Tibetan history is built on myths (such as the surprisingly Darwinistic legend that all Tibetans are descended from a...

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TIBET: The Heart of Asia

Tibetan history is built on myths (such as the surprisingly Darwinistic legend that all Tibetans are descended from a monkey), on the lives of holy men like the 11th century teacher Milarepa, and on the fusion of political and religious authority under such groups as the Gelupka -- or ""Yellow Hats"" -- and the god/kingship of the Dalai Lama. This narrative combines western style facts -- in so far as they are known -- with an appreciation of the mystical tantric Buddhist world view, and the ending is tragic either way: takeover by the land-hungry Chinese while Tibetans read omens of disaster in the stars and on earth and the world ignored their helplessness. Pilarsky tells little of what life is or was like for the average Tibetan (or at least for the 80% who are not monks) and little about who today's Tibetan refugees are and how they live. But the true, or in some cases truly legendary, lives of Tibetan leaders from the turquoise-eyed, webbed-fingered Nyatri Tsenpo to the 14th and current Dalai Lama increase one's curiosity to know more about the past and present of this remote land.

Pub Date: April 8, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1974