Tibetan Buddhism with Its Mystic Cults, Symbolism and Mythology
Tibetan Buddhism covers the whole gamut of the growth and development of Buddhism in Tibet, its rites and its historical background. Waddell's anthropological study also includes details of the Lamaist order and of its evolution from primitive Buddhism.
The author discusses the mythology, ritual, and festivals related to Lamaism and the role they play in the everyday life of the Tibetan people. He has dealt with the Lamaist order, the monastic system prevalent in the country, its discipline, hierarchy, the incarnate deities and re-embodied saints. This alongside the metaphysical sources of the doctrine as well as its morality and literature make this a complete study of one of the most abstruse subjects. As one reads into the text the dual character of Tibet becomes apparent and one hand and its richness and diversity on the other.
During his long tenure with the British army in Darjeeling, Waddell, the celebrated author of many works on Tibet, studied the language and culture from visiting Tibetan scholars and priests. He himself visited Tibet several times secretly and in disguise. At the time of the Young husband expedition in 1905, where he acted as the cultural expert, he was considered alongside Sir Charles Bell as one of the foremost authorities on this very secret domain, which had for centuries kept itself secluded from the inquisitive eyes of the West.