Friday, March 31, 2006

The Dalai Lama

Today, 47 years ago, the Dalai Lama escaped from Tibet. His story is an astonishing one. At the age of three he was recognised as the new reincarnation of the spiritual leader of Tibet by travelling monks. He came from a family of farmers and was one of five children. In 1959, he was forced from his palace by the Chinese and made an arduous fifteen day journey to India. There he was granted asylum and 80 000 other Tibetans joined him to form 'A Little Tibet'. From then until now he has been according to this BBC website 'a symbol of peaceful resistance against opression throughout the world' and in 1989 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

When asked if he believes that he was really is the reincarnation of the spiritual leader of Tibet he says 'The answer is not easy to give.'. It seems to me that his life has answered that question for him. This BBC website contains much interesting information and links including an interview with the author and climber Heinrich Harrer (mentioned in an earlier blog).


Blogger Jonathan Wonham said...

Those are two fascinating articles. I read Seven Years in Tibet a few years ago and it immediately became one of my favourite books ever. Such an amazing story, and very well written. Interesting to learn, then, in one of your comments that the White Spider is even better. Harrer has done much, finally, to educate people about Tibet and to help raise awareness of the problems there.

The Free Tibet web site is a good source of information about what has happened since the Chinese invasion of Tibet.

There is also an article about the eleventh panchen lama who was abducted by the Chinese shortly after he was recognised as succesor to the previous Panchen Lama at the age of six in 1995.

Fri Mar 31, 10:21:00 pm  
Blogger Jason Erik Lundberg said...

Thanks for the reminder, Clare. You'd think that, as a Buddhist, I would have remembered this.

And though the Free Tibet site is good, I actually prefer The International Campaign for Tibet, for their timeliness and breadth of information.

Sat Apr 01, 04:38:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the links, Jonathan and Jason - this is a fascinating subject - it is my ambition to go there in a few years.

Sun Apr 02, 04:04:00 pm  

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