Best Translation of Flight of the Garuda Available
October 4, 2018
Dirk Johnson from California
Keith Dowman's translation of Flight of the Garuda truly inspired me when I was relatively new to the Vajrayana path, and I thank him deeply for that. It was the clearest explication of the Dzogchen view and path that I could find at the time, and it was a brilliant light shining at the end of what looked like a long tunnel.<br/><br/>
After 22 more years of study and practice, and the great good fortune to meet and learn from several exemplary Nyingma Dzogchen masters and Khenpos, I bought Lama Tony Duff's translation of Flight of the Garuda and started to read it in tandem with Keith Dowman's translation. But I quickly dropped Dowman's translation and stayed focused on the translation by Lama Tony Duff.<br/><br/>
The translation made by Tony Duff is much more straightforward and clear, and the explanatory notes are much more to the point. It also contains a summary that aids in the study, comprehension, and recall of the root text. I also appreciate the verse-form layout, which reminds me that the original text was written in verse. If you prefer a prose-style layout, he has also provided that.<br/><br/>
I'm not qualified to judge whether Mr. Dowman or Lama Tony is the more highly trained, accomplished, and realized Dzogchen practitioner. But I am qualified to judge writing in English. Lama Tony's translation is a peak to which other translators will aspire for many years to come.