Walter Y. Evans-Wentz

Dr. W. Y. Evans–Wentz was born in Trenton, New Jersey and grew up in La Mesa, California, just east of San Diego. He graduated from Stanford University in 1907, then received a degree from Oxford University in 1910. In the next three decades he was to become a world authority on Tibetan Buddhism. Eventually published under his name were those now well–known, ancient treatises which he edited and annotated, the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Tibet’s Great Yogi Milarepa, Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines, and the Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation. In recognition of his life work, Oxford University conferred upon him a Doctorate of Science in comparative religion in 1931.

Listed in: Western Americana · Native American Studies · Religion




W. Y. Evans–Wentz, great Buddhist scholar and translator of such now familiar works as the Tibetan Book of the Dead and the Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, spent his final years in California. There, in the shadow of Cuchama, one of the Earth’s holiest mountains, he began to explore the astonishing parallels between the spiritual teaching of America’s native peoples and that of the deeply mystical Hindus and Tibetans.

“For Cuchama emerges as a passionate exploration of the psychic unity of East and West. …Evans–Wentz offers here a personal narrative that intertwines his erudite attention to esoteric lore with his own quest for psychic illumination.”

Michael Loudon, University of Oklahoma, World Literature Today