Friday, June 22, 2007

Seven years in Tibet (Tag)

I've been tagged for the first time by Nandu akka and I respond .....

Tibetans can claim to have arguably the worlds most mystic and unique culture which has remained veiled to outsiders and has been the subject of inquisition for many historians and adventurers.Today, even as vestiges of the distinctive Tibetan religion and traditions are being systematically erased on it's native soil, traces of it do survive elsewhere.

I have had the good fortune to have lived amongst these people and am fascinated by their religion, mysticism, manners, morals, superstitions, hospitality and their inherent abilities of tolerance and survival. That is the reason why I just couldn't place this book down once I laid my hands on it. "Seven Years in Tibet" is a book authored by Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountaineer, and is an intriguing account of the time he spent as a fugitive in the mysterious land.

The Potala Palace - Ancient abode of the
Dalai Lama.

Harrer came to India as part of a German expedition to the Himalayan peak of "Nanga parbat" on the eve of the second world war only to be arrested and sent to a British internment camp in Dehradun. After three failed attempts he along with a few colleagues managed to sneak out and set out on a route towards Tibet that was never before attempted. After traveling along a circuitous route for two years he and his friend Aufschanaiter reached Lhasa, the capital city. One must remember that outsiders were not welcome in the country and that they neither had any papers nor any funds or resources. They learned the local tongue (I failed miserably in my attempt), did a lot of useful work for the government, won the hearts and minds of the people and lived in Tibet for seven long years.

A glimpse of the terrain on the Tibetan platue

Harrer's absorbing and vivid descriptions of the Tibetan religious customs, festivals and superstitions make riveting reading. Eventually he becomes the unofficial tutor to the teenaged God-king (The Dalai Lama) who had a deep desire to learn about western knowledge and the technological, political and social advancements made outside his protected land. Harrers's love affair with this unique land came to an end as the Chinese invaded it in 1950 forcing the Dalai Lama to take refuge in India.

Coming to the "responsibility" bestowed on me by this tag ..... here is the fourth (& last) paragraph on page no. 123 of the book ....(it speaks about the family of the god-king, His Holiness The Dalai Lama)

{The Great Parents had in all six children. The eldest son, long before the discovery of the Dalai Lama, had been recognised as the incarnation of Budha and invested with the dignity of a Lama in the monastery of Tagstel. He too was styled "Rimpoche", the form of address applied to all Lamas. The second son, Gyalpo Tondrup, was at a school in China. Our young acquaintance Lobsang was destined for a monastic life. The young Dalai Lama himself was now eleven years old. Besides his brothers he had two sisters. Subsequently the "Great Mother" gave birth to another "Incarnation", "Ngari Rimpoche". As the mother of three "Incarnations" she held the record for the Budhist world.}

The book has now been adapted into movie starring Brad Pitt, a copy of which I am fervently lo
oking for.

I am also supposed to tag five others .... here they go ...
(take it up only if you please....)

The rules of the tag, as handed down to me are:-

1. Give a refernce and link to the person who tagged you.
2. write about the book u've read recently and quote the 5th or last para of it's 123rd page.
3. Tag five others.


Nanditha Prabhu said...

the glimpse of the Tibetan plateau is just wonderful !I will surely take up this book .

MyVision said...

yes, tibet is one of the most beautiful part of this world. you have presented the beauty of tibet so well vinnu.. me too would like to read the book... an excellent blog... keep writing... you write so well.

Shruti said...

Hi dear, Nice tibetian View...
Really enjoyed reading and knwoing one more culture..

Thanks for tagging, but what we to write abt..i havent got it...

Take care

Keshi said...

aww Naveen I've done this tag b4...and the book Im reading now isnt gonna please ya cos it's a C# (.net) book :)

But ur's was LOVELY to read...ty!


Srijith Unni said...

Hi Naveen, Wonderful write-up on Tibet.. I have often been in awe of the place.. It`s my lifetime dream to visit Shangri-La monastery, scale the himalayas..! I hope it doesn`t remain a dream.

Naveen, thanks for the tag..! I`ve already done it before..! Thanks anyway..! Keep Writing.

Have FUn, Take Care and God Bless!

With Best Regards,

krystyna said...

Hi Naveen!
"Seven years in Tibet" must be very interesting book and I’m looking for movie too. Your post inspired me to read it. Generally I like to learn about Tibetan religion and culture.
You have a wonderful blog and well written and interesting posts. Keep up your great work!

harimohan said...

dear naveen
i just planned to write on this not after reading the book which i have to yet but after seeing the movie in tv ,it was a wonderful three hours for me
tks for the post

SG said...

After reading your post, I went to the local library and got a copy of the movie.. I enjoyed watching the movie..Got to know about Tibetan culture..

Good post..Keep writing!