The 108 accounts of the life of the Buddha and his disciples in Leaves of the Heaven Tree are from a much longer collection compiled by the eleventh-century Indian poet Ksemendra. The Tibetan master Padma Chophel abridged Ksemendra's text and simplified his classically elegant language to make them more accessible to the general reader.
In these accounts, the Buddha presents precepts well-known to all Buddhist traditions: the continuous unfolding of karma and the importance of developing wisdom and compassion. The underlying theme is the practice of the six perfections, the main focus of the Bodhisattva's actions: giving, moral discipline, patience, effort, meditation, and wisdom. The accounts are illustrated by a rare series of twenty-two thankas.
Leaves of the Heaven Tree can be used to develop understanding of karma, the nature of the Bodhisattva path, and the value of practicing the six paramitas. Rich in accounts of the Buddha, his disciples, and Arhats and laypersons important to the history of the Sangha, this book can also give readers and practitioners a better understanding of the historical context of the Buddha and the Sangha. Names and places become familiar, bringing the Buddha's teaching closer to our lives today and enhancing appreciation for the precious opportunity to study them.
A beautiful edition of 108 Jataka stories, with 22 color plates from a set of rare thankas. Translated by Deborah Black.