320 pages.
     $24.95.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9781611804966.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Dominque Townsend forthcoming.

Description

Leadership. Power. Responsibility. From Sun Tzu to Plato to Machiavelli, sages east and west have advised kings and rulers on how to lead. Their motivations and techniques have varied, but one thing they have in common is that the relevance of their advice has reached far beyond the few individuals to whom they were originally addressing. Over the centuries, millions have read their works and continue to be inspired by their teachings.

The nineteenth-century Buddhist monk and luminary Jamgön Mipham’s letter to the king of Dergé, whose small kingdom straddled China and Tibet during a particularly turbulent period, is similar in the universality of its message. This work, however, is unique in that it stresses compassion, impartiality, self-control, and virtue as essential for long-lasting success—whether as a leader or an individual trying to live a meaningful life. Mipham’s historic contribution to ethics and governance, until now little studied outside of Buddhist circles, teaches us the importance of protecting life, implementing fair taxation, supporting environmental sustainability, aiding the poor, and safeguarding freedom of religion. Both present-day leaders and those they lead will find this classic work, finally available in English, profoundly illuminating on political, societal, and personal levels.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Jamgön Mipham (1846–1912), one of the great luminaries of Tibetan Buddhism in modern times, has had a dominant and vitalizing influence on the Nyingma School and beyond. He was an important member of the Rimé, or nonsectarian movement, which did much to strengthen and preserve the entire tradition. A scholar of outstanding brilliance and versatility, his translated works are eagerly anticipated by English-language readers.

José Ignacio Cabezón is the Fourteenth Dalai Lama Professor of Tibetan Buddhism and Cultural Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara. Formerly a Buddhist monk at Sera Monastery in South India, Professor Cabezón has authored a number of works on Tibetan literature, Buddhist philosophy, and sexuality. He is originally from Cuba and currently resides in California.

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