The Legs bshad mdzod, which is here edited and translated into English for the first time, is a history of Tibetan religion known as Bön. It gives a full account of this ancient religion, its origins and development, its struggles against the later imported Buddhism, and its fight for survival in spite of persecution and even abolition on two occasions. The reassembly of the scriptures dispersed at these times is major object of attention. In his introduction the editor makes an assessment of the historical value of the work and considers the extent of its reliability and factual accuracy. He has also, here and in the footnotes to the translation, indicated its sources which are extremely numerous and varied. The transliteration of the Tibetan text is followed by two indices of names and a short glossary of rare terms.
Samten Gyaltsen Karmy is Directeur de Recherche at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, and a member of Laboratoire d’ethnologie et de sociologie comparative, Universite de Paris-x. He is President of the International Association of Tibetan Studies.