Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly


1940 IN NEPAL, Chittadhar Hrdaya was arrested for publishing poems in the Newari language, an act regarded as subversive by Nepal’s ruling Rana dynasty. During his subsequent five-year imprisonment, he wrote (Shambhala 2019; translated by Todd T. Lewis and Subarna Man Tuladhar), composed in Newari on bits of paper that were carried out secretly by his sister whenever she visited the prison to bring him food. What makes his telling unique from other versions of the Buddha’s biography is how it functions as a vast cultural encyclopedia of Newar life. From the details of ritual offerings to the precise renditions of temple iconography, the epic reveals not

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