Talk/DVD on Historic Tibetan Uni, Sat. Feb 20th

Thanks Denise, for the information below – I rely on all of you to keep me updated with these kinds of events. So please do forward info on things you hear about, even if I don’t post it up later. Please be sure to contact the Gallery to double check dates/times etc.. as things are very impermanent here…

Tashi Lhunpo Talk

 on Saturday 20 February 2010 4-6pm

by Ruth  Hayward.


at Serindia Gallery, O.P. Garden, Soi

Charoenkrung  36 (map below)

free of charge, including refreshments

BUT – please  RSVP via  :-

or Tel: 02 238 6410

or even : Mobile: 081 428 5453

 The history of Tashi Lhunpo Monastic University in Tibet intersects with that of the relationship over the centuries of the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama. Gendun  Drup, who posthumously was recognized as the first Dalai  Lama, founded Tashi Lhunpo in 1447 in Shigatse, Tibet’s  second largest city. He was an outstanding but wandering  teacher who was inspired by Jey Tsong Khapa, founder of the  Gelukpa or “Yellow Hat” sect and of the first Gelukpa  monastic university, Ganden, in Lhasa, to build his own  “Ganden” in Shigatse. Both he and the second Dalai Lama  resided there. The Great Fifth Dalai Lama, who built the  Potala in Lhasa, gave Tashi Lhunpo in appreciation to his  teacher, Lobsang Choyki Gyaltsen, (1570–1662) as his seat, along with support from some nearby villages, freed from  paying tax to Lhasa. The Great Fifth named him the  “Panchen Lama,” or “Great Scholar”; reserved the  title “Panchen” only for him and his reincarnates and  declared him to be the incarnation of Amitabha Buddha. Since  then, Tashi Lhunpo Monastic University has been intended as  the seat of the successive Panchen Lamas. They and the Dalai  Lamas have played important roles in recognizing each  other’s reincarnations and as each other’s teachers  where possible. Together they are generally considered the  two highest religious leaders for Tibet, the “sun and  moon.”

 The historic link of the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama to Tashi Lhunpo makes it an important institution. And it specializes in teaching logic. In addition, its geographic  location nearer to the border with India and further west  than Lhasa, put it into contact as early as the 17th century  with European explorers and foreign powers seeking influence  in Tibet , but who were not always welcome in Lhasa. There  were apparent attempts from many quarters to manipulate the  Panchen Lama and disrupt ties with and influence of the  Dalai Lama, for the advantage of foreign powers as well as some insiders.

Ruth Hayward will discuss and show a DVD about the history  of Tashi Lhunpo Monastic University in Tibet and the Tashi  Lhunpo in exile in India, and its relevance in contemporary  history as well as for the future of Tibetan Buddhism. She  is a Social Anthropologist (PhD Harvard, ’70), with both  an academic and United Nations career, and is the President  and Executive Director of the Panchen Lama-Tashi Lhunpo  Project . She has published on topics ranging from child to  international development, including lessons from South Asia  on how to end violence against women and girls, and  contributed to Serindia Publications’ Wooden Wonders:  Tibetan Furniture in Secular and Religious Life (2004).

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