Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Crazy for Wisdom: The Making of a Mad Yogin in Fifteenth-Century Tibet
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, History of Religions.
2012 (English)Book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In his early twenties, the Tibetan monk Sangyé Gyaltsen (1452–1507) left his monastery to become a wandering tantric yogin. As he moved from place to place, seeking enlightenment beyond the bounds of monasticism, his behavior became increasingly erratic. While some were shocked or even angered by his actions, others were drawn to him. Sangyé Gyaltsen’s followers described his transgressive behaviors as enlightened action, rooted in authoritative Buddhist scripture. Using biographical sources, Stefan Larsson explores Sangyé Gyaltsen’s transformation into the charismatic ‘Madman of Tsang,’ Tsangnyön Heruka.


Best known today as the author of the Life of Milarepa, Tsangnyön Heruka was one of the most influential mad yogins of Tibet. His biography brings its reader face-to-face with an unexpected aspect of Buddhist practice that flourished in fifteenth-century Tibet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2012. , 354 p.
, Brill's Tibetan Studies Library, ISSN 1568-6183 ; 30
Keyword [en]
Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, Milarepa, Kagyu tradition, Tsangnyön Heruka, mad yogin, Tibetan history
National Category
History of Religions
Research subject
History of Religion
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-84470ISBN: 9789004203938ISBN: 90-04-20393-1OAI: diva2:580499
Swedish Research Council

Revision of the author's thesis (doctoral-University of Stockholm, 2009) under the title Birth of a Heruka: How Sangs rgyas rgyal mtshan became gTsang smyon Heruka

Available from: 2012-12-22 Created: 2012-12-22 Last updated: 2013-01-23Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Larsson, Stefan
By organisation
History of Religions
History of Religions

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 103 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link