The rage of the lamas

by Harish Dhillon, The Sunday Tribune (India), Aug 21, 2005

Title: A Long Way from Tibet
Author: Carlo Buldrini.
Tara India Research Press, New Delhi.
Pages 244. £ 8.95.

New Delhi, India -- This book tells us about Tibetans living in exile in India and provides us with a glimpse of the historical-political developments in Tibet and the intricacies of its religion and spirituality.

Buldrini, who spent 30 years in India as a journalist, begins his book with the daily reports of the Revolt in Lhasa in 1959, based on contemporary texts and eyewitness accounts. The reports are as graphic and crisp as the wire copy can be. He cuts to 1994 and reports the 40th anniversary celebrations of the revolt.

We see much that has changed in the attitudes and beliefs of the Tibetans and much that has remained the same: the fire to free their country from the Chinese and the resolve to protect their cultural heritage at all cost.

Buldrini walks the Linghar, the sacred way that circles Lhasa, the Tibetan equivalent of parikrama. He intersperses his own experiences with the experience of F. Spencer Chapman, who walked the Linghar in 1936. In this fascinating juxtaposition of the past and the present, the unswerving faith of the pilgrims shines gloriously.

The author details the controversy regarding the selection of the XIth Panchen Lama, which gives us an understanding of the importance of the second spiritual authority of Tibet. On the death of the Dalai Lama, it is the Panchen Lama who identifies the next reincarnation.

We get an exciting description of the clandestine escape of the XVIIth Kamrapa from Tibet and the Chinese control. We also get a peep into the violence that can erupt when there is hostility amongst Tibetan Buddhist sects: six followers of the Dorji Shugden sect came in the dead of night and murdered the Director of the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics and two other monks.

The highlights of the book are the interviews with Lobsang Dolma, XIIIth chief physician of the Khanghar hospital, who explains the principles of Tibetan medicine, and the Dalai Lama, who speaks on a variety of subjects. He speaks about his concern over the forcible settlement of the Chinese in Tibet: there are now 2.5 million Chinese in Tibet and only 7,00,000 Tibetans, posing a grave threat to the very survival of Tibetan language and culture.

He speaks about the growing opposition of the young Tibetans to his policy of non-violence; about the contradictions in Western materialism; about the link between spirituality and ecology; about the reasons for his winning the Nobel Peace Prize. When asked how he would like to be remembered, he replies: "As a human being who often smiled."

The writer gives life to what is essentially a documentary account by using a simple narrative style and bringing a wealth of vignettes and images to his story. The book concludes with the image of the funeral of Thupten Ngodup, who immolated himself during the 1998 protest against Chinese occupation and the world’s continuing indifference to this.

We join the thousands of mourners in Mcleodganj and, it is a measure of Buldrini’s success both as a writer and a sympathiser of the Tibetan cause that when the mourners cry "Bod Rangzen" (Free Tibet), we too want to raise our clenched fists and shout with them.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: