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How the Tibetan Race Originated

MG is an air warrior and a global traveler who loves to visit and explore new places

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Yambulagong

Yambulagong

The origin

Tibet is known as the roof of the world. Situated in the heart of Asia it is a plateau with an average height of 10,000 feet above mean sea level. Tibet borders India and the Himalayas on its southern border and China on its eastern and northern border. The main religion of Tibet is Buddhism which was introduced into Tibet in the mid 3rd century. Tibet had a mixed relationship with China. For some periods, it was independent and for other periods it came under Chinese control.

As per mythology Thothori Nyantsen (173-233 AD) was the 28th king of Tibet. Not much is known about his rule. His name is however associated with the venerable legend. This legend cannot be verified historically but most Tibetans have a strong belief in it.

The legend relates that during the reign of Thothri by a divine act, the Buddhist canons, reportedly fell on the roof of the fortress Yambulagong in central Tibet. Yambulagong is the oldest fortress of Tibet. The falling of the Buddhist scriptures on the fortress is considered a divine act. The king did not know the significance of this but he kept the canons safely. The cannons had fallen enclosed in a casket.

Yumbulagang a fortress, is considered the first building in Tibet. The first Tibetan king, Yumbulagang made it a palace in the 2nd century. Since then, the kings used to rule central Tibet from here. In the 5th century, according to the legends, the Buddhist scriptures fell on the roof of the palace. Only in the 7th century King Songtsen Gampo studied and understood these religious texts. The king moved the capital to Lhasa and Yumbulakang became a temple.

how-the-tibetan-race-originated

Beginning of the race

As per legend Tibet came to be inhabited by people who are descendants of a union of a monkey and an ogress. The monkey is symbolic and represents the Bodhisattva of Compassion -Avalokiteshvara. Bodhisattva means a person who is aspiring to be like Buddha. Bodhisattva was used by Buddha to refer to himself in his present life as a prince and his past lives. The theory of reincarnation and rebirth is central to Buddhism and is very similar to the concept in Hinduism. The Buddha is also recognized as the ninth Avatar of Vishnu.

As per mythology, the celestial union took place at Gangpo Ri Mountain at Tsetang. This is located in Central Tibet. It is located at a height of 4130 meters. The union at this place between the monkey who in reality was Chenresig or Buddha himself and the ogress Ma Drag Sinmo is as per mythology led to the beginning of the Tibetan race. As per mythology, the Ogress Sinmo was so large that she had to be pinned to earth and the place she was pinned has temples. The entire area is a pilgrimage site.

This mountain is sacred for Tibetans and believers who trek to the mountain to pray and meditate do this with the inherent belief that their pilgrimage will bear fruit. At the top of the mountain, there is a cave where the union is reported to have taken place. This cave and the mountain are considered sacred by Tibetans. Reaching the cave is a tough proposition as it involves a half-day trek up to the cave. The cave is 550 meters from the Sangngag Zimche Nunnery. It is situated at a height of 4060 meters. A visit to the cave reveals a naturally occurring image of a monkey. There are also some paintings of simian-like figures.


how-the-tibetan-race-originated

End of Mythology.

As per mythology the white Ogress and the monkey had 6 children. They are named - Se, Mu, Dong, Tong, Dru, and Ra. These offspring are inherited their father's compassion and mother's stubbornness. As per Tibetan mythology, these six are the ancestors of the 6 main tribes or clans of Tibet.

-Se is closely associated with the Azha tribe

-Mu corresponds to the clan name of the founder of Bo

-Dong, is associated with the Minak clan

-Tong is associated with the Sumpa clan

-Dru represents a mixed clan

The origin of the Tibetan race is steeped in mythology. Never the less it makes a fascinating study.

Unfortunately, after the Chinese conquered Tibet in 1949, they made it a point to isolate the entire region. The entire region is now isolated and no visitors are allowed unless they have a special permit. For a tourist to visit this wonderful place is not easy.

Comments

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on May 13, 2021:

Sangre, nice you commented. China's conduct saddens me but the world is also responsible for their plight.

Sp Greaney from Ireland on May 13, 2021:

It's sad that they got conquered by China and that now it is more difficult for people to visit.

Still it's fascinating to read about places like this and learn more about its history.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on May 12, 2021:

Chitra, thanks for commenting.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on May 12, 2021:

This was an interesting and informative read. As always, a very well written and researched article.

Thank you for sharing.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on May 12, 2021:

Thanks, Peggy, That's the beauty of mythology, old and creating a mystery though perhaps not true.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 12, 2021:

I agree with Bill that mythology, while not always making sense to us, is nonetheless fascinating.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on May 12, 2021:

Bill, thanks, that's what mythology is and makes life so interesting.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 12, 2021:

Great read, my friend! I love mythology! It may not always make sense, but it is fascinating all the same. Thanks for an entertaining read!

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on May 12, 2021:

Pamela, so nice you commented.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 12, 2021:

This is a very fascinating article as I don't remember learning much of this history about Tibet. I really enjoyed reading it, and China's action I guess is not surprising. China seems to be a bully.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on May 12, 2021:

Tom, Nehru was a weakling and he committed a terrible folly on Tibet.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on May 12, 2021:

Thank you Tom for commenting

tom on May 12, 2021:

strong chinese empires captured tibet ,other wise tibet independent,nehru betrayed tibet,today 30 chinese divs,nukes,airfields in tibet,1950 gen lentaigne predicted war

tom on May 12, 2021:

tibet roof of the world,buffer between india and china ,iktiaruddin khiji defeated by tibetans,zorawar singh bad luck,killed by tibetans,khampas fierce warriors,tibetan genocide by chinese. 1949 truman offered airlift of indian army to tibet ,we refused,liitle tibet ladakh

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