It sounds like an artifact from an Indiana Jones film; a 1000 year-old ancient Buddhist statue which was first recovered by a Nazi expedition in 1938 has been analysed by scientists and has been found to be carved from a meteorite. The findings, published in Meteoritics and Planetary Science, reveal the priceless statue to be a rare ataxite class of meteorite.
The statue, known as the Iron Man, weighs 10kg and is believed to represent a stylistic hybrid between the Buddhist and pre-Buddhist Bon culture that portrays the deity Vaiśravana, the Buddhist King of the North, also known as Kuberu, and as Jambhala in Tibet.
The statue was discovered in 1938 by an expedition of … Read more »
On CNN, we see two dramatically different views on the Dalai Lama’s position on the wave of self-immolations by Tibetans protesting the Chinese occupation of their country and the persecution of their religion and culture.
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar, author of “The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation,” and regular CNN Belief Blog contributor, calls on the Dalai Lama to condemn the protesters.
Tenzin Dorjee, executive director of Students for a Free Tibet, responds, saying that Prothero’s post is a “crass display of moral blindsight” that “blames the victim.”
Dorjee praises the courage of the self-immolators and compares them to past non-violent protestors:
… Read more »
How can the Dalai
Adam Yauch, one of the founders of the hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, has died of cancer at the age of 47.
Yauch, who went by the name MCA, had been battling cancer since 2009.
Yauch was a practicing Buddhist, who actively supported Tibetan causes.
In 1994, he established the Milarepa Fund — an organization dedicated to the promotion of nonviolence — and became a leader of the movement to liberate Tibet from Chinese occupation. The fund was named after the 11th century Tibetan singer-yogi Milarepa, and was originally intended to distribute royalties from Yauch’s Beastie Boys’ 1994 songs “Shambhala” and “Bodhisattva Vow,” which had sampled the chanting of Tibetan monks, to support Tibetan independence.… Read more »
Andrew Jacobs, New York Times: Like many children of Tibetan nomads, Tsering Kyi started school relatively late, at age 10, but by all accounts she made up for lost time by studying with zeal.
“Even when she was out at pasture with her parents’ flock, there was always a book in her hand,” a cousin said.
That passion for learning apparently turned to despair this month when the Maqu County Tibetan Middle School, in Gansu Province near Tibet, switched to Chinese from Tibetan as the language of instruction. The policy shift has incited protests across the high-altitude steppe that is home to five million …
Peter Goodspeed: On Wednesday, Jamyang Palden, a 39-year-old monk, described as “calm, humble and virtuous,” set himself aflame in Drolma Square in the town of Rongwo in the Chinese province of Qinghai, along the border with Tibet.
He prostrated himself three times beside a Buddhist monastery that was founded in 1301, said a silent prayer, then set himself alight, according to the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet.
In a matter of minutes more than 500 crimson-robed monks and 700 students from nearby schools were swarming over the site of the attempted suicide, chanting prayers for the monk’s soul, shouting political slogans, waving outlawed photographs of the …
Joyce Morgan, Sydney Morning Herald: After China invaded Tibet in 1959, a young monk went into solitary confinement. He remained in a tiny dark room in the capital Lhasa for 19 years.
Choden Rinpoche’s confinement was self-imposed and he spent the two decades secretly meditating and reciting sacred texts he had memorised.
Rinpoche had none of the ritual objects, no altar, or books associated with a monk, just a set of rosary beads he hid under his blanket. Even retaining these was dangerous.
“If you kept even one scripture text, that is a serious crime – more serious than keeping a gun,” he said through an …
BBC News: The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, says he is very worried about the growing number of monks and nuns setting themselves on fire to protest against Chinese rule in Tibet.
He told the BBC he was not encouraging such actions – saying there was no doubt they required courage, but questioning how effective they were.
There have been 11 cases of self-immolation so far this year.
Most have resulted in death – the latest a 35-year-old nun two weeks ago.
The BBC has obtained graphic footage of the moment she set herself alight, prompting horrified cries from onlookers. Later, Chinese security forces flooded …
Andrew Jacobs: A Buddhist nun in southwest Sichuan Province died Thursday after setting herself on fire, becoming the 11th Tibetan to embrace a grisly protest against Chinese rule and at least the sixth to die doing so.
The death of the nun, Qiu Xiang, 35, was reported by Xinhua, the official news agency, and confirmed by exile groups, who gave her Tibetan name as Palden Choetso. She was the second nun in the predominantly Tibetan region to take her own life by self-immolation.
Like two previous cases, the most recent suicide took place in Ganzi Prefecture, known as Kardze in Tibetan, which is the site …
A Tibetan monk in western China’s Sichuan province set himself on fire on Tuesday to express opposition to China’s Tibet policies, becoming the 10th Tibetan this year to self-immolate as a form of political protest, an outside advocacy group reported.
The group, Free Tibet, based in London, said the self-immolation occurred outside a monastery in Garze, which is known as Kandze in Tibetan, and that the monk’s identity, condition and whereabouts were not known. The group did not explain how it had obtained the information.
Garze is about 100 miles south of Aba, or Ngaba, where eight of the other nine self-immolations have taken …
Edward Wong: The rise in anti-Chinese tensions and protests in a restive Tibetan region of Sichuan Province, including a startling wave of monk self-immolations, has taken place in the aftermath of sharp increases in the security budget for the area, which indicates the conflict is partly a result of heavy-handed tactics by the local security forces, according to an assessment by Human Rights Watch.
The Tibetan region, Aba prefecture, has been in the spotlight recently because six of seven self-immolations by monks in Sichuan this year have taken place there, in or around the Kirti Monastery. The monks all set themselves on fire to…