TIBET IS MY COUNTRY by Heinrich Harrer


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Thubten Norbu, the brother of the Dalai Lama, has told his story (it was actually taped) to Heinrich Harrer who spent Seven Years in Tibet (Harrer's account appeared in 1954) and was the tutor to the Dalai Lama. Norby's life, as well as that of the temporal and spiritual leader, reflects of course at the close the threatened existence of his country with the infiltration of Chinese Communism. Most of his story deals however with the earlier years; his childhood in a primitive mountain village under fairly rigorous circumstances (the Dalai Lama, as the other children before him, was born in the cow byre); his selection at the age of eight, as the reincarnation of a famous monk, to assume his benefice at the monastery of Kumbum- and the continuing homesickness (Norby was always particularly attached to his family); the years of advanced study before he became the Abbot of Kumbun- while, paralleling his experience, his much younger brother was chosen, after a two year search, as the new incarnation of the Dalai Lama. With the menace of Communism, Norbu became a prisoner in his own monastery, and fearing that his relationship to the Dalai Lama made his position even more restrictive, turned over his monastery to a younger man, and the last chapters deal with his own flight- as well as that of the Dalai Lama.... A soft-spoken and unpretentious story has a good deal of fascinating material- on life in the hills of Tibet- on the severe disciplines of the Buddhist faith- on the struggle to preserve it both within and without the country, and it reflects the warmth of heart and vision of the man himself.

Publisher: Dutton