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  • Monday, May 23, 2022 2:36 AM

The Buddhist monastery has traditionally served as a primary locus for the generation and preservation of Tibetan culture, both material and intellectual. That function of the monastery has been gravely threatened by the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950 and the subsequent oppression and destruction during the periods of "liberation" and of the Cultural Revolution. After a brief period of modest revival, beginning in 1979, the monastery is again in jeopardy in the wake of the events of October 1987.

Tibetan Buddhism's Roots

In order to appreciate the gravity of the present desperate conditions that exist under Chinese colonial rule, it is important to have some understanding of the relationship between Tibetan culture and Buddhism. The eighth-century closed with two events, the legendary accounts of which provide a useful introduction to Tibetan Buddhist culture. The first is the founding of the first Buddhist monan astery in Tibet at bSam-yas in 779 and the ordination of the first Tibetian monk. These events took place under the direction of two renowned Indian masters - the Madhyamika philosopher and abbot Santaraksita, and the tantric madasiddha Padmasambhava. The presence of these two figures at this momentous event in Tibetan history is noteworthy for many reasons, not least for the metaphor it provides for the dynamic between the scholastic and the tantric madasiddha Padmasambhava. The presence of these two figures at this momentous event in Tibetan history is noteworthy for many reasons, not least for the metaphor it provides for the dynamic between the scholastic and the tantric in the development of Tibetan Buddhist thought and practice. But for our purposes, their presence signals the centrality of Indian Buddhism and the north Indian monastic model for the development of Tibetan culture: art, architecture, philosophy and practice. Some two decades later, bSam-yas formed the field for the second landmark event, the controversy that took place between Santaraksita's disciple, Kamalasila, and the Chinese Ch'an monk Ho-shang Mo-ho-yen on the question of sudden versus gradual enlightenment. Although the nature, format and context of the debate remains a subject of scholarly scrutiny, the tradition records that Kamalasila was pronounced the victor by the king and that thereafter the teachings of Nagarjuna would be held as orthodox. The precise philosophical implications of the proclamation are unclear, especially since Nagarjuna's works had yet to be translated into Tibetan. Yet the king's decision certainly meant that Tibet thereafter would look to India rather than China for its cultural model.

2 weeks ago

Sherpa, the people of Tibet meaning of Tibetan language is “People from Oriental”. Its ethnic origin has not yet been determined. Some say that Tibetan materials and internal legends say that the local people of Tibet are descendants of the refugee group of the Shisha royal family. They fled to Qamdo during the Mongolian era (in one case it means Qamdo, Shisha, and Damxung belong to the ancient Qiang ethnic group), and then lived in the interior of Tibet. For a period, I went to the southern Himalayas. Some local Tibet people believe that they originated from the Muya people in Sichuan. The local Tibet people in China are typical in Zhangmu Valley and neighbor Chentang Valley.

According to linguistic research, this group of Tibet people belongs to the Sino-Tibetan language family. Sherpas in Tibet mainly live in Lixin Village, Xuebugang Village, Zhangmu Township, Nyelam County, and Chentang Town, Dingjie County, or Zhangmu Valley and Chentang Valley.

1 month ago