The Sakya Jetsunmas: The Hidden World of Tibetan Female Lamas (Paperback)

The Sakya Jetsunmas: The Hidden World of Tibetan Female Lamas By Elisabeth A. Benard Cover Image
Special Order


An exploration of an extraordinary group of female meditation masters from the Buddhist tradition in Tibet whose determination and accomplishments can serve as a great example for meditators the world over.

Among Tibetan spiritual biographies there are many life stories of exceptional male wisdom-holders or vidyādharas. But biographies of religious women are few. This book focuses on the hidden world of the great female spiritual adepts who were born into a prominent lineage of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism. For centuries, this family of wisdom holders has been committed to helping others alleviate their suffering and develop a strong dedication to spiritual practice.

About the Author

ELISABETH BENARD (Ph.D. Columbia University in Tibetan Buddhism) was a professor of religion and the director of the Pacific Rim/Asia Study-Travel Program at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. She is the author of Chinnamastā: The Aweful Buddhist and Hindu Tantric Goddess (Motilal Banarsidass, 1994) and numerous scholarly articles, and the co-editor, with Beverly Moon, of Goddesses Who Rule (Oxford University Press, 2000). Since her retirement, she has continued to pursue her interest in goddesses and spiritual women, compiling biographies of hidden yoginis in Tibetan Buddhism. Her spiritual practice has been under the guidance of the 3rd Dezhung Rinpoche, H.H. the 41st Sakya Trizin (now Trichen), and H.E. Jetsun Kushok.

Praise For…

“Specialists and scholars will appreciate this contribution to the scant literature on female figures in Buddhist history.”—Publishers Weekly

“Readers of The Sakya Jetsunmas: The Hidden World of Tibetan Female Lamas will enjoy learning about the lives and accomplishments of Jetsunma Chime Tenpai Nyima, Jetsunma Tamdrin Wangmo, Kyabgon Pema Trinlei, Dagmo Trinlei Paljor, and Jetsun Kushok, as well as discovering more about the history of a powerful aristocratic family of Tibet and all that entails. Replete with fascinating aspects of Tibetan life including, but not limited to: insights into polyandrous marriage; descriptions of material culture, such as statues and flying masks; the procuring of goods from the Khampa traders, the Pandatsang family; and the history of the Sakya witches, Benard’s well-researched The Sakya Jetsunmas provides a gateway into the splendid world of Tibetan culture.”—Yeshe: A Journal of Tibetan Literature, Arts and Humanities

Product Details
ISBN: 9781645470915
ISBN-10: 1645470911
Publisher: Snow Lion
Publication Date: March 1st, 2022
Pages: 320
Language: English