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The Warrior Hero: Profile of a Tibetan Archetype

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Title: The Warrior Hero: Profile of a Tibetan Archetype
Authors: Trott, Julia
Issue Date: 26 Sep 2014
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: Thubten Jigme Norbu, brother of the present Dalai Lama, wrote that the epic of Tibet’s warrior hero... reminds us of the fact, that the early Tibetans were a warlike people, feared by all their neighbours. They carried on successful wars against China up to the time of their conversion to Buddhism, when a sudden change came over the people. It must be one of the most dramatic and remarkable of historical facts for a war-loving and war-waging people to become so peace-loving in a few short years. Although the Tibetan people long ago lost the art of making war... they have never lost their love of the legends of those glorious days… This paper concerns the collective psychology of the Tibetan people, and how it may have been affected by the sudden transformation described above. Its purpose is to consider the repressive effect of conversion upon the Tibetans' original propensity for war, and to suggest that their enduring love of the legends of past glories is a symptom of that repression. The indigenous legends of Tibet, of which the secular epic of Gesar, King of Ling is a prime example, are spontaneous expressions of the inner state of the people, naively displaying psychological truths in a context free from moral strictures. In the Gesar epic, moreover, Tibetans confront their dilemma as Buddhists thrilling to scenes of bloodshed and destruction. And in the figure of King Gesar, the archetypal hero, it seems that the Tibetans’ancient warlike spirit has been personified.
Pages/Duration: 102 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/33890
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
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