The Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk / Palden Gyatso signed book rare

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Seller: memorabilia111 ✉️ (812) 97.3%, Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan, US, Ships to: US & many other countries, Item: 176362254126 The Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk / Palden Gyatso signed book rare. The Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk / Palden Gyatso; Translator-Tsering Shakya; Foreword-The Dalai Lama Grove Press, Paperback. Very Good. 1998 , SIGNED IN TIBETAN on separate paper page SEPARATE FROM BOOK, no marks noted in text, small stain end page Palden Gyatso was a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Arrested for protesting during the Chinese invasion of Tibet, he spent 33 years in Chinese prisons and labor camps, where he was extensively tortured, and served the longest term of any Tibetan political prisoner.  _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Palden Gyatso (1933, Panam, Tibet – 30 November 2018, Dharamshala, India, Standard Tibetan: དཔལ་ལྡན་རྒྱ་མཚོ་, romanized: dpal ldan rgya mtsho ) was a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Arrested for protesting during the Chinese invasion of Tibet, he spent 33 years in Chinese prisons and labor camps, where he was extensively tortured, and served the longest term of any Tibetan political prisoner. After his release in 1992 he fled to Dharamsala in North India, in exile. He was still a practicing monk and became a political activist, traveling the world publicizing the cause of Tibet up until his death in 2018. His autobiography Fire Under the Snow is also known as The Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk. He was the subject of the 2008 documentary film Fire Under the Snow. Life Palden Gyatso was born in 1933 in the Tibetan village of Panam, located on the Nyangchu River between Gyantse and Shigatse. A few days after his birth a search party of high lamas arrived from Drag Riwoche Monastery and declared him one of the candidates for the reincarnation of a high lama who had died the year before.[1] In 1943, he entered Gadong Monastery as a novice monk. During the Chinese invasion, he became a fully ordained monk of the Gelug school. At the invitation of the 14th Dalai Lama, he moved to Drepung Monastery near Lhasa to complete his studies.[2][3][4] Palden Gyatso was arrested in June 1959 by Chinese officials for demonstrating during the 10 March 1959 Tibetan uprising.[5] He spent the following 33 years in different Chinese prisons and laogai[6] or "reform through labor" camps, the longest term of any Tibetan political prisoner.[7][8] "He was forced to participate in barbarous re-education classes and He was tortured by various methods, which included being beaten with a club ridden with nails, shocked by an electric probe, which scarred his tongue and caused his teeth to fall out, whipped while being forced to pull an iron plow, and starved."[9] leading to irreversible physical damage.[10][11][12] During this time, he continued to abide by the Dharma, Buddha's teachings. Released in 1992, he escaped to Dharamsala in India, home of the Tibetan government in exile. Students for a Free Tibet honors Beijing Olympics activists at victory party, New York in 2008 (Palden Gyatso in robes, standing in center) In Dharamsala, he wrote his autobiography, Fire Under The Snow in Tibetan, since translated into many other languages, which inspired the 2008 film, also named Fire Under The Snow.[13][14][15][16] The Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk was published in 1998. The Dalai Lama noted in the foreword that "His sense of the justice of our cause and his indignation at what has been done to so many Tibetans are so urgent that he has not rested. Having for years resisted Communist Chinese efforts to conceal and distort it, he has seized the opportunity to tell the world the truth about Tibet.”[17] During his visits to America and Europe, he became politically active as an opponent of the Chinese occupation in Tibet and as a witness of many years under Chinese confinement.[18][19][7][20][21] In 1995, he was the first Tibetan political prisoner to address the United Nations Human Rights Council and also addressed the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights.[22] In 1998, he won the John Humphrey Freedom Award from the Canadian human rights group Rights & Democracy.[23] In honor of the 2006 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the U.S. Senate honored him with a tribute.[9] Annie Lenox interviewed him in 2007. The film was widely distributed by Amnesty International.[24] In 2009, he spoke at the inaugural Oslo Freedom Forum.[25] 2012 painting of Palden Gyatso in Warsaw, Poland Palden Gyatso lived in Dharamsala, pursuing his Buddhist studies.[2] He died on 30 November 2018 at Delek Hospital, Dharamshala, India.[26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][excessive citations] See also Political prisoner Prisoner of conscience Laogai or Chinese Labor Camps Labor camp Human Rights in China Literature Fire Under The Snow, Palden Gyatso, The Harvill Press, 1997, London (ISBN 1 86046 509 9) The Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk, Grove Press, 1997 (ISBN 978-0-8021-3574-2) Tibet (/tɪˈbɛt/ (listen); Tibetan: བོད་, Lhasa dialect: [pʰøː˨˧˩] Böd; Chinese: 西藏; pinyin: Xīzàng) is a region in the central part of East Asia, covering much of the Tibetan Plateau and spanning about 2,500,000 km2 (970,000 sq mi). It is the homeland of the Tibetan people. Also resident on the plateau are some other ethnic groups such as the Monpa, Tamang, Qiang, Sherpa and Lhoba peoples and, since the 20th century, considerable numbers of Han Chinese and Hui settlers. Since the 1951 annexation of Tibet by the People's Republic of China, the entire plateau has been under the administration of the People's Republic of China. Tibet is divided administratively into the Tibet Autonomous Region, and parts of the Qinghai and Sichuan provinces. Tibet is also constitutionally claimed by the Republic of China (Taiwan) as the Tibet Area since 1912. Tibet is the highest region on Earth, with an average elevation of 4,380 m (14,000 ft).[1][2] Located in the Himalayas, the highest elevation in Tibet is Mount Everest, Earth's highest mountain, rising 8,848.86 m (29,032 ft) above sea level.[3] The Tibetan Empire emerged in the 7th century. At its height in the 9th century, the Tibetan Empire extended far beyond the Tibetan Plateau, from the Tarim Basin and Pamirs in the west, to Yunnan and Bengal in the southeast. It then divided into a variety of territories. The bulk of western and central Tibet (Ü-Tsang) was often at least nominally unified under a series of Tibetan governments in Lhasa, Shigatse, or nearby locations. The eastern regions of Kham and Amdo often maintained a more decentralized indigenous political structure, being divided among a number of small principalities and tribal groups, while also often falling under Chinese rule; most of this area was eventually annexed into the Chinese provinces of Sichuan and Qinghai. The current borders of Tibet were generally established in the 18th century.[4] Following the Xinhai Revolution against the Qing dynasty in 1912, Qing soldiers were disarmed and escorted out of the Tibet Area (Ü-Tsang). The region subsequently declared its independence in 1913, although this was not recognised by the subsequent Chinese Republican government.[5] Later, Lhasa took control of the western part of Xikang. The region maintained its autonomy until 1951 when, following the Battle of Chamdo, Tibet was occupied and annexed by the People's Republic of China. The Tibetan government was abolished after the failure of the 1959 Tibetan uprising.[6] Today, China governs western and central Tibet as the Tibet Autonomous Region while the eastern areas are now mostly autonomous prefectures within Sichuan, Qinghai and other neighbouring provinces. The Tibetan independence movement[7] is principally led by the Tibetan diaspora.[8] Human rights groups have accused the Chinese government of abuses of human rights in Tibet, including torture.[9][10] With the growth of tourism in recent years, the service sector has become the largest sector in Tibet, accounting for 50.1% of the local GDP in 2020.[11] The dominant religion in Tibet is Tibetan Buddhism; other religions include Bön, an indigenous religion similar to Tibetan Buddhism,[12] Islam, and Christianity. Tibetan Buddhism is a primary influence on the art, music, and festivals of the region. Tibetan architecture reflects Chinese and Indian influences. Staple foods in Tibet are roasted barley, yak meat, and butter tea. Names Map of the approximate extent of the three provinces, Ü-Tsang, Amdo, and Kham, of the Tibetan Empire (8th century) overlaid on a map of modern borders Main article: Definitions of Tibet The Tibetan name for their land, Bod (བོད་), means 'Tibet' or 'Tibetan Plateau', although it originally meant the central region around Lhasa, now known in Tibetan as Ü (དབུས).[citation needed] The Standard Tibetan pronunciation of Bod ([pʰøʔ˨˧˨]) is transcribed as: Bhö in Tournadre Phonetic Transcription; Bö in the THL Simplified Phonetic Transcription; and Poi in Tibetan pinyin. Some scholars believe the first written reference to Bod ('Tibet') was the ancient Bautai people recorded in the Egyptian-Greek works Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (1st century CE) and Geographia (Ptolemy, 2nd century CE),[13] itself from the Sanskrit form Bhauṭṭa of the Indian geographical tradition.[14] The modern Standard Chinese exonym for the ethnic Tibetan region is Zangqu (Chinese: 藏区; pinyin: Zàngqū), which derives by metonymy from the Tsang region around Shigatse plus the addition of a Chinese suffix qū (区), which means 'area, district, region, ward'. Tibetan people, language, and culture, regardless of where they are from, are referred to as Zang (Chinese: 藏; pinyin: Zàng), although the geographical term Xīzàng is often limited to the Tibet Autonomous Region. The term Xīzàng was coined during the Qing dynasty in the reign of the Jiaqing Emperor (1796–1820) through the addition of the prefix xī (西, 'west') to Zang.[citation needed] The best-known medieval Chinese name for Tibet is Tubo (Chinese: 吐蕃; or Tǔbō, 土蕃 or Tǔfān, 土番). This name first appears in Chinese characters as 土番 in the 7th century (Li Tai) and as 吐蕃 in the 10th century (Old Book of Tang, describing 608–609 emissaries from Tibetan King Namri Songtsen to Emperor Yang of Sui). In the Middle Chinese language spoken during that period, as reconstructed by William H. Baxter, 土番 was pronounced thux-phjon, and 吐蕃 was pronounced thux-pjon (with the x representing a shang tone).[15] Other pre-modern Chinese names for Tibet include: Wusiguo (Chinese: 烏斯國; pinyin: Wūsīguó; cf. Tibetan: dbus, Ü, [wyʔ˨˧˨]); Wusizang (Chinese: 烏斯藏; pinyin: wūsīzàng, cf. Tibetan: dbus-gtsang, Ü-Tsang); Tubote (Chinese: 圖伯特; pinyin: Túbótè); and Tanggute (Chinese: 唐古忒; pinyin: Tánggǔtè, cf. Tangut). American Tibetologist Elliot Sperling has argued in favor of a recent tendency by some authors writing in Chinese to revive the term Tubote (simplified Chinese: 图伯特; traditional Chinese: 圖伯特; pinyin: Túbótè) for modern use in place of Xizang, on the grounds that Tubote more clearly includes the entire Tibetan plateau rather than simply the Tibet Autonomous Region.[16] The English word Tibet or Thibet dates back to the 18th century.[17] Historical linguists generally agree that "Tibet" names in European languages are loanwords from Semitic Ṭībat or Tūbātt (Arabic: طيبة، توبات; Hebrew: טובּה, טובּת), itself deriving from Turkic Töbäd (plural of töbän), literally 'The Heights'.[18] Language Main article: Standard Tibetan Ethnolinguistic map of Tibet (1967) Linguists generally classify the Tibetan language as a Tibeto-Burman language of the Sino-Tibetan language family although the boundaries between 'Tibetan' and certain other Himalayan languages can be unclear. According to Matthew Kapstein: From the perspective of historical linguistics, Tibetan most closely resembles Burmese among the major languages of Asia. Grouping these two together with other apparently related languages spoken in the Himalayan lands, as well as in the highlands of Southeast Asia and the Sino-Tibetan frontier regions, linguists have generally concluded that there exists a Tibeto-Burman family of languages. More controversial is the theory that the Tibeto-Burman family is itself part of a larger language family, called Sino-Tibetan, and that through it Tibetan and Burmese are distant cousins of Chinese.[19] Tibetan family in Kham attending a horse festival The language has numerous regional dialects which are generally not mutually intelligible. It is employed throughout the Tibetan plateau and Bhutan and is also spoken in parts of Nepal and northern India, such as Sikkim. In general, the dialects of central Tibet (including Lhasa), Kham, Amdo and some smaller nearby areas are considered Tibetan dialects. Other forms, particularly Dzongkha, Sikkimese, Sherpa, and Ladakhi, are considered by their speakers, largely for political reasons, to be separate languages. However, if the latter group of Tibetan-type languages are included in the calculation, then 'greater Tibetan' is spoken by approximately 6 million people across the Tibetan Plateau. Tibetan is also spoken by approximately 150,000 exile speakers who have fled from modern-day Tibet to India and other countries.[citation needed] Although spoken Tibetan varies according to the region, the written language, based on Classical Tibetan, is consistent throughout. This is probably due to the long-standing influence of the Tibetan empire, whose rule embraced (and extended at times far beyond) the present Tibetan linguistic area, which runs from Gilgit Baltistan in the west to Yunnan and Sichuan in the east, and from north of Qinghai Lake south as far as Bhutan. The Tibetan language has its own script which it shares with Ladakhi and Dzongkha, and which is derived from the ancient Indian Brāhmī script.[20] Starting in 2001, the local deaf sign languages of Tibet were standardized, and Tibetan Sign Language is now being promoted across the country. The first Tibetan-English dictionary and grammar book was written by Alexander Csoma de Kőrös in 1834.[21] History Main article: History of Tibet Further information: History of European exploration in Tibet and Foreign relations of Tibet Rishabhanatha, the first Tirthankara of Jainism, is considered to have attained nirvana near Mount Kailash in Tibet in Jain tradition.[22] King Songtsen Gampo Early history Main articles: Neolithic Tibet, Zhangzhung, and Pre-Imperial Tibet Humans inhabited the Tibetan Plateau at least 21,000 years ago.[23] This population was largely replaced around 3,000 BP by Neolithic immigrants from northern China, but there is a partial genetic continuity between the Paleolithic inhabitants and contemporary Tibetan populations.[23] The earliest Tibetan historical texts identify the Zhang Zhung culture as a people who migrated from the Amdo region into what is now the region of Guge in western Tibet.[24] Zhang Zhung is considered to be the original home of the Bön religion.[25] By the 1st century BCE, a neighboring kingdom arose in the Yarlung valley, and the Yarlung king, Drigum Tsenpo, attempted to remove the influence of the Zhang Zhung by expelling the Zhang's Bön priests from Yarlung.[26] He was assassinated and Zhang Zhung continued its dominance of the region until it was annexed by Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. Prior to Songtsen Gampo, the kings of Tibet were more mythological than factual, and there is insufficient evidence of their existence.[27] Tibetan Empire Main article: Tibetan Empire Map of the Tibetan Empire at its greatest extent between the 780s and the 790s CE The history of a unified Tibet begins with the rule of Songtsen Gampo (604–650 CE), who united parts of the Yarlung River Valley and founded the Tibetan Empire. He also brought in many reforms, and Tibetan power spread rapidly, creating a large and powerful empire. It is traditionally considered that his first wife was the Princess of Nepal, Bhrikuti, and that she played a great role in the establishment of Buddhism in Tibet. In 640, he married Princess Wencheng, the niece of the Chinese emperor Taizong of Tang China.[28] Under the next few Tibetan kings, Buddhism became established as the state religion and Tibetan power increased even further over large areas of Central Asia, while major inroads were made into Chinese territory, even reaching the Tang's capital Chang'an (modern Xi'an) in late 763.[29] However, the Tibetan occupation of Chang'an only lasted for fifteen days, after which they were defeated by Tang and its ally, the Turkic Uyghur Khaganate. Miran fort The Kingdom of Nanzhao (in Yunnan and neighbouring regions) remained under Tibetan control from 750 to 794, when they turned on their Tibetan overlords and helped the Chinese inflict a serious defeat on the Tibetans.[30] In 747, the hold of Tibet was loosened by the campaign of general Gao Xianzhi, who tried to re-open the direct communications between Central Asia and Kashmir. By 750, the Tibetans had lost almost all of their central Asian possessions to the Chinese. However, after Gao Xianzhi's defeat by the Arabs and Qarluqs at the Battle of Talas (751) and the subsequent civil war known as the An Lushan Rebellion (755), Chinese influence decreased rapidly and Tibetan influence resumed. At its height in the 780s to 790s, the Tibetan Empire reached its highest glory when it ruled and controlled a territory stretching from modern-day Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan. In 821/822 CE, Tibet and China signed a peace treaty. A bilingual account of this treaty, including details of the borders between the two countries, is inscribed on a stone pillar which stands outside the Jokhang temple in Lhasa.[31] Tibet continued as a Central Asian empire until the mid-9th century, when a civil war over succession led to the collapse of imperial Tibet. The period that followed is known traditionally as the Era of Fragmentation, when political control over Tibet became divided between regional warlords and tribes with no dominant centralized authority. An Islamic invasion from Bengal took place in 1206. Yuan dynasty Main articles: Mongol conquest of Tibet and Tibet under Yuan rule The Mongol Yuan dynasty, c. 1294 The Mongol Yuan dynasty, through the Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs, or Xuanzheng Yuan, ruled Tibet through a top-level administrative department. One of the department's purposes was to select a dpon-chen ("great administrator"), usually appointed by the lama and confirmed by the Mongol emperor in Beijing.[32] The Sakya lama retained a degree of autonomy, acting as the political authority of the region, while the dpon-chen held administrative and military power. Mongol rule of Tibet remained separate from the main provinces of China, but the region existed under the administration of the Yuan dynasty. If the Sakya lama ever came into conflict with the dpon-chen, the dpon-chen had the authority to send Chinese troops into the region.[32] Tibet retained nominal power over religious and regional political affairs, while the Mongols managed a structural and administrative[33] rule over the region, reinforced by the rare military intervention. This existed as a "diarchic structure" under the Yuan emperor, with power primarily in favor of the Mongols.[32] Mongolian prince Khuden gained temporal power in Tibet in the 1240s and sponsored Sakya Pandita, whose seat became the capital of Tibet. Drogön Chögyal Phagpa, Sakya Pandita's nephew became Imperial Preceptor of Kublai Khan, founder of the Yuan dynasty. Yuan control over the region ended with the Ming overthrow of the Yuan and Tai Situ Changchub Gyaltsen's revolt against the Mongols.[34] Following the uprising, Tai Situ Changchub Gyaltsen founded the Phagmodrupa dynasty, and sought to reduce Yuan influences over Tibetan culture and politics.[35] Phagmodrupa, Rinpungpa and Tsangpa dynasties Main articles: Phagmodrupa dynasty, Rinpungpa, and Tsangpa Further information: Sino-Tibetan relations during the Ming dynasty Gyantse Fortress Between 1346 and 1354, Tai Situ Changchub Gyaltsen toppled the Sakya and founded the Phagmodrupa dynasty. The following 80 years saw the founding of the Gelug school (also known as Yellow Hats) by the disciples of Je Tsongkhapa, and the founding of the important Ganden, Drepung and Sera monasteries near Lhasa. However, internal strife within the dynasty and the strong localism of the various fiefs and political-religious factions led to a long series of internal conflicts. The minister family Rinpungpa, based in Tsang (West Central Tibet), dominated politics after 1435. In 1565 they were overthrown by the Tsangpa dynasty of Shigatse which expanded its power in different directions of Tibet in the following decades and favoured the Karma Kagyu sect. Rise of Ganden Phodrang The Khoshut Khanate, 1642–1717 Tibet in 1734. Royaume de Thibet ("Kingdom of Tibet") in la Chine, la Tartarie Chinoise, et le Thibet ("China, Chinese Tartary, and Tibet") on a 1734 map by Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville, based on earlier Jesuit maps. Tibet in 1892 during the Qing dynasty Main article: Ganden Phodrang In 1578, Altan Khan of the Tümed Mongols gave Sonam Gyatso, a high lama of the Gelugpa school, the name Dalai Lama, Dalai being the Mongolian translation of the Tibetan name Gyatso "Ocean".[36] Unified heartland under Buddhist Gelug school Main article: Ganden Phodrang The 5th Dalai Lama (1617-1682) is known for unifying the Tibetan heartland under the control of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, after defeating the rival Kagyu and Jonang sects and the secular ruler, the Tsangpa prince, in a prolonged civil war. His efforts were successful in part because of aid from Güshi Khan, the Oirat leader of the Khoshut Khanate. With Güshi Khan as a largely uninvolved overlord, the 5th Dalai Lama and his intimates established a civil administration which is referred to by historians as the Lhasa state. This Tibetan regime or government is also referred to as the Ganden Phodrang. Qing dynasty Main articles: Chinese expedition to Tibet (1720) and Tibet under Qing rule Potala Palace Qing dynasty rule in Tibet began with their 1720 expedition to the country when they expelled the invading Dzungars. Amdo came under Qing control in 1724, and eastern Kham was incorporated into neighbouring Chinese provinces in 1728.[37] Meanwhile, the Qing government sent resident commissioners called Ambans to Lhasa. In 1750, the Ambans and the majority of the Han Chinese and Manchus living in Lhasa were killed in a riot, and Qing troops arrived quickly and suppressed the rebels in the next year. Like the preceding Yuan dynasty, the Manchus of the Qing dynasty exerted military and administrative control of the region, while granting it a degree of political autonomy. The Qing commander publicly executed a number of supporters of the rebels and, as in 1723 and 1728, made changes in the political structure and drew up a formal organization plan. The Qing now restored the Dalai Lama as ruler, leading the governing council called Kashag,[38] but elevated the role of Ambans to include more direct involvement in Tibetan internal affairs. At the same time, the Qing took steps to counterbalance the power of the aristocracy by adding officials recruited from the clergy to key posts.[39] For several decades, peace reigned in Tibet, but in 1792, the Qing Qianlong Emperor sent a large Chinese army into Tibet to push the invading Nepalese out. This prompted yet another Qing reorganization of the Tibetan government, this time through a written plan called the "Twenty-Nine Regulations for Better Government in Tibet". Qing military garrisons staffed with Qing troops were now also established near the Nepalese border.[40] Tibet was dominated by the Manchus in various stages in the 18th century, and the years immediately following the 1792 regulations were the peak of the Qing imperial commissioners' authority; but there was no attempt to make Tibet a Chinese province.[41] In 1834, the Sikh Empire invaded and annexed Ladakh, a culturally Tibetan region that was an independent kingdom at the time. Seven years later, a Sikh army led by General Zorawar Singh invaded western Tibet from Ladakh, starting the Sino-Sikh War. A Qing-Tibetan army repelled the invaders but was in turn defeated when it chased the Sikhs into Ladakh. The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Chushul between the Chinese and Sikh empires.[42] Putuo Zongcheng Temple, a Buddhist temple complex in Chengde, Hebei, built between 1767 and 1771. The temple was modeled after the Potala Palace. As the Qing dynasty weakened, its authority over Tibet also gradually declined, and by the mid-19th century, its influence was minuscule. Qing authority over Tibet had become more symbolic than real by the late 19th century,[43][44][45][46] although in the 1860s, the Tibetans still chose for reasons of their own to emphasize the empire's symbolic authority and make it seem substantial.[47] In 1774, a Scottish nobleman, George Bogle, travelled to Shigatse to investigate prospects of trade for the East India Company. His efforts, while largely unsuccessful, established permanent contact between Tibet and the Western world.[48] However, in the 19th century, tensions between foreign powers and Tibet increased. The British Empire was expanding its territories in India into the Himalayas, while the Emirate of Afghanistan and the Russian Empire were both doing likewise in Central Asia.[citation needed] In 1904, a British expedition to Tibet, spurred in part by a fear that Russia was extending its power into Tibet as part of the Great Game, was launched. Although the expedition initially set out with the stated purpose of resolving border disputes between Tibet and Sikkim, it quickly turned into a military invasion. The British expeditionary force, consisting of mostly Indian troops, quickly invaded and captured Lhasa, with the Dalai Lama fleeing to the countryside.[49] Afterwards, the leader of the expedition, Sir Francis Younghusband, negotiated the Convention Between Great Britain and Tibet with the Tibetans, which guaranteed the British great economic influence but ensured the region remained under Chinese control. The Qing imperial resident, known as the Amban, publicly repudiated the treaty, while the British government, eager for friendly relations with China, negotiated a new treaty two years later known as the Convention Between Great Britain and China Respecting Tibet. The British agreed not to annex or interfere in Tibet in return for an indemnity from the Chinese government, while China agreed not to permit any other foreign state to interfere with the territory or internal administration of Tibet.[49] In 1910, the Qing government sent a military expedition of its own under Zhao Erfeng to establish direct Manchu-Chinese rule and, in an imperial edict, deposed the Dalai Lama, who fled to British India. Zhao Erfeng defeated the Tibetan military conclusively and expelled the Dalai Lama's forces from the province. His actions were unpopular, and there was much animosity against him for his mistreatment of civilians and disregard for local culture.[citation needed] Post-Qing period Edmund Geer during the 1938–1939 German expedition to Tibet Rogyapas, an outcast group, early 20th century. Their hereditary occupation included disposal of corpses and leather work. Main article: Tibet (1912–51) After the Xinhai Revolution (1911–12) toppled the Qing dynasty and the last Qing troops were escorted out of Tibet, the new Republic of China apologized for the actions of the Qing and offered to restore the Dalai Lama's title.[50] The Dalai Lama refused any Chinese title and declared himself ruler of an independent Tibet.[51] In 1913, Tibet and Mongolia concluded a treaty of mutual recognition.[52] For the next 36 years, the 13th Dalai Lama and the regents who succeeded him governed Tibet. During this time, Tibet fought Chinese warlords for control of the ethnically Tibetan areas in Xikang and Qinghai (parts of Kham and Amdo) along the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.[53] In 1914, the Tibetan government signed the Simla Convention with Britain, which recognized Chinese suzerainty over Tibet in return for a border settlement. China refused to sign the convention and lost its suzerain rights.[54] When in the 1930s and 1940s the regents displayed negligence in affairs, the Kuomintang Government of the Republic of China took advantage of this to expand its reach into the territory.[55] On December 20, 1941, Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-Shek noted in his diary that Tibet would be among the territories which he would demand as restitution for China following the conclusion of World War II.[56] From 1950 to present Main article: History of Tibet (1950–present) A poster saying "Thank you India. 50 years in Exile." Manali, 2010. Emerging with control over most of mainland China after the Chinese Civil War, the People's Republic of China annexed Tibet in 1950 and negotiated the Seventeen Point Agreement with the newly enthroned 14th Dalai Lama's government, affirming the People's Republic of China's sovereignty but granting the area autonomy. Subsequently, on his journey into exile, the 14th Dalai Lama completely repudiated the agreement, which he has repeated on many occasions.[57][58] According to the CIA, the Chinese used the Dalai Lama to gain control of the military's training and actions.[59] The Dalai Lama had a strong following as many people from Tibet looked at him not just as their political leader, but as their spiritual leader.[60] After the Dalai Lama's government fled to Dharamsala, India, during the 1959 Tibetan Rebellion, it established a rival government-in-exile. Afterwards, the Central People's Government in Beijing renounced the agreement and began implementation of the halted social and political reforms.[61] During the Great Leap Forward, between 200,000 and 1,000,000 Tibetans may have died[62] and approximately 6,000 monasteries were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution—destroying the vast majority of historic Tibetan architecture.[63] In 1980, General Secretary and reformist Hu Yaobang visited Tibet and ushered in a period of social, political, and economic liberalization.[64] At the end of the decade, however, before the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, monks in the Drepung and Sera monasteries started protesting for independence. The government halted reforms and started an anti-separatist campaign.[64] Human rights organisations have been critical of the Beijing and Lhasa governments' approach to human rights in the region when cracking down on separatist convulsions that have occurred around monasteries and cities, most recently in the 2008 Tibetan unrest. The central region of Tibet is now an autonomous region within China, the Tibet Autonomous Region. The Tibet Autonomous Region is a province-level entity of the People's Republic of China. It is governed by a People's Government, led by a chairman. In practice, however, the chairman is subordinate to the branch secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). As a matter of convention, the chairman has almost always been an ethnic Tibetan, while the party secretary has always been ethnically non-Tibetan.[65] Geography Main article: Geography of Tibet Tibetan Plateau and surrounding areas above 1600 m – topography.[66][67] Tibet is often called the "roof of the world". Himalayas, on the southern rim of the Tibetan plateau All of modern China, including Tibet, is considered a part of East Asia.[68] Historically, some European sources also considered parts of Tibet to lie in Central Asia. Tibet is west of the Central China plain. In China, Tibet is regarded as part of 西部 (Xībù), a term usually translated by Chinese media as "the Western section", meaning "Western China". Mountains and rivers View over Lhasa, 1993 Yarlung Tsangpo River Tibet has some of the world's tallest mountains, with several of them making the top ten list. Mount Everest, located on the border with Nepal, is, at 8,848.86 metres (29,032 ft), the highest mountain on earth. Several major rivers have their source in the Tibetan Plateau (mostly in present-day Qinghai Province). These include the Yangtze, Yellow River, Indus River, Mekong, Ganges, Salween and the Yarlung Tsangpo River (Brahmaputra River).[69] The Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon, along the Yarlung Tsangpo River, is among the deepest and longest canyons in the world. Tibet has been called the "Water Tower" of Asia, and China is investing heavily in water projects in Tibet.[70][71] Yamdrok Lake The Indus and Brahmaputra rivers originate from the vicinities of Lake Mapam Yumco in Western Tibet, near Mount Kailash. The mountain is a holy pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Tibetans. The Hindus consider the mountain to be the abode of Lord Shiva. The Tibetan name for Mount Kailash is Khang Rinpoche. Tibet has numerous high-altitude lakes referred to in Tibetan as tso or co. These include Qinghai Lake, Lake Manasarovar, Namtso, Pangong Tso, Yamdrok Lake, Siling Co, Lhamo La-tso, Lumajangdong Co, Lake Puma Yumco, Lake Paiku, Como Chamling, Lake Rakshastal, Dagze Co and Dong Co. The Qinghai Lake (Koko Nor) is the largest lake in the People's Republic of China. Climate The climate is severely dry nine months of the year, and average annual snowfall is only 46 cm (18 inches), due to the rain shadow effect. Western passes receive small amounts of fresh snow each year but remain traversible all year round. Low temperatures are prevalent throughout these western regions, where bleak desolation is unrelieved by any vegetation bigger than a low bush, and where the wind sweeps unchecked across vast expanses of arid plain. The Indian monsoon exerts some influence on eastern Tibet. Northern Tibet is subject to high temperatures in the summer and intense cold in the winter. Climate data for Lhasa (1986−2015 normals, extremes 1951−2022) Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) 20.5 (68.9) 21.3 (70.3) 25.1 (77.2) 25.9 (78.6) 29.4 (84.9) 30.8 (87.4) 30.4 (86.7) 27.2 (81.0) 26.5 (79.7) 24.8 (76.6) 22.8 (73.0) 20.1 (68.2) 30.8 (87.4) Average high °C (°F) 8.4 (47.1) 10.1 (50.2) 13.3 (55.9) 16.3 (61.3) 20.5 (68.9) 24.0 (75.2) 23.3 (73.9) 22.0 (71.6) 20.7 (69.3) 17.5 (63.5) 12.9 (55.2) 9.3 (48.7) 16.5 (61.7) Daily mean °C (°F) −0.3 (31.5) 2.3 (36.1) 5.9 (42.6) 9.0 (48.2) 13.1 (55.6) 16.7 (62.1) 16.5 (61.7) 15.4 (59.7) 13.8 (56.8) 9.4 (48.9) 3.8 (38.8) −0.1 (31.8) 8.8 (47.8) Average low °C (°F) −7.4 (18.7) −4.7 (23.5) −0.8 (30.6) 2.7 (36.9) 6.8 (44.2) 10.9 (51.6) 11.4 (52.5) 10.7 (51.3) 8.9 (48.0) 3.1 (37.6) −3 (27) −6.8 (19.8) 2.7 (36.8) Record low °C (°F) −16.5 (2.3) −15.4 (4.3) −13.6 (7.5) −8.1 (17.4) −2.7 (27.1) 2.0 (35.6) 4.5 (40.1) 3.3 (37.9) 0.3 (32.5) −7.2 (19.0) −11.2 (11.8) −16.1 (3.0) −16.5 (2.3) Average precipitation mm (inches) 0.9 (0.04) 1.8 (0.07) 2.9 (0.11) 8.6 (0.34) 28.4 (1.12) 75.9 (2.99) 129.6 (5.10) 133.5 (5.26) 66.7 (2.63) 8.8 (0.35) 0.9 (0.04) 0.3 (0.01) 458.3 (18.06) Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 0.6 1.2 2.1 5.4 9.0 14.0 19.4 19.9 14.6 4.1 0.6 0.4 91.3 Average relative humidity (%) 26 25 27 36 41 48 59 63 59 45 34 29 41 Mean monthly sunshine hours 250.9 231.2 253.2 248.8 280.4 260.7 227.0 214.3 232.7 280.3 267.1 257.2 3,003.8 Percent possible sunshine 78 72 66 65 66 61 53 54 62 80 84 82 67 Source 1: China Meteorological Administration,[72] all-time extreme temperature[73][74] Source 2: China Meteorological Administration National Meteorological Information Center Climate data for Leh (1951–1980) Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) 8.3 (46.9) 12.8 (55.0) 19.4 (66.9) 23.9 (75.0) 28.9 (84.0) 34.8 (94.6) 34.0 (93.2) 34.2 (93.6) 30.6 (87.1) 25.6 (78.1) 20.0 (68.0) 12.8 (55.0) 34.8 (94.6) Average high °C (°F) −2.0 (28.4) 1.5 (34.7) 6.5 (43.7) 12.3 (54.1) 16.2 (61.2) 21.8 (71.2) 25.0 (77.0) 25.3 (77.5) 21.7 (71.1) 14.6 (58.3) 7.9 (46.2) 2.3 (36.1) 12.8 (55.0) Average low °C (°F) −14.4 (6.1) −11.0 (12.2) −5.9 (21.4) −1.1 (30.0) 3.2 (37.8) 7.4 (45.3) 10.5 (50.9) 10.0 (50.0) 5.8 (42.4) −1.0 (30.2) −6.7 (19.9) −11.8 (10.8) −1.3 (29.7) Record low °C (°F) −28.3 (−18.9) −26.4 (−15.5) −19.4 (−2.9) −12.8 (9.0) −4.4 (24.1) −1.1 (30.0) 0.6 (33.1) 1.5 (34.7) −4.4 (24.1) −8.5 (16.7) −17.5 (0.5) −25.6 (−14.1) −28.3 (−18.9) Average rainfall mm (inches) 9.5 (0.37) 8.1 (0.32) 11.0 (0.43) 9.1 (0.36) 9.0 (0.35) 3.5 (0.14) 15.2 (0.60) 15.4 (0.61) 9.0 (0.35) 7.5 (0.30) 3.6 (0.14) 4.6 (0.18) 105.5 (4.15) Average rainy days 1.3 1.1 1.3 1.0 1.1 0.4 2.1 1.9 1.2 0.4 0.5 0.7 13.0 Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST) 51 51 46 36 30 26 33 34 31 27 40 46 38 Source: India Meteorological Department[75][76] Regions Basum Tso in Gongbo'gyamda County, eastern Tibet Cultural Tibet consists of several regions. These include Amdo (A mdo) in the northeast, which is administratively part of the provinces of Qinghai, Gansu, and Sichuan. Kham (Khams) in the southeast encompasses parts of western Sichuan, northern Yunnan, southern Qinghai, and the eastern part of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Ü-Tsang (dBus gTsang) (Ü in the center, Tsang in the center-west, and Ngari (mNga' ris) in the far west) covered the central and western portion of Tibet Autonomous Region.[77] Tibetan cultural influences extend to the neighboring states of Bhutan, Nepal, regions of India such as Sikkim, Ladakh, Lahaul, and Spiti, Northern Pakistan Baltistan or Balti-yul in addition to designated Tibetan autonomous areas in adjacent Chinese provinces. Cities, towns and villages Further information: List of populated places in the Tibet Autonomous Region Looking across the square at Jokhang temple, Lhasa There are over 800 settlements in Tibet. Lhasa is Tibet's traditional capital and the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region.[78] It contains two world heritage sites – the Potala Palace and Norbulingka, which were the residences of the Dalai Lama. Lhasa contains a number of significant temples and monasteries, including Jokhang and Ramoche Temple. Shigatse is the second largest city in the Tibet AR, west of Lhasa. Gyantse and Qamdo are also amongst the largest. Other cities and towns in cultural Tibet include Shiquanhe (Gar), Nagchu, Bamda, Rutog, Nyingchi, Nedong, Coqên, Barkam, Sagya, Gertse, Pelbar, Lhatse, and Tingri; in Sichuan, Kangding (Dartsedo); in Qinghai, Jyekundo (Yushu), Machen, and Golmud; in India, Tawang, Leh, and Gangtok, and in Pakistan, Skardu, Kharmang, and Khaplu. Wildlife Sus scrofa expanded from its origin in southeast Asia into the Plateau, acquiring and fixing adaptive alleles for the high-altitude environment.[79] The forests of Tibet are home to black bears, red pandas, musk deer, barking deer, and squirrels. Monkeys such as rhesus macaques and langurs live in the warmer forest zones. Tibetan antelopes, gazelles, and kiangs gaze on the grasslands of the Tibetan plateau. There are more than 500 bird species in Tibet. Because of the high altitude and harsh climate, there are few insects in Tibet.[78] Snow leopards are hunted for their fur and the eggs of black-necked cranes have been collected as a delicacy food. Economy This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (October 2021) Main article: Economy of Tibet The Tibetan yak is an integral part of Tibetan life. The Tibetan economy is dominated by subsistence agriculture. Due to limited arable land, the primary occupation of the Tibetan Plateau is raising livestock, such as sheep, cattle, goats, camels, yaks, dzo, and horses. The main crops grown are barley, wheat, buckwheat, rye, potatoes, and assorted fruits and vegetables. Tibet is ranked the lowest among China's 31 provinces[80] on the Human Development Index according to UN Development Programme data.[81] In recent years, due to increased interest in Tibetan Buddhism, tourism has become an increasingly important sector, and is actively promoted by the authorities.[82] Tourism brings in the most income from the sale of handicrafts. These include Tibetan hats, jewelry (silver and gold), wooden items, clothing, quilts, fabrics, Tibetan rugs and carpets. The Central People's Government exempts Tibet from all taxation and provides 90% of Tibet's government expenditures.[83][84][85][86] However, most of this investment goes to pay migrant workers who do not settle in Tibet and send much of their income home to other provinces.[87] Pastoral nomads constitute about 40% of the ethnic Tibetan population.[88] Forty percent of the rural cash income in the Tibet Autonomous Region is derived from the harvesting of the fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis (formerly Cordyceps sinensis); contributing at least 1.8 billion yuan, (US$225 million) to the region's GDP.[89] Tromzikhang market in Lhasa The Qingzang railway linking the Tibet Autonomous Region to Qinghai Province was opened in 2006, but it was controversial.[90][91][92] In January 2007, the Chinese government issued a report outlining the discovery of a large mineral deposit under the Tibetan Plateau.[93] The deposit has an estimated value of $128 billion and may double Chinese reserves of zinc, copper, and lead. The Chinese government sees this as a way to alleviate the nation's dependence on foreign mineral imports for its growing economy. However, critics worry that mining these vast resources will harm Tibet's fragile ecosystem and undermine Tibetan culture.[93] On January 15, 2009, China announced the construction of Tibet's first expressway, the Lhasa Airport Expressway, a 37.9 km (23.5 mi) stretch of controlled-access highway in southwestern Lhasa. The project will cost 1.55 billion yuan (US$227 million).[94] From January 18–20, 2010, a national conference on Tibet and areas inhabited by Tibetans in Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai was held in China and a plan to improve development of the areas was announced. The conference was attended by General secretary Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang, all members of Politburo Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. The plan called for improvement of rural Tibetan income to national standards by 2020 and free education for all rural Tibetan children. China has invested 310 billion yuan (about 45.6 billion U.S. dollars) in Tibet since 2001.[95][better source needed] Development zone The State Council approved Tibet Lhasa Economic and Technological Development Zone as a state-level development zone in 2001. It is located in the western suburbs of Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region. It is 50 kilometres (31 miles) away from the Gonggar Airport, and 2 km (1.2 mi) away from Lhasa Railway Station and 2 km (1.2 mi) away from 318 national highway. The zone has a planned area of 5.46 km2 (2.11 sq mi) and is divided into two zones. Zone A developed a land area of 2.51 km2 (0.97 sq mi) for construction purposes. It is a flat zone, and has the natural conditions for good drainage.[96] Demographics See also: History of Tibet (1950–present) and Demographics of Tibet Autonomous Region Tibetan Lamanis, c. 1905 An elderly Tibetan woman in Lhasa Historically, the population of Tibet consisted of primarily ethnic Tibetans and some other ethnic groups. According to tradition the original ancestors of the Tibetan people, as represented by the six red bands in the Tibetan flag, are: the Se, Mu, Dong, Tong, Dru and Ra. Other traditional ethnic groups with significant population or with the majority of the ethnic group residing in Tibet (excluding a disputed area with India) include Bai people, Blang, Bonan, Dongxiang, Han, Hui people, Lhoba, Lisu people, Miao, Mongols, Monguor (Tu people), Menba (Monpa), Mosuo, Nakhi, Qiang, Nu people, Pumi, Salar, and Yi people. The proportion of the non-Tibetan population in Tibet is disputed. On the one hand, the Central Tibetan Administration of the Dalai Lama accuses China of actively swamping Tibet with migrants in order to alter Tibet's demographic makeup.[97] On the other hand, according to the 2010 Chinese census ethnic Tibetans comprise 90% of a total population of 3 million in the Tibet Autonomous Region.[98][better source needed] Culture Main article: Tibetan culture Tibetan cultural zone Religion Main article: Religion in Tibet Buddhism Main article: Tibetan Buddhism Monkhood in Tibet, Xigatse area, August 2005 The Phugtal Monastery in south-east Zanskar Buddhist monks practicing debate in Drepung Monastery Religion is extremely important to the Tibetans and has a strong influence over all aspects of their lives. Bön is the indigenous religion of Tibet, but has been almost eclipsed by Tibetan Buddhism, a distinctive form of Mahayana and Vajrayana, which was introduced into Tibet from the Sanskrit Buddhist tradition of northern India.[99] Tibetan Buddhism is practiced not only in Tibet but also in Mongolia, parts of northern India, the Buryat Republic, the Tuva Republic, and in the Republic of Kalmykia and some other parts of China. During China's Cultural Revolution, nearly all Tibet's monasteries were ransacked and destroyed by the Red Guards.[100][101][102] A few monasteries have begun to rebuild since the 1980s (with limited support from the Chinese government) and greater religious freedom has been granted – although it is still limited. Monks returned to monasteries across Tibet and monastic education resumed even though the number of monks imposed is strictly limited.[100][103][104] Before the 1950s, between 10 and 20% of males in Tibet were monks.[105] Tibetan Buddhism has five main traditions (the suffix pa is comparable to "er" in English): Gelug(pa), Way of Virtue, also known casually as Yellow Hat, whose spiritual head is the Ganden Tripa and whose temporal head is the Dalai Lama. Successive Dalai Lamas ruled Tibet from the mid-17th to mid-20th centuries. This order was founded in the 14th to 15th centuries by Je Tsongkhapa, based on the foundations of the Kadampa tradition. Tsongkhapa was renowned for both his scholasticism and his virtue. The Dalai Lama belongs to the Gelugpa school, and is regarded as the embodiment of the Bodhisattva of Compassion.[106] Kagyu(pa), Oral Lineage. This contains one major subsect and one minor subsect. The first, the Dagpo Kagyu, encompasses those Kagyu schools that trace back to Gampopa. In turn, the Dagpo Kagyu consists of four major sub-sects: the Karma Kagyu, headed by a Karmapa, the Tsalpa Kagyu, the Barom Kagyu, and Pagtru Kagyu. The once-obscure Shangpa Kagyu, which was famously represented by the 20th-century teacher Kalu Rinpoche, traces its history back to the Indian master Niguma, sister of Kagyu lineage holder Naropa. This is an oral tradition which is very much concerned with the experiential dimension of meditation. Its most famous exponent was Milarepa, an 11th-century mystic. Nyingma(pa), The Ancient Ones. This is the oldest, the original order founded by Padmasambhava. Sakya(pa), Grey Earth, headed by the Sakya Trizin, founded by Khon Konchog Gyalpo, a disciple of the great translator Drokmi Lotsawa. Sakya Pandita 1182–1251 CE was the great-grandson of Khon Konchog Gyalpo. This school emphasizes scholarship. Jonang(pa) Its origins in Tibet can be traced to early 12th century master Yumo Mikyo Dorje, but became much wider known with the help of Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen, a monk originally trained in the Sakya school. The Jonang school was widely thought to have become extinct in the late 17th century at the hands of the 5th Dalai Lama, who forcibly annexed the Jonang monasteries to his Gelug school, declaring them heretical. Thus, Tibetologists were astonished when fieldwork turned up several active Jonangpa monasteries, including the main monastery, Tsangwa, located in Zamtang County, Sichuan. Almost 40 monasteries, comprising about 5000 monks, have subsequently been found, including some in the Amdo Tibetan and rGyalgrong areas of Qinghai, Sichuan and Tibet. One of the primary supporters of the Jonang lineage in exile has been the 14th Dalai Lama of the Gelugpa lineage. The Jonang tradition has recently officially registered with the Tibetan Government in exile to be recognized as the fifth living Buddhist tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The 14th Dalai Lama assigned Jebtsundamba Khutuktu of Mongolia (who is considered to be an incarnation of Taranatha) as the leader of the Jonang tradition. The Chinese government continued to pursue a strategy of forced assimilation and suppression of Tibetan Buddhism, as demonstrated by the laws designed to control the next reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and those of other Tibetan eminent lamas. Monks and nuns who refused to denounce the Dalai Lama have been expelled from their monasteries, imprisoned, and tortured.[107] It was reported in June 2021 that amidst the 2020–2022 China–India skirmishes, the People's Liberation Army had been forming a new unit for Tibetans who would be taken to Buddhist monks for religious blessings after completing their training.[108] Christianity The first Christians documented to have reached Tibet were the Nestorians, of whom various remains and inscriptions have been found in Tibet. They were also present at the imperial camp of Möngke Khan at Shira Ordo, where they debated in 1256 with Karma Pakshi (1204/6-83), head of the Karma Kagyu order.[109][110] Desideri, who reached Lhasa in 1716, encountered Armenian and Russian merchants.[111] Roman Catholic Jesuits and Capuchins arrived from Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. Portuguese missionaries Jesuit Father António de Andrade and Brother Manuel Marques first reached the kingdom of Gelu in western Tibet in 1624 and was welcomed by the royal family who allowed them to build a church later on.[112][113] By 1627, there were about a hundred local converts in the Guge kingdom.[114] Later on, Christianity was introduced to Rudok, Ladakh and Tsang and was welcomed by the ruler of the Tsang kingdom, where Andrade and his fellows established a Jesuit outpost at Shigatse in 1626.[115] In 1661 another Jesuit, Johann Grueber, crossed Tibet from Sining to Lhasa (where he spent a month), before heading on to Nepal.[116] He was followed by others who actually built a church in Lhasa. These included the Jesuit Father Ippolito Desideri, 1716–1721, who gained a deep knowledge of Tibetan culture, language and Buddhism, and various Capuchins in 1707–1711, 1716–1733 and 1741–1745,[117] Christianity was used by some Tibetan monarchs and their courts and the Karmapa sect lamas to counterbalance the influence of the Gelugpa sect in the 17th century until in 1745 when all the missionaries were expelled at the lama's insistence.[118][119][120][121][122][123] In 1877, the Protestant James Cameron from the China Inland Mission walked from Chongqing to Batang in Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, and "brought the Gospel to the Tibetan people." Beginning in the 20th century, in Dêqên Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan, a large number of Lisu people and some Yi and Nu people converted to Christianity. Famous earlier missionaries include James O. Fraser, Alfred James Broomhall and Isobel Kuhn of the China Inland Mission, among others who were active in this area.[124][125] Proselytising has been illegal in China since 1949. But as of 2013, many Christian missionaries were reported to be active in Tibet with the tacit approval of Chinese authorities, who view the missionaries as a counterforce to Tibetan Buddhism or as a boon to the local economy.[126] Islam Main article: Islam in Tibet The Lhasa Great Mosque Muslims have been living in Tibet since as early as the 8th or 9th century. In Tibetan cities, there are small communities of Muslims, known as Kachee (Kache), who trace their origin to immigrants from three main regions: Kashmir (Kachee Yul in ancient Tibetan), Ladakh and the Central Asian Turkic countries. Islamic influence in Tibet also came from Persia. A Muslim Sufi Syed Ali Hamdani preached to the people of Baltistan, then known as little Tibet. After 1959, a group of Tibetan Muslims made a case for Indian nationality based on their historic roots to Kashmir and the Indian government declared all Tibetan Muslims Indian citizens later on that year.[127] Other Muslim ethnic groups who have long inhabited Tibet include Hui, Salar, Dongxiang and Bonan. There is also a well established Chinese Muslim community (gya kachee), which traces its ancestry back to the Hui ethnic group of China. Tibetan art Main article: Tibetan art Tibetan representations of art are intrinsically bound with Tibetan Buddhism and commonly depict deities or variations of Buddha in various forms from bronze Buddhist statues and shrines, to highly colorful thangka paintings and mandalas.[citation needed] Thangkas are Tibet's traditional cloth paintings. Rendered on cotton cloth with a thin rod at the top, they portray Buddhist deities or themes in color and detail.[78] Tibetan Art A ceremonial priest's yak bone apron – courtesy the Wovensouls Collection A thangka painting in Sikkim A thangka painting in Sikkim   A ritual box A ritual box Architecture Main article: Tibetan culture § Architecture Tibetan architecture contains Chinese and Indian influences, and reflects a deeply Buddhist approach. The Buddhist wheel, along with two dragons, can be seen on nearly every Gompa in Tibet. The design of the Tibetan Chörtens can vary, from roundish walls in Kham to squarish, four-sided walls in Ladakh. The most distinctive feature of Tibetan architecture is that many of the houses and monasteries are built on elevated, sunny sites facing the south, and are often made out of a mixture of rocks, wood, cement and earth. Little fuel is available for heat or lighting, so flat roofs are built to conserve heat, and multiple windows are constructed to let in sunlight. Walls are usually sloped inwards at 10 degrees as a precaution against the frequent earthquakes in this mountainous area. Standing at 117 metres (384 feet) in height and 360 metres (1,180 feet) in width, the Potala Palace is the most important example of Tibetan architecture. Formerly the residence of the Dalai Lama, it contains over one thousand rooms within thirteen stories, and houses portraits of the past Dalai Lamas and statues of the Buddha. It is divided between the outer White Palace, which serves as the administrative quarters, and the inner Red Quarters, which houses the assembly hall of the Lamas, chapels, 10,000 shrines, and a vast library of Buddhist scriptures. The Potala Palace is a World Heritage Site, as is Norbulingka, the former summer residence of the Dalai Lama. Music Main article: Music of Tibet The music of Tibet reflects the cultural heritage of the trans-Himalayan region, centered in Tibet but also known wherever ethnic Tibetan groups are found in India, Bhutan, Nepal and further abroad. First and foremost Tibetan music is religious music, reflecting the profound influence of Tibetan Buddhism on the culture. Tibetan music often involves chanting in Tibetan or Sanskrit, as an integral part of the religion. These chants are complex, often recitations of sacred texts or in celebration of various festivals. Yang chanting, performed without metrical timing, is accompanied by resonant drums and low, sustained syllables. Other styles include those unique to the various schools of Tibetan Buddhism, such as the classical music of the popular Gelugpa school, and the romantic music of the Nyingmapa, Sakyapa and Kagyupa schools.[128] Nangma dance music is especially popular in the karaoke bars of the urban center of Tibet, Lhasa. Another form of popular music is the classical gar style, which is performed at rituals and ceremonies. Lu are a type of songs that feature glottal vibrations and high pitches. There are also epic bards who sing of Gesar, who is a hero to ethnic Tibetans. Festivals Main article: Tibetan festivals The Monlam Prayer Festival Tibet has various festivals, many for worshipping the Buddha,[129] that take place throughout the year. Losar is the Tibetan New Year Festival. Preparations for the festive event are manifested by special offerings to family shrine deities, painted doors with religious symbols, and other painstaking jobs done to prepare for the event. Tibetans eat Guthuk (barley noodle soup with filling) on New Year's Eve with their families. The Monlam Prayer Festival follows it in the first month of the Tibetan calendar, falling between the fourth and the eleventh days of the first Tibetan month. It involves dancing and participating in sports events, as well as sharing picnics. The event was established in 1049 by Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama's order. Cuisine Main article: Tibetan cuisine See also: List of Tibetan dishes The most important crop in Tibet is barley, and dough made from barley flour—called tsampa—is the staple food of Tibet. This is either rolled into noodles or made into steamed dumplings called momos. Meat dishes are likely to be yak, goat, or mutton, often dried, or cooked into a spicy stew with potatoes. Mustard seed is cultivated in Tibet, and therefore features heavily in its cuisine. Yak yogurt, butter and cheese are frequently eaten, and well-prepared yogurt is considered something of a prestige item. Butter tea is a very popular drink. Thukpa with Momo – Tibetan Style See also flag China portal icon Asia portal Index of Tibet-related articles List of Major National Historical and Cultural Sites in Tibet Outline of Tibet Sinicization of Tibet Chinese Settlements in Tibet Free Tibet Dharamshala (/ˈdɑːrəmʃɑːlə/; also spelled Dharamsala) is the winter capital[5][6] of Himachal Pradesh, India, as well as the site of the Tibetan Government-in-exile. It serves as administrative headquarters of the Kangra district after being relocated from Kangra, a city located 18 km (11 mi) away from Dharamshala, in 1855. The city has been selected as one of a hundred in India to be developed as a smart city under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's flagship "Smart Cities Mission".[7] On 19 January 2017, the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Virbhadra Singh, declared Dharamshala as the second capital of Himachal Pradesh, making it the third national administrative division of India to have two capitals after the state of Maharashtra and the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.[8][9] Description Dharamshala is a municipal corporation city in the upper reaches of the Kangra Valley and is surrounded by dense coniferous forest consisting mainly of stately Deodar cedar trees.[8] The suburbs include McLeod Ganj, Bhagsunag, Dharamkot, Naddi, Forsyth Ganj, Kotwali Bazar (the main market), Kaccheri Adda (government offices such as the court, police, post, etc.), Dari, Ramnagar, Sidhpur, and Sidhbari (where the Karmapa is based). This place is also famous for its Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium (2003), which offers opportunities to the youth of state to prepare for their future in the game. McLeod Ganj town, lying in the upper reaches, is known worldwide for being the home of the Dalai Lama.[10] On 29 April 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso) established the Tibetan exile administration in the north Indian hill station of Mussoorie.[11] In May 1960, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) was moved to Dharamshala, making it the centre of the Tibetan exile world in India. Following the 1959 Tibetan uprising there was an influx of Tibetan refugees who followed the 14th Dalai Lama. His presence and the Tibetan population have made Dharamshala a destination for Indian and foreign tourists, including students studying Tibet. Although the majority of tea gardens in Kangra District are located in and around Palampur, Dharamshala also has several tea gardens which are prominently situated around Sheela Chowk and extend northwards to Khaniyara. The other tea gardens are at Kunal Pathri. The tea is known as Dharamsala or Kangra tea, and is very popular across India and the rest of the world.[12] Traditionally known for Kangra green tea, Dharamshala now produces all teas including black tea, green tea, oolong tea and white teas, in addition to the popular Kashmiri Kahwa and Masala Chai.[citation needed] Etymology Dharamshala (Devanagari: धर्मशाला; ITRANS: Dharmashala; IAST: Dharmaśālā) is a Hindi word (derived from Sanskrit) that is a compound of dharma (धर्म) and shālā (शाला). Literally, "House or place of Dharma". In common Hindi usage, the word dharamshala refers to a shelter or rest house for spiritual pilgrims. Traditionally, such dharamshalas (pilgrims' rest houses) were commonly constructed near pilgrimage destinations (often in remote areas) to give visitors a place to sleep for the night. When the first permanent settlement was created in the place now called Dharamshala, there was one such pilgrims' rest house on the site, and the settlement took its name from that Dharamshala.[13] History Before the British Raj Before the British Raj, Dharamshala and its surrounding area was under the Sikh Empire of Lahore. Under the British Raj, the regions were part of undivided province of Punjab, and was ruled by the governors of Punjab from Lahore. The Katoch dynasty that earlier ruled this region had been reduced to status of jagirdars (of Kangra-Lambagraon) under the Treaty of Jawalamukhi, signed in 1810 between Sansar Chand Katoch and Maharaja Ranjit Singh of the Sikh Empire. The indigenous people of the Dharamshala area (and the surrounding region) are the Gaddis, a predominantly Hindu group who traditionally lived a nomadic or semi-nomadic transhumant lifestyle.[14] Due to the lack of permanent settlements in the area, some Gaddis lost their seasonal pastures and farmland when the British and the Gurkhas arrived to settle.[citation needed] Settlement by the British and the Gurkhas Saint John's Church in The Wilderness at Dharamsala, built in 1852 The tomb of James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin at St. John in the Wilderness Church In 1848, the area now known as Dharamshala was annexed by the British. "Dharamsāla lies on a spur of the Dhola Dhār, 16 miles north-east of Kāngra, in the midst of wild and picturesque scenery. It originally formed a subsidiary cantonment for the troops stationed at Kāngra, and was first occupied as a station in 1849, when a site was required for a cantonment to accommodate a Native regiment which was being raised in the District. A site was found upon the slopes of the Dhola Dhār, in a plot of waste land, upon which stood an old Hindu resthouse, or dharmsāla, whence the name adopted for the new cantonment. The civil authorities, following the example of the regimental officers, and attracted by the advantages of climate and scenery, built themselves houses in the neighbourhood of the cantonment; and in 1855 the new station was formally recognised as the headquarters of the Kāngra District."[13] In 1860, the 66th Gurkha Light Infantry was moved from Kangra, Himachal Pradesh to Dharamshala, which was at first made a subsidiary cantonment. An ideal position for the new base was found on the slopes of the Dhauladhar Hills, near the site of a Hindu sanctuary, or Dharamshala, hence the name of the town.[15][13] The Battalion was later renamed the historic 1st Gurkha Rifles, this was the beginning of the legend of the Gurkhas, also known as the 'Bravest of the Brave'. Consequently, fourteen Gurkha platoon villages grew from this settlement, and exist to this day, namely Dari, Ramnagar, Shyamnagar, Dal, Totarani, Khanyara, Sadher, Chaandmaari, Sallagarhi, Sidhbari, Yol, and so on. The Gurkhas worshipped at the ancient Shiva temple of Bhagsunag. The Gurkhas referred to Dharamshala as 'Bhagsu' and referred to themselves as Bhagsuwalas. The 21st Gurkha Regiment from Dharamshala performed heroic feats during World War I and the North West Frontier Province campaigns. The Gurkha cantonment then reached its zenith during World War II, when battalions from Dharamshala made history. Many place names in the town still retain their former cantonment terminologies: Depot Bazaar, Pensioners' Lines, Tirah Lines (named after the 19th century Tirah Campaign), Bharatpore Lines (named after the 1826 Battle of Bharatpore). The eighth earl Lord Elgin, Viceroy of India died here (at the 1st Gurkha Rifles Officers' Mess) in 1863 and is buried in the cemetery of St. John in the Wilderness, a small Anglican church distinguished by its stained-glass windows. Dharamshala became a popular hill station for the British working in or near Delhi, offering a cool respite during the hot summer months. "Before the earthquake of 1905, the upper part of the station, which rises to a height of 7,112 feet [2,168 metres], contained the European houses, the station church, and the officers' mess and lines of the 1st Gurkhas, together with the public gardens, post office, and two bazars, the Forsyth Ganj and McLeod Ganj. The public offices, a bazar, and a few European houses made up the lower station, as low as 4,500 feet [1,372 metres]. The 1st battalion of the 1st Gurkhas used to be stationed here, but was moved to the upper station in 1894-5.... The public gardens, which were, before the earthquake, laid out with much taste in lawns and terraces, contained a valuable collection of indigenous and imported trees and shrubs, and were overlooked by the Assembly Rooms, a handsome building comprising a public hall, a library and reading-room and a billiard-room. The church was beautifully situated in a recess of the mountain."[13] In 1905, the Kangra valley suffered a major earthquake. On 4 April of that year, the earth shook, demolishing much of the cantonment and the neighbouring city of Kangra, Himachal Pradesh as well as the Bhagsunag temple. Altogether, the 1905 Kangra earthquake killed 20,000 people. "1,625 persons perished at Dharamsāla alone, including 15 Europeans and 112 of the Gurkha garrison."[13] The Gurkhas rebuilt the town along with the temple, which today is acknowledged as the 1st Gurkha Rifles' heritage. The British had planned to make Dharamshala the summer capital of India, but moved to Shimla after the disaster. Not only did the Gurkhas of Dharmshala make a major contribution to India's defence, many were freedom fighters for the Indian National Army, which had been founded by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The Indian National Army Captain Ram Singh Thakur, a Gurkha from the village of Khanyara, composed some of India's most popular and stirring patriotic songs, including "Kadam Kadam Badaye Ja". He is acknowledged so by the Netaji Research Bureau, Kolkata. The important contribution of the noted Gurkha social commentator, the late Master Mitrasen Thapa, from the village of Totarani, has been acknowledged by the Himachal Pradesh government. Recently, a park dedicated to the memory of the late Brigadier Sher Jung Thapa, MVC, the 'Hero of Skardu', has been opened alongside the road between Lower and Upper Dharamshala. Establishment of Tibetan exile community The architecture in Dharamsala has a Buddhist influence The Tibetan settlement of Dharamshala began in 1959, when the Dalai Lama had to flee Tibet[16] and Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India allowed him and his followers to settle in McLeod Ganj, a former colonial British summer picnic spot 10 kilometers to the north of Dharamshala. "Nehru was delighted with the 'forgotten ghost-town wasting in the woods', and offered it to the Dalai Lama."[17] There they established the "government-in-exile" in 1960 and the Namgyal Monastery. Dharamshala had been connected with Hinduism and Buddhism for a long time, many monasteries having been established there in the past, by Tibetan immigrants in the 19th century. In 1970, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama opened the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives[18] which houses over 80,000 manuscripts and other important resources related to Tibetan history, politics and culture. It is considered one of the most important institutions for Tibetology in the world; the new director is Geshe Lahkdor, the old translator of the Dalai Lama. Today Silver jewellery sold by a Tibetan woman at a stall in McLeod Ganj Kalachakra Temple in the main street of Mcleod ganj Several thousand Tibetan exiles have now settled in the area; most live in and around McLeod Ganj in Upper Dharamshala, where they have built monasteries, temples and schools. It has become an important tourist destination with many hotels and restaurants, leading to growth in tourism and commerce. Dharamshala is the winter capital of Himachal Pradesh. The Legislative Assembly is at Sidhbari, near the Chinmaya Tapovan Ashram, and the winter sessions of the government are held there. Dharamshala is also a famous bird-watching spot in India.[19] Transcription and pronunciation Pejas, scriptures of Tibetan Buddhism, at a library in Dharamsala Due to a lack of uniform observance of transliteration and transcription conventions for Hindi (and the Devanagari script in which Hindi is written), the name of the town has been transcribed into English (and other languages using Romanic scripts) variously as Dharamshala, Dharamsala and, less frequently, Dharmshala and Dharmsala.[13] These four permutations result from two variables: the transcription of the word धर्म (dharma)—particularly the second syllable (र्म)—and that of the third syllable (शा). A strict transliteration of धर्म as written would be 'dharma' [ˈdʱərma]. In the modern spoken Hindi of the region, however, there is a common metathesis in which the vowel and consonant sounds in the second syllable of certain words (including धर्म) are transposed, which changes 'dharma' to 'dharam' (pronounced somewhere between [ˈdʱərəm] and [ˈdʱərm], depending on the speaker). Thus, if the goal of the transcription is phonetic accord with modern spoken Hindi, then 'dharam' and 'dharm' are both legitimate options. Regarding the third syllable, the Devanagari श corresponds to the English sh sound, [ʃ]. Thus शाला is transcribed in English as 'shala'. Therefore, the most accurate phonetic transcription of the Hindi धर्मशाला into Roman script for common (non-technical) English usage is either 'Dharamshala' or, less commonly, 'Dharmshala',[20] both of which render the sh (/ʃ/) sound of श in English as 'sh' to convey the correct native pronunciation, 'Dharamshala' [dʱərəmˈʃaːlaː] or 'Dharmshala' [dʱərmˈʃaːlaː]). Nonetheless, the alternate spelling 'Dharamsala' continues to be used in some cases despite its inaccuracy, and all four spelling permutations can be found in the English language materials of the local and state governments, in publications, and on the Internet.[21] Regardless of spelling variations, the correct native pronunciation is with the sh sound (/ʃ/).[20] In actual practice, the spelling variant that is most common and most concordant with standards of transcription and native pronunciation is 'Dharamshala'. The official Indian English spelling is 'Dharamshala'.[citation needed] Geography View of the Kangra Valley from Bhagsu Nag Bhagsu's waterfall, McLeod Ganj Dharamshala has an average elevation of 1,457 m (4,780 ft), covering an area of almost 8.51 km2 (3.29 sq mi).[22] Dharamsala is located in the Kangra Valley, in the shadow of the Dhauladhar mountains. The city is divided into two distinct sections. Kotwali Bazaar and the surrounding markets are referred to as "Lower Dharamshala" or just "Dharamshala." Further up the mountain is McLeod Ganj. A steep, narrow road connects McLeod Ganj from Dharamshala and is only accessible to taxis and small cars, while a longer road winds around the valley for use by buses and trucks. McLeod Ganj is surrounded by pine, Himalayan oak, and rhododendron. Climate Cloudy Triund, above Mcleod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh Dharamshala has a monsoon influenced, humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cwa). Summer starts in early April and peaks in May when temperatures can reach 36 °C (97 °F), and lasts until the start of June. From June to mid-September is the monsoon season, when up to 3,000 mm (120 inches) of rainfall can be experienced, making Dharamshala one of the wettest places in the state. Autumn is mild and lasts from October to the end of November. Autumn temperatures average around 16–17 °C (61–63 °F). Winter starts in December and continues until late February. Snow and sleet are common during the winter in upper Dharamshala (including McLeodganj, Bhagsu Nag and Naddi). Lower Dharamshala receives little frozen precipitation except hail. The snowfall of 7 January 2012 was heaviest recorded in recent times. It was caused by deep low pressure entering the Kangra district. Winter is followed by a short, pleasant spring until April. Historically, the Dhauladhar mountains used to remain snow-covered all year long; however, in recent years they have been losing their snow blanket during dry spells. vte Climate data for Dharamshala (1981–2010, extremes 1951–2011) Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) 24.7 (76.5) 28.0 (82.4) 31.6 (88.9) 35.6 (96.1) 38.6 (101.5) 38.6 (101.5) 42.7 (108.9) 37.8 (100.0) 34.8 (94.6) 34.6 (94.3) 26.6 (79.9) 27.2 (81.0) 42.7 (108.9) Average high °C (°F) 15.7 (60.3) 17.1 (62.8) 21.5 (70.7) 26.5 (79.7) 30.3 (86.5) 31.2 (88.2) 27.3 (81.1) 26.6 (79.9) 26.6 (79.9) 25.2 (77.4) 21.7 (71.1) 17.8 (64.0) 24.0 (75.2) Average low °C (°F) 6.0 (42.8) 7.3 (45.1) 10.9 (51.6) 15.4 (59.7) 19.1 (66.4) 20.9 (69.6) 20.0 (68.0) 19.7 (67.5) 18.0 (64.4) 14.3 (57.7) 10.3 (50.5) 7.2 (45.0) 14.1 (57.4) Record low °C (°F) −1.9 (28.6) −1.6 (29.1) 2.4 (36.3) 7.3 (45.1) 8.4 (47.1) 12.6 (54.7) 14.3 (57.7) 14.1 (57.4) 11.2 (52.2) 8.0 (46.4) 4.8 (40.6) −1.0 (30.2) −1.9 (28.6) Average rainfall mm (inches) 80.2 (3.16) 123.5 (4.86) 125.2 (4.93) 65.4 (2.57) 80.2 (3.16) 241.2 (9.50) 765.4 (30.13) 787.4 (31.00) 354.1 (13.94) 56.3 (2.22) 26.1 (1.03) 50.9 (2.00) 2,755.8 (108.50) Average rainy days 4.5 6.1 6.4 5.2 5.2 9.8 20.6 22.4 13.0 2.8 1.4 2.8 100.2 Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST) 66 63 54 47 45 53 80 86 78 63 62 65 63 Source: India Meteorological Department[23][24] Demographics Religions in Dharamsala[25] Religion Percent Hinduism   69.18% Buddhism   27.70% Sikhism   1.28% Others   1.85% A Tibetan woman holding a prayer wheel. As of the 2001 India census,[26] Dharamshala had a population of 30,764. As per the 2015, it has a population of 53,543 Since its area increased as it became Municipal corporation.[27] Males constitute 55% of the population and females 45%. Dharamshala has an average literacy rate of 87%, higher than the national average of 74.04%: male literacy is 90% and female literacy is 83%. In Dharamshala, 9% of the population is under 6 years of age. As of Census of India 2011 and Municipal corporation 2015:[28] Number of Households – 10,992 Average Household Size (per household) – 4.0 Population-Total – 53,543 Population-Urban – 53,543 Proportion of Urban Population (%) – 100 Population-Rural – 0 Sex Ratio – 941 Population (0–6 years) – 1,819 Sex Ratio (0–6 years) – 913 SC Population – 2,611 Sex Ratio (SC) – 861 Proportion of SC (%) – 14.0 ST Population – 99 Sex Ratio (ST) – 833 Proportion of ST (%) – 1 Literacy Rate (%) – 87.0 The languages residents of Dharamsala most commonly speak are Gaadi, Kangri, Hindi, English, Tibetan, Nepali and Pahari.[29] Wiki letter w.svg This article is missing information about languages and dialects spoken there. Please expand the article to include this information. Further details may exist on the talk page. (March 2018) Government and politics Dharamshala was upgraded from a Municipal Council to a Corporation in 2015.[30] It has 17 wards under its jurisdiction.[31] Onkar Singh Nehria[32] is currently serving as the Mayor of the town unanimously. Economy The main crops grown in the valleys below are rice, wheat and tea. Dharamshala also has lush tea gardens that produce its popular Kangra tea. Traditionally known for Kangra green tea, Dharamshala now produces a variety of teas, including black, green, oolong and white teas, along with Kashmiri Kahwa and Masala Chai. Tea gardens at Mann Tea Estate are owned and operated by the Dharmsala Tea Company, which conducts guided tours of the tea gardens and factory, and offers tea tastings.[33] Kangra green tea is considered to be among the best in India,[citation needed] and has also been found to contain the highest anti-oxidant levels of all green teas produced in India.[citation needed] Shopping and entertainment The city is divided into two distinct sections. Kotwali Bazaar and the surrounding markets are referred to as "Lower Dharamshala" or just "Dharamshala" and upper Dharamshala or places such as McLeodganj, Dharamkot, etc. In the city of Dharamshala, Maximus Mall and Gold Multiplex Cinema are open now on the National Highway Road in the Chilgari area, near Kotwali Bazaar and the main bus stand in Lower Dharamshala, in addition to the traditional shopping street called as Kotwali Bazaar. Maximus mall is the second biggest mall in the state after Purnam Mall, Bilaspur. It has CCD, KFC, Pizza Hut, Kapsons, Moti Mahal Restaurant, Skechers, Aurelia, Baskin Robins and many reputed international brands. Another mall The Hillside Mall is situated in the Kotwali that includes a Domino's Pizza Restaurant. Further, Dharamshala Skyway, a mountain Cable Car between the cities of Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj has become operational from 19th Jan 2022. [34] Cityscape Major suburbs Bhagsunag Cheelgari Triund Trekking Point Naddi Dal Lake Dari Barol Kachehri Adda Khaniyara Kotwali Bazar Mant Khas McLeod Ganj Upper Sakoh & Lower Sakoh Khel Parisar Sidhbari Sheela Chowk Yol Jama Masjid Dharamshala Tea Garden Cheelgari Aganjer Mahadev Temple War Memorial Museum Ram Nagar Shyam Nagar Rural areas Sudher Gharoh Dhanotu Chari Sarah Trekking A forest in Dharamsala Dharamshala is a starting point to a number of trekking trails that especially includes lead trekkers across Dhauladhar into the upper Ravi Valley and Chamba district. En route, trekkers cross through forests of deodar, pine, oak and rhododendron, and pass streams and rivers and wind along vertiginous cliff tracks, and the occasional lake waterfall and glacier. A two-kilometer amble takes one to Bhagsu, and then a further three-kilometer walk will lead the trekkers to Dharamkot. If one wishes to go on a longer walk then he/she can trek eight-kilometers to Triund. The snow line of Ilaqa Got is just a five-kilometer walk. Other trekking trails that lead trekkers to Chamba from Dharamshala are: Toral Pass (4575m) which begins from Tang Narwana (1150m) that is nearly 10 km from Dharamshala[35] Across Bhimghasutri Pass (4580m) via near-vertical rocky ascents, steep cliffs and dangerous gorges. This is a highly difficult level trek and takes around six days to complete.[35] Dharamshala—Bleni Pass (3710m) – Dunali. Compared to other trekking trails, this one is much easier and takes around four or five-days to complete. The trek leads through alpine pastures, woods, and streams, before ending at Dunali, on the Chamba road. Dharamshala is an ideal destination for rock climbing enthusiasts. One can go rock climbing over the ridges of the Dhauladhar range. Kareri Lake (near Kareri village) is also a famous trekking destination for travellers. Triund-Thatri-Trek (TTT) a circular trek for two nights and three days around Dharamshala.[36] The first day involves walking up to Triund and staying for a night, and the second day walk to a village called Thatri and stay overnight at Camp Himalayan Nest. The third day after walking for couple of hours, walkers reach to broadhead near Dharamshala.[citation needed] Triund Campsite is a base camp and acclimatisation point for trekkers climbing the Inderahara point in the Dhauladhar range. Triund Campsite is a base camp and acclimatisation point for trekkers climbing the Inderahara point in the Dhauladhar range.   Dhauladhar ranges in the background; trekkers resting Dhauladhar ranges in the background; trekkers resting   View from Trans Point, Khadota View from Trans Point, Khadota Dharamshala International Film Festival DIFF was established in 2012.[37] It is presented by White Crane Arts & Media trust, established by filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam to promote contemporary art, cinema and independent media practices in the Himalayan region.[citation needed] Transport Road Buses of all classes (deluxe, air-conditioned, and regular) ply daily between Dharamshala and major cities such as Chandigarh, Delhi, and Shimla through NH 154 and NH 503. Air Dharamshala town is reached by Gaggal Airport codes|DHM|VIGG, about 12 km to the town's south and about 10 km north of Kangra town. Rail Pathankot, some 90 km away, is the nearest broad gauge railway head. The Kangra Valley Railway, a narrow gauge railway line connecting Pathankot to Jogindernagar, can also be used to reach the town via rail. This line is well-known for picturesque views of the Kangra valley from it. The nearest station to Dharamshala on this line is Chamunda Marg, located about 22 km southeast. Ropeway A 1.8 km long ropeway called Dharamshala Skyway connecting Dharamshala and Mcleodganj via cable car was inaugurated in January 2022. Educational institutions Tibetan Library, Dharamsala Central University of Himachal Pradesh, Kangra Government College of Teacher Education Dharamsala Himachal Pradesh University International Sahaja Public School Maulana Abul Kalam Azad memorial Library at Jama Masjid Dharamshala Sports Dharamshala International Cricket Stadium Dharamshala International Cricket Stadium Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium (HPCAS) is a cricket stadium of international reputation, which serves as the home ground to the Himachal Pradesh state cricket team and for the IPL team Kings XI Punjab to a limited extent. By virtue of its natural backdrop, it is one of the most attractive cricket stadiums in the world. It is also one of the highest altitude Cricket Stadiums in the world. In addition to Ranji matches, some international matches are held here. The HPCA International Cricket Stadium is located near the Government Degree College, Dharmashala. The first One day International held at the ground was played between India and England on Sunday, 27 January 2013 which England won by 7 wickets. In May 2011, a match between Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Superkings was held here which was attended by the Dalai Lama. [38][39][40] The snow-capped mountains can be easily viewed throughout the year. An additional feature is the Dharamshala College nearby which is surrounded by pine trees on one side. Notable residents Mehr Chand Mahajan (1889–1967) from Dharamshala was the third Chief Justice of India and 1st Prime Minister of J&K Tenzin Gyatso, HH The 14th Dalai Lama James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin, died here. Alfred W. Hallett, artist who exhibited twice in Royal Academy of Arts London and lived 41 years at Dharamkot in upper Dharamshala; died here in 1986. Kishan Kapoor, Member of Parliament, Kangra. Purva Rana, Vice Queen at Miss United Continent, 2013 Sheetal Thakur, Indian model and actor. Asif Basra, died here 12 november 2020 Notable organisations Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy Central Tibetan Administration Bibliography Verma, V. 1996. Gaddis of Dhauladhar: A Transhumant Tribe of the Himalayas. Indus Publishing Co., New Delhi. Handa, O. C. 1987. Buddhist Monasteries in Himachal Pradesh. Indus Publishing Co., New Delhi.ISBN 81-85182-03-5. See also Hari Kothi, a historic property in Dharamshala Tibetan Buddhism[note 1] is a form of Buddhism practiced in Tibet and Mongolia. It also has a sizable number of adherents in the areas surrounding the Himalayas, including the Indian regions of Ladakh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh, as well as Bhutan and Nepal. Smaller groups of practitioners can be found in Central Asia, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, and some regions of Russia, such as Tuva, Buryatia, and Kalmykia. Tibetan Buddhism evolved as a form of Mahāyāna Buddhism stemming from the latest stages of Indian Buddhism (which included many Vajrayāna elements). It thus preserves many Indian Buddhist tantric practices of the post-Gupta early medieval period (500 to 1200 CE), along with numerous native Tibetan developments.[1][2] In the pre-modern era, Tibetan Buddhism spread outside of Tibet primarily due to the influence of the Mongol Yuan dynasty (1271–1368), founded by Kublai Khan, which had ruled China, Mongolia, and parts of Siberia. In the Modern era, Tibetan Buddhism has spread outside of Asia because of the efforts of the Tibetan diaspora (1959 onwards). As the Dalai Lama escaped to India, the Indian subcontinent is also known for its renaissance of Tibetan Buddhism monasteries, including the rebuilding of the three major monasteries of the Gelug tradition. Apart from classical Mahāyāna Buddhist practices like the six perfections, Tibetan Buddhism also includes tantric practices, such as deity yoga and the Six Dharmas of Naropa, as well as methods that are seen as transcending tantra, like Dzogchen. Its main goal is Buddhahood.[3][4] The main language of scriptural study in this tradition is classical Tibetan. Tibetan Buddhism has four major schools, namely Nyingma (8th century), Kagyu (11th century), Sakya (1073), and Gelug (1409). The Jonang is a smaller school that exists, and the Rimé movement (19th century), meaning "no sides",[5] is a more recent non-sectarian movement that attempts to preserve and understand all the different traditions. The predominant spiritual tradition in Tibet before the introduction of Buddhism was Bon, which has been strongly influenced by Tibetan Buddhism (particularly the Nyingma school). While each of the four major schools is independent and has its own monastic institutions and leaders, they are closely related and intersect with common contact and dialogue. Nomenclature The native Tibetan term for Buddhism is "The Dharma of the insiders" (nang chos) or "The Buddha Dharma of the insiders" (nang pa sangs rgyas pa'i chos).[6][7] "Insider" means someone who seeks the truth not outside but within the nature of mind. This is contrasted with other forms of organized religion, which are termed chos lugs (dharma system). For example, Christianity is termed Yi shu'i chos lugs (Jesus dharma system).[7] Westerners unfamiliar with Tibetan Buddhism initially turned to China for understanding. In Chinese, the term used is Lamaism (literally, "doctrine of the lamas": 喇嘛教 lama jiao) to distinguish it from a then-traditional Chinese Buddhism(佛教 fo jiao). The term was taken up by western scholars, including Hegel, as early as 1822.[8][9] Insofar as it implies a discontinuity between Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, the term has been discredited.[10] In modern Mainland China, the official[when?] term is 藏传佛教 zangchuan fojiao, literally "Tibetan Buddhism."[citation needed] Another term, "Vajrayāna" (Tibetan: dorje tegpa) is occasionally misused for Tibetan Buddhism. More accurately, Vajrayāna signifies a certain subset of practices and traditions that are not only part of Tibetan Buddhism but also prominent in other Buddhist traditions.[citation needed] In the west, the term "Indo-Tibetan Buddhism" has become current in acknowledgement of its derivation from the latest stages of Buddhist development in northern India.[11] "Northern Buddhism" is sometimes used to refer to Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, for example, in the Brill Dictionary of Religion. Another term, Himalayan (or Trans-Himalayan) Buddhism is sometimes used to indicate how this form of Buddhism is practiced not just in Tibet but throughout the Himalayan Regions.[12][13] History Main article: History of Tibetan Buddhism Pre–6th century During the 3rd century CE, Buddhism began to spread into the Tibetan region, and its teachings affected the Bon religion in the Kingdom of Zhangzhung.[14] First dissemination (7th–9th centuries) Main article: Tibetan Empire Map of the Tibetan Empire at its greatest extent between the 780s and the 790s CE Samye was the first gompa (Buddhist monastery) built in Tibet (775–779). While some stories depict Buddhism in Tibet before this period, the religion was formally introduced during the Tibetan Empire (7th–9th century CE). Sanskrit Buddhist scriptures from India were first translated into Tibetan under the reign of the Tibetan king Songtsän Gampo (618–649 CE).[15] This period also saw the development of the Tibetan writing system and classical Tibetan. In the 8th century, King Trisong Detsen (755–797 CE) established it as the official religion of the state[16] and commanded his army to wear robes and study Buddhism. Trisong Detsen invited Indian Buddhist scholars to his court, including Padmasambhāva (8th century CE) and Śāntarakṣita (725–788), who are considered the founders of Nyingma (The Ancient Ones), the oldest tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.[17] Padmasambhava, who is considered by the Tibetans as Guru Rinpoche ("Precious Master"), is also credited with building the first monastery building named Samye around late 8th century. According to some legend, it is noted that he pacified the Bon demons and made them the core protectors of Dharma.[18] Modern historians also argue that Trisong Detsen and his followers adopted Buddhism as an act of international diplomacy, especially with the major power of those times such as China, India, and states in Central Asia that had strong Buddhist influence in their culture.[19] Yeshe Tsogyal, the most important female in the Nyingma Vajrayana lineage, was a member of Trisong Detsen's court and became Padmasambhava's student before gaining enlightenment. Trisong Detsen also invited the Chan master Moheyan[note 2] to transmit the Dharma at Samye Monastery. Some sources state that a debate ensued between Moheyan and the Indian master Kamalaśīla, without consensus on the victor, and some scholars consider the event to be fictitious.[20][21][note 3][note 4] Era of fragmentation (9th–10th centuries) A reversal in Buddhist influence began under King Langdarma (r. 836–842), and his death was followed by the so-called Era of Fragmentation, a period of disunity during the 9th and 10th centuries. During this era, the political centralization of the earlier Tibetan Empire collapsed and civil wars ensued.[24] In spite of this loss of state power and patronage however, Buddhism survived and thrived in Tibet. According to Geoffrey Samuel this was because "Tantric (Vajrayana) Buddhism came to provide the principal set of techniques by which Tibetans dealt with the dangerous powers of the spirit world... Buddhism, in the form of Vajrayana ritual, provided a critical set of techniques for dealing with everyday life. Tibetans came to see these techniques as vital for their survival and prosperity in this life."[25] This includes dealing with the local gods and spirits (sadak and shipdak), which became a specialty of some Tibetan Buddhist lamas and lay ngagpas (mantrikas, mantra specialists).[26] Second dissemination (10th–12th centuries) The Indian master Atiśa The Tibetan householder and translator Marpa (1012–1097) The late 10th and 11th centuries saw a revival of Buddhism in Tibet with the founding of "New Translation" (Sarma) lineages as well as the appearance of "hidden treasures" (terma) literature which reshaped the Nyingma tradition.[27][28] In 1042, the Bengali master Atiśa (982–1054) arrived in Tibet at the invitation of a west Tibetan king. His chief disciple, Dromton founded the Kadam school of Tibetan Buddhism, one of the first Sarma schools.[citation needed]. Atiśa, helped in the translation of major Buddhist texts such as Bka'-'gyur (Translation of the Buddha Word) and Bstan-'gyur (Translation of Teachings) helped in disseminating the values of Buddhism in powerful state affairs as well as in the Tibetan culture. The Bka'-'gyur has six main categories in the book: (1) Tantra, (2) Prajñāpāramitā, (3) Ratnakūṭa Sūtra, (4) Avatamsaka Sutra, (5) Other sutras, (6) Vinaya. The Bstan-'gyur is a compilation work of 3,626 texts and 224 volumes which basically encompass texts of hymns, commentaries and tantras. The Sakya (Grey Earth) school, was founded by Khön Könchok Gyelpo (1034–1102), a disciple of the great scholar, Drogmi Shākya. It is headed by the Sakya Trizin, and traces its lineage to the mahasiddha Virūpa.[17] Other influential Indian teachers include Tilopa (988–1069) and his student Naropa (probably died ca. 1040). Their teachings, via their student Marpa, are the foundations of the Kagyu (Oral lineage) tradition, which focuses on the practices of Mahamudra and the Six Dharmas of Naropa. One of the most famous Kagyu figures was the hermit Milarepa, an 11th-century mystic. The Dagpo Kagyu was founded by the monk Gampopa who merged Marpa's lineage teachings with the monastic Kadam tradition.[17] All the sub-schools of the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism surviving today, including the Drikung Kagyu, the Drukpa Kagyu and the Karma Kagyu, are branches of the Dagpo Kagyu. The Karma Kagyu school is the largest of the Kagyu sub-schools and is headed by the Karmapa.[29] Mongol dominance (13th–14th centuries) Main article: Tibet under Yuan rule Tibetan Buddhism exerted a strong influence from the 11th century CE among the peoples of Inner Asia, especially the Mongols, and Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhism influenced each other. This was done with the help of Kublai Khan and Mongolian theologians influenced by the Church of the East.[30][31][32] The Mongols invaded Tibet in 1240 and 1244.[33][34][35] They eventually annexed Amdo and Kham and appointed the great scholar and abbot Sakya Pandita (1182–1251) as Viceroy of Central Tibet in 1249.[36] In this way, Tibet was incorporated into the Mongol Empire, with the Sakya hierarchy retaining nominal power over religious and regional political affairs, while the Mongols retained structural and administrative[37][38] rule over the region, reinforced by the rare military intervention. Tibetan Buddhism was adopted as the de facto state religion by the Mongol Yuan dynasty (1271–1368) of Kublai Khan.[39] It was also during this period that the Tibetan Buddhist canon was compiled, primarily led by the efforts of the scholar Butön Rinchen Drup (1290–1364). A part of this project included the carving of the canon into wood blocks for printing, and the first copies of these texts were kept at Narthang monastery.[40] From family rule to Ganden Phodrang government (14th–18th centuries) The Potala Palace in Lhasa, chief residence and political center of the Dalai Lamas. With the decline and end of the Mongol Yuan dynasty, Tibet regained independence and was ruled by successive local families from the 14th to the 17th century.[41] Jangchub Gyaltsän (1302–1364) became the strongest political family in the mid 14th century.[42] During this period the reformist scholar Je Tsongkhapa (1357–1419) founded the Gelug school which would have a decisive influence on Tibet's history. The Ganden Tripa is the nominal head of the Gelug school, though its most influential figure is the Dalai Lama. The Ganden Tripa is an appointed office and not an reincarnation lineage. The position can be held by an individual for seven years and this has led to more Ganden Tripas than Dalai Lamas [43] Internal strife within the Phagmodrupa dynasty, and the strong localism of the various fiefs and political-religious factions, led to a long series of internal conflicts. The minister family Rinpungpa, based in Tsang (West Central Tibet), dominated politics after 1435. In 1565, the Rinpungpa family was overthrown by the Tsangpa Dynasty of Shigatse, which expanded its power in different directions of Tibet in the following decades and favoured the Karma Kagyu sect. They would play a pivotal role in the events which led to the rise of power of the Dalai Lama's in the 1640s. See also: Ming–Tibet relations In China, Tibetan Buddhism continued to be patronized by the elites of the Ming Dynasty. According to David M. Robinson, during this era, Tibetan Buddhist monks "conducted court rituals, enjoyed privileged status and gained access to the jealously guarded, private world of the emperors".[44] The Ming Yongle Emperor (r. 1402–1424) promoted the carving of printing blocks for the Kangyur, now known as "the Yongle Kanjur", and seen as an important edition of the collection.[45] The Ming Dynasty also supported the propagation of Tibetan Buddhism in Mongolia during this period. Tibetan Buddhist missionaries also helped spread the religion in Mongolia. It was during this era that Altan Khan the leader of the Tümed Mongols, converted to Buddhism, and allied with the Gelug school, conferring the title of Dalai Lama to Sonam Gyatso in 1578.[46] During a Tibetan civil war in the 17th century, Sonam Choephel (1595–1657 CE), the chief regent of the 5th Dalai Lama, conquered and unified Tibet to establish the Ganden Phodrang government with the help of the Güshi Khan of the Khoshut Mongols. The Ganden Phodrang and the successive Gelug tulku lineages of the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas maintained regional control of Tibet from the mid-17th to mid-20th centuries. Qing rule (18th–20th centuries) Yonghe Temple, a temple of the Gelug tradition in Beijing established in the Qing Dynasty. The Qing dynasty (1644–1912) established a Chinese rule over Tibet after a Qing expeditionary force defeated the Dzungars (who controlled Tibet) in 1720, and lasted until the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1912.[47] The Manchu rulers of the Qing dynasty supported Tibetan Buddhism, especially the Gelug sect, during most of their rule.[39] The reign of the Qianlong Emperor was the high mark for this promotion of Tibetan Buddhism in China, with the visit of the 6th Panchen Lama to Beijing, and the building of temples in the Tibetan style, such as Xumi Fushou Temple, the Puning Temple and Putuo Zongcheng Temple (modeled after the potala palace).[48] This period also saw the rise of the Rimé movement, a 19th-century nonsectarian movement involving the Sakya, Kagyu and Nyingma schools of Tibetan Buddhism, along with some Bon scholars.[49] Having seen how the Gelug institutions pushed the other traditions into the corners of Tibet's cultural life, scholars such as Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892) and Jamgön Kongtrül (1813–1899) compiled together the teachings of the Sakya, Kagyu and Nyingma, including many near-extinct teachings.[50] Without Khyentse and Kongtrul's collecting and printing of rare works, the suppression of Buddhism by the Communists would have been much more final.[51] The Rimé movement is responsible for a number of scriptural compilations, such as the Rinchen Terdzod and the Sheja Dzö. During the Qing, Tibetan Buddhism also remained the major religion of the Mongols under Qing rule (1635–1912), as well as the state religion of the Kalmyk Khanate (1630–1771), the Dzungar Khanate (1634–1758) and the Khoshut Khanate (1642–1717). 20th century Autochrome photo of Gandantegchinlen Monastery in 1913, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia In 1912, following the fall of the Qing Dynasty, Tibet became de facto independent under the 13th Dalai Lama government based in Lhasa, maintaining the current territory of what is now called the Tibetan Autonomous Region.[52] During the Republic of China (1912–1949), the "Chinese Tantric Buddhist Revival Movement" (Chinese: 密教復興運動) took place, and important figures such as Nenghai (能海喇嘛, 1886–1967) and Master Fazun (法尊, 1902–1980) promoted Tibetan Buddhism and translated Tibetan works into Chinese.[53] This movement was severely damaged during the cultural revolution, however. After the Battle of Chamdo, Tibet was annexed by China in 1950. In 1959 the 14th Dalai Lama and a great number of clergy fled the country, to settle in India and other neighbouring countries. The events of the Cultural Revolution (1966–76) saw religion as one of the main political targets of the Chinese Communist Party, and most of the several thousand temples and monasteries in Tibet were destroyed, with many monks and lamas imprisoned.[54] During this time, private religious expression, as well as Tibetan cultural traditions, were suppressed. Much of the Tibetan textual heritage and institutions were destroyed, and monks and nuns were forced to disrobe.[55] Outside of Tibet, however, there was a renewed interest in Tibetan Buddhism in places such as Nepal and Bhutan. Meanwhile, the spread of Tibetan Buddhism in the Western world was accomplished by many of the refugee Tibetan Lamas who escaped Tibet,[54] such as Akong Rinpoche and Chögyam Trungpa who in 1967 were founders of Kagyu Samye Ling the first Tibetan Buddhist Centre to be established in the West.[56] After the liberalization policies in China during the 1980s, the religion began to recover with some temples and monasteries being reconstructed.[57] Tibetan Buddhism is now an influential religion among Chinese people, and also in Taiwan.[57] However, the Chinese government retains strict control over Tibetan Buddhist Institutions in the PRC. Quotas on the number of monks and nuns are maintained, and their activities are closely supervised.[58] Within the Tibetan Autonomous Region, violence against Buddhists has been escalating since 2008.[59][60] Widespread reports document the arrests and disappearances[61] of nuns and monks, while the Chinese government classifies religious practices as "gang crime".[62] Reports include the demolition of monasteries, forced disrobing, forced reeducation, and detentions of nuns and monks, especially those residing at Yarchen Gar's center, the most highly publicized.[63][64] 21st century The 14th Dalai Lama meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in 2016. Due to his widespread popularity, the Dalai Lama has become the modern international face of Tibetan Buddhism.[65] Today, Tibetan Buddhism is adhered to widely in the Tibetan Plateau, Mongolia, northern Nepal, Kalmykia (on the north-west shore of the Caspian), Siberia (Tuva and Buryatia), the Russian Far East and northeast China. It is the state religion of Bhutan.[66] The Indian regions of Sikkim and Ladakh, both formerly independent kingdoms, are also home to significant Tibetan Buddhist populations, as are the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh (which includes Dharamshala and the district of Lahaul-Spiti), West Bengal (the hill stations of Darjeeling and Kalimpong) and Arunachal Pradesh. Religious communities, refugee centers and monasteries have also been established in South India.[67] The 14th Dalai Lama is the leader of the Tibetan government in exile which was initially dominated by the Gelug school, however, according to Geoffrey Samuel: The Dharamsala administration under the Dalai Lama has nevertheless managed, over time, to create a relatively inclusive and democratic structure that has received broad support across the Tibetan communities in exile. Senior figures from the three non-Gelukpa Buddhist schools and from the Bonpo have been included in the religious administration, and relations between the different lamas and schools are now on the whole very positive. This is a considerable achievement, since the relations between these groups were often competitive and conflict-ridden in Tibet before 1959, and mutual distrust was initially widespread. The Dalai Lama's government at Dharamsala has also continued under difficult circumstances to argue for a negotiated settlement rather than armed struggle with China.[67] Kagyu-Dzong Buddhist center in Paris. In the wake of the Tibetan diaspora, Tibetan Buddhism has also gained adherents in the West and throughout the world. Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and centers were first established in Europe and North America in the 1960s, and most are now supported by non-Tibetan followers of Tibetan lamas. Some of these westerners went on to learn Tibetan, undertake extensive training in the traditional practices and have been recognized as lamas.[68] Fully ordained Tibetan Buddhist Monks have also entered Western societies in other ways, such as working academia.[69] Samuel sees the character of Tibetan Buddhism in the West as ...that of a national or international network, generally centred around the teachings of a single individual lama. Among the larger ones are the FPMT, which I have already mentioned, now headed by Lama Zopa and the child-reincarnation of Lama Yeshe; the New Kadampa, in origin a break-away from the FPMT; the Shambhala network, deriving from Chögyam Trungpa 's organization and now headed by his son; and the networks associated with Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche (the Dzogchen Community) and Sogyal Rinpoche (Rigpa).[70] Teachings Part of a series on Mahāyāna Buddhism Buddha-flower-color (fill color d2d200).svg Unique doctrines Buddhas and Bodhisattvas Mahayana sutras Major schools Key historical figures Regional traditions vte Tibetan Buddhism upholds classic Buddhist teachings such as the four noble truths (Tib. pakpé denpa shyi), anatman (not-self, bdag med), the five aggregates (phung po) karma and rebirth, and dependent arising (rten cing ’brel bar ’byung ba).[71] They also uphold various other Buddhist doctrines associated with Mahāyāna Buddhism (theg pa chen po) as well as the tantric Vajrayāna tradition.[72] Buddhahood and Bodhisattvas Samantabhadra, surrounded by numerous peaceful and fierce deities. The eleven faced and thousand armed form of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. The Mahāyāna goal of spiritual development is to achieve the enlightenment of Buddhahood in order to help all other sentient beings attain this state.[73] This motivation is called bodhicitta (mind of awakening)—an altruistic intention to become enlightened for the sake of all sentient beings.[74] Bodhisattvas (Tib. jangchup semba, literally "awakening hero") are revered beings who have conceived the will and vow to dedicate their lives with bodhicitta for the sake of all beings. Widely revered Bodhisattvas in Tibetan Buddhism include Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri, Vajrapani, and Tara. The most important Buddhas are the five Buddhas of the Vajradhatu mandala[75] as well as the Adi Buddha (first Buddha), called either Vajradhara or Samantabhadra. Buddhahood is defined as a state free of the obstructions to liberation as well as those to omniscience (sarvajñana).[76] When one is freed from all mental obscurations,[77] one is said to attain a state of continuous bliss mixed with a simultaneous cognition of emptiness,[78] the true nature of reality.[79] In this state, all limitations on one's ability to help other living beings are removed.[80] Tibetan Buddhism claims to teach methods for achieving Buddhahood more quickly (known as the Vajrayāna path).[81] It is said that there are countless beings who have attained Buddhahood.[82] Buddhas spontaneously, naturally and continuously perform activities to benefit all sentient beings.[83] However it is believed that one's karma could limit the ability of the Buddhas to help them. Thus, although Buddhas possess no limitation from their side on their ability to help others, sentient beings continue to experience suffering as a result of the limitations of their own former negative actions.[84] An important schema which is used in understanding the nature of Buddhahood in Tibetan Buddhism is the Trikaya (Three bodies) doctrine.[85] The Bodhisattva path A central schema for spiritual advancement used in Tibetan Buddhism is that of the five paths (Skt. pañcamārga; Tib. lam nga) which are:[86] The path of accumulation – in which one collects wisdom and merit, generates bodhicitta, cultivates the four foundations of mindfulness and right effort (the "four abandonments"). The path of preparation – Is attained when one reaches the union of calm abiding and higher insight meditations (see below) and one becomes familiar with emptiness. The path of seeing – one perceives emptiness directly, all thoughts of subject and object are overcome, one becomes an arya. The path of meditation – one removes subtler traces from one's mind and perfects one's understanding. The path of no more learning – which culminates in Buddhahood. The schema of the five paths is often elaborated and merged with the concept of the bhumis or the bodhisattva levels. Lamrim Main article: Lamrim Lamrim ("stages of the path") is a Tibetan Buddhist schema for presenting the stages of spiritual practice leading to liberation. In Tibetan Buddhist history there have been many different versions of lamrim, presented by different teachers of the Nyingma, Kagyu and Gelug schools (the Sakya school uses a different system named Lamdre).[87] However, all versions of the lamrim are elaborations of Atiśa's 11th-century root text A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment (Bodhipathapradīpa).[88] Atisha's lamrim system generally divides practitioners into those of lesser, middling and superior scopes or attitudes: The lesser person is to focus on the preciousness of human birth as well as contemplation of death and impermanence. The middling person is taught to contemplate karma, dukkha (suffering) and the benefits of liberation and refuge. The superior scope is said to encompass the four Brahmaviharas, the bodhisattva vow, the six paramitas as well as Tantric practices.[89] Although lamrim texts cover much the same subject areas, subjects within them may be arranged in different ways and with different emphasis depending on the school and tradition it belongs to. Gampopa and Tsongkhapa expanded the short root-text of Atiśa into an extensive system to understand the entire Buddhist philosophy. In this way, subjects like karma, rebirth, Buddhist cosmology and the practice of meditation are gradually explained in logical order. Vajrayāna A depiction of the tantric figures Hevajra and Nairātmyā, Tibet, 18th Century. Tibetan Buddhism incorporates Vajrayāna (Vajra vehicle), "Secret Mantra" (Skt. Guhyamantra) or Buddhist Tantra, which is espoused in the texts known as the Buddhist Tantras (dating from around the 7th century CE onwards).[90] Tantra (Tib. rgyud, "continuum") generally refers to forms of religious practice which emphasize the use of unique ideas, visualizations, mantras, and other practices for inner transformation.[90] The Vajrayana is seen by most Tibetan adherents as the fastest and most powerful vehicle for enlightenment because it contains many skillful means (upaya) and because it takes the effect (Buddhahood itself, or Buddha nature) as the path (and hence is sometimes known as the "effect vehicle", phalayana).[90] An important element of Tantric practice are tantric deities and their mandalas. These deities come in peaceful (shiwa) and fierce (trowo) forms.[91] Tantric texts also generally affirm the use of sense pleasures and other defilements in Tantric ritual as a path to enlightenment, as opposed to non-Tantric Buddhism which affirms that one must renounce all sense pleasures.[92] These practices are based on the theory of transformation which states that negative or sensual mental factors and physical actions can be cultivated and transformed in a ritual setting. As the Hevajra Tantra states: Those things by which evil men are bound, others turn into means and gain thereby release from the bonds of existence. By passion the world is bound, by passion too it is released, but by heretical Buddhists this practice of reversals is not known.[93] Another element of the Tantras is their use of transgressive practices, such as drinking taboo substances such as alcohol or sexual yoga. While in many cases these transgressions were interpreted only symbolically, in other cases they are practiced literally.[94] Philosophy A statue of one of the most important Buddhist philosophers for Tibetan Buddhist thought, Nagarjuna, at Samye Ling (Scotland). The Indian Buddhist Madhyamaka ("Middle Way" or "Centrism") philosophy, also called Śūnyavāda (the emptiness doctrine) is the dominant Buddhist philosophy in Tibetan Buddhism. In Madhyamaka, the true nature of reality is referred to as Śūnyatā, which is the fact that all phenomena are empty of inherent existence or essence (svabhava). Madhyamaka is generally seen as the highest philosophical view by most Tibetan philosophers, but it is interpreted in numerous different ways. The other main Mahayana philosophical school, Yogācāra has also been very influential in Tibetan Buddhism, but there is more disagreement among the various schools and philosophers regarding its status. While the Gelug school generally sees Yogācāra views as either false or provisional (i.e. only pertaining to conventional truth), philosophers in the other three main schools, such as Ju Mipham and Sakya Chokden, hold that Yogācāra ideas are as important as Madhyamaka views.[95] In Tibetan Buddhist scholasticism, Buddhist philosophy is traditionally propounded according to a hierarchical classification of four classical Indian philosophical schools, known as the "four tenets" (drubta shyi).[96] While the classical tenets-system is limited to four tenets (Vaibhāṣika, Sautrāntika, Yogācāra, and Madhyamaka), there are further sub-classifications within these different tenets (see below).[97] This classification does not include Theravada, the only surviving of the 18 classical schools of Buddhism. It also does not include other Indian Buddhist schools, such as Mahasamghika and Pudgalavada. Two tenets belong to the path referred to as the Hinayana ("lesser vehicle") or Sravakayana ("the disciples' vehicle"), and are both related to the north Indian Sarvastivada tradition:[98] Vaibhāṣika (Wylie: bye brag smra ba). The primary source for the Vaibhāṣika in Tibetan Buddhism is the Abhidharma-kośa of Vasubandhu and its commentaries. This Abhidharma system affirms an atomistic view of reality which states ultimate reality is made up of a series of impermanent phenomena called dharmas. It also defends eternalism regarding the philosophy of time, as well the view that perception directly experiences external objects.[99] Sautrāntika (Wylie: mdo sde pa). The main sources for this view is the Abhidharmakośa, as well as the work of Dignāga and Dharmakīrti. As opposed to Vaibhāṣika, this view holds that only the present moment exists (presentism), as well as the view that we do not directly perceive the external world only the mental images caused by objects and our sense faculties.[99] The other two tenets are the two major Indian Mahayana philosophies: Yogācāra, also called Vijñānavāda (the doctrine of consciousness) and Cittamātra ("Mind-Only", Wylie: sems-tsam-pa). Yogacārins base their views on texts from Maitreya, Asaṅga and Vasubandhu. Yogacara is often interpreted as a form of Idealism due to its main doctrine, the view that only ideas or mental images exist (vijñapti-mātra).[99] Some Tibetan philosophers interpret Yogācāra as the view that the mind (citta) exists in an ultimate sense, because of this, it is often seen as inferior to Madhyamaka. However, other Tibetan thinkers deny that the Indian Yogacāra masters held the view of the ultimate existence of the mind, and thus, they place Yogācāra on a level comparable to Madhyamaka. This perspective is common in the Nyingma school, as well as in the work of the Third Karmapa, the Seventh Karmapa and Jamgon Kongtrul.[100][101] Madhyamaka (Wylie: dbu-ma-pa) – The philosophy of Nāgārjuna and Āryadeva, which affirms that everything is empty of essence (svabhava) and is ultimately beyond concepts.[99] There are various further classifications, sub-schools and interpretations of Madhymaka in Tibetan Buddhism and numerous debates about various key disagreements remain a part of Tibetan Buddhist scholasticism today. One of the key debates is that between the rangtong (self-empty) interpretation and the shentong (other empty) interpretation.[102] Another major disagreement is the debate on the Svātantrika Madhyamaka method and the Prasaṅgika method.[103] There are further disagreements regarding just how useful an intellectual understanding of emptiness can be and whether emptiness should only be described as an absolute negation (the view of Tsongkhapa).[104] Monks debating at Sera monastery, Tibet, 2013. Debate is seen as an important practice in Tibetan Buddhist education. The tenet systems are used in monasteries and colleges to teach Buddhist philosophy in a systematic and progressive fashion, each philosophical view being seen as more subtle than its predecessor. Therefore, the four tenets can be seen as a gradual path from a rather easy-to-grasp, "realistic" philosophical point of view, to more and more complex and subtle views on the ultimate nature of reality, culminating in the philosophy of the Mādhyamikas, which is widely believed to present the most sophisticated point of view.[105] Non-Tibetan scholars point out that historically, Madhyamaka predates Yogacara, however.[106] Texts and study Main article: Tibetan Buddhist canon A leaf from a Prajñāpāramitā (Perfection of Wisdom) manuscript. Study of major Buddhist Indian texts is central to the monastic curriculum in all four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Memorization of classic texts as well as other ritual texts is expected as part of traditional monastic education.[107] Another important part of higher religious education is the practice of formalized debate. The canon was mostly finalized in the 13th century, and divided into two parts, the Kangyur (containing sutras and tantras) and the Tengyur (containing shastras and commentaries). The Nyingma school also maintains a separate collection of texts called the Nyingma Gyubum, assembled by Ratna Lingpa in the 15th century and revised by Jigme Lingpa.[108] Among Tibetans, the main language of study is classical Tibetan, however, the Tibetan Buddhist canon was also translated into other languages, such as Mongolian and Manchu. During the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, many texts from the Tibetan canon were also translated into Chinese.[109] Numerous texts have also recently been translated into Western languages by Western academics and Buddhist practitioners.[110] Sutras Buddhist monk Geshe Konchog Wangdu reads Mahayana sutras from an old woodblock copy of the Tibetan Kangyur. He is seated at a special sutra stool, wearing the traditional woolen Ladakhi hat and robe, allowed by Vinaya for extremely cold conditions. Among the most widely studied sutras in Tibetan Buddhism are Mahāyāna sutras such as the Perfection of Wisdom or Prajñāpāramitā sutras,[111] and others such as the Saṃdhinirmocana-sūtra, and the Samādhirāja Sūtra.[112] According to Tsongkhapa, the two authoritative systems of Mahayana Philosophy (viz. that of Asaṅga – Yogacara and that of Nāgārjuna – Madhyamaka) are based on specific Mahāyāna sūtras: the Saṃdhinirmocana Sūtra and the Questions of Akṣayamati (Akṣayamatinirdeśa Sūtra) respectively. Furthermore, according to Thupten Jinpa, for Tsongkhapa, "at the heart of these two hermeneutical systems lies their interpretations of the Perfection of Wisdom sūtras, the archetypal example being the Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines."[113] Treatises of the Indian masters The study of Indian Buddhist treatises called shastras is central to Tibetan Buddhist scholasticism. Some of the most important works are those by the six great Indian Mahayana authors which are known as the Six Ornaments and Two Supreme Ones (Tib. gyen druk chok nyi, Wyl. rgyan drug mchog gnyis), the six being: Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Asanga, Vasubandhu, Dignaga, and Dharmakirti and the two being: Gunaprabha and Shakyaprabha (or Nagarjuna and Asanga depending on the tradition).[114] Since the late 11th century, traditional Tibetan monastic colleges generally organized the exoteric study of Buddhism into "five great textual traditions" (zhungchen-nga).[115] Abhidharma Asanga's Abhidharma-samuccaya Vasubandhu's Abhidharma-kośa Prajnaparamita Abhisamayalankara Shantideva's Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra Madhyamaka Nagarjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā Aryadeva's Four Hundred Verses (Catuhsataka) Candrakīrti's Madhyamakāvatāra Śāntarakṣita's Madhyamākalaṃkāra Shantideva's Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra Pramana Dharmakirti's Pramāṇavarttika Dignāga's Pramāṇa-samuccaya Vinaya Gunaprabha's Vinayamula Sutra Other important texts Also of great importance are the "Five Treatises of Maitreya" including the influential Ratnagotravibhāga, a compendium of the tathāgatagarbha literature, and the Mahayanasutralankara, a text on the Mahayana path from the Yogacara perspective, which are often attributed to Asanga. Practiced focused texts such as the Yogācārabhūmi-Śāstra and Kamalaśīla's Bhāvanākrama are the major sources for meditation. While the Indian texts are often central, original material by key Tibetan scholars is also widely studied and collected into editions called sungbum.[116] The commentaries and interpretations that are used to shed light on these texts differ according to tradition. The Gelug school for example, use the works of Tsongkhapa, while other schools may use the more recent work of Rimé movement scholars like Jamgon Kongtrul and Jamgon Ju Mipham Gyatso. A corpus of extra-canonical scripture, the treasure texts (terma) literature is acknowledged by Nyingma practitioners, but the bulk of the canon that is not commentary was translated from Indian sources. True to its roots in the Pāla system of North India, however, Tibetan Buddhism carries on a tradition of eclectic accumulation and systematisation of diverse Buddhist elements, and pursues their synthesis. Prominent among these achievements have been the Stages of the Path and mind training literature, both stemming from teachings by the Indian scholar Atiśa. Tantric literature Main articles: Tantras (Buddhism) and Classes of Tantra in Tibetan Buddhism In Tibetan Buddhism, the Buddhist Tantras are divided into four or six categories, with several sub-categories for the highest Tantras. In the Nyingma, the division is into Outer Tantras (Kriyayoga, Charyayoga, Yogatantra); and Inner Tantras (Mahayoga, Anuyoga, Atiyoga/Dzogchen), which correspond to the "Anuttarayoga-tantra".[117] For the Nyingma school, important tantras include the Guhyagarbha Tantra, the Guhyasamaja Tantra,[118] the Kulayarāja Tantra and the 17 Dzogchen Tantras. In the Sarma schools, the division is:[119] Kriya-yoga – These have an emphasis on purification and ritual acts and include texts like the Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa. Charya-yoga – Contain "a balance between external activities and internal practices", mainly referring to the Mahāvairocana Abhisaṃbodhi Tantra. Yoga-tantra, is mainly concerned with internal yogic techniques and includes the Tattvasaṃgraha Tantra. Anuttarayoga-tantra, contains more advanced techniques such as subtle body practices and is subdivided into: Father tantras, which emphasize illusory body and completion stage practices and includes the Guhyasamaja Tantra and Yamantaka Tantra. Mother tantras, which emphasize the development stage and clear light mind and includes the Hevajra Tantra and Cakrasamvara Tantra. Non-dual tantras, which balance the above elements, and mainly refers to the Kalacakra Tantra The root tantras themselves are almost unintelligible without the various Indian and Tibetan commentaries, therefore, they are never studied without the use of the tantric commentarial apparatus. Transmission and realization There is a long history of oral transmission of teachings in Tibetan Buddhism. Oral transmissions by lineage holders traditionally can take place in small groups or mass gatherings of listeners and may last for seconds (in the case of a mantra, for example) or months (as in the case of a section of the Tibetan Buddhist canon). It is held that a transmission can even occur without actually hearing, as in Asanga's visions of Maitreya. An emphasis on oral transmission as more important than the printed word derives from the earliest period of Indian Buddhism, when it allowed teachings to be kept from those who should not hear them.[120] Hearing a teaching (transmission) readies the hearer for realization based on it. The person from whom one hears the teaching should have heard it as one link in a succession of listeners going back to the original speaker: the Buddha in the case of a sutra or the author in the case of a book. Then the hearing constitutes an authentic lineage of transmission. Authenticity of the oral lineage is a prerequisite for realization, hence the importance of lineages. Practices See also: Tantra techniques (Vajrayana) In Tibetan Buddhism, practices are generally classified as either Sutra (or Pāramitāyāna) or Tantra (Vajrayāna or Mantrayāna), though exactly what constitutes each category and what is included and excluded in each is a matter of debate and differs among the various lineages. According to Tsongkhapa for example, what separates Tantra from Sutra is the practice of Deity yoga.[121] Furthermore, the adherents of the Nyingma school consider Dzogchen to be a separate and independent vehicle, which transcends both sutra and tantra.[122] While it is generally held that the practices of Vajrayāna are not included in Sutrayāna, all Sutrayāna practices are common to Vajrayāna practice. Traditionally, Vajrayāna is held to be a more powerful and effective path, but potentially more difficult and dangerous and thus they should only be undertaken by the advanced who have established a solid basis in other practices.[123] Pāramitā Main article: Pāramitā The pāramitās (perfections, transcendent virtues) is a key set of virtues which constitute the major practices of a bodhisattva in non-tantric Mahayana. They are: Dāna pāramitā: generosity, giving (Tibetan: སབྱིན་པ sbyin-pa) Śīla pāramitā: virtue, morality, discipline, proper conduct (ཚུལ་ཁྲིམས tshul-khrims) Kṣānti pāramitā: patience, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance (བཟོད་པ bzod-pa) Vīrya pāramitā: energy, diligence, vigor, effort (བརྩོན་འགྲུས brtson-’grus) Dhyāna pāramitā: one-pointed concentration, meditation, contemplation (བསམ་གཏན bsam-gtan) Prajñā pāramitā: wisdom, knowledge (ཤེས་རབ shes-rab) The practice of dāna (giving) while traditionally referring to offerings of food to the monastics can also refer to the ritual offering of bowls of water, incense, butter lamps and flowers to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas on a shrine or household altar.[124] Similar offerings are also given to other beings such as hungry ghosts, dakinis, protector deities, local divinities etc. Like other forms of Mahayana Buddhism, the practice of the five precepts and bodhisattva vows is part of Tibetan Buddhist moral (sila) practice. In addition to these, there are also numerous sets of Tantric vows, termed samaya, which are given as part of Tantric initiations. Compassion (karuṇā) practices are also particularly important in Tibetan Buddhism. One of the foremost authoritative texts on the Bodhisattva path is the Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra by Shantideva. In the eighth section entitled Meditative Concentration, Shantideva describes meditation on Karunā as thus: Strive at first to meditate upon the sameness of yourself and others. In joy and sorrow all are equal; Thus be guardian of all, as of yourself. The hand and other limbs are many and distinct, But all are one—the body to kept and guarded. Likewise, different beings, in their joys and sorrows, are, like me, all one in wanting happiness. This pain of mine does not afflict or cause discomfort to another's body, and yet this pain is hard for me to bear because I cling and take it for my own. And other beings' pain I do not feel, and yet, because I take them for myself, their suffering is mine and therefore hard to bear. And therefore I'll dispel the pain of others, for it is simply pain, just like my own. And others I will aid and benefit, for they are living beings, like my body. Since I and other beings both, in wanting happiness, are equal and alike, what difference is there to distinguish us, that I should strive to have my bliss alone?"[125] A popular compassion meditation in Tibetan Buddhism is tonglen (sending and taking love and suffering respectively). Practices associated with Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara), also tend to focus on compassion. Samatha and Vipaśyanā A Tibetan Buddhist Monk meditating using chanting and drumming. The 14th Dalai Lama defines meditation (bsgom pa) as "familiarization of the mind with an object of meditation."[126] Traditionally, Tibetan Buddhism follows the two main approaches to meditation or mental cultivation (bhavana) taught in all forms of Buddhism, śamatha (Tib. Shine) and vipaśyanā (lhaktong). The practice of śamatha (calm abiding) is one of focusing one's mind on a single object such as a Buddha figure or the breath. Through repeated practice one's mind gradually becomes more stable, calm and happy. It is defined by Takpo Tashi Namgyal as "fixing the mind upon any object so as to maintain it without distraction...focusing the mind on an object and maintaining it in that state until finally it is channeled into one stream of attention and evenness."[127] The nine mental abidings is the main progressive framework used for śamatha in Tibetan Buddhism.[128] Once a meditator has reached the ninth level of this schema they achieve what is termed "pliancy" (Tib. shin tu sbyangs pa, Skt. prasrabdhi), defined as "a serviceability of mind and body such that the mind can be set on a virtuous object of observation as long as one likes; it has the function of removing all obstructions." This is also said to be very joyful and blissful for the body and the mind.[129] The other form of Buddhist meditation is vipaśyanā (clear seeing, higher insight), which in Tibetan Buddhism is generally practiced after having attained proficiency in śamatha.[130] This is generally seen as having two aspects, one of which is analytic meditation, which is based on contemplating and thinking rationally about ideas and concepts. As part of this process, entertaining doubts and engaging in internal debate over them is encouraged in some traditions.[131] The other type of vipaśyanā is a non-analytical, "simple" yogic style called trömeh in Tibetan, which means "without complication".[132] A meditation routine may involve alternating sessions of vipaśyanā to achieve deeper levels of realization, and samatha to consolidate them.[79] Preliminary practices See also: Ngöndro Buddhists performing prostrations in front of Jokhang Monastery. Vajrayāna is believed by Tibetan Buddhists to be the fastest method for attaining Buddhahood but for unqualified practitioners it can be dangerous.[133] To engage in it one must receive an appropriate initiation (also known as an "empowerment") from a lama who is fully qualified to give it. The aim of preliminary practices (ngöndro) is to start the student on the correct path for such higher teachings.[134] Just as Sutrayāna preceded Vajrayāna historically in India, so sutra practices constitute those that are preliminary to tantric ones. Preliminary practices include all Sutrayāna activities that yield merit like hearing teachings, prostrations, offerings, prayers and acts of kindness and compassion, but chief among the preliminary practices are realizations through meditation on the three principal stages of the path: renunciation, the altruistic bodhicitta wish to attain enlightenment and the wisdom realizing emptiness. For a person without the basis of these three in particular to practice Vajrayāna can be like a small child trying to ride an unbroken horse.[135] The most widespread preliminary practices include: taking refuge, prostration, Vajrasattva meditation, mandala offerings and guru yoga.[136] The merit acquired in the preliminary practices facilitates progress in Vajrayāna. While many Buddhists may spend a lifetime exclusively on sutra practices, an amalgam of the two to some degree is common. For example, in order to train in calm abiding, one might visualize a tantric deity. Guru yoga Main article: Guru yoga See also: Guru § In Buddhism As in other Buddhist traditions, an attitude of reverence for the teacher, or guru, is also highly prized.[137] At the beginning of a public teaching, a lama will do prostrations to the throne on which he will teach due to its symbolism, or to an image of the Buddha behind that throne, then students will do prostrations to the lama after he is seated. Merit accrues when one's interactions with the teacher are imbued with such reverence in the form of guru devotion, a code of practices governing them that derives from Indian sources.[138] By such things as avoiding disturbance to the peace of mind of one's teacher, and wholeheartedly following his prescriptions, much merit accrues and this can significantly help improve one's practice. There is a general sense in which any Tibetan Buddhist teacher is called a lama. A student may have taken teachings from many authorities and revere them all as lamas in this general sense. However, he will typically have one held in special esteem as his own root guru and is encouraged to view the other teachers who are less dear to him, however more exalted their status, as embodied in and subsumed by the root guru.[139] One particular feature of the Tantric view of teacher student relationship is that in Tibetan Buddhist Tantra, one is instructed to regard one's guru as an awakened Buddha.[140] Esotericism and vows The 14th Dalai Lama praying in the pavilion, closing the Kālacakra mandala and offering flowers, during a Kālacakra initiation in Washington, D.C., 2011. In Vajrayāna particularly, Tibetan Buddhists subscribe to a voluntary code of self-censorship, whereby the uninitiated do not seek and are not provided with information about it. This self-censorship may be applied more or less strictly depending on circumstances such as the material involved. A depiction of a mandala may be less public than that of a deity. That of a higher tantric deity may be less public than that of a lower. The degree to which information on Vajrayāna is now public in western languages is controversial among Tibetan Buddhists. Buddhism has always had a taste for esotericism since its earliest period in India.[141] Tibetans today maintain greater or lesser degrees of confidentiality also with information on the vinaya and emptiness specifically. In Buddhist teachings generally, too, there is caution about revealing information to people who may be unready for it. Practicing tantra also includes the maintaining of a separate set of vows, which are called Samaya (dam tshig). There are various lists of these and they may differ depending on the practice and one's lineage or individual guru. Upholding these vows is said to be essential for tantric practice and breaking them is said to cause great harm.[142] Ritual There has been a "close association" between the religious and the secular, the spiritual and the temporal[143] in Tibet. The term for this relationship is chos srid zung 'brel. Traditionally Tibetan lamas have tended to the lay populace by helping them with issues such as protection and prosperity. Common traditions have been the various rites and rituals for mundane ends, such as purifying one's karma, avoiding harm from demonic forces and enemies, and promoting a successful harvest.[144] Divination and exorcism are examples of practices a lama might use for this.[145] Ritual musical instruments from Tibet; MIM Brussels. Ritual is generally more elaborate than in other forms of Buddhism, with complex altar arrangements and works of art (such as mandalas and thangkas), many ritual objects, hand gestures (mudra), chants, and musical instruments.[92] The reading of the text – the 'lung' – during an empowerment for Chenrezig. A special kind of ritual called an initiation or empowerment (Sanskrit: Abhiseka, Tibetan: Wangkur) is central to Tantric practice. These rituals consecrate a practitioner into a particular Tantric practice associated with individual mandalas of deities and mantras. Without having gone through initiation, one is generally not allowed to practice the higher Tantras.[146] Another important ritual occasion in Tibetan Buddhism is that of mortuary rituals which are supposed to assure that one has a positive rebirth and a good spiritual path in the future.[147] Of central importance to Tibetan Buddhist Ars moriendi is the idea of the bardo (Sanskrit: antarābhava), the intermediate or liminal state between life and death.[147] Rituals and the readings of texts such as the Bardo Thodol are done to ensure that the dying person can navigate this intermediate state skillfully. Cremation and sky burial are traditionally the main funeral rites used to dispose of the body.[52] Mantra An elderly Tibetan woman with a prayer wheel inscribed with mantras Visualizing mantric syllables is a common form of meditation in Tibetan Buddhism. The use of (mainly Sanskrit) prayer formulas, incantations or phrases called mantras (Tibetan: sngags) is another widespread feature of Tibetan Buddhist practice.[140] So common is the use of mantras that Vajrayana is also sometimes called "Mantrayāna" (the mantra vehicle). Mantras are widely recited, chanted, written or inscribed, and visualized as part of different forms of meditation. Each mantra has symbolic meaning and will often have a connection to a particular Buddha or Bodhisattva.[148] Each deity's mantra is seen as symbolizing the function, speech and power of the deity.[149] Tibetan Buddhist practitioners repeat mantras like Om Mani Padme Hum in order to train the mind, and transform their thoughts in line with the divine qualities of the mantra's deity and special power.[150] Tibetan Buddhists see the etymology of the term mantra as meaning "mind protector", and mantras is seen as a way to guard the mind against negativity.[151] According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche: Mantras are effective because they help keep your mind quiet and peaceful, automatically integrating it into one-pointedness. They make your mind receptive to very subtle vibrations and thereby heighten your perception. Their recitation eradicates gross negativities and the true nature of things can then be reflected in your mind's resulting clarity. By practising a transcendental mantra, you can in fact purify all the defiled energy of your body, speech, and mind.[152] Mantras also serve to focus the mind as a samatha (calming) practice as well as a way to transform the mind through the symbolic meaning of the mantra. In Buddhism, it is important to have the proper intention, focus and faith when practicing mantras, if one does not, they will not work. Unlike in Hinduism, mantras are not believed to have inherent power of their own, and thus without the proper faith, intention and mental focus, they are just mere sounds.[153] Thus according to the Tibetan philosopher Jamgon Ju Mipham: if a mantra is thought to be something ordinary and not seen for what it is, it will not be able to perform its intended function. Mantras are like non-conceptual wish-fulfilling jewels. Infusing one's being with the blessings of mantra, like the form of a moon reflected on a body of water, necessitates the presence of faith and other conditions that set the stage for the spiritual attainments of mantra. Just as the moon's reflection cannot appear without water, mantras cannot function without the presence of faith and other such factors in one's being.[154] Mantras are part of the highest tantric practices in Tibetan Buddhism, such as Deity Yoga and are recited and visualized during tantric sadhanas. Thus, Tsongkhapa says that mantra "protects the mind from ordinary appearances and conceptions".[155] This is because in Tibetan Buddhist Tantric praxis, one must develop a sense that everything is divine. Tantric sadhana and yoga See also: Deity yoga Chöd sadhana, showing the use of Damaru drum and hand-bell, as well as the Kangling (thighbone trumpet) A section of the Northern wall mural at the Lukhang Temple depicting completion stage practice In what is called higher yoga tantra the emphasis is on various spiritual practices, called yogas (naljor) and sadhanas (druptap) which allow the practitioner to realize the true nature of reality.[94] Deity Yoga (Tibetan: lha'i rnal 'byor; Sanskrit: Devata-yoga) is a fundamental practice of Vajrayana Buddhism involving visualization of mental images consisting mainly of Buddhist deities such as Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and fierce deities, along mantra repetition. According to Geoffrey Samuel: If Buddhahood is a source of infinite potentiality accessible at any time, then the Tantric deities are in a sense partial aspects, refractions of that total potentiality. Visualizing one of these deities, or oneself identifying with one of them, is not, in Tibetan Tantric thought, a technique to worship an external entity. Rather, it is a way of accessing or tuning into something that is an intrinsic part of the structure of the universe—as of course is the practitioner him or herself.[156] Deity yoga involves two stages, the generation stage (utpattikrama) and the completion stage (nispannakrama). In the generation stage, one dissolves the mundane world and visualizes one's chosen deity (yidam), its mandala and companion deities, resulting in identification with this divine reality.[157] In the completion stage, one dissolves the visualization of and identification with the yidam in the realization ultimate reality. Completion stage practices can also include subtle body energy practices,[158] such as tummo (lit. "Fierce Woman", Skt. caṇḍālī, inner fire), as well as other practices that can be found in systems such as the Six Yogas of Naropa (like Dream Yoga, Bardo Yoga and Phowa) and the Six Vajra-yogas of Kalacakra. Dzogchen and Mahamudra Another form of high level Tibetan Buddhist practice are the meditations associated with the traditions of Mahāmudrā ("Great Seal") and Dzogchen ("Great Perfection"). These traditions focus on direct experience of the very nature of reality, which is variously termed dharmakaya, buddha nature, or the "basis' (gzhi). These techniques do not rely on deity yoga methods but on direct pointing-out instruction from a master and are often seen as the most advanced form of Buddhist practice.[159] The views and practices associated with Dzogchen and Mahāmudrā are also often seen as the culmination of the Buddhist path.[160] In some traditions, they are seen as a separate vehicle to liberation. In the Nyingma school (as well as in Bon), Dzogchen is considered to be a separate and independent vehicle (also called Atiyoga), as well as the highest of all vehicles.[161] Similarly, in Kagyu, Mahāmudrā is sometimes seen as a separate vehicle, the "Sahajayana" (Tibetan: lhen chig kye pa), also known as the vehicle of self-liberation.[162] Institutions and clergy Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the 16th Karmapa, with Freda Bedi (the first Western nun in Tibetan Buddhism), at Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim A small gompa (religious building) in Ladakh Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche, a tulku and a ngagpa (note the white and red robes) Buddhist monasticism is an important part of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, all the major and minor schools maintain large monastic institutions based on the Mulasarvastivada Vinaya (monastic rule) and many religious leaders come from the monastic community. That being said, there are also many religious leaders or teachers (called Lamas and Gurus) which are not celibate monastics. According to Geoffrey Samuel this is where "religious leadership in Tibetan Buddhism contrasts most strongly with much of the rest of the Buddhist world."[163] According to Namkhai Norbu, in Tibet, Tibetan lamas had four main types of lifestyles: those who were monks, living in monasteries; those who lived a lay life, with their homes in villages; lay masters who lived as tent-dwelling nomads, travelling with their disciples, in some cases following their herds; and those who were yogis, often living in caves.[164] Lamas are generally skilled and experienced tantric practitioners and ritual specialists in a specific initiation lineage and may be laypersons or monastics. They act not just as teachers, but as spiritual guides and guardians of the lineage teachings that they have received through a long and intimate process of apprenticeship with their Lamas.[165] Tibetan Buddhism also includes a number of lay clergy and lay tantric specialists, such as Ngagpas (Skt. mantrī), Gomchens, Serkyims, and Chödpas (practitioners of Chöd). According to Samuel, in the more remote parts of the Himalayas, communities were often led by lay religious specialists.[166] Thus, while the large monastic institutions were present in the regions of the Tibetan plateau which were more centralized politically, in other regions they were absent and instead smaller gompas and more lay oriented communities prevailed.[167] Samuel outlines four main types of religious communities in Tibet:[168] Small communities of lay practitioners attached to a temple and a lama. Lay practitioners might stay in the gompa for periodic retreats. Small communities of celibate monastics attached to a temple and a lama, often part of a village. Medium to large communities of celibate monastics. These could maintain several hundred monks and might have extensive land holdings, be financially independent, and sometimes also act as trading centers. Large teaching monasteries with thousands of monks, such as the big Gelug establishments of Sera (with over 6000 monks in the first half of the 20th century) and Drepung (over 7000).[169] In some cases a lama is the leader of a spiritual community. Some lamas gain their title through being part of particular family which maintains a lineage of hereditary lamas (and are thus often laypersons). One example is the Sakya family of Kon, who founded the Sakya school and another is the hereditary lamas of Mindrolling monastery.[170] In other cases, lamas may be seen as "Tülkus" ("incarnations"). Tülkus are figures which are recognized as reincarnations of a particular bodhisattva or a previous religious figure. They are often recognized from a young age through the use of divination and the use of the possessions of the deceased lama, and therefore are able to receive extensive training. They are sometimes groomed to become leaders of monastic institutions.[171] Examples include the Dalai Lamas and the Karmapas, each of which are seen as key leaders in their respective traditions. The system of incarnate lamas is popularly held to be a Tibetan alteration to Indian Buddhism. Another title unique to Tibetan Buddhism is that of Tertön (treasure discoverer), who are considered capable of revealing or discovering special revelations or texts called Termas (lit. "hidden treasure"). They are also associated with the idea of beyul ("hidden valleys"), which are power places associated with deities and hidden religious treasures.[172] Women in Tibetan Buddhism Further information: Women in Buddhism and Ordination of women in Buddhism Machig Labdrön, a famous female tantrika, teacher and founder of the Chöd lineage Painting of Ayu Khandro at Merigar West. The seat of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and The Dzogchen Community in Italy. Women in Tibetan society, though still unequal, tended to have a relatively greater autonomy and power than in surrounding societies. This might be because of the smaller household sizes and low population density in Tibet.[173] Women traditionally took many roles in Tibetan Buddhism, from lay supporters, to monastics, lamas and tantric practitioners. There is evidence for the importance of female practitioners in Indian Tantric Buddhism and pre-modern Tibetan Buddhism. At least one major lineage of tantric teachings, the Shangpa Kagyu, traces itself to Indian female teachers and there have been a series of important female Tibetan teachers, such as Yeshe Tsogyal and Machig Labdrön.[174] It seems that even though it might have been more difficult for women to become serious tantric yoginis, it was still possible for them to find lamas that would teach them high tantric practices. Some Tibetan women become lamas by being born in one of the hereditary lama families such as Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche and Sakya Jetsün Kushok Chimey Luding.[175] There have also been cases of influential female lamas who were also tertöns, such as Sera Khandro, Tare Lhamo and Ayu Khandro. Some of these figures were also tantric consorts (sangyum, kandroma) with male lamas, and thus took part in the sexual practices associated with the highest levels of tantric practice.[176] Nuns While monasticism is practiced there by women, it is much less common (2 percent of the population in the 20th century compared to 12 percent of men). Nuns were also much less respected by Tibetan society than monks and may receive less lay support than male monastics.[177] Traditionally, Tibetan Buddhist nuns were also not "fully ordained" as bhikṣuṇīs (who take the full set of monastic vows in the Vinaya). When Buddhism traveled from India to Tibet, apparently the quorum of bhikṣuṇīs required for bestowing full ordination never reached Tibet.[178][note 5] Despite an absence of ordination there, bhikṣuṇīs did travel to Tibet. A notable example was the Sri Lankan nun Candramāla, whose work with Śrījñāna (Wylie: dpal ye shes) resulted in the tantric text Śrīcandramāla Tantrarāja.[note 6][179] There are accounts of fully ordained Tibetan women, such as the Samding Dorje Phagmo (1422–1455), who was once ranked the highest female master and tulku in Tibet, but very little is known about the exact circumstances of their ordination.[180] In the modern era, Tibetan Buddhist nuns have taken full ordinations through East Asian Vinaya lineages.[181] The Dalai Lama has authorized followers of the Tibetan tradition to be ordained as nuns in traditions that have such ordination.[note 7] Western nuns and lamas Buddhist author Michaela Haas notes that Tibetan Buddhism is undergoing a sea change in the West, with women playing a much more central role.[184] Freda Bedi[note 8] was a British woman who was the first Western woman to take ordination in Tibetan Buddhism, which occurred in 1966.[185] Pema Chödrön was the first American woman to be ordained as a Buddhist nun in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.[186][187] In 2010 the first Tibetan Buddhist nunnery in America, Vajra Dakini Nunnery in Vermont, was officially consecrated. It offers novice ordination and follows the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Buddhism. The abbot of the Vajra Dakini nunnery is Khenmo Drolma, an American woman, who is the first bhikṣuṇī in the Drikung lineage of Buddhism, having been ordained in Taiwan in 2002.[188][189] She is also the first westerner, male or female, to be installed as an abbot in the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Buddhism, having been installed as the abbot of the Vajra Dakini Nunnery in 2004.[188] The Vajra Dakini Nunnery does not follow The Eight Garudhammas.[190] In April 2011, the Institute for Buddhist Dialectical Studies (IBD) in Dharamsala, India, conferred the degree of geshe, a Tibetan Buddhist academic degree for monastics, on Kelsang Wangmo, a German nun, thus making her the world's first female geshe.[191][192] In 2013 Tibetan women were able to take the geshe exams for the first time.[193] In 2016 twenty Tibetan Buddhist nuns became the first Tibetan women to earn geshe degrees.[194][195] Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo gained international attention in the late 1980s as the first Western woman to be a Penor Rinpoche enthroned tulku within the Nyingma Palyul.[196] Major lineages The Tibetan Rime (non-sectarian) scholar Jamgon Kongtrul, in his Treasury of Knowledge, outlines the "Eight Great Practice Lineages" which were transmitted to Tibet. His approach is not concerned with "schools" or sects, but rather focuses on the transmission of crucial meditation teachings. They are:[197] The Nyingma traditions, associated with the first transmission figures such as Shantarakshita, Padmasambhava and King Trisong Deutsen and with Dzogchen teachings. The Kadam Lineage, associated with Atisha and his pupil Dromtön (1005–1064). Lamdré, traced back to the Indian Mahasiddha Virupa, and today preserved in the Sakya school. Marpa Kagyu, the lineage which stems from Marpa, Milarepa and Gampopa, practices Mahamudra and the Six Dharmas of Naropa, and includes the four major and eight minor Kagyu lineages. Shangpa Kagyu, the lineage of Niguma Shyijé and Chöd which originate from Padampa Sangyé and Machig Labdrön. Dorje Naljor Druk (the 'Six Branch Practice of Vajrayoga') which is derived from the Kalachakra lineage. Dorje sumgyi nyendrup ('Approach and Accomplishment of the Three Vajras'), from the mahasiddha Orgyenpa Rinchen Pal. Tibetan Buddhist schools There are various schools or traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. The four main traditions overlap markedly, such that "about eighty percent or more of the features of the Tibetan schools are the same".[198] Differences include the use of apparently, but not actually, contradictory terminology, opening dedications of texts to different deities and whether phenomena are described from the viewpoint of an unenlightened practitioner or of a Buddha.[198] On questions of philosophy, there has historically been disagreement regarding the nature of Yogacara and Buddha-nature teachings (and whether these are of expedient meaning or ultimate meaning), which still colours the current presentations of sunyata (emptiness) and ultimate reality.[199][200][201] The 19th century Rimé movement downplayed these differences, as still reflected in the stance of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, who states that there are no fundamental differences between these schools.[202] However, there are still philosophical disagreements between the different traditions, such as the debate regarding rangtong and shentong interpretations of Madhyamaka philosophy.[203] The four major schools are sometimes divided into the Nyingma (or "Old Translation") and Sarma (or "New Translation") traditions, which follow different canons of scripture (the Nyingma Gyubum along with Termas and the Tengyur-Kangyur respectively). Each school also traces itself to a certain lineage going back to India as well as certain important Tibetan founders. While all the schools share most practices and methods, each school tends to have a certain preferred focus (see table below). Another common but trivial differentiation is into the Yellow Hat (Gelug) and Red Hat (non-Gelug) sects. The features of each major school (along with one influential minor school, Jonang) is as follows:[204] School Nyingma Kadam (defunct) Kagyu Sakya Gelug Jonang Traditions Old Translation New Translation New Translation New Translation New Translation New Translation Origin Developed from the 8th century onwards Founded in the 11th century by Atiśa and his students. Ceased to exist as an independent school by the 16th century. Transmitted by Marpa in the 11th century. Dagpo Kagyu was founded in the 12th century by Gampopa. Sakya Monastery founded in 1073. Dates to 1409 with the founding of Ganden monastery Dates to the 12th century Emphasis Emphasizes Dzogchen and its texts, as well as the Guhyagarbha Tantra Emphasizes classic Mahayana study and practice in a monastic setting, source of lojong and lamrim Emphasizes Mahamudra and the Six Dharmas of Naropa Favors the Hevajra Tantra as the basis of their Lamdre system Focuses on Guhyasamāja Tantra, the Cakrasamvara Tantra, and the Kalacakra Tantra Focuses on Kalacakra Tantra and Ratnagotravibhāga Key figures Śāntarakṣita, Garab Dorje, Vimalamitra, Padmasambhava, Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo, Longchenpa, and Jamgön Ju Mipham Gyatso. Atiśa, Dromtön, Ngog Legpai Sherab, Ngog Loden Sherab, Chaba Chokyi Senge, and Patsab Nyima Drakpa. Maitripada, Naropa, Tilopa, Marpa, Milarepa, and Gampopa. Naropa, Ratnākaraśānti, the founder Drogmi, Khon Konchog Gyalpo, Sakya Pandita and Gorampa. Atisa, his disciple Dromtön, the founder of Gelug Je Tsongkhapa, and the Dalai Lamas. Yumo Mikyo Dorje, Dolpopa, and Taranatha In his work, The Four Dharma Traditions of the Land of Tibet, Mipham Rinpoche described the four main schools as follows: Nyingma followers of Secret Mantra emphasize the actual tantra. They pursue the highest view and delight in conduct that is stable. Many reach the vidyādhara levels and attain accomplishment, And many are mantrins, whose power is greater than others. Kagyü followers, the protectors of beings, emphasize devotion. Many find that receiving the lineage's blessings is sufficient. And many gain accomplishment through perseverance in the practice They are similar to, and mix together with, the Nyingmapas. The Riwo Gendenpas (i.e. Gelugpas) emphasize the ways of the learned. They are fond of analytical meditation and delight in debate. And they impress all with their elegant, exemplary conduct. They are popular, prosperous, and put effort into learning. The glorious Sakyapas emphasize approach and accomplishment. Many are blessed through the power of recitation and visualisation, They value their own ways and their regular practice is excellent. When compared to any other school, they have something of them all. Ema! All four dharma traditions of this land of Tibet Have but one real source, even if they arose individually. Whichever one you follow, if you practise it properly It can bring the qualities of learning and accomplishment. There is another minor sect, the Bodong school. This tradition was founded in 1049 by the Kadam teacher Mudra Chenpo, who also established the Bodong E Monastery. Its most famous teacher was Bodong Penchen Lénam Gyelchok (1376–1451) who authored over one hundred and thirty-five volumes. This tradition is also known for maintaining a female tulku lineage of incarnated lamas called the Samding Dorje Phagmo. While Yungdrung Bon considers itself a separate religion with pre-Buddhist origins, and it is considered as non-Buddhist by the main Tibetan traditions, it shares so many similarities and practices with mainstream Tibetan Buddhism that some scholars such as Geoffrey Samuel see it as "essentially a variant of Tibetan Buddhism".[205] Yungdrung Bon is closely related to Nyingma Buddhism, and includes Dzogchen teachings, similar deities, rituals and forms of monasticism. Glossary of terms used English spoken Tibetan Wylie Tibetan Sanskrit transliteration affliction nyönmong nyon-mongs kleśa analytic meditation jegom dpyad-sgom yauktika dhyāna calm abiding shiné zhi-gnas śamatha devotion to the guru lama-la tenpa bla-ma-la bsten-pa guruparyupāsati fixation meditation joggom 'jog-sgom nibandhita dhyāna foundational vehicle t’ek män theg sman hīnayāna incarnate lama tülku sprul-sku nirmānakāya inherent existence rangzhingi drubpa rang-bzhin-gyi grub-pa svabhāvasiddha mind of enlightenment changchub sem byang-chhub sems bodhicitta motivational training lojong blo-sbyong autsukya dhyāna omniscience t’amcé k’yempa thams-cad mkhyen-pa sarvajña preliminary practices ngöndro sngon-'gro prārambhika kriyāni root guru zawé lama rtsa-ba'i bla-ma mūlaguru stages of the path lamrim lam-rim pātheya transmission and realisation lungtok lung-rtogs āgamādhigama See also Buddhism in Sri Lanka Buddhist deities Chinese Buddhism Chinese Esoteric Buddhism Death horoscopes in Tibetan Buddhism Derge Parkhang History of Tibetan Buddhism Karma in Tibetan Buddhism Keydong Thuk-Che-Cho-Ling Nunnery Kum Nye Mahamudra Milarepa Nagarjuna Ngagpa Padmasambhava Pure Land Buddhism Samaya Schools of Buddhism Shambhala Buddhism Songs of realization Taklung Tangpa Tibetan art Category:Tibetan Buddhist spiritual teachers Tibetan prayer flag Tibetan prayer wheel Traditional Tibetan medicine Wrathful deities Notes  Also known as Tibeto-Mongol Buddhism, Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, Lamaism, Lamaistic Buddhism, Himalayan Buddhism, and Northern Buddhism  和尚摩訶衍; his name consists of the same Chinese characters used to transliterate "Mahayana" (Tibetan: Hwa shang Mahayana)  Kamalaśīla wrote the three Bhāvanākrama texts (修習次第三篇) after that.  However, a Chinese source found in Dunhuang written by Mo-ho-yen says their side won, and some scholars conclude that the entire episode is fictitious.[22][23]  Under the Mulasarvastivadin Vinaya, as with the two other extant Vinaya lineages today (Theravada and Dharmaguptaka), in order to ordain bhikṣuṇīs, there must be quorums of both bhikṣuṇīs and bhikṣus; without both, a woman cannot be ordained as a nun (Tibetan: དགེ་སློང་མ་, THL: gélongma).  Tibetan: དཔལ་ཟླ་བའི་ཕྲེང་བའི་རྒྱུད་ཀྱི་རྒྱལ་པོ, Chinese: 吉祥月鬘本續王  According to Thubten Chodron, the current Dalai Lama has said on this issue:[182] In 2005, the Dalai Lama repeatedly spoke about the bhikṣuṇī ordination in public gatherings. In Dharamsala, he encouraged, "We need to bring this to a conclusion. We Tibetans alone can't decide this. Rather, it should be decided in collaboration with Buddhists from all over the world. Speaking in general terms, were the Buddha to come to this 21st century world, I feel that most likely, seeing the actual situation in the world now, he might change the rules somewhat...." Later, in Zürich during a 2005 conference of Tibetan Buddhist Centers, he said, "Now I think the time has come; we should start a working group or committee" to meet with monks from other Buddhist traditions. Looking at the German bhikṣuṇī Jampa Tsedroen, he instructed, "I prefer that Western Buddhist nuns carry out this work… Go to different places for further research and discuss with senior monks (from various Buddhist countries). I think, first, senior bhikshunis need to correct the monks' way of thinking. "This is the 21st century. Everywhere we are talking about equality….Basically Buddhism needs equality. There are some really minor things to remember as a Buddhist—a bhikshu always goes first, then a bhikshuni….The key thing is the restoration of the bhikshuni vow." Alexander Berzin referred to the Dalai Lama having said on occasion of the 2007 Hamburg congress: Sometimes in religion there has been an emphasis on male importance. In Buddhism, however, the highest vows, namely the bhikshu and bhikshuni ones, are equal and entail the same rights. This is the case despite the fact that in some ritual areas, due to social custom, bhikshus go first. But Buddha gave the basic rights equally to both sangha groups. There is no point in discussing whether or not to revive the bhikshuni ordination; the question is merely how to do so properly within the context of the Vinaya.[183]  Sometimes spelled Frida Bedi, also named Sister Palmo, or Gelongma Karma Kechog Palmo Palden Gyatso, a Tibetan Buddhist monk who defied Chinese control of his homeland, and who then fled to tell the world his story of more than three decades of hardship in Chinese prisons and labor camps, died on Nov. 30 in Dharamsala, India. He was 85. The cause was liver cancer, said a spokesman for Free Tibet, a nonprofit organization dedicated to Tibetan liberation. Mr. Gyatso’s soft voice became one of the strongest against Beijing’s continuing hold on his homeland after China occupied it in 1950, vanquished Tibet’s army in a matter of days and signed an agreement with Tibetan officials granting it control, beginning what many Tibetans consider a long and brutal occupation. The Chinese Communist Party has argued that Tibet has long been a culturally distinct part of China. But in the nearly seven decades since the occupation, China has kept a grip on Tibetan monasteries, even destroying some, and restricted aspects of Tibetan culture, like the Tibetan language and Buddhist religious practices. China has said that reports of human rights abuses and detention camps for political agitators there are unfounded. But Mr. Gyatso painted a different picture.He said he was first imprisoned in 1959, having been arrested in an uprising that ended after the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual and governmental leader, escaped to India. He remained incarcerated almost continuously until 1992, he said, enduring starvation, hard labor and torture.Inmates, especially political prisoners, often subsisted on one watery cup of barley soup a day, Mr. Gyatso said, adding that he survived by sucking the marrow from bones and chewing on the leather of his shoes.His captors made political prisoners pull plows as if they were “human yaks,” he said, and then beat them when they were too exhausted to work. He spent long periods shackled at the ankles and hanging by the arms from chains.Guards beat him with metal bars, whipped him and shocked him with cattle prods, he said. One guard jammed a cattle prod down his throat, shocking him unconscious and knocking out many teeth.All Mr. Gyatso had to do to end the torment, he said, was to agree with his captors that Tibet was historically a part of China, and that it should remain so. “Of course, I would never say that Tibet is not independent,” Mr. Gyatso said in an interview with Peace Magazine in 1998. Editors’ Picks What Happens When A.I. Enters the Concert Hall Her Symptoms Suggested Long Covid. But Was That Too Obvious? Colombia’s Mustard Lovers Grow Desperate Amid Saucy Shortage of Dijon Image In a news conference in Paris in 1995, Mr. Gyatso displayed the kinds of instruments of torture that he said had been used against him during his long years of incarceration. In a news conference in Paris in 1995, Mr. Gyatso displayed the kinds of instruments of torture that he said had been used against him during his long years of incarceration.Credit...Michel Lipchitz/Associated Press The Chinese government released Mr. Gyatso in 1992 — in part, he said, because of pressure from groups like Amnesty International and protests by Tibetan exiles. Before he was released, he contacted a friend outside prison and asked him to bribe an officer for examples of the torture implements that had been used on him. He slipped out of Tibet for India that October, with the tools of torture hidden beneath his clothes. Mr. Gyatso shared that evidence and told his story at protests around the globe. In 1995, he spoke before the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva and a human rights subcommittee of the House of Representatives in Washington. Two years later he published a vivid memoir, written with, and translated by, Tsering Shakya. The memoir inspired a documentary film about Mr. Gyatso, “Fire Under the Snow” (2008), directed by Makoto Sasa. “His sense of the justice of our cause and his indignation at what has been done to so many Tibetans are so urgent that he has not rested,” the Dalai Lama wrote in a foreword to the memoir. “Having for years resisted Communist Chinese efforts to conceal and distort it, he has seized the opportunity to tell the world the truth about Tibet.” Ngodup, as Mr. Gyatso was named at birth, was born in 1933 to a family that tended sheep and goats in the village of Panam, in southern Tibet. (Like many people born in rural Tibet at the time, he was not sure of his exact date of birth.) His father was the village headman, and his mother died when Mr. Gyatso was young. Image Mr. Gyatso, left, and other Tibetan monks during a march from San Diego to Los Angeles in 2000 in support of Tibetan independence. Mr. Gyatso, left, and other Tibetan monks during a march from San Diego to Los Angeles in 2000 in support of Tibetan independence.Credit...Fred Greaves/Associated Press When he was 10 he became a monk at the centuries-old Gadong Monastery, where the rinpoche, or spiritual leader, named him Palden Gyatso, meaning “glorious ocean.” He completed his training at Drepung Monastery, on the outskirts of Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, when he was 18. Mr. Gyatso lived in exile in Dharamsala, which is also home to the Dalai Lama, and died in a hospital there. He was known to have siblings, but complete information about his survivors was not available. The Free Tibet spokesman said that the Chinese government had lifted some restrictions on Tibetan religious practices, but that monasteries were required to demonstrate allegiance to the People’s Republic of China. Monks can still be arrested for possessing photographs of the Dalai Lama. There has been a rash of self-immolation protests by Tibetan monks in the last decade, and criticism of Chinese human rights violations has spiked with reports of Beijing’s detention of hundreds of thousands of Uighur and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, a far western region of China. But autonomy for Tibet does not seem much more likely than it did when Mr. Gyatso was released in 1992. His long incarceration was broken up by brief periods of freedom, after he either escaped or was released. In one instance, in the early 1980s, Mr. Gyatso was caught with a Tibetan flag, writings by the Dalai Lama and materials to make posters proclaiming a free Tibet. He was soon back in prison. “I never regretted what I did,” he told Dharma Life magazine in 1997. “I did not put up the posters to alleviate my own suffering, but for the good of Tibet. The whole country was in prison, so it was not important what happened to me.” The International Campaign for Tibet mourns the loss of Ven. Palden Gyatso, who endured more than 30 years of torture and imprisonment in Chinese prisons and labor camps in Tibet and died today, Nov. 30, in Dharamsala, India, at the age of 85. The Dalai Lama described Palden’s life as “one of the most extraordinary stories of suffering and endurance,” saying that he was “an inspiration to us all.” “Individuals like Palden Gyatso,” the Dalai Lama wrote in a foreword to Palden’s book “Fire Under the Snow,” “reveal that the human values of compassion, patience and a sense of responsibility for our own actions that lie at the core of spiritual practice still survive. His story is an inspiration to us all.” In a statement on Nov. 30, Congressman Chris Smith, who was deeply impacted by Palden Gyatso’s story (during his testimony in 1995) said, “With the passing of Palden Gyatso the world has lost a powerful voice for freedom and human rights. I once chaired a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing where he delivered moving and unforgettable testimony about his 33 year imprisonment in China. He was horribly tortured, his body scarred and bent, but he forgave his captors then worked tirelessly to expose their misdeeds and the misdeeds committed by the Chinese Communist Party against the Tibetan people. We mourn this loss, but are comforted by the fact that Palden Gyatso left behind a legacy that will live on among Tibetan advocates for freedom and human rights.” Prior to his death, Palden, who passed away peacefully after increasing infirmity, was in Delek Hospital in Dharamsala being cared for by monks at Kirti monastery. He lived through one of the most harrowing eras in Tibetan history, enduring virtual starvation during the famine from 1959 to 62 and unimaginable torture and maltreatment for his refusal to ‘reform’ and give up his Buddhist faith and identity. He was born in Panam in central Tibet, and as a child lived together with an extended family of cousins, aunts and uncles—29 altogether—in a large house. On Palden’s release from prison in 1992, most of his family were dead, killed by executions, starvation or torture. None of them had ever been able to visit him during his 33 years in prison. In prison, Palden said in his 1997 autobiography, written with Tsering Shakya, “We all learned to live as though we were orphans, with no parents or brothers or sisters or even friends in the outside world.” With typical restraint and understatement, he added: “This was perhaps easier for me as a monk than it was for some other prisoners.” At the age of 10, Palden became a monk at Gadrug Gompa in Shigatse and studied there until he was 16. He then moved to Drepung, one of the three great monasteries in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. Palden had grown up with an understanding of his country’s tragic history from his father (his mother died a month after his birth). He remembered his father, a devout Buddhist, telling him about an independent Tibet before China’s invasion when he was a small child. On March 10, 1959, at the age of 28, Palden went to Lhasa on monastic business. He was intercepted by a young government official who had told him that he had been sent to summon all the monks to the Norbulingka, the Dalai Lama’s summer residence. The Dalai Lama had been attempting wary conciliations with the Chinese rulers of Tibet, but fears had grown that they would attempt to kidnap the Tibetans’ beloved leader. Later in life, Palden remembered how the official’s voice began to tremble when he told them that the Chinese were intending to take the Dalai Lama to China. When he arrived at the Norbulingka, Palden saw that the entire population of Lhasa was out on the streets. This was the beginning of an uprising. Palden volunteered to be among a group of monks prepared to stand guard and protect His Holiness, and they pasted posters asserting Tibet’s independence. The women of Lhasa held their own protest, led by Kundeling Kunsang— later, in prison, Palden witnessed her execution. There was never a chance to fight back. In a horrifying crackdown, the shelling of the Norbulingka began and Drepung came under attack. The thousands of dead would never know that the beloved leader they were seeking to protect later managed to reach safety in India, unharmed. Palden and two friends took a 72-year old monk named Gyen, Palden’s mentor and teacher, on their backs and carried him away to a place of safety. This would only be temporary. In his book, Palden recalls undergoing ‘struggle sessions’ with Chinese officials who came to ‘re-educate’ them in the crackdown after the uprising. Once, Chinese officials showed an elderly monk friend of Palden’s a thick wool gown and asked him where it came from. “Wool – from a sheep,” the monk said, starting to cry because he did not know what was expected of him. His answer was incorrect. He had failed to take into account the labor of the serfs, he was told. In the chaos of those years, Palden was branded a “reactionary counter-revolutionary” and after undergoing harsh interrogation, involving a gun being put to his head, he was imprisoned in 1960. For around six months of his early imprisonment, he was held in leg irons with a metal bar that made it almost impossible to walk, and he could only move by shuffling. Palden relied on his cellmates for everything; he could not even eat without their assistance. One prisoner would take a handful of tsampa (roasted barley flour) and make it into dough, then put it on the bed next to his mouth, and he would take small bites from it. Even in his 80s, Palden was still moved by the memory of their kindness. The famine in Tibet in the 1960s led to thousands of deaths outside prison as well as inside. Palden said all the prisoners were driven by hunger. “We thought of nothing else. Some prisoners would eat the bones of dead rats or insects they found in the fields. I soaked my leather boots in water and began to chew on them. Soon there was nothing left.” Palden and other prisoners held in Drapchi at that time were forced to work for nine hours a day, frequently harnessed in a yoke and made to plough the land. Hunger became the cruelest punishment. But prisoners could not stop working, otherwise they would be beaten almost to death. In the mornings, prisoners did not have the strength to raise their heads without pushing them up with their hands. Palden remembered that every day Chinese officials would come into the jail with a cart pulled by three horses. They would load the cart with people who had died overnight or in the plough harness. Prisoners could see heads rolling about over the edge. Palden was compelled to witness many executions during the Cultural Revolution. He said once that some died of fear before they were shot with a bullet to the back of the head. Prisoners were forced to remain completely silent and to show no signs of grief. But often, they wept. During endless re-education sessions, punishments were cruel and violent. When prisoners adopted a cross-legged posture for the sessions, they were accused of showing feudal respect to the Buddha and were forced to squat, emulating PLA soldiers. Palden was so badly tortured at one point after another prisoner accused him of making a water offering—a ritual in which you dip your finger in water and sprinkle it into the air as an offering to the deities—that he told guards to kill him. They accused him of being an “evil reactionary.” In 1987, when a group of Drepung monks took to the streets to call for independence—sparking a three-year wave of demonstrations in Lhasa—a new era began in prison. Palden recalled a new atmosphere of camaraderie and defiance, with a younger generation in prison for protesting. Palden marveled: “They had been raised under the Red Flag, yet they had discarded Communism and demanded ‘Bo Rangzen,’ freedom for Tibet.” Palden became known in the West after visiting Britain, Italy, Portugal and the US in 1995, bringing with him a collection of torture implements, some still stained with blood that he smuggled from Tibet after bribing a Chinese prison official. In April 1995, while in Washington, D.C. he testified before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights on the situation in Tibet. His testimony left a lasting impact on then Chairman of the Subcommittee, Congressman Chris Smith. Similarly, in June 1998 he joined Members of Congress, Tibetan leaders and human rights activists gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. to share his story at the National Day of Action for Tibet. In a poem called ‘Tibet’s Secret,’ the Tibetan writer Tsering Woeser wrote of the impression he made on her life: “It was only on the Web I saw, spread out before an old lama, An array of handcuffs, leg-irons, daggers, Electrified batons that can be put to various uses. He had a hollow face, with wrinkles like ravines, But you could still make out the splendor of his youth And a beauty not of this world: for when he left home, still a boy, He had to sublimate his outward charms to the energy of Lord Buddha.” His presence made a deep emotional impact on Tibet supporters across the globe, many of whom retained connections with him for many years afterward. In London, on his first visit, he was taken to the dentist and given an entire set of false teeth. His beaming smile afterward was unforgettable and hard to reconcile with how he had lost his teeth in his last period of imprisonment when a Tibetan guard named Paljor, furious over Palden’s refusal to renounce Tibetan independence, tortured him with an electric shock baton in his mouth. The torture was so brutal that one of the Chinese guards ran out of the room in disgust. Even so Palden’s spirit remained undimmed. In spring 1991, he and his fellow inmates heard of a foreign delegation visit to inspect Drapchi Prison. They prepared a petition describing the reality of prison life and the use of torture, a story that is fully documented in “Fire Under the Snow.” The visitor was then U.S. Ambassador to China James Lilley. He was given the letter, but within seconds a Chinese girl with the delegation snatched it from his hands. The consequences were terrible. One by one, all the political prisoners were shackled, taken to the interrogation room, beaten and thrown into solitary confinement. Palden wrote that even so, “The prisoners were unyielding. They said openly that they would prefer to die rather than submit to the Chinese. […] For those who use brute force, there is nothing more insulting than a victim’s refusal to acknowledge their power. The human body can bear immeasurable pain and yet recover. Wounds can heal. But once your spirit is broken, everything falls apart. So we did not allow ourselves to feel dejected. We draw strength from our convictions and, above all, from our belief that we were fighting for justice and for the freedom of our country.” As the Dalai Lama notes in his foreword to Palden’s book, having reached the safety of exile, Palden did not give up, but persisted and wasted no opportunity to tell the world the truth about Tibet. In 2006, Palden, then 74, joined two other Tibetans to go on hunger strike after the International Olympics Committee decided to award the 2008 Games to Beijing. They called for the IOC to pressure China to improve the human rights situation in Tibet and China; for China to disclose the details concerning the whereabouts of the Panchen Lama—the second highest ranking figure in Tibetan Buddhism, who was abducted by China as a six-year-old boy in 1995—and for China to unconditionally and immediately release all Tibetan political prisoners. “My story is not a glamorous one of high lamas and exotic ritual, but of how a simple monk succeeded in surviving the destructive forces of a totalitarian ideology.” These are the words of Palden Gyatso, and his story is an unforgettable journey into the heart of Tibet and an enduring testimony to the strength of the human spirit and its quest for freedom. Palden Gyatso was born in a Tibetan village in 1933 and became an ordained Buddhist monk eighteen years later. Through sheer determination, he won a place as a student at Deprung Monastery, one of Tibet’s “Three Greats,” where he came to spiritual and intellectual maturity. However, Tibet was enduring political changes that would soon alter his life irrevocably. When Communist China invaded Tibet in 1950, it embarked on a program of land reform and “thought reform” that would eventually affect all of Tibet’s citizens and nearly decimate its ancient culture. Under Mao, Tibet’s sovereignty was systematically destroyed: books were burned, history altered, and art plundered in the name of ‘reuniting” Tibet with China. The religious orders were denounced as exploitative and monks were forced to attend pro-socialist study sessions in place of study and worship. In 1959, along with thousands of other monks, Palden Gyatso was forced into labor camps and prisons. He would spend the next thirty-three years of his life being tortured, interrogated, and persecuted simply for the strength of his beliefs, for being a monk. In 1992 Palden Gyatso was released from prison and escaped across the Himalayas to India, smuggling with him the instruments of his torture. Since then, he has devoted himself to revealing the extent of Chinese oppression in Tibet and the atrocities he endured. Palden Gyatso’s story bears witness to the resilience of the human spirit and to the strength of Tibet’s proud civilization, faced with cultural genocide. Tags BUDDHISM/GENERAL (SEE ALSO PHILOSOPHY/BUDDHIST) ASIA/GENERAL RELIGIOUS Praise “I believe that few readers of this book will fail to be moved by Palden Gyatso’s story and the tenacity and dedication it displays. Like Palden Gyatso, I am optimistic…. If he has proved nothing else, Palden Gyatso has demonstrated that we are not helpless and that even individuals can make a difference.” –the Dalai Lama, from the Foreword “In writing this wrenching memoir of extraordinary suffering, resistance, and endurance, Palden Gyatso has testified not only to the pain of countless individuals but to the devastation of a nation.” –The New York Times Book Review “[Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk] gives a devastating account of terror and brutal oppression within the Chinese prison system.” –Stephanie Innes, The Arizona Daily Star “To readers of this memoir, however untraveled, Tibet will never again seem remote or unfamiliar. . . . Gyatso reminds us that the language of suffering is universal.” –Library Journal “Has the ring of undeniable truth . . . Palden Gyatso’s clear-sighted eloquence (in Tsering Shakya’s fluent translation) makes his tale even more engrossing.” –San Francisco Chronicle Book Review Tibet (/tɪˈbɛt/ (listen); Tibetan: བོད་, Lhasa dialect: [pʰøː˨˧˩] Böd; Chinese: 西藏; pinyin: Xīzàng) is a region in the central part of East Asia, covering much of the Tibetan Plateau and spanning about 2,500,000 km2 (970,000 sq mi). It is the homeland of the Tibetan people. Also resident on the plateau are some other ethnic groups such as the Monpa, Tamang, Qiang, Sherpa and Lhoba peoples and, since the 20th century, considerable numbers of Han Chinese and Hui settlers. Since the 1951 annexation of Tibet by the People's Republic of China, the entire plateau has been under the administration of the People's Republic of China. Tibet is divided administratively into the Tibet Autonomous Region, and parts of the Qinghai and Sichuan provinces. Tibet is also constitutionally claimed by the Republic of China (Taiwan) as the Tibet Area since 1912. Tibet is the highest region on Earth, with an average elevation of 4,380 m (14,000 ft).[1][2] Located in the Himalayas, the highest elevation in Tibet is Mount Everest, Earth's highest mountain, rising 8,848.86 m (29,032 ft) above sea level.[3] The Tibetan Empire emerged in the 7th century. At its height in the 9th century, the Tibetan Empire extended far beyond the Tibetan Plateau, from the Tarim Basin and Pamirs in the west, to Yunnan and Bengal in the southeast. It then divided into a variety of territories. The bulk of western and central Tibet (Ü-Tsang) was often at least nominally unified under a series of Tibetan governments in Lhasa, Shigatse, or nearby locations. The eastern regions of Kham and Amdo often maintained a more decentralized indigenous political structure, being divided among a number of small principalities and tribal groups, while also often falling under Chinese rule; most of this area was eventually annexed into the Chinese provinces of Sichuan and Qinghai. The current borders of Tibet were generally established in the 18th century.[4] Following the Xinhai Revolution against the Qing dynasty in 1912, Qing soldiers were disarmed and escorted out of the Tibet Area (Ü-Tsang). The region subsequently declared its independence in 1913, although this was not recognised by the subsequent Chinese Republican government.[5] Later, Lhasa took control of the western part of Xikang. The region maintained its autonomy until 1951 when, following the Battle of Chamdo, Tibet was occupied and annexed by the People's Republic of China. The Tibetan government was abolished after the failure of the 1959 Tibetan uprising.[6] Today, China governs western and central Tibet as the Tibet Autonomous Region while the eastern areas are now mostly autonomous prefectures within Sichuan, Qinghai and other neighbouring provinces. The Tibetan independence movement[7] is principally led by the Tibetan diaspora.[8] Human rights groups have accused the Chinese government of abuses of human rights in Tibet, including torture.[9][10] With the growth of tourism in recent years, the service sector has become the largest sector in Tibet, accounting for 50.1% of the local GDP in 2020.[11] The dominant religion in Tibet is Tibetan Buddhism; other religions include Bön, an indigenous religion similar to Tibetan Buddhism,[12] Islam, and Christianity. Tibetan Buddhism is a primary influence on the art, music, and festivals of the region. Tibetan architecture reflects Chinese and Indian influences. Staple foods in Tibet are roasted barley, yak meat, and butter tea. Names Map of the approximate extent of the three provinces, Ü-Tsang, Amdo, and Kham, of the Tibetan Empire (8th century) overlaid on a map of modern borders Main article: Definitions of Tibet The Tibetan name for their land, Bod (བོད་), means 'Tibet' or 'Tibetan Plateau', although it originally meant the central region around Lhasa, now known in Tibetan as Ü (དབུས).[citation needed] The Standard Tibetan pronunciation of Bod ([pʰøʔ˨˧˨]) is transcribed as: Bhö in Tournadre Phonetic Transcription; Bö in the THL Simplified Phonetic Transcription; and Poi in Tibetan pinyin. Some scholars believe the first written reference to Bod ('Tibet') was the ancient Bautai people recorded in the Egyptian-Greek works Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (1st century CE) and Geographia (Ptolemy, 2nd century CE),[13] itself from the Sanskrit form Bhauṭṭa of the Indian geographical tradition.[14] The modern Standard Chinese exonym for the ethnic Tibetan region is Zangqu (Chinese: 藏区; pinyin: Zàngqū), which derives by metonymy from the Tsang region around Shigatse plus the addition of a Chinese suffix qū (区), which means 'area, district, region, ward'. Tibetan people, language, and culture, regardless of where they are from, are referred to as Zang (Chinese: 藏; pinyin: Zàng), although the geographical term Xīzàng is often limited to the Tibet Autonomous Region. The term Xīzàng was coined during the Qing dynasty in the reign of the Jiaqing Emperor (1796–1820) through the addition of the prefix xī (西, 'west') to Zang.[citation needed] The best-known medieval Chinese name for Tibet is Tubo (Chinese: 吐蕃; or Tǔbō, 土蕃 or Tǔfān, 土番). This name first appears in Chinese characters as 土番 in the 7th century (Li Tai) and as 吐蕃 in the 10th century (Old Book of Tang, describing 608–609 emissaries from Tibetan King Namri Songtsen to Emperor Yang of Sui). In the Middle Chinese language spoken during that period, as reconstructed by William H. Baxter, 土番 was pronounced thux-phjon, and 吐蕃 was pronounced thux-pjon (with the x representing a shang tone).[15] Other pre-modern Chinese names for Tibet include: Wusiguo (Chinese: 烏斯國; pinyin: Wūsīguó; cf. Tibetan: dbus, Ü, [wyʔ˨˧˨]); Wusizang (Chinese: 烏斯藏; pinyin: wūsīzàng, cf. Tibetan: dbus-gtsang, Ü-Tsang); Tubote (Chinese: 圖伯特; pinyin: Túbótè); and Tanggute (Chinese: 唐古忒; pinyin: Tánggǔtè, cf. Tangut). American Tibetologist Elliot Sperling has argued in favor of a recent tendency by some authors writing in Chinese to revive the term Tubote (simplified Chinese: 图伯特; traditional Chinese: 圖伯特; pinyin: Túbótè) for modern use in place of Xizang, on the grounds that Tubote more clearly includes the entire Tibetan plateau rather than simply the Tibet Autonomous Region.[16] The English word Tibet or Thibet dates back to the 18th century.[17] Historical linguists generally agree that "Tibet" names in European languages are loanwords from Semitic Ṭībat or Tūbātt (Arabic: طيبة، توبات; Hebrew: טובּה, טובּת), itself deriving from Turkic Töbäd (plural of töbän), literally 'The Heights'.[18] Language Main article: Standard Tibetan Ethnolinguistic map of Tibet (1967) Linguists generally classify the Tibetan language as a Tibeto-Burman language of the Sino-Tibetan language family although the boundaries between 'Tibetan' and certain other Himalayan languages can be unclear. According to Matthew Kapstein: From the perspective of historical linguistics, Tibetan most closely resembles Burmese among the major languages of Asia. Grouping these two together with other apparently related languages spoken in the Himalayan lands, as well as in the highlands of Southeast Asia and the Sino-Tibetan frontier regions, linguists have generally concluded that there exists a Tibeto-Burman family of languages. More controversial is the theory that the Tibeto-Burman family is itself part of a larger language family, called Sino-Tibetan, and that through it Tibetan and Burmese are distant cousins of Chinese.[19] Tibetan family in Kham attending a horse festival The language has numerous regional dialects which are generally not mutually intelligible. It is employed throughout the Tibetan plateau and Bhutan and is also spoken in parts of Nepal and northern India, such as Sikkim. In general, the dialects of central Tibet (including Lhasa), Kham, Amdo and some smaller nearby areas are considered Tibetan dialects. Other forms, particularly Dzongkha, Sikkimese, Sherpa, and Ladakhi, are considered by their speakers, largely for political reasons, to be separate languages. However, if the latter group of Tibetan-type languages are included in the calculation, then 'greater Tibetan' is spoken by approximately 6 million people across the Tibetan Plateau. Tibetan is also spoken by approximately 150,000 exile speakers who have fled from modern-day Tibet to India and other countries.[citation needed] Although spoken Tibetan varies according to the region, the written language, based on Classical Tibetan, is consistent throughout. This is probably due to the long-standing influence of the Tibetan empire, whose rule embraced (and extended at times far beyond) the present Tibetan linguistic area, which runs from Gilgit Baltistan in the west to Yunnan and Sichuan in the east, and from north of Qinghai Lake south as far as Bhutan. The Tibetan language has its own script which it shares with Ladakhi and Dzongkha, and which is derived from the ancient Indian Brāhmī script.[20] Starting in 2001, the local deaf sign languages of Tibet were standardized, and Tibetan Sign Language is now being promoted across the country. The first Tibetan-English dictionary and grammar book was written by Alexander Csoma de Kőrös in 1834.[21] History Main article: History of Tibet Further information: History of European exploration in Tibet and Foreign relations of Tibet Rishabhanatha, the first Tirthankara of Jainism, is considered to have attained nirvana near Mount Kailash in Tibet in Jain tradition.[22] King Songtsen Gampo Early history Main articles: Neolithic Tibet, Zhangzhung, and Pre-Imperial Tibet Humans inhabited the Tibetan Plateau at least 21,000 years ago.[23] This population was largely replaced around 3,000 BP by Neolithic immigrants from northern China, but there is a partial genetic continuity between the Paleolithic inhabitants and contemporary Tibetan populations.[23] The earliest Tibetan historical texts identify the Zhang Zhung culture as a people who migrated from the Amdo region into what is now the region of Guge in western Tibet.[24] Zhang Zhung is considered to be the original home of the Bön religion.[25] By the 1st century BCE, a neighboring kingdom arose in the Yarlung valley, and the Yarlung king, Drigum Tsenpo, attempted to remove the influence of the Zhang Zhung by expelling the Zhang's Bön priests from Yarlung.[26] He was assassinated and Zhang Zhung continued its dominance of the region until it was annexed by Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. Prior to Songtsen Gampo, the kings of Tibet were more mythological than factual, and there is insufficient evidence of their existence.[27] Tibetan Empire Main article: Tibetan Empire Map of the Tibetan Empire at its greatest extent between the 780s and the 790s CE The history of a unified Tibet begins with the rule of Songtsen Gampo (604–650 CE), who united parts of the Yarlung River Valley and founded the Tibetan Empire. He also brought in many reforms, and Tibetan power spread rapidly, creating a large and powerful empire. It is traditionally considered that his first wife was the Princess of Nepal, Bhrikuti, and that she played a great role in the establishment of Buddhism in Tibet. In 640, he married Princess Wencheng, the niece of the Chinese emperor Taizong of Tang China.[28] Under the next few Tibetan kings, Buddhism became established as the state religion and Tibetan power increased even further over large areas of Central Asia, while major inroads were made into Chinese territory, even reaching the Tang's capital Chang'an (modern Xi'an) in late 763.[29] However, the Tibetan occupation of Chang'an only lasted for fifteen days, after which they were defeated by Tang and its ally, the Turkic Uyghur Khaganate. Miran fort The Kingdom of Nanzhao (in Yunnan and neighbouring regions) remained under Tibetan control from 750 to 794, when they turned on their Tibetan overlords and helped the Chinese inflict a serious defeat on the Tibetans.[30] In 747, the hold of Tibet was loosened by the campaign of general Gao Xianzhi, who tried to re-open the direct communications between Central Asia and Kashmir. By 750, the Tibetans had lost almost all of their central Asian possessions to the Chinese. However, after Gao Xianzhi's defeat by the Arabs and Qarluqs at the Battle of Talas (751) and the subsequent civil war known as the An Lushan Rebellion (755), Chinese influence decreased rapidly and Tibetan influence resumed. At its height in the 780s to 790s, the Tibetan Empire reached its highest glory when it ruled and controlled a territory stretching from modern-day Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan. In 821/822 CE, Tibet and China signed a peace treaty. A bilingual account of this treaty, including details of the borders between the two countries, is inscribed on a stone pillar which stands outside the Jokhang temple in Lhasa.[31] Tibet continued as a Central Asian empire until the mid-9th century, when a civil war over succession led to the collapse of imperial Tibet. The period that followed is known traditionally as the Era of Fragmentation, when political control over Tibet became divided between regional warlords and tribes with no dominant centralized authority. An Islamic invasion from Bengal took place in 1206. Yuan dynasty Main articles: Mongol conquest of Tibet and Tibet under Yuan rule The Mongol Yuan dynasty, c. 1294 The Mongol Yuan dynasty, through the Bureau of Buddhist and Tibetan Affairs, or Xuanzheng Yuan, ruled Tibet through a top-level administrative department. One of the department's purposes was to select a dpon-chen ("great administrator"), usually appointed by the lama and confirmed by the Mongol emperor in Beijing.[32] The Sakya lama retained a degree of autonomy, acting as the political authority of the region, while the dpon-chen held administrative and military power. Mongol rule of Tibet remained separate from the main provinces of China, but the region existed under the administration of the Yuan dynasty. If the Sakya lama ever came into conflict with the dpon-chen, the dpon-chen had the authority to send Chinese troops into the region.[32] Tibet retained nominal power over religious and regional political affairs, while the Mongols managed a structural and administrative[33] rule over the region, reinforced by the rare military intervention. This existed as a "diarchic structure" under the Yuan emperor, with power primarily in favor of the Mongols.[32] Mongolian prince Khuden gained temporal power in Tibet in the 1240s and sponsored Sakya Pandita, whose seat became the capital of Tibet. Drogön Chögyal Phagpa, Sakya Pandita's nephew became Imperial Preceptor of Kublai Khan, founder of the Yuan dynasty. Yuan control over the region ended with the Ming overthrow of the Yuan and Tai Situ Changchub Gyaltsen's revolt against the Mongols.[34] Following the uprising, Tai Situ Changchub Gyaltsen founded the Phagmodrupa dynasty, and sought to reduce Yuan influences over Tibetan culture and politics.[35] Phagmodrupa, Rinpungpa and Tsangpa dynasties Main articles: Phagmodrupa dynasty, Rinpungpa, and Tsangpa Further information: Sino-Tibetan relations during the Ming dynasty Gyantse Fortress Between 1346 and 1354, Tai Situ Changchub Gyaltsen toppled the Sakya and founded the Phagmodrupa dynasty. The following 80 years saw the founding of the Gelug school (also known as Yellow Hats) by the disciples of Je Tsongkhapa, and the founding of the important Ganden, Drepung and Sera monasteries near Lhasa. However, internal strife within the dynasty and the strong localism of the various fiefs and political-religious factions led to a long series of internal conflicts. The minister family Rinpungpa, based in Tsang (West Central Tibet), dominated politics after 1435. In 1565 they were overthrown by the Tsangpa dynasty of Shigatse which expanded its power in different directions of Tibet in the following decades and favoured the Karma Kagyu sect. Rise of Ganden Phodrang The Khoshut Khanate, 1642–1717 Tibet in 1734. Royaume de Thibet ("Kingdom of Tibet") in la Chine, la Tartarie Chinoise, et le Thibet ("China, Chinese Tartary, and Tibet") on a 1734 map by Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville, based on earlier Jesuit maps. Tibet in 1892 during the Qing dynasty Main article: Ganden Phodrang In 1578, Altan Khan of the Tümed Mongols gave Sonam Gyatso, a high lama of the Gelugpa school, the name Dalai Lama, Dalai being the Mongolian translation of the Tibetan name Gyatso "Ocean".[36] Unified heartland under Buddhist Gelug school Main article: Ganden Phodrang The 5th Dalai Lama (1617-1682) is known for unifying the Tibetan heartland under the control of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, after defeating the rival Kagyu and Jonang sects and the secular ruler, the Tsangpa prince, in a prolonged civil war. His efforts were successful in part because of aid from Güshi Khan, the Oirat leader of the Khoshut Khanate. With Güshi Khan as a largely uninvolved overlord, the 5th Dalai Lama and his intimates established a civil administration which is referred to by historians as the Lhasa state. This Tibetan regime or government is also referred to as the Ganden Phodrang. Qing dynasty Main articles: Chinese expedition to Tibet (1720) and Tibet under Qing rule Potala Palace Qing dynasty rule in Tibet began with their 1720 expedition to the country when they expelled the invading Dzungars. Amdo came under Qing control in 1724, and eastern Kham was incorporated into neighbouring Chinese provinces in 1728.[37] Meanwhile, the Qing government sent resident commissioners called Ambans to Lhasa. In 1750, the Ambans and the majority of the Han Chinese and Manchus living in Lhasa were killed in a riot, and Qing troops arrived quickly and suppressed the rebels in the next year. Like the preceding Yuan dynasty, the Manchus of the Qing dynasty exerted military and administrative control of the region, while granting it a degree of political autonomy. The Qing commander publicly executed a number of supporters of the rebels and, as in 1723 and 1728, made changes in the political structure and drew up a formal organization plan. The Qing now restored the Dalai Lama as ruler, leading the governing council called Kashag,[38] but elevated the role of Ambans to include more direct involvement in Tibetan internal affairs. At the same time, the Qing took steps to counterbalance the power of the aristocracy by adding officials recruited from the clergy to key posts.[39] For several decades, peace reigned in Tibet, but in 1792, the Qing Qianlong Emperor sent a large Chinese army into Tibet to push the invading Nepalese out. This prompted yet another Qing reorganization of the Tibetan government, this time through a written plan called the "Twenty-Nine Regulations for Better Government in Tibet". Qing military garrisons staffed with Qing troops were now also established near the Nepalese border.[40] Tibet was dominated by the Manchus in various stages in the 18th century, and the years immediately following the 1792 regulations were the peak of the Qing imperial commissioners' authority; but there was no attempt to make Tibet a Chinese province.[41] In 1834, the Sikh Empire invaded and annexed Ladakh, a culturally Tibetan region that was an independent kingdom at the time. Seven years later, a Sikh army led by General Zorawar Singh invaded western Tibet from Ladakh, starting the Sino-Sikh War. A Qing-Tibetan army repelled the invaders but was in turn defeated when it chased the Sikhs into Ladakh. The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Chushul between the Chinese and Sikh empires.[42] Putuo Zongcheng Temple, a Buddhist temple complex in Chengde, Hebei, built between 1767 and 1771. The temple was modeled after the Potala Palace. As the Qing dynasty weakened, its authority over Tibet also gradually declined, and by the mid-19th century, its influence was minuscule. Qing authority over Tibet had become more symbolic than real by the late 19th century,[43][44][45][46] although in the 1860s, the Tibetans still chose for reasons of their own to emphasize the empire's symbolic authority and make it seem substantial.[47] In 1774, a Scottish nobleman, George Bogle, travelled to Shigatse to investigate prospects of trade for the East India Company. His efforts, while largely unsuccessful, established permanent contact between Tibet and the Western world.[48] However, in the 19th century, tensions between foreign powers and Tibet increased. The British Empire was expanding its territories in India into the Himalayas, while the Emirate of Afghanistan and the Russian Empire were both doing likewise in Central Asia.[citation needed] In 1904, a British expedition to Tibet, spurred in part by a fear that Russia was extending its power into Tibet as part of the Great Game, was launched. Although the expedition initially set out with the stated purpose of resolving border disputes between Tibet and Sikkim, it quickly turned into a military invasion. The British expeditionary force, consisting of mostly Indian troops, quickly invaded and captured Lhasa, with the Dalai Lama fleeing to the countryside.[49] Afterwards, the leader of the expedition, Sir Francis Younghusband, negotiated the Convention Between Great Britain and Tibet with the Tibetans, which guaranteed the British great economic influence but ensured the region remained under Chinese control. The Qing imperial resident, known as the Amban, publicly repudiated the treaty, while the British government, eager for friendly relations with China, negotiated a new treaty two years later known as the Convention Between Great Britain and China Respecting Tibet. The British agreed not to annex or interfere in Tibet in return for an indemnity from the Chinese government, while China agreed not to permit any other foreign state to interfere with the territory or internal administration of Tibet.[49] In 1910, the Qing government sent a military expedition of its own under Zhao Erfeng to establish direct Manchu-Chinese rule and, in an imperial edict, deposed the Dalai Lama, who fled to British India. Zhao Erfeng defeated the Tibetan military conclusively and expelled the Dalai Lama's forces from the province. His actions were unpopular, and there was much animosity against him for his mistreatment of civilians and disregard for local culture.[citation needed] Post-Qing period Edmund Geer during the 1938–1939 German expedition to Tibet Rogyapas, an outcast group, early 20th century. Their hereditary occupation included disposal of corpses and leather work. Main article: Tibet (1912–51) After the Xinhai Revolution (1911–12) toppled the Qing dynasty and the last Qing troops were escorted out of Tibet, the new Republic of China apologized for the actions of the Qing and offered to restore the Dalai Lama's title.[50] The Dalai Lama refused any Chinese title and declared himself ruler of an independent Tibet.[51] In 1913, Tibet and Mongolia concluded a treaty of mutual recognition.[52] For the next 36 years, the 13th Dalai Lama and the regents who succeeded him governed Tibet. During this time, Tibet fought Chinese warlords for control of the ethnically Tibetan areas in Xikang and Qinghai (parts of Kham and Amdo) along the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.[53] In 1914, the Tibetan government signed the Simla Convention with Britain, which recognized Chinese suzerainty over Tibet in return for a border settlement. China refused to sign the convention and lost its suzerain rights.[54] When in the 1930s and 1940s the regents displayed negligence in affairs, the Kuomintang Government of the Republic of China took advantage of this to expand its reach into the territory.[55] On December 20, 1941, Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-Shek noted in his diary that Tibet would be among the territories which he would demand as restitution for China following the conclusion of World War II.[56] From 1950 to present Main article: History of Tibet (1950–present) A poster saying "Thank you India. 50 years in Exile." Manali, 2010. Emerging with control over most of mainland China after the Chinese Civil War, the People's Republic of China annexed Tibet in 1950 and negotiated the Seventeen Point Agreement with the newly enthroned 14th Dalai Lama's government, affirming the People's Republic of China's sovereignty but granting the area autonomy. Subsequently, on his journey into exile, the 14th Dalai Lama completely repudiated the agreement, which he has repeated on many occasions.[57][58] According to the CIA, the Chinese used the Dalai Lama to gain control of the military's training and actions.[59] The Dalai Lama had a strong following as many people from Tibet looked at him not just as their political leader, but as their spiritual leader.[60] After the Dalai Lama's government fled to Dharamsala, India, during the 1959 Tibetan Rebellion, it established a rival government-in-exile. Afterwards, the Central People's Government in Beijing renounced the agreement and began implementation of the halted social and political reforms.[61] During the Great Leap Forward, between 200,000 and 1,000,000 Tibetans may have died[62] and approximately 6,000 monasteries were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution—destroying the vast majority of historic Tibetan architecture.[63] In 1980, General Secretary and reformist Hu Yaobang visited Tibet and ushered in a period of social, political, and economic liberalization.[64] At the end of the decade, however, before the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, monks in the Drepung and Sera monasteries started protesting for independence. The government halted reforms and started an anti-separatist campaign.[64] Human rights organisations have been critical of the Beijing and Lhasa governments' approach to human rights in the region when cracking down on separatist convulsions that have occurred around monasteries and cities, most recently in the 2008 Tibetan unrest. The central region of Tibet is now an autonomous region within China, the Tibet Autonomous Region. The Tibet Autonomous Region is a province-level entity of the People's Republic of China. It is governed by a People's Government, led by a chairman. In practice, however, the chairman is subordinate to the branch secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). As a matter of convention, the chairman has almost always been an ethnic Tibetan, while the party secretary has always been ethnically non-Tibetan.[65] Geography Main article: Geography of Tibet Tibetan Plateau and surrounding areas above 1600 m – topography.[66][67] Tibet is often called the "roof of the world". Himalayas, on the southern rim of the Tibetan plateau All of modern China, including Tibet, is considered a part of East Asia.[68] Historically, some European sources also considered parts of Tibet to lie in Central Asia. Tibet is west of the Central China plain. In China, Tibet is regarded as part of 西部 (Xībù), a term usually translated by Chinese media as "the Western section", meaning "Western China". Mountains and rivers View over Lhasa, 1993 Yarlung Tsangpo River Tibet has some of the world's tallest mountains, with several of them making the top ten list. Mount Everest, located on the border with Nepal, is, at 8,848.86 metres (29,032 ft), the highest mountain on earth. Several major rivers have their source in the Tibetan Plateau (mostly in present-day Qinghai Province). These include the Yangtze, Yellow River, Indus River, Mekong, Ganges, Salween and the Yarlung Tsangpo River (Brahmaputra River).[69] The Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon, along the Yarlung Tsangpo River, is among the deepest and longest canyons in the world. Tibet has been called the "Water Tower" of Asia, and China is investing heavily in water projects in Tibet.[70][71] Yamdrok Lake The Indus and Brahmaputra rivers originate from the vicinities of Lake Mapam Yumco in Western Tibet, near Mount Kailash. The mountain is a holy pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Tibetans. The Hindus consider the mountain to be the abode of Lord Shiva. The Tibetan name for Mount Kailash is Khang Rinpoche. Tibet has numerous high-altitude lakes referred to in Tibetan as tso or co. These include Qinghai Lake, Lake Manasarovar, Namtso, Pangong Tso, Yamdrok Lake, Siling Co, Lhamo La-tso, Lumajangdong Co, Lake Puma Yumco, Lake Paiku, Como Chamling, Lake Rakshastal, Dagze Co and Dong Co. The Qinghai Lake (Koko Nor) is the largest lake in the People's Republic of China. Climate The climate is severely dry nine months of the year, and average annual snowfall is only 46 cm (18 inches), due to the rain shadow effect. Western passes receive small amounts of fresh snow each year but remain traversible all year round. Low temperatures are prevalent throughout these western regions, where bleak desolation is unrelieved by any vegetation bigger than a low bush, and where the wind sweeps unchecked across vast expanses of arid plain. The Indian monsoon exerts some influence on eastern Tibet. Northern Tibet is subject to high temperatures in the summer and intense cold in the winter. Climate data for Lhasa (1986−2015 normals, extremes 1951−2022) Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) 20.5 (68.9) 21.3 (70.3) 25.1 (77.2) 25.9 (78.6) 29.4 (84.9) 30.8 (87.4) 30.4 (86.7) 27.2 (81.0) 26.5 (79.7) 24.8 (76.6) 22.8 (73.0) 20.1 (68.2) 30.8 (87.4) Average high °C (°F) 8.4 (47.1) 10.1 (50.2) 13.3 (55.9) 16.3 (61.3) 20.5 (68.9) 24.0 (75.2) 23.3 (73.9) 22.0 (71.6) 20.7 (69.3) 17.5 (63.5) 12.9 (55.2) 9.3 (48.7) 16.5 (61.7) Daily mean °C (°F) −0.3 (31.5) 2.3 (36.1) 5.9 (42.6) 9.0 (48.2) 13.1 (55.6) 16.7 (62.1) 16.5 (61.7) 15.4 (59.7) 13.8 (56.8) 9.4 (48.9) 3.8 (38.8) −0.1 (31.8) 8.8 (47.8) Average low °C (°F) −7.4 (18.7) −4.7 (23.5) −0.8 (30.6) 2.7 (36.9) 6.8 (44.2) 10.9 (51.6) 11.4 (52.5) 10.7 (51.3) 8.9 (48.0) 3.1 (37.6) −3 (27) −6.8 (19.8) 2.7 (36.8) Record low °C (°F) −16.5 (2.3) −15.4 (4.3) −13.6 (7.5) −8.1 (17.4) −2.7 (27.1) 2.0 (35.6) 4.5 (40.1) 3.3 (37.9) 0.3 (32.5) −7.2 (19.0) −11.2 (11.8) −16.1 (3.0) −16.5 (2.3) Average precipitation mm (inches) 0.9 (0.04) 1.8 (0.07) 2.9 (0.11) 8.6 (0.34) 28.4 (1.12) 75.9 (2.99) 129.6 (5.10) 133.5 (5.26) 66.7 (2.63) 8.8 (0.35) 0.9 (0.04) 0.3 (0.01) 458.3 (18.06) Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 0.6 1.2 2.1 5.4 9.0 14.0 19.4 19.9 14.6 4.1 0.6 0.4 91.3 Average relative humidity (%) 26 25 27 36 41 48 59 63 59 45 34 29 41 Mean monthly sunshine hours 250.9 231.2 253.2 248.8 280.4 260.7 227.0 214.3 232.7 280.3 267.1 257.2 3,003.8 Percent possible sunshine 78 72 66 65 66 61 53 54 62 80 84 82 67 Source 1: China Meteorological Administration,[72] all-time extreme temperature[73][74] Source 2: China Meteorological Administration National Meteorological Information Center Climate data for Leh (1951–1980) Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) 8.3 (46.9) 12.8 (55.0) 19.4 (66.9) 23.9 (75.0) 28.9 (84.0) 34.8 (94.6) 34.0 (93.2) 34.2 (93.6) 30.6 (87.1) 25.6 (78.1) 20.0 (68.0) 12.8 (55.0) 34.8 (94.6) Average high °C (°F) −2.0 (28.4) 1.5 (34.7) 6.5 (43.7) 12.3 (54.1) 16.2 (61.2) 21.8 (71.2) 25.0 (77.0) 25.3 (77.5) 21.7 (71.1) 14.6 (58.3) 7.9 (46.2) 2.3 (36.1) 12.8 (55.0) Average low °C (°F) −14.4 (6.1) −11.0 (12.2) −5.9 (21.4) −1.1 (30.0) 3.2 (37.8) 7.4 (45.3) 10.5 (50.9) 10.0 (50.0) 5.8 (42.4) −1.0 (30.2) −6.7 (19.9) −11.8 (10.8) −1.3 (29.7) Record low °C (°F) −28.3 (−18.9) −26.4 (−15.5) −19.4 (−2.9) −12.8 (9.0) −4.4 (24.1) −1.1 (30.0) 0.6 (33.1) 1.5 (34.7) −4.4 (24.1) −8.5 (16.7) −17.5 (0.5) −25.6 (−14.1) −28.3 (−18.9) Average rainfall mm (inches) 9.5 (0.37) 8.1 (0.32) 11.0 (0.43) 9.1 (0.36) 9.0 (0.35) 3.5 (0.14) 15.2 (0.60) 15.4 (0.61) 9.0 (0.35) 7.5 (0.30) 3.6 (0.14) 4.6 (0.18) 105.5 (4.15) Average rainy days 1.3 1.1 1.3 1.0 1.1 0.4 2.1 1.9 1.2 0.4 0.5 0.7 13.0 Average relative humidity (%) (at 17:30 IST) 51 51 46 36 30 26 33 34 31 27 40 46 38 Source: India Meteorological Department[75][76] Regions Basum Tso in Gongbo'gyamda County, eastern Tibet Cultural Tibet consists of several regions. These include Amdo (A mdo) in the northeast, which is administratively part of the provinces of Qinghai, Gansu, and Sichuan. Kham (Khams) in the southeast encompasses parts of western Sichuan, northern Yunnan, southern Qinghai, and the eastern part of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Ü-Tsang (dBus gTsang) (Ü in the center, Tsang in the center-west, and Ngari (mNga' ris) in the far west) covered the central and western portion of Tibet Autonomous Region.[77] Tibetan cultural influences extend to the neighboring states of Bhutan, Nepal, regions of India such as Sikkim, Ladakh, Lahaul, and Spiti, Northern Pakistan Baltistan or Balti-yul in addition to designated Tibetan autonomous areas in adjacent Chinese provinces. Cities, towns and villages Further information: List of populated places in the Tibet Autonomous Region Looking across the square at Jokhang temple, Lhasa There are over 800 settlements in Tibet. Lhasa is Tibet's traditional capital and the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region.[78] It contains two world heritage sites – the Potala Palace and Norbulingka, which were the residences of the Dalai Lama. Lhasa contains a number of significant temples and monasteries, including Jokhang and Ramoche Temple. Shigatse is the second largest city in the Tibet AR, west of Lhasa. Gyantse and Qamdo are also amongst the largest. Other cities and towns in cultural Tibet include Shiquanhe (Gar), Nagchu, Bamda, Rutog, Nyingchi, Nedong, Coqên, Barkam, Sagya, Gertse, Pelbar, Lhatse, and Tingri; in Sichuan, Kangding (Dartsedo); in Qinghai, Jyekundo (Yushu), Machen, and Golmud; in India, Tawang, Leh, and Gangtok, and in Pakistan, Skardu, Kharmang, and Khaplu. Wildlife Sus scrofa expanded from its origin in southeast Asia into the Plateau, acquiring and fixing adaptive alleles for the high-altitude environment.[79] The forests of Tibet are home to black bears, red pandas, musk deer, barking deer, and squirrels. Monkeys such as rhesus macaques and langurs live in the warmer forest zones. Tibetan antelopes, gazelles, and kiangs gaze on the grasslands of the Tibetan plateau. There are more than 500 bird species in Tibet. Because of the high altitude and harsh climate, there are few insects in Tibet.[78] Snow leopards are hunted for their fur and the eggs of black-necked cranes have been collected as a delicacy food. Economy This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (October 2021) Main article: Economy of Tibet The Tibetan yak is an integral part of Tibetan life. The Tibetan economy is dominated by subsistence agriculture. Due to limited arable land, the primary occupation of the Tibetan Plateau is raising livestock, such as sheep, cattle, goats, camels, yaks, dzo, and horses. The main crops grown are barley, wheat, buckwheat, rye, potatoes, and assorted fruits and vegetables. Tibet is ranked the lowest among China's 31 provinces[80] on the Human Development Index according to UN Development Programme data.[81] In recent years, due to increased interest in Tibetan Buddhism, tourism has become an increasingly important sector, and is actively promoted by the authorities.[82] Tourism brings in the most income from the sale of handicrafts. These include Tibetan hats, jewelry (silver and gold), wooden items, clothing, quilts, fabrics, Tibetan rugs and carpets. The Central People's Government exempts Tibet from all taxation and provides 90% of Tibet's government expenditures.[83][84][85][86] However, most of this investment goes to pay migrant workers who do not settle in Tibet and send much of their income home to other provinces.[87] Pastoral nomads constitute about 40% of the ethnic Tibetan population.[88] Forty percent of the rural cash income in the Tibet Autonomous Region is derived from the harvesting of the fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis (formerly Cordyceps sinensis); contributing at least 1.8 billion yuan, (US$225 million) to the region's GDP.[89] Tromzikhang market in Lhasa The Qingzang railway linking the Tibet Autonomous Region to Qinghai Province was opened in 2006, but it was controversial.[90][91][92] In January 2007, the Chinese government issued a report outlining the discovery of a large mineral deposit under the Tibetan Plateau.[93] The deposit has an estimated value of $128 billion and may double Chinese reserves of zinc, copper, and lead. The Chinese government sees this as a way to alleviate the nation's dependence on foreign mineral imports for its growing economy. However, critics worry that mining these vast resources will harm Tibet's fragile ecosystem and undermine Tibetan culture.[93] On January 15, 2009, China announced the construction of Tibet's first expressway, the Lhasa Airport Expressway, a 37.9 km (23.5 mi) stretch of controlled-access highway in southwestern Lhasa. The project will cost 1.55 billion yuan (US$227 million).[94] From January 18–20, 2010, a national conference on Tibet and areas inhabited by Tibetans in Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai was held in China and a plan to improve development of the areas was announced. The conference was attended by General secretary Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang, all members of Politburo Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. The plan called for improvement of rural Tibetan income to national standards by 2020 and free education for all rural Tibetan children. China has invested 310 billion yuan (about 45.6 billion U.S. dollars) in Tibet since 2001.[95][better source needed] Development zone The State Council approved Tibet Lhasa Economic and Technological Development Zone as a state-level development zone in 2001. It is located in the western suburbs of Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region. It is 50 kilometres (31 miles) away from the Gonggar Airport, and 2 km (1.2 mi) away from Lhasa Railway Station and 2 km (1.2 mi) away from 318 national highway. The zone has a planned area of 5.46 km2 (2.11 sq mi) and is divided into two zones. Zone A developed a land area of 2.51 km2 (0.97 sq mi) for construction purposes. It is a flat zone, and has the natural conditions for good drainage.[96] Demographics See also: History of Tibet (1950–present) and Demographics of Tibet Autonomous Region Tibetan Lamanis, c. 1905 An elderly Tibetan woman in Lhasa Historically, the population of Tibet consisted of primarily ethnic Tibetans and some other ethnic groups. According to tradition the original ancestors of the Tibetan people, as represented by the six red bands in the Tibetan flag, are: the Se, Mu, Dong, Tong, Dru and Ra. Other traditional ethnic groups with significant population or with the majority of the ethnic group residing in Tibet (excluding a disputed area with India) include Bai people, Blang, Bonan, Dongxiang, Han, Hui people, Lhoba, Lisu people, Miao, Mongols, Monguor (Tu people), Menba (Monpa), Mosuo, Nakhi, Qiang, Nu people, Pumi, Salar, and Yi people. The proportion of the non-Tibetan population in Tibet is disputed. On the one hand, the Central Tibetan Administration of the Dalai Lama accuses China of actively swamping Tibet with migrants in order to alter Tibet's demographic makeup.[97] On the other hand, according to the 2010 Chinese census ethnic Tibetans comprise 90% of a total population of 3 million in the Tibet Autonomous Region.[98][better source needed] Culture Main article: Tibetan culture Tibetan cultural zone Religion Main article: Religion in Tibet Buddhism Main article: Tibetan Buddhism Monkhood in Tibet, Xigatse area, August 2005 The Phugtal Monastery in south-east Zanskar Buddhist monks practicing debate in Drepung Monastery Religion is extremely important to the Tibetans and has a strong influence over all aspects of their lives. Bön is the indigenous religion of Tibet, but has been almost eclipsed by Tibetan Buddhism, a distinctive form of Mahayana and Vajrayana, which was introduced into Tibet from the Sanskrit Buddhist tradition of northern India.[99] Tibetan Buddhism is practiced not only in Tibet but also in Mongolia, parts of northern India, the Buryat Republic, the Tuva Republic, and in the Republic of Kalmykia and some other parts of China. During China's Cultural Revolution, nearly all Tibet's monasteries were ransacked and destroyed by the Red Guards.[100][101][102] A few monasteries have begun to rebuild since the 1980s (with limited support from the Chinese government) and greater religious freedom has been granted – although it is still limited. Monks returned to monasteries across Tibet and monastic education resumed even though the number of monks imposed is strictly limited.[100][103][104] Before the 1950s, between 10 and 20% of males in Tibet were monks.[105] Tibetan Buddhism has five main traditions (the suffix pa is comparable to "er" in English): Gelug(pa), Way of Virtue, also known casually as Yellow Hat, whose spiritual head is the Ganden Tripa and whose temporal head is the Dalai Lama. Successive Dalai Lamas ruled Tibet from the mid-17th to mid-20th centuries. This order was founded in the 14th to 15th centuries by Je Tsongkhapa, based on the foundations of the Kadampa tradition. Tsongkhapa was renowned for both his scholasticism and his virtue. The Dalai Lama belongs to the Gelugpa school, and is regarded as the embodiment of the Bodhisattva of Compassion.[106] Kagyu(pa), Oral Lineage. This contains one major subsect and one minor subsect. The first, the Dagpo Kagyu, encompasses those Kagyu schools that trace back to Gampopa. In turn, the Dagpo Kagyu consists of four major sub-sects: the Karma Kagyu, headed by a Karmapa, the Tsalpa Kagyu, the Barom Kagyu, and Pagtru Kagyu. The once-obscure Shangpa Kagyu, which was famously represented by the 20th-century teacher Kalu Rinpoche, traces its history back to the Indian master Niguma, sister of Kagyu lineage holder Naropa. This is an oral tradition which is very much concerned with the experiential dimension of meditation. Its most famous exponent was Milarepa, an 11th-century mystic. Nyingma(pa), The Ancient Ones. This is the oldest, the original order founded by Padmasambhava. Sakya(pa), Grey Earth, headed by the Sakya Trizin, founded by Khon Konchog Gyalpo, a disciple of the great translator Drokmi Lotsawa. Sakya Pandita 1182–1251 CE was the great-grandson of Khon Konchog Gyalpo. This school emphasizes scholarship. Jonang(pa) Its origins in Tibet can be traced to early 12th century master Yumo Mikyo Dorje, but became much wider known with the help of Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen, a monk originally trained in the Sakya school. The Jonang school was widely thought to have become extinct in the late 17th century at the hands of the 5th Dalai Lama, who forcibly annexed the Jonang monasteries to his Gelug school, declaring them heretical. Thus, Tibetologists were astonished when fieldwork turned up several active Jonangpa monasteries, including the main monastery, Tsangwa, located in Zamtang County, Sichuan. Almost 40 monasteries, comprising about 5000 monks, have subsequently been found, including some in the Amdo Tibetan and rGyalgrong areas of Qinghai, Sichuan and Tibet. One of the primary supporters of the Jonang lineage in exile has been the 14th Dalai Lama of the Gelugpa lineage. The Jonang tradition has recently officially registered with the Tibetan Government in exile to be recognized as the fifth living Buddhist tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The 14th Dalai Lama assigned Jebtsundamba Khutuktu of Mongolia (who is considered to be an incarnation of Taranatha) as the leader of the Jonang tradition. The Chinese government continued to pursue a strategy of forced assimilation and suppression of Tibetan Buddhism, as demonstrated by the laws designed to control the next reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and those of other Tibetan eminent lamas. Monks and nuns who refused to denounce the Dalai Lama have been expelled from their monasteries, imprisoned, and tortured.[107] It was reported in June 2021 that amidst the 2020–2022 China–India skirmishes, the People's Liberation Army had been forming a new unit for Tibetans who would be taken to Buddhist monks for religious blessings after completing their training.[108] Christianity The first Christians documented to have reached Tibet were the Nestorians, of whom various remains and inscriptions have been found in Tibet. They were also present at the imperial camp of Möngke Khan at Shira Ordo, where they debated in 1256 with Karma Pakshi (1204/6-83), head of the Karma Kagyu order.[109][110] Desideri, who reached Lhasa in 1716, encountered Armenian and Russian merchants.[111] Roman Catholic Jesuits and Capuchins arrived from Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. Portuguese missionaries Jesuit Father António de Andrade and Brother Manuel Marques first reached the kingdom of Gelu in western Tibet in 1624 and was welcomed by the royal family who allowed them to build a church later on.[112][113] By 1627, there were about a hundred local converts in the Guge kingdom.[114] Later on, Christianity was introduced to Rudok, Ladakh and Tsang and was welcomed by the ruler of the Tsang kingdom, where Andrade and his fellows established a Jesuit outpost at Shigatse in 1626.[115] In 1661 another Jesuit, Johann Grueber, crossed Tibet from Sining to Lhasa (where he spent a month), before heading on to Nepal.[116] He was followed by others who actually built a church in Lhasa. These included the Jesuit Father Ippolito Desideri, 1716–1721, who gained a deep knowledge of Tibetan culture, language and Buddhism, and various Capuchins in 1707–1711, 1716–1733 and 1741–1745,[117] Christianity was used by some Tibetan monarchs and their courts and the Karmapa sect lamas to counterbalance the influence of the Gelugpa sect in the 17th century until in 1745 when all the missionaries were expelled at the lama's insistence.[118][119][120][121][122][123] In 1877, the Protestant James Cameron from the China Inland Mission walked from Chongqing to Batang in Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, and "brought the Gospel to the Tibetan people." Beginning in the 20th century, in Dêqên Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan, a large number of Lisu people and some Yi and Nu people converted to Christianity. Famous earlier missionaries include James O. Fraser, Alfred James Broomhall and Isobel Kuhn of the China Inland Mission, among others who were active in this area.[124][125] Proselytising has been illegal in China since 1949. But as of 2013, many Christian missionaries were reported to be active in Tibet with the tacit approval of Chinese authorities, who view the missionaries as a counterforce to Tibetan Buddhism or as a boon to the local economy.[126] Islam Main article: Islam in Tibet The Lhasa Great Mosque Muslims have been living in Tibet since as early as the 8th or 9th century. In Tibetan cities, there are small communities of Muslims, known as Kachee (Kache), who trace their origin to immigrants from three main regions: Kashmir (Kachee Yul in ancient Tibetan), Ladakh and the Central Asian Turkic countries. Islamic influence in Tibet also came from Persia. A Muslim Sufi Syed Ali Hamdani preached to the people of Baltistan, then known as little Tibet. After 1959, a group of Tibetan Muslims made a case for Indian nationality based on their historic roots to Kashmir and the Indian government declared all Tibetan Muslims Indian citizens later on that year.[127] Other Muslim ethnic groups who have long inhabited Tibet include Hui, Salar, Dongxiang and Bonan. There is also a well established Chinese Muslim community (gya kachee), which traces its ancestry back to the Hui ethnic group of China. Tibetan art Main article: Tibetan art Tibetan representations of art are intrinsically bound with Tibetan Buddhism and commonly depict deities or variations of Buddha in various forms from bronze Buddhist statues and shrines, to highly colorful thangka paintings and mandalas.[citation needed] Thangkas are Tibet's traditional cloth paintings. Rendered on cotton cloth with a thin rod at the top, they portray Buddhist deities or themes in color and detail.[78] Tibetan Art A ceremonial priest's yak bone apron – courtesy the Wovensouls Collection A thangka painting in Sikkim A thangka painting in Sikkim   A ritual box A ritual box Architecture Main article: Tibetan culture § Architecture Tibetan architecture contains Chinese and Indian influences, and reflects a deeply Buddhist approach. The Buddhist wheel, along with two dragons, can be seen on nearly every Gompa in Tibet. The design of the Tibetan Chörtens can vary, from roundish walls in Kham to squarish, four-sided walls in Ladakh. The most distinctive feature of Tibetan architecture is that many of the houses and monasteries are built on elevated, sunny sites facing the south, and are often made out of a mixture of rocks, wood, cement and earth. Little fuel is available for heat or lighting, so flat roofs are built to conserve heat, and multiple windows are constructed to let in sunlight. Walls are usually sloped inwards at 10 degrees as a precaution against the frequent earthquakes in this mountainous area. Standing at 117 metres (384 feet) in height and 360 metres (1,180 feet) in width, the Potala Palace is the most important example of Tibetan architecture. Formerly the residence of the Dalai Lama, it contains over one thousand rooms within thirteen stories, and houses portraits of the past Dalai Lamas and statues of the Buddha. It is divided between the outer White Palace, which serves as the administrative quarters, and the inner Red Quarters, which houses the assembly hall of the Lamas, chapels, 10,000 shrines, and a vast library of Buddhist scriptures. The Potala Palace is a World Heritage Site, as is Norbulingka, the former summer residence of the Dalai Lama. Music Main article: Music of Tibet The music of Tibet reflects the cultural heritage of the trans-Himalayan region, centered in Tibet but also known wherever ethnic Tibetan groups are found in India, Bhutan, Nepal and further abroad. First and foremost Tibetan music is religious music, reflecting the profound influence of Tibetan Buddhism on the culture. Tibetan music often involves chanting in Tibetan or Sanskrit, as an integral part of the religion. These chants are complex, often recitations of sacred texts or in celebration of various festivals. Yang chanting, performed without metrical timing, is accompanied by resonant drums and low, sustained syllables. Other styles include those unique to the various schools of Tibetan Buddhism, such as the classical music of the popular Gelugpa school, and the romantic music of the Nyingmapa, Sakyapa and Kagyupa schools.[128] Nangma dance music is especially popular in the karaoke bars of the urban center of Tibet, Lhasa. Another form of popular music is the classical gar style, which is performed at rituals and ceremonies. Lu are a type of songs that feature glottal vibrations and high pitches. There are also epic bards who sing of Gesar, who is a hero to ethnic Tibetans. Festivals Main article: Tibetan festivals The Monlam Prayer Festival Tibet has various festivals, many for worshipping the Buddha,[129] that take place throughout the year. Losar is the Tibetan New Year Festival. Preparations for the festive event are manifested by special offerings to family shrine deities, painted doors with religious symbols, and other painstaking jobs done to prepare for the event. Tibetans eat Guthuk (barley noodle soup with filling) on New Year's Eve with their families. The Monlam Prayer Festival follows it in the first month of the Tibetan calendar, falling between the fourth and the eleventh days of the first Tibetan month. It involves dancing and participating in sports events, as well as sharing picnics. The event was established in 1049 by Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama's order. Cuisine Main article: Tibetan cuisine See also: List of Tibetan dishes The most important crop in Tibet is barley, and dough made from barley flour—called tsampa—is the staple food of Tibet. This is either rolled into noodles or made into steamed dumplings called momos. Meat dishes are likely to be yak, goat, or mutton, often dried, or cooked into a spicy stew with potatoes. Mustard seed is cultivated in Tibet, and therefore features heavily in its cuisine. Yak yogurt, butter and cheese are frequently eaten, and well-prepared yogurt is considered something of a prestige item. Butter tea is a very popular drink.
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  • Book Title: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A TIBETAN MONK
  • Author: PALDEN GYATSO
  • Topic: Autobiography

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