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Dalai Lamas

The Institution and its History by: Ardy Verhaegen

Richly annotated, this work is a deep study of the institution of the Dalai Lama: its rise to prominence, its working and its role within the socio-political structures of Tibet and Asia. All this is set against a historical narrative that brings out the unique religious culture and spiritual legacy of the land.

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ISBN: 9788124602027
Year Of Publication: 2002
Edition: 1st
Pages : xii, 203
Bibliographic Details : Appendices; Glossary; Bibliography; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 23 cm.
Weight: 500 gm.

Overview

From the fifteenth century on, the Dalai Lamas emerged as the pre-eminent spiritual and secular leaders of Tibet. In his foreword to this book Tenzin Gyatso the Fourteenth Dalai Lama states that “Buddhism, with its powerful central message of compassion . . . transformed Tibetans from the powerful warlike nation that dominated Central Asia in the seventh century to the more peaceful and religious people they are today.” With China’s continued occupation of Tibet threatening the “very existence of a distinct Tibetan identity and culture” the Dalai Lama feels it his “primary responsibility to take whatever steps I must to save my people and their unique heritage from total annihilation.” Author Ardy Verhaegen not only “succinctly tells the story of each of the Dalai Lamas and their contribution as human beings to Tibet’s destiny,” as the Dalai Lama points out, but also the historical narrative within which these eminent personalities played out their lives. Starting with the spread of Buddhism and its introduction into Tibet, Verhaegen chronicles the development of that country’s unique religious culture, the rise to prominence of the Dalai Lamas, and the role of the Dalai Lama institution within the social-political structures of Tibet and Asia. Descriptions of the workings of the institution itself and the current struggles of Tibetan culture to survive outside its historical borders round out this volume. Richly annotated, this introduction to the institution of the Dalai Lama is of value to both serious students of Tibetan history and culture and all those interested in one of the more fascinating stories of our times. The perilous flight of the Dalai Lama into exile and the subsequent success of the Tibetan diaspora community against tremendous odds are having profound implications for humanity at large. Ironically, while imperiled within Tibet itself, the spiritual legacy of the land of snows has spread through its incarnate lamas and teachers such that the principles of peace, compassion and individual enlightenment inherent in Tibetan Buddhist culture and embodied in the Dalai Lama now enjoy favour worldwide. The awarding of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize to the Dalai Lama is indicative of this esteem, not only towards His Holiness but also the institution he represents.

Contents

Observations
Foreword
Preface
Introduction
1. Developments in Tibet up to the Advent of the Dalai Lamas
The Land and People – Buddhism – The Spread and Development of Buddhism in Tibet – The Second Diffusion of Buddhism and Founding of the Religious Schools
2. A History of the Dalai Lamas Within the Context of Their Times
Dalai Lama I – Reincarnation of the Dalai Lamas – Dalai Lama II – Dalai Lama III – Dalai Lama IV – Dalai Lama V – Dalai Lama VI – Dalai Lama VII – Dalai Lama VIII – Dalai Lama IX – Dalai Lama X – Dalai Lama XI – Dalai Lama XII – Dalai Lama XIII – Dalai Lama XIV
3. How the Institution of the Dalai Lama Works
Discovery and Recognition – Education – The Household and Daily Life of the Dalai Lama – The Role of the Dalai Lama in the Governance of Tibet – The Spiritual Role of the Dalai Lama
4. Tibetan Identity and Culture and the Dalai Lama Since 1959
The Struggle for Tibetan Identity and Culture – Tibet Under Chinese Rule – The Fourteenth Dalai Lama Emerges as a Global Figure – Concluding Remarks
Glossary
Appendices
I. The Dalai Lamas of Tibet
II. Chronological Table
Bibliography
Index

Meet the Author
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Ardy Verhaegen is an independent scholar and writer with special interests in the lives of outstanding spiritual figures and contemplative spiritual practices. He has served as a teacher in residence at the world-famous Esalen Institute, lectured at a number of universities and colleges, and continues his writing, teaching, consulting and coaching work in the areas of spirituality, personal human development and life transitions. Ardy may be contacted at: averhaegen@kw.igs.net
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