Tibetan Myths

by James C.

Along with the blood drenched landscape of religious conflict there is the experience of inner peace that every religion promises, none more so than Buddhism.

For many of them Buddhism is less a theology and more a meditative and investigative discipline intended to promote an inner harmony and enlightenment while directing us to a path of right living. Throughout the ages there has prevailed a distressing symbiosis between religion and violence. The histories of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam are heavily laced with internecine vendettas, inquisitions, and wars.

Some people have argued that Buddhism is different, that it stands in marked contrast to the chronic violence of other religions. But a glance at history reveals that Buddhist organizations throughout the centuries have not been free of the violent pursuits so characteristic of other religious groups.

In Sri Lanka, huge battles in the name of Buddhism are part of Sinhalese history about the triumphant battles waged by Buddhist kings of yore. A reading of Tibet's history suggests a somewhat different picture. Religious conflict was commonplace in old Tibet, writes one western Buddhist practitioner.

In the thirteenth century, Emperor Kublai Khan created the first Grand Lama, who was to preside over all the other lamas as might a pope over his bishops. Several centuries later, the Emperor of China sent an army into Tibet to support the Grand Lama, an ambitious 25-year-old man, who then gave himself the title of Dalai (Ocean) Lama, ruler of all Tibet.

Finally, let it be said that if Tibet's future is to be positioned somewhere within China's emerging free-market paradise, then this does not bode well for the Tibetans. China boasts a dazzling 8 percent economic growth rate and is emerging as one of the worldís greatest industrial powers. If China is the great success story of speedy free market development, and is to be the model and inspiration for Tibetís future, then old feudal Tibet indeed may start looking a lot better than it actually was.

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Oct 29, 2010
Tibetan Myths - Your view is tainted in red
by: Anonymous

Who are you a literary scholar or simply an advocate for china. Cultural history shows a great deal more than your picture of warring kings and poverty in Tibet. You need education and stop spreading your propaganda. We can see your red communistic ideals of commercial power seeping through your words. You have no idea what you are talking about. Read, read, read. Not just only what supports your view of Tibetan culture but that which uproots communistic ideals. Read what the Chinese writer wrote (the one who won the Pulitzer prize. Paint a better picture of yourself.

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