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Buddhism was created in the sixth century, BCE, with the birth of Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, making it one of the oldest religions practiced today. Originating in India, the religion spread throughout most of eastern and southern Asia. Buddhism came to Tibet in the 8th century, CE.
Unlike other religions that are centered on a supreme being, Buddhism is centered on four basic truths: Life is not perfect; people are left unsatisfied by trying to make life perfect; people can realize there is a better way to achieve fulfillment; and by living one's life through wisdom, ethical conduct and mental discipline, people will reach enlightenment.
Within these truths are countless layers of teachings on the nature of existence, life, death and the self. Buddhism encourages its followers not to believe in those teachings, as followers of other religions believe in their religion's central figures and dogma, but rather to explore, understand, and test the truths against their own experiences.
- Un cielo troppo blu (Italian Edition);
- Rules of the Game: How to Win a Job in Educational Leadership.
- With No Reservations.
The emphasis here is on the exploration. The Buddhist belief of rebirth is a concept of "renewal" and not exactly reincarnation of a spirit or body. Under Buddhism, the consciousness of a person can become part of the consciousness of another person, as a flame moves from one candle to another. The second flame is not identical to the first, nor is it totally different. Thus, Buddhists believe life is a continual journey of experience and discovery and not divided between life and the afterlife. Tenzin began his religious education at age 6.
His schooling consisted of logic, Tibetan art and culture, Sanskrit, medicine and Buddhist philosophy, which is divided into five other categories dealing with the perfection of wisdom, monastic discipline, metaphysics, logic and epistemology—the study of knowledge.
At age 11, Tenzin met Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountaineer, who became one of his tutors, teaching him about the outside world. The two remained friends until Harrer's death in In , at the age of 15, Tenzin assumed full political power as the Dalai Lama. However, his governorship was short.
However, in , continued suppression of the Tibetan people by Chinese troops led to their uprising. The Dalai Lama and his closest advisers believed the Chinese government was planning to assassinate him. Consequently, he and several thousand followers fled to Dharamshala in northern India and established an alternative government there. At the time, the People's Republic of China considered the Dalai Lama to be a symbol of an obsolete religious movement, not in line with communist philosophy. More recently, the Chinese government alleges that he is a separatist and a traitor for advocating Tibetan self-rule, and a terrorist for inciting Tibetan rebellion.
Since the Chinese invasion, the Dalai Lama has taken numerous actions in hopes of establishing an autonomous Tibetan state within the People's Republic of China. In , he issued a draft constitution for Tibet containing a number of reforms to democratize the government. Called the Charter of Tibetans in Exile, it grants freedom of speech, belief, assembly, and movement. It also provides detailed guidelines for Tibetans living in exile. During the s, the Central Intelligence Agency funded and trained Tibetan forces to resist the Chinese invasion and occupation with the Dalai Lama's full knowledge and support.
The program was a failure as thousands of lives were lost in the resistance and is now considered merely a Cold War tactic on the part of the United States to challenge the Chinese government's legitimacy in the region. In September , the Dalai Lama proposed the Five Point Peace Plan for Tibet as the first steps in a peaceful solution to reconcile with the Chinese government and end the volatile situation there. The plan proposed that Tibet would become a sanctuary where enlightened people can exist in peace and the environment can be preserved.
There he proposed talks between the Chinese and Tibetans that would lead to a self-governing democratic political entity for Tibet.
The entity would be associated with the People's Republic of China, and the Chinese government would be responsible for Tibet's foreign policy and defense. In , the Tibetan government-in-exile declared the Strasbourg Proposal invalid because of the current Chinese leadership's negative attitude toward the proposal. The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, and in the tradition of Bodhisattva he has spent his life committed to benefiting humanity. He has written numerous books and conducted hundreds of conferences, lectures and workshops at major universities and institutions throughout the world, discussing engaging in wisdom, compassion and, more recently, environmental sustainability.
Journal of Anthropology
Unlike his predecessors, the Dalai Lama has met with many Western leaders and has visited the United States, Europe, Russia, Latin America and many countries in Asia on a number of occasions. Known as an effective public speaker, the Dalai Lama is often described as charismatic. His message is always one of peace and compassion for people all over the world. During his travels abroad, he has stressed the need for a better understanding of and respect among different faiths of the world.
He has made numerous appearances at interfaith services and has met with several heads of other religions, including Pope John Paul II; Dr.
The Assimilation of Astrology in the Tibetan Bon Religion
In , the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent efforts for the liberation of Tibet and his concern for global environmental problems. The Committee's citation stated, "The Committee wants to emphasize the fact that the Dalai Lama in his struggle for the liberation of Tibet consistently has opposed the use of violence. He has instead advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people.
In the run-up to the Beijing Olympics, unrest broke out in Tibet in anticipation of media attention and increased repression by the Chinese government. The Dalai Lama pleaded for calm and condemned Chinese violence. Droit et Bouddhisme. Principle and Practice in Pre-modern Tibet pp. By examining the biographical corpus of Mar pa ?
Although Ducher does not overtly refer to literary theories of intertextuality, which suggest that textual meaning can only be understood in relation to other texts and contexts not necessarily literary , her study shows how intertextual research can bring about a better understanding of Tibetan texts. After having provided the reader with the necessary background, the reader is ready for the main part of the book: a careful presentation and examination of the vast biographical corpus on Mar pa pp.