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Buddhadharma : Win 2012
WINTER 2 0 1 2 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 65 A ddressing a dinner for Nobel Prize laureates in 1962, President John F. Ken- nedy quipped that never before had so much genius been present in the White House—“with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” The same might be said about Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye (1813–1899), the Tibetan spiritual master, scholar, poet, artist, physician, diplomat, and overall polymath, who was the brightest star in the cluster of brilliant figures behind Rimé, a cultural and religious movement that occurred in nineteenth-century eastern Tibet. The scholar who first drew attention to Kongtrul in the West, the late E. Gene Smith, described him as “a nineteenth-century Tibetan Leonardo”; modern Tibetan Buddhists, especially but not solely those in the Nyingma and Kagyu lin- eages, regard him as a crucial source of much of what is best about their traditions in the twenty-first century. ROGER R. JACKSON is John W. Nason Professor of Asian Studies and Religion at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including Tantric Treasures (Oxford) and, most recently, Mahāmudrā and the Bka’ brgyud Tradition (IITBS GmbH). Reviewed by Roger R. Jackson THE TIBETAN LEONARDO THE TREASURY OF KNOWLEDGE BY JAMGÖN KONGTRUL 10 volumes Snow Lion Publications, 2003–2012 ARTWORK CHRIS BANIGAN REVIEWS