The All-Pervading Melodious Drumbeat tells the story of Ra Lotsawa Dorje Drak. Though canonized as a saint and a fully enlightened buddha, the eleventh-century Ra Lotsawa's life story presents a darker path than those taken by Siddhartha Gautama or Milarepa.
Viewed by some as a murderous villain and by others as a liberator of human suffering, Ra Lotsawa used his formidable power and magical abilities to defeat his rivals, gain a devoted following, and grow rich. Despite these deeds, his fame also rests on an illustrious career as a translator of Buddhist scriptures, through which he helped spark a renaissance of Buddhism in Tibet. A classic account of one of the most colourful and memorable figures in Tibetan Buddhist history.
RA YESHE SENGE was the grand-nephew of Ra Lotsawa. He lived around the late twelfth or early thirteenth century. BRYAN J. CUEVAS is the author of Travels in the Netherworld: Buddhist Popular Narratives of Death and the Afterlife in Tibet, among other works. He is John F. Priest Professor of Religion and Director of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at Florida State University.