The unique importance of Stephan Beyer`s work is that it presents the vital material ignored or slighted by others: the living ritual of Tibetan Buddhists. The reader is made a witness to cultic proceedings through which the author guides him carefully. He does not force one to accept easy explanations nor does he direct one`s attention only to aspects that can be counted on only to please. He leads one step by step, without omitting anything, through entire rituals, and interprets whenever necessary without being unduly obtrusive. Oftentimes, as in the case of the many hymns to the goddess Tara, the superb translations speak directly to the reader, and it is indeed as if the reader himself were present at the ritual.
"A definitive contribution to the field by a brilliant young scholar. The magnitude of this work is awesome...a fine and scholarly piece of work which sheds much light on a dark subject." --VIRGINIA QUARTERLY REVIEW
"The result of field work...supplemented by vast researches into Tibetan and Sanskrit source material which is handed with impressive competence. It is impossible not to admire the immense amount of hard work and deep and critical thinking which has gone into this book, which is certainly a major milestone in the subject." --BULLETIN OF THE SCHOOL OF ORIENTAL & AFRICAN STUDIES
"Opens a new door for the Western student of religion to the understanding of ritual in one of the most sophisticated and artistic forms." --ARTIBUS ASIAE