Tibet is known as the roof of the world. Situated in the heart of Asia it is a plateau with an average height of 10,000 feet above mean sea level. Tibet borders India and the Himalayas on its southern border and China on its eastern and northern border. The main religion of Tibet is Buddhism which was introduced into Tibet in the mid 3rdcentury. The 28th king of Tibet Thothori Nyantsen (173-233 AD) received the Buddhist canons, which reportedly fell on the roof of the fortress Yambulagong in central Tibet. Yambulagong is the oldest fortress of Tibet. The falling of the Buddhist scriptures on the fortress is considered a divine act,
As per legend Tibet came to be inhabited by people who are descendents of a union of a monkey and an ogress. The monkey is symbolic and represents the Bodhisattva of Compassion -Avalokiteshvara. Bodhisattva means a person who is aspiring to be like Buddha. Bodhisattva was used by Buddha to refer to himself in his present life as a prince and his past lives.
This scene of this celestial union according to mythology was the Gangpo Ri Mountain at Tsetang. This is located in Central Tibet. The union at this place between the monkey who in reality was Chenresig or Buddha himself and the ogress Ma Drag Sinmo is as per mythology the beginning of the Tibetan race. As per mythology the Ogress Sinmo was so large that she had to be pinned to earth and the place she was pinned has temples.
This mountain is sacred for Tibetans and believers trek to the mountain to pray and meditate. At the top of the mountain there is a cave where the union is reported to have taken place. This cave and the mountain are considered sacred by Tibetan's. Reaching the cave is a tough proposition as it involves a half day trek up to the cave. The cave is 550 meters from the Sangngag Zimche Nunnery. It is situated at a height of 4060 meters. A visit to the cave reveals a naturally-occurring image of a monkey. There are also some paintings of simian like figures.
As per mythology the white Ogress and the monkey had 6 children. They are named as - Se, Mu, Dong, Tong, Dru and Ra. These offspring's inherited their father's compassion and mothers stubbornness. As per Tibetan mythology these six are the ancestors of the 6 main tribes or clans of Tibet.
-Se is closely associated with the Azha tribe -Mu corresponds to the clan name of the founder of Bo
-Dong, is associated with the Minak clan
-Tong is associated with the Sumpa clan
-Dru represents a mixed clan
The origin of the Tibetan race is steeped in mythology. Never the less it makes a fascinating study.
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