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Illuminated wanderer

Author: Matthieu Ricard

Collected over thirty years by the living voice of his spiritual heirs, these testimonies on Patrul preserve all the freshness, humor and profound humanity of oral transmissions, offering us a vivid image of a great yogi caught in his daily life, humble and at the same time extraordinary, perfect illustration of an immense inner freedom.

Born in the nineteenth century in Kham, a splendid and rugged Tibetan region inhabited by nomads, Patrul Rinpoche is revered as one of the greatest Buddhist masters of the last centuries. A great scholar, he played an important role in the development of the Rime, or 'non-sectarian' movement, which led to the renewal of Tibetan Buddhism at a time when many practices were dying out.

But Patrul's fame is not only due to his erudition, but to his lifestyle, which embodies the Buddhist ideals of renunciation, wisdom and compassion. In stark contrast to the glitz exhibited in the great monasteries, Patrul spent much of his life wandering the mountains and practicing hermitages, caves and woods.

Dressed like a beggar, he preferred to live in tent camps, and teach ordinary people, in an immediately understandable way even to the simplest, The bodhisattva way of Sàntideva, centered on the practice of bodhicitta.

The book "Enlightened Vagabond" captures his free and nonconformist spirit in a long series of stories and anecdotes that form a compelling biography.

The scholar and monk Matthieu Ricard, over thirty years, has collected the oral testimonies of eminent teachers and spiritual heirs of Patrul's lineage, reconstructing with great dedication the life and often unconventional teaching of a great saint capable of transmitting the Dharma in all his acts.

The photographic documentation, largely of Ricard himself, allows the reader to see the places where Patrul lived.


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