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Apparitions Of Red Horses: Narratives Of Destruction In Bodongpa Monasteries In Central Tibet

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Chapter Summary

Within the discourse of the Tibetan pro-independence movement, the widespread destruction of monastic institutions has become emblematic of the Chinese presence in Tibet. This paper examines the legacies of this period from the perspective of those living around a handful of surviving monasteries belonging to the small Bodongpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The Bodongpa tradition is one of a number of small traditions falling outside the four main classifications of Tibetan Buddhism. Indeed, within Tibet the Bodongpas generally define Tashi Ombar as the single most important distinguishing feature of their tradition, operating as the main protector for the Bodongpa tradition on both territorial and sectarian levels. Bodong E monastery,the oldest of the Bodongpa monasteries, is situated equidistant from Lhatse and Shigatse, in south central Tibet. Its demolition, with one unusual caveat, was typical of the destruction of many monasteries.

Keywords: Bodongpa monasteries; Bodongpa tradition; Tashi Ombar



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